Demosthenes and the donkey's shadow | Latin texts

Greek literature is a rich treasure trove of interesting and amusing anecdotes that posterity has often used to illustrate a particular point in an elegant and entertaining manner. Listen to this Latin audio passage in which Demosthenes tells the tale of the donkey's shadow to make an important point.

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Level: Intermediate-Advanced


Text of the Latin audio recording

Demosthenes orator, cum capitis reum in iudicio defendendum suscepisset, neque auscultarent iudices, ex improviso clamans, "Lepidam," inquit, ''audite narrationem: Adulescens aliquando, Athenis Megaram profecturus, asinum conduxit. Meridie vero, ardente sole, onus deposuit, asinique umbram ipse subiit. Reiectus autem ab agasone, vim contra parat, et asini etiam umbram se conduxisse ait. Quae cum negaret agaso, et asinum dumtaxat conductum affirmaret, ambo in ius eunt." His dictis, e contione descendit Demosthenes. Retinentibus autem eum iudicibus atque ut narrationem perficeret flagitantibus, cum suggestum iterum conscendisset, "De asini," inquit, "umbra libet, Athenienses, audire, viri tamen de vita periclitantis causam auscultare recusatis?"

- R.B. Appleton, Fabulae virginibus puerisque aut narrandae aut recitandae.

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