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Laura Gibbs
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Bestiaria Latina

Equus et Asellus

Well, I'm back! The Digital Pedagogy Lab was a great experience, although I ended up not having as much time for writing as I expected... and that's because the participants were doing so much writing, which meant I had lots of wonderful stories to read and respond to. We're going to have a book coming out at the end of this month (I'm working on that next week), and I'll share it here since there are some classical items in there thanks to two classicists who were in the workshop! The book we used is here: Micro.LauraGibbs.net, and it is a free OER book for anyone to adapt and use. I'll eventually turn it into a Pressbook but for now it exists as a Google Doc which is also available as a website and a PDF. Based on my experience with students last year, and then with the workshop this month, I really think 100-word writing has a lot to offer!



You can find more Latin stories at Centum.LauraGibbs.net,
and more Tiny Tales at 100Words.LauraGibbs.net.


One thing that the experience inspired me to do is to keep trying new Latin experiments in addition to carrying on with the Gesta Romanorum project, so for today's story, I have taken a fable-poem by the Renaissance author Faernus (Gabriele Faerno), and turned it into a 100-word story in Latin. I even found a gorgeous illustrated edition of Faernus at the Library of Congress!

Equus et Asellus

Equus atque Asellus servi erant uni hero, et uterque ibat, sarcina propria onustus. 
Sed Asellus adeo iam gravabatur sarcina sua ut cogeretur levamen ab Equo exposcere. "O sodalis, leva me hoc onere! Supplex te rogo: adiuva me!"
"Nego!" Equus superbus respondit. "Sarcinam meam porto ego; porta tu tuam."
Prae labore Asellus miser concidit, supremum halitum agens.
Tum herus Asini sarcinam et corium insuper ad priorem sarcinam Equo addidit. 
"Eheu! Miser sum et perditus," Equus clamabat. "Levare sodalem meum nolui, et nunc sarcinas duas solus gesto, atque Asini corium tertiae instar sarcinae." 
Fabula docet: 
Si potentior tenuiorem iuverit, utrique melius fuerit.



Here is the poem as Faernus wrote it; the poem itself is just 83 words:

16. Equus et Asinus
Equus atque Asellus servientes uni hero
Uterque propria onustus ibat sarcina.
Sed Asellus adeo iam gravabatur sua,
Ut cogeretur partis alicuius sibi
Supplex levamen ab sodali exposcere.
Quo denegante prae labore concidens
Miser supremum Asellus egit halitum.
Tum vero, ut Asini sarcina et corium insuper
Equo ad priorem sarcinam sunt addita,
Miserum ille se vocabat atque perditum.
Nam qui levare contubernalem meum
Parte oneris, inquit, nolui, nunc omnia
Gesto, atque corium tertiae instar sarcinae.
Si tenuiorem iuverit potentior,
Utrique melius fuerit et prolixius.

I remember first reading this fable in a collection of children's stories by Tolstoy (more about Tolstoy's Fables for Children), and it made a big impression on me. Here's Tolstoy in Russian and a 100-word English version:

The Donkey and the Driver
A man had a Donkey and a Horse. 
They were walking on the road; the Donkey told the Horse, "I can't carry this heavy load. Take at least a part of my load."
The Horse paid no attention to him. 
The Donkey fell down from overstraining himself and died. 
When the master transferred the Donkey's load on the Horse, and added the Donkey's hide, the Horse began complaining. "Oh, woe to me, poor one, woe to me, unfortunate Horse! I did not want to help him even a little, and now I have to carry everything, and his hide too."

У одного человека были осел и лошадь. 
Шли они по дороге; осел сказал лошади: «Мне тяжело, не дотащу я всего, возьми с меня хоть немного». 
Лошадь не послушалась. 
Осел упал от натуги и умер. 
Хозяин как наложил все с осла на лошадь, да еще и шкуру ослиную, лошадь и взвыла: «Ох, горе мне, бедной, горюшко мне, несчастной! Не хотела я немножко ему подсобить, теперь вот все тащу да еще и шкуру».



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Profile Information

Hometown/Institution:
University of Oklahoma
Role in the Classics Classroom (real or virtual):
teacher
About Me:
I teach online courses in mythology and folklore at the University of Oklahoma, and Latin and Greek are my hobbies! :-)
My Website:
http://bestlatin.net
Favorite on-line spots for the Classics:
I LOVE GOOGLE BOOKS!
Favorite on-line spots for education:
Wikipedia: it's essential.
Best/worst computer-related classroom happening:
I want to brag here about my genius student, Randy Hoyt - he built the Greek online word processor at TypeGreek.com and the amazing Rotating Content Tool at RotateContent.com. These are two tools I couldn't do without! Although I had fun teaching in the classroom, I have definitely had my best classroom experiences via the world of computers, seeing my students at their very best!

Comment Wall (30 comments)

At 7:07am on June 4, 2007, lsb said…
hey, the audio latin sounds great; i've also been doing some work with distributing oral latin, albeit differently: www.poetaexmachina.net
At 4:07pm on August 1, 2007, Latinum Institute said…
Thanks for telling about writing to Google - I wrote to them about Adler, and gave them the link to the podcast - they said they'd fix the problem. I suppose they will, as the book is being used a lot, I expect their download stats on it will have shot up since I started using it for the lobus disseminuus.
At 3:30pm on September 15, 2007, Seumas Macdonald said…
Hi Laura. I think one of the things I'm appreciating more and more is the ability to connect with people doing similar/related things in Classics, which is so often an isolated pursuit, and have a real fruitful exchange with them. Hopefully this space will grow and blossom like that too.
At 3:31pm on September 23, 2007, Seumas Macdonald said…
I look forward to your Vulgate project. I'd be interested to hear about how you approached teaching Biblical Greek. One of my keen interests is taking the moves towards a communicative, or even a reading-based, approach to Latin, and applying them to Greek, esp. Biblical Greek. I would say an overwhelming majority of theology students graduate with a very grammar-translation knowledge of Greek, and often very little ability simply to read the text - one of my hobby horses and little personal causes.
At 10:17am on October 8, 2007, Raphaela said…
Hi Laura,

Thanks for the link to the Heloise texts! I'm going to enjoy reading those alongside Abelard. (So much Latin, so little time...)
At 11:49am on October 8, 2007, Raphaela said…
No I haven't, but I've just wishlisted Marion Meade's novel on the strengths of the reviews at the IMDB page you linked to!
At 2:02pm on October 22, 2007, Jerry Proffitt said…
Laura,
I am not a native Texan. I grew up in North Carolina. I envy you the climate and the rolling hills. I do enjoy Fort Worth, and the museums are wonderful.
I particularly enjoy your Bestaria Latina. Keep up the good work.
Jerry
At 8:35am on November 11, 2007, Raphaela said…
Thanks, Laura! As for the lyrics, I learned the first two verses as a child, but until I Googled the song on Friday I had no idea there were any more... OR that they lent themselves so well to translating into Latin! :)
At 10:37pm on November 12, 2007, Lisa St. Louis said…
Laura, Dr. Shawn Graham and I loooove your site! We think the look of it is absolutely amazing. Shawn has just got me blogging finally for RWU and we have just done an Amazon bookstore for the school. We get so many great ideas from your site. Thanks for inspiring us. Dux femina facti!
At 6:45am on November 27, 2007, ERIC said…
DEAR LAURA...AMONG OTHER THINGS, I AM A POET WHO IS WRITING A PLAY. SO FAR I HAVE SEVEN CHARACTERS. THREE MANICS (MALES) AND THREE DEPRESSIVES (FEMALES) AND THEIR PASTOR/PASTORAL COUNSELOR. THE NAME AGITATUM CAME TO ME FOR ONE OF THE MANIC MEN. IT THEN OCCURRED TO ME THAT THIS NAME MIGHT COME FROM SOMETHING LATIN LIKE...AGITO, AGITARE, AGITATUM...OF COURSE I GOOGLED IT AND FOUND NOTHERING DIRECTLY RELATING TO MY HUNCH, BUT I DID FIND YOUR BLOG. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS ON THIS THOUGHT? THANKS IN ADVANCE...ERIC (AGITATUM)

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