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Castor

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The story of The Beaver is adapted from Isidore's Etymologiae , Physiologus Latinus, versio BIs , and the text of the Aberdeen Bestiary , along with a Latin translation of Aelian.

For more information about the beaver, visit the Castor in the Zoo. You can also visit the Beaver page at the bestiary.ca website for a discussion in English, bibliography and other useful references.

This story also forms part of the Aesopic tradition in a poem by Phaedrus. You can find this poem, Phaedrus App. 30, along with other poems by Phaedrus, at the aesopica.net website. The Perry number for this fable is Perry 118.

You can find a translation of Phaedrus's version of this story in Aesop's Fables, by Laura Gibbs (Oxford University Press, 2003).

   Use this Study Guide to organize your learning activities.

Est animal
quod dicitur castor
mansuetum nimis,
cuius testiculi
medicinae sunt aptissimi,
et proficiunt
ad diversas invalitudines.

quod: relative pronoun, antecedent is animal
mansuetum: the e is long, so penultimate stress

cuius: relative pronoun, antecedent is animal
testiculi: diminutive
medicinae...aptissimi: split phrase

medicina: the i is long, so penultimate stress

De quo dicit Phisiologus quia
cum investigaverit eum venator,
sequitur post eum;

quod: relative pronoun, antecedent is castor

investigaverit: subjunctive introduced by cum

castor vero,
cum respexerit post se
et viderit venatorem
venientem post se,
statim morsu
abscidit testiculos suos,
et in faciem venatoris
eos proicit
et sic fugiens
evadit.

vero: postpositive

respexerit...viderit: subjunctive introduced by cum

fugiens evadit: participle plus verb
("thus he runs away and escapes")

Venator
veniens colligit eos,
et ultra iam non sequitur eum,
sed revertitur.
veniens colligit: participle plus verb
("the hunter comes and gathers")
Si vero
rursus contigerit
ut alter venator
eum prosequatur,
ille
videns evadere non posse,
erigit se
et ostendit virilia sua
venatori.

vero: postpositive

contigerit: subjunctive in a conditional statement

prosequatur: subjunctive introduced by ut

evadere: completemenary infinitive introduced by posse

posse: infinitive in indirect statement (introduced by videns)

Quem
cum viderit
testiculis carere,
ab eo discedit.

quem: relative pronoun, antecedent is castor
viderit
: subjunctive introduced by cum

carere: infinitive in indirect statement (introduced by viderit, subject of the infinitive is quem

De quibus Cicero:
Redimunt se
ea parte corporis,
propter quod
maxime expetuntur.

quibus: relative pronoun, antecedent is (implied) castores

quod: relative pronoun without stated antecedent (quod stands here for the whole situation: why the beavers are being hunted)

Sic omnis
qui iuxta mandatum dei versatur
et caste vult vivere,
secat a se
omnia vitia,
et omnes impudicitiae actus,
et proicit eos
a se
in faciem diaboli.

vivere: complementary infinitive with vult

Persaepe castor
etiam testiculos habens
cum se
a venatorum conspectu
longissime removerit
eam partem desideratam
ita astute comprimit et occultat
ut insectatores fallat,
quasi iis careat,
quae occultavit.

removerit: subjunctive plus cum

fallat: subjunctive plus ut

careat: subjunctive in conditional statement

quae: relative pronoun, antecedent is iis (testiculis)


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