The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 23v - the horse continued. De musione; the cat. De muribus; mice. De mustela; the weasel

Folio 24r - the weasel continued. De talpa; the mole. De ericiis; the hedgehog.

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Commentary, Translation and Transcription

These sections are located below the image on each page, scroll down page and click on the tabs to view them. It is also possible to view the translation alongside the image by clicking the translation icon in the toolbar

It is not part of the project to provide a definitive edition of the text of the Bestiary, but to help readers by providing a transcription and translation of the text. Currently the following editorial conventions obtain:


  1. The original capitalisation is retained, but capitals have been added for personal and place names, excluding deus and diabolus.
  2. The original punctuation, including a point and inverted semi-colon (both serving as commas), and a point (serving as a full stop), is represented by comma, full stop and question-mark; a colon has been inserted before quotations.
  3. Suggested readings are in [ ].
  4. Variants from other Bestiary texts (eg Ashmole 1511 and Patrologia Latina 176) are added where they indicate a corruption, elucidate a meaning and replace excised text. They are represented as [A: PL:]


  1. Direct quotations from the Bible, where identified, are cited from the Authorised Version in ( ).
  2. Paraphrased quotations are identified where possible and indicated as: (see Job, 18:22).
  3. Suggested translations of corrupt words are in [ ].
  4. Capitalisation is sparing; additional punctuation has been used where necessary to give the sense. Paragraphs have been created to break up the text.



Hybrids continued. The cat, a catcher of mice, mouse; the weasel.


The cats gambol and hunt. The mouse carries grain; portrait of weasel.


In the Ashmole Bestiary f.35v the central and right cat catch mice as described in the text. The mice are omitted in Aberdeen, changing the emphasis to anotehr section of the text where the cat's sharp sight is praised. The contorted cat licking its backside is shown in the Ashmole Bestiary. The mouse appears to be stealing grain, not mentioned in the text. The weasel is shown in a simple portrait. This page shows red initial indicator. Initials type 2.



The weasel continued. The blind mole. Hedgehogs.


The mole has no eyes. The hedgehogs, covered in bristles, roll up in a ball, and carry grapes back to their young by impaling them on their spines.


Pricking for pouncing on the mole includes details of the shaded areas. Initial indicator 't' in red on right margin. Initials type 2.