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Halloween special in Latin #6 – The Ring

This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.

Last year we went to France in the mid 1600’s for Hal­loween. This year we have turned to good old Swedish folk­tales to find our story. 

This year’s sto­ry has no date, no place, no names – which is quite com­mon for tales of this kind: sto­ries that have been told, and believed, for a very very long time. This spe­cif­ic sto­ry that has been told in many places, espe­cial­ly in the north­ern part of Swe­den, with cer­tain vari­a­tions – some­times it con­cerns a priest, oth­er times a rich farmer, some­times the sto­ry has been relat­ed by ”my sister”. 

Due to the flu­id­i­ty of folk­tales like these where things are told as if they are true and has hap­pened (per­haps they did – no smoke with­out fire, as they say), we will tell the sto­ry in that tra­di­tion: with flu­id­i­ty, but as if it has actu­al­ly happened. 

So, with­out fur­ther ado: we present ”Anu­lus – The Ring”, an old north­ern Swedish folk­tale that takes place at a par­son­age some­time a long long time ago. 

You will find the text to the sto­ry in Latin below the video.

Video in Latin

For more Hal­loween spe­cials with scary sto­ries in Latin, take a look at pre­vi­ous year’s videos: Nois­es in the night – a French ghost sto­ry; the Swedish ghost sto­ry called the Rid­erthe Art of Shud­der­ing from the broth­ers Grimm; two ghost sto­ries from Stock­holm, or our very first Hal­loween Latin spe­cial that con­cerns ghosts and scary things in ancient Rome. 

Latin text

Anulus

Quae vōbīs nār­rātūrus sum, mulierī in septen­triōnālī Suē­ti­ae parte iter facien­tī ōlim accidērunt.

Cel­erī cursū rae­da per medi­am sil­vam, inter lon­gaevās arborēs, sub nōdōsōs rāmōs et per umbrās rēpen­tēs rapiēbā­tur. “Age, celerius!” clāmāvit muli­er quae raedā vehēbā­tur. Flē­bilēs vōcēs ēdunt equī et rotae sil­vā silente.

Rae­da iam effūsō cursū it, cum subitō mōtū quassā­tur et strīdōrem modo acū­tum modo gravem ēdit. Rotā frāc­tā mox cōnsistit.

Tum raedārius mulierī “Ante­quam sil­vam intrāvimus,” inquit,“vīllam quan­dam vīdī; for­t­asse domi­nus nōbīs aux­il­i­um ferre vult.” Tum muli­er “Dēs­cendā­mus dē raedā īlicō, et ped­ibus ad vīl­lam quam cel­er­rimē eāmus!” Nec mora, in viam sē dant et repetunt vestī­gia raedae.

Iam adves­perāscē­bat, iam undique tac­i­tae tene­brae imminēbant. Muli­er et raedārius certō gradū prōcēdunt.

Sub noctem ad vīl­lam per­ve­ni­unt dē viā fessī.

Muli­er hae­sitābun­da iānu­am pul­sat et recēdit. Soni­tum accē­den­tis audit, et sta­tim iānua aperī­tur. In ōstiō sac­erdōs sēmi­som­nus stat.

“Salvē, domine.” inquit muli­er. Rota raedae nos­trae frāc­ta est, quā rē rogō tē ut mē et raedāri­um meum domī tuae per­noc­tāre sinās.

“Salvēte,” inquit sac­erdōs. “Quod rogās, mālim nōn concēdere.”

Tum ex aed­ibus audī­tur vōx: “Mī cāris­sime, memen­tō servāre iūs hos­pi­tiī quod nōs iubet aliēnōs hos­pi­tiō excipere. Quid dubitās? Num hoc noc­tis vīs mulierem et adulēs­cen­tem forās pellere? Intrōmitte eōs; haud dubiē vehe­menter ēsuri­unt et algent!” Sta­tim appāret uxor vīgin­tī circiter annōs nāta cum fīli­olō quem brac­chiīs fovet.

“Quid istīc?” inquit sac­erdōs, “Mōrem uxōrī ger­am, sed eā condi­ciōne ut raedārius in stab­ulō cum equīs dormi­at. Sed heus tū, hoc tē moni­tam volō vīl­lam hanc ā lārvīs īnfestārī atque agitārī.”

“Ā lārvīs īnfestārī dīcis? Nihil meā rēfert. Nōn sum timidā.”

“Idem dīxērunt cēterī…”

Sac­erdōs mulierem in vīl­lam recip­it et iānu­am claudit.

Sēra erat hōra. Muli­er ad cubicu­lum suum dūc­i­tur, ubi capite in pul­vīnō positō īlicō obdor­mit. Con­cu­biā autem nocte ē som­nō excitā­tur: aliquis in cubiculō erat. Cum autem ad pari­etem ver­sa cubāret, nihil qui­dem vidēre poter­at, sed soni­tum vestis lon­gae quae trahēbā­tur audit. Lentō et tamquam obrēpente ter­rōre tāc­ta sē con­ver­tit ut videat quis cubicu­lum ingres­sus som­num sibi tur­bāret. Oculīs hūc illūc cir­cum­lātīs nihil nisi tene­brās vīdit.

“Quis adest? Quid tibi vīs?” fremit muli­er, “mitte mē; mihi fes­sae som­nō opus est. Quisquis es, abī!”

Soni­tum tab­ulā­men­tī gemen­tis et vestis quae movē­tur audit. Tum sequitur silen­tium. Cum sonitū abit ter­ror. Dēnuō sōla erat in cubiculō.

Postrīdiē māne dē iīs rēbus quās nocte vīder­at sac­erdōtī uxōrīque eius nārrat.

“Dīxīn’ hoc fore? Lār­vae hunc locum īnfestant!”

“arvae” inquit sac­erdōtis fīliolus.

Super­stiōnem sac­erdōtis con­tem­nēns sēcum sīc cōgi­tat: “Nē illī timidī sunt! Noc­tū inā­nia et vāna ex metū nos­trō imāginem accipere solent. Lār­vae nihil sunt nisi fābu­lae quibus improbōs puerōs ter­reās. Sine dubiō ancil­la quaedam noc­tū clam in cubicu­lum eum irrēpsit.”

Inter­diū raedārius pro­fec­tus ad rotam raedae reparan­dam ali­quan­tō post rē īnfec­tā red­it. Diēs in noctem vertitur.

Et hāc nocte muli­er strepitū noc­turnō ē som­nō excitā­tur. Iam vērō nōn tene­brās vac­uās sed tamquam mātrō­nam can­didā veste et vēlāmine vestī­tam videt. Mātrō­na nihil dīcit.

“Quid tū tan­dem vīs? Respondē nūnciam!”

Nūl­lō ver­bō fac­tō hos­pi­ta noc­tur­na manum sibi ad caput admovet. Sīc manū ad caput admōtā ali­quan­tisper stat, tum in vapōrem gelidum solū­ta ē cōn­spec­tū mulieris in lec­tō iam seden­tis abit.

Ubi diēs illūx­it cubicu­lumque col­lūstrāvit, muli­er eum ipsum locum ubi hos­pi­ta nocte steter­at gut­tīs cruōris esse cōnsper­sum animadvertit.

Hāc rē valdē per­tur­bā­ta nihil sac­erdōtī uxōrīque eius dīcit.

Et hic diēs, quem ad mod­um vēn­er­at, ita abi­it locumque ces­sit tenebrīs.

Sub ves­pe­rum raedārius mulierī dīx­it rotā refec­tā raedam ad iter parā­tam esse, ut dīlūculō proficīscī pos­sent, sī ipsa vellet.

Paulō ante cēnam muli­er tab­u­lam pic­tam, quae dē pari­ete mag­nae aulae pendē­bat, admīrābā­tur, quae eff­in­gē­bat mulierem sevērō vultū.

“Illa est sac­erdōtis uxor!” inquit aliquis.

Muli­er con­ver­sa uxōrem sac­erdōtis cōnspicit.

“Nōnne tū es uxor sac­erdōtis?” rogat mulier.

“Sum qui­dem. Illa supe­ri­or fuit uxor. Haud ita prī­dem mortem obi­it, paucīs mēn­si­bus ante­quam fīli­o­lus nos­ter nātus est.”

“Sed tab­u­la pic­ta eius eti­am manet?”

Hīc ser­mōnem inter­pel­lat sacerdōs.

“Nōn­dum” inquit ille, “vacāvit mihi locāre tab­u­lam novam facien­dam. Par­en­tibus enim parvulōrum tam mul­ta sunt facien­da, ut adves­perās­cat priusquam omnia negō­tia absolveris. Sed, cēna iam apposi­ta est.

Dēnuō nox ven­it et omnēs cubi­tum eunt.

Con­cu­biā nocte tōtum mulieris cubicu­lum subitō frīgēsc­it. Appāret īdōlōn īdem quod priōribus noctibus, can­didā veste vestī­tum. Muli­er in lec­tō sedēns ter­rōre plānē per­cul­sa videt īdōlōn propius accēdere. Iam tam prope stā­bat ut sī inter vīvōs esset, ani­mam eius sēn­sis­set. Nūl­la autem ani­ma ex ōre hos­pi­tae exībat.

Muli­er quae iam tan­dem intel­le­git sibi rem esse cum lārvā ani­mō col­lēc­tō “Quid tē agi­tat? Quid tibi deest? Cūr nōn licet tibi quiēscere?”

Tum mātrō­na can­didā veste vestī­ta vēlāmine sub­lātō caput dēmit­tit ut muli­er vidēre pos­set. Cum ante sē caput lār­vae videt, faciēs eī nōn omnīnō ignō­ta vidē­tur. Subito hor­resc­it ubi videt caput hiāre.

Tum muli­er cum paulisper sēcum dēlīberās­set, ānu­lum dē dig­itō dētrac­tum in caput lār­vae stan­tis īnser­it tum capite fis­sō com­pressō ut in nātūram redīret sollem­nī vōce sīc fātur:

“Iam quiēsce.”

Cōn­fes­tim abit hospita.

Ubi dīlūx­it, muli­er cum raedāriō abīre parat, sed prius quam proficīs­cun­tur, sac­erdōtī uxōrīque eius grātiās agere vult. Dum eōs quaer­it, in aulam illam mag­nam intrat, et tab­ulā pic­tā rūr­sus vīsā sēcum tacita:

“Ut sus­picābar.”

Simul atque raedam cōn­scen­dit, raedāriō negāvit sē iter per­rēc­tūram, priusquam mag­istrā­tum adiisset.

Pāret raedārius.

Ali­quan­tō post muli­er mag­istrā­tuī rem omnem nār­rat: lār­vam noc­tū inquiētāre vīl­lam sac­erdōtis, lar­vamque nōn aliam esse atque ipsam sac­er­do­tis uxōrem super­iōrem quae occīsa esset quod ancil­la ē sac­erdōte gravi­da esset; hanc eum posteā in mātrimōni­um dūxisse vix­dum super­iōre uxōre sepultā.

Mag­istrā­tuī rēs sānē prōdigiōsa esse vidē­tur sed illud ver­bīs mulieris fidem fac­it quod uxor sac­erdōtis mor­tua est paucīs tan­tum mēn­si­bus ante­quam nova uxor fīli­um peperit.

Rēc­tā ītur ad coemētēri­um ut cadāver uxōris effodiant.

Hor­rendō vīsū cōn­ster­nan­tur: calvāri­am uxōris fis­sam inve­ni­unt, atque ad haec, in mediō capite ānu­lus invenītur.

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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