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Amici et Ursa

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The story of The Friends and The Bear Want A King is a poem by Caspar Barth. It is written in iambic meter.

The Perry number for this fable is Perry 65.

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).

Here is the poem in verse form:

Sodalitate mutua
Viam duo unam iniverant,
Fide data ut periculis
Iuvaret alter alterum.
Parum viae cum itum foret
Fit obvia ursa: quae, prius
Inire quam fugam pote,
Prope ingruit. Tum in arborem
Levatus ille subfugit,
Supinus iste corruit,
Timore mortuum exprimens.
At ursa cum putaret hunc
Neci, olim obisse, traditum,
Anhelitum ore sublegens
Nec invenire eum potens,
Metu premente frigido.
Nec alterum altam in arborem
Pote esset usque consequi,
Utrumque liquit innocem.
Ibi ille qui alta in arbore
Periculum insuper sui
Amici habebat: "Optime,
Quid," inquit, "atra belua
Profundam in aurem, obambulans,
Tibi locuta sit, cedo."
At alter: "A sodalibus
Cavere deinde ad hunc modum
Monebat infidelibus."
Pericla ni probant, fidem
Dare hanc sodalibus cave.

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