# 5.3.2.8: 3.582–91

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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.

Study Questions

• 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)?

Stylistic Appreciation

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?

Discussion Points

• 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

5.3.2.8: 3.582–91 is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.