Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Image: Platanus et Xerxes


M0719 - M0720 - M0721

720. Platanus et Xerxes. Ridendus profecto Xerxes est quod, cum vidisset proceram platanum, integrum diem ibi commoratus est, nulla postulante necessitate, et castra posuit in solitudine circa platanum. Sed et multiplicem ac pretiosum ornatum ex ea suspendit torquibus armillisque ramos veneratus et curatorem ei reliquit, quasi custodem et propugnatorem amasiae. Sed quid tandem ex his ad arborem emolumenti rediit? Nam ornatus, nihil ad ipsam pertinens, frustra perpendit neque ullum momentum ad arboris pulchritudinem attulit. Nam in arboribus commendantur generosi rami, coma densa, stirps firma ac stabilis, radices in profundum actae, ventorum agitatio, et umbrae ex iis procedentis amplitudo. At chlamydes Xerxis et aurum barbari, reliquaque munera neque ad platani neque ad ullius alterius arboris generositatem quicquam faciunt.


M0720 (not in Perry). Source: Aelian, Historia 2.14 (shortened). This fable is not in Perry’s catalog; Perry did not use Aelian as a source. Xerxes the Great was the king of Persia in the 5th century BCE; he died in 465 BCE. Compare the story of the lyre and the silver string, #992.

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