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Humanities LibreTexts 3.644–55

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    obstipui “capiat”que “aliquis moderamina!” dixi
    meque ministerio scelerisque artisque removi.                                 645
    increpor a cunctis, totumque inmurmurat agmen;
    e quibus Aethalion “te scilicet omnis in uno
    nostra salus posita est!” ait et subit ipse meumque
    explet opus Naxoque petit diversa relicta.
    tum deus inludens, tamquam modo denique fraudem                      650
    senserit, e puppi pontum prospectat adunca
    et flenti similis “non haec mihi litora, nautae,
    promisistis” ait, “non haec mihi terra rogata est!
    quo merui poenam facto? quae gloria vestra est,
    si puerum iuvenes, si multi fallitis unum?”                                      655    

    Study Questions

    • What does the que after capiat (644) link? What the -que after me (645)?
    • Parse te (647).
    • What is the rhetorical force of scilicet (647)?
    • What kind of construction is Naxo … relicta (649)?
    • What is the main verb of the sentence that begins with tum deus (650)?
    • Parse senserit (651) and explain the mood.
    • What does the et at the beginning of line 652 link?
    • What noun does the attribute adunca (651) modify?
    • Parse flenti (652).
    • What kinds (plural!) of dative are mihi in 652 and mihi in 653?
    • What noun does the interrogative adjective quo modify (654)? What case is it in?

    Stylistic Appreciation

    Discuss the rhetorical devices Bacchus uses to express his outrage at the crew’s treachery, with particular attention to the design of 655.

    Discussion Points

    Can you think of other moments in literature (or other media, such as cinema) in which an all-powerful character initially ‘plays possum’ or feigns naïveté when set upon by a gang of toughs, only to emerge victoriously? What makes this scenario so attractive?

    obstipesco, -ere, obstipui to be stupefied; be amazed; struck dumb
    moderamen, -inis, n. means of managing; rudder, helm
    ministerium, -ii, n. office, function, service; administration
    increpo, -are, increpui, increpitum to make a noise; to upbraid loudly, chide
    immurmuro, -are, -avi, -atum to murmur in, at, or against
    agmen, -inis, n. multitude (in motion), group, band, army
    scilicet (adverb) it is evident, clear, plain, manifest
    of course, naturally, undoubtedly
    ironically: of course, doubtless, forsooth
    subeo, -ire, -ii, -itum to come or go under; to take the place of
    expleo, -ere, -evi, -etum to fill up; to complete, finish
    diversus, -a, -um different, opposite, contrary, conflicting
    inludo, -ere, -si, -sum to mock, ridicule; to play at
    tamquam as if
    fraus, fraudis, f. deceit, fraud, deception; offence, crime
    puppis, -is, f. the hinder part of the ship, stern
    pontus, -i, m. the sea
    aduncus, -a, -um hooked; curved
    fleo, -ere, flevi, fletum to weep, cry, shed tears
    similis, -e (with gen. or, as here, dat.) like, resembling, similar
    mereo, -ere, -ui, -itum to deserve, merit, be entitled to; earn
    fallo, -ere, fefelli, falsum to deceive, trick, dupe, cheat 3.644–55 is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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