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

  • Whenever you search in PBworks, Dokkio Sidebar (from the makers of PBworks) will run the same search in your Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Gmail, and Slack. Now you can find what you're looking for wherever it lives. Try Dokkio Sidebar for free.



Page history last edited by Laura Gibbs 14 years, 9 months ago


HOME | Phaedrus: Previous Page - Next Page


III.3. Aesopus et Rusticus


Parallels: For parallel versions, see Perry 495.


Usu peritus hariolo veracior

vulgo perhibetur; causa sed non dicitur,

notescet quae nunc primum fabella mea.

Habenti cuidam pecora perpererunt oves

agnos humano capite. Monstro territus

ad consulendos currit maerens hariolos.

Hic pertinere ad domini respondet caput,

et avertendum victima periculum.

Ille autem adfirmat coniugem esse adulteram

et insitivos significari liberos,

sed expiari posse maiore hostia.

Quid multa? Variis dissident sententiis,

hominisque curam cura maiore adgravant.

Aesopus ibi stans, naris emunctae senex,

natura numquam verba cui potuit dare,

"Si procurare vis ostentum, rustice,

uxores" inquit "da tuis pastoribus."


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


Peritus usu

perhibetur vulgo veracior hariolo;

sed causa non dicitur:

nunc primum causa notescet fabella mea.

Cuidam habenti pecora

oves perpererunt agnos humano capite.

Territus monstro


currit ad consulendos hariolos.

Hic respondet

pertinere ad caput domini,

et periculum avertendum esse victima.

Ille autem adfirmat

coniugem esse adulteram

et significari insitivos liberos,

sed posse expiari maiore hostia.

Quid multa?

Dissident variis sententiis,

et adgravant curam hominis

maiore cura.

Aesopus ibi stans,

senex emunctae naris,

cui natura numquam potuit dare verba,


"Si vis procurare ostentum, rustice,

da uxores tuis pastoribus."


Here is the poem with meter marks:


Usu ~ peri~tus har~jolo ~ vera~cior

vulgo ~ perh'be~tur; cau~sa sed ~ non di~citur,

notes~cet quae ~ nunc pri~mum fa~bella ~ mea.

Haben~ti cui~dam pec'~ra perp'~rerunt ~ oves

agnos ~ huma~no cap'~te. Mon~stro ter~ritus

ad con~sulen~dos cur~rit mae~rens har~jolos.

Hic per~tine~r(e) ad dom'~ni re~spondet ~ caput,

et a~verten~dum vic~tima ~ peri~culum.

Ill(e) au~t(em) adfir~mat con~iug(em) es~s(e) adul~teram

et in~siti~vos sig~nif'ca~ri li~beros,

sed ex~pia~ri pos~se mai~or(e h)os~tia.

Quid mul~ta? Var~jis dis~sident ~ senten~tiis,

hom'nis~que cu~ram cu~ra mai~or(e) ad~gravant.

Aeso~p's ibi ~ stans, na~ris e~munctae ~ senex,

natu~ra num~quam ver~ba cui ~ potvit ~ dare,

"Si pro~cura~re vis ~ osten~tum, ru~stice,

uxo~res" in~quit "da ~ tuis ~ pasto~ribus."




A person experienced in practice is considered by the people to be more trustworthy than a soothsayer, but the reason is not reported: now for the first time the reason is made known by my fable. There was a certain man who had some flocks and his sheep gave birth to lambs with human heads. Terrified by this omen and full of worry, he ran to consult the soothsayers. One soothsayer told him that this was a "capital" concern for the "head" of the family, and the danger had to be averted by a sacrifice. Another soothsayer, however, insisted that the man's wife had been unfaithful, and that this was a sign of illegitimate children, although it could be warded off by a greater sacrificial victim. Aesop was standing there, an old man who was nobody's fool, someone whom nature could not play tricks on, and he said: "If you want to expiate this omen, you country bumpkin, give wives to your shepherds."


[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 image of Aesop from an early printed edition:




Comments (0)

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