Saturday, January 16, 2010

Trabs Ulmea et Boves Trahentes (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 11 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:

Trabs ulmea dē bōbus conquerēbātur, dīcēns, "Ingrātī, ego multō tempore meīs vōs frondibus aluī, vōs vērō mē nūtrīcem vestram per saxa et luta trahitis." Cui bovēs, "Gemitūs suspīriaque nostra et stimulus, quō pungimur, tē docēre possunt quod tē trahimus invītī." Haec nōs docet fābula nē in eōs excandescāmus, quī nōn sua sponte nōs laedunt.

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):

Trabs úlmea de bobus conquerebátur, dicens, "Ingráti, ego multo témpore meis vos fróndibus álui, vos vero me nutrícem vestram per saxa et luta tráhitis." Cui boves, "Gémitus suspiriáque nostra et stímulus, quo púngimur, te docére possunt quod te tráhimus invíti." Haec nos docet fábula ne in eos excandescámus, qui non sua sponte nos laedunt.

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:

Trabs ulmea
de bobus conquerebatur,
ego multo tempore
meis vos frondibus alui,
vos vero
me nutricem vestram
per saxa et luta trahitis."
Cui boves,
"Gemitus suspiriaque nostra
et stimulus, quo pungimur,
te docere possunt
quod te trahimus inviti."
Haec nos docet fabula
ne in eos excandescamus,
qui non sua sponte nos laedunt.

IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source) showing some modern-day oxen hauling a log:

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