Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Asinus, Lepus et Leo (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 95 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:

Leo, rex quādrupedum, adversus volūcrēs pugnatūrus, suōrum aciēs īnstruēbat. Interrogātus autem ab ursō, quid eī asinī inertiā aut leporis timiditas ad victōriam conferre possent, quōs ibi inter cēterōs mīlitēs adesse cernēbat, rēspondit: asinus tubae suae clangōre mīlitēs ad pugnam concitābit, lepus vērō ob pedum celeritātem tabellariī fungētur officiō. Fābula significat nēminem adeō contemptibilem quī aliquā rē nōbīs prōdesse nōn possit.



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):

Leo, rex quadrúpedum, advérsus volúcres pugnatúrus, suórum ácies instruébat. Interrogátus autem ab urso, quid ei ásini inértia aut léporis timíditas ad victóriam conférre possent, quos ibi inter céteros mílites adésse cernébat, respóndit: "Ásinus tubae suae clangóre mílites ad pugnam concitábit, lepus vero ob pedum celeritátem tabellárii fungétur offício." Fábula signíficat néminem ádeo contemptíbilem qui áliqua re nobis prodésse non possit.



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:

Leo, rex quadrupedum,
adversus volucres pugnaturus,
suorum acies instruebat.
Interrogatus autem ab urso,
quid ei
asini inertia aut leporis timiditas
ad victoriam conferre possent,
quos
ibi inter ceteros milites
adesse cernebat,
respondit:
"Asinus
tubae suae clangore
milites ad pugnam concitabit,
lepus vero
ob pedum celeritatem
tabellarii fungetur officio."
Fabula significat
neminem adeo contemptibilem
qui aliqua re
nobis prodesse non possit.




IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source), showing the lion with his loyal donkey and rabbit:




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