Sunday, October 31, 2010

Round-Up: October 31

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 tertium Kalendas Novembres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is LIGO - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Astra inclinant, non obligant, "The stars incline us, they do not bind us."

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include new illustrated fables and fables with other kinds of images too. 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 Lepus et Vulpes apud Iovem, a fable advising each of us to be satisfied with our own good qualities.

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from Sir Roger L'Estrange, Wright's verse translation of La Fontaine and the limericks for Crane's Baby's Own Aesop.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at SchoolhouseWidgets.com.

3-Word Mottoes: Today's 3-word motto is In horam vivo (English: I live for the moment).

3-Word Proverbs: Today's 3-word proverb is Concordia res crescunt (English: With likemindedness, businesses prosper - a saying which does not bode well for next week's elections, which seem to be completely lacking in cross-party concordia).

Rhyming Proverbs: Today's proverb with rhyme is: Omnia transibunt! Sic ibimus, ibitis, ibunt (English: All things will pass away! So we will go, you will go, they will go).

Vulgate Verse: Today's verse is Ignis numquam dicit: sufficit (Proverbs 30:16). For a translation, check out the polyglot Bible, in English, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, at the Sacred Texts Archive online.

Elizabethan Proverb Commentary: Here is today's proverb commentary, this time by Taverner: Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit: No man in the world is wise at al houres. It is only belonging to God and properly due unto him never to commit follie. There is, I say, no man, but otherwiles doteth, but is deceived, but plaieth the foole, though he seme never so wise. Whan I say man, I except not the woman.

Today's Poem: Today's poem is from Cato's Distichs, with a word list at NoDictionaries.com:
Ereptis opibus noli maerere dolendo,
Sed gaude potius, tibi si contingat habere.
English: "When your wealth has been snatched away, don't grief with the pain of it but rather rejoice in whatever you happen to have." Good advice indeed - especially in light of the proverb above about omnia transibunt...!

Today's image is about the biting dog, 387. Canis Mordax. Cani, saepius homines mordenti, illigavit dominus nolam, scilicet ut sibi quisque caveret. Canis, ratus virtuti suae tributum hoc decus esse, populares omnes despicit. Accedit tandem ad hunc canem aliquis, iam aetate et auctoritate gravis, monens eum ne erret. “Nam ista nola,” inquit, “data est tibi in dedecus, non in decus.” (source) You can see the first part of the story to the left where the dog bits the man, and then the second part of the story on the right, where the dog is boasting about his bell.

Canis Mordax  - Osius

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Myths and Legends: Odysseus and the Sirens

Odysseus and the Sirens. To find out more about the Sirens, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

This vase painting depicts a famous scene from the Odyssey when Odysseus manages to listen to the son of the bird-women, the Sirens, by making his men fill their ears with wax, while Odysseus has himself tied to the mast so that he can listen to the Siren song without being seduced by its ineluctable summons. Here are more depictions of Odysseus and the Sirens.

You can also find more myths and legends for the week of Oct. 28- Nov. 3 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Myths and Legends: Orpheus and the Animals

Orpheus and the Animals. To find out more about Orpheus, the legendary poet and musician, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

Orpheus was the great singer and musician of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds; his playing was able to captivate not only humans, but also animals, as you can see here in this painting by Sebastian Vrancx. Here are some more depictions of Orpheus and the animals.

You can also find more myths and legends for the week of Oct. 28- Nov. 3 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Myths & Legends: Oct. 28 - Nov. 3

Oct. 21-27 - Oct. 28 - Nov. 3 - Nov. 4-10

For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Reference Page.

Heracles and the Centaur Nessus. To find out more about Nessus and the death of Heracles, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


Orpheus and the Animals. To find out more about Orpheus, the legendary poet and musician, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source. There's also a post here.


Odysseus and the Sirens. To find out more about the Sirens, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source. There's also a post here.


Pyramus and Thisbe. To find out more about the tragic lovers Pyramus and Thisbe, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


Medea and the Daughters of Pelias. To find out more about Medea, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source. There's also a post here.


Andromache, Hector and Astyanax. To find out more about Hector and Andromache, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source. There's also a post here.


Circe. To find out more about Circe, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


Round-Up: October 28

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 quintum Kalendas Novembres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is QUICUMQUE - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Quicumque gladio utitur, gladio peribit, "Whosoever uses the sword, by the sword he will perish."

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include new illustrated fables and fables with other kinds of images too. 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 Lepus Cornua Cupiens, the story of what happened to the rabbit who wanted horns.

PODCASTS: Today's Latin audio fable is Simius Iudex, Serpens et Vir - a story you might familiar with in its Indian version, where it is the story of "The Tiger, The Brahman and the Jackal."

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from Sir Roger L'Estrange, Wright's verse translation of La Fontaine and the limericks for Crane's Baby's Own Aesop.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at SchoolhouseWidgets.com.

Tiny Proverbs: Today's tiny proverb is: Disce gaudere (English: Learn to rejoice).

3-Word Mottoes Verb-less: Today's 3-word verb-less motto is Consilio non impetu (English: By deliberation, not impulse).

Latin Animal Proverb: Today's animal proverb is Avis matura vermem capit (English: The bird who hastens catches the worm).

Proverbs of Polydorus: Today's proverb from Polydorus is: Una hirundo non facit ver (English: One swallow does not make a spring).

Proper Name Proverb from Erasmus: Today's proper name proverb from Erasmus is Herculei labores (English: The labors of Heracles; from Adagia 3.1.1). This proverb is connected with today's image; see below.

Greek Proverb of the Day: Today's proverb is Ἀυτοῦ Ῥόδος, αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ πήδημα (English: Here is Rhodes; here too your leap - an allusion to the fable of the boastful athlete).

For an image today, below is a famous portrait of Erasmus by Hans Holbein the Younger. Along the edge of the book facing the viewer the letters read "The Labors of Heracles" in Greek (ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΟΙ ΠΟΝΟΙ = HERAKLEIOI PONOI), alluding to the amazing feats which Erasmus accomplished in his life as a scholar.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Myths and Legends: Atalanta and the Boar

Atalanta and the Boar. To find out more about the Calydonian boar hunt, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

Today we have a medieval depiction of the ancient Greek heroine Atalanta, the famous huntress who set out with Mealeager and other great hunters in order to kill the Calydonian boar. Atalanta was the first to strike the boar; when it had been wounded, Meleager was able to move in for the kill. Meleager awarded the skin to Atalanta as a trophy, which outraged his uncles. Meleager then slew his uncles and his mother then brought about Meleager's own death by casting his life charm into the fire. You can read more about Atalanta and Meleager here at Wikipedia.

You can also find more myths and legends for the week of October 21-27 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Round-Up: October 26

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 septimum Kalendas Novembres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is PATRIA - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Patriam tuam mundum existima, "Consider the world to be your homeland."

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include fables with images as illustrations. 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 Lupus Parvulus et Pastor, the story of a shepherd who thought he could control a wolf... WRONG.

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from Sir Roger L'Estrange, Wright's verse translation of La Fontaine and the limericks for Crane's Baby's Own Aesop.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at SchoolhouseWidgets.com.

Tiny Mottoes: Today's tiny motto is: Nil desperandum (English: We must never despair).

3-Word Proverbs Verb-less: Today's 3-word verb-less proverb is Rarus fidus amicus (English: A faithful friend is hard to find)

Audio Latin Proverb: Today's audio Latin proverb is Tranquillo quilibet gubernator est (English: When it's calm, anybody can be the helmsman). To read a brief essay about this proverb and to listen to the audio, visit the Latin Via Proverbs blog.

Maxims of Publilius Syrus: Today's proverb from Publilius Syrus is: In rebus dubiis plurimi est audacia (English: In a crisis, acting boldly is best).

Animal Proverb from Erasmus: Today's animal proverb from Erasmus is Suo ipsius indicio periit sorex (English: The shrew-mouse perished by its own testimony; from Adagia 1.3.65 - you can read an Aesop's fable based on this saying here).

For an image today, here is the astounding Medici Aesop illustration of the man who was turned into an ant! 650. Formica Transformata. Quae nunc formica est, dicitur homo fuisse agricola, assuetus furari et clam surripere vicinorum messes et sata. Unde indignati, Dii eum in hanc bestiolae naturam transformarint, quae, inveteratae consuetudinis haud oblita, formam hominis, non mores suos, exuerit. Ut antea, huc et illuc per campos excurrit, furtim grana suffuratura vicinorum. Adeo Naturam et mores suos dediscere difficile est. (source - and see also Roger L'Estrange's English version).

Homo Formica Factus

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Myths and Legends: Atlas

Atlas. To find out more about the Titan Atlas, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

You can see the Titan Atlas with the load of the cosmos on his back. Atlas has to carry the heavens on his shoulders as a punishment; he joined with the other Titans in their war against the Olympians and when the Olympians won that war, Zeus chose this particular punishment for Atlas. At one point, Atlas got Heracles to bear the burden for him instead but Heracles tricked Atlas into taking the cosmos back on his shoulders again ("just for a minute," according to Heracles, who claimed he only wanted to put his cloak upon on his shoulders as padding) - and Atlas has been holding up the heavens ever since.

You can also find more myths and legends for the week of October 21-27 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.


Round-Up: October 24

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 nonum Kalendas Novembres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is ACCIPIO - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Beatius est dare quam accipere, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include new illustrated fables and fables with other kinds of images too. 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 Leo et Unicornis, a wonderful little story about a sneaky lion and a gullible unicorn.

PODCASTS: Today's Latin audio fable is Lupus et Pastor, Compatres, the story of a shepherd who trusted the wolf to be his "compadre" and look after the sheep while he was gone.

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from Sir Roger L'Estrange, Wright's verse translation of La Fontaine and the limericks for Crane's Baby's Own Aesop.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at SchoolhouseWidgets.com.

3-Word Mottoes: Today's 3-word motto is Vive in diem (English: Live for the day).

3-Word Proverbs: Today's 3-word proverb is Quaerite et invenietis (English: Seek, and ye shall find).

Rhyming Proverbs: Today's proverb with rhyme is: Discite victuri, sed vivite cras morituri (English: Learn as if you were going to live, but live as if you were going to die tomorrow).

Vulgate Verse: Today's verse is Sapientia absconsa et thesaurus invisus: quae utilitas in utrisque? (Sirach 20:30). For a translation, check out the polyglot Bible, in English, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, at the Sacred Texts Archive online.

Elizabethan Proverb Commentary: Here is today's proverb commentary, this time by Taverner: Salem et mensam ne praetereas: Passe not over salt and the table, as who should say, neglect not the companie of friendes, or breake not the law of amitie. For with these things in olde time were friendes reconciled, and kept mutuall feastes and bankettes one with another.

For an image today, here is a wolf watching over the sheep, to go with the fable of the shepherd and the wolf (for an easy version of the fable, see the link above). 81. Lupus et Pastor, Compatres. Contigit quod quidam paterfamilias habuit duodecim oves. Voluit peregrinari et commendavit oves suas lupo, compatri suo, et compater iuravit quod bene conservaret eas. Profectus est statim. Lupus interim cogitavit de ovibus et uno die comedit de una, altera die de alia, ita quod vix tres invenit paterfamilias quando reversus est. Quaerebat a compatre quid factum fuerit de aliis ovibus. Respondit lupus quod mors ex temporalitate venit super eas. Et dixit paterfamilias, “Da mihi pelles,” et inventa sunt vestigia dentium lupi, et ait paterfamilias, “Reus es mortis,” et fecit lupum suspendi. (source):

Lupus Familiaris et Pastor (1)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Myths and Legends: Arion

Arion. To find out more about the legend of Arion, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

Today's image shows Arion, a legendary musician. After winning a musical competition, Arion was on his way home when his ship was attacked by pirates. Arion begged permission to sing a last song, and the beauty of his singing attracted dolphins to the ship. Arion then jumped overboard and was carried to land safely by one of the dolphins (yes, that is a dolphin in the picture there - not exactly your friendly Flipper-type of dolphin!). For more about the legend of Arion and what happened after the dolphin brought him ashore, see Wikipedia; you might also enjoy this Arion emblem by Rollenhagen.

You can also find more myths and legends for the week of October 21-27 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.


Round-Up: October 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 undecimum Kalendas Novembres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is VOX - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Validior vox operis, quam oris, "Work talks louder than words."

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include new illustrated fables and fables with other kinds of images too. 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 Vipera et Auceps, another karma fable - this time about a birdcatcher and a snake underfoot.

PODCASTS: Today's Latin audio fable is Simius et Circulator, a story about a monkey who sells his freedom for some fancy clothes. I think this one is a great commentary on our consumer culture today!

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from Sir Roger L'Estrange, Wright's verse translation of La Fontaine and the limericks for Crane's Baby's Own Aesop.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at SchoolhouseWidgets.com.

Tiny Proverbs: Today's tiny proverb is: Veritas liberabit (English: The truth will set you free).

3-Word Mottoes Verb-less: Today's 3-word verb-less motto is Spe et fortuna (English: By means of hope and luck).

Latin Animal Proverb: Today's animal proverb is Serpens nisi serpentem edat, draco non fiet (English: Unless a snake eats a snake, it won't become a dragon).

Proverbs of Polydorus: Today's proverb from Polydorus is: Vive moribus praeteritis, loquere verbis praesentibus (English: Live by the habits of the past, speak with the words of the present).

Proper Name Proverb from Erasmus: Today's proper name proverb from Erasmus is Atlas caelum (English: Atlas holds up the sky; from Adagia 1.1.67 - this is one of those nifty Latin proverbs where the verb is implied by the conjunction of a nominative and an accusative!).

Greek Proverb of the Day: Today's proverb is Ἅμαξα τὸν βουν ἕλκει (English: The cart is pulling the ox - which is to say: something is very wrong! ).

In honor of Atlas caelum, here is a fresco of Atlas by Annibale Carracci:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Myths & Legends: October 21-27


For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Reference Page.

The Return of Persephone. To find out more about Persephone, the daughter of the goddess Demeter, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source. There's also a post here.


Arion. To find out more about the legend of Arion, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source. There's also a post here.


Thyestes. To find out more about the tragic and violent life of Thyestes, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


Atlas. To find out more about the Titan Atlas, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source. There's also a post here.


Laocoon. To find out more about Laocoon, the Trojan priest, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


Leda and the Swan. To find out more about Leda and Zeus disguised as a swan, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


Atalanta and the Boar. To find out more about the Calydonian boar hunt, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source. There's also a post here.


Myths and Legends: The Return of Persephone

The Return of Persephone. To find out more about Persephone, the daughter of the goddess Demeter, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

This famous painting by Frederic Lord Leighton shows Persephone being return from the underworld to spend part of the year with her mother Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, who lives in the upper world. Persephone is being conveyed out of the underworld by Hermes, who is the "psychopomp," the "soul-sender" who in this case is conveying someone out of the underworld rather than the other way around!

You can also find more myths and legends for the week of October 21-27 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Round-Up: October 20

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 tertium decimum Kalendas Novembres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is the delightful AMOR - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Amor tussisque non celatur, "Love and a cough cannot be concealed."

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include new illustrated fables and fables with other kinds of images too. 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 Vitis et Hircus, the story of the vine, the goat - and karma!

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from Sir Roger L'Estrange, Wright's verse translation of La Fontaine and the limericks for Crane's Baby's Own Aesop.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at SchoolhouseWidgets.com.

Tiny Mottoes: Today's tiny motto is: Stat veritas (English: The truth persists).

3-Word Proverbs Verb-less: Today's 3-word verb-less proverb is Magna vis auri (English: Great is the power of gold)

Audio Latin Proverb: Today's audio Latin proverb is Maximae divitiae non desiderare divitias (English: The greatest wealth is not to desire wealth). To read a brief essay about this proverb and to listen to the audio, visit the Latin Via Proverbs blog.

Maxims of Publilius Syrus: Today's proverb from Publilius Syrus is: Sero in periclis est consilium quaerere (English: It is too late to seek advice in the midst of dangers).

Animal Proverb from Erasmus: Today's animal proverb from Erasmus is Qui inspuerit in agmen formicarum, huic intumescant labra (English: He who spits in the anthill gets swollen lips; from Adagia 4.6.80).

For an image, here is a picture of the goat and the vine, Vitis et Hircus, to go with the fabula facilis today (source):

Hircus et Vitis

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Round-Up: October 19

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 quartum decimum Kalendas Novembres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is ARRIPIO - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Arripe horam, ultimam timeas, "Seize the moment; fear the last one" (that spells out more explicitly the idea behind sayings like carpe diem - you need to seize the moment because the next one might be your last!).

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include fables with images and some new illustrated fables too. 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 Leonis Filius et Homo, a great story from Camerarius about a teenage lion who doesn't listen to his dad's good advice.

PODCASTS: Today's Latin audio fable is Vulpes et Mulieres , the story of the fox and the women who were eating roast chickens.

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from Sir Roger L'Estrange, Wright's verse translation of La Fontaine and the limericks for Crane's Baby's Own Aesop.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at SchoolhouseWidgets.com.

3-Word Mottoes: Today's 3-word motto is Obdurandum adversus urgentia (English: Stand strong against the things that bear down on you - a motto which you can find in one of Alciato's emblems).

3-Word Proverbs: Today's 3-word proverb is Vento navigare suo (English: To sail by one's own wind - and the sailor who can supply his own wind is the ultimate in self-reliance!).

Rhyming Proverbs: Today's proverb with rhyme is: Pix dum palpatur, palpando manus maculatur (English: When you touch pitch, the hand that does the touching is stained).

Vulgate Verse: Today's verse is Sicut fecisti, fiet tibi (Ob. 1:15). For a translation, check out the polyglot Bible, in English, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, at the Sacred Texts Archive online.

Elizabethan Proverb Commentary: Here is today's proverb commentary, this time by Taverner: Sui cuique mores fingunt fortunam: A mans owne maners doe shape him his fortune. Men commonlie when anie adversitie chaunce, accuse, or when they see other men to prospere well in theyr matters, they say it is theyr fortune. So they ley all together upon fortune, thinking there is such a thing called fortune that ruleth all. But surely they are highlie deceived. It is their owne maners, their own qualities, touches, condicions, and procedinges that shape them this fortune, that is to say, that cause them, eyther to be sette forwarde or backeward, either to prospere or not to prospere.

Today's Poem: Today's poem is one of the tiny fables in iambic verse by Desbillons, with a word list at NoDictionaries.com:
Ad oram putei dormiebat Puerulus.
Eum Fortuna suscitans: Abi hinc, ait;
In puteum namque si caderes, non hanc tuam
Fuisse culpam, sed meam omnes dicerent.
English: "A little boy was sleeping at the edge of a well; Lady Luck awakens him and says, Get away from here, for if you were to fall into the well, they would all say that it was not your fault, but mine." In other words: people want blame "bad luck" instead of sheer foolishness for the disasters that befall them.

For an image today, here's an illustration to go along with Desbillons's little poem (source):

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Myths and Legends: Infant Heracles and the Snakes

Infant Heracles and the Snakes. To find out more about the snakes Hera sent to kill the baby Heracles, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

Here you see the infant Heracles wrestling the snakes sent by Hera in order to destroy him, as well as his twin brother, Iphicles. This is a close-up of the two boys' faces:


You can also find more myths and legends for the week of October 14 - 20 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.

Special Edition: Steganometrographia

This is a "special edition" of the Bestiaria blog, as it were, since I am writing up a short piece for Mark Walker's next issue of Vates: The Journal of New Latin Poetry. Here's a draft of the article I promised him. What do you all think? Any comments and feedback would be very welcome!
If you are addicted to the British espionage television series MI-5 (as I am), you may be familiar with the term steganography, which refers to the hiding of secret messages in plain sight, concealed inside an innocuous image or text which does not call attention to itself as something suspicious. For example, in one episode of MI-5 ("Infiltration"), a hacker, who knew his life was in danger, had to hide a message somewhere before he was killed. He hid the message in his room, but no one could find it. . . until, that is, someone noticed there was something not quite right about the periodic table of elements hanging on his wall. Sure enough, the hacker had replaced some of the symbols and atomic numbers with his own letters and numbers: the message was hiding in plain sight.

There are many examples of steganography, both ancient and modern. A famous case from the ancient world is recounted in Herodotus, who tells us that the tyrant Histiaeus shaved the head of a slave, tattooed a message on the slave's shaved head, and then waited for the hair to grow back. He then sent the slave to his ally, who shaved the slave's head and read the message. The message was hiding in plain sight - if you knew where to look. There are contemporary examples of steganography as well. For example, modern steganography is able to use digital technology to hide messages electronically, pixel by pixel, so that if you know which pixels to extract from a digital image, a completely new image emerges. How do you get the information about which pixels to extract? That information can be conveyed in an innocuous number-dense format, such as a Sudoku puzzle!

The term steganography comes from the Greek roots stego, "cover tightly, make waterproof" (as in stegosaurus, the dinosaur who had what looked like armor plating) and graphe, "writing." Although the roots are Greek, the term is modern, coined by Johannes Tirthemius in 1499 in a book entitled Steganographia. Then, in 1751, Melchias Uken coined a new term: Steganometrographia. Here is how the title page of the book - available at GoogleBooks - explains the term: "Steganometrographia, sive Artificium novum & inauditum:
quo quilibet etiam Latinae linguae & poëseos ignarus soliusque maternae linguae beneficio instructus epistolam Latino aut Germanico idiomate & quidem elegiaco carmine scribere potest & secretos animi sui conceptus absenti manifestare absque omni latentis secreti suspicione," which is to say: "Steganometrographia, or a new and unheard-of Device by means of which anyone, even someone who is ignorant of the Latin language and versification, equipped with the aid of his maternal language only, can write in Latin (or German) a poem, an elegiac poem in fact, and reveal the secret thoughts of his mind to someone in absentia without any suspicion of a hidden secret message."

The title page also bears an amusing motto: VOLUNT SED NON POSSUNT, "They want to, but are not able," i.e. they want to know the secret message, but they are not able to (unless, of course, they are in possession of Uken's book). Or, perhaps, it means that they want to write poetry in Latin, but they are not able to (unless they are lucky enough to have a copy of Uken's book). The motto is accompanied by an emblem showing a noble-looking man, surveying a crowd of beasts - the man being possessed of intelligence, while the poor beasts are dumb. (For those whose complete lack of Latin precluded their use of the 1751 edition of Steganometrographia, a German edition of the book followed in 1759, entitled Geheimschreibkunst in Versen, and it is also available at GoogleBooks.)

Uken prefaces the book with an explanation of its strange title, "Quid hoc monstri, quid hoc nominis?" he says, "What kind of marvel is this, what kind of word?" He provides a long list of the authors who have written about steganography, but steganometrographia, the concealing of messages in metrical writing, is something he has invented himself. What Uken offers is a system of encoding a message in the form of a Latin elegiac poem. It is a combination of steganography with a substitution cypher - but unlike conventional substitution cyphers, Uken's system substitutes each letter of the secret message with a chunk of metrically correct Latin so that when the chunks are assembled, the result is a Latin elegiac poem. What is even more amazing about Uken's system is that the poem makes sense, since the chunks are not only metrically equivalent but also grammatically interchangeable.

To carry out Uken's system you do need his book (which you can download from GoogleBooks) because the book supplies the tables used for both encoding the message and also for decoding it. Uken offers three different elegiac encoding systems, each of which yields a poem up to 22 lines in length, encoding a message of up to 44 letters (each half-line corresponds to a letter). To encode your message, you simply use the tables in order, numbered 1 through 44, choosing the chunk of Latin corresponding to the letter of your message. To give you a sense of the the resulting poetry, I have taken a little Latin message and encoded it using Uken's system.

Version 1. In this version, the secret message is LAURA HAEC SCRIBIT (16 letters, yielding 8 lines of poetry in four couplets):

Promptus, Amice, velis chartae perfringere gemmam;
E fortunatis advenit illa locis.
Non tibi fatales narrabit epistola casus,
Mentis delicias solvat ut illa tuas.
Sat tibi nota domus, qua degit carminis author.
Semper eras Tutor; debeo cuncta tibi!
Cuique suum tribuis; multa pietate coruscas;
Es purus sceleris; non tibi fastus inest.

My friend, be quick to break the wax-seal of this paper; it has come from happy places. This letter will not tell you about deathly calamities to undo the delights of your mind. The house is well-known enough to you where the author of this poem resides. You were always my Protector; I owe everything to you: you give to each his own, you shine with great piety, you are pure of wrong-doing, there is no arrogance in you.

Version 2. In this version, the secret message is SCRIBIT LAURA HAEC:

Ne tibi displiceat tectis admittere chartam;
A tibi dilectis, crede, venire plagis.
Non importunos memorabit epistola questus;
Praefica laetitias non ego tollo tuas.
Arx est nota tibi qua dulcis epistola venit.
Praesidium fueras deliciaeque meae!
Non nisi iusta facis; magna probitate coruscas;
Numine digna sapis; lactea corda geris.

Don't let it displease you to allow this paper into your house; know that it has come to you from beloved regions. This letter will not recall annoying complaints; I am not a paid mourner to take away your joys. The citadel is known to you whence this sweet letter comes. You were my defense and my delight: you do nothing but what is right, you shine with great honesty, you know things worthy of God, your heart is candid.

Version 3. In this version, the secret message is LAURA SCRIBIT HAEC:

Promptus, Amice, velis chartae perfringere gemmam;
E fortunatis advenit illa locis.
Non tibi fatales mea pandet epistola casus,
Laetitae causas nam fovet ipsa tuas.
Chara tibi domus est, quae talia vidit arantem.
Semper Nisus eras, quod mea Musa canet!
Non nisi iusta facis; magna probitate coruscas;
Numine digna sapis; lactea corda geris.

My friend, be quick to break the wax-seal of this paper; it has come from happy places. My letter will not disclose to you deadly calamities, for it cherishes your motives for joy. The house is dear to you which sees the one cultivating such (words as these). You were always Nisus (i.e. to my Euryalus), a fact which my Muse will sing: you do nothing but what is right, you shine with great honesty, you know things worthy of God, your heart is candid.

Notice that Version 3 opens with the same words as Version 1, because they both start with the encoded letters LAURA. Version 3 closes with the same words as Version 2, because they both end with the encoded letters HAEC. In addition to these verbatim repetitions because of the identical parts of the encoded message, you can also see the more general pattern of meaning shared by all three versions. The first couplet urges the recipient to open the letter and to be confident in its origins. The second couplet promises that the letter will bring happy tidings that will not disturb the recipient's peace of mind. The third couplet declares the the writer is someone known to the recipient, and asserts their close relationship. The fourth couplet them praises the recipient for his good moral qualities.

Yet even though the poem has the same general idea for each couplet, each version of the poem is distinctly different in some way from every other version, and the number of versions is simply staggering. Each fragment has 23 possible realizations as listed in the table (ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTVWXZ), based on the letters of the Latin alphabet, along with a W to accommodate the author's anticipation that German messages might be encoded in the Latin verses. So, that means that for each 22-line poem, which consists of 44 different elements, each with 23 realizations, the number of poems that can be generated from the table for a single poem (and Uken offers three such sets of tables, based on three different poems) is 8 × 10^59, which is to say 8 followed by 59 zeroes. That is not just 8 billion poems (that would be a mere 8 x 10^9), and not just 8 trillion poems (that would be 8 x 10^12), and not even 8 billion billion (that would be 8 x 10^18), but eighty thousand billion billion billion billion billion billion poems. That is a lot of poems.

Those numbers are a bit intimidating, of course, and that is because they increase exponentially - literally! For the small eight-line poem which I have composed here, the number of versions is still astounding: the 8 lines contain a total of 16 elements, each with 23 possible realizations, which yields 6 x 10^21 permutations - in other words, six thousand billion billion poems: 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. I have shown you three examples, which means you can use the tables to generate the other 5,999,999,999,999,999,999,997 eight-line poems at your leisure.

Given all the readily available forms of encryption available to us today, it is unlikely that anyone will want to use Uken's system for the sending and receiving of coded messages. What is of real value, however, is the way in which the system provides a kind of "skeleton" of the Latin elegiac couplet so that you can see just how the metrical elements combine to create the alternating hexameter and pentameter lines of a couplet. You can play with Uken's system to create poetry not just in order to encode secret messages, but for the sheer pleasure of creating your own Latin poetry - formulaic, to be sure, but still original. With billions and billions and billions of possibilities, any poem you generate with this system is likely to be a poem no one has written or read in Latin before.

So, for example, I could choose from Uken's tables based on the phrases I like in order to create this version of the opening couplet of the poem:

Ne cunctare, precor, praesentem volvere chartam;
Ex non ingratis hanc tibi mitto locis.

I beg you, don't delay to unfold the page in front of you; I send it to you from a not unpleasant locale.

In terms of a coded message, it is nonsense (AZZV), but it is perfectly good poetry, and I rather like it; of all the possible permutations for the first couplet (and that would be 279,841 possible permutations), I like this one the best.

If you look through the options for the second half of the first line, you can see that what is required grammatically is an infinitive verb that refers in some way to the opening or receiving of the letter: "praesentem volvere chartam" is the option I chose. I have listed below all 23 metrically correct possibilities Uken devised for this particular half-line. As you can see, he is picking up from the second element of the third foot (long or two shorts), followed by the fourth foot (spondee or dactyl), and ending in the usual dactyl-spondee that is typical of the hexameter verse line. To make the metrical substitutions clear, I have divided the 23 options up into the four metrical possibilities, while also grouping them to show something of the semantic variations that Uken is playing with.

Group 1. These are the options that start with a long followed by a spondee:
chartae perfringere gemmam
chartae perfringere ceram
chartam lustrare legendo
vultum concedere chartae
vultum indulgere tabellae
nostram acceptare tabellam
quam cernis volvere chartam
praesentem volvere chartam
praesentem evolvere chartam
tectis admittere chartam
lustrare hanc lumine chartam

Group 2. These are the options that start with a long followed by a dactyl:
concedere limina chartae
concedere lumina chartae
nostrae dare lumina chartae
percurrere lumine chartam
lustrare legendo tabellam

Group 3. These are the options that start with two shorts followed by a spondee:
peregrinam volvere chartam
peregrinam evolvere chartam

Group 4. These are the options that start with two shorts followed by a dactyl:
sua vincula demere chartae
sua vincula solvere chartae
sua vincula rumpere chartae
sua vincula tollere chartae
sua tollere vincla tabellae

After studying the variations that Uken is playing with, you could create some of your own. For example, in Group 4, Uken has four different verbs that can be used for opening the letter, which he refers to each time as charta. In a variation, he uses tabella instead of carta, and has recourse to the apocopated form vincla for vincula to make it fit the meter: "sua vincula tollere chartae" becomes "sua tollere vincla tabellae." He offers that variation for only the one verb, tollere, but of course it would work for the other three: "sua demere vincla tabellae," "sua solvere vincla tabellae," and "sua rumpere vincla tabellae." So, by adding those three new variations, you have multiplied three-fold the total number of permutations possible in the system.

Look also at the variation in the first group: "praesentem volvere chartam." The pattern here consists of an adjective in the accusative, followed by the infinitive and accusative noun; you could create your own variations by replacing the adjective "praesentem" with any other adjective that has the same metrical properties, consisting of three long syllables, such as: "iucundam volvere chartam" or "sinceram volvere chartam" (note that the length refers to long by position, so the final syllables of iucundam and sinceram are counted as long in the line of verse).

Then look at Group 3. There you see that you can have an adjective in first position with a different metrical pattern: "peregrinam volvere chartam," where the adjective consists of two shorts followed by two longs. You could create your own variations based on this pattern, such as "inopinam volvere chartam" and "studiosam volvere chartam" - and studiosa would be a fine adjective to use; it really does take some time to flip through the tables one after another encoding your message letter by letter; being a good spy can be very time-consuming!

This playful sense of substitution, based on the abstract patterns of grammatical and metrical variation, might also inspire you to modify and adapt other bits of hexametric verse. For example, you could turn the famous opening words of the Aeneid, arma virumque cano, into a kind of verse-generating machine by creating substitutions as Uken does. Instead of arma for that first word, find any accusative noun with the pattern long-short (you'll want plural neuter nouns of the second declension to get that final short syllable in the accusative; the following consonant means the only way to get a short in that position is with a short vowel not followed by a consonant):
Vota virumque cano: I sing vows and the man
Saecla virumque cano: I sing ages and the man
Tela virumque cano: I sing missiles and the man
Bella virumque cano: I sing wars and the man

For virumque, you'll want an accusative noun that goes short-long, and the possibility of that long ending opens up the whole range of bisyllabic nouns, singular and plural - the trick here is making sure the first syllable is short, and that the noun begins with a consonant to avoid elision:
arma focumque cano: I sing arms and the hearth
vota fidemque cano: I sing vows and a faith
bella rosasque cano: I sing the wars and the roses
saecla virosque cano: I sing ages and the men

As you can see, every existing line of Latin verse can be the basis for a verse-generating machine like the one Uken constructed for his steganographic - or, more exactly, steganometrographic - purposes. There is nothing to be embarrassed about in composing verse in this way; it hearkens back to the methods of oral composition used by the earliest Homeric poets after all. (For a great introduction to "oral formulaic composition," read the marvelous book The Singer of Tales by Albert Lord.)

So, if you want to see just how Latin poetry consists of the interplay between units of meter and units of meaning, take some time to explore Uken's odd little book, and then you might take a few lines from Vergil or one of your favorite elegiac couplets and see if you can turn it into a verse-generating machine of your own, using your knowledge of Latin vocabulary and Latin meter to create the necessary substitutions. Just as you can start off an English poem with "Duh-duh are duh; Violets are blue; duh-duh is duh - and so are you," you can do the same thing with Latin poetry, letting the interplay of sound and sense unleash your inner Muse. And, if the spies from MI-5 are after you, you could also use your knowledge of Latin poetry to build your own steganometrographic encoding and decoding machine - but watch out, because quite a few of those spies from MI-5 did Latin in school, too!

Round-Up: October 17

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 sextum decimum Kalendas Novembres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is VERBUM - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Rem tene, verba sequentur, "Stick to the topic; the words will follow."

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include more illustrated fables and fables with photos and other images. 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 Vetula Lac ad Forum Portans, the famous story of "counting your chickens before they hatch."

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from Wright's verse translation of La Fontaine, the limericks for Crane's illustrated Aesop and Sir Roger L'Estrange.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at SchoolhouseWidgets.com.

Tiny Proverbs: Today's tiny proverb is: Aeternitatem cogita (English: Ponder eternity).

3-Word Mottoes Verb-less: Today's 3-word verb-less motto is Dictis factisque simplex (English: Straightforward in words and in deeds).

Latin Animal Proverb: Today's animal proverb is Anguillam cauda teneo (English: I'm trying to hold an eel by the tail).

Proverbs of Polydorus: Today's proverb from Polydorus is: Iota unum, aut unus apex non praeteribit (English: Not one jot nor one tittle will pass away).

Proper Name Proverb from Erasmus: Today's proper name proverb from Erasmus is Iovis quadrigis (English: Using Jupiter's chariot - which means, at top speed, since Jupiter's chariot was proverbially swift; from Adagia 1.4.20).

Greek Proverb of the Day: Today's proverb is Ἀετὸς μυίας οὐ θηρεύει (English: An eagle does not hunt flies).

The image for today shows the hunter tricking the tiger (source): 139. Tigris et Venatores. Raptis tigris fetibus, dum veloci cursu venatores insequitur, ipsi timentes sibi de crudelitate bestiae, speculum vitreum amplum in via proiiciunt. Tigris vero dum imaginem suam in speculo cernit, a cursu suo subsistit, aestimans fetum suum reperisse. Dum autem imaginem illam amplectitur et ibidem commoratur, venatores evadunt. Ipsa autem, tandem pede fracto speculo, nihil reperit et ita fetus suos amittit.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Myths and Legends: Bellerophon Fights the Chimera

Bellerophon Fights the Chimera. To find out more about the Chimera, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

Bellerophon is a Greek hero most famous for slaying the Chimera, a fabulous monster that had the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent. You can read about the details of his fight with the Chimera, riding on the winged horse Pegasus, at Wikipedia.

You can also find more myths and legends for the week of October 14 - 20 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Myths & Legends: October 14-20

Oct. 7-13 - Oct. 14-20 - Oct. 21-27

For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Reference Page.

The Birth of Aphrodite. To find out more about the birth of the goddess Aphrodite, called Venus by the Romans, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


Bellerophon Fights the Chimera. To find out more about the Chimera, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source. There's also a post here.


Electra. To find out more about Electra, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


Infant Heracles and the Snakes. To find out more about the snakes Hera sent to kill the baby Heracles, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source. There's also a post here.


Medea. To find out more about Medea, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


Battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs. To find out more about the Lapiths and the Centaurs, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


The Sacrifice of Iphigenia. To find out more about Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.


Round-Up: October 14

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: pridie Idus Octobres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is ETIAM - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Etiam prudentissimi peccant, "Even the most careful make mistakes" (you could call that the proofreader's motto!).

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include more illustrated fables along with fables that don't have illustrations exactly but instead images to go with them that I have chosen - sometimes I was able to find some pretty nifty images, I think! 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 Socrates et Amici, from which you can guess that Socrates might have thought Facebook was more than a bit silly!

PODCASTS: Today's Latin audio fable is Arbor Secundum Viam , the story of the nut tree by the side of the road and the ungrateful passers-by.

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from Sir Roger L'Estrange, Wright's verse translation of La Fontaine and the limericks for Walter Crane's illustrated Aesop.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at SchoolhouseWidgets.com.

Tiny Mottoes: Today's tiny motto is: Tandem tranquillus (English: At last, tranquil - although, for us ladies, we would need the feminine form: Tandem tranquilla).

3-Word Proverbs Verb-less: Today's 3-word verb-less proverb is Veritatis simplex oratio (English: True speech is straightforward)

Audio Latin Proverb: Today's audio Latin proverb is Gallus in sterquilinio suo plurimum potest (English: The rooster can do plenty in his own dungheap). To read a brief essay about this proverb and to listen to the audio, visit the Latin Via Proverbs blog.

Maxims of Publilius Syrus: Today's proverb from Publilius Syrus is: Deliberandum est saepe, statuendum est semel (English: Think about something often; make your decision once).

Animal Proverb from Erasmus: Today's animal proverb from Erasmus is Nec elephantus ebiberet (English: Not even an elephant could drink it up; from Adagia 4.6.62).

Here is an image for the wonderful little fable of the man trying to count the waves: 55. Vulpes et Vir Fluctus Numerans. Homo quidam in litore sedens ad fluctuosum mare fluctus numerabat. Cum vero subinde erraret, graviter id ferre et excruciari, donec adstans vulpes ei diceret, “Quid laboras, mi homo, eorum causa qui praeterierant? Eos qui hinc oriuntur numerare incipere, illis neglectis, oportet.” (source)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Myths and Legends: Charon

Charon. To find out more about Charon, the boatman of the underworld, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

The image is a close-up of Michelangelo's depiction of Charon, the boatmen who ferries the souls across the river Styx and into the realm of Hades. The detail is found in the lower-right section of Michelangelo's fresco of the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel:


Here is the close-up of Charon; you can also find more myths and legends for the week of October 7 - 13 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Myths and Legends: The Flight of Aeneas

The Flight of Aeneas. To find out more about Aeneas and his flight from Troy, see this Wikipedia article: link; for information about the image: image source.

Look carefully and you will see the dramatic image of Creusa, trying to follow Aeneas, who is carrying his old father Anchises and holding the hand of his young son Ascanius, with the Greeks in pursuit and Troy burning in the distance. You can even see the wooden horse standing outside the ruins of the city walls; here's a close-up:


You can also find more myths and legends for the week of October 7 - 13 here. For more information and links to the actual javascript code, see the Myths & Legends Widget Reference Page.

Round-Up: October 12

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 quartum Idus Octobres (and yes, you can have your own Roman Google Calendar).

VERBUM HODIERNUM: Today's word is ILLE - read a brief essay about the word at the Verbosum blog. Here's one of the sayings you can find in the essay: Tempora mutantur, et nos in illis, "The times change, and we change with them."

MILLE FABULAE: New materials at the blog include some more illustrated fables. 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 Olitor et Canis, a story about how you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped.

ENGLISH AESOP: Today's English fables are from Sir Roger L'Estrange, the limericks for Walter Crane's illustrated Aesop and Wright's verse translation of La Fontaine.

TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: Widgets available at SchoolhouseWidgets.com.

3-Word Mottoes: Today's 3-word motto is Efficiunt claros studia (English: Studies make us famous - or, at least, it makes us Google-able, ha ha).

3-Word Proverbs: Today's 3-word proverb is Cura omnia potest (English: Careful effort accomplishes everything).

Rhyming Proverbs: Today's proverb with rhyme is: Audi, cerne, tace, si vis tu vivere pace (English: Listen, look, and be silent, if you want to live in peace).

Vulgate Verse: Today's verse is Qui operatur terram suam, saturabitur panibus (Proverbs 12:11). For a translation, check out the polyglot Bible, in English, Hebrew, Latin and Greek, at the Sacred Texts Archive online.

Elizabethan Proverb Commentary: Here is today's proverb commentary, this time by Taverner: Aegroto dum anima est, spes est: The sicke person while he hath life, hath hope. So swete a thinge is life, that he that is brought never so lowe, yet hopeth to live.

Today's Poem: Today's poem is from the rhyming sayings collected by Wegeler, with a word list at NoDictionaries.com:
Tu, qui festucam vicini in lumine cernis,
Tignum cur trahere proprio de lumine spernis?
English: "You who see the bit of straw in your neighbor's eye, why do you disdain to pull out the log from your own eye?" It's a rhyming version of Matthew 7.

Today's image is an illustration for the story of the gardener and the dog: 838. Olitor et Canis. Delapsum in puteum canem olitor servare et retrahere cupiens, demisit et eodem se ipse. Canis, veritus ne descendisset sibi nocendi gratia et ut suffocaret demersum, dentibus illum petebat et morsu lacerabat. Tum saucius olitor, cum dolore, “Iure mihi,” inquit, “hoc accidisse fateor. Cur enim auctorem ipsum sibi interitus ego servare volui?” (source - easy version).

Canis et Olitor