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Vipera

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The story of The Viper is adapted from Physiologus Latinus Versio Y, Isidore: Etymologiae and a Latin translation of Aelian.

For more information about vipers, including other legends and proverbs about vipers, visit the Vipera in the Zoo. You can also visit the Viper page at the bestiary.ca website for a discussion in English, bibliography and other useful references.

   Use this Study Guide to organize your learning activities.

Vipera masculus
cum femina sua coit,
istaque
sine molestia
iniri se patitur.

vipera masculus: although "vipera" is a feminine noun, they acknowledge that there are both masculine and feminine vipers

iniri: complementary infinitive with patitur

Masculus autem,
ore inserto
in os viperae feminae,
semen
exspuit
et effundit.

autem: postpositive

ore inserto: ablative absolute

Uxor autem
ex voluptate libidinis
in rabiem
versa,
marito ad collum
inhaerens,
caput eius
ore suo receptum
morsu abscindit.

autem: postpositive

versa...inhaerens...abscindit: participles plus verb
(she changes...clings...and bites off)


Itaque hic perit,
illa vero
praegnans efficitur.
vero: postpositive
Non autem ova parit,
sed animantes partus edit,
iamiam idoneos
ad perniciem inferendum.
autem: postpositive
Cum autem creverint
filii eius
in utero matris suae,
tunc adaperiunt
latus matris suae,
perque disruptum ventrem
vi erumpunt
occidentes matrem
et ulciscentes patrem.

autem: postpositive

Vipera igitur
dicta est,
quod vi parit.
igitur: postpositive
Ita fit
ut parens uterque
pereat:
masculus, dum coit,
dum parturit, femina.

pereat: subjunctive with ut

Unde etiam Iohannes
dicit ad Phariseos:
Generatio viperarum.

etiam: subjunctive with ut

© The segmented texts, annotations and audio files at BestLatin.net
are copyrighted by Laura Gibbs, 2007. No copyright is claimed for any images.