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Halloween Special in Latin #3 — The Art Of Shuddering

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This year’s Hal­loween spe­cial takes you on a jour­ney through the art of shud­der­ing. (See all Hal­loween spe­cials in Latin here.)A long time ago the broth­ers Jacob and Wil­helm Grimm wrote down an old Ger­man sto­ry, a folk­tale, or fairy tale if you will, about a young man, or boy, who did not know how to shud­der. This annoyed the young man and it was all he want­ed to learn, he could not let go of the thought of being able to shudder.

The sto­ry was called “Märchen von einem, der aus­zog das Fürcht­en zu ler­nen.” In Eng­lish it has been called many things, for instance: “They sto­ry of the youth who went forth to learn what fear was” or “The sto­ry of a boy who went forth to learn fear”. It was pub­lished for the first time, in 1812, in the broth­ers Grimm’s fairy tale col­lec­tion Kinder- und Haus­märchen, in Eng­lish called Children’s and House­hold tales.

The Hal­loween episode this year is a free adap­taion in Latin, a Latini­tium-ver­sion of the Grimm fairy tale. We call it Ars Hor­ren­di — the Art of Shuddering.

Be ware: It is not for the faint of heart! 🙂

Video in Latin

Audio in Latin

Can’t take the hor­ror of the video :)? Lis­ten to the audio here on Latinitium.com or in your pod­cast app:

Latin Text

Hodiē fābu­lam vōbīs hor­ren­dam, ter­ri­bilem nār­rābō, quae vel for­tis­simīs hominibus ter­rōrem max­i­mum injiciat. 

Fuit ōlim senex cui duo fīliī erant, quōrum minor nātū iners atque piger erat. 

Pater acces­sit ad fīli­um minōrem. “Ō mī fīlī,” inquit, “quid dis­cere vīs? quam artem exer­cēre vīs?  quid tan­dem dis­cere vīs?” Ad quod fīlius: “Hor­rēre!” 

Pater senex et fīlius minor nātū ad ecclēsi­am sē con­tulērunt ut sac­ristānum cōn­sulerent. Quō cum per­vēnis­sent, sac­ristānum adiērunt eumque rogāvērunt quid facien­dum esset ut puer hor­rēre disceret. 

Sac­ristānus sta­tim haec dīx­it: “Mī fīlī, ascende in tur­rim mediā nocte et cam­panam age.” Puer abit. Sub­se­quitur sac­ristānus habitū lār­vam simulāns eō cōn­sil­iō ut puerum terreat. 

Sus­pēn­sō gradū ad puerum accēdit. Puer autem nihil timet, sed clārā vōce exclā­mat: “Quis es tū? Quid tan­dem tibi hīc negōtiī est? “Nūl­lō respōn­sō accep­tō puer lār­vam fic­tī­ci­am atque simulā­tam per gradūs dētur­bat. Quō fac­tō hor­ren­da illa lār­va crūs frēgit. 

Nōn ita multō post, pater cer­tior fac­tus excan­dēsc­it et: “Aufer tē,” inquit, “hinc ex aed­ibus meīs, pes­sime puer!” 

Domō pater­nā relic­tā miser puer proficīscitur. 

Quōcumque puer vēnit quer­it­ur sē hor­rēre nescīre. Quem quer­entem vir audit eīque dīc­it: “Ō mī puer, cōn­fer tē ad locum sup­pli­ciī, atque ibi noctem age.” Ad quod puer: “Placet, her­cle, cōnsilium!” 

Quō igi­tur auc­tōre puer ad locum sup­pli­ciī sē cōn­fert; et ibi videt dē arbore sus­pēn­sa septem cadāvera. Per­timēsc­itne? Nihil minus. 

Lentō gradū puer ad locum sup­pli­ciī accēdit; sed alget puer, max­imē alget! Itaque ignem fac­it ut calēs­cat; et dum illōs mor­tuōs dē arbore sus­pēn­sōs con­tem­plā­tur, sēcum cōgi­tat: “For­t­asse et illī dē arbore sus­pēn­sī algent!” Ad cadāvera puer accēdit et restibus incīsīs dēmit­tun­tur. Cadāvera deinde cir­cum ignem col­lo­cat ut calēs­cant. Quae tamen nōn calēscunt.

Et puer excan­dēsc­it et cadāvera dē arbore rūr­sus sus­pendit; et puer in viam sē dat. 

Post iter multōrum diērum puer nos­ter ad dēver­sōri­um ven­it cūius ad iānu­am accēdit ut pulset. Intrōmit­ti­tur, et incip­it querī. Quem quer­entem nunc caupō­na audit et sīc loquitur: “Cōn­fer tē ad arcem quae lārvīs inquiētā­tur et agitā­tur, atque ibi trēs noc­tēs age. 

Quod sī fēcerīs, dīvi­tiās arcis et rēgis fīliam habēbis. Multī cōnātī sunt, nēmō vīvus inde redi­it.” Ad quod puer: “Placet consilium.” 

Puer ad rēgem cūius arcem caupō­na mem­o­rāver­at sē cōnfert. 

Puer ē rēge sta­tim quaer­it num liceat in arce per­noc­tāre. Cui quaer­en­tī: “Per mē,” inquit rēx, “licet, et licet tibi tria tēcum ad arcem ferre: ignem, tor­num, cultrum.”

Prī­ma nox quam puer in arce rēgis agit sīc abit: puer mul­tum alget–multum, her­cle, alget. Itaque ignem fac­it, et igne fac­tō cōnsīdit. 

Sed nōn ita multō post mag­nae atque nigrae fēlēs et canēs puerum ado­ri­un­tur. Puer cul­trō stric­tō impe­tum bēstiārum for­titer sustinet. Aliās bēstiās vīc­tās aliās ter­ritās cul­trō suō fugat. Join the Sodali­ci­um because we reg­u­lar­ly send out tips, updates and learn­ing material. 

Cum iam tam ācrit­er pugnā­tum sit, puer fes­sis­simus palpe­brās vix sustinēre potest; itaque cubi­tum it. 

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Iam vērō lec­tus in quō puer iacet spatiā­tum it cum puerō ipsō! Quod puer nōn modo nōn per­timēsc­it sed, qua­si equō īnsid­eat, iubet lec­tum grad­um addere. Lec­tus equi­tī suō pāret et tan­tā celer­itāte prō­gred­i­tur ut tōtus lec­tus ēvertā­tur. Nūl­lō vul­nere accep­tō puer iux­tā ignem dēcumbit ut dormiat. 

Secun­da nox sīc abit: dē forāmine tēc­tī hominum truncī et crūra, praetereā ossa, calvāri­ae dēcidunt et subitō cor­po­ra illa disiec­ta red­in­te­grantur! Hom­inēs hor­ren­da speciē sē parant ad lūdum cōnōrum: quem ossi­bus lūdent. Per­timēsc­itne puer? Nihil minus. 

Quibus rēbus vīsis, puer prōmp­tō tornō calvāriās humī positās ita fōr­mat ut omnīnō rotun­dae fīant; deinde cum illīs hominibus tōtam noctem cōnōrum lūdō sē oblectat. 

Ecce ven­it ter­tia nox: et sex hom­inēs arcam vīlem por­tan­tēs con­clāve in quō puer est intrant. Et in arcā cadāver cōn­sōbrīnī puerī iacet. 

Puer sta­tim oper­am dat ut cōn­sōbrīnus calēs­cat et cale­fac­tus ab īnfer­īs exsi­s­tat. Cōn­sōbrīnus ab īnfer­īs excitā­tus puerum stran­gulāre cōnātur! 

Et puer īrā incēn­sus impe­tum in cōn­sōbrīnum fac­it eumque in arcam vī dētrūdit et oper­cu­lum arcae impōnit. 

Paulō post ven­it senex cras­sus et longus et bar­bā prōmis­sā atque cānā. Ad puerum lentō gradū accēdēns: “Nunc,” inquit, “moriēris!” Quod cum puerō min­imē placeat, dolō ūsus puer caput senis in incūde fīgit; deinde puer sen­em cap­tum clāvā fer­reā pulsat.

Vīc­tus senex veni­am ā puerō petit, quam mox impe­trat. Ut grā­ti­am refer­at, senex puerō omnēs in arce abscon­ditās dīvi­tiās mōnstrat. 

Tribus noctibus in arce āctīs ulti­mum māne ven­it. Rēx max­imā admīrātiōne affec­tus puerō in mātrimōni­um fīliam suam dat. Quam puer in mātrimōni­um dūcit. 

Quamquam puer dīvi­tiās et uxōrem nunc habet, tamen trīstis est, quī hor­rēre nes­ci­at. Diēs nūl­lus, immō nūl­la hōra est quīn uxōrī hāc dē rē con­querā­tur. Quam ob rem uxor prope ad īnsā­ni­am adigitur. 

Puerō dormiente, dē nocte uxor sur­git, abitque ut sit­u­lam aquā impleat. Rever­sa ad lec­tum dormi­en­tis puerī, sus­pēn­sō gradū accēdit et sit­ulā in altum sub­lātā super caput puerī aquam frīgi­dam effundit. 

Ē som­nō excitā­tus: “Dī bonī!” exclā­mat. “Hor­reō, tōtus horreō!” 

Sīc puer nos­ter didic­it quid esset hor­rēre. Sed quid sit timēre tamen eti­am nunc nescit.

Īōan­na Lae­ta trānscrīpsit.

Daniel Pettersson

Daniel Pettersson

Teacher and author Daniel Pettersson, M.A., is co-founder of Latinitium and is currently teaching Latin at Stockholm University, where he is also working on his Ph.D. dissertation on Humanist Colloquia. Daniel believes in the importance of Latin literature in the modern world and that you can teach yourself Latin with the right motivation, method, and material.
Written by Daniel Pettersson

Written by Daniel Pettersson

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