The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 64v - Of bees, continued. De arbore que dicitur perindens; Of the tree called perindens


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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.
Hear what the prophet would say. It is a fact that God instructs you to follow the example of that little bee and imitate its way of working. See how industrious it is, how much it is loved; everyone longs for and seeks out its fruit of its labour; this is not kept for certain kinds of people only, but grows sweet in the mouths of kings and commoners, to the enjoyment of all without distinction. Honey is not only a source of pleasure but of health; it soothes the throat and heals wounds; and it acts as a remedy for internal ulcers. Thus although the bee may be weak in terms of physical strength, it is strong in terms of its vigorous good sense and love of virtue. Lastly, bees defend their king, giving him the utmost amount of protection, and think it a noble act to die for him. When their king is safe, they cannot change their judgement or alter their opinion. When they have lost their king, they abandon the faithful discharge of their duty and plunder his store of honey, because he who commanded their loyalty is slain. Although other birds barely produce a single brood in any one year, bees produce two, and being thus twice as fertile, they outnumber the rest. Of the tree called perindens The perindens is a tree in India. Its fruit is sweet throughout and exceedingly pleasant; doves delight in it and live in the tree, feeding on it. The dragon is the dove's enemy; it fears the tree and its shadow, in which the doves dwell; and it cannot approach either the tree or its shadow. If the shadow lies towards the west the dragon flees to the east, and if the shadow falls towards the east, the dragon flees to the west. If it should happen that a dove is caught out of the tree or its shadow, the dragon kills it. Take the tree as God, the shadow as his son; as Gabriel says to Mary: 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee' (Luke, 1:35). Take the fruit to be the wisdom of God, that is, the Holy Spirit. Therefore see to it, O man,

Text

Bees work hard and honey gives health. The Perindens Tree. Doves dwell in the branches of the perindens tree and dragons lie at its roots, trying to catch the doves.

Comment

Initial 'P', type 3.

Folio Attributes

  • Initial Type 3

    Initial Type 3

    Initial Type 3
    Type 3 initial. Detail from f.77v

    Type 3 is the most luxurious: a gold letter is framed by a blue or brown patterned square (f.3r, f.5v); or the other way around with a painted letter and gilded frame (f.36v, f.77v). On f.36v there are tiny red circles found on the clothing of God and Adam in quire A. Therefore the initials of type 3 are also by the main illuminator. Type 3 may occupy only two lines as in quire A or up to eight lines on f.77v. It is generally, but not always, used to signal a particularly significant section. So, it is used in the Creation sequence, and the start of the Bestiary proper. On f.25v it is used to highlight the start of a section on birds derived from the Aviarium by Hugo of Fouilloy, as distinct from the general bird section deriving from the ‘standard’ bestiary on f.25r. In the latter part of the book where there are fewer illustrations it is used to introduce the next category (f.72r passim): worms and insects, fish, trees, Isidore on the nature of man, Isidore on human body parts, and the condition of man. Three individual topics are given particular emphasis with the type 3 initial: the hoopoe (f.36r) famous for its filial piety; the magpie, likened to a poet (f.36v) and the perindens tree which can be understood as God (f.64v).

Transcription

Audis quid dicat prophetus: Mittit utique te ut apicule illius sequa\ ris exemplum, imiteris operationem. Vide quam laboriosa quam grata\ sit, fructus eius ab omnibus desideratur et queritur, nec pro persona\ rum diversitate discernitur, set indiscreta sui gratia regibus\ pariter ac mediocribus equali suavitate dulcescit. Nec solum\ voluptati set etiam saluti est, fauces obdulcat, et curat vulnera,\ internis quoque medicamentum infundit ulceribus. Itaque cum\ sit infirma robore apes valida est vigore sapientie et amore\ virtutis. Denique regem suum apes summa protectione defen\ dunt, et perire pro eo pulchrum putant. Incolumi rege nesci\ unt mutare iudicium, mentem inflectere. Amisso rege\ fidem servandi muneris derelinqunt, atque ipse sua\ mella diripiunt, quod is qui principatum habuit mu\ neris interemptus est. Itaque cum aves alie vix in anno\ edant singulos fetus, apes geminos creant, et duplici ceteris\ fecunditate preponderant. \ De arbore que dicitur perindens \ Perindens est arbor in India. Fructus autem\ huius arboris dulcis est totus et valde suavis,\ columbe autem delectantur in fructibus huius\ arboris, habitantque in ea pascentes fructus\ eius. Draco autem inimicus est columbis, timetque arborem\ et umbram eius ubi columbe morantur, et non potest appropriare [PL, appropinquare]\ arbori neque umbre eius. Si enim umbra arboris venerit ad\ occidentem, fugit draco ad orientem, et si venerit umbra\ eius ad orientem, fugit ad occidentem. Si autem evenerit\ ut columba inveniatur extra arborem aut umbram eius\ occidit eam draco. Arborem deum patrem intellige, umbram\ filium, sicut Gabriel dicit ad Mariam: Spiritus sanctus superveniet\ in te et virtus altissimi obumbrabit tibi. Fructum, celestem\ sapientiam deum, scilicet spiritum sanctum. Vide ergo homo\

Translation

Hear what the prophet would say. It is a fact that God instructs you to follow the example of that little bee and imitate its way of working. See how industrious it is, how much it is loved; everyone longs for and seeks out its fruit of its labour; this is not kept for certain kinds of people only, but grows sweet in the mouths of kings and commoners, to the enjoyment of all without distinction. Honey is not only a source of pleasure but of health; it soothes the throat and heals wounds; and it acts as a remedy for internal ulcers. Thus although the bee may be weak in terms of physical strength, it is strong in terms of its vigorous good sense and love of virtue. Lastly, bees defend their king, giving him the utmost amount of protection, and think it a noble act to die for him. When their king is safe, they cannot change their judgement or alter their opinion. When they have lost their king, they abandon the faithful discharge of their duty and plunder his store of honey, because he who commanded their loyalty is slain. Although other birds barely produce a single brood in any one year, bees produce two, and being thus twice as fertile, they outnumber the rest. Of the tree called perindens The perindens is a tree in India. Its fruit is sweet throughout and exceedingly pleasant; doves delight in it and live in the tree, feeding on it. The dragon is the dove's enemy; it fears the tree and its shadow, in which the doves dwell; and it cannot approach either the tree or its shadow. If the shadow lies towards the west the dragon flees to the east, and if the shadow falls towards the east, the dragon flees to the west. If it should happen that a dove is caught out of the tree or its shadow, the dragon kills it. Take the tree as God, the shadow as his son; as Gabriel says to Mary: 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee' (Luke, 1:35). Take the fruit to be the wisdom of God, that is, the Holy Spirit. Therefore see to it, O man,
  • Commentary

    Text

    Bees work hard and honey gives health. The Perindens Tree. Doves dwell in the branches of the perindens tree and dragons lie at its roots, trying to catch the doves.

    Comment

    Initial 'P', type 3.

    Folio Attributes

    • Initial Type 3

      Initial Type 3

      Initial Type 3
      Type 3 initial. Detail from f.77v

      Type 3 is the most luxurious: a gold letter is framed by a blue or brown patterned square (f.3r, f.5v); or the other way around with a painted letter and gilded frame (f.36v, f.77v). On f.36v there are tiny red circles found on the clothing of God and Adam in quire A. Therefore the initials of type 3 are also by the main illuminator. Type 3 may occupy only two lines as in quire A or up to eight lines on f.77v. It is generally, but not always, used to signal a particularly significant section. So, it is used in the Creation sequence, and the start of the Bestiary proper. On f.25v it is used to highlight the start of a section on birds derived from the Aviarium by Hugo of Fouilloy, as distinct from the general bird section deriving from the ‘standard’ bestiary on f.25r. In the latter part of the book where there are fewer illustrations it is used to introduce the next category (f.72r passim): worms and insects, fish, trees, Isidore on the nature of man, Isidore on human body parts, and the condition of man. Three individual topics are given particular emphasis with the type 3 initial: the hoopoe (f.36r) famous for its filial piety; the magpie, likened to a poet (f.36v) and the perindens tree which can be understood as God (f.64v).

  • Translation
    Hear what the prophet would say. It is a fact that God instructs you to follow the example of that little bee and imitate its way of working. See how industrious it is, how much it is loved; everyone longs for and seeks out its fruit of its labour; this is not kept for certain kinds of people only, but grows sweet in the mouths of kings and commoners, to the enjoyment of all without distinction. Honey is not only a source of pleasure but of health; it soothes the throat and heals wounds; and it acts as a remedy for internal ulcers. Thus although the bee may be weak in terms of physical strength, it is strong in terms of its vigorous good sense and love of virtue. Lastly, bees defend their king, giving him the utmost amount of protection, and think it a noble act to die for him. When their king is safe, they cannot change their judgement or alter their opinion. When they have lost their king, they abandon the faithful discharge of their duty and plunder his store of honey, because he who commanded their loyalty is slain. Although other birds barely produce a single brood in any one year, bees produce two, and being thus twice as fertile, they outnumber the rest. Of the tree called perindens The perindens is a tree in India. Its fruit is sweet throughout and exceedingly pleasant; doves delight in it and live in the tree, feeding on it. The dragon is the dove's enemy; it fears the tree and its shadow, in which the doves dwell; and it cannot approach either the tree or its shadow. If the shadow lies towards the west the dragon flees to the east, and if the shadow falls towards the east, the dragon flees to the west. If it should happen that a dove is caught out of the tree or its shadow, the dragon kills it. Take the tree as God, the shadow as his son; as Gabriel says to Mary: 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee' (Luke, 1:35). Take the fruit to be the wisdom of God, that is, the Holy Spirit. Therefore see to it, O man,
  • Transcription
    Audis quid dicat prophetus: Mittit utique te ut apicule illius sequa\ ris exemplum, imiteris operationem. Vide quam laboriosa quam grata\ sit, fructus eius ab omnibus desideratur et queritur, nec pro persona\ rum diversitate discernitur, set indiscreta sui gratia regibus\ pariter ac mediocribus equali suavitate dulcescit. Nec solum\ voluptati set etiam saluti est, fauces obdulcat, et curat vulnera,\ internis quoque medicamentum infundit ulceribus. Itaque cum\ sit infirma robore apes valida est vigore sapientie et amore\ virtutis. Denique regem suum apes summa protectione defen\ dunt, et perire pro eo pulchrum putant. Incolumi rege nesci\ unt mutare iudicium, mentem inflectere. Amisso rege\ fidem servandi muneris derelinqunt, atque ipse sua\ mella diripiunt, quod is qui principatum habuit mu\ neris interemptus est. Itaque cum aves alie vix in anno\ edant singulos fetus, apes geminos creant, et duplici ceteris\ fecunditate preponderant. \ De arbore que dicitur perindens \ Perindens est arbor in India. Fructus autem\ huius arboris dulcis est totus et valde suavis,\ columbe autem delectantur in fructibus huius\ arboris, habitantque in ea pascentes fructus\ eius. Draco autem inimicus est columbis, timetque arborem\ et umbram eius ubi columbe morantur, et non potest appropriare [PL, appropinquare]\ arbori neque umbre eius. Si enim umbra arboris venerit ad\ occidentem, fugit draco ad orientem, et si venerit umbra\ eius ad orientem, fugit ad occidentem. Si autem evenerit\ ut columba inveniatur extra arborem aut umbram eius\ occidit eam draco. Arborem deum patrem intellige, umbram\ filium, sicut Gabriel dicit ad Mariam: Spiritus sanctus superveniet\ in te et virtus altissimi obumbrabit tibi. Fructum, celestem\ sapientiam deum, scilicet spiritum sanctum. Vide ergo homo\
Folio 64v - Of bees, continued. De arbore que dicitur perindens; Of the tree called perindens | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen