Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mus et Cista (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 1 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:

Mus in cista nātus, omnem ferē ibi dūxerat aetātem, nucibus pastus, quae in eā servārī solēbant. Dum autem circā ōrās cistae lūdēns dēcidisset quaereretque ascēnsum, reperit epulās lautissimē parātās, quās cum gustāre coepisset, "Quam stultus (inquit) hactenus fuī, quī in tōtō terrārum orbe nihil melius cistulā meā esse crēdēbam. Ecce quam suāviōribus hīc vescor cibīs." Haec fābula indicat nōn ita patriam dīligendam sī ignōbilis sit, ut alia nōn adeāmus loca, cum alibī beātiōrēs esse possīmus.



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):

Mus in cista natus, omnem fere ibi dúxerat aetátem, núcibus pastus, quae in ea servári solébant. Dum autem circa oras cistae ludens decidísset quaererétque ascénsum, réperit épulas lautíssime parátas, quas cum gustáre coepísset, "Quam stultus (inquit) háctenus fui, qui in toto terrárum orbe nihil mélius cístula mea esse credébam. Ecce quam suavióribus hic vescor cibis." Haec fábula índicat non ita pátriam diligéndam si ignóbilis sit, ut ália non adeámus loca, cum álibi beatióres esse possímus.



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:

Mus in cista natus,
omnem fere ibi duxerat aetatem,
nucibus pastus,
quae in ea servari solebant.
Dum autem circa oras cistae ludens
decidisset
quaereretque ascensum,
reperit epulas lautissime paratas,
quas cum gustare coepisset,
"Quam stultus (inquit) hactenus fui,
qui in toto terrarum orbe
nihil melius cistula mea esse
credebam.
Ecce
quam suavioribus hic vescor cibis."
Haec fabula indicat
non ita patriam diligendam
si ignobilis sit,
ut alia non adeamus loca,
cum alibi beatiores esse possimus.




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


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