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An Origin Story: Unde Psittaci Ebrii Veniunt?

For me, this was (a) a chance to practice what I covered in the course and (b) attempt to provide a possible explanation for a recurring theme in the course. Since I have just gotten started with learning Latin in the last few months, any and all corrections or suggestions are appreciated.

In short, a funny thing happened to some people on their way to (and from) the forum.



SCAENA: FORUM. Mercatores in foro sunt.

Marcus mercator est. Marcus mensam longam in taberna sua habet. In mensa sunt cibi, vinum, libri, pocula, et cetera.

MARCUS: Crustula vendo! CRU-STU-LA!

(Corinna et Stephanus ad forum adveniunt.)

STEPHANUS: Crustula emere volo! Quot nummos habemus?

CORINNA: (numerat) Unus, duo, tres....centum. Plurimos nummos habemus!

MARCUS: Pocula et patellas et caseum vendo! PO-CU-LA! CA-SE-UM!

(Stephanus et Corinna ad Marcum adveniunt. In taberna mensam longam vident.)

STEPHANUS: Plurima crustula in mensa sunt!

(In mensa quoque psittacus est. Nomen ei est Brutus. Brutus laetus est.)

BRUTUS: (Brac!) Salvete!

(Marcus Brutum audit et homines videt. Marcus ad eos it.)

MARCUS (laetus): Quid emere velitis?

STEPHANUS: Crustula! Quanti nummis constant crustula?

MARCUS: Unum crustulum duo nummis constat.

(Stephanus viginti crustula emit.)

CORINNA: Caseum emere velim. Quanti nummis constat caseus?

(Brutus quoque perfidus est. Nunc Brutus rapide loquitur.)

BRUTUS: (Brac!) Marcus caseum olet! Marcus caseum sordidum vendit!

MARCUS: Brute, in taberna mea tacite loquimur.

BRUTUS: (Brac!) Marcus pisces in pavimentum iacit! Marcus pisces sordidos vendit!

MARCUS (non laetus, sed iratus): Ta-ci-te!

BRUTUS: (Brac!) Mustelae sordidae in taberna habitant! Marcus mustelas sordidas vendit!

(Marcus poculum cum vino rubro videt.)

MARCUS: Velisne hoc vinum, Brute?

(Marcus cum poculo ad Brutum it. Brutus bibit et bibit et bibit ... Brutus ebrius est. De mensa ad pavimentum Brutus descendit (bap!), et in pavimento Brutus dormit.)

(Corinna Brutum videt)

CORINNA: Quanti nummis constat psittacus qui in pavimento dormit?


(Corinna Brutum emit.)

(Corinna et Stephanus cum psittaco ebrio exeunt. Marcus non iratus est, sed laetus.)

MARCUS: Mustelas vendo! MU-STE-LAS!

December 17, 2019



I'm convinced! This is how it must have happened! XD


Haha! Good story. They should add it to the course


This is quite remarkable--congratulations!

I do have a few questions/comments. For example, it says that Marcus goes to the women after he hears the parrot saying "Salvete," but from the names, it looks as though one is a woman (Corinna) and one is a man (Stephanus).

I don't think you'd use both "Quanti?" ("how much (does it cost)") and the word nummis ( = "for X coins") together. So, Corinna could ask, "Quanti constat psittacus qui in pavimento dormit?", and get the answer of "Uno" ! (nummis is ablative, so the price of one coin could be put into the ablative singular: uno).

I'm also not sure what "Marcus caseum olet" means. Is it perhaps "Marci caseus olet" ? ("The cheese of Marcus stinks?")

Frankly, I think this is great, and hilarious; and I hope you don't mind my minor quibbles.


Not in the slightest. Like I said, I’m still learning. But I can account for one of them straight away: My next-to-last draft had Corinna and Livia in the dramatis personae, rather than Corinna and Stephanus. I’ve made a slight edit to account for that.


Also, I was riffing off a Duolingo sentence: “Culina caseum olet” : “the kitchen smells of cheese”. I figured that other things (like sketchy shopkeepers) could also smell of cheese.


Fabula tua optima est. Gemmam tibi trado!

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