Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Testudo et Ranae (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 34 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:

Testūdo cōnspicāta rānās, quae in eōdem stagnō pascēbantur, adeō levēs agilēsque, ut facile quolibet prōsilīrent et longissimē saltārent, nātūram accūsābat, quod sē tardum animal et maximō onere impedītum prōcreāsset, utque, nē facile sē movēre posset, magna assiduō mōle premerētur. At ubī vīdit rānās anguillārum escam fīerī et cuiuscumque vel levissimō ictū obnoxiās, aliquantulum recreāta dīcēbat, "Quantō melius est onus, quō ad omnēs ictus mūnīta sum ferre, quam tot mortis subīre discrīmina." Haec fābula indicat nē aegrē ferāmus dōna nātūrae, quae māiōrī nōbīs commodō saepius sunt quam nōs intelligere valeāmus.



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):

Testúdo conspicáta ranas, quae in eodem stagno pascebántur, adeo leves agilésque, ut fácile quólibet prosilírent et longíssime saltárent, natúram accusábat, quod se tardum ánimal et máximo ónere impedítum procreásset, utque, ne fácile se movére posset, magna assíduo mole premerétur. At ubi vidit ranas anguillárum escam fíeri et cuiuscúmque vel levíssimo ictu obnóxias, aliquántulum recreáta dicébat, "Quanto mélius est onus, quo ad omnes ictus muníta sum ferre, quam tot mortis subíre discrímina." Haec fábula índicat ne aegre ferámus dona natúrae, quae maióri nobis cómmodo saépius sunt quam nos intellígere valeámus.



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:

Testudo
conspicata ranas,
quae in eodem stagno
pascebantur,
adeo leves agilesque,
ut facile quolibet prosilirent
et longissime saltarent,
naturam accusabat,
quod se
tardum animal
et maximo onere impeditum
procreasset,
utque,
ne facile se movere posset,
magna assiduo mole premeretur.
At ubi vidit ranas
anguillarum escam fieri
et cuiuscumque vel levissimo ictu
obnoxias,
aliquantulum recreata dicebat,
"Quanto melius est onus,
quo
ad omnes ictus munita sum ferre,
quam
tot mortis subire discrimina."
Haec fabula indicat
ne aegre feramus dona naturae,
quae maiori nobis commodo
saepius sunt
quam nos intelligere valeamus.




IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source) showing a turtle in its shell:




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