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Aeneid, Book IX, begin line 60. hard passage

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Aeneid, Book IX, begin line 60. hard passage

Postby hlawson38 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:45 pm

This passage gives a metaphor, a hungry wolf prowling outside a sheepfold, wanting to get to the sheep safe within. This is a metaphor for an attacking army, prowling outside the walls of a defended city, trying to find a way to penetrate its defenses.

ac veluti pleno lupus insidiatus ovili
cum fremit ad caulas ventos perpessus et imbris
nocte super media; tuti sub matribus agni
balatum exercent, ille [the wolf] asper et improbus ira

just like a wolf lurking in ambush outside a sheep fold
when he howls at the rails enduring wind and rains
in the middle of the night; the lambs safe under the mothers
sound their bleatings; savage and greedy he [the wolf]

[ so far I understand; the trouble starts here;]

saevit in absentis; collecta fatigat edendi
ex longo rabies et siccae sanguine fauces.

My effort:

he rages against the lack of food for so long
the compacted madness wearies [him] and so do [ his ] jaws
dry from want of blood. [missing the blood he craves]

What I need is a grammatical commentary on the two lines where the trouble starts, with word by word parsing.
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Re: Aeneid, Book IX, begin line 60. hard passage

Postby Damoetas » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:13 pm

saevit in absentis; collecta fatigat edendi
ex longo rabies et siccae sanguine fauces.


"He rages against the absent/inaccessible lambs (absentis - masc. acc. pl.); his frenzy for eating (edendi ... rabies), built up (collecta - fem. nom. sg. agreeing with rabies) over a long period of time (ex longo), torments him (fatigat), and his jaws, dry of blood (also torment him)."

Also possible: "his built-up frenzy for eating after a long time" (taking ex longo more closely with edendi). I think it doesn't matter precisely how you take it, because poets often transfer modifiers from one thing to a closely related thing, but the idea remains the same.
Dic mihi, Damoeta, 'cuium pecus' anne Latinum?
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Re: Aeneid, Book IX, begin line 60. hard passage

Postby hlawson38 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:10 pm

Thank you for the very clear explanation.
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