Sunday, June 07, 2009

Aesopus Simplicissimus: Feles et Venus

The Tar Heel Reader project has inspired me to start writing some fables I'm labeling Aesopus Simplicissimus. I'll be publishing those fables here - sometimes with an accompanying reader at Tar Heel, and sometimes just the text on its own. You can read more about this "Simplicissimus" project in this earlier post, and see all the "Simplicissimus" fables here.

For today, the fable is Feles et Venus, the story of what happened when Venus turned a cat into a woman. You can find materials and resources for this fable at the Aesopus Wiki - including Tar Heel Reader versions (one all in Latin, and one bilingual):

Ecce Feles! Ecce Puer! Puer Felem amat. Ecce Venus, amóris Dea. Puer orat Vénerem: "O Dea, muta Felem in Puéllam!"

Venus ádnuit. Venus Felem mutat in Puéllam. Feles nunc habet Puéllae formam. Pulchra est! Puer gaudet, quod Puéllam amat. Puer Puéllam domum ducit.

Venus dúbia est, et dicit: "Certe habet Puéllae formam. Sed Puéllae natúram habet, an Felis? Certe habet Puéllae fáciem. Sed Puéllae mentem habet, an Felis?"

Venus experiméntum agit. Venus experiméntum agit per Murem. Puélla Murem spectat. Puélla currit! Puélla Murem captat. Venus iráta est, et dicit: "Puéllae spécies me decipit! Habet Felis natúram, non Puéllae!"

Ergo Venus Puéllam mutat in Felem. Feles Murem dévorat. Feles gaudet, quod Murem dévorat. Puer lácrimat, quod Puéllam non habet. Venus ridet, quod Dea dura est. Fábula docet: Mentem specta non fáciem. Spécies décipit!

Here's an illustration for the fable (image source):

Aesop's Fables in Latin now available at

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