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Humanities LibreTexts 3.708–18

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    monte fere medio est, cingentibus ultima silvis,
    purus ab arboribus, spectabilis undique, campus:
    hic oculis illum cernentem sacra profanis                                 710
    prima videt, prima est insano concita cursu,
    prima suum misso violavit Penthea thyrso
    mater et ‘o geminae’ clamavit ‘adeste sorores!
    ille aper, in nostris errat qui maximus agris,
    ille mihi feriendus aper’. ruit omnis in unum                             715
    turba furens; cunctae coeunt trepidumque sequuntur,
    iam trepidum, iam verba minus violenta loquentem,
    iam se damnantem, iam se peccasse fatentem.

    Study Questions

    • What is the subject of the sentence starting monte fere medio est... (708–09)?
    • What kind of construction is cingentibus ultima silvis (708)? How does ultima fit in?
    • What is the subject of the sentence starting hic oculis... (710–13)?
    • What kind of construction does videt (711) govern?
    • What kind of construction is misso … thyrso (712)?
    • What type of dative is mihi (715)?
    • What construction does fatentem introduce (718)?

    Stylistic Appreciation

    How does Ovid rhetorically embellish the final show down between Pentheus and his mother (as well as the rest of the Maenads)?

    Discussion Points

    Discuss the drama of sight that plays itself out in these lines: who sees whom seeing what from where? Should the transformative visions induced by madness and hallucination count as types of metamorphosis?

    mons, -ntis, m. mountain
    cingo, -ere, -xi, -nctum to circle, surround, encompass
    purus, -a, -um clean, free, clear; undefiled, unstained
    spectabilis, -is, -e that may be seen; visible
    undique (adverb) from all parts, on all sides
    hîc (adverb of place) in this place, here
    concieo, -ciere, -civi, -citum to urge, bring or assemble together
    to move violently, shake, stir up, rouse
    thyrsus, -i, m. Bacchic staff, thyrsus
    geminus, -a, -um born at the same time, twin-born
    paired, double, both, *two
    aper, -pri, m. boar
    ferio, -ire to knock, strike; to slay, kill
    pecco, -are, -avi, -atum to transgress, commit a fault, offend
    fateor, -eri, fassus to confess, own, grant 3.708–18 is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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