Certamen inire voluit Testudo reptilis cum Aquila velocissima. Locus designatus est et, qui spatio trium dierum ad propositum locum prius venerat, victor salutaretur. Aquila tardigradam contempsit Testudinem, autumans se alarum impetu posse brevissime ad locum avolare. Negligens igitur secessit, aliis intenta, sed Testudo indefatigabili labore et sollertia infra tempus et ante Aquilam arrepsit ad locum et omnium calculis victor evasit.Certamen inire voluit Testudo reptilis
= Here we meet one of the main characters of the fable: the tortoise. Notice that it is the tortoise who initiates the contest!
cum Aquila velocissima.
= Here we meet the other main character of the fable: the eagle. The superlative here implies the idea that the eagle is not just swift, but "swiftest (of all)."
Locus designatus est
= Notice that in English we get two different words (by two different routes) from the Latin designare: "design" and "designate." The word locus here refers to what is actually the finish line of the race.
et, qui spatio trium dierum ad propositum locum prius venerat,
= The use of the pluperfect indicative is rarely used in hypothetical situations. As you can see, it conveys the idea of what had to have happened first, before some other thing could have happened afterwards - as you will see in the next clause.
= The subjunctive expresses the hypothetical result of what would happen to the one who had reached the finish line first within the allotted time: “he would be hailed (as) the winner."
= We are going to learn about each of the two contestants now, beginning with the eagle.
tardigradam contempsit Testudinem,
= The phrase tardigradam testudinem wraps around the verb.
= The participle agrees with the subject of the main verb, the eagle.
se alarum impetu posse brevissime ad locum avolare.
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement. The adverb brevissime is the superlative form of the adverb, breviter.
Negligens igitur secessit,
= The postpositive particle is in second position, as you would expect.
= The participle agrees with the subject of the main verb, which is a feminine noun, aquila, the eagle.
= Now we will learn about the efforts of the other contestant: the tortoise!
indefatigabili labore et sollertia
= The phrase indefatigabili labore is unambiguously ablative, which allows you to safely guess that the ambiguous form sollertia is also an ablative.
infra tempus et ante Aquilam
= The phrase infra tempus means “within (under) the time limit.”
arrepsit ad locum
= The locus is the finish line, the place that the contestants in the race had to reach.
et omnium calculis victor evasit.
= The noun victor is part of the predicate: “turned out to be the winner,“ “emerged (as) the winner.”
There is no illustration for this fable in Barlow (that is, the illustration does not match the fable, but instead matches the more famous fable of the eagle who took the turtle flying at the turtle's own foolish request).
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