Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fable 15: Auceps et Palumbes

Here's the next fable with a kind of running commentary that is not entirely possible within the confines of the forthcoming book from Bolchazy-Carducci. This will be Fable 15 in the book: De Aucupe et Palumbe. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
It foras Auceps; videt nidulantem procul in altissima arbore Palumbem. Adproperat et, dum insidias molitur, premit forte calcibus Anguem, qui ex improviso mordebat. Auceps, subito exanimatus malo: “Me miserum! (inquit) Dum alteri insidior, ipse dispereo.”
It foras Auceps;
= Notice that Latin is quite happy to narrate stories using present tense verbs or past tense verbs, and to switch tenses during the telling of the story (usually considered a stylistic no-no in English).

= The subject is implied but not stated; until we are given reason to conclude otherwise, we should assume that this it the subject of the previous verb, the birdcatcher.

nidulantem procul in altissima arbore Palumbem.
= The object of the verb, the ring-dove, is described with a participial phrase that includes both an adverb and a prepositional phrase.

= Again, in the absence of some indication as to change of subject, we can continue to assume that the subject is the birdcatcher.

et, dum insidias molitur,
= The deponent verb is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative.

premit forte calcibus Anguem,
= Now the birdcatcher is in trouble: he has stepped by chance on what is literally a snake in the grass!

qui ex improviso mordebat.
= The referent of the relative pronoun is the snake, and the implied object of the verb is the birdcatcher: qui (anguis) modebat (aucupem).

Auceps, subito exanimatus malo:
= The ablative phrase wraps around the adjective.

“Me miserum! (inquit)
= An exclamation using the accusative.

Dum alteri insidior,
= The verb takes a dative complement.

ipse dispereo.”
= The word ipse refers to the implied subject: (ego) ipse dispereo.

Here is the illustration of the fable by Francis Barlow:

The Aesopus Ning is now open for business - so, for more fables and to share your questions and comments with others, come visit the Ning!

No comments: