Friday, February 5, 2010

Ulmus et Siler (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 53 in the collection, and it is very similar to the Aesopic fable about the oak tree and three, Perry 70.

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:

Ulmus in rīpā flūminis nāta, sīler sibi proximum irrīdēbat ut dēbile et invalidum quod ad omnem vel levissimum undārum impetum flecterētur, suam autem firmitātem et rōbur magnificīs extollēbat verbīs quod multōs annōs assiduōs amnis impetus inconcussa pertulerat. Semel autem maxima undārum violentia ulmus perfracta trahēbātur ab aquīs, cui sīler rīdēns inquit: Cūr mē dēseris, vicīna? Ubī est nunc fortitūdo tua? Fābula significat sapientiōrēs esse quī potentiōribus cēdunt quam quī resistere volentēs turpiter superantur.



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):

Ulmus in ripa flúminis nata, siler sibi próximum irridébat ut débile et inválidum quod ad omnem vel levíssimum undárum ímpetum flecterétur, suam autem firmitátem et robur magníficis extollébat verbis quod multos annos assíduos amnis ímpetus inconcússa pertúlerat. Semel autem máxima undárum violéntia ulmus perfrácta trahebátur ab aquis, cui siler ridens inquit: "Cur me déseris, vicína? Ubi est nunc fortitúdo tua?" Fábula signíficat sapientióres esse qui potentióribus cedunt quam qui resístere voléntes túrpiter superántur.



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:

Ulmus
in ripa fluminis nata,
siler sibi proximum irridebat
ut debile et invalidum
quod
ad omnem
vel levissimum undarum impetum
flecteretur,
suam autem firmitatem et robur
magnificis extollebat verbis
quod multos annos
assiduos amnis impetus
inconcussa pertulerat.
Semel autem
maxima undarum violentia
ulmus perfracta
trahebatur ab aquis,
cui siler ridens inquit:
"Cur me deseris, vicina?
Ubi est nunc fortitudo tua?"
Fabula significat
sapientiores esse
qui potentioribus cedunt
quam qui resistere volentes
turpiter superantur.




IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source), showing a once-mighty elm tree that has toppled:




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