The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 56v - the phoenix, continued. [De caladrio]; Of the caladrius


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Commentary, Translation and Transcription

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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.
there, where the stench of death can be banished by sweet aromas? You too, O man, make a covering for yourself and, stripping off your old human nature with your former deeds, put on a new one. Christ is your covering and your sheath, shielding you and hiding you on the evil day. Do you want to know why his covering is your protection? The Lord said: 'In my quiver have I hid him' (see Isaiah, 49:2). Your covering, therefore, is faith; fill it with the perfumes of your virtues - of chastity, mercy and justice, and enter in safety into its depths, filled with the fragrance of the faith betokened by your excellent conduct. May the end of this life find you shrouded in that faith, that your bones may be fertile; let them be like a well-watered garden, where the seeds are swiftly raised. Know, therefore, the day of your death, as Paul knew his, saying: 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness' (2 Timothy, 4: 7-8). And he entered, therefore, into his covering like the worthy phoenix, filling it with the sweet odour of martyrdom. In this way, therefore, the phoenix is consumed by fire but from its ashes is born or brought forth again. When it dies, it is also born again from its ashes. The point of this example is that everyone should believe in the truth of the resurrection to come. Faith in the resurrection to come is no more of a miracle than the resurrection of the phoenix from its ashes. See how the nature of birds offers to ordinary people proof of the resurrection; that what the scripture proclaims, the working of nature confirms. [Of the caladrius] The bird called caladrius, as Physiologus tells us, is white all over; it has no black parts. Its excrement cures cataract in the eyes. It is to be found in royal residences. If anyone is sick, he will learn from the caladrius if he is to live or die. If, therefore, a man's illness is fatal, the caladrius will turn its head away from the sick man as soon as it sees him, and everyone

Text

The truth of the resurrection. The caladrius.

Illustration

The caladrius can indicate if a person is going to die by turning his head away from the invalid. The caladrius lives in royal residences.

Comment

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

illic, ubi odoribus gratis fetor funeris possit aboleri?\ Fac et tu homo tibi thecam et expolians te veterem hominem\ cum actibus suis novum indue. Theca tua et vagina tua\ Christus est qui te protegat et abscondat in die malo. Vis\ scire quia theca protectio est? Pharetra inquit mea protexi\ eum. Theca ergo tua est fides, imple eam bonis virtutum tu\ arum odoribus, hoc est castitatis misericordie atque iusticie, et \ in ipsa penetralia fidei suavis factorum prestantium odore\ redolentia tutus ingredere. Ea te amictum fide exitus\ vite huius inveniat, ut possint ossa tua pinguescere, et sint sicut ortus ebrius, cuius cito semina suscitantur.\ Cognosce ergo diem mortis tue, sicut cognovit et Paulus\ qui ait: Bonum certamen certavi cursum consumma\ vi fidem servavi, ideoque reposita est mihi corona iusticie.\ Intravit igitur in thecam suam quasi bonus fenix quam bono\ replevit odore martyrii. Sic igitur fenix incenditur, sed ex eius\ cinere fenix iterum nascitur vel procreatur. Cum ergo fenix mori\ tur, et ex eius cinere fenix iterum nascitur. Hoc exemplo agitur\ ut future resurrectionis veritas a singulis fieri credatur. Non est\ maius miraculum fides future resurrectionis, quam ex cinere\ facta resurrectio fenicis. Ecce volucrum natura simplicibus\ resurrectionis augmentum [PL, argumentum] prestat, et quod scriptura\ predicat, opus nature confirmat. \ [De caladrio] \ Caladrius sicut dicit Phisiologus\ totus est albus nullam partem habens nigram.\ Cuius interior fimus oculorum caliginem curat. Hic\ in atriis regum invenitur. Siquis est in egritudine\ ex hoc caladrio cognoscitur, si vivat an moriatur. Si\ ergo est infirmitas hominis ad mortem, mox ut vi\ derit infirmum avertit faciem suam ab eo\ et omnes\

Translation

there, where the stench of death can be banished by sweet aromas? You too, O man, make a covering for yourself and, stripping off your old human nature with your former deeds, put on a new one. Christ is your covering and your sheath, shielding you and hiding you on the evil day. Do you want to know why his covering is your protection? The Lord said: 'In my quiver have I hid him' (see Isaiah, 49:2). Your covering, therefore, is faith; fill it with the perfumes of your virtues - of chastity, mercy and justice, and enter in safety into its depths, filled with the fragrance of the faith betokened by your excellent conduct. May the end of this life find you shrouded in that faith, that your bones may be fertile; let them be like a well-watered garden, where the seeds are swiftly raised. Know, therefore, the day of your death, as Paul knew his, saying: 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness' (2 Timothy, 4: 7-8). And he entered, therefore, into his covering like the worthy phoenix, filling it with the sweet odour of martyrdom. In this way, therefore, the phoenix is consumed by fire but from its ashes is born or brought forth again. When it dies, it is also born again from its ashes. The point of this example is that everyone should believe in the truth of the resurrection to come. Faith in the resurrection to come is no more of a miracle than the resurrection of the phoenix from its ashes. See how the nature of birds offers to ordinary people proof of the resurrection; that what the scripture proclaims, the working of nature confirms. [Of the caladrius] The bird called caladrius, as Physiologus tells us, is white all over; it has no black parts. Its excrement cures cataract in the eyes. It is to be found in royal residences. If anyone is sick, he will learn from the caladrius if he is to live or die. If, therefore, a man's illness is fatal, the caladrius will turn its head away from the sick man as soon as it sees him, and everyone
  • Commentary

    Text

    The truth of the resurrection. The caladrius.

    Illustration

    The caladrius can indicate if a person is going to die by turning his head away from the invalid. The caladrius lives in royal residences.

    Comment

    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
    there, where the stench of death can be banished by sweet aromas? You too, O man, make a covering for yourself and, stripping off your old human nature with your former deeds, put on a new one. Christ is your covering and your sheath, shielding you and hiding you on the evil day. Do you want to know why his covering is your protection? The Lord said: 'In my quiver have I hid him' (see Isaiah, 49:2). Your covering, therefore, is faith; fill it with the perfumes of your virtues - of chastity, mercy and justice, and enter in safety into its depths, filled with the fragrance of the faith betokened by your excellent conduct. May the end of this life find you shrouded in that faith, that your bones may be fertile; let them be like a well-watered garden, where the seeds are swiftly raised. Know, therefore, the day of your death, as Paul knew his, saying: 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness' (2 Timothy, 4: 7-8). And he entered, therefore, into his covering like the worthy phoenix, filling it with the sweet odour of martyrdom. In this way, therefore, the phoenix is consumed by fire but from its ashes is born or brought forth again. When it dies, it is also born again from its ashes. The point of this example is that everyone should believe in the truth of the resurrection to come. Faith in the resurrection to come is no more of a miracle than the resurrection of the phoenix from its ashes. See how the nature of birds offers to ordinary people proof of the resurrection; that what the scripture proclaims, the working of nature confirms. [Of the caladrius] The bird called caladrius, as Physiologus tells us, is white all over; it has no black parts. Its excrement cures cataract in the eyes. It is to be found in royal residences. If anyone is sick, he will learn from the caladrius if he is to live or die. If, therefore, a man's illness is fatal, the caladrius will turn its head away from the sick man as soon as it sees him, and everyone
  • Transcription
    illic, ubi odoribus gratis fetor funeris possit aboleri?\ Fac et tu homo tibi thecam et expolians te veterem hominem\ cum actibus suis novum indue. Theca tua et vagina tua\ Christus est qui te protegat et abscondat in die malo. Vis\ scire quia theca protectio est? Pharetra inquit mea protexi\ eum. Theca ergo tua est fides, imple eam bonis virtutum tu\ arum odoribus, hoc est castitatis misericordie atque iusticie, et \ in ipsa penetralia fidei suavis factorum prestantium odore\ redolentia tutus ingredere. Ea te amictum fide exitus\ vite huius inveniat, ut possint ossa tua pinguescere, et sint sicut ortus ebrius, cuius cito semina suscitantur.\ Cognosce ergo diem mortis tue, sicut cognovit et Paulus\ qui ait: Bonum certamen certavi cursum consumma\ vi fidem servavi, ideoque reposita est mihi corona iusticie.\ Intravit igitur in thecam suam quasi bonus fenix quam bono\ replevit odore martyrii. Sic igitur fenix incenditur, sed ex eius\ cinere fenix iterum nascitur vel procreatur. Cum ergo fenix mori\ tur, et ex eius cinere fenix iterum nascitur. Hoc exemplo agitur\ ut future resurrectionis veritas a singulis fieri credatur. Non est\ maius miraculum fides future resurrectionis, quam ex cinere\ facta resurrectio fenicis. Ecce volucrum natura simplicibus\ resurrectionis augmentum [PL, argumentum] prestat, et quod scriptura\ predicat, opus nature confirmat. \ [De caladrio] \ Caladrius sicut dicit Phisiologus\ totus est albus nullam partem habens nigram.\ Cuius interior fimus oculorum caliginem curat. Hic\ in atriis regum invenitur. Siquis est in egritudine\ ex hoc caladrio cognoscitur, si vivat an moriatur. Si\ ergo est infirmitas hominis ad mortem, mox ut vi\ derit infirmum avertit faciem suam ab eo\ et omnes\
Folio 56v - the phoenix, continued. [De caladrio]; Of the caladrius | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen