Monday, January 25, 2010

Miles et Equus (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 40 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:

Mīles equum habēns optimum, ēmit alium nequāquam illī bonitāte parem, quem multō dīligentius quam priōrem nūtriēbat; tunc priōrī sīc ait: "Cūr mē dominus quam tē impēnsius cūrat, cui neque pulchritūdine nec rōbore neque vēlōcitāte comparandus sim?" Cui ille, "Est haec (inquit) hominum nātūra, ut semper in novōs hospitēs benigniōrēs sint." Haec fābula indicat hominum āmentiam, quī nova, etiamsi dēteriōra sint, solent veteribus antepōnere.



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):

Miles equum habens óptimum, emit álium nequáquam illi bonitáte parem, quem multo diligéntius quam priórem nutriébat; tunc prióri sic ait: "Cur me dóminus quam te impénsius curat, cui neque pulchritúdine nec róbore neque velocitáte comparándus sim?" Cui ille, "Est haec (inquit) hóminum natúra, ut semper in novos hóspites benignióres sint." Haec fábula índicat hóminum améntiam, qui nova, etiámsi deterióra sint, solent vetéribus antepónere.



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:

Miles
equum habens optimum,
emit alium
nequaquam illi bonitate parem,
quem multo diligentius
quam priorem nutriebat;
tunc priori sic ait:
"Cur me dominus
quam te impensius curat,
cui
neque pulchritudine nec robore
neque velocitate
comparandus sim?"
Cui ille,
"Est haec (inquit)
hominum natura,
ut semper in novos hospites
benigniores sint."
Haec fabula indicat
hominum amentiam,
qui nova,
etiamsi deteriora sint,
solent veteribus anteponere.




IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source) showing two horses engaged in conversation. :-)




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