Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Round-Up: September 22

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. I'm Twittering again now at Aesopus and AesopusEnglish.

HODIE: ante diem decimum Kalendas Octobres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is LITTERA - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Litteris absentes videmus., "By means of letters, we see those who are not here" (one of the most important uses of literacy that I can imagine!).

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include lots more illustrated fables, including some with illustrations borrowed from Alciato's emblems, such as this one: Olea et Cucurbita. This is also where you can download your free PDF copy of the Mille Fabulae et Una book.

FABULAE FACILES: The new easy-to-read fable is Aquila et Testudo, the story of a turtle who insisted on learning to fly.

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from L'Estrange and Herford's Aesop in verse.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at

Tiny Proverbs: Today's tiny proverb is: Litteras disce (English: Learn your letters - which goes nicely with the word of the day!).

3-Word Mottoes Verb-less: Today's 3-word verb-less motto is Virtutis praemium felicitas (English: Happiness is the reward of excellence - not wealth, not fame, but "felicity" - I like that!).

Latin Animal Proverb: Today's animal proverb is Linque coax ranis, cras corvis, vanaque vanis (English: Leave croaking to the frogs, cawing to the crows, and foolishness to the fools).

Proverbs of Polydorus: Today's proverb from Polydorus is: Omne regnum contra se divisum desolabitur (English: Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste).

Proper Name Proverb from Erasmus: Today's proper name proverb from Erasmus is Eadem tibi et Pythia et Delia (English: It's the same to you whether they are Pythian or Delian games; from Adagia 2.6.80 - this was a response given by an oracle to Polycrates, who was not sure whether to institute games in honor of Apollo Pythius or Apollo Delius; the oracle told him it didn't matter, and this was because Polycrates would die before he instituted the games!).

Greek Proverb of the Day: Today's proverb is Χελώην Πεγάσῳ συγκρίνεις (English: You're comparing a turtle to Pegasus - which makes a good match for today's easy fable about the turtle that wanted to fly!).

For today's image, look at at the amazing green serpent in this illustration from the Medici Aesop for 614. Serpens Calcata et Apollo. Serpens, cum humi reperet, multorum pedibus calcata erat. Accessit supplex fanum Apollinis; quam simulatque conspexit Deus, “Si primum statim,” inquit, “qui te calcaret, perdidisses, non ausus fuisset alter.” (source)

Serpens Calcatus et Iuppiter