Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Round-Up: January 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. Plus, you can find some Latin "pipilationes" at my Proverbia Latina feed and at the IVLIVS CAESAR feed (Plutarch's Life of Caesar twittered trilingually).

HODIE: ante diem tertium decimum Kalendas Februarias. 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 FABLES: Here are today's fables from the Ictibus Felicibus project. These fables ALL have long marks, plus stress marks for easy reading, and the poems have meter marks, too, along with an easy-to-read prose presentation of the story:
  • Mus et Ostrea, the story of a mouse who foolishly wanted to dine on an oyster.
  • Mustela et Homo, the story of a "house weasel" pleading for her life.
  • Cygnus et Ciconia, which provides the swan's explanation of its "swan song."
  • Rusticus et Anguis, the story of a quarrel between a farmer and his lucky snake.
  • Lupus et Canis, a long fable, adapted from LaFontaine, about the virtues of living a free life, beholden to none.
I've picked out my favorite one, the story of the greedy oyster, Mus et Ostrea, to share with you here in the blog - this is the prose rendering - and you can see Alciato's emblem for this fable down at the bottom of the blog post:
Mūs, et penūs regnātor et mēnsae herīlis arrōsor, ostrea vīdit, lābris summīs hiulca. Quibus barbam teneram appōnēns, ossa falsa momordit: ast ea, tacta, repente domum clausērunt, et carcere taetrō tenuērunt fūrem dēprēnsum, quī sēmet in tumulum obscūrum dederat.
TODAY'S MOTTOES & PROVERBS: You can get access to ALL the "proverb of the day scripts" (also available as random proverb scripts) at the website.

Tiny Proverbs: Today's tiny proverb is: Aureae compedes (English: Golden shackles - which refers to those who sell their freedom in exchange for golden; see the fable of the wolf and the dog above for more on this theme!).

3-Word Mottoes Verb-less: Today's 3-word verb-less motto is Virtute et fortuna (English: With excellence and luck - I really like this motto, because excellent abilities still benefit from luck, and luck definitely benefits from excellent abilities!).

Latin Animal Proverb: Today's animal proverb is Leo a leporibus insultatur mortuus (English: A lion, after he's dead, is mocked by the rabbits - an animal version of "oh, how the mighty are fallen!").

Proverbs of Polydorus: Today's proverb from Polydorus is: Qui ipse sibi sapiens prodesse nequit, nequicquam sapit (English: The wise man who does not know how to help himself is wise in vain).

Proper Name Proverb from Erasmus: Today's proper name proverb from Erasmus is In Orci culum incidas (English: May you fall into Orcus's butthole; from Adagia 2.10.68 - as if being in the underworld of Orcus was not bad enough! Erasmus describes it as sermo perniciem et extremum exitium imprecantis, "words spoken by someone cursing another person with ruin and utter disaster" - ha!).

Greek Proverb of the Day: Today's proverb is Μωρὸς σιωπᾷν οὐ δύναται (English: The fool is not able to keep quiet - and yes, this is the same root "moros" which you see in the paradoxical "sophomore," the "wise-fool").

Today's image is an illustration for the story of the mouse and the oyster, Mus et Ostrea - you can see the poor mouse's head has been chomped by the oyster! The illustration comes from a 1539 edition of Alciato's emblems (image source):

Aesop's Fables in Latin now available at