The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 69v - the iaculus, continued. De sirenis; Of sirens. [De sepe]; Of the seps. [De dipsade]; Of the dipsa. De lacerto; Of the lizard. De salamandra; Of the salamander.


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.
fly' (Pharsalia, 9, 720). For they spring into trees and when anything comes their way, throw themselves on it and kill it. As a result, they are called iaculi, 'javelin-snakes'. Of sirens In Arabia there are white snakes, with wings, called sirens, which cover the ground faster than horses, but are also said to fly. Their is poison is so strong that if you are bitten by it you die before you feel the pain. [Of the seps] The seps is a small snake which consumes with its poison not just the body but the bones. The poet refers to it as: 'The deadly seps, that destroys the bones with the body' (Lucan, Pharsalia, 9, 723). [Of the dipsa] The dipsa is a snake which is said to be so small that you tread on it without seeing it. Its poison kills you before you feel it, with the result that the face of anyone dying in this way shows no sadness from the anticipation of death. The poet says of it: 'So Aulus, a standard-bearer of Etruscan blood, trod on a dipsa, and it drew back its head and bit him. He had hardly any pain or feeling of the bite' (Lucan, Pharsalia, 9, 737). Of the lizard The lizard is called a kind of reptile, because it has arms. There are many kinds of lizards, such as the botrax, the salamander, the saura and the newt. The botruca is so called because it has the face of a frog and the Greek word for 'frog' is botruca. Of the salamander The salamander is so called because it is proof against fire. Of all poisonous creatures, it has the strongest poison. Other poisonous creatures kill one at a time; it can kill several things at the same time. For if it has crawled into a tree, it poisons all the apples

Text

The siren can run faster than horses and can fly; seps, dipsa, lizard with arms and salamander.

Illustration

The speedy siren is at the top of the page. The small seps is seen in profile. The lizard has legs as well as arms.

Comment

Initials 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

Iaculus serpens volans, de quo Lucanus: Iaculique volantes.\ Exiliunt enim in arboribus, et dum aliquid obvium fu\erit, iactant se super eum et perimunt. Unde et iaculi dicti sunt.\ De sirenis \ In Arabia autem serpentes albi sunt cum alis, que sirene\ vocantur, que plus currunt ab equis, sed etiam et volare\ dicuntur, quorum tantum virus est ut morsum ante mors\ insequatur quam dolor.\ [De sepe] \ Seps exigua serpens que non solum corpus sed et ossa\ veneno consumit, cuius poeta sic meminit: Ossa que\ dissolvens cum corpore tabificus seps. \ [De dipsade] \ Dipsa serpens tante\ exiguitatis fertur ut cum calcatur non videatur, cuius venenum\ ante extinguit quam sentiatur, ut facies preventa morte nec\ tristiciam inducat morituro, de quo poeta: Signiferum iu\venem Tyreni sanguinis Aulum Torta caput retro dipsa\ calcata momordit. Vix dolor aut sensus dentis fuit.\ De lacerto \ Lacertus reptile genus\ est vocatus, ita quod\ brachia habeat. Genera\ lacertorum plura, ut\ botrax, salamandra,\ saura, stellio. Botruca\ dicta quod rane ha\beat faciem, nam Greci ranam botrucam vocant.\ De salamandra \ Salamandra vocata quod\ contra incendia valeat, cuius inter omnia venenata\ vis maxima est. Cetera enim singulos feriunt, hec plurimos\ pariter interimit. Nam et si arrepserit omnia poma inficit\

Translation

fly' (Pharsalia, 9, 720). For they spring into trees and when anything comes their way, throw themselves on it and kill it. As a result, they are called iaculi, 'javelin-snakes'. Of sirens In Arabia there are white snakes, with wings, called sirens, which cover the ground faster than horses, but are also said to fly. Their is poison is so strong that if you are bitten by it you die before you feel the pain. [Of the seps] The seps is a small snake which consumes with its poison not just the body but the bones. The poet refers to it as: 'The deadly seps, that destroys the bones with the body' (Lucan, Pharsalia, 9, 723). [Of the dipsa] The dipsa is a snake which is said to be so small that you tread on it without seeing it. Its poison kills you before you feel it, with the result that the face of anyone dying in this way shows no sadness from the anticipation of death. The poet says of it: 'So Aulus, a standard-bearer of Etruscan blood, trod on a dipsa, and it drew back its head and bit him. He had hardly any pain or feeling of the bite' (Lucan, Pharsalia, 9, 737). Of the lizard The lizard is called a kind of reptile, because it has arms. There are many kinds of lizards, such as the botrax, the salamander, the saura and the newt. The botruca is so called because it has the face of a frog and the Greek word for 'frog' is botruca. Of the salamander The salamander is so called because it is proof against fire. Of all poisonous creatures, it has the strongest poison. Other poisonous creatures kill one at a time; it can kill several things at the same time. For if it has crawled into a tree, it poisons all the apples
  • Commentary

    Text

    The siren can run faster than horses and can fly; seps, dipsa, lizard with arms and salamander.

    Illustration

    The speedy siren is at the top of the page. The small seps is seen in profile. The lizard has legs as well as arms.

    Comment

    Initials 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
    fly' (Pharsalia, 9, 720). For they spring into trees and when anything comes their way, throw themselves on it and kill it. As a result, they are called iaculi, 'javelin-snakes'. Of sirens In Arabia there are white snakes, with wings, called sirens, which cover the ground faster than horses, but are also said to fly. Their is poison is so strong that if you are bitten by it you die before you feel the pain. [Of the seps] The seps is a small snake which consumes with its poison not just the body but the bones. The poet refers to it as: 'The deadly seps, that destroys the bones with the body' (Lucan, Pharsalia, 9, 723). [Of the dipsa] The dipsa is a snake which is said to be so small that you tread on it without seeing it. Its poison kills you before you feel it, with the result that the face of anyone dying in this way shows no sadness from the anticipation of death. The poet says of it: 'So Aulus, a standard-bearer of Etruscan blood, trod on a dipsa, and it drew back its head and bit him. He had hardly any pain or feeling of the bite' (Lucan, Pharsalia, 9, 737). Of the lizard The lizard is called a kind of reptile, because it has arms. There are many kinds of lizards, such as the botrax, the salamander, the saura and the newt. The botruca is so called because it has the face of a frog and the Greek word for 'frog' is botruca. Of the salamander The salamander is so called because it is proof against fire. Of all poisonous creatures, it has the strongest poison. Other poisonous creatures kill one at a time; it can kill several things at the same time. For if it has crawled into a tree, it poisons all the apples
  • Transcription
    Iaculus serpens volans, de quo Lucanus: Iaculique volantes.\ Exiliunt enim in arboribus, et dum aliquid obvium fu\erit, iactant se super eum et perimunt. Unde et iaculi dicti sunt.\ De sirenis \ In Arabia autem serpentes albi sunt cum alis, que sirene\ vocantur, que plus currunt ab equis, sed etiam et volare\ dicuntur, quorum tantum virus est ut morsum ante mors\ insequatur quam dolor.\ [De sepe] \ Seps exigua serpens que non solum corpus sed et ossa\ veneno consumit, cuius poeta sic meminit: Ossa que\ dissolvens cum corpore tabificus seps. \ [De dipsade] \ Dipsa serpens tante\ exiguitatis fertur ut cum calcatur non videatur, cuius venenum\ ante extinguit quam sentiatur, ut facies preventa morte nec\ tristiciam inducat morituro, de quo poeta: Signiferum iu\venem Tyreni sanguinis Aulum Torta caput retro dipsa\ calcata momordit. Vix dolor aut sensus dentis fuit.\ De lacerto \ Lacertus reptile genus\ est vocatus, ita quod\ brachia habeat. Genera\ lacertorum plura, ut\ botrax, salamandra,\ saura, stellio. Botruca\ dicta quod rane ha\beat faciem, nam Greci ranam botrucam vocant.\ De salamandra \ Salamandra vocata quod\ contra incendia valeat, cuius inter omnia venenata\ vis maxima est. Cetera enim singulos feriunt, hec plurimos\ pariter interimit. Nam et si arrepserit omnia poma inficit\
Folio 69v - the iaculus, continued. De sirenis; Of sirens. [De sepe]; Of the seps. [De dipsade]; Of the dipsa. De lacerto; Of the lizard. De salamandra; Of the salamander. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen