Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Readers Theater Scripts by Aaron Shepard

I made a list of the Readers Theater scripts that Aaron Shepard has so generously placed online, arranged in order by time from short to long. You can find other indexes (genre, title, etc.) at his website: Aaron Shepard: Indexes.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Climate Parable: The Helmet of Bees

This little poem comes from the emblems of Alciato which you can read online at this marvelous website at the University of Glasgow: Alciato at Glasgow, and all the images below come from the Glasgow site. For more about Alciato (1492-1550), see Wikipedia: Alciato. This is the first of what will be a series of climate parable posts here at the blog.

In his time, Alciato was responding to the devastation of war, using this helmet-hive as an emblem of peace. For us now, even when we are "at peace," the military industrial complex is destroying our planet. For more about that, see, for example, this paper from the Watson Institute at Brown University: Costs and Consequences of US Post-9/11 Wars: Focus on Climate Change.  

For a modern helmet parable, see this cartoon: Peace on Earth. (Thanks so much to Patrick D. for that one!)

And now, here's Alciato's poem and emblematic image: peace, not war! beehives, not helmets! I've included an English translation and help with the Latin meter too. :-)


En galea, intrepidus quam miles gesserat, et quae
Saepius hostili sparsa cruore fuit:
Parta pace apibus tenuis concessit in usum
Alveoli, atque favos, grataque mella gerit.
Arma procul iaceant: fas sit tunc sumere bellum
Quando aliter pacis non potes arte frui.

From War, Peace. Behold the helmet which a fearless soldier bore and which so often was sprinkled with enemy gore; now in the time of peace it has yielded its confined space to the bees for use as a hive, bearing honeycombs and welcome honey. Let weapons be set down at a distance; it is your sacred duty to  resume war only then when you cannot enjoy peace by any other means.

For those of you who love Latin poetry (I do!), here is a bit of help with the elegiac meter with the elisions and feet marked:

En gale~ · intrepi·dus quam · miles · gesserat, · et quae
   Saepius · hosti·li || sparsa cru·ore fu·it:
Parta · pac~ api·bus tenu·is con·cessit in · usum
   Alveol~ · atque fav·os || grataque · mella ge·rit.
Arma pro·cul ia·ceant: · fas sit · tunc sumere · bellum
   Quand~ ali·ter pa·cis || non potes · arte fru·i.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Phaedrus: Mons Parturiens

This project has moved to a blog of its own: Fabulae Aesopi.
This is the collection of Latin fables that started it all: Phaedrus! You can read more about Phaedrus at Wikipedia.

4.22 Mons Parturiens

Mons parturibat, gemitus immanes ciens,
eratque in terris maxima expectatio.
At ille murem peperit. Hoc scriptum est tibi,
qui, magna cum minaris, extricas nihil.

Here is the poem written out in English prose order to help in reading:

Mons parturibat, 
ciens immanes gemitus,
in terris
erat maxima expectatio.
At ille (mons)
peperit murem. 
Hoc scriptum est tibi,
cum minaris magna,
extricas nihil.

This famous fable is also found in Horace, and it has its own Wikipedia article.

The meter is iambic:

Mons par·turi·bat, gemi·tus im·manes · ciens,
erat·qu~ in ter·ris max·im~ ex·pecta·tio.
At il·le mu·rem pepe·rit. Hoc · script~ est · tibi,
qui, mag·na cum · mina·ris, ex·tricas · nihil.

Here is an illustration from a 1701 edition of Phaedrus: