Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lepus et Vulpes (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 73 in the collection, and it is very similar to the debate between the leopard and the fox where the fox also claims first prize for smarts, Perry 12.

Fabula Facillima! There is a super-simple version of this fable available, too.

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:

Lepus sēsē dignum reputābat, quī vulpī praeferrētur, quoniam longē illam pedum pernīcitāte superābat. Tunc vulpes: At ego, inquit, ingenium sum sortīta praestantius, quō saepius quam tū pernīcitāte tuā, canēs ēlūdō. Haec indicat fābula, corporis vēlōcitātem et vīrēs ab ingeniō longē superārī.

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):

Lepus sese dignum reputábat, qui vulpi praeferrétur, quóniam longe illam pedum pernicitáte superábat. Tunc vulpes: "At ego (inquit) ingénium sum sortíta praestántius, quo saépius quam tu pernicitáte tua, canes elúdo." Haec índicat fábula córporis velocitátem et vires ab ingénio longe superári.

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:

sese dignum reputabat,
qui vulpi praeferretur,
longe illam
pedum pernicitate superabat.
Tunc vulpes:
"At ego (inquit)
ingenium sum sortita
quo saepius
quam tu pernicitate tua,
canes eludo."
Haec indicat fabula
corporis velocitatem et vires
ab ingenio longe superari.

IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source) show a rabbit who is very fleet of foot indeed!

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