Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Anguilla et Serpens (Abstemius)

SOURCE: This fable comes from the first Hecatomythium ("100 Fables") of Laurentius Abstemius (Lorenzo Bevilaqua), a fifteenth-century Italian scholar. Of all the neo-Latin fable collections, Abstemius's was the most popular, and his stories are frequently anthologized in the 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century collections of Aesop's fables in Latin. Here is a 1499 edition of the book online. This is fable 17 in the collection.

READ OUT LOUD. Choose which marked text you prefer to practice with - macrons or accent marks - and read the text out loud until you feel comfortable and confident. Then, try reading the unmarked text at the bottom. It should be easy for you after practicing with the marked texts. :-)

MACRONS. Here is the text with macrons:

Anguilla interrogābat serpentem, quārē, cum similēs essent atque cognātī, hominēs tamen sē potius quam illum īnsequerentur. Cui serpēns: "Quia rārō (inquit) mē quis laedit impūnē." Fābula indicat minus laedī solēre quī sēsē ulciscuntur.

ACCENT MARKS. Here is the text with stress accents, plus some color-coding for the words of three or more syllables (blue: penultimate stress; red: antepenultimate stress):

Anguílla interrogábat serpéntem, quare, cum símiles essent atque cognáti, hómines tamen se pótius quam illum insequeréntur. Cui serpens: "Quia raro (inquit) me quis laedit impúne." Fábula índicat minus laedi solére qui sese ulciscúntur.

UNMARKED TEXT. Here is the unmarked text - after practicing with the marked text that you prefer, you should not have any trouble with the unmarked text. I've put in some line breaks to show the natural pauses in the story:

interrogabat serpentem,
cum similes essent
atque cognati,
homines tamen
se potius quam illum
Cui serpens:
"Quia raro (inquit)
me quis laedit impune."
Fabula indicat
minus laedi solere
qui sese ulciscuntur.

IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source), showing an eel:

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