Monday, February 1, 2010

Corvus et Scorpion: Iusta ultio (Alciato)

SOURCE: The emblems of Alciato, with a convenient bilingual presentation online at Memorial University, and a marvelous collection of illustrated editions at Glasgow. This is emblem 173 in the collection. Compare a similar story about a kite who snatched up a snake and perished in Perry 128.

READ OUT LOUD. Choose which marked text you prefer to practice with - macrons in verse form, or macrons in prose order, or accent marks in prose order, or focusing on the meter. You will find materials for all of these options below. :-)


VERSE MACRONS. Here is the verse text with macrons:

Raptābat volucrēs captum pede corvus in aurās
Scorpion, audācī praemia parta gulae.
Ast ille infūsō sēnsim per membra venēnō,
Raptōrem in Stygiās compulit ultor aquās.
Ō rīsū rēs dīgna: aliīs quī fāta parābat,
Ipse perit, propriīs succubuitque dolīs.


PROSE MACRONS. Here is the same text with macrons written out in prose word order:

Corvus scorpion, pede captum, raptābat in aurās volucrēs, praemia parta gulae audācī. Ast ultor ille raptōrem compulit in aquās Stygiās, venēnō infūsō sēnsim per membra. Ō rēs rīsū dīgna: quī fāta aliīs parābat, ipse perit, et propriīs dolīs succubuit.


STRESS (ACCENT) MARKS. Here is the prose text with accents, plus some color-coding for the words of three or more syllables (blue: penultimate stress; red: antepenultimate stress):

Corvus scórpion, pede captum, raptábat in auras vólucres, praémia parta gulae audáci. Ast ultor ille raptórem cómpulit in aquas Stýgias, venéno infúso sensim per membra. O res risu digna: qui fata áliis parábat, ipse perit, et própriis dolis succúbuit.


ELEGIAC COUPLET METER. Below I have used an interpunct dot · to indicate the metrical elements in each line, and a double line || to indicate the hemistichs of the pentameter line.

Raptāb·at volu·crēs cap·tum pede· corvus in· aurās
Scorpion,· audā·cī || praemia· parta gu·lae.
Ast il·l~ infū·sō sēn·sim per· membra ve·nēnō,
Raptōr~· in Stygi·ās || compulit· ultor a·quās.
Ō rī·sū rēs· dīgn~: ali·īs quī· fāta pa·rābat,
Ipse pe·rit, propri·īs || succubu·itque do·līs.


IMAGE. Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) from a 1621 edition of the emblems:


Here is another illustration from the Medici Aesop, which is online at the New York Public Library website.



What follows is an unmarked version of the prose rendering to faciliate word searches: Corvus scorpion, pede captum, raptabat in auras volucres, praemia parta gulae audaci. Ast ultor ille raptorem compulit in aquas Stygias, veneno infuso sensim per membra. O res risu digna: qui fata aliis parabat, ipse perit, et propriis dolis succubuit.

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