August 5th, 2020 by Chris Francese

Dawn at Thebes (Seneca, Hercules Furens 125-201)

Juno has just finished her opening monologue in which she whips herself into a frenzy of rage at Hercules. As the chorus enters, they sing of the dawn, then deliver an encomium of the simple country life, away from the ambition, greed, and corruption of city life. (Seneca apparently knew little of country life, which can be just as full of ambition, greed, and corruption as city life. But the sentiments are conventional.) The poetry here is more lyrical and contemplative than the thrusting, fiery rage of the opening monologue. The meter is in anapestic dimeters.

Iam rāra micant                                                    125

sīdera prōnō languida mundō;                             125bis

nox vīcta vagōs contrahit ignēs

lūce renātā;

cōgit nitidum Phōsphoros agmen;

signum celsī glaciāle polī

septem stēllīs Arcados Ursa                                 130

lūcem versō tēmōne vocat.

iam caeruleīs ēvectus equīs

Tītān summā prōspicit Oetā;

iam Cadmēīs inclita Bacchīs

aspersa diē dūmēta rubent,                                   135

Phoebīque fugit reditūra soror.

 

Labor exoritur dūrus et omnēs

agitat cūrās aperitque domōs.

pāstor gelidā cāna pruīnā

grege dīmissō pābula carpit;                                140

lūdit prātō līber apertō

nōndum ruptā fronte iuvencus;

vacuae reparant ūbera mātrēs;

errat cursū levis incertō

mollī petulāns haedus in herbā.                           145

pendet summō strīdula rāmō

pinnāsque novō trādere sōlī

gestit querulōs inter nīdōs

Thrācia paelex,

turbaque circā cōnfūsa sonat                                150

murmure mixtō testāta diem.

carbasa ventīs                                                       152

crēdit dubius nāvita vītae                                     152bis

laxōs aurā complente sinūs.

hic exēsīs pendēns scopulīs

aut dēceptōs īnstruit hāmōs                                  155

aut suspēnsus

spectat pressā praemia dextrā;

sentit tremulum līnea piscem.

 

Haec, innocuae quibus est vītae

tranquilla quiēs                                                    160a

et laeta suō parvōque domus.                               160b-1a

spēs immānēs urbibus errant                                161b-3a

trepidīque metūs.                                                 163b

ille superbōs aditūs rēgum

dūrāsque forēs expers somnī                                165

colit; hic nūllō fīne beātās

compōnit opēs

gāzīs inhiāns                                                        167b

et congestō pauper in aurō;

illum populī favor attonitum

flūctūque magis mōbile vulgus                            170

aurā tumidum tollit inānī;

hic clāmōsī rabiōsa forī

iūrgia vēndēns                                                      173

improbus īrās et verba locat.                                173bis

 

Nōvit paucōs sēcūra quiēs,

quī vēlōcis memorēs aevī                                    175

tempora numquam reditūra tenent.

dum fāta sinunt, vīvite laetī.

properat cursū vīta citātō,

volucrīque diē

rota praecipitis vertitur annī;                                180

dūrae peragunt pēnsa sorōrēs

nec sua retrō fīla revolvunt.

at gēns hominum fertur rapidīs

obvia fātīs incerta suī;

Stygiās ultrō quaerimus undās.                            185

nimium, Alcīdē, pectore fortī

properās maestōs vīsere mānēs.

certō veniunt tempore Parcae.

nūllī iussō cessāre licet,

nūllī scrīptum prōferre diem;                               190

recipit populōs urna citātōs.

 

Alium multīs glōria terrīs

trādat et omnēs

Fāma per urbēs garrula laudet,                            194

caelōque parem tollat et astrīs;                            194bis

alius currū sublīmis eat:

mē mea tellūs

lare sēcrētō tūtōque tegat.

venit ad pigrōs cāna senectūs,

humilīque locō sed certa sedet

sordida parvae fortūna domūs:                            200

altē virtūs animōsa cadit.

Play

August 2nd, 2020 by Chris Francese

Seneca Hecules Furens 1-29

Bare chested man bloody holding limp body of young woman

“Hercules Furens,” adapted, directed, and choreographed by John Farmanesh-Bocca. The Miles Memorial Playhouse, 2013. Photo by Anthony Roldan

Soror Tonantis – hōc enim sōlum mihi

nōmen relictum est – semper aliēnum Iovem

ac templa summī vidua dēseruī aetheris,

locumque caelō pulsa paelicibus dedī;

tellūs colenda est, paelicēs caelum tenent.                 5

hinc Arctos altā parte glaciālis polī

sublīme classēs sīdus Argolicās agit;

hinc, quā recentī vēre laxātur diēs,

Tyriae per undās vector Eurōpae nitet;

illinc timendum ratibus ac pontō gregem                   10

passim vagantēs exserunt Atlantidēs.

ferrō mināx hinc terret Ōrīōn deōs

suāsque Persēus aureus stēllās habet;

hinc clāra geminī signa Tyndaridae micant

quibusque nātīs mōbilis tellūs stetit.                           15

nec ipse tantum Bacchus aut Bacchī parēns

adiēre superōs: nē qua pars probrō vacet,

mundus puellae serta Cnōsiacae gerit.

Sed sēro querimur; ūna mē dīra ac fera

Thēbāna tellūs mātribus sparsa impiīs                        20

quotiēns novercam fēcit! ēscendat licet

meumque uictrīx teneat Alcmēnē locum,

pariterque nātus astra prōmissa occupet,

in cuius ortūs mundus impendit diem

tardusque Eōō Phoebus effulsit marī                          25

retinēre mersum iussus Ōceanō iubar,

nōn sīc abībunt odia; vīvācēs aget

violentus īrās animus, et saevus dolor

aeterna bella pāce sublātā geret.

Play

July 15th, 2020 by Chris Francese

Phaedra to Hippolytus, part 4 (Ovid, Heroides 4.147-176)

Despite my royal status and lineage, I am begging you. Spare me, please. May you get everything you want as a huntsman.

tolle morās tantum properātaque foedera iunge —

quī mihi nunc saevit, sīc tibi parcat Amor!

nōn ego dēdignor supplex humilisque precārī.

150                                   heu! ubi nunc fastūs altaque verba iacent?

et pugnāre diū nec mē submittere culpae

certa fuī — certī sīquid habēret amor;

vīcta precor genibusque tuīs rēgālia tendō

bracchia! quid deceat, nōn videt ūllus amāns.

155                            dēpuduī, profugusque pudor sua signa relīquit.

dā veniam fassae dūraque corda domā!

quod mihi sit genitor, quī possidet aequora, Mīnōs,

quod veniant proavī fulmina torta manū,

quod sit avus radiīs frontem vāllātus acūtīs,

160                                   purpureum rapidō quī movet axe diem —

nōbilitās sub amōre iacet! miserēre priōrum

et, mihi sī nōn vīs parcere, parce meīs!

est mihi dōtālis tellūs Iovis īnsula, Crētē —

serviat Hippolytō rēgia tōta meō!

165                            flecte, ferōx, animōs! potuit corrumpere taurum

māter; eris taurō saevior ipse trucī?

per Venerem, parcās, ōrō, quae plūrima mēcum est!

sīc numquam, quae tē spernere possit, amēs;

sīc tibi sēcrētīs agilis dea saltibus adsit,

170                                   silvaque perdendās praebeat alta ferās;

sīc faveant Satyrī montānaque nūmina Pānes,

et cadat adversā cuspide fossus aper;

sīc tibi dent Nymphae, quamvīs ōdisse puellās

dīceris, ārentem quae levet unda sitim!

175                            addimus hīs precibus lacrimās quoque; verba precantis

quī legis, et lacrimās finge vidēre meās!

Play

July 8th, 2020 by Chris Francese

Phaedra to Hippolytus, part 3 (Ovid, Heroides 4.105-146)

Phaedra asks Hippolytus to put off his huntsman’s persona and relax, then offers to come out on the hunt with him. She offers to abandon Theseus and move to Troezen to be with Hippolytus. Theseus is already ignoring and slighting both of them, she argues. Their close family connection is no problem, even an asset. The affair will be easily concealed because of it.

aequora bīna suīs oppugnant flūctibus Isthmon, 105

et tenuis tellūs audit utrumque mare.

hīc tēcum Troezēna colam, Pitthēia rēgna;

iam nunc est patriā cārior illa meā.

tempore abest aberitque diū Neptūnius hērōs;

illum Pīrithoī dētinet ōra suī. 110

praeposuit Thēseus — nisi sī[1] manifēsta negāmus —

Pīrithoum Phaedrae Pīrithoumque tibī.

sōla nec haec ad nōs iniūria vēnit ab illō;

in magnīs laesī rēbus uterque sumus.

ossa meī frātris clāvā perfrācta trinōdī 115

sparsit humī; soror est praeda relicta ferīs.

prīma secūrigerās inter virtūte puellās

tē peperit, nātī digna vigōre parēns;

sī quaerās, ubi sit — Thēseus latus ēnse perēgit,

nec tantō māter pignore tūta fuit. 120

at nē nūpta quidem taedāque accepta iugālī —

cūr, nisi nē caperēs rēgna paterna nothus?

addidit et frātrēs ex mē tibi, quōs tamen omnēs

nōn ego tollendī causa, sed ille fuit.

ō utinam nocitūra tibī, pulcherrime rērum, 125

in mediō nīsū vīscera rupta forent!

ī nunc, sīc meritī lectum reverēre parentis —

quem fugit et factīs abdicat ipse suīs!

nec, quia prīvignō videar coitūra noverca,

terruerint animōs nōmina vāna tuōs. 130

ista vetus pietās, aevō moritūra futūrō,

rūstica Sāturnō rēgna tenente fuit.

Iuppiter esse pium statuit, quodcumque iuvāret,

et fās omne facit frātre marīta soror.

illa coit firmā generis iūnctūra catēnā, 135

imposuit nōdōs cui Venus ipsa suōs.

nec labor est cēlāre, licet peccēmus, amōrem.

cognātō poterit nōmine culpa tegī.

vīderit amplexōs aliquis, laudābimur ambō;

dīcar prīvignō fīda noverca meō. 140

nōn tibi per tenebrās dūrī reseranda marītī

iānua, nōn cūstōs dēcipiendus erit;

ut tenuit domus ūna duōs, domus ūna tenēbit;

ōscula aperta dabās, ōscula aperta dabis;

tūtus eris mēcum laudemque merēbere culpā, 145

tū licet in lectō cōnspiciāre meō.

 

[1] nisi si = “unless,” a strenghthened form of nisi https://latin.packhum.org/search?q=nisi+si%23

 

Play

July 6th, 2020 by Chris Francese

Phaedra to Hippolytus, part 2 (Ovid, Heroides 4.37-84

Phaedra wants to take up hunting like Hippolytus and is driven to the extremes of mental derangement. Perhaps it is some family curse that the women of her Cretan line all suffer in love (Europa, Pasiphae, Ariadne)? Phaedra describes how attractive she found Hippolytus when she first saw him at Eleusis.

See Peter J. Davis, “Rewriting Euripides: Ovid, Heriodes 4,” Scholia 4 (1995) 41-55. https://www.academia.edu/4756559/Rewriting_Euripides_Ovid_Heroides_4

Phaedra reclining on bed as servant sits on floor.

Alexandre Cabanel, Phaedra, 1880. Oil on canvas, 194 x 286 cm. Musée Fabre, Montpellier.

iam quoque — vix crēdēs — ignōtās mittor in artēs;

est mihi per saevās impetus īre ferās.

iam mihi prīma dea est arcū praesignis aduncō

Dēlia; iūdicium subsequor ipsa tuum.

in nemus īre libet pressīsque in rētia cervīs

hortārī celerēs per iuga summa canēs,

aut tremulum excussō iaculum vibrāre lacertō,

aut in grāmineā pōnere corpus humō.

saepe iuvat versāre levēs in pulvere currūs

torquentem frēnīs ōra fugācis equī;

nunc feror, ut Bacchī furiīs Elelēides āctae,

quaeque sub Īdaeō tympana colle movent,

aut quās sēmideae Dryadēs Faunīque bicornēs

nūmine contāctās attonuēre suō.

namque mihī referunt, cum sē furor ille remīsit,

omnia; mē tacitam cōnscius ūrit amor.

forsitan hunc generis fātō reddāmus amōrem,

et Venus ex tōtā gente tribūta petat.

Iuppiter Eurōpēn — prīma est ea gentis orīgō —

dīlēxit, taurō dissimulante deum.

Pāsiphaē māter, dēceptō subdita taurō,

ēnīxa est uterō crīmen onusque suō.

perfidus Aegīdēs, dūcentia fīla secūtus,

curva meae fūgit tēcta sorōris ope.

ēn, ego nunc, nē forte parum Mīnōia crēdar,

in sociās lēgēs ultima gentis eō!

hoc quoque fātāle est: placuit domus ūna duābus;

mē tua fōrma capit, capta parente soror.

Thēsīdēs Thēseusque duās rapuēre sorōrēs —

pōnite dē nostrā bīna tropaea domō!

tempore quō nōbīs inita est Cereālis Eleusīn,

Cnōsia mē vellem dētinuisset humus!

tunc mihi praecipuē (nec nōn tamen ante placēbās)

ācer in extrēmīs ossibus haesit amor.

candida vestis erat, praecīnctī flōre capillī,

flāva verēcundus tīnxerat ōra rubor,

quemque vocant aliae vultum rigidumque trucemque,

prō rigidō Phaedrā iūdice fortis erat.

sint procul ā nōbīs iuvenēs ut fēmina cōmptī! —

fīne colī modicō fōrma virīlis amat.

tē tuus iste rigor positīque sine arte capillī

et levis ēgregiō pulvis in ōre decet.

sīve ferōcis equī luctantia colla recurvās,

exiguō flexōs mīror in orbe pedēs;

seu lentum validō torquēs hastīle lacertō,

ōra ferōx in sē versa lacertus habet,

sīve tenēs lātō vēnābula cornea ferrō.

dēnique nostra iuvat lūmina, quidquid agis.

Play

July 2nd, 2020 by Chris Francese

Phaedra to Hippolytus (Ovid, Heroides 4.1-36)

Sarah Bernhardt in the role of Racine's Phèdre

Sarah Bernhardt in the role of Racine’s Phèdre (Getty Museum)

Quā, nisi tū dederis, caritūra est ipsa, salūtem

mittit Amāzoniō Cressa puella virō.

perlege, quodcumque est: quid epistula lēcta nocēbit?

tē quoque in hāc aliquid quod iuvet esse potest;

hīs arcāna notīs terrā pelagōque feruntur.   5

īnspicit acceptās hostis ab hoste notās.

ter tēcum cōnāta loquī ter inūtilis haesit

lingua, ter in prīmō restitit ōre sonus.

quā licet et sequitur, pudor est miscendus amōrī;

dīcere quae puduit, scrībere iussit Amor. 10

quidquid Amor iussit, nōn est contemnere tūtum;

rēgnat et in dominōs iūs habet ille deōs.

ille mihī prīmō dubitantī scrībere dīxit:

‘scrībe! dabit vīctās ferreus ille manūs.’

adsit et, ut nostrās avidō fovet igne medullās, 15

fingat sīc animōs ad mea vōta tuōs!

nōn ego nēquitiā sociālia foedera rumpam;

fāma — velim quaerās — crīmine nostra vacat.

vēnit amor gravius, quō sērior — ūrimur intus;

ūrimur, et caecum pectora vulnus habent. 20

scīlicet ut tenerōs laedunt iuga prīma iuvencōs,

frēnaque vix patitur dē grege captus equus,

sīc male vixque subit prīmōs rude pectus amōrēs,

sarcinaque haec animō nōn sedet apta meō.

ars fit, ubi ā tenerīs crīmen condiscitur annīs; 25

cui venit exāctō tempore, pēius amat.

tū nova servātae capiēs lībāmina fāmae,

et pariter nostrum fīet uterque nocēns.

est aliquid, plēnīs pōmāria carpere rāmīs,

ac tenuī prīmam dēligere ungue rosam. 30

sī tamen ille prior, quō mē sine crīmine gessī,

candor ab īnsolitā lābe notandus erat,

at bene successit, dignō quod adūrimur ignī;

pēius adulteriō turpis adulter obest.

sī mihi concēdat Iūnō frātremque virumque, 35

Hippolytum videor praepositūra Iovī!

Play

June 27th, 2020 by Chris Francese

Briseis to Achilles part 1 (Ovid, Heroides 3.1-66)

There are still a couple of days left to sign up to join me and Chun Liu of Peking University for an online workshop reading Ovid’s Heroides, July 15-20, 2020: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/dcc/2020/05/03/2020-ovid-heroides-online-workshop-announcement/ Deadline to register is July 1, 2020.

Quam legis, ā raptā Brīsēide littera vēnit,

vix bene barbaricā Graeca notāta manū.

quāscumque adspiciēs, lacrimae fēcēre litūrās;

sed tamen et lacrimae pondera vōcis habent.

Sī mihi pauca querī dē tē dominōque virōque                  5

fās est, dē dominō pauca virōque querar.

nōn, ego poscentī quod sum cito trādita rēgī,

culpa tua est—quamvīs haec quoque culpa tua est;

nam simul Eurybatēs mē Talthybiusque vocārunt,

Eurybatī data sum Talthybiōque comes.                           10

alter in alterius iactantēs lūmina vultum

quaerēbant tacitī, noster ubi esset amor.

differrī potuī; poenae mora grāta fuisset.

ei mihi! discēdēns ōscula nūlla dedī;

at lacrimās sine fīne dedī rūpīque capillōs—                     15

īnfēlīx iterum sum mihi vīsa cāpī!

Saepe ego dēceptō voluī cūstōde revertī,

sed, mē quī timidam prēnderet, hostis erat.

sī prōgressa forem, caperer nē, nocte, timēbam,

quamlibet ad Priamī mūnus itūra nurum.                         20

Sed data sim, quia danda fuī—tot noctibus absum

nec repetor; cessās, īraque lenta tua est.

ipse Menoetiadēs tum, cum trādēbar, in aurem

‘quid flēs? hīc parvō tempore,’ dīxit, ‘eris.’

Nec repetīsse parum; pugnās nē reddar, Achille!             25

ī nunc et cupidī nōmen amantis habē!

vēnērunt ad tē Telamōne et Amyntore natī—

ille gradū propior sanguinis, ille comes—

Lāertāque satus, per quōs comitāta redīrem

(auxērunt blandās grandia dōna precēs)                          30

vīgintī fulvōs operōsō ex āere lebētās,

et tripodas septem pondere et arte parēs;

addita sunt illīs aurī bis quīnque talenta,

bis sex adsuētī vincere semper equī,

quodque supervacuum est, fōrmā praestante puellae   35

Lesbides, ēversā corpora capta domō,

cumque tot hīs—sed nōn opus est tibi coniuge—coniūnx

ex Agamemnoniīs ūna puella tribus.

sī tibi ab Atrīdē pretiō redimenda fuissem,

quae dare dēbuerās, accipere illa negās!                           40

quā meruī culpā fierī tibi vīlis, Achille?

quō levis ā nōbīs tam cito fugit amor?

An miserōs trīstis fortūna tenāciter urget,

nec venit inceptīs mollior hōra malīs?

dīruta Mārte tuō Lyrnēsia moenia vīdī—                            45

et fueram patriae pars ego magna meae;

vīdī cōnsortēs pariter generisque necisque

trēs cecidisse, quibus, quae mihi, māter erat;

vīdī, quantus erat, fūsum tellūre cruenta

pectora iactantem sanguinolenta virum.                          50

tot tamen āmissīs tē conpēnsāvimus ūnum;

tū dominus, tū vir, tū mihi frāter erās.

tū mihi, iūrātus per nūmina mātris aquōsae,

ūtile dīcēbās ipse fuisse capī—

scīlicet ut, quamvīs veniam dōtāta, repellās                       55

et mēcum fugiās quae tibi dantur opēs!

quīn etiam fāma est, cum crāstina fulserit Ēos,

tē dare nūbiferīs lintea velle Notīs.

Quod scelus ut pavidās miserae mihi contigit aurēs,

sanguinis atque animī pectus ināne fuit.                           60

ībis et—ō miseram!—cui mē, violente, relinquis?

quis mihi dēsertae mīte levāmen erit?

dēvorer ante, precor, subitō tellūris hiātū

aut rutilō missī fulminis igne cremer,

quam sine mē Pthīīs canēscant aequora rēmīs,                65

et videam puppēs īre relicta tuās!

Play

June 20th, 2020 by Chris Francese

Phyllis to Demophoon part 2 (Ovid, Heroides 2.49-148)

Join me and Chun Liu of Peking University for an online workshop reading Ovid’s Heroides, July 15-20, 2020: http://blogs.dickinson.edu/dcc/2020/05/03/2020-ovid-heroides-online-workshop-announcement/

crēdidimus blandīs, quōrum tibi cōpia, verbīs;

crēdidimus generī nōminibusque tuīs;       50

crēdidimus lacrimīs—an et hae simulāre docentur?

hae quoque habent artēs, quāque iubentur, eunt?

dīs quoque crēdidimus. quō iam tot pignora nōbīs?

parte satis potuī quālibet inde capī.

Nec moveor, quod tē iūvī portūque locōque— 55

dēbuit haec meritī summa fuisse meī!

turpiter hospitium lectō cumulāsse iugālī

paenitet, et laterī cōnseruisse latus.

quae fuit ante illam, māllem suprēma fuisset

nox mihi, dum potuī Phyllis honesta morī.      60

spērāvī melius, quia mē meruisse putāvī;

quaecumque ex meritō spēs venit, aequa venit.

fallere crēdentem nōn est operōsa puellam

glōria. simplicitās digna favōre fuit.

sum dēcepta tuīs et amāns et fēmina verbīs.     65

dī faciant, laudis summa sit ista tuae!

inter et Aegīdās, mediā statuāris in urbe,

magnificus titulīs stet pater ante suīs.

cum fuerit Scīrōn lēctus torvusque Procrūstēs

et Sinis et taurī mixtaque fōrma virī    70

et domitae bellō Thēbae fūsīque bimembrēs

et pulsāta nigrī rēgia caeca deī—

hoc tua post illōs titulō signētur imāgō:

hic est, cuius amāns hospita capta dolō est.

dē tantā rērum turbā factīsque parentis             75

sēdit in ingeniō Cressa relicta tuō.

quod solum excūsat, sōlum mīrāris in illō;

hērēdem patriae, perfide, fraudis agis.

illa—nec invideō—fruitur meliōre marītō

inque capistrātīs tigribus alta sedet;   80

at mea dēspectī fugiunt cōnūbia Thrācēs,

quod ferar externum praeposuisse meīs.

atque aliquis ‘iam nunc doctās eat,’ inquit, ‘Athēnās;

armiferam Thrācen quī regat, alter erit.

exitus ācta probat.’ careat successibus, optō,           85

quisquis ab ēventū facta notanda putat!

at sī nostra tuō spūmēscant aequora rēmō,

iam mihi, iam dīcar cōnsuluisse meīs—

sed neque cōnsuluī, nec tē mea rēgia tanget

fessaque Bistoniā membra lavābis aquā!         90

Illa meīs oculīs speciēs abeuntis inhaeret,

cum premeret portūs classis itūra meōs.

ausus es amplectī collōque īnfūsus amantis

ōscula per longās iungere pressa morās

cumque tuīs lacrimīs lacrimās cōnfundere nostrās,       95

quodque foret vēlīs aura secunda, querī

et mihi discēdēns suprēmā dīcere vōce:

‘Phyllī, fac expectēs Dēmophoonta tuum!’

Expectem, quī mē numquam vīsūrus abistī?

expectem pelagō vēla negāta meō?      100

et tamen expectō—redeās modo sērus amantī,

ut tua sit sōlō tempore lāpsa fidēs!

Quid precor īnfēlīx? tē iam tenet altera coniūnx

forsitan et, nōbīs quī male fāvit, amor;

iamque tibi excidimus, nūllam, putō, Phyllida nōstī.      105

eī mihi! sī, quae sim Phyllis et unde, rogās—

quae tibi, Dēmophoōn, longīs errōribus āctō

Thrēiciōs portūs hospitiumque dedī,

cuius opēs auxēre meae, cui dīves egentī

mūnera multa dedī, multa datūra fuī;                              110

quae tibi subiēcī lātissima rēgna Lycūrgī,

nōmine fēmineō vix satis apta regī,

quā patet umbrōsum Rhodopē glaciālis ad Haemum,

et sacer admissās exigit Hebrus aquās,

cui mea virginitās avibus lībāta sinistrīs                  115

castaque fallācī zōna recīncta manū!

prōnuba Tīsiphonē thalamīs ululāvit in illīs,

et cecinit maestum dēvia carmen avis;

adfuit Allectō brevibus torquāta colubrīs,

suntque sepulcrālī lūmina mōta face!                                    120

Maesta tamen scopulōs fruticōsaque lītora calcō

quaeque patent oculīs lītora lāta meīs.

sīve diē laxātur humus, seu frīgida lūcent

sīdera, prōspiciō, quis freta ventus agat;

et quaecumque procul venientia lintea vīdī,                    125

prōtinus illa meōs auguror esse deōs.

in freta prōcurrō, vix mē retinentibus undīs,

mōbile quā prīmās porrigit aequor aquās.

quō magis accēdunt, minus et minus ūtilis adstō;

linquor et ancillīs excipienda cadō.                                        130

Est sinus, adductōs modicē falcātus in arcūs;

ultima praeruptā cornua mōle rigent.

hinc mihi suppositās inmittere corpus in undās

mēns fuit; et, quoniam fallere pergis, erit.

ad tua mē flūctūs prōiectam lītora portent,       135

occurramque oculīs intumulāta tuīs!

dūritiā ferrum ut superes adamantaque tēque,

‘nōn tibi sīc,’ dīcēs, ‘Phyllī, sequendus eram!’

saepe venēnōrum sitis est mihi; saepe cruentā

trāiectam gladiō morte perīre iuvat.                                140

colla quoque, īnfīdīs quia sē nectenda lacertīs

praebuērunt, laqueīs inplicuisse iuvat.

stat nece mātūrā tenerum pēnsāre pudōrem.

in necis ēlēctū parva futūra mora est.

Īnscrībēre meō causa invidiōsa sepulcrō.          145

aut hōc aut similī carmine nōtus eris:

PHYLLIDA DEMOPHOON LETO DEDIT HOSPES AMANTEM;

ILLE NECIS CAUSAM PRAEBUIT, IPSA MANUM.

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June 14th, 2020 by Chris Francese

Phyllis to Demophoon, part 1: Ovid, Heroides 2.1-48

Woodcut from the Italian translation of the Heroides published by Sixtus Riessinger (Naples, 1474)

Woodcut from the Italian translation of the Heroides published by Sixtus Riessinger (Naples, 1474)

Hospita, Dēmophoōn, tua tē Rhodopēia Phyllis

ultrā prōmissum tempus abesse queror.

cornua cum lūnae plēnō semel orbe coīssent,

lītoribus nostrīs ancora pacta tua est—

lūna quater latuit, tōtō quater orbe recrēvit;                     5

nec vehit Actaeās Sīthonis unda ratēs.

tempora sī numerēs—bene quae numerāmus amantēs—

nōn venit ante suam nostra querēla diem.

Spēs quoque lenta fuit; tardē, quae crēdita laedunt,

crēdimus. invītā nunc es amante nocēns.                          10

saepe fuī mendax prō tē mihi, saepe putāvī

alba procellōsōs vēla referre Notōs.

Thēsea dēvōvī, quia tē dīmittere nōllet;

nec tenuit cursūs forsitan ille tuōs.

interdum timuī, nē, dum vada tendis ad Hebrī,                 15

mersa foret cānā naufraga puppis aquā.

saepe deōs supplex, ut tū, scelerāte, valērēs,

cum prece tūricremīs sum venerāta sacrīs;

saepe, vidēns ventōs caelō pelagōque faventēs,[1]

ipsa mihi dīxī: ‘sī valet ille, venit.’                                         20

dēnique fīdus amor, quidquid properantibus obstat,

fīnxit, et ad causās ingeniōsa fuī.

at tū lentus abes; nec tē iūrāta redūcunt

nūmina, nec nostrō mōtus amōre redis.

Dēmophoōn, ventīs et verba et vēla dedistī;      25

vēla queror reditū, verba carēre fide.

Dīc mihi, quid fēcī, nisi nōn sapienter amāvī?

crīmine tē potuī dēmeruisse meō.

ūnum in mē scelus est, quod tē, scelerāte, recēpī;

sed scelus hoc meritī pondus et īnstar habet.                 30

iūra fidēsque ubi nunc, commissaque dextera dextrae,

quīque erat in falsō plūrimus ōre deus?

prōmissus sociōs ubi nunc Hymenaeus in annōs,

quī mihi coniugiī spōnsor et obses erat?

per mare, quod tōtum ventīs agitātur et undīs,                 35

per quod nempe ierās, per quod itūrus erās,

perque tuum mihi iūrāstī—nisi fictus et ille est—

concita quī ventīs aequora mulcet, avum,

per Venerem nimiumque mihi facientia tēla—

altera tēla arcus, altera tēla facēs—     40

Iūnōnemque, torīs quae praesidet alma marītīs,

et per taediferae mystica sacra deae.

sī dē tot laesīs sua nūmina quisque deōrum

vindicet, in poenās nōn satis ūnus eris.

Āh, lacerās etiam puppēs furiōsa refēcī—          45

ut, quā dēsererer, firma carīna foret!—

rēmigiumque dedī, quod mē fugitūrus habērēs.

heu! patior tēlīs vulnera facta meīs!

[1] 18-19 habent ς, om. PEG ω.

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June 3rd, 2020 by Chris Francese

Penelope to Odysseus, part 3 (Ovid, Heroides 1.75-116)

This is the third and last episode on Heroides 1. If you love Ovid’s Heroides, consider joining Chun Liu (Professor of Comparative Literature at Peking University) and me at the Dickinson Summer Latin Workshop (online this year), July 15-20, 2020. http://blogs.dickinson.edu/dcc/2019/11/06/dickinson-summer-latin-workshop-ovid-heroides/

Penelope imagines that Odysseus, who has the same desires as most men, might have taken up with another woman and is now describing Penelope to this other woman in unflattering terms.

haec ego dum stultē metuō, quae vestra libīdō est,                            75

esse peregrīnō captus amōre potes.

forsitan et nārrēs, quam sit tibi rūstica coniūnx,

quae tantum lānās nōn sinat esse rudēs.

fallar, et hoc crīmen tenuēs vānēscat in aurās,

nēve, revertendī līber, abesse velīs!                                                             80

Mē pater Īcarius viduō discēdere lectō

cōgit et immēnsās increpat usque morās.

increpet usque licet—tua sum, tua dīcar oportet;

Pēnelope coniūnx semper Ulixis erō.

ille tamen pietāte meā precibusque pudīcīs                                                85

frangitur et vīrēs temperat ipse suās.

 

Only now does she get around to mentioning the suitors, whose dining and carrying in the home of Odysseus is the major cause of the crisis in the Odyssey. 

Dūlichiī Samiīque et quōs tulit alta Zacynthōs,

turba ruunt in mē luxuriōsa procī,

inque tuā rēgnant nūllīs prohibentibus aulā;

vīscera nostra, tuae dīlacerantur opēs.                                                90

quid tibi Pīsandrum Polybumque Medontaque dīrum

Eurymachīque avidās Antinoīque manūs

atque aliōs referam, quōs omnēs turpiter absēns

ipse tuō partīs sanguine rēbus ālis?

Īrus egēns pecorisque Melanthius āctor[1] edendī                                95

ultimus accēdunt in tua damna pudor.

 

The letter ends with anxiety: first that Odysseus’ loyal family and servants are unequal to the task of fending off the suitors, and then, at the very last line as a surprise, worry that she is growing old in his absence. 

Trēs sumus inbellēs numerō, sine vīribus uxor

Lāertēsque senex Tēlemachusque puer.

ille per īnsidiās paene est mihi nūper adēmptus,

dum parat invītīs omnibus īre Pylon.                                                       100

dī, precor, hoc iubeant, ut euntibus ōrdine fātīs

ille meōs oculōs conprimat, ille tuōs!

hāc[2] faciunt cūstōsque boum longaevaque nūtrīx,

tertius inmundae cūra fidēlis harae;

sed neque Lāertēs, ut quī sit inūtilis armīs,                                              105

hostibus in mediīs rēgna tenēre valet[3]

Tēlemachō veniet, vīvat modo, fortior aetās;

nunc erat auxiliīs illa tuenda patris—

nec mihi sunt vīrēs inimīcōs pellere tēctīs.

tū citius veniās, portus et ara tuīs!                                                       110

est tibi sitque, precor, nātus, quī mollibus annīs

in patriās artēs ērudiendus erat.

respice Lāertēn; ut tū sua lūmina condās,

extrēmum fātī sustinet ille diem.

Certē ego, quae fueram tē discēdente puella,                                            115

prōtinus ut veniās, facta vidēbor anus.

 

[1] actor Gς edd.: auctor Eω

[2] hac Tyrrel Knox Loeb: haec Egς: hoc ς

[3] valet Eς Plan. Knox: potest Gω Loeb

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