Saturni die 20 mensis Aprilis 2024

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DAVID AMSTER

Carmina Catulli recitata



VIRGIL’S Aeneid 1, 8-22: Musa, mihi causas memora

Virgil’s Aeneid Book 1, 8-22 continues the introduction to his epic masterpiece about the hero Aeneas and the founding of Rome. #vergil #aeneid #latinpoetry #latinpronunciation Notes: Mūsa: Muse; there were nine Muses; here it’s Calliope, the patron goddess of heroic poetry Compare the beginning of the Odyssey and the Iliad: “Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices, who wandered full many ways after he had sacked the sacred citadel of Troy.” “Sing the wrath, Goddess, of Peleus' son, Achilles, that destructive wrath which brought countless woes upon the Achaeans.” memorā: remind, recount, relate, tell mihī: to me causās: the causes, the reasons quō: what nūmine: divine will, command; divinity, deity, god laesō: having been offended, violated, wounded; “because of what aspect of her divinity having been offended” -ve: or dolēns: being displeased, angry, feeling indignation quid: at what                   rēgīna: the queen, Juno deum = deorum; of the gods; This gen. pl ending is very common in poetry. impulerit: forced, compelled, drove, pushed; perfect subjunctive, indirect question. virum: a man īnsīgnem: renowned, distinguished, remarkable pietāte: for his loyalty and devotion to his family, the gods, and country volvere: to live through, experience, endure, suffer tot: so many cāsūs: hardships, misfortunes, dangers, perils adīre: to encounter, undergo tot: so many labōrēs: hardships, difficulties, dangers, misfortunes -ne: introduces a question (sunt): are, are there; understood tantae: such great, so great īrae: feelings of anger, wrath, rage, hatred, resentment animīs: in the minds; dative of possession caelestibus: celestial, heavenly, divine, of the gods fuit: there was, it was antīqua: (an) ancient; Carthage was actually founded by the Phoenicians in the 9th century BC, about 300 years after the Trojan war! urbs: city Tyriī: Tyrian, Phoenician, of Tyre; Tyre is a city in Lebanon. colōnī: settlers, colonists tenuēre = tenuerunt; held, inhabited, ruled Karthāgō: Carthage contrā: in front of, across from, opposite; in opposition to Ītaliam: Italy. Note the juxtaposition of Karthago and Italiam. -que: and ōstia: the shores; acc. after “contra”. Tiberīna: of the Tiber longē: at a distance, far, far off; an adverb. Note how “ostia” being on the next line and the lack of “elision” (longe…ostia) emphasizes the distance. dīves: rich opum: in resources, power, lit. “of resources” -que: and asperrima: very (most) fierce, cruel, formidable studiīs: in its pursuits, zeal, desires, endeavors bellī: of war quam: which ūnam: alone magis: more omnibus: than all; ablative of comparison terrīs: lands, countries Iūnō: Juno fertur: is said, is reported coluisse: to have cared for, cherished, loved Samō: Samos, an island near Ephesus in Asia Minor, a center of the worship of Juno, her birthplace and site of a very famous temple. Ablative absolute. posthabitā: having been placed after, having been esteemed less; “Even Samos having been put in second place” hīc: here; probably Carthage (sunt/fuerunt): are/were illius: “Iunonis”, her, Juno’s arma: armor, weapons hīc: here fuit: was currus: (her) chariot; refers to relics preserved in her temple hoc: for/that this (city, refering to Carthage); acc subject of infinitive; neuter because of proximity to “regnum”. Note repetition of hic, hic, hoc. esse: to be, be; infinitive with tendit and fovet rēgnum: the ruling power, the royal authority gentibus; over nations sī: if quā (viā): in any way Fāta: the fates, the godesses that determine the will of the gods. Note that the Fates are more powerful than Juno. sinant: would allow it; subjunctive. iam: already tum: then dea: the goddess tendit: endeavors, designs, intends; present used instead of the past, for vividness. -que….. que: and; the repetition is a feature of epic poetry. fovet: cherishes, hopes, longs for, desires; present referring to the past sed enim: but indeed audierat = audiverat: she had heard prōgeniem: (that) a race, lineage; acc subject of infinitive in indirect statement. dūcī: was being derived, was springing from, was descended; passive infinitive. ā: from Trōiānō: Trojan sanguine: blood quae: which, ref. to progeniem olim: one day verteret: would overturn; imperfect subjunctive. Tyriās: the Tyrian (Carthaginian) arcēs: citadels, strongholds, fortresses, palaces hinc: (that) from here (the race from Trojan blood) populum: a people; acc subject of infinitive rēgem: ruling, the noun being used as a participle, regentem lātē: widely, far and wide -que: and superbum: proud, arrogant, fierce, mighty bellō: in war ventūrum (esse): was going to come; future infinitive excidiō: for the destruction, ruin, overthrow; dative of purpose Libyae: for/of Libya, (especially Carthage); dative object of excidio. sīc: thus Parcās: the Parcae, the Fates volvere: were ordaining, decreeing

225 views • Apr 14, 2024


VIRGIL’S Aeneid 1, 1-7: Arma virumque canō

The introduction to Virgil’s Aeneid, his epic masterpiece about the hero Aeneas and the founding of Rome. #vergil #aeneid #latinpoetry #latinpronunciation Vocabulary & Grammar: canō: I sing of, I celebrate in verse; compare the first line of the Iliad: “Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles”. arma: arms, wars; refers to the wars in which Aeneas fought, at Troy and in Italy; accuasative pl neut. An allusion to the Iliad and the Trojan war. -que: and virum: a man, the man; Aeneas, not yet mentioned by name. An allusion to the Odyssey. Note the emphatic placement of Italiam, and how with “litora” the clause continues onto the next line. Very often the sentence or clause does not end at the end of the line, and there should not be a pause. quī: who ab: from + abl ōrīs: the shores, the coast; abl pl. Trōiae: of Troy; Placed before “qui” for emphasis. Note how this LONG relative clause begins with “Troiae” and ends with “Romae” fātō: by fate, because of destiny, that which has been decreed; abl. Can be understood with both “profugus” and “venit”. profugus: exiled, as a fugitive prīmus: first vēnit: came Ītaliam: to Italy; accusative of place to which without a preposition, in prose it would be “ad Italiam” or “in Italiam”. Lāvīnia: to the Lavinian; accusative of place to which (without a prep), pl neut; Aeneas married an Italian/Latin princess, Lavina and named the town he founded “Lavinium”. lītora: shores, coast; acc. of place to which; neut pl ille: that one, he (the “vir”, Aeneas) iactātus: having been thrown, cast, tossed multum: much, a lot et: both terrīs: on land, in various lands/countries; ablative (pl) of place where without a prep. et: and altō: on the deep, at sea; abl of place where vī: by/because of the force, power, violence, fury; abl. superum = superorum: of the ones above, of the gods; genitive pl masc. -um instead of -orum is very common in poetry. Note the interlocking ABAB (gen acc gen acc) word order: VERY common in poetry: “saevae memorem Iūnōnis ob īram” ob: on account of, because of memorem: the remembering, mindful of, not forgetting, vindictive; literally describing “iram” but the idea is that it’s describing Juno īram: wrath, anger, rage. An allusion to the wrath of Achilles in the Iliad and of Poseidon towards Odysseus in the Odyssey. saevae: of fierce, wrathful, furious, bitter Iūnōnis: (of) Juno quoque: also, as well, too passus: (ille) having suffered, endured, undergone, borne; perfect deponent participle multa: many things et: also, even bellō: in war; ablative; referring to the battles he had after arriving in Italy. dum: until + subjunctive conderet: he founded, established;imperfect subj urbem: a city; i.e. Lavinium inferret: brought to, carried; imperfect subj. deōs: his ancestral gods, penates, guardian deities carried from burning Troy Latiō: to Latium, an area in Italy in which Rome was situated, ruled by King Latinus; dative of direction after “inferret” = ad/in Latium. unde (est): whence is, from which (is/comes) Latīnum: the Latin; nom sing neuter genus: race, people, nation; origin, lineage; nom sing neut. Albānī: the Alban; referrring to Alba Longa, the mother city of Rome, built by Ascanius, son of Aeneas. patrēs: fathers, forefathers atque: and also moenia: the defensive walls, ramparts, city walls altae: of lofty, high, great, noble; can refer to Rome being built on seven high hills and also its power and prestige Rōmae: (of) Rome. Note the emphatic position at the end of the line and sentence. Pronunciation: aRma vi’ruNGque canō, trōiae quī prīmus ab ōrīsī’talia(m) fātō ‘profugus lā.’vīn.ia.que vēnit‘lītora, mult(um) iL.L(e) et teRRīs iac’tātus et altōvī ‘superu(m), saevae ‘memore(m) iū’nōnis ob īra(m),multa quoqu(e) et beL.Lō paS.Sus, duNG ‘conderet uRbe(m)    i(n)feR’Retque deōs ‘latiō, genus unde la’tīnu(m)albā’nīque patrēs atqu(e) altae ‘moenia rōmae. Meter: Dactylic Hexameter Ārmă vĭrūmquĕ cănō, || Trōiaē quī prīmŭs ăb ōrīs Ītălĭām fātō || prŏfŭgūs Lāvīniăquĕ vēnĭt lītŏră, mūltum īlle ēt || tērrīs iāctātŭs ĕt āltō vī sŭpĕrūm, saēvaē || mĕmŏrēm Iūnōnĭs ŏb īrăm, mūltă quŏque ēt bēllō || pāssūs, dūm cōndĕrĕt ūrbĕm īnfērrētquĕ dĕōs || Lătĭō; gĕnŭs ūndĕ Lătīnŭm Ālbānīquĕ pătrēs || ātque āltaē moēnĭă Rōmaē.

244 views • Apr 2, 2024


CATULLUS Poem 79: Lesbius est pulcher. Quid nī? Quem Lesbia mālit quam tē; Latin & English

Catullus 79 is addressed to “Lesbius”, who we assume is the brother of Lesbia/Clodia. #catullus #latinpoetry #latinpronunciation Lesbius: the masculine version of “Lesbia”, Catullus’ name for his beloved Clodia. “Lesbius” is her colorful, notorious younger brother, Publius Clodius Pulcher. He was accused of incest with both of his sisters, and his brother-in-law divorced his sister because of this. He dressed as a woman and entered the women-only rites of the goddess Bona Dea, allegedly with the intention of seducing Caesar’s wife Pompeia, whom Caesar divorced because of the scandal. He was acquitted of this capital offense by his friend Crassus’ bribing the jurors. He belonged to one of the most important “patrician” families in Rome, and his daughter was the first wife of the emperor Augustus. est: is pulcher: pretty; nominative sing masc. This is a pun on his family name, Pulcher, as well as his good looks. But this is not a normal adjective used for an adult male, and it has been argued (J.L. Butrica “Clodius the Pulcher in Catullus and Cicero”) that it would imply an unmanly character, especially since it was known that he has dressed as a woman. Quid: why nī: not? Quem: whom Lesbia: Clodia, whom Catullus loved. He used “Lesbia” as an allusion to Sappho, whom he greatly admired. But at the time of this poem their affair had ended, or was “on the rocks”. mālit: would prefer, would rather have; present subjunctive. Catullus seems to be suggesting an incestuous relationship. quam: more than, rather than, over tē: you cum: with tuā: your tōtā: entire gente: clan, family, people. Clodia and her brother belonged to the aristocratic “gens Julia”; Catullus suggest that she may have lost interest in him because of his less-illustrious family, the Valerii, and perhaps because he was less attractive than her brother and other lovers. Catulle: vocative. Sed: but tamen: for all that, nevertheless, however, still hic: this; nom sing masc. pulcher: “pretty boy”, handsome fellow. Subject of vendat. vēndat: would sell off; let him sell (into slavery), betray for money, sell all one’s possessions; subjunctive. Probably a reference to how dangerous Clodius could be towards an enemy; as Tribune of the Plebs he took revenge on Cicero and King Ptolemy of Cyprus by confiscating and selling off their assets. Catullum: Catullus cum: along with gente: his family, clan sī: if reppererit: he will have found, might be able to find; either future perfect or perfect subjunctive, suggesting that it’s very unlikely. (reperio) tria: (even) three; acc pl neut. sāvia: kisses, greetings with a kiss; the normal form of greeting among elite Roman men. nōtōrum: of acquaintances. His reputation is so bad that he won’t be able to find even three decent people willing to kiss him socially. In order to harm Catullus and his family, Clodius would need the support of many of the elite in Rome, which Catullus imagines is unlikely. Stress/Accent: (for words with 3 or more syllables) LESbius est pulcher. Quid nī? Quem LESbia mālit      quam tē cum tōtā gente, caTULle, tuā. Sed tamen hic pulcher vēndat cum gente caTULlum,      sī tria nōTŌrum SĀvia repPErerit. Pronunciation: ‘leSbius est pulcheR. quid nī? que(m) ‘leSbia mālit      quaN tē cuN tōtā gente, ca’tuLLe, tuā. sed tamen hic pulcheR vēndat cuNG gente ca’tuLLu(m),      sī tria nō’tōru(m) ‘sāvia reP’Pererit. Meter: Elegiac Couplets Lēsbĭŭs ēst pūlchēr. || Quīd nī? Quēm Lēsbĭă mālīt quām tē cūm tōtā | gēntĕ Cătūllĕ tŭā. Sēd tămĕn hīc pūlchēr || vēndāt cūm gēntĕ Cătūllūm sī trĭă nōtōrūm || sāvĭă rēppĕrĕrīt.

224 views • Mar 24, 2024


HORACE ODE 1.38: Persicōs ōdī, puer, apparātūs; Latin & English

Horace’s Ode 38 (Horatii Carmen XXXVIII) from Book 1 is the final poem of his first book, and therefore quite significant. It’s a “simple” ode, especially after the elaborate Cleopatra Ode, that advocates a simple approach to life. #latinpoetry #latinpronunciation #horace Here’s the poem with “simplified” word order: ōdī Persicōs apparātūs, puer, corōnae nexae philyrā displicent, mitte sectārī quō locōrum sēra rosa morētur. cūrō (ut) adlabōrēs sēdulus nihil simplicī myrtō; neque myrtus dēdecet tē ministrum neque mē bibentem sub artā vīte. Vocabulary & Grammar: ōdī: I hate, detest; 1st p sing perfect with present meaning. Persicōs: Persian; acc. pl; the Persians, in Roman eyes, were though to be overly luxurious and therefore effeminate. apparātūs: frilly stuff, supplies, magnificence, splendor; acc pl masc. 4th decl. puer: lad, young man; probably a servant; vocative. corōnae: garlands, wreaths of flowers, crowns nexae: bound together, interlaced philyrā: with the inner bark from the linden-tree; ablative displicent: displease, make me feel uncomfortable mitte: dismiss, disregard, don’t, don’t worry about; imperative + infinitive. sectārī: pursuing, chasing after, seeking out; present deponent infinitive of sector, looks passive, active in meaning. Horace is advocating enjoying what you have, not chasing after what you think might be “better”. quō: where locōrum: “of (all) places”, (where) in the world sēra: the late summer (rose) ; a rare luxury item, since the season for regular roses was early rosa: rose morētur: is delayed, is delaying, lingering; 3rd p sing pres. deponent subjunctive in indirect question cūrō: I care, I care about, I’m concerned; if “nihil” is taken adverbially, then it’s “I’m not at all concerned”. (ut): that, understood adlabōrēs: you add (with labor), you labor; present subjunctive sēdulus: industrious, diligent, zealous, solicitous; nom sing, probably referring to the faithful servant. nihil: nothing; acc sing neut, direct object of adlabores; can also mean “in no way, not at all” modifying “curo”. simplicī: to the simple, plain, unadorned; dative; a very important word in the poem at the beginning of the 2nd stanza, in strong contrast to “Persicos apparatus” myrtō: myrtle, a myrtle wreath or crown; dative. Myrtle is sacred to Venus; Horace mentioning this adds an erotic tone to the poem, especially since he suggests that both he and his wine-serving companion wear a myrtle wreath. neque: nor myrtus: (is) myrtle; nominative dēdecet: is unsuitable, is unbecoming, unseemly + acc tē: for you; acc. after dedecet. ministrum: as cup-bearer, waiter, servant; acc. Horace seems to be considering the “minister”, almost certainly a slave, as an equal here. neque: nor mē: for me bibentem: drinking, as I’m drinking; acc present participle. Very emphatic as the last word of the poem. This is a drinking poem, advocating the simple pleasures of life. sub: beneath, under + ablative. artā: the narrow, dense, compact; ablative vīte: grape vine, vine, grape arbor; abl sing fem Pronunciation: (stress/accent is marked with an apostrophe before the stressed syllable, where there are 3 or more syllables) ‘peRsicōs ōdī, puer, aPPa’rātūs, ‘displicent nexae ‘Philyrā co’rōnae, miTTe sec’tārī, rosa quō lo’cōru(m)       sēra mo’rētuR. ‘simplicī myRtō nihil adla’bōrēs ‘sēdulus cūrō: neque tē mi’nistru(m) ‘dēdecet myRtus neque mē sub aRtā       vīte bi’bente(m). Meter: Sapphic Stanzas: a meter taken from the Greek poet Sappho (6th century BC); Horace uses this meter in 25 of his odes. There’s usually a pause (caesura) after the 5th syllable. The last syllable can be long or short (X), but is usually scanned as long. – u – – – | uu – u – x – u – – – | uu – u – x – u – – – | uu – u – x – u u – x Pērsĭcōs ōdī, | pŭĕr, āppărātūs, dīsplĭcēnt nēxāe | phĭlÿrā cŏrōnāe, mīttĕ sēctārī, | rŏsă quō lŏcōrūm      sēră mŏrētūr. Sīmplĭcī mŷrtō | nĭhĭl ādlăbōrēs sēdŭlūs cūrō: | nĕquĕ tē mĭnīstrūm dēdĕcēt mŷrtūs | nĕquĕ mē sŭb ārtā       vītĕ bĭbēntēm. “dum di dum dum dum, di di dum di dum dum (X 3). dum di di dum dum!” NB: phĭlÿrā: the Y is short; mŷrtō: MYR is a long syllable

310 views • Mar 18, 2024


Catullus Poem 78: Gallus habet frātrēs, quōrum est lepidissima coniūnx; in Latin & English

#catullus #latinpoetry #latinpronunciation Catullus 78 is about Gallus, who thinks he’s clever and sophisticated because he’s arranged a love affair between his nephew and his brother’s wife, but he doesn’t realize he’s setting himself up for the same treatment. I believe his nephew is the Gellius of Catullus 74 (please see my video of this poem), probably Lucius Gellius Poplicola, an enemy of Catullus and rival for the attentions of his beloved Clodia/Lesbia. Gellius P. was accused before the senate of having an affair with his stepmother and plotting his father's murder. A truly charming family! Vocabulary & Grammar: Gallus: It’s not certain, but I think he’s the brother of the miserable uncle of Gellius of Poem 74. habet: has frātrēs: brothers quōrum: of whom est: is lepidissima: is very pleasant, charming, elegant. Lepidus is a favorite word of Catullus. Cf. Carmen 1:1: “cui dono lepidum novum libellum”. coniūnx: the spouse, wife alterius: of one; alter….alter: the one….the other. lepidus: pleasant, charming, elegant fīlius: the son alterius: of the other homō: a person, a man; nominative sing masc/fem (but masc here). est: is bellus: pretty, handsome, charming, lovely, pleasant; a very important word for Catullus and his circle of friends, refering to the charming politeness of a man or woman of high-society training and discrimination. nam: for iungit: he joins together, joins, brings together, unites dulcēs: sweet, delightful, pleasant amōrēs: loves, love affairs ut: so that, in order that; plus subjunctive. bella: charming, lovely, beautiful puella: girl, young woman. Puella can be used for an adult woman. cubet: sleeps, lies down with; SUBJUNCTIVE cum: with puerō: a boy, young man, youth; can be used of an adult; used of the emperor Octavian when he was 19. bellō: charming, etc. PUERŌ ut bellō bella PUELLA: note the ABBA “chiastic” word order. Also note the repetition of sound in the poem, especially the Ls. stultus: foolish, stupid, silly, slow-witted nec: and…not, nor videt: does he see, he does (not) see sē: (that) he (himself); accusative subject of infinitive in indirect statement. esse: is; infinitive in indirect statement after videt. marītum: a husband quī: who patruus: (as) a father’s brother, paternal uncle, uncle mōnstret: is advising, is teaching, is showing, pointing out; SUBJUNCTIVE adulterium: the adultery patruī: of a paternal uncle, adultery against another uncle, his brother Meter: Elegiac Couplets Gāllŭs hăbēt frātrēs || quōrūm est lĕpĭdīssĭmă cōniūnx āltĕrĭūs. lĕpĭdūs fīlĭŭs āltĕrĭūs. Gāllŭs hŏmō est bēllūs || nām dūlcēs iūngĭt ămōrēs cūm pŭĕro ūt bēllō || bēllă pŭēllă cŭbēt. Gāllŭs hŏmō est stūltūs || nēc sē uĭdĕt ēssĕ mărītūm quī pătrŭūs pătrŭī || mōnstrĕt ădūltĕrĭūm. An elegiac couplet is a pair of sequential lines in which the first line is written in dactylic hexameter (6 “feet”, a dactyl, “long short short”, or a spondee, “long long”, and the second line in dactylic pentameter, (5 feet, two and a half feet, repeated). There is usually a pause, a break called a “caesura” in the middle of the line, which helps us know where to pause while reading. The last syllable in each line can have a long or short vowel, but is normally “scanned” as long (“brevis in longo”).

238 views • Feb 3, 2024


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