Friday, May 1, 2009

Round-Up: May 1

Here is a round-up of today's blog posts - and for previous posts, check out the Bestiaria Latina Blog archives. You can keep up with the latest posts by using the RSS feed, or you might prefer to subscribe by email.

HODIE: Kalendae Maiae, the Calends of May. You can add a Roman calendar as a widget in your blog or webpage, or display it as a Google Calendar: here's how.


Heri Hodie Cras Podcast: Today's audio podcast is Latin Via Proverbs: Group 70, which features this great saying about luck or fortune: Est unusquisque faber ipsae suae fortunae (Each person is the maker of his own luck).


You can get access to all the proverb of the day scripts (also available as random proverb scripts) at the website.

Proverbiis Pipilo: You can see my Twitter feed of Latin proverbs which I "tweet" while I am online each day (in English, too). Here's one from today about the dangers of multitasking: Melius est pauca caute agere quam multis interesse periculose (English: It is better to conduct a few projects cautiously than to get involved in many projects riskily).

Audio Latin Proverb of the Day: Today's audio Latin proverb is Dominus habet oculos centum (English: The master has a hundred eyes - so of course he sees everything the servants might not notice!). To read a brief essay about this proverb and to listen to the audio, visit the Latin Via Proverbs blog.

Proverbium Perbreve of the Day: Today's two-word proverb is Nomen omen (English: A name is a sign - so you might want to think about naming a child Felix or Felicia if you would like to insure them some "happiness" in Latin).

Proverbium Breve of the Day: Today's three-word proverb is Cribro aquam haurit (English: He's drawing water with a sieve - something like the poor daughters of Danaus).

Vulgate Verse of the Day: Today's verse is Qui seminat iniquitatem, metet mala (Proverbs 22:8). For a translation, check out the polyglot Bible, in English, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, at the Sacred Texts Archive online.

Latin Animal Proverb of the Day: Today's animal proverb is Et canis in somnis vestigia latrat (English: A dog also barks at the trail when dreaming - a saying adapted from a marvelous Latin poem about dreams).

Proper Name Proverb of the Day: Today's proper name proverb is Nec semper arcum tendit Apollo (English: Apollo does not keep his bow always tensed - in other words, he relaxes sometimes, just as Aesop advises).

Greek Proverb of the Day: Today's proverb is Τοῖς σεαυτοῦ πτεροῖς ἥλως (English: You are taken with your own feathers... as the eagle realizes to his dismay in the Aesop's fable). If you look at the Greek Proverb of the Day widget, you'll see it comes with a Latin translation, too.


Aesopus Ning: Fables with Macrons: By popular request, I'm marking up the fables from Barlow's Aesop with macrons. So, today's fable with macrons is Dē Lupō et Sue, the story of the sow and the wolf's unwanted attentions.

Florilegium Fabularum: I'm working my way, slowly but surely, through the amazing collection of fables by Irenaeus published in 1666. Today's fable is De Inopi aegro vovente, the story of a sick man who made a vow to the gods to secure his recovery, planning to cheat the gods afterwards... but of course he did not succeed!

Fable of the Day: Today's fable of the day from Barlow's Aesop is DE CERVO IN BOVIUM STABULO (the story of the stag in the oxen's stable - a great illustration of the proverb about the master's eyes, cited above). You can use the Javascript to include the fable of the day automatically each day on your webpage or blog - meanwhile, to find out more about today's fable, visit the Ning Resource Page for this fable, where you will find links to the text, commentary, and a discussion board for questions and comments. Here is the illustration of the fable by Francis Barlow:

Aesop's Fables in Latin now available at


miki said...

Hi Laura, I'm not sure that you follow up on your older blogs so forgive me if I repost this comment here in response to "Verba volant, littera scripta manet."
The history of literacy in Europe is fascinating! After disappearing with the advent of Christianity and despite localized attempts to remedy, illiteracy remained the lot of the vast majority-plebes and noble alike. Martin Luther attempted to somewhat remedy, sporadic attempts to teach individuals to write or read their own names can be recounted, and only with the Enlightenment and the introduction of public schools was the situation reversed. Interestingly enough, among the Jews the literacy was an accepted way of life. Moses received the Law orally and while still on the mountain attempted to chisel it out on stone tablets for all to see and read. One of the most important and primary of all religious commandments of the Jews was the demand for literacy. There were no illiterate Jewish men in Europe over 2000 years since all male children were sent to school from the age of three in order to be taught the Hebrew alphabet and to read. Without broaching the subject of anti-Semitism, one of the reasons that the Jews were hated stems from the very fact that in many localities, only the Jews could read the edicts coming from a far off monarchy written often in a different tongue, thereby enabling them to be coerced into positions of tax collecting, debt collection, and as the bearers of ill tidings.

Laura Gibbs said...

Hi Miki, I enjoyed your comment very much, and I think it's great that you reposted it here (the world of blogs is very random, and you never know where people may end up) - here's the reply I had posted there repeated here. :-)
Great comment, Miki! And on that same topic it is probably worth mentioning that the alphabets of both the Greeks and the Romans were derived from Semitic alphabets! My Greek students were often completely flabbergasted to find out that the names of the letters of the Greek alphabet, enshrined in the names of their fraternities and sororities, alpha beta gamma etc. were very similar - and not by accident! - the names of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, aleph bet gimel... :-)

miki said...

Thanks for the quick reply-something else? Today is a holiday of sorts?

Carmen ab Eugenio Pottier a.D. MDCCCLXXI compositum harmonizavit Petrus Degeyter a.D. MDCCCLXXXVIII et in Latinum vertit Richardus Venturi a.D. MMV.

Surgite, orbis terrarum servi,
surgite, esurientes nunc!
Excutitur tonitru crater
eruptabitque demum.
Tempus actum abiit non redibit
et surgunt turbae servorum nunc!
Terrarum revolvitur orbis,
e nihilo totum erimus!

Ad postremum proelium
eamus iuncti et cras
Laboratorum hymnus
sociabit homines!
Ad postremum proelium
eamus iuncti et cras
Laboratorum hymnus
sociabit homines!
The remaining verses may be found here

Laura Gibbs said...

How delightful! It is the Internationale done into Latin; you can see English lyrics here: