Monday, January 11, 2010

Hercules et Pygmaei: qui supra vires quicquam audent (Alciato)

SOURCE: The emblems of Alciato, with a convenient bilingual presentation online at Memorial University, and a marvelous collection of illustrated editions at Glasgow. This is emblem 58 in the collection. It is not traditionally part of the Aesopic corpus, but as "mythology moralized" it fits in nicely with the other fables.

READ OUT LOUD. Choose which marked text you prefer to practice with - macrons in verse form, or macrons in prose order, or accent marks in prose order, or focusing on the meter. You will find materials for all of these options below. :-)


VERSE MACRONS. Here is the verse text with macrons:

Dum dormit, dulcī recreat dum corpora somnō
Sub piceā, et clāvam cēteraque arma tenet,
Alcīdēn Pygmaea manus prōsternere lēthō
Posse putat, vīrēs nōn bene docta suās.
Excitus ipse, velut pulicēs, sīc prōterit hostem,
Et saevī implicitum pelle leōnis agit.


PROSE MACRONS. Here is the same text with macrons written out in prose word order:

Dum dormit, dum sub piceā corpora recreat dulcī somnō, et clāvam et arma cētera tenet, Pygmaea manus, vīrēs suās nōn bene docta, Alcīdēn letho prōsternere posse putat. Éxcitus ipse, sīc velut pulicēs, hostem leōnis saevī pelle implicitum prōterit et agit.


STRESS (ACCENT) MARKS. Here is the prose text with accents, plus some color-coding for the words of three or more syllables (blue: penultimate stress; red: antepenultimate stress):

Dum dormit, dum sub pícea córpora récreat dulci somno, et clavam et arma cétera tenet, Pygmaéa manus, vires suas non bene docta, Alcíden letho prostérnere posse putat. Éxcitus ipse, sic velut púlices, hostem leónis saevi pelle implícitum próterit et agit.


ELEGIAC COUPLET METER. Below I have used an interpunct dot · to indicate the metrical elements in each line, and a double line || to indicate the hemistichs of the pentameter line.

Dum dormit, dulcī recreat dum corpora somnō
Sub pice~,· et clā·vam || cētera·qu~ arma te·net,
Alcīdēn Pygmaea manus prōsternere lēthō
Posse pu·tat, vī·rēs || nōn bene· docta su·ās.
Excitus ipse, velut pulicēs, sīc prōterit hostem,
Et saev~· implici·tum || pelle le·ōnis a·git.


IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source).



What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches:
Dum dormit, dum sub picea corpora recreat dulci somno, et clavam et arma cetera tenet, Pygmaea manus, vires suas non bene docta, Alciden letho prosternere posse putat. Éxcitus ipse, sic velut pulices, hostem leonis saevi pelle implicitum proterit et agit.

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