Pyramus and Thisbe

JAany of the tales in Ovid's Metamorphoses explain the origin of a characteristic of an animal or plant. The story of Pyramus and Thisbe tells how the fruit of the mulberry tree was changed from white to dark purple. Shakespeare, who would have read Ovid as a schoolboy, took up the story in A Midsummer Nights Dream, where it is turned into farce by Bottom and his fellow tradesmen.

Pyramus et Thisbe, iuvenum pulcherrimus alter, 55

altera, quas Oriens habuit, praelata puellis, contiguas tenuere domos, ubi dicitur altam coctilibus muris cinxisse Semiramis urbem.

notitiam primosque gradus vicinia fecit, tempore crevit amor,* taedae quoque iure coissent, 60

text P. Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoses, ed. W. S. Anderson (Bibliotheca Teubneriana, 1996)

meter hexameter [§mi]

Pyramus | et This|be || iuve|num pul|cherrimus | alter altera | quas Orl|ens || habu|itprae|latapu|ellis

55f. Pyramus -I m. the sweetheart of Thisbe, whose name is Greek (Thisbe Thisbes f.); pulcherrimus superl. of pulcher most handsome; alter, altera the one (Pyramus), the other (Thisbe); the antecedent of quas is puellis; Oriens Orientis m. the East; praelata perf. pple. of praefero -ferre give preference to someone (acc.) over someone else (dat., here puellis)—the expression esteemed above the girls whom the East held simply means that Thisbe was the most beautiful girl in the East.

57f. contiguas ... domos adjoining houses—the houses were part of the same building and shared a common wall (1. 66); tenuere (= tenuerunt) here lived in; the subject of dicitur is Semiramis (Semlramidis f.), a legendary queen of Babylon (altam ... urbem [her] lofty city), which she was supposed to have enclosed (cingo -ere) with Babylon's famous brick walls; coctilibus muris instrumental abl. [§G47], lit., with baked walls, i.e., with brick walls.

59 notitiam primosque gradus lit., acquaintance (notitia -ae f.) and first steps (gradus -us m.) (hendiadys [§G96]), trans, the first steps in [their] acquaintance; vicinia -ae f. proximity.

60 tempore abl. of time when [§<337]; crevit 3 sg. perf. ind. act. cresco -ere; taedae ... iure abl. of manner [§G45], trans, by right of marriage (taeda -ae F. pine torch—used by metonymy (§g 97] for marriage (after a Roman marriage ceremony, the bride was escorted in a torch procession to the bridegroom's house (cf. Vergil Eclogues 8.29, page 52); here and later, Ovid gives the story a Roman flavor); coissent (3 pi. pluperf. subj. act. coed coire) lit., they would have come together, i.e., they would have been joined—the subjunctive is potential [§g68].

seel vetuere patres; quod, non potuere vetare, ex aequo captis ardebant mentibus ambo.

conscius omnis abest; nutu signisque loquuntur, quoque magis tegitur, tectus magis aestuat ignis.

fissus erat tenui rima, quam duxerat olim, 65

cum fieret, paries domui communis utrique;

id vitium nulli per saecula longa notatum

(quid non sentit amor?) primi vidistis, amantes, et vocis fecistis iter, tutaeque per illud murmure blanditiae minimo transire solebant. 70

saepe, ubi constiterant hinc Thisbe, Pyramus illinc, inque vices fuerat captatus anhelitus oris,

"invide" dicebant "paries, quid amantibus obstas?

61 vetuere = vetuerunt; the quod clause is in apposition [§G52] to the main clause, ex ... ambo (1.62); potuere = potuerunt.

62 ex aequo equally;"captis ... mentibus abl. of manner [§G4s] with hearts (lit., minds) overcome; ardeo -ere burn; ambo pi. pron. both.

63f. The four verbs are in the historic present [§g 60] and should be translated by the English simple past tense; conscius ... abest lit., any (omnis) [person] privy (conscius sharing knowledge) [to their love] was absent (absum), i.e., no one was privy [to their love]; nutu signisque instrumental abl, [§G47] with a nod (nutus -us m.) and with signs (signum -i n.)—they were presumably limited to sign language until they discovered the crack in the wall (1. 65); quoque (= quo + que) lit., and by how much (abl. of measure of difference [§<34-3]); the subject of tegitur (and aestuat) is ignis; tectus perf. pple. of tego -ere; aestud -are blaze; trans, and the more it was hidden, the more the hidden fire [of love] blazed. 6si. The subject of fissus erat (3 sg. pluperf. ind. pass, findo -ere split), duxerat, and fieret is paries (parietis m. wall) (1.66); tenui rima instrumental abl. [§G47] with a narrow crack (rima -ae f.); duxerat had formed; fieret was being built; communis + dat. common to, shared by. 67ff. id vitium (that fault) is the object of vidistis (1. 68) and is qualified by notatum (noticed; noto -are); nulli dat. of agent [§g 29] by no one; sentio -ire here perceive; primi agrees with the understood subject of vidistis, you first; amantes voc.—Ovid addresses the lovers, using a rhetorical trick common in Latin poetry; vocis ... iter lit., a path of voice, i.e., a path for [your] voices; tutae agrees with blanditiae (blanditia -ae f. blandishment), but trans, by an adverb [§G55], safely; per illud i.e., through the iter just mentioned; murmure ... minimo abl. of manner [§g45] in the lowest whisper (murmur murmuris n.); transeo -ire cross. 7if. consisto -ere stand (intr.); hinc ... illinc ... on this side ... on that side ...; in vices in turn—vicis (gen. sg.) is a defective noun; capto -are catch; anhelitus -us m. breath; trans, oris (gen. sg. of os mouth) by a plural [§g 53], of [their] mouths. 73 invide... paries voc. O ill-natured wall; quid why; obsto -are + dat. stand in the way of; amantibus pple. used as a noun.

quantum erat, ut sineres toto nos corpore iungi, aut, hoc si nimium est, vel ad oscula danda pateres? 75

nec sumus ingrati: tibi nos debere fatemur, quod datus est verbis ad arnicas transitus aures."

Talia diversa nequiquam sede locuti sub noctem dixere'vale" partique dedere oscula quisque suae non pervenientia contra. 80

postera nocturnos Aurora removerat ignes, solque pruinosas radiis siccaverat herbas:

ad solitum coiere locum, turn murmure parvo multa prius questi statuunt, ut nocte silenti

74 quantum erat...? lit., how big [a thing] was it...?—the implication is that the matter was insignificant, trans, was it so much ...?; ut introduces two noun clauses [§G92]; toto ... corpore abl. of manner [§G45] with [our] whole bodies (sg. for pi. [§<3 53]); iungi pres. pass. inf. of iungo -ere join.

75 hoc i.e., to embrace; si is postponed [§g4]; nimium n. acc. sg. of nimius too much; vel here merely, just; ad oscula danda lit.,for kisses (osculum -I n.) going to be given (gerundive to express a pres. pass. pple. [§g8i]), i.e., for giving kisses; pateo -ere be open—the lovers want a hole large enough to allow them to kiss.

76 nec but... not; ingratus ungrateful; tibi nos debere acc.+inf. [§gio] after fatemur, we admit that we owe to you.

77 The clause introduced by quod ([the fact] that) states what the lovers owe to the wall; verbis dat. after datus est; take ad arnicas aures (to loving ears) after transitus (-us m.passage).

78 diversa ... sede abl. of place where [§G38], lit., in separate places (sg. for pi. [§G 53]), trans .from [their] separate positions; take nequiquam (to no purpose) with locuti—the lovers were unable to persuade the wall to be more accommodating.

79f. sub noctem lie., just before night, trans, at nightfall; dixere = dixerunt; vale farewell (valeo -ere be well); parti... suae lit., to his/her side, trans, to his own side [of the wall]; dedere = dederunt; with oscula take non pervenientia contra, kisses not passing (pervenio -Ire) across; quisque each, although singular, is the subject of the two plural verbs (agreement according to sense).

81 postera... Aurora the following dawn (Aurora -ae f. goddess of the dawn); nocturnos ... ignes lit., the nightly fires, i.e., the stars; removed -ere remove, banish,

82 pruinosas ... herbas the dewy grasses (herba -ae f.); radiis instrumental abl. [§G47] with [its] rays (radius -(i)l m.); sicco -are dry.

83 ad solitum ... locum to the usual place; coiere = coierunt—coed here has its literal meaning meet (in 1.60 it is used metaphorically); murmure parvo cf. 1.70.

84 prius adv. previously, trans, first; questi lit., having complained (queror queri); statuunt (statuo -ere) they decided (historic pres. [§g6o]; further examples will not be noted); ut (that) introduces a series of noun clauses [§G92] stating what the lovers decided; nocte silenti abl. of time when [§G37] in the quiet night.

85 Take fallere (fallo -ere elude) and excedere (excedo -ere go out) after temp-tent (tempto -are attempt); foribus abl. of place from which [§G39], lit., from fallere custodes foribusque excedere temptent, cumque domo exierint, urbis quoque tecta relinquant, neve sit errandum lato spatiantibus arvo, conveniant ad busta Nini lateantque sub umbra arboris: arbor ibi niveis uberrima pomis, ardua morus, erat, gelido contermina fonti. pacta placent; et lux, tarde discedere visa, praecipitatur aquis, et aquis nox exit ab isdem: callida per tenebras versato cardine Thisbe

[their] doors (foris foris f.)—the doors meant are the front entrances of their separate houses.

86 Trans, domo (abl. of place from which [§g 39]) from [their] homes (sg. for pi. [§G53]); exierint 3 pi. perf. subj. exeö exire depart; tectum -i n. building.

87 neve (= ne + -ve) sit errandum negative purpose clause [§g83] with an impersonal gerundive to express necessity [§g8o], lit., so that there must not be an aimless wandering; lätö ... arvö abl. of place where [§g 38], lit., in the broad country-side (arvum -I n.); [eis] spatiantibus dat. of agent [§G29], lit., by [them] roaming (spatior -äri); trans, the line and so that they would not be obliged to wander aimlessly as they roamed over the broad countryside—since the lovers would not be leaving their homes at the same time, they foresee that they might wander about without coming across each other if they did not fix a place to meet.

88 conveniant (conveniö -ire meet) and lateant are the verbs of the last two clauses introduced by ut in 1. 84; busta tomb (pi. for sg. [§g 53]; bustum -I n,); Ninus -i m. the legendary founder of Nineveh, an ancient city of Mesopotamia.

89 The lovers' decisions end with arboris, niveis ... pömis abl. of respect [§g 46], but trans, with snowy fruits (pömum -i N.); überrima superl. of über (überis) to express a very high degree [§g 54] laden.

90 ardua mörus is in apposition [§G52] to arbor (1. 89), a tall mulberry tree (mörus -i f.); gelidö ... fonti dat. after contermina, close to a cool spring (fons fontis M.).

91 pacta placent lit., the arrangements (pactum -i n.) are agreed on; lux the light [of the sun], but trans, the sun; tarde discedere visa lit., having seemed (the passive of video can have the sense of seem) to depart (discedö -ere) slowly.

92 praecipitatur plunged itself (pass, used in a reflexive sense [§G59]; praecipitö -are); aquis (before et) abl. of place where [§g 38]; take aquis (after et) with ab isdem, from the same waters—the Mediterranean is almost 500 miles west of Babylon and the lovers could not see the sun disappear into its waters or those of any other sea, but Ovid is thinking as a Roman on the west coast of Italy; exeö exire come out.

9 3 Take callida (careful) with Thisbe; tenebrae -ärum darkness; versätö car-dine abl. absolute [§g4g], lit., hinge (cardö cardinis m.) having been turned (versö -are), trans, the door having been opened—in opening the front door, Thisbe had to take extreme care to avoid making noise (cf. Propertius Elegies 4.8.49, page 114).

egreditur fallitque suos adopertaque vultum pervenit ad tumulum dictaque sub arbore sedit: 95

audacem faciebat amor, venit ecce recenti caede leaena boum spumantes oblita rictus depositura sitim vicini fontis in unda;

quam procul ad lunae radios Babylonia Thisbe vidit et obscurum timido pede fugit in antrum, 100

dumque fugit, tergo velamina lapsa reliquit.

ut lea saeva sitim multa conpescuit unda, dum redit in silvas, inventos forte sine ipsa ore cruentato tenues laniavit amictus.

94f. egredior -1 go out; suös her [family]; adoperta vultum lit., covered (adoperiö -Ire) with respect to [her] face (acc. of respect [§g 15]), trans, with [her] face covered; perveniö -Ire here arrive; tumulus -I m. grave; dictä ... arbore the appointed tree.

96f. Love made [her] bold (audax (audäcis)); ecce behold!—the exclamation marks an unexpected development; take recenti caede ... boum (lit., with [its] recent slaughter (instrumental abl. [§G47]; caedes caedis f.) of cattle (bös bovis m./f.)) with oblita (smeared; oblinö -ere); leaena -ae f. lioness; spümantes ... rictus acc. of respect [§g 15] after oblita, lit., foaming (spümö -are) open jaws (pi, for sg. [§G 53]; rictus -üs m.); trans, venit... rictüs behold! a lioness came, [its] open jaws smeared [and] drippingfrom [its] recent slaughter of cattle. 98 The phrase depositura sitim (lit., going to put down (depositura fut. pple. of depönö -ere) [its] thirst (sitis sitis f,)) tells the purpose of the lioness' arrival, trans, in order to quench [its] thirst; vicini fontis in undä in the water of the nearby spring, i.e., the spring mentioned in 1. 90. 99f. Trans, quam (lit., whom, antecedent leaena) by it; ad lünae radios in the moon's rays; Babylönius Babylonian; obscürum ... in antrum into a dark cave (antrum -I n.); timidö pede abl. of manner [§G45] with frightened foot.

101 dum is idiomatically followed by the present tense (fugit [§g6i]), although the other verbs in the sentence are perfect (vidit, fugit (1.100), and reliquit)— trans, while she was fleeing; tergö velämina lapsa a garment (pi. for sg. [§G53]; velämen veläminis vi.) fallen (labor läbl) from [her] back (abl. of place from which [§039]; tergum -I n.).

102 ut + ind. when—the verb of the clause governed by ut (conpescuit) should be translated by the English pluperfect; lea = leaena; multä ... undä instrumental abl. [§g47]) with much water; conpescö -ere relieve.

I03f. dum + pres. (as in 1.101), trans, while it was returning; inventös ... tenues ... amictüs lit., the discovered light garment (pi. for sg. [§g 53]; amictus -üs m.), but trans, by a separate clause, it found the light garment and ...; forte by chance; sine ipsa lit., without [her] herself, trans, without the girl; öre cruentätö instrumental abl. [§G47] with [its] blood-stained (cruentö -are) mouth; laniö -are tear apart.

serius egressus vestigia vidit in alto 105

pulvere certa ferae totoque expalluit ore

Pyramus; ut vero vestem quoque sanguine tinctam repperit, "una duos" inquit "nox perdet amantes, e quibus illa fuit longa dignissima vita;

nostra nocens anima est. ego te, miseranda, peremi, 110

in loca plena metus qui iussi nocte venires nec prior hue veni. nostrum divellite corpus et scelerata fero consumite viscera morsu, o quicumque sub hac habitatis rupe leones!

sed timidi est optare necem." velamina Thisbes 115

iosff. For dramatic effect, the subject of the first two clauses (Pyramus) is held back until 1.107; serius later (compar. of serd); egressus having come out (egredior -I), i.e., from Babylon; vestigia... certa ferae the unmistakable footprints (vestigium -(i)l n.) of the wild beast (fera -ae f.); altus here deep; pulvis pulveris m. dust; toto ... ore abl. of place where [§g38] (os here face); expallesco -ere turn pale.

I07f. ut + ind. when; vero however; vestem ... sanguine tinctam the garment stained (tingo -ere) with blood (instrumental abl. [§g47]); reperid -irefind; take una with nox and duds with amantes (pple. used as a noun, lovers); perdet here will destroy.

109 The antecedent of quibus is amantes; longa dignissima vita most worthy (superl. of dignus (+ abl.)) of a long life.

no nostra ... est my (pi. for sg. [§G53]) soul is guilty, but English would more naturally use I am the guilty one; miseranda voc. of the gerundive used as an attributive adj. [§G79], lit., O [woman] worthy to be pitied (misero -are), trans. O unhappy girl; perimd -ere destroy.

inf. Two adjectival clauses modify ego (1. no): in loca ... qui... venires and nec prior hue veni; plena is followed by a genitive, metus,/«// of fear; qui (postponed [§G 4]) is the subject of iussi and veni; iussi is followed by an indirect command (nocte venires) without an introductory ut [§G9i]; nocte abl. of time when [§G37]; nec and ... not; prior trans by an adverb [§055],first; nostrum pi. for sg. [§G53]; divellite 2 pi. imp. of dlvelld -ere tear apart—Pyramus is appealing to all the lions in the area (cf. 1.114).

113 scelerata ... viscera trans, [my] guilty flesh (viscera viscerum lit., internal organs of the body); fero ... morsu instrumental abl. [§g47] with cruel bite (morsus -us m.); consumo -ere devour.

114 Lit., O whatever (quicumque) lions you [are who] live under this cliff (rupes rupis f.), trans. O all you lions who live under this cliff.

115 timidi gen. of characteristic [§g 19J [the mark] of a cowardly [person]; optare necem ([simply] to pray for death (nex necis f.)) is the subject of est—Pyramus wants to move from words to deeds; velamina (cf. 1.101) is the object of tollit and fert in 1.116; Thisbes Greek gen. of Thisbe.

tollit et ad pactae secum fert arboris umbram, utque dedit notae lacrimas, dedit oscula vesti,

"accipe nunc" inquit'nostri quoque sanguinis haustus!"

quoque erat accinctus, demisit in ilia ferrum.

nec mora, ferventi moriens e vulnere traxit 120

et iacuit resupinus humo; cruor emicat alte, non aliter quam cum vitiato fistula plumbo scinditur et tenui stridente foramine longas eiaculatur aquas atque ictibus aera rumpit.

arborei fetus adspergine caedis in atram 125

vertuntur faciem, madefactaque sanguine radix xi6 pactae ... arboris of the designated (pacisco -ere arrange) tree; secum = cum se.

117 ut + ind. when—the verbs of the clauses governed by ut (dedit ... dedit) should be translated by the English pluperfect; take notae ... vest! (dat., lit., to the recognized garment) with both verbs.

118 nostrl pi. for sg. [§G53j; quoque also—distinguish from quoque in 1. 119; haustus a draft (pi. for sg. [§g 53]; haustus -us m.).

119 quoque = quo + que—the antecedent of quo (with which, instrumental abl. [§g47]) is ferrum (here sword); erat accinctus 3 sg. pluperf. ind. pass, accingo -ere gird; demitto -ere plunge; ilia ilium here stomach.

120 nec mora [erat] lit., nor was there delay (mora -ae f.), trans, and immediately; ferventi... e vulnere from the hot wound—the wound is hot because of the fresh blood coming from it; the understood object of traxit (traho -ere here withdraw) is ferrum in 1.119.

121 resupinus lying face upwards, trans, on his back; humo abl. of place where [§g38] on the ground (humus -I f.); cruor cruoris m. blood; emico -are shoot up (intr.); alte adv. high.

122 The stream of blood spurting into the air is compared to a burst water pipe— by ancient standards, Roman plumbing was excellent, and lead pipes were used to convey water from aqueducts to points of end use; non aliter quam cum lit., not otherwise than when, trans, just as when; vitiato ... plumbo abl. absolute [§g49], lit., lead (plumbum -I n.) having been damaged (vitio -are); fistula -ae f. [water] pipe.

I23f. scindo -ere split (tr.); tenui stridente foramine abl. of place from which [§g 39} from the small hissing (strldo -ere) opening (foramen foraminis n.); longas ... aquas trans, long [jets of] water; the subject of both verbs in 1.124 is still fistula; eiaculor -ari shoot out; ictibus instrumental abl. [§g47] with [its] spurts (ictus -us m. lit., blow); aera (3 syllables) Greek acc. of aer aeris m. air; rumpit lit., breaks, but trans, cleaves.

i2$f. arborei fetus lit., arboreal (arboreus adj. of arbor) fruits (fetus -us m.), trans, the fruit of the tree; adspergine instrumental abl. [§g47] with the spray (adspergo adsperginis f.); caedis here blood; in atram ... faciem to a dark color purpureo tingit pendentia mora colore.

ecce metu nondum posito, ne fallat amantem, ilia redit iuvenemque oculis animoque requirit, quantaque vitarit narrare pericula gestit; 130

utque locum et visa cognoscit in arbore formam, sic facit incertam pomi color: haeret, an haec sit.

dum dubitat, tremebunda videt pulsare cruentum membra solum, retroque pedem tulit oraque buxo pallidiora gerens exhorruit aequoris instar, 135

quod tremit, exigua cum summum stringitur aura.

sed postquam remorata suos cognovit amores,

(lit., appearance); verto -ere here change; madefacta ... radix the root (radix radicis f.) soaked (madefacio -ere) with blood. 127 purpureo ... colore instrumental abl. [§G47] with a purple tint (color coloris m.); tingo -ere stain; pendentia mora the hanging (pendeo -ere) mulberries (morum -I n.).

I28f. metu nondum posito abl. absolute [§G49] [her] fear not yet laid aside; tie introduces a negative purpose clause [§g83]; fallo -ere here miss, i.e., not meet up with; oculis, animo (here heart) instrumental abl. [§G47]; requiro -ere look for. 130 quanta ... vitarit (= vitaverit) ... pericula indirect question [§G91] after narrare—the normal prose order would be quanta pericula vitarit narrare; gestio -Ire desire, long. I3lf. ut (+ ind.) ... sic ... (lit., just as ... so ...) links parallel clauses without closely specifying the relationship between them—English would translate ut by although and use no equivalent for sic; visa ... in arbore lit., in the tree having been seen, trans, of the tree she had [previously] seen; cognoscit... formam recognized the shape; facit incertam made [her] unsure; haereo -ere (be uncertain) is followed by an indirect question [§G9i], an haec sit (lit., whether this was [the treeJ)—haec is fem. sg. because it refers to arbore (1.131), trans, whether this was [the right tree]. I33ff. tremebunda ... membra (the trembling limbs; membrum -I n.) is the subject of pulsare (pulso -are) strike, and its object is cruentum ... solum bloodstained earth (solum -I n.); retro backwards—Thisbe takes a step back in horror at what she sees; Sra ... gerens wearing a face (pi. for sg. [§G53]), but trans, with a face; buxo abl. of comparison [§G42] after pallidiora (compar. of pallidus and agreeing with ora) paler than boxwood (buxus -I f.)—boxwood is a pale yellow; exhorresco -ere shudder; aequor aequoris n. here sea; instar indecl. noun (equivalent, counterpart) used as a preposition (+ gen.) in the same way as, like.

136 The antecedent of quod is aequoris (1.135); tremo -ere tremble; exigua ... aura instrumental abl. [§g47] by a slight breeze (aura -ae f.); summum [aequor] lit., the highest [part of the sea], but trans, its surface; stringo -ere graze.

137 remorata (having delayed; remoror -ari) agrees with the understood subject of cognovit, she, i.e., Thisbe; suos amores pi. for sg. [§G53] her love, i.e., her beloved.

percutit indignos claro plangore lacertos et laniata comas amplexaque corpus amatum vulnera supplevit lacrimis fletumque cruori 140

miscuit et gelidis in vultibus oscula figens

"Pyrame" clamavit'quis te mihi casus ademit?

Pyrame, responde! tua te carissima Thisbe nominat; exaudi vultusque attolle iacentes!"

ad nomen Thisbes oculos iam morte gravatos 145

Pyramus erexit visaque recondidit illa.

quae postquam vestemque suam cognovit et ense vidit ebur vacuum/'tua te manus" inquit'amorque perdidit, infelix! est et mihi fortis in unum hoc manus, est et amor: dabit hic in vulnera vires. 150

138 percutió -ere strike; indignos ... lacertos [her] guiltless arms (lacertus -I m. lit., upper arm); clàrô plangôre instrumental abl. [§g47] with loud beating (plan-gor plangôris m.)—hitting oneself and tearing one's hair (1. 139) were regular manifestations of grief in antiquity.

139 Take comas (acc. of respect [§gi5]) with laniâta, lit,, torn with respect to hair (coma -ae f.), trans, with hair torn; amplexa embracing (perf. pple. of a deponent verb used in a present sense [§g74]; amplector -I).

i4of. suppleô 'ère Jill; lacrimis instrumental abl. [§G47]; cruôrl as in 1. 121; miscuit is followed by an accusative (flëtum) and a dative (cruôrl); gelidis in vultibus on [his] cold face (pi. for sg. [§g53]); figo -ere plant.

142 clamó -are shout; quis ... casus what misfortune (casus -us m.); mihi dat. of disadvantage;[§G3l], trans, from me; adimd -ere take away.

143 responde (2 sg. imp, of responded -ëre) answer [me]; cârissimus superl. of càrus.

144 nómino -are call; exaudi 2 sg. imp. of exaudió -Ire listen (to); vultüs ... iacen-tës pl. for sg. [§G53] [your] drooping head; attolló -ere raise.

I45f. ad nômen Thisbës (cf. 1. 115) at [the sound of] Thisbe's name; oculôs ... gravàtôs (gravó -are weigh down) is the object of ërexit (ërigô -ere lift) and recondidit (recondó -ere here close again); morte instrumental abl. [§G47]; visa ... ilia abl. absolute [§G49], lit., her having been seen, trans, on seeing her.

147Í. Trans, quae (antecedent illâ (1. 146)) she; ense ... ebur vacuum the ivory (ebur eboris n.) [sheath] empty of (vacuus + abl.) [its] sword (ensis ensis m.).

i49í, perdidit is singular to agree with the nearer subject [§G58], amor in 1.148; infelix voc. unhappy [one]!; est et mihi lit., there is for me (dat. of possessor [§g 30]) too (et), trans. I too have ...—the subject of est is fortis ... manus; in ünum hoc for this one thing, i.e., to kill myself; with est et amor supply mihi; hic i.e., amor; in vulnera trans./or the blow (lit., wounds).

persequar extinctum letique misérrima dicar causa comesque tui; quique a me morte revelli heu sola poteras, poteris nec morte revelli.

hoc tarnen amborum verbis estote rogati, o multum miseri meus illiusque parentes, 155

ut quos certus amor, quos hora novissima iunxit, conponi tumulo non invideatis eodem.

at tu quae ramis, arbor, miserabile corpus nunc tegis unius, mox es tectura duorum, signa tene caedis pullosque et luctibus aptos 160

semper habe fetus, gemini monimenta cruoris."

151ÍE persequor -I follow; [re] extinctum lit., [you] having been extinguished (ex-tinguö -ere), trans. [you] in death; dicar (1 sg. fut. pass. I will be called) is followed by a predicate [§g 6], iétí misérrima ... causa comesque tul (the most unfortunate (superl. of miser) cause and companion (comes comitis m.) of your death (létum -I n.)); the antecedent of qui (quique = qui + -que) is the understood subject of poteris, you; morte ... sölä instrumental abl, [§G47] by death alone; revelló -ere tear away (tr.); heu alas!; nec postponed [§G 3]—the verbal play of 11.152Í:. is typical of Ovid.

154 Thisbe addresses Pyramus' father and her own; hoc ... estöte rogätl be (2 pi. imp.) asked this (retained acc. [§G9]); ambörum verbis instrumental abl. [§g47] by the words of both [of us],

155 multum adv. very; meus illiusque parentés a condensed expression for meus parens illiusque parens—as the gender of meus shows, parens (parentis m./f.) here means father.

i$6f. ut introduces the indirect petition [§g9i] foreshadowed by hoc (1.154); the antecedent of each quös is the understood subject of conponi, we; höra novissima last (superl. of novus) hour; tumulö ... eödem abl. of place where [§G38] in the same grave; invideatis (invideö -ere refuse) is followed by an accusative (nös understood) and infinitive (conponi pres. pass. inf. of conpönö -ere put together).

i58f. Thisbe now addresses the mulberry tree; rämls instrumental abl. [§g47] with [your] branches (ramus -I m.); arbor voc.; with miserabile corpus (pitiable corpse) take ünlus (of one, i.e., of Pyramus); es tectüra you are going to cover (fut. pple. of tegó -ere); with duörum supply corpora [the corpses] of two.

i6of. signa ... caedis signs of [our] death—caedés has a different meaning here than it has in 1. 97 (slaughter) and in 11.125 and 163 (blood); tené, habé 2 sg. imp. keep, have; take pullös (pullus dark) and aptös (aptus + dat. appropriate to) with fetus; luctibus (luctus -us m. grief) dat. after aptös; geminl monimenta cruöris is in apposition [§G52] to fetüs, [as] a memorial (pi. for sg. [§g53]; monimentum -I n.) of [our] double death—cruor has a different meaning here than it has in 11.121 and 140 (blood).

dixit et aptato pectus mucrone sub imum incubuit ferro, quod adhuc a caede tepebat.

vota tarnen tetigere deos, tetigere parentes:

nam color in porno est, ubi permaturuit, ater, 165

quodque rogis superest, una requiescit in urna.

162Î aptätö ... mucröne abl. absolute [§G49], lit., sword tip (mucrö mucrönis m.) having been positioned (aptö -äre); pectus ... sub Imum under the lowest [part of her] chest; incubuit ferro she fell on (incumbô -ere + dat.) the sword; adhùc ä caede tepêbat was still warm (tepeô -ëre) with blood.

164 tetigëre (= tetigërunt; 3 pl. perf. ind. act. tangö -ere) here move (emotion-ally).

165 permätürescö -ere become fully ripe; äter here dark.

166 quodque = quod + -que—the antecedent of quod is the understood subject of requiescit; rogîs (rogus -I m .pyre) dat. after superest (supersum + dat. be left from); ünä ... in urnä in one urn (urna -ae f.); requiescö -ere rest—Ovid attributes Roman funeral practices (cremation and the use of an urn to store the ashes of the dead) to the Babylonians.

llttera scripta manet iii'

Among the many stories from mythology and legend that Ovid tells in his Metamorphoses is that of Medea. When Jason and his Argonauts arrive in her fathers kingdom to claim the Golden Fleece, Medea falls desperately in love with Jason. Torn between love and duty, she describes her feelings with words that reflect an old dispute over human motivation. In the fifth century b.c., Socrates had declared that bad actions are caused by ignorance and that we do not commit an evil deed if we are fully aware of what is involved. Ovid's Medea is of the opposite opinion:

video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor. Metamorphoses 7.2of.

I see [what is] better and I approve, [but] I follow [what is] worse.

For a summary of Jason's quest of the Golden Fleece, see page 125. For a selection from Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica, see page 180.

Self Improvement Fast Track

Self Improvement Fast Track

Surefire Ways To Put Your Self Improvement On The Fast Track. This Book Is One Of The Most Valuable Resources In The World When It Comes To Accelerated Learning Techniques For People New To Personal Development.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment