ille metu vacuus ‘nomen mihi’ dixit ‘Acoetes,
patria Maeonia est, humili de plebe parentes.
non mihi quae duri colerent pater arva iuvenci,
lanigerosve greges, non ulla armenta reliquit; 585
pauper et ipse fuit linoque solebat et hamis
decipere et calamo salientis ducere pisces.
ars illi sua census erat; cum traderet artem,
‘accipe, quas habeo, studii successor et heres’,
dixit ‘opes’, moriensque mihi nihil ille reliquit 590
praeter aquas: unum hoc possum appellare paternum.
- What kind of ablative is metu (582)?
- Lines 584–85 jumble a main clause and a relative clause: rewrite in standard prose order.
- What is the antecedent of the relative pronoun quae (584)?
- Identify the subject and the object of colerent (584)
- What is the mood of colerent (584) and why?
- Identify the subject and the (three) accusative objects of reliquit (585).
- What is the direct object of decipere (587)?
- Parse salientis (587). What noun does it agree with?
- What kind of dative is illi (588)?
- What is the accusative object of accipe and the antecedent of quas (589)?
Discuss the devices by which Acoetes manages to take nine lines to say ‘my parents were poor and I inherited nothing’. Can you detect touches of irony, more specifically formulations reminiscent of elevated epic style that are here used to express the unremarkable and the everyday?
- What do you make of the presence of words such as plebs (583) and census (588) that evoke the political culture of republican and early imperial Rome?
- What might make you wonder if this sounds like Bacchus, god and metonymy of wine, talking?
|Maeonia, -ae, f||Lydia
Etruria (because the Etruscans were said to be descended from the Lydians)
|humilis, -is, -e||low, base, humble, obscure, poor|
|plebs, -bis, f||the common people, lower class|
|iuvencus, -i, m||a young bullock|
|laniger, -gera, -gerum||wool-bearing, fleecy|
|grex, gregis, m.||flock, herd; troop, band|
|armentum, -i, n.||cattle for ploughing|
|pauper, paupera, pauperum||poor|
|linum, -i, n.||thread, rope, cable; net|
|hamus, -i, m.||hook|
|decipio, -ere, -cepi, -ceptum||to catch, ensnare, entrap, beguile|
|calamus, -i, m.||reed; object made thereof, such as: fishing-rod|
|salio, -ire, salui||to leap, spring, bound|
|piscis, -is, m.||fish|
|census, -us, m.||a registering and rating of Roman citizens or property
hence: wealth, riches, property
|trado, -ere, tradidi, traditum||to hand over, transmit, betray, surrender|
|heres, heredis||heir, heiress|
|ops, opis, f.||power, might; property, wealth; help|
|appello, -are, -avi, -atum||to drive toward, accost
to address, speak to, call upon
*to call, term, entitle, declare
|paternus, -a, -um||belonging to a father, paternal|