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Proverbia de Asino Stulto

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Scroll down to find: Overview, Study Guide, Segmented Prose Text, and Grammar Comments

These proverbs about the foolishness of the Donkey (Asinus) constitute just one group of the large body of proverbs about donkeys in Latin! As in the English tradition, the Latin donkey is proverbially stupid.

For more information about the donkey in Latin bestiaries, visit the Asinus in the Zoo. If you find some of the proverbs below difficult to understand, you will find some English translations at the Zoo page, along with many other proverbs!

   Use this Study Guide to organize your learning activities.

Asello stolidior. .
Asino
non opus est verbis
sed fustibus.
 
In asini aures
canis.
 
Asino
fabulam narras.
 
Asino
narrabas fabulam,
at ille
auriculas movebat.
 
Asinus
lyram audit,
auriculas movens.
audit...movens: participle plus verb (the donkey listens... and moves...)
Asinus
lyrae cantum audit,
et non intellegit.
 
Asinus
lyram auscultavit,
et porcus
tubam.
 
Asinus ad lyram.  
Asinus ad tibiam.  
Lutetiam
si quis asinum mittat,
equus non redit.

si quis = si aliquis

mittat: subjunctive with si

Asinus
stramenta mavult
quam aurum.
 
Asinus compluitur. Note: This proverb is used when someone is not aware of what is happening, just as a thick-skinned donkey does not notice the rain.
Plus potest negare
asinus
quam probare
philosophus.
negare...probare: complementary infinitives with potest
Rex aut asinus.  
Asinus in cathedra.  
Sunt asini
solum
bino pede fulti.
 

 


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