Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fable 36: Equus et Asellus Onustus

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 36 in the book: De Equo et Asello Onusto. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Agitabat Coriarius quidam una Equum et Asinum onustum. Sed in via fatiscens, Asinus rogabat Equum ut sibi succurreret et velit portiunculam oneris tanti tolerare. Recusabat Equus et mox Asinus oneri totus succubuit et halitum clausit supremum. Herus accedens mortuo Asino sarcinam detraxit et, pelle superaddita excoriata, omnia Equo imposuit. Quod cum sensisset Equus, ingemuit, inquiens, “Quam misellus ego, qui, cum portiunculam oneris socii ferre recusaverim, iam totam sarcinam cogar tolerare.”
Agitabat Coriarius quidam
= We meet one of the main characters of the story here: the "skinner" (from Latin corium, meaning "skin, hide").

una Equum et Asinum onustum.
= Here we meet the other two characters in the story: the horse and the donkey. Careful with the word una, which is used adverbially here (you can find many other Latin adverbs that likewise have this feminine ablative singular ending: ultra, infra, supra, etc., having been abbreviated from noun phrases originally built with nouns like via or parte).

Sed in via fatiscens,
= Of course, since it is the donkey who is loaded down, he is the one who is having a hard time! The literal meaning of fatiscens is "falling apart, coming to pieces" and has the metaphorical connotations of becoming exhausted and thus breaking down.

Asinus rogabat Equum
= This question is going to be the crux of the fable: can you guess what the donkey is going to ask the horse?

ut sibi succurreret
= Here we learn one purpose of the donkey: he would like for the horse to come to his aid! The reflexive pronoun refers back to the subject of the main verb, rogabat.

et velit portiunculam oneris tanti tolerare.
= Here is another request: the donkey would like for the horse to take a tiny bit of the load, with portiuncula as a diminutive of the noun portio.

Recusabat Equus
= The horse's refusal comes as no surprise - but it will have consequences that the horse himself does not even imagine!

et mox Asinus oneri totus succubuit
= The verbsuccubuit takes a dative complement, oneri, while the adjective totus modifies the subject of the verb, so you might want to translate it as an adverb, rather than an adjective.

et halitum clausit supremum.
= The noun phrase halitum supremum wraps around the verb.

Herus accedens
= Remember the tanner who is driving the animals? Here he is again!

mortuo Asino sarcinam detraxit
= The verb detraxit takes a direct object, sarcinam, as well as a dative complement, asino: “take (something) off (somebody).”

et, pelle superaddita excoriata,
= An ablative absolute construction, consisting of the ablative participle superaddita and the ablative noun phrase pelle excoriata (the hide which the man has stripped from the donkey).

omnia Equo imposuit.
= Here is the main verb of which the master, herus, is the subject: (herus omnia equo imposuit.

Quod cum sensisset Equus,
= The relative pronoun connects back to the previous sentence, referring to the general situation described there, i.e. the horse having to bear all the extra weight; the subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information as to why the horse groaned.

ingemuit, inquiens,
= This is the present active participle of the defective verb inquam, used to indicate a direct quotation.

“Quam misellus ego,
= The verb sum is implied: quam misellus ego (sum), “how miserable am I!”

qui, cum portiunculam oneris socii ferre recusaverim,
= The subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information; this is why the horse now has to carry the whole load.

iam totam sarcinam cogar tolerare.”
= The horse realizes now that is going to have to literally "bear" this burden and, metaphorically, he is going to have to "tolerate" the situation, which is the result of his own selfish behavior.

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!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fable 56: Anus et Anser

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 56 in the book: De Anu et Ansere. For more information about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Anus quaedam Anserem alebat, qui illi quotidie ovum aureum excludebat. Anus avarissima, existimans Anserem habuisse in visceribus fodinam auream, cupiditate commota, Anserem confestim interfecit et, cum viscera perscrutabatur et unicum tantum ovum deprehenderat, spe sublactata inani, exclamabat, “O me infelicem, tantae crudelitatis consciam, quae, non modico contenta lucro, iam omnia perdiderim.”
Anus quaedam
= In the opening words, we meet one of the main characters of the story: an old woman. And yes, of course, as always be careful with the noun: anus is a fourth-declension noun, feminine - it is not a second declension noun (anus, a masculine noun meaning "ring" or "circle"), and don't get it confused with that very common second-declension noun, annus (two n's), meaning "year."

Anserem alebat,
= As the object of the verb, we meet the other main character of the story: the goose. There is a surprising lack of geese in the fables of Aesop - and you will see that while the goose here has magical properties, he is not a talking animal.

qui illi quotidie ovum aureum excludebat.
= The dative pronoun illi refers to the old woman for whom the goose laid the egg each day: qui (anser) illi (anui) ovum excludebat.

Anus avarissima
= This use of the superlative, without an explicit comparison, indicates that the old woman is "extremely greedy" or "utterly greedy."

existimans
= This participle introduces an indirect statement: she reckoned that...

Anserem
= This gives us the accusative subject of the accusative plus infinitive construction in the indirect statement.

habuisse in visceribus fodinam auream,
= This completes the accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement, with anserem as the accusative subject and fodinam auream as the object of the infinitive. The use of the perfect infinitive here conveys the sense of the goose somehow having "acquired" this gold mine in its guts (and, of course, this is just what the old woman would like to acquire for herself!).

cupiditate commota,
= The participle agrees with the subject of the main verb, anus avarissima.

Anserem confestim interfecit
= In the adverb confestim you can see the same root as in the verb festinare, "to hurry."

et, cum viscera perscrutabatur
= The deponent verb perscrutabatur is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative, viscera. Note the use of cum with the indicative verbs here (perscrutabatur and also deprehenderat in the next part of the clause), indicating a plainly factual statement of the circumstances.

et unicum tantum ovum deprehenderat,
= The word tantum here is used as an adverb, meaning "only."

spe sublactata inani,
= The phrase spe inani wraps around the participle. The participle again agrees with the old woman in gender, number and case (feminine, singular, nominative).

exclamabat,
= The verb of speaking (or, rather, verb of shouting) here introduces direct statement, the old woman's actual words in quotation.

“O me infelicem,
= An exclamation using the accusative, with the interjection o; the adjective agrees in gender, case and number with the pronoun me.

tantae crudelitatis consciam,
= The adjective consciam (“aware of, accomplice in”) takes a genitive complement; like infelicem, this adjective also agrees with the pronoun me.

quae,
= The referent of the relative pronoun is me, the old woman herself, hence the feminine singular form.

non modico contenta lucro,
= The phrase modico lucro wraps around the adjective, which takes an ablative complement.

iam omnia perdiderim.”
= The subjunctive provides causal background information; according to the woman, this is the reason why she is an accomplice in her own misfortune.

Here is the illustration of the fable by Francis Barlow (note that his illustration shows apparently a married couple as the owners of the bird, with the man - not the woman - the apparent culprit in disemboweling the creature):




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!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fable 35: Rusticus et Coluber

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 35 in the book: De Rustico et Colubro. For more information about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Rusticus repertum in altiori nive Colubrum, frigore prope enectum, domum tulit et ad focum adiecit. Coluber ab igni vires virusque recipiens et non amplius flammam ferens, totum tugurium sibilando infecit. Accurrit Rusticus et, correpta sude, verbis verberibusque cum eo iniuriam expostulat: “Num haec est quam retulit gratia, eripiendo vitam illi cui vitam debuit?”
Rusticus
= As usual, we meet one of the main characters in the fable here in the opening word: a man of the rus, the countryside, a "peasant" or "farmer."

repertum in altiori nive Colubrum,
= Here is the other main character of the fable, a snake. You might translate the passive participle with an active verb: the peasant found the snake (repertum) and then carried it home (tulit). The comparative is used here to indicate “very deep, rather deep,” without an explicit comparison.

frigore prope enectum,
= Be careful with the endings: frigore is a noun in the ablative case, while prope is an adverb (historically, the pe ending of this word is the same pe you see in other adverbs like nempe, quippe, etc.)

domum tulit
= This use of domum in the accusative means “to the house, homeward.”

et ad focum adiecit.
= The "focus" of the family home was the fire, the source of the warmth, the means of cooking, and so on.

Coluber
= As you can see, the snake has survived his ordeal in the snow and has now revived in order to become the subject of a sentence!

ab igni vires virusque recipiens
= Notice the play on words here: the snake has recovered both his vires and his virus, his powers and poisons!

et non amplius flammam ferens,
= Notice the use of the neuter form, amplius, as an adverb here (it is the comparative form of the adjective amplus, meaning "great, large, expansive," applied metaphorically to an expanse of time, rather than space).

totum tugurium sibilando infecit.
= The gerund is used here in the ablative case, explaining how the snake was able to poison the peasant's home.

Accurrit Rusticus
= This is the moment you see in Barlow's illustration: when the man comes running up to defend his home from the dangerous guest!

et, correpta sude,
= Ablative absolute construction.

verbis verberibusque
= Another play on words in the Latin!

cum eo iniuriam expostulat:
= Notice the etymology of the Latin iniuria, an "injury," or "in-justice."

“Num haec est quam retulit gratia,
= The referent of the relative pronoun quam is the noun gratia in the main clause: num haec est gratia?

eripiendo vitam illi
= The gerund here takes an accusative object, along with a dative complement, “snatching away (something) from (somebody).”

cui vitam debuit?”
= The referent of the relative pronoun is the pronoun illi in the main clause of the sentence. It agrees in gender and number with the reference, and the dative case here is explained by the verb in the relative clause: debuit.

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!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fable 34: Cervus in Bovium Stabulo

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 34 in the book: De Cervo in Bovium Stabulo. For more information about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Persecutus a canibus, Cervus ad stabulum bovium confugiebat et ibi totum corpus, praeterquam cornua, abscondebat. Adibat stabulum Servus et ille, oscitanter et negligenter huc et illuc oculos circumferens, mox decessit. Fortunae suae nimis applausit laetabundus Cervus et sese tutissimum autumabat. Sed statim, ipso Hero ingrediente locum, et rebus curiosius perlustratis, cornua Cervi detexit et fustibus cum vicinis adoriebatur.
Persecutus a canibus, Cervus
= This deponent participle, normally active in meaning, is used passively here, with an ablative of agent, “chased by dogs.”

ad stabulum bovium confugiebat
= You can see the i-stem of the word bos clearly here in the genitive plural form.

et ibi totum corpus, praeterquam cornua,
= Although corpus could be nominative or accusative, the fact that the stag was the subject of the previous verb, we can probably expect the stag to be the subject of an upcoming verb, with corpus as the object.

abscondebat.
= Here is the verb we were waiting for: cervus is the subject and corpus is the object.

Adibat stabulum Servus
= The stag is is already hidden in the stable, and now another character approaches: a servant.

et ille,
= The pronoun refers to the servant: ille (servus).

oscitanter et negligenter
= These two adverbs summarize the servant's attitude towards his work: whether it's a farm or a shopping mall, you can still see plenty of people who go about their work this way! (Or, rather, go about not really working!) The verb oscito means to "gape" or "yawn" and, more generally, it means to be sleepy or drowsy.

huc et illuc oculos circumferens,
= The pair of adverbs huc et illuc can be expressed as "hither and thither" in old-fashioned English, but a more idiomatic translation would be simple "here and there."

mox decessit.
= Here is the verb which goes with the earlier nominative pronoun, ille (servus) ... decessit.

Fortunae suae nimis applausit
= The verb applausit takes a dative complement.

laetabundus Cervus
= The adjective laetabundus modifies the subject of the verb, so you might want to translate it as an adverb, rather than an adjective.

et sese tutissimum
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement, with sese (alternate form of se) as the accusative subject and tutissimum as the predicate adjective: sese (esse) tutissimum. The superlative is used to express an extreme degree, something like the modern English idiom: "totally safe."

autumabat.
= This is the verb which introduces the indirect statement, sese (esse) tutissimum.

Sed statim,
= The Latin adverb statim survives in hospital lingo in English: "stat."

ipso Hero ingrediente locum,
= Ablative absolute construction.

et rebus curiosius perlustratis,
= Another ablative absolute construction. The comparative form of the adverb expresses the idea of “very carefully, quite carefully,” without an explicit comparison, although the implied comparison is to the servant's careless approach to things!

cornua Cervi detexit
= Remember that the stag had hidden his body in the stable... praeterquam cornua!

et fustibus cum vicinis adoriebatur.
= The deponent verb adoriebatur is transitive and takes an implied direct object, cervum.

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!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fable 33: Senex et Mors

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 33 in the book: De Sene et Morte. For more information about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Fasce praegravatus Senex, et misellae suae pertaesus sortis, Mortem invocabat, ut finem aerumnosae vitae tandem defigeret. Invocata advenit Mors, percontata Senex quid secum velit; ad cuius adventum territus, nil respondit sed “Ut auxilio mihi sis, et fascem collapsum rursus umeris imponas!”
Fasce praegravatus Senex,
= As usual, we meet one of the main characters in the opening lines of the story, the old man.

et misellae suae pertaesus sortis,
= The adjective pertaesus takes a genitive complement (“be thoroughly tired of”), with the phrase misellae suae sortis wrapping around the adjective. The adjective misellus is a diminutive form of miser.

Mortem invocabat,
= Although death, Mors, is a feminine noun in Latin, the skeletal figure in Barlow's illustration is part of a visual tradition representing death as the "Grim Reaper," a masculine, rather than a feminine, figure.

ut finem aerumnosae vitae tandem defigeret.
= This is the old man's purpose in calling upon Death, expressed in an ut clause, with Death as the implied subject of the verb defigeret.

Invocata advenit Mors,
= As often, Latin expresses with a participle, a single word, what English would express with an entire clause: (Upon being) summoned (by the man), Death arrived

percontata
= Don't be fooled by the form of this deponent verb: although it looks passive (much like invocata in the previous clause), the meaning is active: Death asked man a question, percontata (est).

Senex quid secum velit;
= The word quid introduces an indirect question with the subjunctive verb, velit, whose subject is senex. The reflexive pronoun se (secum = cum se) refers back to Mors, the subject of the main verb: “Death asked what the old man wanted with him” (i.e., with Death).

ad cuius adventum territus,
= The referent of the relative pronoun is Death: ad cuius (Mortis) adventum.

nil respondit sed
= The subject of the verb, agreeing with the participle territus, is the old man.

“Ut auxilio mihi sis,
= The predicate dative expresses the purpose which Death should serve; the man wants Death to be “helpful” to him.

et fascem collapsum rursus umeris imponas!”
= The subjunctive imponas, like the verb sis, express the man's purpose in summoning Death... at least, so he claims now!

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!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fable 32: Columbae et Accipiter

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 32 in the book: De Columbis et Accipitre. For more information about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Columbae olim cum Milvo haud incruentum gerebant bellum et, ut Milvum penitus expugnarent, delegerunt sibi regem Accipitrem. Qui rex factus, hostem agit, non regem. Nam, non segnius ac Milvus, Columbas rapit laniatque. Paenitebat igitur Columbas incepti, satius fuisse putantes bella pati Milvi quam Accipitris subire tyrannidem.
Columbae olim
= We meet the main characters of the story here in the opening words: the doves.

cum Milvo haud incruentum gerebant bellum
= The phrase haud incruentum bellum wraps around the verb. The double negative, haud incruentum, creates a positive: a not un-bloody war, i.e., a bloody war, with the kite, a notorious avian predator.

et, ut Milvum penitus expugnarent,
= In response to this situation, the doves come up with a purpose, and their purpose is expressed with an ut clause. Be careful with penitus - although it might at first look like a noun, it is an adverb.

delegerunt sibi regem Accipitrem.
= The nouns regem and accipitrem are a double predicate: “the doves chose the hawk (as) their king.”

Qui rex factus,
= The referent of the relative pronoun is accipitrem in the previous sentence: qui (accipiter) rex factus.

hostem agit, non regem.
= The word agere here means “to play the role of, act as.”

Nam, non segnius ac Milvus,
= This is comparative form of the adverb, segniter.

Columbas rapit laniatque.
= The implied subject of these verbs is the same as the subject of the previous sentence: King Hawk.

Paenitebat igitur Columbas incepti,
= Note the postpositive particle in second position, as you would expect. The impersonal verb paenitebat takes an accusative complement for the ones feeling regret, columbas, and a genitive complement for the cause of the feeling, incepti.

satius fuisse putantes
= The infinitive fuisse is part of an indirect statement with the participle putantes: “thinking (that) it would have been more satisfactory. . .”

bella pati Milvi
= The deponent infinitive pati is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative.

quam Accipitris subire tyrannidem.
= The word quam coordinates a comparison, introduced by satius, with the infinitive phrases as the things being compared.

There is no illustration of this fable in Barlow, but here is an illustration from the 1479 Steinhowel edition of Aesop's fables:




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!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fable 31: Vulpes et Aquila

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 31 in the book: De Vulpe et Aquila. For more information about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Dum Vulpis proles foris excurrebant, ab Aquila comprehensae Matris fidem implorabant. Accurrit Vulpes Aquilamque rogat ut captivam prolem dimittat. Aquila, nacta praedam, ad pullos subvolat. Vulpes, correpta face, quasi nidum incendio absumptura esset, insequitur. Trepidans Aquila: “Parce (inquit) mihi parvisque liberis, et tuum quidquid habeo reddidero.”
Dum Vulpis proles foris excurrebant,
= The subject of the verb is the offspring, the pups (plural), proles, of the fox, vulpis.

ab Aquila comprehensae
= The feminine plural participle agrees with proles, which is feminine plural. As often, Latin does not hesitate to express a vital part of the action using a participle, in this case a passive participle - you might want to translate it with an active English finite verb: an eagle seized the fox's pups!

Matris fidem implorabant.
= The word fidem in this context means something like "security" or "protection."

Accurrit Vulpes
= The fox runs up in response to the cries of her pups!

Aquilamque rogat
= The fox clearly understands the situation, and turns her attention to the eagle.

ut captivam prolem dimittat.
= This is the request that the fox makes to the eagle, that she release - (aquila) dimittat - her offspring.

Aquila, nacta praedam,
= The deponent participle nacta is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative

ad pullos subvolat.
= The eagle, like the fox, is a mother, and has taken the fox pups to feed her own chicks.

Vulpes,
= Notice the back-and-forth of the narrative: the eagle was the first word of the previous sentence and its subject, and the fox is the first word and the subject of this sentence.

correpta face,
= Ablative absolute construction.

quasi nidum incendio absumptura esset,
= The future active participle with the verb esset creates a future active periphrastic construction; the mood is subjunctive, introduced by quasi.

insequitur.
= That is, the fox follows after the eagle, who has just flown off to her chicks.

Trepidans Aquila:
= The eagle is trembling with fear because of the threat of fire, of course!

“Parce (inquit) mihi parvisque liberis,
= The verb parce takes a dative complement.

et tuum quidquid habeo reddidero.”
= The idea is that “whatever I have (which is) yours,” with the entire phrase being the object of the verb reddidero.

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!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fable 30: Lupus et Grus

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 30 in the book: De Lupo et Grue. For more information about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Lupus, osse in gutture retento, cum multum cruciaretur, Grui pretium obtulit, si illud e gutture extraheret. Grus autem, cum os e gutture Lupi extraxerat, pretium sibi promissum postulat. Cui Lupus, subridens simulque dentes acuens, dixit, “Satis pretii tibi esse debet quod ex meo ore caput sine capitis iactura eduxeris.”
Lupus,
= As often, we meet one of the main characters in the opening word of the fable.

osse in gutture retento,
= Ablative absolute construction. See the note below for os, meaning "bone."

cum multum cruciaretur,
= The subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information; this is why the wolf needed the crane’s help.

Grui pretium obtulit,
= Now we meet the other main character of the fable, the crane, to whom the wolf has offered a reward.

si illud e gutture extraheret.
= The pronoun refers to the bone: illud (os). The throat, of course, is the wolf's, and the crane is the implied subject of the verb.

Grus autem,
= Note the postpositive particle in second position, as you would expect.

cum os e gutture Lupi extraxerat,
= Note the use of cum plus an indicative verb.

pretium sibi promissum postulat.
= The reflexive pronoun refers to the subject of the verb, the crane - it is the prize promised to him, the crane, by the wolf.

Cui Lupus,
= The referent of the relative pronoun cui is grus in the previous sentence.

subridens simulque dentes acuens,
= It's bad enough if a wolf smiles when he speaks to you, but if he is at the same time sharpening his teeth, you better watch out!

dixit,
= This verb of speaking is going to introduce direct quoted speech, the wolf's own words, rather than indirect speech.

“Satis pretii tibi esse debet
= The noun pretii is a partitive genitive: satis (enough) pretii (of a reward) = “enough reward.”

quod
= The implied subject of the verb debet provides the referent of the relative pronoun: “(It) should be reward enough for you that . . .”

ex meo ore
= Be careful with the nouns os meaning "mouth," as here, as opposed to os meaning "bone," which you saw earlier. They are both third-declension nouns, but with different stems: the stem of the word for mouth is or-, as you can see here, while the stem for bone is oss-, as you saw earlier.

caput sine capitis iactura eduxeris.”
= The subjunctive gives causal background information; according to the wolf, this is the reason why the crane has received enough of a reward already. The word caput means literally "head," and it metaphorically means "life" - so here the crane extracted its "head" (caput) at no cost to its "life" (caput). You can see this sense of caput in the English expression "capital punishment," which means the person being punished loses their life!

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!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fable 29: Vulpes et Uva

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 29 in the book: De Vulpe et Uva. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Racemum dependentem frustra conata est Vulpecula iteratis saltibus attingere. Sed tandem conatibus cassis omnino defatigata, indignabunda recessit, inquiens, “Apage acerbas et immaturas istas uvas, quae sane tam sordidae sunt ut ne quidem humi iacentes attollerem, si mihi gratis offerrentur.”
Racemum dependentem
= The bunch of grapes here is in the accusative case, so we will have to wait to find out what verb it is the object of!

frustra conata est Vulpecula
= The first verb we encounter is an intransitive verb: it does not take an object, but instead takes a complementary infinitive, which we are still waiting for.

iteratis saltibus attingere.
= Here is the infinitive that answers both our pending questions: it supplies the complementary infinitive for conata est and it also explains the accusative case of the bunch of grapes.

Sed tandem conatibus cassis omnino defatigata,
= The participle refers to the fox, who is grammatically feminine: vulpeculae (a diminutive form of vulpes).

indignabunda recessit,
= The adjective indignabunda modifies the subject of the verb, the feminine fox, so you might want to translate it as an adverb, rather than an adjective - she goes away indignantly.

inquiens,
= This is the present active participle of the defective verb inquam, used to indicate a direct quotation here, serving much the same function as quotation marks do in English.

“Apage acerbas et immaturas istas uvas,
= The interjection apage regularly appears with the accusative of exclamation, as you can see here, with uvas.

quae sane tam sordidae sunt
= The relative pronoun is plural (sunt), and refers back to the grapes in the previous clause. The choice of the adverb sane was probably both a matter of meaning and also of sound, as if the fox were spitting out her frustration with the alliterative sound pattern here!

ut ne quidem humi iacentes attollerem,
= The use of ne with the particle quidem expresses the sense of “not even if.” The form humi is locative, meaning “on the ground.”

si mihi gratis offerrentur.”
= The plural subject of the verb are the grapes, implied: (uvae) offerrentur.

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!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fable 28: Canis Mordax

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 28 in the book: De Cane Mordaci. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Cani, saepius homines mordenti, illigavit Dominus nolam, scilicet ut sibi quisque caveret. Canis, ratus virtuti suae tributum hoc decus esse, populares omnes despicit. Accedit tandem ad hunc Canem aliquis, iam aetate et auctoritate gravis, monens eum ne erret. “Nam ista nola (inquit) data est tibi in dedecus, non in decus.”
Cani, saepius homines mordenti,
= As usual, we meet one of the main characters in the opening words of the fable: cani moredenti, the dog who bites. The comparative adverb saepius indicates “very often, rather often,” without an explicit comparison. We don't yet know the reason why the dog has been introduced to us in the dative case.

illigavit Dominus nolam,
= Here we get the reason why the dog is in the dative case: the master has tied a bell to the dog. Notice that the illustration shows a clog instead of a bell (a clog is an even more effective way to hobble a biting dog, of course!).

scilicet ut sibi quisque caveret.
= This ut clauses explains the master's purpose in tying the bell onto the dog's neck. The reflexive pronoun refers here to the subject of the verb in this clause, caveret, i.e., so that everybody could watch out on their own behalf.

Canis, ratus
= The participle ratus here (ratus est), means that the dog thought or supposed something, introducing an indirect statement.

virtuti suae tributum hoc decus esse,
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement, with hoc decus as the accusative subject and tributum as the predicate noun.

populares omnes despicit.
= The use of populares here to refer to the community of dogs is quite humorous. The idea is that these are the "people" (i.e. dogs!) on his same level, exactly the kind of folks he shouldn't be putting on airs with.

Accedit tandem ad hunc Canem
= The hunc refers to the dog we have been talking about, the one who bites.

aliquis,
= The pronoun refers to some other dog: aliquis (canis).

iam aetate et auctoritate gravis,
= By contrast, this confirms our suspicion that the dog who bites is a young and foolish fellow.

monens eum
= The participle agrees with the subject of the main verb, accedit - that is, the old and wise dog, who gives a warning to eum, the dog who bites.

ne erret.
= You can get a good sense here of the independent use of the subjunctive as a command: ne erret, "he shouldn't make this mistake." (In second person, it would be like an imperative: ne erres, "don't make this mistake!") What is the mistake? The old dog has nothing to say about biting: instead, he is going to warn the foolish dog not to mistake the meaning of the bell around his neck!

“Nam ista nola (inquit)
= Notice the use of the verb inquit here to indicate direct speech. Unlike other verbs of speaking, it is not used to introduce indirect statement; instead, this verb is inserted into quoted speech to indicate precisely that these are the direct words of one of the characters in the story.

data est tibi in dedecus, non in decus.”
= Here is the mistake that the dog has been making: he has confused a dedecus with a decus - a dishonor with an honor, you might say in English.

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!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fable 27: Milvus Aegrotus

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 27 in the book: De Milvo Aegroto. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Aegrotus lecto decumbebat Milvus, iam ferme moriens. Matrem orat precatum ire deos, multa promittens, si redire ad salutem liceret. Mater autem respondebat nil opis sperandum a diis, quorum sacra et aras rapinis toties violasset.
Aegrotus lecto decumbebat Milvus,
= As often, we get the main character of the fable introduced in the opening words - with a special emphasis on the fact that this particular kite is ailing, aegrotus. The verb decumbebat takes a dative complement.

iam ferme moriens.
= Just as the sentence started off with the information that the kite is sick, the final word of the sentence - moriens - lets us know that he is very sick indeed!

Matrem orat
= Here we meet the other main character in the story: the kite's mother.

precatum ire deos,
= The supine with the verb ire expresses purpose; deos is the object of the supine: “to go beg the gods.”

multa promittens,
= The participle agrees with the subject of the main verb: the sick bird (as he begs his mother, he is making promises).

si redire ad salutem liceret.
= The verb liceret is impersonal, with the idea being of course that it is thanks to the gods that it might be possible for him to return to health!

Mater autem respondebat
= Note the placement of the postpositive particle in second position, as you would expect.

nil opis sperandum a diis,
= Accusative plus future passive infinitive construction in indirect statement, where the phrase nil opis is the accusative subject, and sperandum (esse) is the infinitive. The noun opis is a partitive genitive: nil (nothing) opis (of help) = “no help.”

quorum sacra et aras
= Although the word sacra is a neuter plural which could be either nominative or accusative, the word aras, feminine accusative plural, is unambiguous, which lets you know that sacra is also accusative.

rapinis toties violasset.
= The subjunctive provides causal background information; according to the mother, this is why her son has nothing to hope for from the gods.

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!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fable 26: Lupus et Sus

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 26 in the book: De Lupo et Sue. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Parturiebat Sus; pollicetur Lupus se custodem fore fetus. Respondet Puerpera Lupi obsequio se non egere, oratque, si velit pius haberi, longius abeat; Lupi enim benevolentia constabat non praesentia, sed absentia.
Parturiebat Sus;
= As usual, we have one of the two main characters introduced in the opening words: the sow.

pollicetur Lupus
= Now we get the other main character: the wolf.

se
= Accusative subject in an accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement: se custodem fore, with the reflexive pronoun referring back to the subject of the main verb, the wolf.

custodem fore fetus.
= The noun fetus is in the genitive case (those fourth declension nouns can be tricky, so watch out!), with the noun phrase, custodem...fetus, wrapped around the infinitive. The word fore is the future infinitive of esse with the predicative noun, custodem, agreeing in case.

Respondet Puerpera
= The word puerpera refers to the sow as she gives birth. The word is a compound of puer, meaning child, and per- which is the same root as in the verb, parere, "to give birth."

Lupi obsequio se non egere,
= Another accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement, with se as the accusative subject; the verb egere (“be in need of”) takes an ablative complement. The reflexive pronoun again agrees with the subject of the main verb, the sow in labor, puerpera (sus).

oratque,
= The -que takes us back to the previous indicative verb: respondet puerpera ... oratque.

si velit pius haberi,
= The passive form of habere means “to be held to be, to be thought of, to be considered,” with pius as the predicate adjective, agreeing with the subject of velit, which is the wolf, lupus.

longius abeat;
= The subjunctive expresses a wish or command, the result that the sow would like to see happen; longius is the comparative form of the adverb.

Lupi enim benevolentia
= Note the placement of the postpositive particle in second position.

constabat non praesentia, sed absentia.
= The verb constabat takes an ablative complement (“consists of”).

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!

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.”
Auceps,
= 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.

promittens
= 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.

quae
= 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!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fable 24: Vitula et Bos

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 24 in the book: De Vitula et Bove. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Mollis et lasciva Vitula, cum Bovem agricolae aculeo agitatum et arantem cerneret, contempsit. Sed, cum immolationis dies affuit, Bos, a iugo liberatus, per pascua vagabatur. Vitula vero, ut immolaretur, retenta est. Quod cum Bos conspicatur, subridens ait, “Heus Vitula, ideo non laborabas: ut immolareris!”
Mollis et lasciva Vitula,
= As usual, we meet one of the main characters in the opening words of the fable: the heifer. The Latin word vitulus, feminine vitula, ultimately gives us the word "veal" - a word that is quite relevant to the dramatic conclusion of this little fable!

cum Bovem
= We meet here the other character in the fable: the ox. Given that bovem is clearly accusative, you can be confident that this is the adverbial cum (but you don't know yet whether it will take a subjunctive verb, or an indicative one), as opposed to the preposition cum.

agricolae aculeo agitatum et arantem
= The participles agitatum and arantem describe the ox, bovem.

cerneret,
= The subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information; this is why the heifer felt contempt for the ox.

contempsit.
= The core sentence here clearly expresses the relationship between the two animal characters: vitula ... bovem ... contempsit.

Sed, cum immolationis dies affuit,
= Note the use of cum plus an indicative verb, explaining simply when something took place. It is a religious holiday, unlike the working day which was described in the previous sentence.

Bos, a iugo liberatus,
= We saw the ox working under the yoke in the previous sentence, but now that the holiday has arrived, the ox has been let loose from the yoke.

per pascua vagabatur.
= The ox is spending his holiday in the meadows, as opposed to laboring in the farmer's cultivated fields.

Vitula vero,
= Note the postpositive particle vero in second position.

ut immolaretur,
= Although the word "immolate" conjures up the idea of fire in English, from the sacrificial fire on the altar, the Latin word is derived from mola meaning "meal, grain," and it referred originally to mola salsa, grits mixed with salt, which was sprinkled on the animal at the time of sacrifice.

retenta est.
= Notice the contrast between the ox's situation, liberatus, and the situation of the heifer: retenta.

Quod cum Bos conspicatur,
= The relative pronoun connects back to the previous sentence, referring to the general situation described there, i.e. the heifer being led away to be sacrificed; note the use again here of cum plus an indicative verb.

subridens ait,
= As often, Latin uses a participle and a finite verb where English would be more likely to use two finite verbs: the ox "smiled and said..."

“Heus Vitula,
= The interjection heus, regularly used with the vocative, is used to get someone's attention, much like the English "hey!"

ideo non laborabas:
= The adverb ideo is often used with ut in order to explain the reason why some event is taking place.

ut immolareris!”
= Of course, the heifer did not realize at the time this was the reason for her former life of leisure!

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!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fable 23: Lupus Ovis Pelle Indutus

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 23 in the book: De Lupo Ovis Pelle Induto. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Lupus, Ovis pelle indutus, Ovium se immiscuit gregi, quotidieque aliquam ex eis occidebat. Quod cum Pastor animadvertisset, illum in altissima arbore suspendit. Interrogantibus autem ceteris Pastoribus cur Ovem suspendisset, respondebat, “Pellis quidem est Ovis, opera autem erant Lupi.”
Lupus, Ovis pelle indutus,
= As usual, we meet the main character immediately: this is the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing!

Ovium se immiscuit gregi,
= The reflexive verb se immiscuit takes a dative complement. As often, English is much sloppier about transitive and intransitive verbs in Latin; here the reflexive pronoun indicates that this is an intransitive use of the verb. (Consider English: intransitive, "I blend into the crowd," v. transitive, "To make the cake, I blend the sugar into the butter and eggs.")

quotidieque aliquam ex eis occidebat.
= The pronoun refers to a sheep: aliquam (ovem), “a sheep, one of the sheep.”

Quod cum Pastor animadvertisset,
= The relative pronoun connects back to the previous sentence, referring to the general situation described there, i.e. the way the wolf keeps killing the sheep; the subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information as to why the shepherd hanged the wolf.

illum in altissima arbore suspendit.
= The pronoun refers to the wolf: illum (lupum) suspendit. The superlative here does not necessarily mean "the tallest tree," but just "a very tall tree" or "an extremely tall tree."

Interrogantibus autem ceteris Pastoribus
= Ablative absolute construction, with the postpositive article in second position as you would expect.

cur Ovem suspendisset,
= The word cur introduces an indirect question with the subjunctive.

respondebat,
= Again you can see that the imperfect is an unmarked past tense verb, which you can simply render as "replied" in English. As the past tense verb which is unmarked for completion (unlike the perfect, which is so marked), this is simply a neutral way to describe an action that took place in the past. There is no reason whatsoever to translate it as "was replying" - and in this sentence, such a translation would be plainly inappropriate.

“Pellis quidem est Ovis,
= The postpositive particle puts special emphasis on the word pellis.

opera autem erant Lupi.”
= Note the postpositive particle in second position, parallel to the particle in the preceding clause, emphasizing the parallel structure: noun-particle-verb-genitive in both clauses.

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!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fable 22: Vulpes et Lupus

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 22 in the book: De Vulpe et Lupo. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Vulpes, cum in puteum fortuito incidisset, Lupum in ripa praetereuntem vidit rogavitque ut funem sibi compararet opemque daret ad se ipsam a tanto periculo extrahendam. Cui Lupus: “Miserrima Vulpes, condoleo tuum infortunium. Dic, precor: quomodo in hunc puteum incidisti?” Respondebat Vulpes, “Non opus est ambagibus. Quin tu funem comparato, et deinde omnia tibi in ordine expediam.”
Vulpes, cum in puteum fortuito incidisset,
= As usual, we meet the main characters in short order: first is the fox. The subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information; this is why the fox had to ask the wolf for help.

Lupum in ripa praetereuntem vidit
= The other main character in the fable appears here as the object of the verb: the wolf.

rogavitque ut funem sibi compararet
= The fox asks the wolf for help; the reflexive pronoun refers back to the subject of the main verb, the fox: the fox asked the wolf to buy her (the fox) a rope.

opemque daret
= The subjunctive verb here continues the previous ut clause.

ad se ipsam a tanto periculo extrahendam.
= The gerundive with the preposition ad expresses purpose; se ipsam refers to the fox, hence the feminine gender of the pronoun, with the gerundive agreeing in gender, number and case.

Cui Lupus:
= The referent of the relative pronoun is the fox, with an implied verb of speaking: cui (vulpi) lupus (inquit).

“Miserrima Vulpes, condoleo tuum infortunium.
= This use of the superlative indicates an extreme quality; the fox is not being directly compared to anyone else, but she is "most wretched" or "extremely unfortunate."

Dic, precor: quomodo in hunc puteum incidisti?”
= Notice that the question is reported as direct speech, in the form of a direct question with an indicative verb (rather than an indirect question using the subjunctive).

Respondebat Vulpes,
= Again you can see that the imperfect is an unmarked past tense verb, which you can simply render as "replied" in English. As the past tense verb which is unmarked for completion (unlike the perfect, which is so marked), this is simply a neutral way to describe an action that took place in the past. There is no reason whatsoever to translate it as "was replying" - and in this sentence, such a translation would be plainly inappropriate.

“Non opus est ambagibus.
= The phrase opus est takes an ablative complement (“there is need of”).

Quin tu funem comparato,
= The word comparato is a future imperative, second person singular; the word quin plus the imperative expresses the so-called “interrogative imperative,” which can be translated as “Why don’t you go buy?”

et deinde omnia tibi in ordine expediam.”
= In Latin, the imperative, the subjunctive and the future are all ways to talk about potential reality. Even though the future tense is considered to be indicative, it is very close to the subjunctive, in the sense that the future, as such, does not exist yet. In this sentence, the fox outlines a possible series of events: if the wolf will go by the rope, then she will explain everything that happened. Although it is pretty clear that we should take expediam here as a future tense verb, there is not much difference between the future and subjunctive meanings in a sentence like this one.

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!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fable 21: Equus et Asinus

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 21 in the book: De Equo et Asino. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Equus phaleris sellaque ornatus cum ingenti hinnitu per viam currebat. Currenti onustus Asellus forte obstabat, cui Equus fremebundus: “Quid (inquit), ignave, obsistis Equo? Cede, inquam, aut te proculcabo pedibus!” Asellus, rudere non ausus, cedit tacitus. Equo provolanti crepat inguen. Tum, cursui inutilis, ornamentis spoliatur. Postea cum carro venientem Asinus affatur, “Heus mi Amice! Quis ille ornatus est? Ubi aurea sella? Ubi splendidum frenum? Sic, Amice, necesse fuit evenire superbienti.”
Equus phaleris sellaque ornatus
= The adjective takes an ablative complement (“outfitted with, adorned with”).

cum ingenti hinnitu per viam currebat.
= We say that horses "whinny," but as you can see in Latin, they "hinny" instead!

Currenti onustus Asellus forte obstabat,
= The verb takes a dative complement, with the dative participle referring to the horse: currenti (equo) asellus obstabat.

cui Equus fremebundus:
= The adjective modifies the subject of the verb, so you might want to translate it as an adverb: although the adjective modifies the noun grammatically, the meaning of this adjective relates more to the verbal action than it does to the actor. For the actual verb of speaking, see the horse's quoted words.

“Quid (inquit), ignave, obsistis Equo?
= Note the use of the postpositive inquit functioning like verbal quotation marks. The verb obsistis takes a dative complement, and the interrogative quid here means “why? for what reason?”

Cede, inquam, aut te proculcabo pedibus!”
= Both the imperative and the future are ways of expressing future possibilities: either the donkey is going to get out of the way or the horse is going to stomp him!

Asellus, rudere non ausus,
= The participle takes an infinitive complement.

cedit tacitus.
= Another case of the adjective modifying the subject of the verb in a way that is more like what we would use an adverb for in English: the donkey went away quietly.

Equo provolanti crepat inguen.
= The dative of possession is commonly used with regard to body parts: “the horse’s groin muscle snaps.”

Tum, cursui inutilis,
= The adjective takes a dative complement.

ornamentis spoliatur.
= The verb takes an ablative complement (“stripped of”).

Postea
= You can think of this adverb as a contraction of two words: post ea, "after these things..."

cum carro venientem Asinus affatur,
= The deponent verb is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative, with the participle referring to the horse: (equum) cum carro venientem affatur.

“Heus mi Amice!
= The interjection heus is regularly accompanied by a vocative, as here: mi amice.

Quis ille ornatus est?
= Be careful to distinguish between the adjectival ornatus used earlier (phaleris sellaque ornatus) and the noun ornatus, which is what you have here.

Ubi aurea sella? Ubi splendidum frenum?
= Notice that, as often in Latin, forms of the verb "to be" are omitted. (The verb est was used in the previous sentence, so there is no need for it at all in these follow-up rhetorical questions.)

Sic, Amice, necesse fuit evenire superbienti.”
= The adverbial sic modifies the infinitive, meaning “to turn out this way.” It takes a dative complement: to turn out this way for someone boastful.

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!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fable 20: Leo Amatorius

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 20 in the book: De Leo Amatorio. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Leo Silvani cuiusdam Filiam perdite amavit et Patrem Virginis sollicitabat ut illi Virgo in matrimonium daretur. Respondebat Silvanus Filiam esse tenellam et delicatulam Virginem et nunquam hamatos eius ungues dentesque passuram. Passus est igitur Leo dentes et ungues evelli ut Virgine frueretur. Quod cum vidisset Pater, fustibus illi involabat et longius imbellem abigebat.
Leo
= As usual, we meet one of the main characters right away: the lion.

Silvani cuiusdam Filiam perdite amavit
= In the predicate, we meet the other main characters: the woodsman, and his daughter.

et Patrem Virginis sollicitabat
= The lion was the subject of the previous verb, amavit, and he is also the subject of this verb. The use of the perfect amavit in contrast to the imperfect verb here suggests the idea of "fell in love" for the perfect. (In general, the perfect is the form that is marked in some way - either for completion, or for initiation - while the imperfect is an unmarked form, which can be used for repeated action, but need not entail repeated action.)

ut illi Virgo in matrimonium daretur.
= The pronoun refers to the lion, illi (leoni).

Respondebat Silvanus
= The lion asked for the woman's hand in marriage with an imperfect verb, and the woodsman also makes his response with an imperfect verb. You can either take this as a simple, neutral reference to action in the past, or you could also take it to mean repeated action.

Filiam esse
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement, with filiam as the accusative subject.

tenellam et delicatulam Virginem
= This is the predicate of the indirect statement; note the use of the diminutive adjectives. (In Latin, not only there are diminutive nouns - there are diminutive adjectives, too!)

et nunquam hamatos eius ungues dentesque passuram.
= Continuation of the accusative plus infinitive construction; the deponent infinitive passuram (esse) agrees with filiam (the implied accusative subject), and is transitive, taking a direct object in the accusative, ungues dentesque, with the pronoun referring to the lion, eius (leonis).

Passus est igitur Leo
= The placement of the postpositive particle shows that passus est is regarded as a single word-unit.

dentes et ungues evelli
= The verb takes a complementary infinitive, with dentes et ungues as the accusative subjects of the passive infinitive.

ut Virgine frueretur.
= The verb frueretur (“make use of, have the pleasure of”) takes an ablative complement.

Quod cum vidisset Pater,
= The relative pronoun connects back to the previous sentence, referring to the general situation described there, i.e. the lion being declawed; the subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information as to why the man was able to attack the lion.

fustibus illi involabat
= The verb takes a dative complement, with the pronoun referring to the lion: fustibus illi (leoni) involabat.

et longius imbellem abigebat.
= The comparative is used here to indicate “very far, quite far,” without an explicit comparison; the adjective refers to the lion: longius imbellem (leonem) abigebat.

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!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Fable 19: Vulpecula et Ciconia

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 19 in the book: De Vulpecula et Ciconia. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Vulpecula ad cenam invitavit Ciconiam, obsoniumque in mensam effundit et, cum liquidum esset, lingua lingebat, quod Ciconia frustra rostro tentavit. Abit elusa Avis, pudet pigetque iniuriae. Paucis diebus interlapsis, invitat ad cenam Vulpeculam. Vitreum vas situm erat, obsonii plenum. Quod cum esset arti gutturis, Vulpeculae licuit obsonium videre, gustare non licuit. Ciconia enim rostro facile exhausit.
Vulpecula
= As usual, we meet the main characters right away: the fox is first (vulpecula is a diminutive of the usual vulpes).

ad cenam invitavit Ciconiam,
= Here is the other main character: the stork.

obsoniumque in mensam effundit
= Since the fox is the host for this dinner, she has prepared a meal that suits her, with the food poured right out on the table top.

et, cum liquidum esset,
= The subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information; this is why the fox is going to lick the food with her tongue.

lingua lingebat,
= The noun lingua is in the ablative case (“with her tongue, by means of her tongue”).

quod Ciconia frustra rostro tentavit.
= The relative pronoun quod connects back to the previous part of the sentence, referring to the general situation described there, i.e. the fox licking up the liquid food. The stork tried to do that herself, but she failed!

Abit elusa Avis,
= Presumably the author has said avis here instead of ciconia for the nice sound-play in the Latin!

pudet pigetque iniuriae.
= The verbs each take a genitive complement to express the cause of the feeling.

Paucis diebus interlapsis,
= Ablative absolute construction.

invitat ad cenam Vulpeculam.
= Now the fox is the object of the invitation, a dinner guest at the house of the stork.

Vitreum vas situm erat,
= You can see a lovely depiction of this glass container in Barlow's illustration to the fable.

obsonii plenum.
= The adjective here takes a genitive complement (“full of”).

Quod cum esset
= The referent of the relative pronoun is vas in the previous sentence: quod (vas) cum esset; the subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information about why the fox could not eat the food.

arti gutturis,
= The genitive phrase is used like an adjective in the predicate, “of a narrow neck” = “narrow-necked.”

Vulpeculae licuit obsonium videre,
= The verb licuit takes a dative complement, along with an infinitive complement.

gustare non licuit.
= Note the parallel construction: (Vulpeculae obsonium) gustare non licuit.

Ciconia enim rostro facile exhausit.
= The postpositive particle is in second position, just as you would expect.

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!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fable 18: Accipiter Columbam Insequens

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 18 in the book: De Accipitre Columbam Insequente. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Cum Accipiter Columbam praecipiti insequeretur volatu, villam quandam ingressus, a Rustico captus est, quem blande, ut se dimitteret, obsecrabat. “Non etenim te laesi,” dixit. Cui Rusticus: “Nec haec te laeserat.”
Cum Accipiter
= As usual, we meet one of the main characters in the fable right away: the hawk.

Columbam praecipiti insequeretur volatu,
= The subjunctive, introduced by cum, gives causal background information as to why the hawk was caught; the deponent verb insequeretur is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative. The ablative phrase wraps around the verb.

villam quandam ingressus,
= The deponent participle ingressus is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative.

a Rustico captus est,
= Now we meet the other main character of the story: the "rustic" man, or peasant.

quem blande,
= The relative pronoun, in the accusative case, refers back to the peasant in the previous clause.

ut se dimitteret, obsecrabat
= The ut clause expresses the wish expressed by the hawk: he implored the man to let him go. The reflexive pronoun refers to the subject of the main verb, the hawk.

“Non etenim te laesi,” dixit.
= The postpositive particle is in second position, as you would expect. The hawk is speaking, and the pronoun te refers to the man who is holding the hawk captive.

Cui Rusticus:
= The referent of the relative pronoun is the hawk, with an implied verb of speaking: cui (accipitri) rusticus (inquit).

“Nec haec te laeserat.”
= The feminine pronoun refers to the dove (feminine noun). Since it is the man who is speaking, the pronoun "you" refers to the hawk he holds captive. You can replace the word nec with the words et non, if that helps to clarify the meaning for you: et haec (columba) te non laeserat.

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!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fable 17: Agricola et Ciconia

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 17 in the book: De Agricola et Ciconia. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Laqueum praetendit Rusticus gruibus anseribusque, sata depascentibus. Capitur et Ciconia. Supplicat illa et innocentem sese clamitat, nec gruem nec anserem esse, sed avium omnium optimam, quippe quae parentibus sedulo inservire eundemque senio confectum alere consueverat. Agricola: “Horum (inquit) nihil me fugit; verum cum nocentibus postquam te cepi, cum nocentibus morieris.”
Laqueum praetendit Rusticus
= The opening words introduce us to one of the main characters: a man of the countryside, a "rustic" person, a peasant.

gruibus anseribusque, sata depascentibus.
= The man is laying a trap for these birds in particular, the cranes and the geese, because they are devastating his crops. The participle sata is used substantively, meaning “crops, things sown in the fields.”

Capitur et Ciconia.
= Here we meet the other main character of the story: a stork, who is inadvertently caught in the net. Note the adverbial use of et, meaning “also."

Supplicat illa
= The pronoun refers to the stork.

et innocentem sese clamitat,
= Accusative plus infinitive constructions in indirect statement, with sese (alternate form of se) as the subject, and innocentem as a predicate adjective: innocentem sese (esse).

nec gruem nec anserem esse,
= Continuation of the accusative plus infinitive construction, with the accusative subject implied, and the other birds as predicate nouns: (se) nec gruem nec anserem esse.

sed avium omnium optimam,
= Continuation of the accusative plus infinitive construction, with the subject and the infinitive implied, and optimam as a predicate adjective: avium omnium optimam (se esse).

quippe quae parentibus sedulo inservire
= The particle quippe is often used with the relative pronoun to mean “inasmuch as (she is) someone who . . .” The verb inservire takes a dative complement, and you now need to wait to find out what is governing this infinitive form.

eundemque senio confectum alere consueverat.
= Now you learn that the infinitives inservire and alere are both complements to consueverat. The word eundem (masculine accusative singular of idem) refers to the stork’s aforementioned parent: eundem (parentem) senio confectum.

Agricola: “Horum (inquit) nihil me fugit;
= Note the insertion of the verb of speaking as a kind of postpositive. The phrase horum nihil is a partitive genitive: nihil (nothing) horum (of these things) = “none of these things.”

verum
= Note the emphatic verum in first position; this is something equivalent to starting an English sentence with "By God!"

cum nocentibus postquam te cepi,
= The adjectival nocentibus refers to the other birds - the geese and the cranes - who had been feasting on the man's crops.

cum nocentibus morieris.”
= Note the parallel construction with the repeated prepositional phrase.

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!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fable 16: Cicada et Formica

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 16 in the book: De Cicada et Formica. For more information Fable about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Dum per aestatem Cicada cantat, Formica suam exercet messem, trahendo in antra grana et in hiemem reponendo. Saeviente autem bruma, famelica Cicada venit ad Formicam et mendicat victum; renuebat autem Formica, dictitans sese laborasse, dum illa cantabat.
Dum per aestatem Cicada cantat,
= The first sentence introduces one of the two main characters in the story: the cricket.

Formica suam exercet messem,
= Here is the other main character in the story: the ant. Note that the noun phrase wraps around the verb.

trahendo in antra grana
= Note the use of the gerund in the ablative case; as a verbal noun, the gerund can take a direct object, as it does here. The ablative here expresses the activity going on in order to carry out the harvest: the grains have to be brought into the ant's hole.

et in hiemem reponendo.
= Another gerund in the ablative case, explaining more of what happens during the harvest. Note the metaphorical use of in here; instead of expressing space, it expresses time. (Most expressions of location in space can also be used as metaphorical expressions of time.)

Saeviente autem bruma,
= Ablative absolute construction, with the postpositive particle in second position, as you would expect.

famelica Cicada
= The adjective explains the cricket's situation when there is no longer food for the taking out there in the field!

venit ad Formicam
= Although it is unclear whether the verb here should be taken as present or perfect, it does not matter for the purposes of storytelling (Latin freely intermingles present and past tense verbs in telling a story); as you read on, you will see that the verb probably should be taken as present tense.

et mendicat victum;
= The present tense verb here confirms that venit should probably also be considered present tense. Careful with victum - this is the accusative of the fourth-declension noun, victus, a verbal noun or supine from the verb vivere. (Because this verb is not transitive, its supine is a bit harder to recognize, since you are not used to seeing a perfect participle for this verb.) The root of this word is the same as in the word vivere, "to live," because you need food to live (it is NOT from the word vincere, "to defeat," although the perfect participle of that verb is, indeed, victus).

renuebat autem Formica,
= Note the postpositive participle in second position, just as you would expect.

dictitans
= This is an intensifed iterative form of the verb dicere -> dictitare.

sese laborasse,
= Accusative plus infinitive construction in indirect statement; sese is an alternate form of se (referring back to the main subject of the sentence, the ant), and laborasse is an alternate form of laboravisse.

dum illa cantabat.
= The pronoun here refers to the cricket, who was indeed singing, as we learned in the very opening words of the fable.

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!