Readings 6 & 7:

The Country Mouse and the City Mouse

Note: Because of the length of these fables, We will be splitting this fable into two sections

Milo Winter 1919 Country Mouse

Aesop for Children (translator not identified), 1919. Illustrations by Milo Winter (1886-1956). Available online at Project Gutenberg.

 

Fable Versions

Perry Index Fable Name Aesopica Versions Reading Selection
Perry 352 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse Chambry 243 version 2 #6 Primary
Perry 352 Babrius Endomythium and 'morals' of the other three fables Babrius 108:B27-B32 #6 Optional
Perry 352 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse Chambry 243 version 1 #7 Primary
Perry 352 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse Aphthonius 26 #7 Optional
Perry 352 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse Babrius 108 #7 Advanced

 

About the Fable

In our last fable, we met a mouse scampering across a bedroom. In this fable, we find them scurrying about the cupboard, darting into mouseholes and squeaking and shrieking. The fable of the City Mouse and Country Mouse occurs in many versions in both Greek and Latin.

This fable is one of the longer fables compared to the other ones we have read so far. Each fable would be about a page in the Loeb format. The word count is as follows: Aphthonius 101 words, Chambry v1 166 words, Chambry v2 175 words and Babrius, the longest with 196 words.

In this fable, the city mouse and country mouse try out each others homes. They entertain each other and each express their opinion. The Country mouse always goes to visit the City Mouse last. The story ends the same way in all the versions with the Country Mouse exclaiming something like: "Χαῖρε σύ φίλε καὶ πλούτει καὶ τρύφα ...ἄπειμι" "See you later friend, prosper and eat.....but I'm going back home!.

The moral of the story varies little: The simple life is best; Why take excessive risk? The Aphthonius fable talks of μέτρια, moderation. Chambry's versions and Babrius' talk of both simplicity ( cf. λῑτός) and of living life on the edge.

(Note: Horace gives a famous embellished variant version of this story in Satires 1.6. The Latin fable and translation are given below. His fable turns the moral on its head - 'City life is better!' )

Mice and Food

Mice are a very common subject in fables. They can be found in the following twenty-two fables: 57, 256, 280, 350 ... with blacksmiths 424 ... with bulls 241 ... with cats 98, 250, 299, 435 ... with frogs 139, 140 ... with lions 245 ... with an oyster 429 ... with a weasel 63, 298, 455 ... from city and country 408 ... as generals 455 ... in pot 425 ... rescueing a lion 70 ... who was drunk 118. (Number 118 is a great read).

Where there are mice, there is food. We get a glimpse into Greek food and storage in these fables. The ant and Country Mouse lived on a pauper's diet. The City Mouse exclaimed, "You live the life of a wretched ant!" (Tell that to the Cicida!). The City Mouse had a fine fare. For food, the City Mouse has honey, figs, spelt, grain, wheat, barley, ground barley, pulse and, of course, cheese. We have various sorts of jars and containers. All these words can be found on the Perry 352 vocabulary page.

Pictures

Pictures from some print editions are gathered below. They include books authored by Milo Winter 1919, Vernon Jones 1912, Jacobs-Heighway 1894, Griset-Tenniel-Weir 1884, Thomas Bewick 1871 (first edition published in 1818), Francis Barlow 1687, Hieronymus Osius 1574 and Steinhowel 1479, 1501 and 1521.

Steinhowel 1501

Texts and Questions


Reading 6 - Primary Reading Chambry 243 Version 2
Notes
Apparatus
Translation

Chambry 243 version 2 text

[C2-T] Μῦς ἀρουραῖος καὶ μῦς ἀστικός.
[1] Μύες δύο, ὁ μὲν ἀρουραῖος, ὁ δὲ οἰκόσιτος κοινὸν εἶχον τὸν βίον. [2] Ὁ δὲ οἰκόσιτος ἦλθε πρῶτος δειπνήσων ἐπὶ τῆς ἀρούρης ἔτι ἀνθούσης. [3] Τρώγων δὲ σῖτον καὶ ῥίζας σὺν τοῖς βώλοις εἶπεν· Μύρμηκος ζῇς βίον ταλαιπώρου· ἐμοὶ δὲ πολλὰ ἔνεστιν ἀγαθά· τὸ κέρας οἰκῶ τῆς Ἀμαλθείας ὡς πρὼς σέ. [4] Ἐὰν ἔλθῃς μετ' ἐμοῦ, ὡς θέλεις ἀσωτεύσῃ. Ἀπῆγε πείσας τὸν μῦν ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ.[5] Ἔδειξε δὲ αὐτῷ σῖτον καὶ ἄλευρα καὶ ὄσπρια καὶ σῦκα καὶ μέλι καὶ φοίνικας. [6] Οὗτος δὲ ἐτέρφθη καὶ διεχύθη. Ὁ δὲ ἤγαγε καὶ τυρὸν ἐκ κανισκίου σύρων. [7] Ἤνοιξέ τις τὴν θύραν· οἱ δὲ ἔφυγον εἰς στενὴν τρώγλην, ἔτριζον δὲ ὑπ' ἀλλήλων στενούμενοι. [8] Ὡς δὲ πάλιν ἤμελλον ἐκκύψαι καὶ μικρὰν ἰσχάδα σῦραι, ἕτερος ἦλθεν ἄλλο τι ἆραι· οἱ δὲ ἔνδον ἐκρύπτοντο. [9] Ὁ δὲ ἀρουραῖος μῦς, καίπερ τοσαῦτα πεινῶν, εἶπε· Χαῖρε καὶ πλούτει καὶ τρύφα, ἔχων τὰ πάντα μετὰ κινδύνων· ἐγὼ δὲ βοτάνας καὶ ῥίζας τρώγων ἀφόβως καὶ λιτῶς ζήσω.
[E] Ὅτι λιτῶς διάγειν καὶ ζῆν ἀταράχως μᾶλλον συμφέρει ἢ ἐν φόβῳ καὶ κινδύνῳ δαψιλῶς τρυφᾶν.

(Variant version from Chambry's first edition)

Questions for Chambry 243 Version 2 (Reading 6 Primary)

Q1 How many ways is the standard word δύο declined. Were the forms in later Greek the same as in Attic? Cf. Smyth § 349D and LSJ and Kuhner-Gerth §§ 186-187.

Q2 How would you translate κοινὸν εἶχον τὸν βίον. What are the variations of meaning for this phrase?

Q3 How do you decline δειπνήσων? What tense is it? Do you think this word is incorrect in form or function? The same word and form appear in Chambry version 1 line 3 (C243.1-3).

Q4 Some have translated the end of line 3 as 'the horn of plenty'. How would you translate the phrase τὸ κέρας οἰκῶ τῆς Ἀμαλθείας. To whom or what does Ἀμαλθείας refer?

Q5 What is the basic idea of the preposition πρός in the phrase ὡς πρὼς σέ? Any idea why the omicron ό is written as an omega ?

Q6 What class of condition is [4] Ἐὰν ἔλθῃς μετ' ἐμοῦ, ὡς θέλεις ἀσωτεύσῃ? Is the phrase ὡς θέλεις just an aside, a polite way of saying 'please'. Should the phrase be set off in commas? What tense and mood is ἀσωτεύσῃ?

Q7 Translate the phrase ἐτέρφθη καὶ διεχύθη in line 6.

Q8 What case and gender is ἰσχάδα? What is the standard noun example(s) for this type of 3rd declension noun? What type of stem would you classify it as?

Answers to the questions can be sent to Paul Fonck via this link.


Reading 6 - Optional Reading Perry 352 Fable 'Mythiums
Notes
Apparatus
Translation

'Mythiums are the part of a fable that include the moral or point. The 'moral' or 'point' of the fable can be included in several ways: before (as a promythium), after (as an epimythium), and as part of the fable (called an endomythium). See parts of a fable for further explanation. The following selections are taken from each of the fables.

Source Reading Selections
Babrius' Endomythium B27b-B32

B27 οἱ δ' ἔνδον ἐκρύβοντο. μῦς δ' ἀρουρίτης
B28 "τοιαῦτα δειπνῶν" εἶπε "χαῖρε καὶ πλούτει,
B29 καὶ τοῖς περισσοῖς αὐτὸς ἐντρύφα δείπνοις,
B30 ἔχων τὰ πολλὰ ταῦτα μεστὰ κινδύνων.
B31 ἐγὼ δὲ λιτῆς οὐκ ἀφέξομαι βώλου,
B32 ὑφ' ἣν τὰ κρίμνα μὴ φοβούμενος τρώγω."'

 

Chambry 243 V2 Epimythium C243.2-E

Ὅτι λιτῶς διάγειν καὶ ζῆν ἀταράχως μᾶλλον συμφέρει ἢ ἐν φόβῳ καὶ κινδύνῳ δαψιλῶς τρυφᾶν.

 

Chambry 243 V1 Epimythium C243.1-E

Ὁ μῦθος δηλοῖ ὅτι τὸ λιτῶς διάγειν καὶ ζῆν ἀταράχως ὑπὲρ τὸ τρυφᾶν ἐν φόβῳ μετ' ὀδύνης. 

 

Aphthonius 26 Promythium and Epimythium

[P] Μῦθος ὁ τῶν μυῶν παραινῶν στέργειν τὰ μέτρια.

[E] Οὕτως οἱ μέτρια κτώμενοι καὶ τῶν πλουτούντων εἰσὶν αἱρετώτεροι.

 

Questions for 'Mythiums (Reading 6 Optional)

Q1 Translate line B30 ἔχων τὰ πολλὰ ταῦτα μεστὰ κινδύνων. How do τὰ, πολλὰ and ταῦτα fit into the sentence structure?

Q2 Do we know what sex our mice are? The word μῦς is used for both male and female mice, even for the feminine. In line B31 λιτῆς appears to be feminine. What word does it modify? Translate line B31.

Q3 B32 τὰ κρίμνα means 'coarse barley meal.' Can you list the words for the various grains both ground and whole?

Q4 How do you translate the word συμφέρει in C243.2-E and how does it fit into the sentence?

Q5 The word τρυφᾶν in C243.1-E is used in what manner?

Q6 Give some alternate word choices for the phrase in A26-P στέργειν τὰ μέτρια.

Q7 Do you think A26-E is missing something, perhaps an adjective meaning 'better'? How should καὶ be translated. What are your ideas?

 


Reading 7 - Primary Reading Chambry 243 Version 1
Notes
Apparatus
Translation

This anonymous version is a longer variant version from Chambry's first edition. There are several translations of this version both given below. Griset-Tenniel-Weir has a translation of this version and Townsend 216 is another translation of this version. This version is in verse. Does anyone know what meter?

C1-T

C1-1
C1-2
C1-3
C1-4
C1-5
C1-6
C1-7
C1-8
C1-9
C1-10

C1-11
C1-12
C1-13
C1-14
C1-15
C1-16
C1-17
C1-18
C1-19
C1-20

C1-21
C1-22
C1-23
C1-24
C1-25
C1-26
C1-27

C1-E

Μῦς ἀρουραῖος καὶ μῦς ἀστικός.

Μῦς ἀρουραῖος τὸν ἐν οἴκῳ ἐφίλει.
Ὁ δὲ τοῦ οἴκου κληθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ φίλου
ἦλθεν εὐθέως δειπνήσων εἰς ἀρούρας.
Ὁ δὲ ἐσθίων κριθὰς καὶ σῖτον ἔφη·
Γίνωσκε, φίλε, μυρμήκων ζῇς τὸν βίον·
ἐπείπερ δ' ἐμοὶ ἀγαθῶν ἐστι πλῆθος,
ἐμοὶ σύνελθε καὶ ἀπολαύσεις πάντων.
Καὶ παραχρῆμα ἀπῄεσαν οἱ δύο.
Καὶ ὃς ὄσπρια καὶ σῖτον,
φοίνικας ἅμα, τυρόν, μέλι ὁπώρας.

Ὁ δ' αὖ θαυμάζων αὐτὸν ηὐλόγει σφόδρα
καὶ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ κατεμέμφετο τύχην.
Βουλομένων δὲ ἀπάρξασθαι ἐσθίειν,
ᾔνοιξεν εὐθὺς ἄνθρωπός τις τὴν θύραν.
Φοβηθέντες δὲ οἱ δειλαῖοι τὸν κτύπον
εἰσεπήδησαν οἱ μῦς εἰς τὰς ῥαγάδας.
Ὡς δὲ ἤθελον πάλιν ἰσχάδας ἆραι,
ἧκεν ἕτερος τοῦ λαβεῖν τι τῶν ἔνδον.
Οἱ δὲ καὶ πάλιν θεασάμενοι τοῦτον
εἰσεπήδησαν κρυβέντες ἐπὶ τρώγλης.

Ὁ δ' ἀρουραῖος ὀλιγωρῶν τῇ πείνῃ
ἀνεστέναξε καὶ πρὸς τὸν ἄλλον ἔφη·
Χαῖρε σύ, φίλε, κατεσθίων εἰς κόρον
ἐπαπολαύων αὐτὰ μετ' εὐφροσύνης
καὶ τοῦ κινδύνου καὶ τοῦ πολλοῦ τοῦ φόβου·
ἐγὼ δ' ὁ τάλας κριθὴν καὶ σῖτον τρώγων
ζήσω ἀφόβως μηδένα ὑποπτεύων.

Ὁ μῦθος δηλοῖ ὅτι τὸ λιτῶς διάγειν καὶ ζῆν ἀταράχως ὑπὲρ τὸ τρυφᾶν ἐν φόβῳ μετ' ὀδύνης. 

 

Questions for Chambry 243 Version 1 (Reading 7 Primary)

Q1 The article τὸν is used in what way. Is this a frequent way to use the article?

Q2 The word ἐπείπερ in C1-6 is from ἐπεί and περ. How would you say it is used here (in what type of clause)? cf. Middle Liddell πέρ.

Q3 The word ἀπῄεσαν in line C1-8 is from what lemma? What are your tricks/aids to separate the 'go' verb εἶμι from the 'be' verb εἰμί in the various tenses?

Q4 The word κατεμέμφετο is an odd choice, until one reads a little further. Do you think the author is using this word in a 'positive' sense (opposite the normal sense) as a literary device?

Q5 What type of door was opened in line C1-14. Where were the mice? Some translations have 'cupboard door'. Did the Greeks keep a pantry with doors? Did they have cupboards in the modern sense of the term?

Q6 Is the word μῦς in line C1-15 misspelled 'εἰσεπήδησαν οἱ μῦς' or is this a variant form of μῦες? What other Greek words are like the English word 'fish' (i.e. one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish).

Q7 What does the word Χαῖρε mean in C1-24 in the phrase Χαῖρε σύ, φίλε.

Answers to the questions can be sent directly to Paul Fonck via this link

Chambry published a multivolume edition of the fables for the Belles Lettres series in 1925/6 (Paris). He later revised this into a single volume, omitting hundreds of the fable variants. In addition, the numeration between these two volumes is not consistent. The texts here are taken from the 1925/6 edition, but the numeration follows the standard single volume edition.


Reading 7 - Optional Reading Aphthonius 26
Notes
Apparatus
Translation

[P] Μῦθος ὁ τῶν μυῶν παραινῶν στέργειν τὰ μέτρια.
[1] Μῦς ἀρουραῖος ἀστικῷ γίνεται φίλος μυί, καὶ τὴν φιλίαν πιστούμενος, πρῶτος εἰς ἀγρὸν τὸν ἀστικὸν παρελάμβανε καὶ ξενίαν αὐτῷ παρετίθει καὶ τράπεζαν, ἃ φέρειν οἶδε τοῖς ἐνοικοῦσιν ἀγρόν. [2] ἀμειβόμενος δὲ τὴν ξενίαν ὁ ἀστικός, εἰς ἄστυ τὸν ἀρουραῖον ἐκόμιζε, καὶ εἰς ἀνδρὸς εὐπόρου παρελάμβανεν οἶκον: [3] ὡς δὲ τῶν ὄντων ὥρμα προσάπετεσθαι, προσιών τις ἀνέκοπτε, καὶ τοσαυτάκις τῆς ἐν τοῖς ὄψοις ἀπηλαύνοντο πείρας, ὁσάκις ἐπειρῶντο μεταλαμβάνειν, καὶ τελευταῖον ὁ ἀρουραῖος: [4]"ἄπειμι," ἔφη, " τὴν ἐν ἀγροῖς προτιμῶν μετριότητα τῆς ἐν ἄστει τρυφῆς."
[E] Οὕτως οἱ μέτρια κτώμενοι καὶ τῶν πλουτούντων εἰσὶν αἱρετώτεροι.


Text from F. Sbordone, Rivista Indo-Greco-Italica, 16 (1932), pp. 47-57.

Reading Notes for Aphthonius 26

R-A4 I've edited the The markings << and >> along with -- -- to indicate quotations.

Questions for Aphthonius 26

Q1 Why is τὰ μέτρια in the neuter plural? Except for the article and accent, one would think this word came from ἡ μετρία. Cf. Smyth 840 c. and especially 1026. What, if anything, is connoted by the plural? Can you give some other neuter plural noun examples of abstract qualities, etc.?

Q2 The verbs μετριόω and μετριάω point to μετρέω in LSJ: " μετριόω or μετριάω , implied by the form μετριῶ (s.v.l.)...... are forms of μετρέω " Is there generally any difference in meaning between -έω, -άω and -όω verbs from the same lemma? When learning vocabulary, except in special instances, should the student think of the variants as being the same word?

Q3 Explain the phrase τὴν φιλίαν πιστούμενος. How does it fit into the context here.

Q4 Translate he phrase ἃ φέρειν οἶδε τοῖς ἐνοικοῦσιν ἀγρόν. What does it imply?

Q5 How is ὡς used in line [3] ὡς δὲ τῶν ὄντων ὥρμα προσάπετεσθαι?

Q6 Aphthonius' writings are said by some to be artificial and stilted. Do you agree? List some examples.

Answers to the questions can be sent directly to Paul Fonck at this link


Reading 7 - Advanced Babrius 108
Notes
Apparatus
Translation

B1
B2
B3
B4
B5
B6
B7
B8
B9
B10

B11
B12
B13
B14
B15
B16
B17
B18
B19
B20

B21
B22
B23
B24
B25
B26
B27
B28
B29
B30

B31
B32

Μυῶν ὁ μέν τις βίον ἔχων ἀρουραῖον,
ὁ δ' ἐν ταμείοις πλουσίοισι φωλεύων,
ἔθεντο κοινὸν τὸν βίον πρὸς ἀλλήλους.
ὁ δ' οἰκόστιτος πρότερος ἦλθε δειπνήσων
ἐπὶ τῆς ἀρούρης ἄρτι χλωρὸν ἀνθούσης·
τρώγων δ' ἀραιὰς καὶ διαβρόχους σίτου
ῥίζας, μελαίνῃ συμπεφυρμένας βώλῳ,
"μύρμηκος" εἶπε "ζῇς βίον ταλαιπώρου,
ἐν πυθμέσιν γῆς κρίμνα λεπτὰ βιβρώσκων.
ἐμοὶ δ' ὑπάρχει πολλὰ καὶ περισσεύει·

τὸ κέρας κατοικῶ πρὸς σὲ τῆς Ἀμαλθείης.
εἴ μοι συνέλθοις, ὡς θέλεις ἀσωτεύσῃ,
παρεὶς ὀρύσσειν ἀσφάλαξι τὴν χώρην."
ἀπῆγε τὸν μῦν τὸν γεηπόνον πείσας
εἰς οἶκον ἐλθεῖν ὑπό τε τοῖχον ἀνθρώπου.
ἔδειξε δ' αὐτῷ, ποῦ μὲν ἀλφίτων πλήθη,
ποῦ δ' ὀσπρίων ἦν σωρὸς ἢ πίθοι σύκων,
στάμνοι τε μέλιτος σώρακοί τε φοινίκων.
ὁ δ' ὡς ἐτέρφθη πᾶσι καὶ παρωρμήθη
καὶ τυρὸν ἦγεν ἐκ κανισκίου σύρων,

ἀνέῳξε τὴν θύρην τις· ὁ δ' ἀποπηδήσας
στεινῆς ἔφευγε δειλὸς ἐς μυχὸν τρώγλης,
ἄσημα τρίζων τόν τε πρόξενον θλίβων.
μικρὸν δ' ἐπισχὼν εἶτ' ἔσωθεν ἐκκύψας
ψαύειν ἔμελλεν ἰσχάδος Καμειραίης·
ἕτερος δ' ἐπῆλθεν ἄλλο τι προαιρήσων·
οἱ δ' ἔνδον ἐκρύβοντο. μῦς δ' ἀρουρίτης
"τοιαῦτα δειπνῶν" εἶπε "χαῖρε καὶ πλούτει,
καὶ τοῖς περισσοῖς αὐτὸς ἐντρύφα δείπνοις,
ἔχων τὰ πολλὰ ταῦτα μεστὰ κινδύνων.

ἐγὼ δὲ λιτῆς οὐκ ἀφέξομαι βώλου,
ὑφ' ἣν τὰ κρίμνα μὴ φοβούμενος τρώγω."'

Babrius 108 Questions

Q1 In line B4 the word οἰκόστιτος appears. This word seems to be the same word as in Chambry 243 version 2 ὁ δὲ οἰκόσιτος κοινὸν εἶχον τὸν βίον. Are they the same word? Why the difference?

Q2. Line B10 has the word ὑπάρχει. There are four words which can function like the word 'to be' or 'to exist'. ὑπάρχει is one of them. What are the other three? What is the main idea of ὑπάρχει? Would any of those 'other words' be appropriate here?

Q3 Babrius lists a few of the words for jars and baskets. How many can you list from the 'mouse fables' or other literature?

Q4 To what does the phrase ἰσχάδος Καμειραίης refer?

Q5 What are some synonyms of ψαύειν and how do they differ in meaning from each other?

Q6 What other fable is a take-off or copy etc. of Babrius' version? List some of the similar phrases.

 

 

Answers to the questions can be sent directly to Paul Fonck via this link

Ben E Perry Translation
Two mice decided to share their living with each other. One of them lived in the country, the other had his nest in a rich man's pantry. The house-bred mouse first came to dine in the country, when the fields had just begun to blossom with verdure. After nibbling on some meagre and sodden roots of grain mixed together with clods of black soil, he said, "It's the life of a miserable ant that you live here, eating scanty bis of barley meal in the depths of the earth. As for me, I have an abundance of good things, even more than I need. Compared with you, I live in the Horn of Plenty. If you will come with me to my house, you will indulge your appetite as much as you like and leave this ground for the moles to dig up." So he led the toiling country mouse away, having persuaded him to enter a man's house by creeping under the wall. He showed him where there was a lot of barley, where there was a pile of pulse, casks of figs, jars of honey, and baskets full of dates. The country mouse was delighted with it all and went for it eagerly. He was dragging a piece of cheese from a basket when someone suddenly opened the door; whereupon he leapt back in fright and fled into the recess of his narrow hole, squeaking unintelligibly and crowindg against his host. He waited a while and then, popping out from within, was about to lay hold of a Camiraean fig; but just then another man entered to get something else, and both mice hid themselves again in their holes. Then said the country mouse: "Farewell to you and such feasts as these; enjoy your wealth and revel all by yourself in superfine banquets. This abundance of yours is full of danger. As for me, I'll not desert the homely clods, under which I munch my barley free of fear."

Translation from Loeb Classical Library: Babrius and Phaedrus p. 141-3, Fable 108 'The Country Mouse and the City Mouse'

Ben Perry, Babrius and Phaedrus (Loeb). This edition contains the Greek texts of Babrius, with a facing English translation, and an extensive index covering the Greek and Latin fable tradition. This book is an absolute must for anyone interested in the Aesopic fable tradition. Invaluable.

1846 CRITICAL APPARATUS

A version of Babrius fables (Greek text; Latin introduction, comments and apparatus) is available on Google books.  It may be freely downloaded as a pdf file (7.1 M) .  You can find the book at http://www.google.co.uk/books?id=TtikmO4PekUC&pg=PA1&dq=babrii#PPR1,M1

The title page is as follows:
BABRII FABULAE AESOPEAE cum FABULARUM DEPERDITARUM FRAGMENTIS.  Recensuit et Breviter Illustravit, Georgius Cornewall Lewis, A.M. Aedis Christi Olim Alcmnus;  Oxonii: Excudrbat Thomas Combr.  Lindini: Impensis Johannis Gul. Parker MDCCCXLVI (1846). Page 116-118 textual notes are as follows:

 

Extant duo fabulai pedestres; quarum una, a Tyrwhitto e cod. Bodl. evulgata, Babrii vestigia sequitur. Cor. f. 301. p. 196-7.402. Fabulam habent quoque Dositheus n. 18. et Apthonius, n. 26 Conf. Knoch. p. 167.
11. Ἀμαλθείης Baiterus.
13. ἀσφάλαξι A. ἀσπάλαξι Sauppius.
16. πλήρη Α. πήρη Schneidewinus, πλήθη Baiterus. cf. f.86.v.2
18-19. E. Babrio citat Suidaas in σωράκους, ubi πίθος pro πίθοι.
21. θύρην Baiterus.
23. τρύζων Boiss. comparans f.112. v.8. μῦς ἐπιτρύξας. τρίζω de voce vespertilionum, qui muribus proximi, in Od. XXIV.7. usurpatur.
24-5. E Babrio citat Suidas in καμειραία ἰσχὰς, ubi μικρὸν δ' ἐπισχὼν εῦτ' ἔσωθεν ἐκκύψας, ubi εἶτα recte Toupius. μικρόν τ' ἐπισχών Α.
27́́. ἀρουρείτης A. Corr. Lachmannus.
30. μετὰ Α. μεστὰ Dubernerus.
31-2. E Babrio citat Suidas in κρίμνον.

Line Numbering and the Structure of Fables

The lines are numbered for collation and reference purposes. The line numbering format is comprised of three elements: Author+Version+Line Identifier: Author = B/C#.1/C#.2/S/A/H for Babrius, Chambry 1, Chambry 2, Syntipas,  Aphthonius or Herodotus; Line Identifier = T/M/#  where  T=Title, P = Promythium, E = Epimythium or  # = Line number (incremental, but not counting the moral or title); The endomythium, the moral 'inside the story, is simply listed as a line number.

Parts of a fable:
Promythium: A moral that comes before the story, so that the reader / listener can properly decode the meaning
Fable Body: the content of the fable, including the endomythium, but not the promythium or epimythiu.
Endomythium: the moral inside the story (listed as a line number)
Epimythium: The moral added at the end of the story to make sure the point of the fable is clear.


Horace Satires 1.6 Latin Fabula (Extra credit for anyone who wants to translate this into Greek!)

There is a famous version of this fable in Horace, Satires 1.6 where Horace tells the story to describe living in the countryside.
'olim
80
rusticus urbanum murem mus paupere fertur
accepisse cavo, veterem vetus hospes amicum,
asper et attentus quaesitis, ut tamen artum
solveret hospitiis animum. quid multa? neque+ ille+
sepositi ciceris nec longae+ invidit+ avenae+,
85
aridum et ore ferens acinum semesaque lardi
frusta dedit, cupiens varia fastidia cena
vincere tangentis male singula dente superbo,
cum pater ipse domus palea porrectus in horna
esset ador loliumque, dapis meliora relinquens.
90
tandem urbanus ad hunc "quid te iuvat" inquit, "amice,
praerupti nemoris patientem vivere dorso?
vis tu homines urbemque feris praeponere silvis?
carpe viam, mihi crede, comes, terrestria quando
mortalis animas vivunt sortita neque ulla est
95

aut magno aut parvo leti fuga: quo, bone, circa,
dum licet, in rebus iucundis vive beatus,
vive memor, quam sis aevi brevis."

Aesop for Children (translator not identified), 1919. Illustrations by Milo Winter (1886-1956). Available online at Project Gutenberg.

"On a time a countrymouse is reported to have received a city-mouse into his poor cave, an old host, his old acquaintance; a blunt fellow and attentive to his acquisitions, yet so as he could [on occasion] enlarge his narrow soul in acts of hospitality. What need of many words? He neither grudged him the hoarded vetches, nor the long oats; and bringing in his mouth a dry plum, and nibbled scraps of bacon, presented them to him, being desirous by the variety of the supper to get the better of the daintiness of his guest, who hardly touched with his delicate tooth the several things: while the father of the family himself, extended on fresh straw, ate a spelt and darnel, leaving that which was better [for his guest]. At length the citizen addressing him, ‘Friend,’ says he, ‘what delight have you to live laboriously on the ridge of a rugged thicket? Will you not prefer men and the city to the savage woods? Take my advice, and go along with me: since mortal lives are allotted to all terrestrial animals, nor is there any escape from death, either for the great or the small. Wherefore, my good friend, while it is in your power, live happy in joyous circumstances: live mindful of how brief an existence you are.’
Taken from Perseus website: Quintus Horatius Flaccus, The Works of Horace (ed. C. Smart)

 


The Fables of Aesop, by Joseph Jacobs

Jacobs 7. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (Perry 352)

j1

j2

j3

j4

 


Vernon Jones with illustrations by Arthur Rackham (1912)

THE TOWN MOUSE AND THE COUNTRY MOUSE


Aesop's Fables: A New Translation by V.S. Vernon Jones with illustrations by Arthur Rackham (1912). This book is available online at Project Gutenberg.

Griset-Tenniel-Weir (1884)

22. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.

g1

A Country Mouse invited a Town Mouse, an intimate friend, to pay him a visit, and partake of his country fare. As they were on the bare plough-lands, eating their wheat-stalks and roots pulled up from the hedge-row, the Town Mouse said to his friend: "You live here the life of the ants, while in my house is the horn of plenty. I am surrounded with every luxury, and if you will come with me, as I much wish you would, you shall have an ample share of my dainties." The Country Mouse was easily persuaded, and returned to town with his friend. On his arrival, the Town Mouse placed before him bread, barley, beans, dried figs, honey, raisins, and, last of all, brought a dainty piece of cheese from a basket. The Country Mouse, being much delighted at the sight of such good cheer, expressed his satisfaction in warm terms, and lamented his own hard fate. Just as they were beginning to eat, some one opened the door, and they both ran off squeaking, as fast as they could, to a hole so narrow that two could only find room in it by squeezing. They had scarcely again begun their repast when some one else entered to take something out of a cupboard, on which the two Mice, more frightened than before, ran away and hid themselves. At last the Country Mouse, almost famished, thus addressed his friend: "Although you have prepared for me so dainty a feast, I must leave you to enjoy it by yourself. It is surrounded by too many dangers to please me."

Better a little in safety, than an abundance surrounded by danger.

g2

 


Aesop's Fables: A New Revised Version From Original Sources (translator not identified), 1884 . Illustrations by Ernest Henry Griset (1844-1907), John Tenniel (1820-1914) and Harrison Weir (1824-1906). Available online at Project Gutenberg.

 


Townsend (1867)

216. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse (Perry 352)

A COUNTRY MOUSE invited a Town Mouse, an intimate friend, to pay him a visit and partake of his country fare. As they were on the bare plowlands, eating there wheat-stocks and roots pulled up from the hedgerow, the Town Mouse said to his friend, 'You live here the life of the ants, while in my house is the horn of plenty. I am surrounded by every luxury, and if you will come with me, as I wish you would, you shall have an ample share of my dainties.' The Country Mouse was easily persuaded, and returned to town with his friend. On his arrival, the Town Mouse placed before him bread, barley, beans, dried figs, honey, raisins, and, last of all, brought a dainty piece of cheese from a basket. The Country Mouse, being much delighted at the sight of such good cheer, expressed his satisfaction in warm terms and lamented his own hard fate. Just as they were beginning to eat, someone opened the door, and they both ran off squeaking, as fast as they could, to a hole so narrow that two could only find room in it by squeezing. They had scarcely begun their repast again when someone else entered to take something out of a cupboard, whereupon the two Mice, more frightened than before, ran away and hid themselves. At last the Country Mouse, almost famished, said to his friend: 'Although you have prepared for me so dainty a feast, I must leave you to enjoy it by yourself. It is surrounded by too many dangers to please me. I prefer my bare plowlands and roots from the hedgerow, where I can live in safety, and without fear.'

Townsend216


George Fyler Townsend's translation of the fables, first published in 1867, is in the public domain and can be found at many websites, including Project Gutenberg. Illustrations come from: Aesop's Fables, by George Fyler Townsend, with illustrations by Harrison Weir, 1867, at Google Books.

 


 

Select Fables of Aesop, by Thomas Bewick

50. The City Mouse and Country Mouse

b2

 

b1

 

b3

b4

b5


Bewick's Select fables of Aesop and others, with illustrations by Thomas Bewick. 1871 (first edition published in 1818). Available online at Michigan State University.

Francis Barlow, Aesop's Fables (1687)

17. De mure urbano et mure rustico

Barlow


Aesop's Fables (French, English, Latin), with illustrations by Francis Barlow, 1687. Page images available online at Michigan State University.


 

Phryx Aesopus (Osius, 1574)

8. DUO MURES.

Osius


Phryx Aesopus Habitu Poetico, by Hieronymus Osius, 1574 (artist not identified). Available online at the University of Mannheim. This book clearly recycles a set of images from another book of Aesop's fables. In some cases, the illustration does not match the fable shown, and in some cases I have not been able to identify what fable a given illustration is supposed to illustrate.


Steinhowel's Aesop: Illustrations

(Steinhowel 1479) 12. De duobus muribus.

(Steinhowel 1501) Click on the image to see the entire page (and following page).

(Steinhowel - in Spanish, 1521)


Illustrations from the 1479 edition of Steinhowel come from the online edition at the Library of Congress. This edition is in German, not Latin, so I have reproduced only the images here. The illustrations for the 1501 edition of Steinhowel are online at the University of Mannheim. So that you can see the Latin text on these pages, each 1501 image is linked to a full page view of this edition (although the images are poor quality gif images, unlike the high-quality images at Library of Congress). Finally, I have included a 1521 edition of Steinhowel translated into Spanish, also from the Library of Congress. As you can see, the illustrations continue to follow the same basic pattern but have a decidedly different element of style.

 

Additional Tools and Aids to Reading

The LetsReadGreek website has vocabulary and a list of helpful questions and leads on some of the more difficult words.  A little of topical vocabulary for each is included, along with a Latin version, some English versions of the fables and some engravings and carvings from older books.  The LetsReadGreek site requires one to have a unicode Greek compatible font. I've been trying to get the site properly configured, so please be patient.  A note, SPIonic is not adequate, you must have one of the Windows or Mac unicode fonts installed.  Gentium is a wonderful and easy to read font downloadable from the SIL website at http://scripts.sil.org/Gentium_download.

I highly recommend using the Perseus website tools for vocabulary, morphology, texts and grammar.  There is a lot there; however, Aesop is not.  Some of the vocabulary in the fables do not exist in LSJ (but maybe in the supplement).  To use Perseus adequately, one must learn Perseus’ betacode style with variations, for questions see the FAQ.  I also suggest bookmarking the base pages in your browser, or better yet, drag them if you can and put each one onto your browser’s toolbar.   The following online tools can be found on the Perseus website:

Note: If you are using the Perseus site, you must set your Perseus configuration to properly display the Greek. This may be done by clicking on the "Configure Display" on the Perseus Menu and selecting the corresponding Greek format (choose Unicode or Unicode with pre-combined accents).