Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts 3.719–28

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    saucius ille tamen ‘fer opem, matertera’ dixit
    ‘Autonoe! moveant animos Actaeonis umbrae!’                                     720
    illa, quis Actaeon, nescit dextramque precantis
    abstulit, Inoo lacerata est altera raptu.
    non habet infelix quae matri bracchia tendat,
    trunca sed ostendens dereptis vulnera membris
    ‘adspice, mater!’ ait. visis ululavit Agave                                               725
    collaque iactavit movitque per aera crinem
    avulsumque caput digitis conplexa cruentis
    clamat: ‘io comites, opus hoc victoria nostra est!’

    Study Questions

    • Parse fer (719).
    • Explain the tense and mood of moveant (720). What is its subject?
    • What verb needs to be supplied with quis Actaeon (721)?
    • Parse precantis (721).
    • What noun does the adjective Inoo (722) modify?
    • What noun has to be supplied mentally after altera (722)?
    • What is the accusative object of habet and antecedent of quae (723)?
    • What noun does trunca (724) modify?
    • What construction is dereptis … membris (724)?
    • What kind of ablative is visis?

    Stylistic Appreciation

    Compare Ovid’s techniques in describing the dismemberment of Pentheus with those used in contemporary splatter-movies.

    Discussion Points

    What are the ethics of depicting extreme forms of violence? Is there an aesthetics of the gruesome? Is Ovid’s description of Pentheus’ dismemberment entertaining — or even witty? Or rather grotesque and revolting?

    saucius, -a, -um wounded, hurt, injured
    matertera, ae, f. aunt (a mother’s sister)
    Actaeon, -onis, m Actaeon
    umbra, -ae, f. shade, shadow; shade, ghost
    aufero, auferre, abstuli, ablatum to take off, carry off, remove, snatch off
    Inous, -a, -um of or belonging to Ino
    lacero, -are, -avi, -atum to tear to pieces, mangle, rend, mutilate
    raptus, -us, m. a carrying off by force; violent rending
    truncus, -a, -um maimed, mutilated, mangled, disfigured
    deripio, -ere, -ripui, -reptum to tear off, tear away, remove violently
    visum, i, n. (ppp of video) something seen, sight, appearance, vision
    collum, -i, n. neck
    iacto, -are, -avi, -atum to throw, scatter; to toss, shake
    avello, -ere, -velli, -vulsum to pull off/ away, to rend off, tear away
    digitus, -i, m. finger
    cruentus, -a, -um stained with blood, bloody
    complector, complecti, complexus to entwine; to clasp, embrace 3.719–28 is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

    • Was this article helpful?