eLatin eGreek eLearn

More wired than a Roman Internet café

Title: De mulo et equo: The Mule and The Horse, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Mulus conspiciens equum aureo freno ephippioque insignem, et purpureis opertum phaleris, rumpebatur invidia, illum beatum reputans, qui continue optimis vesceretur cibis et decoro amiciretur ornatu, se autem prae illo infelicem, qui clitellis male dolatis oppressus, quotidie maxima onera ferre cogeret. At ubi vidit equum pugna redeuntem multis affectum vulneribus prae illius calamitate se felicem appellabat, longe melius esse dicens quotidiano labore durum victum quaeritare et turpiter vestiri, quam post opimos et delicatos cibos et tantos ornatus mortis adire discrimina. Haec fabula monet regibus et principibus minime invidendum, quia divitiis et opibus abundent, ut cum vitam eorum longe pluribus periculis quam pauperum videamus esse subiectam.


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



Mulus
conspiciens equum
aureo freno ephippioque insignem,
et purpureis opertum phaleris, rumpebatur invidia,
illum beatum reputans,
qui continue
optimis vesceretur cibis
et decoro amiciretur ornatu,
se autem
prae illo infelicem,
qui
clitellis male dolatis oppressus, quotidie maxima onera ferre
cogeret.
At ubi vidit equum
pugna redeuntem
multis affectum vulneribus
prae illius calamitate
se felicem appellabat,
longe melius esse
dicens
quotidiano labore
durum victum quaeritare
et turpiter vestiri,
quam
post opimos et delicatos cibos
et tantos ornatus
mortis adire discrimina.
Haec fabula monet
regibus et principibus
minime invidendum,
quia
divitiis et opibus abundent,
ut cum
vitam eorum
longe pluribus periculis
quam pauperum
videamus
esse subiectam.


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



Translation:



A mule saw a horse who was notable for his golden harness and saddle, and covered with purple decorations. The mule was bursting with envy, thinking that the horse was truly lucky since he constantly was fed on the best foods and was clothed in lovely finery, while he himself was unhappy in comparison, since he was weighed down by awkward pack-saddles and forced to bear incredily heavy burdens every day. But when he saw the horse coming back from battle, stricken with many wounds, in comparison to that disaster, the mule called himself happy, since it was better by far, he said, to eke out his coarse food by daily labor and to be filthily dressed than to face such crises of life and death after enjoying rich and refined food and so much finery. This fable warns us that kings and princes are to be envied least of all because while they might abound in riches and wealth this results in their life being far more beset with dangers than we would see in the lives of poor folks.



[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 47 (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 actually did not include this fable. Perhaps he found it resembled too much the traditional Aesopic fables on this same topic? (Perry 565)



[Note: You can find more of these fables at the old blog address for Latin Via Fables.]
Keep up with the latest Bestiaria Latina blog posts... Subscribe by Email. I also post a daily round-up of all the Bestiaria Latina blogs: fables, proverbs, crosswords, and audio.

Views: 318

Comment

You need to be a member of eLatin eGreek eLearn to add comments!

Join eLatin eGreek eLearn

Badge

Loading…

© 2019   Created by Andrew Reinhard.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service