The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 22r - the horse continued.


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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:

Text

  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:]

Translation

  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.
[Of the horse] [... Some horses recognise their own masters, and] if these change, forget their training. Others let no-one on their back except their master - we will give an example of this. The horse of Alexander the Great was called Bucefala, either from its savage appearance, or from its brand - it had a bull's-head burnt into its shoulder - or because the points of little horns grew out of its forehead. Although it was ridden by its groom at times without resisting, once it carried the royal saddle, it would never deign to carry anyone but its master the king. There are many accounts of this horse in battles where, by its own efforts, it carried Alexander unharmed from the fiercest fights. The horse of Gaius Caesar allowed no-one on its back but Caesar. When the king of the Scythians was killed in single combat, his victorious opponent sought to plunder his corpse but was mauled by the king's horse, which kicked and bit him. When King Nicomedes was killed, his horse starved itself to death. When Antiochus conquered the Galatians, he leapt on the horse of a general, Cintaretus by name, who had fallen in battle, in order to go on fighting. But the horse reacted against the bit to such an extent that it fell deliberately, injuring both itself and its rider in the fall. Among this kind of animal, the males live longer. Indeed, we read of horses living for seventy years. We note also that a stallion called Opuntes was at stud up to the age of forty. In mares, sexual desire is quenched when their mane is cropped; when they give birth, a love charm appears, which the foals display on their foreheads, tawny in colour, like a tuft of sedge, called hipponenses. If it is taken away immediately, the mother will on no account give her udders to the foal to suckle it. The deeper a horse dips its nostrils when drinking, the better its prospects. Horses weep for their slain or dying masters. It is said that the horse alone weeps for men and feels the emotion of grief on their account. Following on from this, the characteristics of horses and men are intermingled in the centaurs. Men riding into battle can infer from the low or high spirits of their mounts, what the outcome will be. The general view is that in horses of good pedigree ...

Text

After two missing leaves the text resumes with some heroic horses and their loyalty to their masters.

Comment

This page shows a little pricking on right edge.

Folio Attributes

  • Pricking

    Pricking

    Pricking
    Line pricking and ruling. Detail from f.7r

    Once the quires were arranged they had to be prepared for writing by drawing up the lines. Tiny parallel pinpricks were made on the outer and inner edges of each page and horizontal lines ruled between them. In a completed book these pinpricks should have been trimmed off during the final stages of production but in the Aberdeen Bestiary they have survived in 12 out of the 15 quires (only E , G and M are fully trimmed). Careful measuring shows that the holes were pricked with the quires folded up, using a long pointed pricker, because they are the same distance apart throughout an entire quire. In quires B and C there is a double hole on the penultimate line, indicating to the person ruling lines that the page is about to end. In these two quires the holes have a coarse triangular shape and are set up to 6mm in from the edge. Elsewhere the holes are smaller, circular and much closer to the edge. Pinpricks were also made at the top and bottom of the pages to provide vertical margins. These survive in every quire. In quires A.F,H,J,K,L,M and N there are single pricks for the vertical lines. In B and C there are double pricks and double margins while in G there are double pricks and a variety of single and double ruled lines. On f.48r (quire G) where there are double pricks for the margins, the wrong holes have been joined and the faulty diagonal line has been redrawn correctly.

Transcription

[De equo part] etudinis si mutentur. Aliqui preter dominum dorso nullum re\recipiunt, unde exemplum dabimus. Alexandri magni equus \Bucefala dictus, sive de aspectus torvitate, seu ab insigni quod \taurinum caput armo inustum habebat, seu quod e fronte \eius quedam corniculorum mine protuberabant, cum ab equa\rio suo alias etiam molliter sedetur accepto regio stratu neminem \unquam preter dominum vehere dignatus est. Documenta eius in preliis plu\ra sunt, quibus Alexandrum crudelissimis certaminibus sospitem \opere suo extulit. Equus Gaii Cesaris nullum preter Cesarem dor\so recepit. Regem Scitarum singulari certamine interemptum, \cum adversarius victor spoliare vellet, ab equo eius calcibus mor\suque est laceratus. Nichomede rege interfecto equus eius inedia vi\tam expulit. Cum prelio Anthiocus Galathas subegisset, Cin\tareti nomine ducis qui in acie cediderat equum insilivit pug\naturus. Isque adeo sprevit lupatos ut de industria cernuatus, \ruina pariter et se et equitem affligeret. In huiscemodi animalis \genere etas longior maribus. Legimus sane equum ad annos lxx \vixisse. Notatum etiam advertimus Opuntem nomine equum ad \gregariam venerem durasse ad annos quadraginta. Equarum libi\do extinguitur iubis tonsis, in quarum partu amoris nascitur vene \ficium, quod in frontibus preferunt editi fulvo colore caricis simile, \hipponenses nominatur. Quod si preraptum statim fuerit nequaquam \mater pullo ubera prebet fellitando. Quo equis amor fuerit speique \maioris, eo profundius nares mersitat in bibendo. Interfectis vel \morientibus dominis equi lacrimas fundunt. Solum enim equum \dicunt propter hominem lacrimare et doloris affectum sentire. Unde \et in centauris equorum et hominum natura permixta est. Solent enim \ex equorum vel mesticia vel alacritate eventum futurum dimica\turi colligere. Frequens opinio est in generosis equis ut \

Translation

[Of the horse] [... Some horses recognise their own masters, and] if these change, forget their training. Others let no-one on their back except their master - we will give an example of this. The horse of Alexander the Great was called Bucefala, either from its savage appearance, or from its brand - it had a bull's-head burnt into its shoulder - or because the points of little horns grew out of its forehead. Although it was ridden by its groom at times without resisting, once it carried the royal saddle, it would never deign to carry anyone but its master the king. There are many accounts of this horse in battles where, by its own efforts, it carried Alexander unharmed from the fiercest fights. The horse of Gaius Caesar allowed no-one on its back but Caesar. When the king of the Scythians was killed in single combat, his victorious opponent sought to plunder his corpse but was mauled by the king's horse, which kicked and bit him. When King Nicomedes was killed, his horse starved itself to death. When Antiochus conquered the Galatians, he leapt on the horse of a general, Cintaretus by name, who had fallen in battle, in order to go on fighting. But the horse reacted against the bit to such an extent that it fell deliberately, injuring both itself and its rider in the fall. Among this kind of animal, the males live longer. Indeed, we read of horses living for seventy years. We note also that a stallion called Opuntes was at stud up to the age of forty. In mares, sexual desire is quenched when their mane is cropped; when they give birth, a love charm appears, which the foals display on their foreheads, tawny in colour, like a tuft of sedge, called hipponenses. If it is taken away immediately, the mother will on no account give her udders to the foal to suckle it. The deeper a horse dips its nostrils when drinking, the better its prospects. Horses weep for their slain or dying masters. It is said that the horse alone weeps for men and feels the emotion of grief on their account. Following on from this, the characteristics of horses and men are intermingled in the centaurs. Men riding into battle can infer from the low or high spirits of their mounts, what the outcome will be. The general view is that in horses of good pedigree ...
  • Commentary

    Text

    After two missing leaves the text resumes with some heroic horses and their loyalty to their masters.

    Comment

    This page shows a little pricking on right edge.

    Folio Attributes

    • Pricking

      Pricking

      Pricking
      Line pricking and ruling. Detail from f.7r

      Once the quires were arranged they had to be prepared for writing by drawing up the lines. Tiny parallel pinpricks were made on the outer and inner edges of each page and horizontal lines ruled between them. In a completed book these pinpricks should have been trimmed off during the final stages of production but in the Aberdeen Bestiary they have survived in 12 out of the 15 quires (only E , G and M are fully trimmed). Careful measuring shows that the holes were pricked with the quires folded up, using a long pointed pricker, because they are the same distance apart throughout an entire quire. In quires B and C there is a double hole on the penultimate line, indicating to the person ruling lines that the page is about to end. In these two quires the holes have a coarse triangular shape and are set up to 6mm in from the edge. Elsewhere the holes are smaller, circular and much closer to the edge. Pinpricks were also made at the top and bottom of the pages to provide vertical margins. These survive in every quire. In quires A.F,H,J,K,L,M and N there are single pricks for the vertical lines. In B and C there are double pricks and double margins while in G there are double pricks and a variety of single and double ruled lines. On f.48r (quire G) where there are double pricks for the margins, the wrong holes have been joined and the faulty diagonal line has been redrawn correctly.

  • Translation
    [Of the horse] [... Some horses recognise their own masters, and] if these change, forget their training. Others let no-one on their back except their master - we will give an example of this. The horse of Alexander the Great was called Bucefala, either from its savage appearance, or from its brand - it had a bull's-head burnt into its shoulder - or because the points of little horns grew out of its forehead. Although it was ridden by its groom at times without resisting, once it carried the royal saddle, it would never deign to carry anyone but its master the king. There are many accounts of this horse in battles where, by its own efforts, it carried Alexander unharmed from the fiercest fights. The horse of Gaius Caesar allowed no-one on its back but Caesar. When the king of the Scythians was killed in single combat, his victorious opponent sought to plunder his corpse but was mauled by the king's horse, which kicked and bit him. When King Nicomedes was killed, his horse starved itself to death. When Antiochus conquered the Galatians, he leapt on the horse of a general, Cintaretus by name, who had fallen in battle, in order to go on fighting. But the horse reacted against the bit to such an extent that it fell deliberately, injuring both itself and its rider in the fall. Among this kind of animal, the males live longer. Indeed, we read of horses living for seventy years. We note also that a stallion called Opuntes was at stud up to the age of forty. In mares, sexual desire is quenched when their mane is cropped; when they give birth, a love charm appears, which the foals display on their foreheads, tawny in colour, like a tuft of sedge, called hipponenses. If it is taken away immediately, the mother will on no account give her udders to the foal to suckle it. The deeper a horse dips its nostrils when drinking, the better its prospects. Horses weep for their slain or dying masters. It is said that the horse alone weeps for men and feels the emotion of grief on their account. Following on from this, the characteristics of horses and men are intermingled in the centaurs. Men riding into battle can infer from the low or high spirits of their mounts, what the outcome will be. The general view is that in horses of good pedigree ...
  • Transcription
    [De equo part] etudinis si mutentur. Aliqui preter dominum dorso nullum re\recipiunt, unde exemplum dabimus. Alexandri magni equus \Bucefala dictus, sive de aspectus torvitate, seu ab insigni quod \taurinum caput armo inustum habebat, seu quod e fronte \eius quedam corniculorum mine protuberabant, cum ab equa\rio suo alias etiam molliter sedetur accepto regio stratu neminem \unquam preter dominum vehere dignatus est. Documenta eius in preliis plu\ra sunt, quibus Alexandrum crudelissimis certaminibus sospitem \opere suo extulit. Equus Gaii Cesaris nullum preter Cesarem dor\so recepit. Regem Scitarum singulari certamine interemptum, \cum adversarius victor spoliare vellet, ab equo eius calcibus mor\suque est laceratus. Nichomede rege interfecto equus eius inedia vi\tam expulit. Cum prelio Anthiocus Galathas subegisset, Cin\tareti nomine ducis qui in acie cediderat equum insilivit pug\naturus. Isque adeo sprevit lupatos ut de industria cernuatus, \ruina pariter et se et equitem affligeret. In huiscemodi animalis \genere etas longior maribus. Legimus sane equum ad annos lxx \vixisse. Notatum etiam advertimus Opuntem nomine equum ad \gregariam venerem durasse ad annos quadraginta. Equarum libi\do extinguitur iubis tonsis, in quarum partu amoris nascitur vene \ficium, quod in frontibus preferunt editi fulvo colore caricis simile, \hipponenses nominatur. Quod si preraptum statim fuerit nequaquam \mater pullo ubera prebet fellitando. Quo equis amor fuerit speique \maioris, eo profundius nares mersitat in bibendo. Interfectis vel \morientibus dominis equi lacrimas fundunt. Solum enim equum \dicunt propter hominem lacrimare et doloris affectum sentire. Unde \et in centauris equorum et hominum natura permixta est. Solent enim \ex equorum vel mesticia vel alacritate eventum futurum dimica\turi colligere. Frequens opinio est in generosis equis ut \
Folio 22r - the horse continued. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen