Monday, January 12, 2009

Fable 79: Sol et Ventus

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 79 in the book: De Sole et Vento. For more information about this fable, see the Discussion Forum for this fable at the Aesopus Ning.
Sol et Aquilo certabant uter sit fortior. Conventum est experiri vires in Viatorem, ut palmam ferat qui excusserit Viatoris manticam. Boreas horrisono turbine Viatorem aggreditur. At ille non desistit, amictum gradiendo duplicans. Assumit vires Sol qui, nimbo paulatim evicto, totos emolitur radios. Incipit Viator aestuare, sudare, anhelare. Tandem progredi nequiens, sub frondoso nemore, obiecta mantica, resedit et ita Soli victoria contingebat.
Sol et Aquilo certabant
= As often, we meet the main characters here in the opening words of the fable, the Sun and the North Wind, which was called "Aquilo" by the Romans.

uter sit fortior.
= The word uter introduces an indirect question with the subjunctive.

Conventum est
= This impersonal expression expects a complementary infinitive: it was agreed = they agreed to...

experiri vires in Viatorem,
= The deponent infinitive experiri is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative.

ut palmam ferat
= This is the palm of victory, awarded to the winner in a contest.

qui excusserit Viatoris manticam.
= The implied subject of the verb ferat supplies the referent of the relative pronoun: ut palmam ferat (is) qui excusserit.

= This is the Greek name given to the North Wind.

horrisono turbine Viatorem aggreditur.
= The deponent verb aggreditur is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative.

At ille non desistit,
= The pronoun refers to the wayfarer: ille (viator).

amictum gradiendo duplicans.
= The participial phrase amictum duplicans wraps around the gerund in the ablative case, gradiendo, which describes how the man kept moving: “pacing; walking step by step.”

Assumit vires Sol
= The North Wind has had his chance; now it is the Sun's turn!

= The referent of the relative pronoun is the sun - but you will have to wait until after the ablative absolute clause to find out what verb goes with this subject.

nimbo paulatim evicto,
= Ablative absolute construction.

totos emolitur radios.
= The phrase totos radios wraps around the deponent verb, which is transitive and takes a direct object in the accusative.

Incipit Viator aestuare, sudare, anhelare.
= The infinitives are all complements to the verb incipit.

Tandem progredi nequiens,
= The participle nequiens takes a complementary infinitive.

sub frondoso nemore,
= The suffix -osus in Latin means "full of" something, so frondosus is literally full of frondes, leafy branches or boughs.

obiecta mantica,
= Ablative absolute construction.

= The implied subject of the verb is the traveler, who has finally had to stop and sit down to seek relief from the heat.

et ita Soli victoria contingebat.
= The form Soli is the dative form of the noun Sol, the sun - although the form itself is ambiguous. From context, you know it is from Sol, but it could also be from the adjective solus (only, single), from the noun solum ("bottom, ground"), or even from the noun solium ("throne, seat").

Here is the illustration of the fable by Francis Barlow:

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