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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 12 years, 4 months 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.).


Foedus aliquando fuit inter Lupos et Oves, quibus natura discordia est. Obsides utrimque tradebantur. Oves, in suam partem, vigilem Canum custodiam, Lupi suos Catulos tradiderunt. Quietis Ovibus ac pascentibus, Lupuli matrum desiderio ululatus edunt. Tum Lupi irruentes foedus fidemque solutam clamitant, Ovesque, Canum praesidio destitutas, laniant.


Translation: Once upon a time there was a treaty between the wolves and the sheep, who by their very nature are in conflict with one another. They exchanged hostages with one another. The sheep, for their part, handed over the vigilant watch of their dogs, while the wolves handed over their pups. When the sheep were relaxed and grazing, the wolf pups burst out with howls, wanting their mothers. Then the wolves rushed in, shouting that the treaty and trust between them had been violated, and they butchered the sheep, who were bereft of the protection of their dogs.


[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:


Inscitia est,

si in foedere,

praesidia tua

hosti traderes,

nam qui hostis fuit,

hostis fortassis

nondum esse desit;

forsan et ansam coeperit,

cur te,

nudatum praesidiis,



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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