Sunday, June 21, 2009

Aesopus Simplicissimus: Taurus et Mus

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 Taurus et Mus, a story about a bull who was thwarted by a tiny mouse. You can find materials and resources for this fable at the Aesopus Wiki - and you can also see the illustrated versions at Tar Heel Reader. Here is the fable in simple prose:

Taurus humi stratus est. Mus forte Tauri crura momórdit. Taurus ruit et petit hostem suum córnibus. Sed córnua vibrat frustra! Murem Taurus cérnere non potest, quod herba densa Murem tegit.

Sic salvus, Mus Tauro dicit: "Ne párvula spernas! Ego, qui sum parvulus Mus, te impúne lacésso, quamvis grandis sis. Tu, máximus, a me, mínimo, laesus es."

Fabula docet: Quamvis Taurus sis, cave parvulum Murem!

Here's an illustration for the fable (image source) from a 15th-century edition of Aesop's fables:

Aesop's Fables in Latin now available at

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