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Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 16 years, 1 month ago


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Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 370.


Saeva suo Tubicen irritans proelia cantu

Captus ab hoste, mihi parce misertus, ait.

Me quoniam cecidit nemo caedente tuorum,

Cui non arma, nisi dixeris esse tubam.

At magis hoc est te perimendi iusta cupido,

Esse rudem belli quod liquet, hostis ait.

Et tamen ad pugnas aliorum pectora cantu

Exstimulas, dignum res ea morte probat.


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


Tubicen, irritans saeva proelia suo cantu,

captus ab hoste, ait:

"Misertus, parce mihi,

quoniam nemo tuorum cecidit me caedente;

mihi non arma, nisi dixeris esse tubam."

At hostis ait:

"Cupido perimendi te magis est iusta

hoc quod liquet esse rudem belli

et tamen exstimulas cantu pectora aliorum ad pugnas;

res ea probat dignum morte."


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Saeva su~o Tubi~cen ir~ritans ~ proelia ~ cantu

Captus ab ~ hoste, mi~hi = parce mi~sertus, a~it.

Me quoni~am ceci~dit ne~mo cae~dente tu~orum,

Cui non ~ arma, ni~si = dixeris ~ esse tu~bam.

At magis ~ hoc est ~ te peri~mendi ~ iusta cu~pido,

Esse ru~dem bel~li = quod liquet, ~ hostis a~it.

Et tamen ~ ad pug~nas ali~orum ~ pectora ~ cantu

Exstimu~las, dig~num = res ea ~ morte pro~bat.




The trumpet-player, who stirred up fierce battles with his music, was captured by the enemy and said: "Have mercy and spare me, because none of your soldiers fell, cut down by me; I have no weapons, unless you call the trumpet a weapon." But the enemy said: "The desire to kill you is all the more just on account of the fact that it is clear you are unexperienced in war yet nevertheless with your music you rouse the hearts of other men to battle; this thing shows you deserve to die."


[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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