Monday, January 11, 2010

Cuculus et Accipiter (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 7 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:

Irrīsus ab accipitre cucūlus, quod, cum sibi et corpore pār et colōre nōn absimilis esset, prae angustiā animī potius vermibus terrēnīs quam suāvibus aliārum avium carnibus vescerētur, vīdit paucīs post diēbus accipitrem ā rusticō, cuius columbās īnsectābātur, captum, ad metum cēterōrum ex altā rupe pendere. Cui cucūlus "Quam melius tibi (inquit), amīce, fuisset vermēs vēnārī, quam aliēnās avēs impetere." Haec fābula indicat eōrum vītam tūtiōrem esse et magis probātam, quī suīs rēbus sine perīculō contentī, quam illōrum, quī, aliēna appetentēs, adeunt magna vītae discrīmina.



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):

Irrísus ab accípitre cucúlus, quod, cum sibi et córpore par et colóre non absímilis esset, prae angústia ánimi pótius vérmibus terrénis quam suávibus aliárum ávium cárnibus vescerétur, vidit paucis post diébus accípitrem a rústico, cuius colúmbas insectabátur, captum, ad metum ceterórum ex alta rupe péndere. Cui cucúlus "Quam mélius tibi (inquit), amíce, fuísset vermes venári, quam aliénas aves impétere." Haec fábula índicat eórum vitam tutiórem esse et magis probátam, qui suis rebus sine perículo conténti, quam illórum, qui, aliéna appeténtes, ádeunt magna vitae discrímina.



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:

Irrisus ab accipitre cuculus,
quod,
cum sibi
et corpore par
et colore non absimilis esset,
prae angustia animi
potius vermibus terrenis
quam suavibus aliarum avium carnibus
vesceretur,
vidit paucis post diebus
accipitrem
a rustico, cuius columbas insectabatur,
captum,
ad metum ceterorum
ex alta rupe pendere.
Cui cuculus
"Quam melius tibi (inquit), amice,
fuisset vermes venari,
quam alienas aves impetere."
Haec fabula indicat
eorum vitam
tutiorem esse et magis probatam,
qui suis rebus sine periculo contenti,
quam illorum,
qui, aliena appetentes,
adeunt magna vitae discrimina.




IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source) showing a cuckoo bird:


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