Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Round-Up: September 8

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: ante diem sextum Idus Septembres: Ludi Romani. You can add a Roman calendar as a widget in your blog or webpage, or display it as a Google Calendar: here's how.

TODAY'S POEM: Here is today's little poem, from the Poetry Widget. It's an amazing little epigram by Owen (3.141) about Cain and Abel paralleled with Romulus and Remus:
Incepto fratrem Cain orbe occīdit Abelem,
Incepta fratrem || Romulus urbe Remum.
Roma Remi polluta recens, ut mundus Abelis
Sanguine, principium est || orbis et urbis idem.
You can find a word list at NoDictionaries.com; note that the dictionary recognizes the proper name Remus as if it were the common noun remus, "oar" (the many perils of automated dictionary analysis). Here's a rough translation: "When the world began, Cain killed his brother Abel; when the city began, Romulus killed his brother Remus. Rome was freshly polluted with the blood of Remus, as the world was with the blood of Abel: the beginning of the world and of the city is the same." Alas, English does not have the sound play between orbis and urbis as Latin does. You can find a rhyming English translation here. For a wonderfully detailed account of Romulus and Remus, see Plutarch's Life of Romulus, and I've got some notes about Cain and Abel here, including the Koranic version of the story. For an illustration, see below.


Vita Caesaris: You can see my IVLIVS CAESAR feed with a sentence from Plutarch's Life of Caesar each day in Greek, Latin and English. Today's Latin portion tells more about the worship of Bona Dea: Itaque apud hos quum sacra ei fiunt, uitium palmitibus scenae tectae gestantur, et secundum fabulam draco sacer apud Deam collocatur.

Proverbiis Pipilo: You can see my Proverbia feed of Latin proverbs which I "tweet" while I am online each day (in English, too). Here's one from today about the dangerous example set by bad men's success: Successus improborum plures allicit (English: The success of wicked men is alluring to many).


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

Audio Latin Proverb of the Day: Today's audio Latin proverb is Iucunda poma, si procul custodia (English: Fruits are sweet if the guard is far away). 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: Calvum vellis (English: You're plucking a bald man... which is to say: you are wasting your time).

Proverbium Breve of the Day: Today's three-word proverb is: Fronti nulla fides (English: There is no faith in the forehead... or, less literally: don't trust appearances!).

Vulgate Verse of the Day: Today's verse is Cum sancto sanctus eris et cum viro innocente innocens eris (Psalms 18:25). 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 Asinum tondes (English: You're shearing the donkey - when of course you should be shearing the sheep instead!).

Proper Name Proverb of the Day: Today's proper name proverb is Fuit et Mandroni ficulna navis (English: Mandronus, too, once had a "figgy" ship - Mandron was a proverbial example of the nouveau riche, who tried to cover up his own humble beginnings; the use of the word ficulna here follows Greek usage, where the word "figgy" means "worthless, cheap").

Greek Proverb of the Day: Today's proverb is Δὶς πρὸς τὸν αὐτὸν αἰσχρὸν προσκρούειν λίθον (English: It is embarrassing to stumble across the same stone twice).


Ictibus Felicibus: Today's fable with macrons and accent marks is Cattus et Mures, the cat who tried to fool the mice by playing dead.

Fable of the Day: Today's fable of the day from Barlow is DE EQUO ET LEONE, the story of the horse who was not fooled by the lion's trickery.

For an image today, here is Jan van Eyck's rendering of the slaying of Abel for his painting the Ghent Altarpiece, completed in 1432, to accompany the epigram about Cain and Abel above. I may be wrong, but it looks to me like Cain is slaying Abel with a jawbone - perhaps an echo of the jawbone of an ass from the story of Samson? What do you think?

Aesop's Fables in Latin now available at Amazon.com.

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