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145. Diversi : apart, turning aside, in various places.

146. vellet: rhetorical Potential Subjunctive implying negative answer. tanti mali: of so great a misfortune.

147. quicquid erat: whatever it was. potius iuvabat: it was more pleasing ; I, too, preferred.

149. amore videndi : i.e. by curiosity. For the reading here, see Appendix.

151. Huc mihi, mater, adi: come hither, mother. mihi: Ethical Dative ; for the reading, see Appendix. Pompam ducit: is heading a procession.

152. aureus : resplendent with gold.

153. Protinus abscissa planxi mea pectora veste: tearing the clothes, beating the breast, plucking out the hair, and such modes of expressing intense grief, are very common in the ancient poets.

155. Ire animus suadebat: I felt an impulse to go. mediae in agmina turbae : into the ranks of the surrounding throng.

156. sertaque, etc.: to snatch the garlands from the well-arranged hair, of the bride. demere rapta ; seize and take off, snatch.

157. Vix me continui : with difficulty I refrained. sic laniata capillos : with my hair torn as it was. capillos : Accusative of Respect. quin clamarem : from shouting.

158. inicere manus: to lay the hands on; a legal term, a method of claiming possession.

160. Inferias, etc.: shade of my brother, receive thy offerings. The Pl. umbrae, like manes, is sometimes used of the spirit of one person. Inferiae were offerings to the dead.

162. coniuge goes with deseror: I am deserted by my husband ; compare comitata natis, l. 135 above. omnia : everything ; compare Eur. Med. 228: év u ydp nv Mol návra : ‘for he, in whom was my all’; and Ov. Her. III. 51:

Tot tamen amissis te compensavimus unum:

tu dominus, tu vir, tu mihi frater eras. 163, igitur : so. 164. perdomuisse : to subdue ; Perf. as Present. Compare sopire, 1. 171. 165. pepuli: a reduplicated Perf.; Sedlmayer reads repuli. 166. flammas : i.e. her love for Jason; compare PROP. II. 1, 57:

Omnes humanos sanat medicina dolores;

solus amor morbi non amat artificem. 167. Ipsi, etc. : even enchantments, and herbs, and magic arts fail me. 168, nil agunt: have no power.

Hecates : Greek form of the Genitive,

169. Non mihi, etc.: compare Tib. II. 4, 11: Nunc et amara dies et noctis amarior umbra est. noctes vigilantur amarae: the nights are passed in bitter wakefulness.

173. paelex: Medea regards herself as the lawful wife.

174. fructus : Accusative Plural.
175. te iactare: to make a display before.
176. iniustis auribus apta : things suited to unfriendly ears.

177. in faciem, etc. : you make new, unfounded charges against my appearance and character ; compare Her. 1. 77.

178. rideat, etc.: let her laugh and rejoice at my faults.
179. Tyrio in ostro: on the Tyrian purple; the royal couch.

180. ardores vincet adusta meos : being set on fire, she will surpass my flames; compare 1. 166. Medea sent to Creusa as a wedding gift a robe smeared with poisonous ointments which caused the unhappy bride to perish miserably in flames. See Eur. Med. 1136 ff.

184, animis verba minora meis: words humbler than my wrath; she changes from threats to entreaty. Compare Her. III. 85 : Vince animos iramque tuam ; Met. vi. 368: verba minora dea beneath the dignity of a goddess.

186. nec moror procubuisse : and I hesitate not to throw myself.

187. Si tibi sum vilis : if thou hast no regard for me. vilis : cheap, unesteemed.

188. dira noverca : a step-mother's cruelty has long been proverbial. 190. nostra: my. 191. avitae flammae : the sun.

192. meritum : the kindness I have shown thee. pignora : dear, lit. pledges.

193. insana : in my madness.
194. adde fidem dictis : be true to thy promises.

196. utque tua, etc.: or that the serpent may grow quiet, overcome by thy aid ; I do not ask as much as I

gave. 197. quem nobis ipse dedisti : whom thou thyself didst give me. 198. parente: Apposition to quo.

199. numeravimus: I counted it out, paid it in cash. Campo illo : on that field.

200. qui tibi, etc.: which had to be plowed by thee before thou couldst carry off (laturo) the fleece.

201. villo spectabilis aureo: distinguished for his golden wool. aureo : dissyllabic by Synizesis. Aureus, standing in the MSS. at the begin. ning of this verse, can hardly be correct with villo spectabilis aureo; I would suggest instead, At vero.

202. dos mea: is my dowry. Quam dicam si tibi redde': if I should say: give it back to me.

203. tu sospes: thy safety, thy rescue. sospes applies also to iuventus.

204. Sisyphias opes : Sisyphus was the mythical founder of Corinth. As he had a bad reputation, the term is one of contempt.

confer : compare.

205. Quod : the fact that. nuptam socerumque potentis : a powerful bride and father-in-law.

206. hoc ipsum, etc.: this very fact, that thou hast it in thy power to be ungrateful, is my work; compare Trist. v. 9, 20: Hoc quoque, quod memores possumus esse, tuum est.

207. Quos equidem actutum, etc. : those whom I immediatelybut what advantage is it to foretell my vengeance? She refers to her children, whom she murders to take vengeance on her husband.

208. Ingentis parturit ira minas: wrath brings forth mighty threats. 209. Facti fortasse pigebit: perhaps I shall regret the deed. 210. et piget, etc.: I also regret having assisted a faithless man. 211. Viderit ista deus : let the god see to that; referring to her threats. 212. Nescio quid maius : something out of the ordinary.

agit: is considering.


Am. I. 3.-1. Iusta precor : my prayers are just. praedata est: has captivated, has made me her praeda.

2. aut amet: let her either love me. aut faciat cur: or give me reason to.

3. tantum patiatur amari: let her only suffer herself to be loved.

4. audierit: will have heard ; if this one request be granted, I shall be satisfied; all my prayers will have been answered. Cytherea : i.e. Venus, so called from the island of Cythera, southeast of Laconia. Near this island, Venus sprang into existence out of the sea-foam and here she was especially worshipped.

5. tibi qui deserviat : who will continue to be thy slave. norit: knows how ; Subjunctive of Characteristic.

7. veterum parentum : of ancient ancestors. 8. eques : a knight; if I belong only to the equestrian rank. 10. temperat, etc.: and my parents, both economical, spare expenses.

11, at: nevertheless. Phoebus : Apollo, the god of music and poetry. comites novem : the Muses. vitis repertor : Bacchus.

12. hac faciunt: are on my side ; compare Her. 1. 103. at Amor : Amor, too.

13, nulli cessura fides : honor second to none. sine crimine mores : a blameless character.

14. nudaque, etc.: plain straightforwardness and blushing modesty. 15. desultor Amoris : fickle in love ; see Vocabulary. 16. siqua fides : if thou wilt believe me. mihi cura : my love. 17. fila sororum: the threads of the sisters; the Parcae. 18. contingat: may it be my lot. te dolente : regretted by thee. 19. materiem : in apposition to te.

21. Carmine nomen habent: have derived fame from poetry. exterrita cornibus Io: Io frightened by her own horns, when she was transformed into a cow by the jealous Juno. Compare Met. I. 640.

22. quam: that is, Leda. fluminea ave: that is, in the guise of a swan. lusit : deceived. adulter: Jupiter.

23. Quaeque : that is, Europa. simulato vecta iuvenco: riding on the false bullock ; Jupiter, disguised as a bull, carried Europa across the water from Asia to Europe.

24. cornua vara : the out-curving horns. 26. nostra ; my.


Am. I. 12.-1. tristes : with sad news.

2. Infelix: unhappy, bringing unhappiness, with sorrow fraught. hodie posse negat: says she cannot see me to-day.

3. Modo: just now.

4. digitos restitit icta : struck her toes and stopped ; stumbling at the threshold was a bad omen. digitos : Accusative of Respect. Nape : the maid-servant who carried the note.

5. Missa foras iterum: the next time you are sent out. 7. difficiles : unkind.

8. negaturis : conveying a No”; which will say “No” when I interpret them. cera : the wax was spread on the wooden tablets and the marks were made with the steel stylus.

9. quam : refers to cera. longae cicutae: of the tall hemlock; a deadly poison, used in executions at Athens.

10. melle sub infami misit: placed you to hold honey of ill repute ; according to Pliny, the Corsican honey was bitter.

11. At tamquam, etc.: but you blushed, so to speak, being thoroughly mixed with red lead ; the poet imagines the wax to turn red from shame.

13. Proiectae triviis iaceatis : cast forth, may you lie where the streets meet.

17. suspendia : a gallows.
18. cruces : crosses, for crucifixion.

19. bubonibus : owls; a large species. Strix was the screech owl. Both kinds were birds of ill omen.

21. His : SC. tabellis. commisi nostros amores : I intrusted my love. insanus: like one insane.

23. Aptius ... capiant: would more fitly receive. vadimonia garrula : wordy recognizances.

24. quas aliquis cognitor legat: to be read by some advocate.

25. ephemeridas tabulasque: day-books and accounts. melius iacerent: would better have lain; would have been more appropriately placed.

26. absumptas opes : his wasted wealth. fleret: would weep for.

27. Ergo, etc.: therefore I found you double-faced in fact (rebus) as well as in name; it was a folding tablet, the wax faces inside, the wood outside.


12, 1–30; 15, 1-23.] THE TABLET—A DEFENSE OF POESY.


28. numerus : the number (two). There was luck in odd numbers. auspicii boni : of good omen; Genitive of Quality.

29. Quid precer : what am I to pray for ? nisi vos cariosa senectus rodat: unless that wasting old age may gnaw you.

30. situ; mould.


Am. I. 15.–1-2. Quid, etc.: why, biting envy, reproachest thou me with lazy years and callest poetry the work of an idle mind.

3. non me : (charging) that I do not. dum strenua sustinet aetas : while the active time of life permits.

4. sequi : pursue.

5. leges : Ovid more than once speaks slightingly of the profession which his father chose for him.

7. Mortale: for a time only. quaeris : requirest. mihi: Dative of Agent, more common with the compound tenses : 354 ; A. & G. 232, b; B. 189; H. 388.

9. Maeonides : that is, Homer. dum: as long as. Tenedos : an island; Ide: a mountain; Simois : a river-all near Troy and all mentioned by Homer.

11. Ascraeus : the bard of Ascra, in Boeotia, was Hesiod, the poet of the farmer ; hence the mention of uva and Ceres. mustis : with juice ; the word usually means newly made wine.

12. incurva : curved.

13. Battiades : the Alexandrian poet Callimachus, a native of Cyrene, of which Battus was supposed to be the founder. Ovid seems to have had a correct estimate of him.

14. quamvis ingenio non valet : although he does not excel in genius; Ovid often uses quamvis with the Indicative : 606, R.; A. & G. 313, 9; B. 309, 6; H. 515, III. n. 3.

15. iactura : loss; the fame of Sophocles will remain undiminished. cothurno: the buskin; the foot-wear of tragic actors. Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were the three great tragic poets of the Greeks.

16. Aratus : a writer on astronomy.

17. fallax servus, etc.: the standard characters in the Middle Comedy. Menander and his school are chiefly known to us through the translations of Plautus and Terence.

19. animosi: spirited, high-sounding. oris : utterance, speech. Ennius and Accius were early Roman poets.

21. primam ... ratem: that is, the Argo; Varro Atacinus wrote, among other things, an Argonautica.

22. terga : hide, fleece ; poetic Plural. duci : Dative of Agent.

23. sublimis : lofty, of elevated style. Ovid was one of the first to appreciate this great poet.

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