BESTIARIA LATINA BLOG - Latin Via Fables - Zoo - Legenda

Vulpes et Uva (Caspar)

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Scroll down to find: Overview, Study Guide, Verse, Audio, and Segmented Prose Text

The story of The Fox and The Grapes is a poem by Caspar von Barth . It is written in dactylic hexameter.

The Perry number for this fable is Perry 15. You can read a version of this story in a poem by Phaedrus (in a different meter - iambic trimeter!).

This is one of the most famous of Aesop's fables and it lives on in the cliche - "Sour grapes!" - even if many people do not remember the story that goes along with that saying.

You can see a 1501 woodcut illustration for this fable at the University of Mannheim website.

You can find translations of two different versions of this fable in Aesop's Fables, by Laura Gibbs (Oxford University Press, 2003).

   Use this Study Guide to organize your learning activities.

Here is the poem (click "play" icon for brief audio sample):

Uvam impendentem nequiens comprendere saltu
Omnia tentasset cum iam, vulpicula dixit:
Immatura etiam gallaque es plena virenti,
Nos nisi decoctis Phoebo non vescimur uvis.
Ridicule haec homines nequeunt quae prendere temnunt.

The following version puts the words in a more prose-like order so that it will be easier for you to read:

uvam impendentem
nequiens comprendere
cum iam omnia tentasset,

Additional grammar commentary to be added... meanwhile, if you have questions, use the Comments? Questions? Suggestions? link at the top or bottom of this page if you have a query. You might also want to look at these Tips on Using Segmented Texts.

Etiam immatura es,
et plena
galla virenti.
galla: a cheap wine
Nos non vescimur uvis,
nisi decoctis Phoebo.
Homines ridicule temnunt
quae prendere nequeunt .

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