Sunday, January 24, 2010

Asinus, Simia et Talpa (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 18 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:

Conquerentī Asinō quod cornibus carēret, Sīmiae vērō quod cauda sibi dēesset, "Tacēte (inquit Talpa) cum mē oculīs captam esse videātis." Haec fābula ad eōs pertinet, quī nōn sunt suā sorte contentī; quī, sī aliōrum infortūniam cōnsīderārent, aequiōrī animō tolerārent suā.

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):

Conquerénti Ásino quod córnibus caréret, Símiae vero quod cauda sibi deésset, "Tacéte (inquit Talpa) cum me óculis captam esse videátis." Haec fábula ad eos pértinet, qui non sunt sua sorte conténti; qui, si aliórum infortúniam considerárent, aequióri ánimo tolerárent sua.

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:

Conquerenti Asino
quod cornibus careret,
Simiae vero
quod cauda sibi deesset,
"Tacete (inquit Talpa)
cum me oculis captam esse
Haec fabula ad eos pertinet,
qui non sunt sua sorte contenti;
si aliorum infortuniam
aequiori animo tolerarent sua.

IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source), showing a real mole:

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