Friday, January 22, 2010

Aves et Scarabaei (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 37 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:

Magnus timor avēs incesserat, nē Scarabaeī arcū pilārī eās occīderent, ā quibus magnam pilārum vim in sterquilīniō summō labōre fābricātam audīerant. Tunc passer: "Nolīte (inquit) expavescere. Quō modō enim pilās in nōs per āera volantēs iacere potuērunt, cum eās per terram magnō mōlīmine vix trahant?" Haec fābula nōs admonet nē hostium opēs extimescāmus, quibus dēesse vidēmus ingenium.

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):

Magnus timor aves incésserat, ne Scarbaéi arcu pilári eas occíderent, a quibus magnam pilárum vim in sterquilínio summo labóre fabricátam audíerant. Tunc passer: "Nolíte (inquit) expavéscere. Quo modo enim pilas in nos per aera volántes iácere potuérunt, cum eas per terram magno molímine vix trahant?" Haec fábula nos ádmonet ne hóstium opes extimescámus, quibus deésse vidémus ingénium.

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:

Magnus timor
aves incesserat,
ne Scarabaei
arcu pilari eas occiderent,
a quibus
magnam pilarum vim
in sterquilinio
summo labore
fabricatam audierant.
Tunc passer:
"Nolite (inquit) expavescere.
Quo modo enim pilas
in nos per aera volantes
iacere poterunt,
cum eas per terram
magno molimine vix trahant?"
Haec fabula nos admonet
ne hostium opes extimescamus,
quibus deesse videmus ingenium.

IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source) showing a dung beetle and its big ball of dung!

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