The Aberdeen Bestiary

Folio 80v - Of trees, continued. Ysidorus de natura hominis; Isidorus on the nature of man


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.
and soft because it is nourished in a wet environment. Again The elm, ulmus, gets its name because it flourishes in a damp, uliginosus, environment. It does less well in mountainous and harsh places. The poplar, populus, is so called because from a single cutting many can be grown. There are two kinds of species: for one is white, the other black. The silver poplar, alba populus, is so called because its leaves are white on one side, green on the other. It is therefore bi-coloured, as if it carried the signs of night and day, which it displays in accordance with the time and position of the sun. The poplar which grows in the region of the River Po, Eridanus, or as others relate, in Syria, also produces a resin. Again The willow, salix, is so called because it springs, salire, swiftly, that is, grows rapidly. It is a pliant tree, suitable as a support on which to bind vines. They say it is the nature of its seed that if a man drinks it in a potion, he will be sterile; but it also makes women barren. The poplar, the willow and the lime tree, are of soft wood and suitable for carving. Again The osier, vimen, is so called because they have great strength in their greenery. Its nature is such that even if it is dried, it grows green again when you moisten it; if you then cut it and plant it in the ground, it takes root. Again The word for the box tree, buxus, is Greek, partly corrupted in Latin; for it is called pixos in Greek. It is always green and of a smooth wood, suitable for the letters of the alphabet. For this reason, the Scripture says: 'Write it on box wood' (see Isaiah, 30:8). Isidorus on the nature of man Nature, natura, is so called because it brings a thing to birth, nasci, for it has the power to beget and to form. Some have said that nature is God, by whom all things are created and exist. Race, genus, comes from gignere, to generate; this derives from the word for 'earth',

Text

The elm, willow, box. Isidore on the nature of man.

Comment

Two initials type 2, one initial type 3. The great 'N' (natura) marks the start on Isidore's etymology of the human being. Colour indicators, 'v' for pinkish red, 'a' for azure.

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.

  • 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

et mollis quia in humecti loco nutritur.\ Iterum \ Ulmus nomen accepit, quod uliginosis locis et humi\dis melius proficit. Nam in montanis et asperis minus leta\ est. Populus dicta quod ex eius calce multitudo nascatur. Cuius genus\ duplex est, nam altera est alba, altera nigra, alba autem populus dicta\ quia folia eius una parte sunt alba altera viridia. Hec ergo bicolor\ habens quasi noctis et diei notas quo tempore occasuque constat.\ Generat etiam resinam circa Heridanum fluvium vel ut\ alii memorant, in finibus Syrie.\ Iterum \ Salix dicta quod\ celeriter saliat, hoc est velociter crescat. Arbor lenta, vitibus\ habilis vinciendis. Cuius seminis hanc dicunt esse naturam\ ut siquis illud in poculo hauserit, liberis careat, sed et femi\nas infecundas efficit. Populus et salix et tilia, mollis ma\terie sunt, et ad sculpturam apte.\ Item \ Vimen vocari, eo quod vim habeant multam viro\ris, natura enim eius talis est, ut etiam et si arefacta\ abluatur virescit, deinde excisa atque in humo fixa, radicibus\ sese ipsa demergit.\ Item \ Buxus Grecum nomen est, ex\ parte a Latinis corruptum, pixos enim appellatur a Grecis,\ semper virens, et lenitate materie elementorum api\cibus apta, unde et scriptura: Scribe in buxo.\ Ysidorus de natura hominis \ Natura dicta eo quod nasci aliquid\ faciat, gignendi enim et faciendi\ potens est. Hanc quidam deum esse\ dixerunt, a quo omnia creata sunt\ et existunt. Genus a gignendo dic\tum cui dirivatum nomen e terra

Translation

and soft because it is nourished in a wet environment. Again The elm, ulmus, gets its name because it flourishes in a damp, uliginosus, environment. It does less well in mountainous and harsh places. The poplar, populus, is so called because from a single cutting many can be grown. There are two kinds of species: for one is white, the other black. The silver poplar, alba populus, is so called because its leaves are white on one side, green on the other. It is therefore bi-coloured, as if it carried the signs of night and day, which it displays in accordance with the time and position of the sun. The poplar which grows in the region of the River Po, Eridanus, or as others relate, in Syria, also produces a resin. Again The willow, salix, is so called because it springs, salire, swiftly, that is, grows rapidly. It is a pliant tree, suitable as a support on which to bind vines. They say it is the nature of its seed that if a man drinks it in a potion, he will be sterile; but it also makes women barren. The poplar, the willow and the lime tree, are of soft wood and suitable for carving. Again The osier, vimen, is so called because they have great strength in their greenery. Its nature is such that even if it is dried, it grows green again when you moisten it; if you then cut it and plant it in the ground, it takes root. Again The word for the box tree, buxus, is Greek, partly corrupted in Latin; for it is called pixos in Greek. It is always green and of a smooth wood, suitable for the letters of the alphabet. For this reason, the Scripture says: 'Write it on box wood' (see Isaiah, 30:8). Isidorus on the nature of man Nature, natura, is so called because it brings a thing to birth, nasci, for it has the power to beget and to form. Some have said that nature is God, by whom all things are created and exist. Race, genus, comes from gignere, to generate; this derives from the word for 'earth',
  • Commentary

    Text

    The elm, willow, box. Isidore on the nature of man.

    Comment

    Two initials type 2, one initial type 3. The great 'N' (natura) marks the start on Isidore's etymology of the human being. Colour indicators, 'v' for pinkish red, 'a' for azure.

    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.

    • 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
    and soft because it is nourished in a wet environment. Again The elm, ulmus, gets its name because it flourishes in a damp, uliginosus, environment. It does less well in mountainous and harsh places. The poplar, populus, is so called because from a single cutting many can be grown. There are two kinds of species: for one is white, the other black. The silver poplar, alba populus, is so called because its leaves are white on one side, green on the other. It is therefore bi-coloured, as if it carried the signs of night and day, which it displays in accordance with the time and position of the sun. The poplar which grows in the region of the River Po, Eridanus, or as others relate, in Syria, also produces a resin. Again The willow, salix, is so called because it springs, salire, swiftly, that is, grows rapidly. It is a pliant tree, suitable as a support on which to bind vines. They say it is the nature of its seed that if a man drinks it in a potion, he will be sterile; but it also makes women barren. The poplar, the willow and the lime tree, are of soft wood and suitable for carving. Again The osier, vimen, is so called because they have great strength in their greenery. Its nature is such that even if it is dried, it grows green again when you moisten it; if you then cut it and plant it in the ground, it takes root. Again The word for the box tree, buxus, is Greek, partly corrupted in Latin; for it is called pixos in Greek. It is always green and of a smooth wood, suitable for the letters of the alphabet. For this reason, the Scripture says: 'Write it on box wood' (see Isaiah, 30:8). Isidorus on the nature of man Nature, natura, is so called because it brings a thing to birth, nasci, for it has the power to beget and to form. Some have said that nature is God, by whom all things are created and exist. Race, genus, comes from gignere, to generate; this derives from the word for 'earth',
  • Transcription
    et mollis quia in humecti loco nutritur.\ Iterum \ Ulmus nomen accepit, quod uliginosis locis et humi\dis melius proficit. Nam in montanis et asperis minus leta\ est. Populus dicta quod ex eius calce multitudo nascatur. Cuius genus\ duplex est, nam altera est alba, altera nigra, alba autem populus dicta\ quia folia eius una parte sunt alba altera viridia. Hec ergo bicolor\ habens quasi noctis et diei notas quo tempore occasuque constat.\ Generat etiam resinam circa Heridanum fluvium vel ut\ alii memorant, in finibus Syrie.\ Iterum \ Salix dicta quod\ celeriter saliat, hoc est velociter crescat. Arbor lenta, vitibus\ habilis vinciendis. Cuius seminis hanc dicunt esse naturam\ ut siquis illud in poculo hauserit, liberis careat, sed et femi\nas infecundas efficit. Populus et salix et tilia, mollis ma\terie sunt, et ad sculpturam apte.\ Item \ Vimen vocari, eo quod vim habeant multam viro\ris, natura enim eius talis est, ut etiam et si arefacta\ abluatur virescit, deinde excisa atque in humo fixa, radicibus\ sese ipsa demergit.\ Item \ Buxus Grecum nomen est, ex\ parte a Latinis corruptum, pixos enim appellatur a Grecis,\ semper virens, et lenitate materie elementorum api\cibus apta, unde et scriptura: Scribe in buxo.\ Ysidorus de natura hominis \ Natura dicta eo quod nasci aliquid\ faciat, gignendi enim et faciendi\ potens est. Hanc quidam deum esse\ dixerunt, a quo omnia creata sunt\ et existunt. Genus a gignendo dic\tum cui dirivatum nomen e terra
Folio 80v - Of trees, continued. Ysidorus de natura hominis; Isidorus on the nature of man | The Aberdeen Bestiary | The University of Aberdeen