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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 11 years ago


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ONLINE FORUM: At the Aesopus Ning Forum, you can ask questions about this fable. You will also  find links there to additional learning materials to help you in reading the Latin (vocabulary, grammar commentary, simplified version, quizzes, macrons, etc.).


Gallus gallinaceus, dum armato pede sterquilinium dissipando disiicit, invenit gemmam: “Quid (inquiens) rem tam fulgurantem reperio? Si Gemmarius invenisset, laetabundus exultaret, quippe qui scivit pretium. Mihi quidem nulli est usui, nec magni aestimo. Unum etenim hordei granum est mihi longe pretiosius quam omnes gemmae, quamvis ad invidiam micent diei opprobriumque solis.”


Translation: A rooster with his well-equipped foot was tossing up the dung heap and scattering it around. He found a jewel and said, "What's the point of me finding such a shiny thing? If a jeweler had found it, he would have jumped with joy, since a jeweler knows what a jewel is worth; for me, however, the thing is of no use at all, and I do not value it highly; in fact, one grain of barley is far more precious to me than all the jewels, even though the jewels sparkle so as to arouse the envy of the daylight and the reproach of the sun.


[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.]


The Moral of the Story:



sunt Natura tam depravati,


ad perituras divitias et fallacia gaudia

citius feruntur,

quam ad nobiles virtutum dotes,


non solum corpus

honore afficiunt,

sed animum etiam

et caelo beant.


Illustration: Here is an illustration from this edition, by the renowned artist Francis Barlow; click on the image for a larger view.


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