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Humanities LibreTexts 3.666–75

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    ipse racemiferis frontem circumdatus uvis
    pampineis agitat velatam frondibus hastam;
    quem circa tigres simulacraque inania lyncum
    pictarumque iacent fera corpora pantherarum.
    exsiluere viri, sive hoc insania fecit                                      670
    sive timor, primusque Medon nigrescere coepit
    corpore et expresso spinae curvamine flecti.
    incipit huic Lycabas “in quae miracula” dixit
    “verteris?” et lati rictus et panda loquenti
    naris erat, squamamque cutis durata trahebat.                     675

    Study Questions

    • What kind of accusative is frontem (666)?
    • What noun does racemiferis modify?
    • Identify the accusative object of agitat (667).
    • Scan line 669: what is unusual about its metrical design?
    • Parse exsiluere (670).
    • What does the et after corpore (672) link?
    • What kind of construction is expresso … curvamine (672)?
    • Parse verteris (674).
    • What is the verb of the clause starting with lati rictus (674)?
    • Parse loquenti (674).
    • What does the -que after squamam (675) link?

    Stylistic Appreciation

    How does Ovid render Bacchus’ epiphany graphic and effective? (Be sure to include comments on its impact on the audience in the text.) How does he manage to visualize the phenomenon of transformation?

    Discussion Points

    This block of text brings together gods, humans, and beasts (including the transformation of humans into beasts). Discuss how ancient (and modern) cultures configure these three ‘life-forms’ and their interrelation.

    racemifer, -era, -erum bearing clusters [of grapes]
    uva, -ae, f. grape
    pampineus, -a, -um full of tendrils or vine-leaves
    velo, -are, -avi, -atum to cover (up), wrap, envelop, veil
    hasta, -ae, f. lance, spear
    circa (adverb) around, round about, all around
    simulacrum, -i, n. likeness, image, form, figure
    inanis, -is, -e empty, void; lifeless, dead
    lynx, lyncis, f. a lynx
    panthera, -ae, f. a panther
    exsilio, -ire, -ui to spring out, bound forth, leap up
    nigresco, -ere, -grui to become black, grow dark
    exprimo, -ere, -pressi, -pressum to press or squeeze out, force out
    curvamen, -inis, n. curvature; curved form; arc
    verto, -ere, -ti, -sum to turn; to change, alter, transform;
    to translate; to overturn, overthrow
    latus, -a, -um broad, wide, extended
    rictus, -us, m the mouth wide-open; gaping jaws
    pandus, -a, -um bent, crooked, curved
    naris, -is, f. nose
    squama, -ae, f. a scale
    cutis, -is, f. skin 3.666–75 is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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