eLatin eGreek eLearn

More wired than a Roman Internet café

Fable of the Day: De Lupo pisce fluvii

Title: De Lupo pisce fluvii, maris regnum affectante: About the "Wolf-Fish" of the river who claimed to rule the sea, by Abstemius


Latin Text:



Lupus piscis erat in amne quodam, qui pulchritudine, magnitudine, et robore ceteros eiusdem fluvii pisces excedebat. Unde cuncti eum admirabantur et tamquam regem praecipuo prosequebantur honore. Quare in superbiam elatus maiorem principatum coepit appetere. Relicto igitur amne, in quo multos annos regnaverat, ingressus est mare, ut eius regnum sibi vendicaret. Sed offendens delphinum mirae magnitudinis, qui in illo regnabat, ita ab illo insectatus est, ut aufugiens vix amnis ostium ingrederetur, unde amplius non est ausus exire. Haec fabula nos admonet, ut rebus nostris contenti, ea non appetamus, quae nostris viribus sunt longe maiora.


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



Lupus piscis

erat in amne quodam,
qui
pulchritudine, magnitudine, et robore
ceteros eiusdem fluvii pisces excedebat.
Unde cuncti eum admirabantur
et tamquam regem
praecipuo prosequebantur honore.
Quare in superbiam elatus
maiorem principatum coepit appetere.
Relicto igitur amne,
in quo multos annos regnaverat,
ingressus est mare,
ut eius regnum sibi vendicaret.
Sed offendens delphinum mirae magnitudinis,
qui in illo regnabat,
ita ab illo insectatus est,
ut aufugiens
vix amnis ostium ingrederetur,
unde amplius non est ausus exire.
Haec fabula nos admonet,
ut rebus nostris contenti,
ea non appetamus,
quae nostris viribus sunt longe maiora.



Translation:



There was a wolf-fish (pike? sturgeon?) living in a certain stream, who excelled all the other fish of the same river because of his beauty, size and strength. As a result, all the fish were amazed by him and followed him like a king, granting him enormous respect. As a result, the wolf-fish because puffed up with pride and began to seek a greater position of authority. So he left the stream behind in which he had ruled for many years, and swam out to sea in order to claim that kingdom for himself. But he encountered a wondrously huge dolphin who was king of the sea; he was chased by that dolphin, running away and barely reaching the mouth of his stream, not daring to come out of there again. This fable warns us to be content with our situation and not to seek out things which are far beyond our strength.



[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 82 (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:



There was a Master-Pike, that for his Bulk, Beauty and Strength, was look'd upon to be the Prince of the River; but the Sovereignty of the Fresh Water would not content him, it seems unless he might engross to himself the Empire of the Sea too. Upon this Ambitious Design, he launch'd out into the Ocean, and put up his Claim to't. But a prodigious Dolphin took this Encroachment upon his Right in such dudgeon, that he set upon the Pike, gave him Chace, and pursu'd him to the very Borders of his own Stream; insomuch, that the Pike had enough to do to save himself: And from that time forward he had the Wit to keep within the Compas of his Own Dominions. Ambition has no other Bounds than what Providence has prescrib'd to it, for the Good of Mankind. Here shall thy proud Ways stay. And there must be no passing those Limits.


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, audio, etc.

Views: 96

Comment

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

Join eLatin eGreek eLearn

Badge

Loading…

© 2022   Created by Andrew Reinhard.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service