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Title: De Lupo suadente histrici, ut tela deponeret: The Wolf Persuading the Hedgehog to lay down his weapons, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Lupus esuriens in histricem intenderat animum, quem tamen, quia sagittis undique munitus erat, invadere non audebat. Excogitata autem eum perdendi astutia, illi suadere coepit, ne pauco tempore tantum telorum onus tergore portaret, quandoquidem ne alii quidem sagittarii, nisi cum proelii tempus instaret, portarent. Cui histrix: Adversus lupum, inquit, semper proeliandi tempus esse credendum est. Haec fabula innuit, virum sapientem oportere adversus inimicorum et hostium fraudes semper esse munitum.


Here is a segmented version to help you see the grammatical patterns:



Lupus esuriens
in histricem intenderat animum,
quem tamen,
quia sagittis
undique munitus erat,
invadere non audebat.
Excogitata autem
eum perdendi astutia,
illi suadere coepit,
ne pauco tempore
tantum telorum onus tergore portaret,
quandoquidem
ne alii quidem sagittarii,
nisi cum proelii tempus instaret,
portarent.
Cui histrix:
Adversus lupum, inquit,
semper proeliandi tempus esse
credendum est.
Haec fabula innuit,
virum sapientem
oportere
adversus inimicorum et hostium fraudes
semper esse munitum.


Crossword Puzzle: You can play a crossword puzzle based on the vocabulary in this fable.



Translation:



A hungry wolf noticed a hedgehog, but because the hedgehog was all over armed with arrows, the wolf could not attack him. The wolf, however, thought up a trick to defeat the hedgehog. He began to persuade the hedgehog that he ought not to carry such a load of weapons upon his back, not even for a short time, since other archers did not even carry something like that, except when the time of battle was imminent. The hedgehog replied: Against the wolf, we should believe that the time of doing battle is always upon us. This fable shows that the wise man should also be warmed against the deceptions of enemies and hostile parties.



[This translation is meant as a help in understanding the story, not as a "crib" for the Latin. I have not hesitated to change the syntax to make it flow more smoothly in English, altering the verb tense consistently to narrative past tense, etc.]



Source: Abstemius 69 (You can see a 1499 edition of Abstemius online, but I am doing my transcription from the 1568 edition of Aesopi fabulae in the EEBO catalog.)



Another English translation. Sir Roger L'Estrange included the fables of Abstemius in his amazing 17th-century edition of Aesop's fables. So, here is L'Estrange's translation:



Your Porcupine and your Hedge-Hog, are somewhat alike, only the Former has longer and sharper Prickles than the Other; and these Prickles he can shoot and dart at an Enemy. There was a Wolf had a mind to be dealing with him, if he could but get him disarm'd first; and so he told the Porcupine in a friendly way, that it did not look well for People in a Time of Peace, to go Arm'd, as if they were in a Seate of War; and so advis'd him to lay his Bristles aside; for (says he) you may take them up at pleasure. Do you talk of a State of War? says the Porcupine, why, that's my present Case, and the very Reason of my standing to my Arms, so long as a Wolf is in Company.
No Man, or State can be safe in Peace, that is no always in readiness to encounter an Enemy in Case of War.



[Note: You can find more of these fables at the old blog address for Latin Via Fables.]
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