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Title: De Upupa indigne honorata: The Hoopoe, wrongly given honors, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Invitatae fere omnes aves ad Aquilae nuptias indigne ferebant upupam ceteris praeferri, quia corona insignis esset et versicoloribus pennis ornata, cum semper inter stercore et sordes solita esse volutari. Haec fabula stultitiam eorum arguit, qui in hominibus honorandis, potius vestium nitorem praestantiamque formae quam virtutes moresque soleant attendere.


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



Invitatae fere omnes aves
ad Aquilae nuptias
indigne ferebant
upupam ceteris praeferri,
quia corona insignis esset
et versicoloribus pennis ornata,
cum semper
inter stercore et sordes
solita esse volutari.
Haec fabula
stultitiam eorum arguit,
qui in hominibus honorandis,
potius vestium nitorem praestantiamque formae
quam virtutes moresque
soleant attendere.


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



Translation:



Practically all the birds were invited to the Eagle's wedding. They resented the fact that the Hoopoe had been given a higher seat of honor than the other birds because the Hoopoe was notable for its crown and for being adorned with multicolored feathers, although it was accustomed to spend all its time rolling around in dung and filth. this fable points out the foolishness of those who, when in comes to bestowing honors on people, usually pay more attention to the splendor of someone's clothes or his outstanding appearance, rather than to his character and personal habits.



[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 45 (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:



Upon a General Invitation to the Eagle's Wedding, there were several Birds of Quality among the Rest, that took it in Heavy Dudgeon to see a Lapwing Plac'd at the Upper End of the Table. 'Tis true, they cry'd, he has a kind of a Coxcomb upon the Crown of him, and a Few Tawdry Feathers; but Alas, he never Eat a Good Meals Meat in his Life, till he came to This Preferment.
'Tis a Scandal to a Government, and there goes Envy along with it, where Honours are Conferr'd upon Men for Address, Beauty, and External Advantages, rather then for their Good Qualities and Virtues.
[Note: You can find more of these fables at the old blog address for Latin Via Fables.]
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