• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 15 years, 11 months ago


HOME | Osius: Previous Page - Next Page


Securis et Lignator


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 302.


Silva novae capulum dabat exorante securi

Lignatore sui causa dolenda mali.

Nam simul huic datus est oleastri stipes ad usum,

Hoc instructa suum est orsa securis opus.

Qua silvam populans caedendo strennuus instat,

Arboreum truncans gnaviter omne nemus.

Fraxinus a quercu tum sic vicina monetur,

Fortibus haec animis damna ferenda soror:

Cogimur auctores quoniam nos esse fateri,

Nolle sit haec ergo non tolerare pudor.

In sese quicumque suos armaverit hostes,

Exitii causam moverit ipse sui.


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


Lignatore exorante capulum novae securi,

silva dabat, causa dolenda mali sui.

Nam simul stipes oleastri datus est huic ad usum,

securis instructa orsa est hoc opus suum.

Strenuus instat

populans silvam caedendo secure,

gnaviter truncans omne nemus arboreum.

Fraxinus vicina tum sic monetur a quercu,

"Soror, haec damna ferenda fortibus animis:

quoniam cogimur fateri

nos esse auctores;

ergo non sit pudor

nolle tolerare haec."

Quicumque armaverit suos hostes in sese,

ipse moverit causam exitii sui.


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Silva no~vae capu~lum dabat ~ exo~rante securi

Ligna~tore su~i = causa do~lenda ma~li.

Nam simul ~ huic datus ~ est ole~astri ~ stipes ad usum,

Hoc in~structa su~(um) est = orsa se~curis o~pus.

Qua sil~vam popu~lans cae~dendo ~ strennuus ~ instat,

Arbore~um trun~cans = gnaviter ~ omne ne~mus.

Fraxinus ~ a quer~cu tum ~ sic vi~cina mo~netur,

Fortibus ~ haec ani~mis = damna fe~renda so~ror:

Cogimur ~ aucto~res quon~iam nos ~ esse fa~teri,

Nolle sit ~ haec er~go = non tole~rare pu~dor.

In se~se qui~cumque su~os ar~maverit ~ hostes,

Exiti~i cau~sam = moverit ~ ipse su~i.




When the woodsman begged for a handle for his new axe, the woods gave it to him, the lamentable cause of their own undoing. For as soon as the branch of the wild olive tree was given to him to use, the axe was fitted out with the handle and began to do its work. The woodsman vigorously took his stand, devastating the woods by chopping with the axe, diligently felling the entire grove of trees. The near-by ash tree was then warned by the oak as follows: "Sister, these losses must be endured bravely, because we are compelled to admit that we are the cause of it; therefore, it would not be good manners to refuse to put up with this." Whoever arms his own enemies against himself sets in motion the cause of his destruction.


[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.


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.