Another New Story

salvēte, amīcī et sodālēs! Today we’ll look at another new story featuring the animal characters from the Tres Columnae project. It comes from Lectiō XVI, just about midway through Cursus Prīmus. We’ll be focusing on birth and infancy at that point, as both animal and human characters give birth over several Lectiōnēs, and we’ll try to incorporate some human Roman traditions (the diēs lūstricus, for example, and the giving of bullae) into the animals’ world.  We’ll look at several of these stories in posts over the next few days.

It’s an exciting time for the Tres Columnae Project, as we are really starting to feel that the project itself has been “born” and is starting to grow and flourish. So it seems like an appropriate time for stories of birth and new beginnings. Besides, June was the lucky month for weddings in the Roman world, so it’s a time when our characters’ attention would be focused on new life and new beginnings. And for many of our U.S. readers, school is just ending, or just ended, or just about to end – a time of new beginnings for our graduates, of course, but also for teachers as we reflect on the year that just ended and begin to think about “doing things differently” next year.

Speaking of June, I have some exciting news for our Free Trial subscribers to the Tres Columnae project.  As you may recall, the Free Trial period was originally scheduled to end on June 1 – yesterday, if you’re reading this post “live.”  But due to your requests and some logistical considerations, we’ve decided to extend the Free Trial period through June 15 for current Free Trial subscribers, and through June 30 for anyone who signs up after June 1.  Free Trial subscribers, please remember that you can submit all the stories, images, audio, video, and other “stuff” you’d like … and (other than granting us the right to publish and use it, and other subscribers some rights to use, adapt, and remix it) you still own and control what you’ve submitted to us.

In today’s story, Ferox and Medusa, canēs Valeriī, are preparing to welcome a litter of puppies into the world, and Ferox (like many proud fathers) gets just a bit flustered.  By the time you read this post, you’ll be able to find the story at this link, and it will also be featured in the Table of Contents for the project at the Version Alpha Wiki site.

per domum Valeriī festīnātur et lātrātur. Medūsa enim, canis Valeriī, catulōs partūrit. Ferōx, marītus Medūsae, “heus!” exclāmat, “nōnne mē decet adesse? fortasse obstētrīcem vocāre dēbeō! nōnne mē oportet auxilium tibi ferre?” Medūsa tamen, “Ferōx! tacē et abī!” respondet. “canēs enim oportet sōlās catulōs gignere! haud opus est obstētrīcis vel medicī, mī marīte!”

Ferōx igitur per tōtam domum festīnat et lātrat. Medūsa autem sub lectō sē cēlat et “heu! marītum stultissimum!” sēcum colloquitur. “num canis umquam obstētrīcem vocāre solet?”

brevī tempore Medūsa quīnque catulōs gignit. Valeria sonōs catulōrum audit et “māter! frāter! soror! venīte!” exclāmat. tōta familia Valeria cubiculum ingreditur et “heus! catulōs optimōs!” exclāmātur. Valerius ipse Ferōcem Medūsamque valdē laudat. Caeliōla “nōnne nōs decet bullās catulīs quaerere?” rogat, et Valerius, “fortasse, filia mea,” respondet.

tum omnēs hominēs ē cubiculō ēgrediuntur. Ferōx et Medūsa cum catulīs manent. Ferōx singillātim catulōs tollit et “ecce fīlius meus! ecce fīlia mea!” prōnuntiat.

quid respondētis, amīcī?

  • In general, we’ve tried to keep the animal and human worlds rather separate from each other – that is, the animals don’t talk to the people, and they don’t behave in people-like (or animal-fable-character-like) ways when the people are around. Does that make sense to you?
  • Do you think we’ve accomplished that in this story?
  • To what extent have we addressed the themes of pietās and familia that we explored in last week’s posts?
  • What other virtūtēs Rōmanae have we addressed – or, perhaps, failed to address?
  • And what new insights, if any, into our characters do you have as a result of this story?

Tune in next time, when we’ll feature another story from this sequence and explore some of its implications. Later this week, we’ll look at what we’ve accomplished so far with the Tres Columnae project, and we’ll also take a look at plans for the future. intereā, grātiās maximās omnibus iam legentibus et respondentibus!

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