Georgics, IV, 374, ff.

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hlawson38
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Georgics, IV, 374, ff.

Post by hlawson38 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:15 pm

Context: Aristaeus, a divinity of bee-keeping, and the son of the goddess Cyrene, because of reverses in bee-keeping, has prayed tearfully to his mother for help. Since she lives under the sea, she performs a miracle to let him come to her in person. His arrival is announced by this sentence, ll. 374-377, Virgil, Georgics, Book IV.
Postquam est in thalami pendentia pumice tecta
perventum et nati fletus cognovit inanes
Cyrene. . . .
After he [Aristaeus] arrived within the overhanging lava-stone roof sheltering [Cyrene's] personal quarters, and she recognized the useless tears of her son. . . .

est . . . perventum: impersonal use of the perfect passive of pervenio
in . . . tecta: I'm reading tecta as accusative plural, object of preposition of in
pendentia: present active participle, accusative plural, adjectival force, modifies tecta
pumice: ablative singular, some kind of qualification of the phrase pendentia tecta
thalami: genitive singular, a qualification of tecta

As I read it, tecta designates a large structure, the enclosure of, among other rooms, Cyrene's personal quarters (thalami). Aristaeus has arrived in this undersea palace, but in its more public space. Maybe there are other undersea buildings, as suggested by the plural tecta, but this is the one that encloses Cyrene's personal space. My justification placing Aristaeus in the more public space is that the following text concerns libations and a feast, rather that some intimate conference.

Hylander
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Re: Georgics, IV, 374, ff.

Post by Hylander » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:39 am

Your grammatical analysis is correct, but I don't think the description of the location is quite as specific as you think. tecta is probably just the ceiling of her chamber, not necessarily implying an underwater structure. This is mythical fantasy.

Poetry often uses plural tecta instead of singular. Plural implies something grand, which is consistent with the fantasy.

hlawson38
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Re: Georgics, IV, 374, ff.

Post by hlawson38 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:32 am

Thanks for the comments, Hylander, esp. for the reassurance about the grammar. It took me quite a while to tease out a satisfactory grammatical rationale.

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