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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 12 years, 11 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.).


Avibus cum Bestiis asperrima pugna erat, utrimque spes, utrimque ingens metus, utrimque periculum, cum Vespertilio, relictis sociis, ad hostem defecit. Ad postremum vincunt Aves, duce et auspice Aquila. Transfugam vero Vespertilionem damnant, ut nunquam iterum inter Aves numeretur, nec amplius in luce videatur. Et haec causa est cur Vespertilio nunquam, nisi nocte, volat.


Translation: The birds had a very fierce war with the beasts; both sides were hopeful, both sides were very fearful, both sides were in danger, when the bat abandoned his allies and deserted to the enemy. Finally the birds won, with the eagle as their commander and leader. They condemned the  bat for being a traitor, so that the bat would never again be counted among the birds and would no longer be seen in the daylight. And this is the reason why the bat never flies except at night.


[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:



cum sociis

infortunii et periculi particeps

esse renuit,

prosperitatis et salutis expers erit.


Illustration: Here is an illustration from this edition, by the renowned artist Francis Barlow; click on the image for a larger view. You can see the bat still hovering out in broad daylight here, along with the eagle as leader of the birds, along with other fighting birds (perhaps that is even a griffin facing off against the lion?). For the animals, there is the lion as their leader, and even a unicorn - plus, my favorite, a tiny hedgehog who is also joining in the battle!



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