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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 14 years ago


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Milvus et Columbae


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 486.


Accipitrem Milvi iunxere timore Columbae

Praesidii saevam spe potioris avem.

Qui simul est admissus, in has saevire videri

Iure volens, fidas esse negabat aves.

Inque columbari strages hinc edita maior,

Quam Milui poterat vi foris ulla dari.

Parce tuam, qui sunt crudeles credere vitam,

Praesidia ex illis esse cruenta solent.


Here is the poem in a more prose-like word order for easy reading:


Milvi timore

Columbae iunxere Accipitrem

saevam avem

spe praesidii potioris .


simul admissus est,

volens videri iure

saevire in has,


aves esse fidas.

Et hinc

strages edita est in columbari,



ulla strages poterat dari foris

vi Milvi.

Parce credere vitam tuam illis

qui sunt crudeles;

praesidia ex illis

solent esse cruenta.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Accipi~trem Mil~vi iun~xere ti~more Co~lumbae

Praesidi~i sae~vam = spe poti~oris a~vem.

Qui simul ~ est ad~missus, in ~ has sae~vire vi~deri

Iure vo~lens, fi~das = esse ne~gabat a~ves.

Inque co~lumba~ri stra~ges hinc ~ edita ~ maior,

Quam Mil~vi pote~rat = vi foris ~ ulla da~ri.

Parce tu~am, qui ~ sunt cru~deles ~ credere ~ vitam,

Praesidi~(a) ex il~lis = esse cru~enta so~lent.




Because of their fear of the Kite (bird), the Doves made the Hawk, a fierce bird, their ally, in hope of having a stronger defense. The Hawk, as soon as he was let into (the dovecote), wanted to appear to have the right to attack the Doves, so he claimed the Doves were dishonest. And thus there erupted a slaughter in the dovecote, greater than any slaughter that could have happened outdoors from an attack of the Kite. Do not trust your life to those who are cruel; defenses from those who are cruel are usually blood-stained.


[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.]




Here is an illustration from the 1575 edition; click on the image for a larger view.




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