Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Musca et Quadrigae (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 16 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:

Quādrīgae in stadiō currēbant, quibus musca īnsidēbat. Maximō autem pulvere, tum equōrum pedum pulsū, tum rotārum volūtātiōne, exortō, dīcēbat musca, "Quam magnam vim pulveris excitāvī!" Haec fābula ad eōs spectat, quī, cum ignāvī sint, aliēnam tamen glōriam suīs magnificīs verbīs in sē trānsferre cōnantur.

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):

Quadrígae in stádio currébant, quibus musca insidébat. Máximo autem púlvere, tum equórum pedum pulsu, tum rotárum volutatióne, exórto, dicébat musca, "Quam magnam vim púlveris excitávi!" Haec fábula ad eos spectat, qui, cum ignávi sint, aliénam tamen glóriam suis magníficis verbis in se transférre conántur.

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:

Quadrigae in stadio currebant,
quibus musca insidebat.
Maximo autem pulvere,
tum equorum pedum pulsu,
tum rotarum volutatione,
dicebat musca,
"Quam magnam vim pulveris
Haec fabula ad eos spectat,
qui, cum ignavi sint,
alienam tamen gloriam
suis magnificis verbis
in se transferre conantur.

IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source), showing a chariot:

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