<< Home Page | Phaedrus Index

Aesop's Fables: Phaedrus

Book IV - XVII. De Capris Barbatis (Perry 516)

Barbam capellae cum impetrassent ab Ioue,
hirci maerentes indignari coeperunt
quod dignitatem feminae aequassent suam.
"Sinite," inquit, "illas gloria uana frui
et usurpare uestri ornatum muneris,
pares dum non sint uestrae fortitudini."
Hoc argumentum monet ut sustineas tibi
habitu esse similes qui sunt uirtute impares.

The He-goats and She-goats (trans. C. Smart)

When the She-Goats from Jove obtain'd
A beard, th' indignant Males complain'd,
That females by this near approach
Would on their gravity encroach.
"Suffer, my sapient friends," says he,
"Their eminence in this degree,
And bear their beard's most graceful length,
As they can never have your strength."
Warn'd by this little tale, agree
With men in gen'ral form'd like thee
While you by virtue still exceed,
And in the spirit take the lead.

Latin text from Phaedrus at The Latin Library (Ad Fontes), English translations from The Fables of Phaedrus Translated into English Verse by Christopher Smart (London: 1913). Ben Perry, Babrius and Phaedrus (Loeb), contains the Latin texts of Phaedrus, with a facing English translation, along with a valuable appendix listing all the Aesop's fables attested in Greek and/or in Latin. Invaluable.