Birds, their names and songs. The dove. The writer wishes to paint a picture of the dove in all its beauty so that people who cannot understand its allegorical virtues will at least be able to perceive its physical attributes.
There is no illustration to the text about painting a picture of the dove with silvery wing feathers and golden tail feathers. Instead the text is heralded by an elaborate illuminated initial 'C', type 3. It is painted with delicate foliage designs. Up to this point, the account of the birds comes from the 'standard' Isidore Etymologies text. The type 3 initial indicates the start of text mainly deriving from the Aviarium of Hugo of Fouilloy, 'Concerning the silver-sheathed wings of the dove' (Clark, 1992, 117).
- Transcription and Translation
Transcriptionut cignus et merula. Alie verba et voces hominum imitantur, ut \psitacus et pica. Sed alia sicut genere ita et moribus innumerabilia. \Nam et volucrum quot genera sint, invenire quisque non potest. \Neque enim omnes Scithie et Indie aut Ethiopie deserta quis pe\netrare potuit, qui earum genus vel differentias nosset. \ Aves \dicte eo quod vias rectas non habent sed per avia queque discurrunt. \Alites quod alis alta intendunt et ad sublimia remigio alarum \conscendant. Volucres a volando. Nam unde volare, inde \et ambulare dicimus. Vola enim dicitur media pars pedis sive \manus, et in avibus media pars alarum quarum motu penne \agitantur, inde volucres. Pulli dicuntur avium omnium nati. \Sed et animalium quadrupedum nati pulli dicuntur. Et homo \parvus pullus, recentes igitur nati pulli, eo quod polluti sunt, unde \et vestis nigra et pulla dicta. Ale sunt in quibus penne \per or\dinem fixe volandi exhibent usum. Vocate autem ale quod \his aves complexus alant ac fovent pullos. Penna a pendendo, \id est a volando dicta, unde et pendere. Volucres enim pennarum \auxilio moventur quando se aeri mandant. Pluma quasi piluma. \Nam sicut pili in quadrupedum corpore, ita pluma in avibus. \Avium nomina multa a sono vocis constat esse composita ut \grus, corvus, cignus, bubo, milvus, ulula, cuculus, garrulus, \graculus et cetera. Varietas enim vocis earum docuit homi\nes quid vocarentur. \ De pennis deargentatis columbe \ Columbam cuius penne sunt deargentate et po\steriora dorsi eius in pallore auri pingere et per pic\turam simplicium mentes edificare decrevi, \ut quod simplicium animus intelligibili oculo capere \vix poterat, saltem carnali discernat, et quod vix poterat auditus, \percipiat visus. Nec tantum volui columbam formando pingere, \
Translationlike the swan and the blackbird. Some imitate the words and voices of men, like the parrot and magpie. There are countless others, however, differing alike in kind and habits. For it is impossible to find out how many kinds of birds there are. And anyone who could penetrate the desert places of Scythia and India or Ethiopia still could not get to know all the species of birds there or the differences between them. Birds are called aves because they do not go in a straight line but fly at random, off-course, per avia. They are called alites, winged creatures, because it is on their wings, ale, that they reach for the skies and it is by beating them that they ascend to the heights. They are called volucres, flying creatures, from volandum, flying, For what we call 'walking' and 'flying' stem from the same mechanism. For what we call vola, the hollow, or middle part of the foot or the hand, is in birds the middle part of the wings - at the junction with the shoulders - by whose motion the flight feathers are activated; hence their name, volucres. The young of all birds are called pulli. But the young of quadrupeds are also called pulli. So, too, is a human child. The newly-born, then, are called pulli, because they are polluti, unclean; for the same reason, dark clothes are also called pulla. Birds have wings, ale, in which feathers, fixed in a particular order, demonstrate the act of flight. Wings are called ale because birds nourish, alere, and cherish their young, folding their wings around them. The flight feather, penna, is so called from pendeo, to hover, that is, fly, from which comes also 'suspend'. For birds move by means of their flight feathers when they entrust themselves to the air. The down feather, pluma, is so to speak, piluma, derived from pilus, hair. For just as there are hairs on the body of a quadruped, so there is down on birds. It is known that many bird-names are formed from the sound of their call, like grus, the crane; corvus, the raven; cignus, the swan; bubo, the owl; milvus, the kite; ulula, the screech-owl; cuculus, the cuckoo; [garrulus] graculus, the jackdaw, and others. For the particular call they give has taught man what name they should be given. Of the silver-sheathed wings of the dove It is my intention to paint a picture of the dove, whose wings are sheathed in silver and whose tail has the pale colour of gold (see Psalms, 68:13). In painting this picture I intend to improve the minds of ordinary people, in such a way that their soul will at least perceive physically things which it has difficulty in grasping mentally; that what they have difficulty comprehending with their ears, they will perceive with their eyes. I want not only to depict the dove by creating its likeness,