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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 14 years, 10 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.).


Lupus, Ovis pelle indutus, Ovium se immiscuit gregi, quotidieque aliquam ex eis occidebat. Quod cum Pastor animadvertisset, illum in altissima arbore suspendit. Interrogantibus autem ceteris Pastoribus cur Ovem suspendisset, respondebat, “Pellis quidem est Ovis, opera autem erant Lupi.”


Translation: A wolf, dressed in a sheep's skin, blended himself in with the flock of sheep, every day killed one of the sheep. When the shepherd noticed this was happening, he hanged the wolf on a very tall tree. When other shepherds asked him why he had hanged a sheep, the shepherd answered: The skin is that of a sheep, but the activities were those of a wolf.


[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:


Fabula innuit


non ex habitu,

sed ex operibus




sub vestimentis ovium

Lupina faciunt opera.


Illustration:  Click on the image for a larger view. What a dramatic representation of the sheep in wolf's clothing - even in death, that wolf looks pretty fierce! Meanwhile, you can see the shepherds talking amongst themselves about what is going on, while one of the dogs looks up at the scene with curiosity. The sheep, untroubled, are grazing in the distance.


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