Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Murilegus Monachus (Odo)

SOURCE: Odo of Cheriton's' Latin fables are available in Hervieux's edition at GoogleBooks, and there is a delightful English translation by John Jacobs: The Fables of Odo of Cheriton.

This is fable 15 in Hervieux's edition. This is not in the classical Aesopic corpus, but Perry does list in his medieval appendix as Perry 592.

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:

In quōdam refectōriō fuit quīdam Mūrilegus, quī omnēs Mūrēs, exceptō ūnō magnō Rattō, cēpit et interfēcit. Cōgitāvit Cattus quāliter Mūrem illum magnum dēciperet et dēvorāret. Tandem fēcit sibi rādī corōnam; induit cucullam et fēcit sē monachum, inter aliōs monachōs sēdit et comēdit. Vidēns hoc, Rattus gāvīsus est, crēdēns quod nōllet eī nocēre. Saltāvit igitur Rattus huc et illuc, et Cattus dissimulāns oculōs suōs ā vānitāte āvertit. Tandem sēcūrē Rattus appropinquāvit ad Cattum. Cattus vērō cum unguibus virīliter Rattum cēpit et firmiter tenuit. Dīxit Rattus: Quārē tālem crūdēlitātem facis? Quārē mē nōn dīmittis? Nonne monachus factus es? Dīxit Cattus: Nunquam ita bene praedicābis quod tē dīmittam, frāter: quando volō, sum monachus; quando volo, sum canonicus. Et dēvorāvit Rattum.


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

In quodam refectório fuit quidam Murílegus, qui omnes Mures, excépto uno magno Ratto, cepit et interfécit. Cogitávit Cattus quáliter Murem illum magnum decíperet et devoráret. Tandem fecit sibi radi corónam; índuit cucúllam et fecit se mónachum, inter álios mónachos sedit et comédit. Videns hoc, Rattus gavísus est, credens quod nollet ei nocére. Saltávit ígitur Rattus huc et illuc, et Cattus dissímulans óculos suos a vanitáte avértit. Tandem secúre Rattus appropinquávit ad Cattum. Cattus vero cum únguibus viríliter Rattum cepit et fírmiter ténuit. Dixit Rattus: Quare talem crudelitátem facis? Quare me non dimíttis? Nonne mónachus factus es? Dixit Cattus: Nunquam ita bene praedicábis quod te dimíttam, frater: quando volo, sum mónachus; quando volo, sum canónicus. Et devorávit Rattum.


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:

In quodam refectorio
fuit quidam Murilegus,
qui omnes Mures,
excepto uno magno Ratto,
cepit et interfecit.
Cogitavit Cattus
qualiter Murem illum magnum
deciperet et devoraret.
Tandem
fecit sibi radi coronam;
induit cucullam
et fecit se monachum,
inter alios monachos
sedit et comedit.
Videns hoc,
Rattus gavisus est,
credens
quod nollet ei nocere.
Saltavit igitur Rattus
huc et illuc,
et Cattus dissimulans
oculos suos a vanitate avertit.
Tandem secure
Rattus appropinquavit
ad Cattum.
Cattus vero
cum unguibus
viriliter Rattum cepit
et firmiter tenuit.
Dixit Rattus:
Quare
talem crudelitatem facis?
Quare
me non dimittis?
Nonne monachus factus es?
Dixit Cattus:
Nunquam ita bene praedicabis
quod te dimittam, frater:
quando volo, sum monachus;
quando volo, sum canonicus.
Et devoravit Rattum.



IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source) showing some medieval cats chasing down a mouse:




2 comments:

  1. The idea being that canons are famous for their gluttony? That's pretty good.

    I get your email digest every morning and it's always a delight.

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  2. What's great about Odo's fables is that everybody is open to criticism, clergy and laity alike! Greed is everywhere in the world that Odo describes. The idea here is that the laity don't have to live up to the ideals of the religious - but Odo is well aware that the religious themselves didn't live up to those ideals either. I don't usually include his little sermons with the fables, but if you are interested, here is the little sermon that goes with this fable about the cat and the rat - it's really elegant, because Odo manages to mock worldly riches by referring to them as "a big Rat" - ha!
    Sic plerique, quando non possunt obtinere divitias et aliud quod diligunt, ieiunant, fingunt se bonos et sanctos, cum sint papalardi et daemones transfigurantes se in angelum lucis, et alii faciunt se monachos, ut sint cellerarii, priores, abbates, episcopi, et sic faciunt se radi, ut capiant unum Rattum. Praeterea, quando illicite habent quod desiderant, nunquam tantum praedicabis quod Rattum suum dimittant.
    (that word papalardus is a medievalism; it means "hypocrite")

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