Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Vulpes et Leo in Vinculis (Abstemius)

SOURCE: You can find both the first and second "hecatomythia" of Abstemius in Nevelet's monumental Aesop published in 1610, available at GoogleBooks. You can find out more about Abstemius at the Aesopus wiki. This is fable 170 in Abstemius. Perry only includes a few sporadic fables from Abstemius in his index, and there is no Perry number for this fable.

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:

Leo comprehēnsus laqueō, tōtis vīribus vincula dīrumpere conābātur, quō autem māiōrī cōnātū laqueum trahēbat, eō arctius dētinēbātur. Vulpes illac iter habēns, cum hoc esset intuita: Non vīribus, inquit, mī rex, istinc ēvādēs, sed ingeniō: Relaxandus enim laqueus et dissolvendus, nōn trahendus est. Quod cum leo fēcisset, statim solūtō laqueō, quō erat astrictus, līber ēvāsit. Fābula indicat, ingenium vīribus longē esse praestantius.

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):

Leo comprehénsus láqueo, totis víribus víncula dirúmpere conabátur, quo autem maióri conátu láqueum trahébat, eo árctius detinebátur. Vulpes illac iter habens, cum hoc esset intúita: Non víribus, inquit, mi rex, istinc evádes, sed ingénio: Relaxándus enim láqueus et dissolvéndus, non trahéndus est. Quod cum leo fecísset, statim solúto láqueo, quo erat astríctus, liber evásit. Fábula índicat, ingénium víribus longe esse praestántius.

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:

comprehensus laqueo,
totis viribus
vincula dirumpere conabatur,
quo autem maiori conatu
laqueum trahebat,
eo arctius detinebatur.
illac iter habens,
cum hoc esset intuita:
Non viribus, inquit, mi rex,
istinc evades,
sed ingenio:
Relaxandus enim laqueus
et dissolvendus,
non trahendus est.
Quod cum leo fecisset,
statim soluto laqueo,
quo erat astrictus,
liber evasit.
Fabula indicat,
viribus longe esse praestantius.

IMAGE. Here is an illustration for the story (image source), showing a lion in a net:


  1. Could you please translate those? Some of us don't know too much Latin. Thank you.

  2. Hello, you can find lots of English versions of Aesop at another one of my websites - http://aesopica.net - but this is a project for people learning Latin. If you give people the English, it usually means they don't read the Latin, or just look at the English as soon as they get a little confused with the Latin, instead of figuring it out in the Latin. That's why I don't provide English translations here - the goal is to help people who are learning Latin really read the Latin.