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Humanities LibreTexts 3.634–43

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    “pone metum” Proreus, “et quos contingere portus
    ede velis!” dixit; “terra sistere petita”.                                             635
    “Naxon” ait Liber “cursus advertite vestros!
    illa mihi domus est, vobis erit hospita tellus”.
    per mare fallaces perque omnia numina iurant
    sic fore meque iubent pictae dare vela carinae.
    dextera Naxos erat: dextra mihi lintea danti                                     640
    “quid facis, o demens? quis te furor”, inquit “Acoete”,
    pro se quisque, “tenet? laevam pete!” maxima nutu
    pars mihi significat, pars quid velit ore susurro.

    Study Questions

    • Parse pone (634) and ede (635).
    • What does the et in line 634 link?
    • What kind of subordinate clause does quos introduce? What noun does it modify? What are the subject and the verb of the subordinate clause?
    • Parse velis (635).
    • Scan line 635 and parse terra and sistere.
    • What kind of accusative is Naxon?
    • What kinds of dative are mihi and vobis (637)?
    • What kind of clause does iurant (638) introduce?
    • Parse fore (639).
    • What kind of clause does iubent (639) introduce?
    • Parse danti (640).
    • What case is demens (641) in?
    • Why is velit (643) in the subjunctive?
    contingo, -ere, -tigi, -tactum to touch, take hold of, seize
    to reach, come to, arrive at, meet with
    hospes, -itis, m./ hospita, -ae, f. host; guest
    used adjectively: hospitable
    fallax, -acis deceitful, deceptive
    pingo, -ere, pinxi, pictum to adorn with colour, paint, embroider
    linteum, -i, n. linen cloth; sail
    nutus, -us, m. a nod
    significo, -are, -avi, -atum to show (by signs), point out, intimate
    os, oris, n. mouth
    susurrus, -a, -um muttering, whispering

    Stylistic Appreciation

    This is a highly ‘dramatic’ sequence, with a lot of direct speech (including imperatives and vocatives) along with whispering and accompanying gestures and movements. One way to appreciate the theatrical quality is to reconceive the passage as a script with stage directions:

    Proreus (fallaciter): ‘pone metum et ede quos portus contingere velis! terra petita sistere’.

    Liber: ‘Cursus vestros Naxon advertite! illa mihi domus est, tellus vobis hospita erit’.

    Omnes (fallaciter): ‘per mare et per omnia numina sic fore iuramus. Acoete, vela da ventis!’

    Pro se quisque (pars nutu, pars ore susurro): ‘quid facis, o demens? quis te furor, Acoete, tenet? laevam pete!’

    Discussion Points

    The action that unfolds here resembles a farce, mime, or comedy — that is, dramatic genres of slapstick-entertainment value that are far less elevated than epic or tragedy. Why do you think Ovid lets rip like this in terms of his generic registers? 3.634–43 is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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