Sunday, August 22, 2010

Illustrated: Leo et Acies Eius


M0018 - M0019 - M0020

19. Leo et Acies Eius. Leo, rex quadrupedum, adversus volucres pugnaturus, suorum acies instruebat. Interrogatus autem ab urso quid ei asini inertia aut leporis timiditas ad victoriam conferre possent, quos ibi inter ceteros milites adesse cernebat, respondit, “Asinus tubae suae clangore milites ad pugnam concitabit; lepus vero ob pedum celeritatem tabellarii fungetur officio.” Fabula significat neminem adeo contemptibilem qui aliqua re nobis prodesse non possit.

Leo Imperator

Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Billinghurst images. Just as the fable tells us, even the donkey and the rabbit have their place in the lion's retinue! For some addition images, see Aesop's Books.

M0019 (not in Perry). Source: Abstemius 95. This fable is not in Perry’s catalog; Perry omitted most of Abstemius’s fables. For a story where the donkey is not so well received in the lion’s court, see #232.

The Lion and His Battle Array. The lion, king of the beasts, about to go to war with the birds, arranged his followers in a battle array. When asked by the bear how the sluggishness of the donkey or the timidity of the rabbit could bring victory, when he saw them in the midst of the other soldiers, the lion answered: "The donkey will rouse the soldiers to fight with the blaring noise of his trumpet, while the rabbit will carry out the duties of a courier because of the swiftness of his feet." The fable shows that no one is so contemptible that he cannot benefit us in some way or other.

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