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Humanities LibreTexts 3.611–20

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    et sensi et dixi sociis: “quod numen in isto
    corpore sit, dubito; sed corpore numen in isto est!
    quisquis es, o faveas nostrisque laboribus adsis;
    his quoque des veniam!” “pro nobis mitte precari!”
    Dictys ait, quo non alius conscendere summas                                 615
    ocior antemnas prensoque rudente relabi.
    hoc Libys, hoc flavus, prorae tutela, Melanthus,
    hoc probat Alcimedon et, qui requiemque modumque
    voce dabat remis, animorum hortator, Epopeus,
    hoc omnes alii: praedae tam caeca cupido est.                                 620

    Study Questions

    • Explain why sit (612) is in the subjunctive.
    • Explain why faveas, adsis (613), and des (614) are in the subjunctive.
    • Parse mitte (614).
    • What kind of ablative is the relative pronoun quo (615)?
    • What is the verb of the relative clause introduced by quo (615–16)?
    • How do the infinitives conscendere (615) and relabi (616) fit into the syntax of the sentence?
    • What kind of construction is prenso rudente (616)?
    • What does the -que after prenso (616) link?
    • Explain the syntax of prorae tutela (617) and animorum hortator (619).
    • Identify the five subjects (and four accusative objects) of probat (618).
    • What is the antecedent of qui (618)?
    • What type of genitive is praedae (620)?
    dubito, -are, -avi, -atum to be uncertain, be in doubt, waver
    faveo, -ere, favi, fautum to be favourable, be well disposed
    venia, -ae, f. indulgence, kindness; permission;
    forbearance, pardon, forgiveness
    conscendere, -ere, -i, -nsum to mount, ascend; to embark
    antemna, -ae, f. a sail yard
    prendo, -ere, -di, -sum to lay hold of, grasp, snatch, seize
    rudens, -entis, m. rope, line, cord
    relabor, -bi, -lapsus to slide or glide back; slide down
    flavus, -a, -um golden-yellow, blond
    prora, -ae, f. forepart of a ship, prow
    tutela, -ae, f. charge, care, safeguard; guardianship keeper, warder, guardian
    remus, -i, m oar

    Stylistic Appreciation

    • What is the term for the stylistic device that Ovid uses in 611–12 quod numen in isto corpore sit, dubito; sed corpore numen in isto est! What is its effect here?
    • What is the technical term for, and the rhetorical effect of, the fourfold repetition of hoc in 617–20?
    • How does Ovid generate interest in the catalogue of the members of the crew?
    • Why is flavus … Melanthus (617) funny?
    • What kind of figure is prorae tutela (617)?
    • How does Ovid use style to reinforce the contrast between Acoetes and his crew?

    Discussion Points

    Discuss the psychology/ motivation behind the positions of Acoetes and the rest of crew. Consider the social dynamics that unfold here, with one lone voice taking a principled if seemingly hopeless stance against the rest. Where else in ancient and modern literature do we find this situation? 3.611–20 is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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