Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cera et Later (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 54 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:

Cēra ingemiscēbat sē mollem et cuicumque levissimō ictū penetrābilem prōcreātam. Vidēns autem laterēs ex lutō multō molliōrī factōs in tantam dūritiem ignis calōre pervēnisse ut multa perdūrārent saecula, sē ēiēcit in ignem ut eandem dūritiem cōnsequerētur. Sed statim igne liquefacta cōnsumpta est. Hāc admonēmur fābula nē appetāmus quod est nōbīs nātūra dēnegātum.



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):

Cera ingemiscébat se mollem et cuicúmque levíssimo ictu penetrábilem procreátam. Videns autem láteres ex luto multo mollióri factos in tantam durítiem ignis calóre pervenísse ut multa perdurárent saécula, se eiécit in ignem ut eándem durítiem consequerétur. Sed statim igne liquefácta consúmpta est. Hac admonémur fábula ne appetámus quod est nobis natúra denegátum.



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:

Cera ingemiscebat
se mollem
et cuicumque levissimo ictu
penetrabilem procreatam.
Videns autem lateres
ex luto multo molliori factos
in tantam duritiem
ignis calore pervenisse
ut multa perdurarent saecula,
se eiecit in ignem
ut eandem duritiem consequeretur.
Sed statim igne liquefacta
consumpta est.
Hac admonemur fabula
ne appetamus
quod est nobis natura denegatum.




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



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