Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fable 25: Auceps et Perdix

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 25 in the book: De Aucupe et Perdice. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Auceps, retibus extensis, captabat Perdicem. Volucris illa captata supplicabunde illum rogabat ut se demitteret, promittens se in retia plurimas Aves allecturam. Cui Auceps: “Nequaquam hoc faciam, nam procul dubio me decipies, quae sodales tuos proditura es.”
= As usual, we meet one of the main characters in the fable here in the opening word.

retibus extensis,
= Ablative absolute construction. As ofen with a passive absolute in Latin, you might want to use an active English translation: "have stretched out his nets..."

captabat Perdicem.
= Here we meet the other main character in the story: the partridge, whom the birthcatcher has captured.

Volucris illa captata
= The adjective volucris regularly stands as a synonym for avis, "bird," but it can also be used to refer to any kind of flying thing, such as volucris fortuna or volucre gaudium, etc.

supplicabunde illum rogabat
= The -bundus suffix (seen here in the adverbial form -bunde) is the same suffix you see in the English word "moribund."

ut se demitteret,
= The verb rogabat introduces this ut clause: the partridge asked the bird catcher to let her go, ut se (perdicem) (auceps) demitteret.

= The participle agrees with the subject of the main verb, rogabat, that is, the partridge.

se in retia plurimas Aves allecturam.
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement, with se as the feminine accusative singular subject of the infinitive, and aves as the object: se (perdicem) aves allecturam (esse).

Cui Auceps:
= The referent of the relative pronoun is the partridge, with an implied verb of speaking: cui (perdici) auceps (inquit).

“Nequaquam hoc faciam,
= The emphatic nequaquam means much the say as the English "no way" (ne-quaquam).

nam procul dubio me decipies,
= Since the bird catcher is speaking to the partridge, she is the subject of the verb decipies.

= The relative pronoun refers back to the subject of decipies, which is the (feminine) partridge.

sodales tuos proditura es.”
= The future active participle used with the verb es creates a finite verb phrase referring to the future, also known as a future active periphrastic. The feminine form, proditura es, agrees with the gender of the subject: the partridge, perdix.

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: