BESTIARIA LATINA BLOG - Latin Via Fables - Zoo - Legenda

Ranae et Rex

 Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

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

The story of The Frogs Who Want A King is a poem by Caspar Barth. It is written in Sapphic stanzas.

The Perry number for this fable is Perry 44.

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

You can find a translation of a different Latin version of this story 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):

Saecla cum Reges animantum haberent
Omnia et Ranas subiit libido
Sceptra regalis Domini a supremo
Poscere Rege.
Ergo clamosis sibi cantilenis
Principem poscunt, Iovis a favore.
Risit et truncum Pater in paludes
Misit opacas.
Aspero primum trepidae tumultu
In paludosas redeunt latebras,
Mox super Regem petulante ludunt
Plurima saltu.
Vidit iratus Pater, et secundo
Principem orantes, dat habere longo
Alitem rostro, necat Ibis omnes
Quos pote apisci.
Saepe mortales sua damna poscunt,
Ergo componant moderata vota,
Quod dii donant, ratum habere fas est,
Absque querella.

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

Cum omnia saecla animantum
Reges haberent,
et ranas subiit
sceptra regalis Domini
a supremo Rege.

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.

clamosis cantilenis
principem sibi poscunt
a favore Iovis.
Pater risit
et truncum misit
in paludes opacas.
aspero tumultu
trepidae redunt
in paludosas latebras,
mox petulante saltu
plurima ludunt
super Regem.
Pater vidit,
et secundo
principem orantes
habere alitem
longo rostro.
Ibis necat omnes
quos apisci
pote est.
Saepe mortales
sua damna poscunt,
ergo componant
moderata vota.
Fas est
ratum habere
quod dii donant,
absque querella.


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