The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 72v - worms, continued. Incipit de piscibus; Here begins the account of fish.


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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.
consumes everything. The Greeks call the wood worm teredon because they eat by gnawing their way into wood. We call them termites, for in Latin that is the name given to wood worms, which are hatched from trees felled at the wrong season. The worm found in clothes is called tinea because it gnaws at fabrics, and burrows into them until they are eaten away. For this reason, it is called pertinacious, pertinax, because it works away all the time at the same thing. Worms of the body are the emigramus, the stomach-worm, the ascaride, the coste, the louse, the flea, the lendex, the tarmus, the tick, the usia, the bug. The emigramus is a worm of the head. The stomach-worm, lumbricus, creeps into or lives in the loins, lumbus. Lice, pediculi, are worms of the body which get their name from their feet, pedes; people on whose bodies lice swarm are called lousy, pediculosi. Fleas, pulices, however, are so called because they live mainly on dust, pulvis. The tarmus is a worm found in pork fat. The tick, ricinus, is a worm associated with dogs, so called because it sticks to their ears, aures; for cenos is the Greek for 'dog'. The usia is a worm found in pigs, so called because it burns, urere. For when it bites, the place burns so much that blisters form. The bug, cimex, gets its name from its resemblance to a plant which has the same stench; properly speaking, this worm originates in putrid meat. To repeat, you find the moth in clothes, the caterpillar in vegetables, the termite in wood and the tarmus in pork fat. The worm does not crawl like a snake with visible steps or by the pressure of its scales, because it lacks the firm spine which you find in snakes; but, moving in a straight line, by expanding the contracted parts and contracting the expanded parts of its little body, it unfolds in motion and, impelled in this way, creeps forwards. Here begins the account of fish Fish, pisces, get their name, like cattle, pecus, from the word for grazing, namely, pascere. They are called reptiles because, when they swim, they have the appearance and manner of crawling. Although they can dive deep, nevertheless they crawl as they swim. On this subject David says: 'So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable' (Psalms, 104: 25)

Text

Lice, fleas, ticks. Fish are reptiles because they crawl as they swim.

Comment

Major initial 'P', type 3, marks the start of fish. 'V' in margin is colour indicator for dark pink. A page is missing after f.72v which should contain the end of fish and the start of whale. The Ashmole Bestiary has a fine picture of a whale in this location (f. 86v).

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).

  • Colour Indicators

    Colour Indicators

    Colour Indicators
    Colour instruction on the crocodile. Detail from f.68v

    Some colour guides have been provided for both the illuminations and the initials. On f.68v, the illustration of the hydrus, the word ictrie can be seen on the body of the crocodile. The word probably relates to icturus or ictère, jaundiced, indicating the yellow hue of the crocodile. On f.81r, showing Isidore at work, the word harie (or hane) is written on Isidore's desk. This probably means aerus or sky blue. A similar word harie/aerie appears to the left of the firestones scene on f.93v (this is interpreted as mine for minium, red by Clark 1992, 269). In the upper sketch on f.93v there are also rather indistinct letters bis[ors(?)]. Bis means grey in Old French. On f.32v the letters ni (niteur, clear or bright) may be deciphered. In the margin beside some initials are the letters a, v, and or. These stand for azur, blue; vermeil/vermiculum, pink and gold. Indicators for the initials are found on f.28v, f.31v, f.32v, f.41v, f.47v, f.72v. These annotations were added after drawing and before painting the images, and after writing but before illuminating the initials. It is likely they were a memo from the artist to himself, perhaps in response to a model he was copying. The use of Old French rather than primarily Latin indicates the artist was literate but used the vernacular as his working language, even within a scriptorium.

Transcription

universa consumit. Teredonas Greci vocant lignorum\ vermes quod terendo edant. Hos nos tarmites dicimus ita\ enim apud Latinos ligni vermes vocantur, quos tempore\ importuno cese arbores gignunt. Tinea vestimentorum\ vermis dicta quod terat, et eo usque insideat, quo erodat.\ Unde et pertinax, quod in eandem rem idemtidem urgeat.\ Vermes carnium emigramus, lumbricus, ascaride, coste, pediculi,\ pulices, lendex, tarmus, ricinus, usia, cimex. Emigramus\ vermis capitis vocatus, lumbricus vermis intestinarum, dictus\ quasi lumbicus, qui labitur, vel quod in lumbis sit. Pediculi ver\mes carnis a pedibus dicti, unde et pediculosi dicuntur, quibus\ pediculi in corpore efervescunt, pulices vero vocati sunt, quod\ ex pulvere magis nutriantur. Tarmus vermis est lardi. Ricinus\ vermis est canis vocatus eo quod hereat in auribus canum. Ce\nos enim Grece canis est. Usia est vermis porci appellata, quia\ urit. Nam ubi momorderit adeo locus ardet, ut ibi vesice\ fiant. Cimex de similitudine cuiusdam herbe vocatur, cuius\ fetorem habet, proprie autem vermis in carne putrida nascitur. Ti\nea in vestimentis, eruca in olere, teredo in ligno, tarmus in\ lardo. Vermis non ut serpens apertis passibus vel squamarum\ nisibus repit, quia non est illis spine rigor ut colubri, sed in\directum corpusculi sui partes gradatim porigendo con\tractas, contrahendo porrectas, motus explicat, sicque\ agitatus prolabitur. \ Incipit de piscibus \ Pisces dicti unde et pecus, a pascendo scilicet.\ Reptilia ideo dicuntur hec que natant, eo\ quod reptandi habeant speciem et naturam.\ Quamvis se in profundum mergant, tamen\ in natando repunt. Unde et David ait: Hoc mare magnum et spaciosum manibus illic reptilia quorum\

Translation

consumes everything. The Greeks call the wood worm teredon because they eat by gnawing their way into wood. We call them termites, for in Latin that is the name given to wood worms, which are hatched from trees felled at the wrong season. The worm found in clothes is called tinea because it gnaws at fabrics, and burrows into them until they are eaten away. For this reason, it is called pertinacious, pertinax, because it works away all the time at the same thing. Worms of the body are the emigramus, the stomach-worm, the ascaride, the coste, the louse, the flea, the lendex, the tarmus, the tick, the usia, the bug. The emigramus is a worm of the head. The stomach-worm, lumbricus, creeps into or lives in the loins, lumbus. Lice, pediculi, are worms of the body which get their name from their feet, pedes; people on whose bodies lice swarm are called lousy, pediculosi. Fleas, pulices, however, are so called because they live mainly on dust, pulvis. The tarmus is a worm found in pork fat. The tick, ricinus, is a worm associated with dogs, so called because it sticks to their ears, aures; for cenos is the Greek for 'dog'. The usia is a worm found in pigs, so called because it burns, urere. For when it bites, the place burns so much that blisters form. The bug, cimex, gets its name from its resemblance to a plant which has the same stench; properly speaking, this worm originates in putrid meat. To repeat, you find the moth in clothes, the caterpillar in vegetables, the termite in wood and the tarmus in pork fat. The worm does not crawl like a snake with visible steps or by the pressure of its scales, because it lacks the firm spine which you find in snakes; but, moving in a straight line, by expanding the contracted parts and contracting the expanded parts of its little body, it unfolds in motion and, impelled in this way, creeps forwards. Here begins the account of fish Fish, pisces, get their name, like cattle, pecus, from the word for grazing, namely, pascere. They are called reptiles because, when they swim, they have the appearance and manner of crawling. Although they can dive deep, nevertheless they crawl as they swim. On this subject David says: 'So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable' (Psalms, 104: 25)
  • Commentary

    Text

    Lice, fleas, ticks. Fish are reptiles because they crawl as they swim.

    Comment

    Major initial 'P', type 3, marks the start of fish. 'V' in margin is colour indicator for dark pink. A page is missing after f.72v which should contain the end of fish and the start of whale. The Ashmole Bestiary has a fine picture of a whale in this location (f. 86v).

    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).

    • Colour Indicators

      Colour Indicators

      Colour Indicators
      Colour instruction on the crocodile. Detail from f.68v

      Some colour guides have been provided for both the illuminations and the initials. On f.68v, the illustration of the hydrus, the word ictrie can be seen on the body of the crocodile. The word probably relates to icturus or ictère, jaundiced, indicating the yellow hue of the crocodile. On f.81r, showing Isidore at work, the word harie (or hane) is written on Isidore's desk. This probably means aerus or sky blue. A similar word harie/aerie appears to the left of the firestones scene on f.93v (this is interpreted as mine for minium, red by Clark 1992, 269). In the upper sketch on f.93v there are also rather indistinct letters bis[ors(?)]. Bis means grey in Old French. On f.32v the letters ni (niteur, clear or bright) may be deciphered. In the margin beside some initials are the letters a, v, and or. These stand for azur, blue; vermeil/vermiculum, pink and gold. Indicators for the initials are found on f.28v, f.31v, f.32v, f.41v, f.47v, f.72v. These annotations were added after drawing and before painting the images, and after writing but before illuminating the initials. It is likely they were a memo from the artist to himself, perhaps in response to a model he was copying. The use of Old French rather than primarily Latin indicates the artist was literate but used the vernacular as his working language, even within a scriptorium.

  • Translation
    consumes everything. The Greeks call the wood worm teredon because they eat by gnawing their way into wood. We call them termites, for in Latin that is the name given to wood worms, which are hatched from trees felled at the wrong season. The worm found in clothes is called tinea because it gnaws at fabrics, and burrows into them until they are eaten away. For this reason, it is called pertinacious, pertinax, because it works away all the time at the same thing. Worms of the body are the emigramus, the stomach-worm, the ascaride, the coste, the louse, the flea, the lendex, the tarmus, the tick, the usia, the bug. The emigramus is a worm of the head. The stomach-worm, lumbricus, creeps into or lives in the loins, lumbus. Lice, pediculi, are worms of the body which get their name from their feet, pedes; people on whose bodies lice swarm are called lousy, pediculosi. Fleas, pulices, however, are so called because they live mainly on dust, pulvis. The tarmus is a worm found in pork fat. The tick, ricinus, is a worm associated with dogs, so called because it sticks to their ears, aures; for cenos is the Greek for 'dog'. The usia is a worm found in pigs, so called because it burns, urere. For when it bites, the place burns so much that blisters form. The bug, cimex, gets its name from its resemblance to a plant which has the same stench; properly speaking, this worm originates in putrid meat. To repeat, you find the moth in clothes, the caterpillar in vegetables, the termite in wood and the tarmus in pork fat. The worm does not crawl like a snake with visible steps or by the pressure of its scales, because it lacks the firm spine which you find in snakes; but, moving in a straight line, by expanding the contracted parts and contracting the expanded parts of its little body, it unfolds in motion and, impelled in this way, creeps forwards. Here begins the account of fish Fish, pisces, get their name, like cattle, pecus, from the word for grazing, namely, pascere. They are called reptiles because, when they swim, they have the appearance and manner of crawling. Although they can dive deep, nevertheless they crawl as they swim. On this subject David says: 'So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable' (Psalms, 104: 25)
  • Transcription
    universa consumit. Teredonas Greci vocant lignorum\ vermes quod terendo edant. Hos nos tarmites dicimus ita\ enim apud Latinos ligni vermes vocantur, quos tempore\ importuno cese arbores gignunt. Tinea vestimentorum\ vermis dicta quod terat, et eo usque insideat, quo erodat.\ Unde et pertinax, quod in eandem rem idemtidem urgeat.\ Vermes carnium emigramus, lumbricus, ascaride, coste, pediculi,\ pulices, lendex, tarmus, ricinus, usia, cimex. Emigramus\ vermis capitis vocatus, lumbricus vermis intestinarum, dictus\ quasi lumbicus, qui labitur, vel quod in lumbis sit. Pediculi ver\mes carnis a pedibus dicti, unde et pediculosi dicuntur, quibus\ pediculi in corpore efervescunt, pulices vero vocati sunt, quod\ ex pulvere magis nutriantur. Tarmus vermis est lardi. Ricinus\ vermis est canis vocatus eo quod hereat in auribus canum. Ce\nos enim Grece canis est. Usia est vermis porci appellata, quia\ urit. Nam ubi momorderit adeo locus ardet, ut ibi vesice\ fiant. Cimex de similitudine cuiusdam herbe vocatur, cuius\ fetorem habet, proprie autem vermis in carne putrida nascitur. Ti\nea in vestimentis, eruca in olere, teredo in ligno, tarmus in\ lardo. Vermis non ut serpens apertis passibus vel squamarum\ nisibus repit, quia non est illis spine rigor ut colubri, sed in\directum corpusculi sui partes gradatim porigendo con\tractas, contrahendo porrectas, motus explicat, sicque\ agitatus prolabitur. \ Incipit de piscibus \ Pisces dicti unde et pecus, a pascendo scilicet.\ Reptilia ideo dicuntur hec que natant, eo\ quod reptandi habeant speciem et naturam.\ Quamvis se in profundum mergant, tamen\ in natando repunt. Unde et David ait: Hoc mare magnum et spaciosum manibus illic reptilia quorum\
Folio 72v - worms, continued. Incipit de piscibus; Here begins the account of fish. | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen