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RITCHIE'S FABULAE FACILES

Roman Empire

 

 

 

 

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EDITED WITH NOTES AND A VOCABULARY

BY
JOHN COPELAND KIRTLAND, Jr.
Professor of Latin in The Phillips Exeter Academy



THE LITTLE THAT IS MINE IN THIS LITTLE BOOK I GRATEFULLY DEDICATE TO PROFESSOR JOSEPH HETHERINGTON M'DANIELS TEACHER AND FRIEND




PREFACE


Some time ago a fellow-teacher brought the Fabulae Faciles to my notice, and I have since used two of them each year with my class of beginners in Latin with increasing appreciation. Indeed, I know nothing better to introduce the student into the reading of connected narrative, and to bridge the great gulf between the beginner's book of the prevailing type and the Latinity of Caesar or Nepos. They are adapted to this use not merely by reason of their simplicity and interest, but more particularly by the graduating of difficulties and the large use of Caesarian words and phrases to which Mr. Ritchie calls attention in his preface.

Doubtless many American teachers have become familiar with portions of the Fabulae, for they have been freely drawn upon in several Latin readers recently published in this country. I venture to hope that those who have made the acquaintance of the work in this way will welcome a complete edition.

In England the little book has had a large use. Its pedagogical excellencies are well summed up in a letter addressed to Mr. Ritchie by the Very Rev. E.C. Wickham, formerly Head-Master of Wellington College, the well-known editor of Horace:--

"It launches the student at once in ancient life. The old classical stories, simply told, seem to me much the best material for early Latin reading. They are abundantly interesting; they are taken for granted in the real literature of the language; and they can be told without starting the beginner on a wrong track by a barbarous mixture of ancient and modern ideas.

"It combines, if I may say so, very skilfully, the interest of a continuous story, with the gradual and progressive introduction of constructions and idioms. These seem to me to be introduced at the right moment, and to be played upon long enough to make them thoroughly familiar."

In revising Mr. Ritchie's book for the use of American schools it has seemed best to make extensive changes. Long vowels have been marked throughout, and the orthography of Latin words has been brought into conformity with our practice. Many liberties have been taken with the text itself, especially in the latter part, in the way of making it approximate more closely to our rather strict notions of the standards of model prose. A few words and uses of words not found in the prose writers of the republic have been retained, but nothing, it is hoped, that will seriously mislead the young student. I shall welcome any criticism that may lead to further changes in the text in future editions.

The notes are entirely new, and are intended for students who have but just finished the beginner's book or have not yet finished it. Some notes may appear at first sight unnecessary or unnecessarily hard, but the reason for their insertion should be evident when the student begins the reading of classical Latin, the difficulties of which will be less likely to appal the beginner if some of them have been already conquered. I believe it a mistake to postpone all treatment of the uses of the subjunctive, for instance, or of the constructions of indirect discourse until the study of Nepos or Caesar is begun. Besides, it is easier to neglect notes than to supply them, and the teacher who prefers to do the first reading without much attention to the more difficult constructions will only need to tell his students to disregard certain of my notes--or all of them.

There are no references to the grammars, but syntax has been given such treatment as seemed needed to supplement its treatment in the beginner's book. Teachers will therefore be able to postpone the use of a formal manual of grammar, if they so desire. Those who wish their classes to begin the reading of Latin at the earliest possible moment will find it feasible to use this book as soon as the inflections and the more elementary principles of syntax have been mastered.

In the vocabulary, the derivation or composition and the original meaning of words have been indicated wherever these seemed likely to prove helpful. Principal parts and genitives have been given in such a way as to prevent misunderstanding, and at the same time emphasize the composition of the verb or the suffix of the noun: for example, abscídó, -cídere, -cídí, -císus; aetás, -tátis.

The lists of works of English literature and of art in which the myths are treated are only suggestive. Occasional readings from the one and exhibitions of representations of the other, either in the form of photographs or by the stereopticon, will not only stimulate interest in the Latin text but aid also in creating in the student a taste for literature and for art.

I planned at first to add some exercises for retranslation, but after careful consideration it has seemed not worth while. Most teachers will prefer not to base composition upon the Latin read at this stage, and those who wish to do so will find it an easy matter to prepare their own exercises, or can draw upon the copious exercises prepared by Mr. Ritchie and published separately under the title Imitative Exercises in Easy Latin Prose.

In the reading of proof I have had generous help from Dr. F.K. Ball of The Phillips Exeter Academy, Mr. J.C. Flood of St. Mark's School, and Mr. A.T. Dudley of Noble and Greenough's School, Boston. The proof-sheets have been used with the beginner's class in this Academy, and I have thus been able to profit by the criticism of my associate Mr. G.B. Rogers, and to test the work myself. The assistance of my wife has greatly lightened the labor of verifying the vocabulary.

JOHN C. KIRTLAND, Jr.

EXETER, N.H., 7 March, 1903.






INTRODUCTORY NOTE


The Fabulae Faciles, or 'Easy Stories.' are four Greek myths retold in Latin, not by a Roman writer, however, but by an Englishman, who believed that they would afford interesting and pleasant reading for young folks who were just beginning the study of the Latin language. By myth is meant an imaginative tale that has been handed down by tradition from remote antiquity concerning supernatural beings and events. Such tales are common among all primitive peoples, and are by them accepted as true. They owe their origin to no single author, but grow up as the untutored imagination strives to explain to itself the operations of nature and the mysteries of life, or amuses itself with stories of the brave exploits of heroic ancestors.

The most beautiful and delightful of all myths are those that have come down to us in the remains of the literature and the art of ancient Greece and Rome; they are also the most important to us, for many of the great masterpieces of English literature and of modern art have been inspired by them and cannot be understood and appreciated by one ignorant of classical mythology.

Of this mythology the Fabulae Faciles give but a small part. If you wish to know more of the subject, you should read Gayley's The Classic Myths in English Literature, Guerber's Myths of Greece and Rome, or the books by Kingsiey, Cox, Church, and Francillon mentioned earlier.




PERSEUS


Acrisius, an ancient king of Argos, had been warned by an oracle that he should perish by the hand of his grandson. On discovering, therefore, that his daughter Danae had given birth to a son, Acrisius endeavored to escape his fate by setting both mother and child adrift on the sea. They were saved, however, by the help of Jupiter; and Perseus, the child, grew up at the court of Polydectes, king of Seriphos, an island in the Aegean Sea. On reaching manhood, Perseus was sent by Polydectes to fetch the head of Medusa, one of the Gorgons. This dangerous task he accomplished with the help of Apollo and Minerva, and on his way home he rescued Andromeda, daughter of Cepheus, from a sea-monster. Perseus then married Andromeda, and lived some time in the country of Cepheus. At length he returned to Seríphos, and turned Polydectes to stone by showing him the Gorgon's head; he then went to the court of Acrisius, who fled in terror at the news of his grandson's return. The oracle was duly fulfilled, for Acrisius was accidentally killed by a quoit thrown by Perseus.


Table of Contents

  1. THE ARK
  2. JUPITER SAVES HIS SON
  3. PERSEUS IS SENT ON HIS TRAVELS
  4. PERSEUS GETS HIS OUTFIT
  5. THE GORGON'S HEAD
  6. THE SEA-SERPENT
  7. A HUMAN SACRIFICE
  8. THE RESCUE
  9. THE REWARD OF VALOR
  10. POLYDECTES IS TURNED TO STONE
  12. THE HATRED OF JUNO
  13. HERCULES AND THE SERPENTS
  14. THE MUSIC-LESSON
  15. HERCULES ESCAPES SACRIFICE
  16. A CRUEL DEED
  17. THE DEFEAT OF THE MINYAE
  18. MADNESS AND MURDER
  19. HERCULES CONSULTS THE ORACLE
  20. THE ORACLE'S REPLY
  21. FIRST LABOR: THE NEMEAN LION
  22. SECOND LABOR: THE LERNEAN HYDRA
  23. THIRD LABOR: THE CERYNEAN STAG
  24. FOURTH LABOR: THE ERYMANTHIAN BOAR
  25. HERCULES AT THE CENTAUR'S CAVE
  26. THE FIGHT WITH THE CENTAURS
  27. THE FATE OF PHOLUS
  28. FIFTH LABOR: THE AUGEAN STABLES
  29. SIXTH LABOR: THE STYMPHALIAN BIRDS
  30. SEVENTH LABOR: THE CRETAN BULL
  31. EIGHTH LABOR: THE MAN-EATING HORSES OF DIOMEDE
  32. NINTH LABOR: THE GIRDLE OF HIPPOLYTE
  33. THE GIRDLE IS REFUSED
  34. THE BATTLE
  35. THE DEFEAT OF THE AMAZONS
  36. LAOMEDON AND THE SEA-MONSTER
  37. THE RESCUE OF HESIONE
  38. TENTH LABOR: THE OXEN OF GERYON
  39. THE GOLDEN SHIP
  40. A MIRACULOUS HAIL-STORM
  41. THE PASSAGE OF THE ALPS
  42. CACUS STEALS THE OXEN
  43. HERCULES DISCOVERS THE THEFT
  44. HERCULES AND CACUS
  45. ELEVENTH LABOR: THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE HESPERIDES
  46. HERCULES ASKS AID OF ATLAS
  47. HERCULES BEARS UP THE HEAVENS
  48. THE RETURN OF ATLAS
  49. TWELFTH LABOR: CERBERUS THE THREE-HEADED DOG
  50. CHARON'S FERRY
  51. THE REALM OF PLUTO
  52. HERCULES CROSSES THE STYX
  53. THE LAST LABOR IS ACCOMPLISHED
  54. THE CENTAUR NESSUS
  55. THE POISONED ROBE
  56. THE DEATH OF HERCULES
  57. THE WICKED UNCLE
  58. A FATEFUL ACCIDENT
  59. THE GOLDEN FLEECE
  60. THE BUILDING OF THE GOOD SHIP ARGO
  61. THE ANCHOR IS WEIGHED
  62. A FATAL MISTAKE
  63. THE LOSS OF HYLAS
  64. DIFFICULT DINING
  65. THE DELIVERANCE OF PHINEUS
  66. THE SYMPLEGADES
  67. A HEAVY TASK
  68. THE MAGIC OINTMENT
  69. THE SOWING OF THE DRAGON'S TEETH
  70. A STRANGE CROP
  71. THE FLIGHT OF MEDEA
  72. THE SEIZURE OF THE FLEECE
  73. THE RETURN TO THE ARGO
  74. THE PURSUIT
  75. A FEARFUL EXPEDIENT
  76. THE BARGAIN WITH PELIAS
  77. MAGIC ARTS
  78. A DANGEROUS EXPERIMENT
  79. A FATAL GIFT
  80. MEDEA KILLS HER SONS
  81. HOMEWARD BOUND
  82. THE LOTUS-EATERS
  83. THE RESCUE
  84. THE ONE-EYED GIANT
  85. THE GIANT'S SUPPER
  86. A DESPERATE SITUATION
  87. A PLAN FOR VENGEANCE
  88. A GLASS TOO MUCH
  89. THE BLINDING OF POLYPHEMUS
  90. THE ESCAPE
  91. OUT OF DANGER
  92. THE COUNTRY OF THE WINDS
  93. THE WIND-BAG
  94. A DRAWING OF LOTS
  95. THE HOUSE OF THE ENCHANTRESS
  96. THE CHARM
  97. THE COUNTERCHARM
  98. THE ENCHANTRESS IS FOILED
  99. MEN ONCE MORE
  100. AFLOAT AGAIN


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