the-serpent-is-killed-by-cadmus-illustra

the-serpent-is-killed-by-cadmus-illustra

Cadmus vs the Serpent

Ovid's Metamorphoses
Book III

     TEXT:

Fēcerat exiguās iam sōl altissimus umbrās:          50
quae mora sit sociīs, mīrātur Agenore nātus
vestīgatque virōs. tegumen dērepta leōnī
pellis erat, tēlum splendentī lancea ferrō
et iaculum tēlōque animus praestāntior omnī.
ut nemus intrāvit lētātaque corpora vīdit               55
victōremque suprā spatiōsī tergoris hostem
trīstia sanguineā lambentem vulnera linguā,
'aut ultor vestrae, fīdissima pectora, mortis,
aut comes' inquit 'erō.' dīxit dextrāque molārem
sustulit et magnum magnō cōnāmine mīsit.          60
illius impulsū cum turribus ardua celsīs
moenia mōta forent, serpēns sine vulnere mansit
loricaeque modo squāmīs dēfēnsus et ātrae
dūritia pellis validōs cute reppulit ictūs;
at nōn dūritia iaculum quoque vīcit eādem,            65
quod mediō lentae spīnae cūrvāmine fīxum
cōnstitit et totum dēscendit in īlia ferrum.
ille dolōre ferōx caput in sua terga retorsit
vulneraque adspexit fīxumque hastīle momordit,
idque ubi vī multā partem labefēcit in omnem,      70
vix tergō ēripuit; ferrum tamen ossibus haesit.
tum vērō postquam solitās accessit ad īrās
causa recēns, plēnīs tumuērunt guttura vēnīs,
spūmaque pestiferōs circumfluit albida rictūs,
terraque rāsa sonat squāmīs, quique hālitus exit    75
ōre niger Stygiō, vitiātās īnficit aurās.
ipse modo inmensum spīrīs facientibus orbem
cingitur, interdum longā trabe rēctior adstat,
impete nunc vastō ceu concitus imbribus amnis
fertur et obstantīs prōturbat pectore silvās.            80
cēdit Agēnoridēs paulum spoliōque leōnis
sustinet incursūs īnstantiaque ōra retardat
cuspide praetentā: furit ille et inānia dūrō
vulnera dat ferrō fīgitque in acūmine dentēs.
iamque venēniferō sanguis mānāre palātō             85
coeperat et viridēs aspergine tinxerat herbās;
sed leve vulnus erat, quia sē retrahēbat ab ictū
laesaque colla dabat retrō plagamque sēdēre
cēdendō arcēbat nec longius īre sinēbat,
dōnec Agēnoridēs coniectum in guttura ferrum     90
ūsque sequēns pressit, dum retrō quercus euntī
obstītit et fīxa est pariter cum rōbore cervīx.
pondere serpentis curvāta est arbor et īmā
parte flagellārī gemuit sua rōbora caudae.

​     NOTES:

50. Exiguās from ex-ago: drive out. Ths shadows are small as they have been driven away.
50. Exiguās is with umbras
51. Sociīs: dat. or abl. Pl
54. Synchysis (last 4)
56. Suprā with corpora
57. Note the Golden Line

61. I chose to use impulsū from R. J. Tarrent’s Latin over inpulsū (as it was in Latin Library) as im- is the more common form.
61-62. Synchysis
62. Why is forent in the subjunctive?
69. Hastīle is accusative: -e, -is, -i, -e, -i
76. Stygiō: This is a reference to the River Styx, a river in the underworld, from Greek and Roman mythology. 
79. Impete is a rare ablative singular form of impetus -ūs m. found in Lucretius and Ovid (Chambers Murray Latin-English Dictionary). I chose impete from R. J. Tarrent's Latin over inpete from Latin Library because it fits the meaning of the line better.
79. Ceu (“like”) introduces a simile
81. Agēnoridēs is a patronymic: “son of Agenor”
81/82. Chiasmus
83. Cuspide: In this case, “tip” is in reference to the tip of Cadmus’s sword
91. Ūsque: Note that the -que is not an “and”. This is a full word.


     Vocabulary:

51. quae mora: “what delay”
51. mīrātur: wonder
55. nemus, numoris, n. woods
55. lēto, lētāre, lētāvi, lētātum to kill
56. spatiōsus -a -um spacious
56. tergus, tergoris, n. back, hide, skin, body
57. lambēns, lambentis n. licking
58. ultor, ultōris m. avenger, punisher
58. pectus, pectoris, n. figuratively heart
59. molāris, molāris, m. millstone, tooth
60. cōnāmen, cōnāminis, n. effort, struggle
61. arduus, -a, -um lofty, steep, high
61. celsus -a -um tall, prominent, erect
62. mōtus -a -um moved, destroyed
63. lōrīca, lōrīcae, f. breastplate
63. squāma, squāmae, f. scale
63. āter, ātra, ātrum dull black
64. dūritia, -ae f. hardness, rigidity
64. ictus, ictūs, m. blow, stroke
66. lentus, -a, -um flexible, slow, sluggish
66. fīxus, -a, -um immovable, unwavering, fixed
67. īle, īlis, n. intestines, guts
68. retorqueō, retorquēre, retorsī, retortus to twist, bend, avert, deflect
68. tergum, tergī, n. back, rear
68. dolor, dolōris, m. pain, ache, hurt
69. mordeō, mordēre, momordī, morsus to bite, gnaw
69. hastīle, hastīlis, n. shaft of a spear or javelin
71. os, ossis, n. bone, heartwood
73. tumēscō, tumēscere, tumuī to begin to swell, become inflated
73. guttur, gutturis, n. throat, neck, gullet
73. vēna, vēnae, f. vein, blood vessel, artery
74. spūma, spūmae, f. foam, froth, slime
74. pestifer -a, -um destructive, noxious, pestilential
75. rāsus -a, -um scraped, shaved
76. īnficiō, īnficere, īnfēcī, īnfectus to stain, poison, corrupt
76. vitiātus -a, -um damaged
77. modo, adv. just now
77. spīra, spīrae, f. wound, twisted, coiled
78. cingō, -ere, cinxī, cinctus to surround, circle, ring
79. imber, imbris, m. rain, storm, stormcloud
79. amnis, amnis, m. rapidly flowing river, torrent
79. vastus -a -um vast
81. spoliō, spoliāre, spoliāvī, spoliātus to strip, deprive, rob, uncover
82. incursus, incursūs m. onslaught, attack
82. īnstantia, īnstantiae, f. perseverance, earnestness
83. cuspis, cuspidis, f. point, tip
83. praetendō, -ere, -ī -praetentum to hold out
85. venēniferō -a -um containing poison
87. levis, -is, -e light, trivial, fickle
91. quercus, quercūs f. Oak tree
92. rōbur, rōboris n. hard oak
92. cervīx, cervīcis throat, neck

the-dragon-kills-the-companions-of-cadmu

The Dragon Kills The Companions Of Cadmus is a drawing by Artokoloro which was uploaded on February 25th, 2017. Fine Art America

Last Updated and Contact:

Last Update: April 4th, 2019

For any questions email: sean@cavalieri.com

Latin Text credit to Richard J. Tarrant 2004