Sunday, February 14, 2010

Asinus aegrotans et Lupi (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 64 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:

Asinus aegrōtābat, fāmaque exīerat eum cito moritūrum; ad eum igitur vīsendum cum lupī canāsque vēnissent, peterentque ā fīliō, quōmodo pater eius sē habēret, ille per ostiī rīmulam rēspondit: Melius quam vellētis. Haec indicat fābula, quod multī fingunt molestē ferre mortem aliōrum, quōs tamen cupiunt celeriter interīre.

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):

Ásinus aegrotábat, famáque exíerat eum cito moritúrum; ad eum ígitur viséndum cum lupi canésque veníssent, peteréntque a fílio, quómodo pater eius se habéret, ille per óstii rímulam respóndit: "Mélius quam vellétis." Haec índicat fábula quod multi fingunt moléste ferre mortem aliórum, quos tamen cúpiunt celériter interíre.

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:

Asinus aegrotabat,
famaque exierat
eum cito moriturum;
ad eum igitur visendum
cum lupi canesque venissent,
peterentque a filio,
quomodo pater eius se haberet,
per ostii rimulam respondit:
"Melius quam velletis."
Haec indicat fabula
quod multi fingunt
moleste ferre mortem aliorum,
quos tamen cupiunt celeriter interire.

IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source), showing a donkey answering a knock at the door:

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