Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Canes Urbani et Canis Villaticus (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 32 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:

Canēs complūrēs urbānī quendam villāticum praecipitī īnsequēbantur cursū, quamdiu ille fugit nec repugnāre ausus est. At ubī ad īnsequentēs conversus subsistit et dentēs ipse quoque ostendere coepit, omnēs pariter substitērunt nec aliquis urbānōrum illī appropinquāre audēbat. Tunc imperātor exercitūs, quī ibi forte aderat, ad suōs conversus mīlitēs: "Commīlitōnēs! (inquit) Hoc spectāculum nōs admonet nē fugiāmus, cum praesentiōra fugientibus quam repugnantibus videāmus imminēre perīcula."

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):

Canes complúres urbáni quendam villáticum praecípiti insequebántur cursu, quámdiu ille fugit nec repugnáre ausus est. At ubi ad insequéntes convérsus subsístit et dentes ipse quoque osténdere coepit, omnes páriter substitérunt nec áliquis urbanórum illi appropinquáre audébat. Tunc imperátor exércitus, qui ibi forte áderat, ad suos convérsus mílites: "Commilitónes! (inquit) Hoc spectáculum nos ádmonet ne fugiámus, cum praesentióra fugiéntibus quam repugnántibus videámus imminére perícula."

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:

Canes complures urbani
quendam villaticum
praecipiti insequebantur cursu,
quamdiu ille fugit
nec repugnare ausus est.
At ubi
ad insequentes conversus
et dentes
ipse quoque ostendere coepit,
omnes pariter substiterunt
nec aliquis urbanorum
illi appropinquare audebat.
Tunc imperator exercitus,
qui ibi forte aderat,
ad suos conversus milites:
"Commilitones! (inquit)
Hoc spectaculum nos admonet
ne fugiamus,
cum praesentiora
fugientibus quam repugnantibus
videamus imminere pericula."

IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source) showing a dog with teeth bared:

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