About the Legenda
The Legenda are
annotated Latin stories and fables about animals for intermediate Latin students.
The stories have been adapted for intermediate Latin students in a variety
of ways. The spelling has been normalized throughout to conform, more or less,
to classical Latin standards, with the letters "u" and "v" both being used
(although the letter "j" is not used). In addition, the
stories may be edited as follows:
- Verse: If the original story was in verse form,
the text has not been altered but there is a prose version of the story
provided. You should read the prose version first in order to get a sense of
the meaning of the story, and then tackle the verse original, where the word
order is usually much more difficult.
- Prose - single author. When a story is reported in prose
form from a single author, there are often considerable changes that have been
made to the story in order to simply the vocabulary or shorten the story. You
can find the original text of the story online (usually at another website),
so that after you have read the simplified version here at BestLatin.net, you
can then see what it is like to read the original version.
- Prose - compiled. Often the stories at this website are
compiled from a variety of different versions. In this case, sentences and
phrases have been taken from different versions of the story and combined into
a single version. You
can find the original texts of each source story online (usually at
another website), so that after you have read the compiled and simplified version
here at BestLatin.net, you can then go read the original versions if you want.
Each Legenda page contains:
- an Introduction with references to other online resources
that you might want to consult
- a Study Guide to help you work through the Latin story
- the Segmented Text to help you better understand the grammar
and syntax of the story
- link to a Discussion Board where you can ask questions
and get help
The stories come from three different types of sources (for more information,
visit the Sources section of the website):
- Latin bestiaries and natural history writers.
Some of the stories are taken from the bestiary tradition (going back to
the Physiologus), supplemented with information from ancient natural history
writers, such as Pliny, and early modern natural history encyclopedias in
Latin. Sometimes these bestiary stories are explicitly allegorical, containing
a kind of sermon at the end of the story which explains the divine symbolism
which is expressed in the animal's story
- Aesop's fables.
Many of the stories are taken from Aesop's fables in Latin, both from ancient
Latin sources (notably the Roman poet Phaedrus), and also from a wide range
of medieval Latin sources in both prose and poetry. The Aesop's fables
are referenced by their "Perry Number" which
allows you to look up the fable at aesopica.net,
where you can find many different Latin versions as well as English translations
of the fable.
- Medieval animal stories. You will find several
legends taken from other medieval authors, such as Odo of Cheriton, the various
versions of the Kalila-wa-Dimna tradition
translated into Latin, and other writers who collected and recorded animal
stories in the Middle Ages.
|© The segmented texts, annotations and audio
files at BestLatin.net
are copyrighted by Laura
Gibbs, 2007. No copyright is claimed for any images.