# 5.3.2.3: 3.527–37

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dicta fides sequitur, responsaque vatis aguntur.
Liber adest, festisque fremunt ululatibus agri:
turba ruit, mixtaeque viris matresque nurusque
vulgusque proceresque ignota ad sacra feruntur.                             530
‘Quis furor, anguigenae, proles Mavortia, vestras
attonuit mentes?’ Pentheus ait; ‘aerane tantum
aere repulsa valent et adunco tibia cornu
et magicae fraudes, ut, quos non bellicus ensis,
non tuba terruerit, non strictis agmina telis,                                    535
femineae voces et mota insania vino
obscenique greges et inania tympana vincant?

Study Questions

• Parse dicta.
• Who is Liber?
• What is the subject of fremunt (528)? What is the effect of its placement in the sentence?
• Sort out what each of the five -que in 529–30 (festisque, mixtaeque, matresque, nurusque, vulgusque, proceresque) links. Which one is technically speaking superfluous? Why does Ovid use it nevertheless?
• What is the case of anguigenae and proles Mavortia (531)?
• Identify the three subjects of valent (the main verb of the sentence) (533).
• What type of clause does ut (534) introduce?
• What is the antecedent of the relative pronoun quos?
• Identify the three subjects of terruerit (the verb of the relative clause introduced by quos) (535).
• Identify the four subjects of vincant (the verb of the ut-clause) (537).

Stylistic Appreciation

• How does Ovid bring out stylistically the Dionysiac spirit that has gripped the inhabitants of Thebes in 527–30? (Include consideration of the use of the connective -que.)
• Analyze the overall design of Pentheus’ rhetorical question aerane … vincant? (532–37).

Discussion Points

• Why is Pentheus so upset about the behaviour of his subjects? To what does he object specifically?
• Discuss the role of gender in Pentheus’ rhetoric.
• What ‘character type’ does Pentheus conform to? Can you think of contemporary public figures who exhibit similar traits?
 Liber, -eri, m. Bacchus festus, -a, -um festive, merry (cf. dies festus a holiday observed in honour of a god) fremo, -ere, -ui, -itum to rumble, roar, hum, buzz ululatus, -us, m. drawn-out cries, howling, yelling ruo, -ere, -i to rush misceo, -ere, -ui, mixtum to mix, blend, mingle, confound nurus, -us, f. daughter-in-law (here: in poetry, usually in plural) young (married) woman proceres, -um, m. pl. the leading men of a country anguigena, -ae, m. [anguis + genus] offspring of a serpent or dragon Mavortius, -a, -um of or belonging to Mars, warlike attono, -are, -ui, -itum to strike with lightening, drive crazy aes, aeris, n copper, bronze, brass (musical) instrument made thereof tantum (adverbial use of the acc. of tantus) to such an extent/ degree repello, -ere, reppuli, repulsum to drive back, repel, repulse aduncus, -a, -um hooked, curved tibia, -ae, f. pipe (cf. tibia curva a pipe with a curved end, associated with Eastern religious rites) cornu, -us, n horn fraus, -dis, f. mischief, crime, deceit, trickery ensis, -is, m. sword stringo, -ngere, -nxi, -ctum to bind fast, secure; draw tight; scratch (here) to bare, unsheathe insania, -ae, f madness, frenzy, folly obscenus, -a, -um disgusting, filthy, loathsome, lewd grex, -egis m. flock, herd, band, troop inanis, -is, -e empty, hollow tympanum, -i, n. percussive instrument, drum

5.3.2.3: 3.527–37 is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.