The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 53v - the goose, continued. [De ardea] ; Of the heron


Translation Open Book View Download image for personal, teaching or research purposes Help Copyright

Help

To explore the image, simply click the image to zoom, double-click to zoom out, or click-drag to pan. You can also zoom in and out using the mouse scroll wheel.

Shortcuts

(Alt is Option on Macintosh)

  • Alt-click-drag to create a zoom-rectangle
  • Alt-click / Alt-double-click to zoom fully in / out
  • Alt-click-Reset button to return to the prior view

The thumbnail view in the top left can also be clicked or click-dragged to pan.

Keyboard shortcuts:

  • a to zoom in
  • z to zoom out
  • Arrow keys pan arround the image
  • Escape resets initial view or exits fullscreen

Toolbar buttons

Use the Toolbar for exact navigation - if using a mouse, hold it over any button to see a helpful tip.


Zoom out

Zoom in

Pan left

Pan right

Pan up

Pan down

Reset Image

Full screen view

View translation alongside image

View double page - bi folio

Download image for personal, research or teaching purposes

Help

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.
the discerning brother sees evidence of negligence, his warning voice serves to repel the old enemy, the Devil. The cackling of the goose saved the city of Rome from enemy attack; the warning voice of the discerning brother guards the life of his community from disruption by the wicked. Divine providence would not, perhaps, have revealed to us the characteristics of birds, if it had not wanted the knowledge to be of some benefit to us. [Of the heron] It is called heron, ardea, as if from ardua, meaning 'high', because of its capacity to fly high in the sky; it fears rain and flies above the clouds to avoid experiencing the storms they bring. A heron taking wing shows a storm is coming. Many people call the heron Tantalus, after the king who betrayed the secrets of the gods. Rabanus says on this subject: 'This bird can signify the souls of the elect, who fear the disorder of this world, lest they be caught up by chance in the storms of persecution stirred up by the Devil, and raise their minds, reaching above all worldly things to the tranquility of their home in heaven, where the countenance of God is forever to be seen. Although the heron seeks its food in water, nevertheless it builds its nest in woodland, in tall trees, as the righteous man, whose sustenance is uncertain and transitory, places his hope in splendid and exalted things. The soul of man sustained by transitory things, rejoices in the eternal. The heron tries with its beak to prevent its nestlings from being seized by other birds. So the righteous man lashes with his tongue those who, to his knowledge, are evilly inclined to deceive the gullible. Some herons are white, some grey, but both colours can be taken in a good sense, if white signifies purity, grey, penitence. To the same kind

Text

Herons. The white feathers signify purity.

Illustration

A portrait of three herons, the one on the right holding an especially characteristic pose.

Comment

The tail feathers are more like those of a crane. The rubric is missing. Initial type 2.

Folio Attributes

  • Initial Type 2

    Initial Type 2

    Initial Type 2
    Type 2 initial. Detail from f.5v

    Type 2 is much more common. The letter is made with burnished gold, filled with a blue or brown background which is decorated with a delicate white tracery. Many of these are embellished with red or blue traces or sprays. The Aberdeen Bestiary is a very early example of the use of sprays which culminates in the art of William de Brailes in the mid-thirteenth century (Morgan 1982,no.68). An elaborate spray is on f.41v. The fine white filigree pattern is also found on some of the illuminations (f.3r, f.11r, f.12r) suggesting that the main illuminator also made these initials. This type generally occupies two lines. This initial is generally used to introduce each new animal.

Transcription

negligentias viderit clamor discreti fratris hostem repel\ lit antiquum. Clamor anseris urbem Romanam ab im\ petu hostium servavit immunem, clamor discreti fratris\ ne turbetur a perversis custodit vitam communem. Forsi\ tan divina providentia naturas volucrum nobis non propo\ neret, nisi eas nobis in aliquo forte prodesse vellet.\ [De ardea] \ Ardea vocata, quasi ar\ dua, propter altos vola\ tus, formidat imbres, et super\ nubes evolat, ut procellas nu\ bium sentire non possit. Cum\ autem volaverit, significat\ tempestatem. Hanc multi\ Tantalum vocant. Unde Ra\ banus: Hec avis potest signi\ ficare animas electorum, que formidantes perturbationem\ huius seculi, ne forte procellis persecutionum instigante diabo\ lo involvantur, intentionem suam super omnia tempora\ lia ad serenitatem patrie celesti[s]s ubi assidue vultus dei\ conspicitur, mentes suas elevant. Licet ardea cibos in aquis\ querat, in silvis tamen et in altis arboribus nidum locat,\ quia iustus qui rebus labentibus et transitoriis seipsum pascit,\ in raris sublimibusque spem ponit. Et cuius sustentatur\ transitoriis, eius anima delectatur eternis. Ardea pullos in\ nido rostro defendere nititur, ne ab aliis avibus rapiantur.\ Eodem modo iustus forti invectione percutit, quos perversos ad\ decipiendum subiectos novit. Quedam vero earum habent\ colorem album, quedam cinericium, uterque tamen color\ in bonam partem ponitur, si per album mundicia, per cineri\ cium penitentia designetur. Eiusdem enim generis sunt\

Translation

the discerning brother sees evidence of negligence, his warning voice serves to repel the old enemy, the Devil. The cackling of the goose saved the city of Rome from enemy attack; the warning voice of the discerning brother guards the life of his community from disruption by the wicked. Divine providence would not, perhaps, have revealed to us the characteristics of birds, if it had not wanted the knowledge to be of some benefit to us. [Of the heron] It is called heron, ardea, as if from ardua, meaning 'high', because of its capacity to fly high in the sky; it fears rain and flies above the clouds to avoid experiencing the storms they bring. A heron taking wing shows a storm is coming. Many people call the heron Tantalus, after the king who betrayed the secrets of the gods. Rabanus says on this subject: 'This bird can signify the souls of the elect, who fear the disorder of this world, lest they be caught up by chance in the storms of persecution stirred up by the Devil, and raise their minds, reaching above all worldly things to the tranquility of their home in heaven, where the countenance of God is forever to be seen. Although the heron seeks its food in water, nevertheless it builds its nest in woodland, in tall trees, as the righteous man, whose sustenance is uncertain and transitory, places his hope in splendid and exalted things. The soul of man sustained by transitory things, rejoices in the eternal. The heron tries with its beak to prevent its nestlings from being seized by other birds. So the righteous man lashes with his tongue those who, to his knowledge, are evilly inclined to deceive the gullible. Some herons are white, some grey, but both colours can be taken in a good sense, if white signifies purity, grey, penitence. To the same kind
  • Commentary

    Text

    Herons. The white feathers signify purity.

    Illustration

    A portrait of three herons, the one on the right holding an especially characteristic pose.

    Comment

    The tail feathers are more like those of a crane. The rubric is missing. Initial type 2.

    Folio Attributes

    • Initial Type 2

      Initial Type 2

      Initial Type 2
      Type 2 initial. Detail from f.5v

      Type 2 is much more common. The letter is made with burnished gold, filled with a blue or brown background which is decorated with a delicate white tracery. Many of these are embellished with red or blue traces or sprays. The Aberdeen Bestiary is a very early example of the use of sprays which culminates in the art of William de Brailes in the mid-thirteenth century (Morgan 1982,no.68). An elaborate spray is on f.41v. The fine white filigree pattern is also found on some of the illuminations (f.3r, f.11r, f.12r) suggesting that the main illuminator also made these initials. This type generally occupies two lines. This initial is generally used to introduce each new animal.

  • Translation
    the discerning brother sees evidence of negligence, his warning voice serves to repel the old enemy, the Devil. The cackling of the goose saved the city of Rome from enemy attack; the warning voice of the discerning brother guards the life of his community from disruption by the wicked. Divine providence would not, perhaps, have revealed to us the characteristics of birds, if it had not wanted the knowledge to be of some benefit to us. [Of the heron] It is called heron, ardea, as if from ardua, meaning 'high', because of its capacity to fly high in the sky; it fears rain and flies above the clouds to avoid experiencing the storms they bring. A heron taking wing shows a storm is coming. Many people call the heron Tantalus, after the king who betrayed the secrets of the gods. Rabanus says on this subject: 'This bird can signify the souls of the elect, who fear the disorder of this world, lest they be caught up by chance in the storms of persecution stirred up by the Devil, and raise their minds, reaching above all worldly things to the tranquility of their home in heaven, where the countenance of God is forever to be seen. Although the heron seeks its food in water, nevertheless it builds its nest in woodland, in tall trees, as the righteous man, whose sustenance is uncertain and transitory, places his hope in splendid and exalted things. The soul of man sustained by transitory things, rejoices in the eternal. The heron tries with its beak to prevent its nestlings from being seized by other birds. So the righteous man lashes with his tongue those who, to his knowledge, are evilly inclined to deceive the gullible. Some herons are white, some grey, but both colours can be taken in a good sense, if white signifies purity, grey, penitence. To the same kind
  • Transcription
    negligentias viderit clamor discreti fratris hostem repel\ lit antiquum. Clamor anseris urbem Romanam ab im\ petu hostium servavit immunem, clamor discreti fratris\ ne turbetur a perversis custodit vitam communem. Forsi\ tan divina providentia naturas volucrum nobis non propo\ neret, nisi eas nobis in aliquo forte prodesse vellet.\ [De ardea] \ Ardea vocata, quasi ar\ dua, propter altos vola\ tus, formidat imbres, et super\ nubes evolat, ut procellas nu\ bium sentire non possit. Cum\ autem volaverit, significat\ tempestatem. Hanc multi\ Tantalum vocant. Unde Ra\ banus: Hec avis potest signi\ ficare animas electorum, que formidantes perturbationem\ huius seculi, ne forte procellis persecutionum instigante diabo\ lo involvantur, intentionem suam super omnia tempora\ lia ad serenitatem patrie celesti[s]s ubi assidue vultus dei\ conspicitur, mentes suas elevant. Licet ardea cibos in aquis\ querat, in silvis tamen et in altis arboribus nidum locat,\ quia iustus qui rebus labentibus et transitoriis seipsum pascit,\ in raris sublimibusque spem ponit. Et cuius sustentatur\ transitoriis, eius anima delectatur eternis. Ardea pullos in\ nido rostro defendere nititur, ne ab aliis avibus rapiantur.\ Eodem modo iustus forti invectione percutit, quos perversos ad\ decipiendum subiectos novit. Quedam vero earum habent\ colorem album, quedam cinericium, uterque tamen color\ in bonam partem ponitur, si per album mundicia, per cineri\ cium penitentia designetur. Eiusdem enim generis sunt\
Folio 53v - the goose, continued. [De ardea] ; Of the heron | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen