Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 13 July 2011



Ubi Herculés fínem fécit, Pýthia prímó tacébat; tandem tamen iussit eum ad urbem Tíryntha íre, et Eurystheí régis omnia imperáta facere. Herculés ubi haec audívit, ad urbem illam contendit, et Eurystheó régí sé in servitútem trádidit. Duodecim annós crúdélissimó Eurystheó serviébat, et duodecim labórés, quós ille imperáverat, cónfécit; hóc enim únó modó tantum scelus expiárí potuit. Dé hís labóribus plúrima á poétís scrípta sunt. Multa tamen quae poétae nárrant vix crédibilia sunt.

Some words have been chosen for special consideration and are listed below. For the words not included in this list please refer to the WORDLIST in PAGES TOP RIGHT SIDE BAR.

Ubi can mean ‘where’, or ‘when’ as it does here.
Finem fecit – literally made (perfect tense) an end but we would say ‘finished’.
Primo – adverb meaning ‘at first’.
Tacebat – was silent, imperfect tense of taceo.
Tandem – at length.
Ad – prep followed by accusative, ‘to, towards’ (the city).
Imperata – neut pl of imperatum, ‘order’, or ‘command’.
Omnia – neut pl adj (sing omnis etc.) agreeing with imperata, so it means ‘all the commands’.
Eurysthei regis – genitive case meaning ‘of the king Eurystheus’ (i.e. the commands of the King Eurystheus).
Ubi haec – ubi meaning ‘when’ again with neuter plural of the pronoun hic meaning ‘these things’.
Contendit – perfect tense of contendo (ere) meaning he hastened.
Illam – accusative of illa, agreeing with urbem, emaning ‘that city’.
Eurystheo regi – dative case, as Hercules gave himself to etc.
Se … tradidit – handed himself over.
Servitus – (genitive –itutis) slavery, servitude f. in servitutem because ‘in’ meaning ‘into’ is followed by the accusative case (for the complete declension of third declension nouns, see third declension nouns under the heading ‘Declension’ in ESSENTIAL GRAMMAR NOTES top left of sidebar under PAGES).
Duodecim annos – is in the accusative case as we are here talking about time during which, i.e. for twelve years.
Crudelissimo – superlative meaning ‘most cruel’, we know it is agreeing with Eurytheus and not years as it is in the singular dative case. The reason it is in the dative case is because the verb servio takes the dative case.  For other common verbs which take the take the dative case see the list in GRAMMAR NOTES in PAGES top left of side bar under DATIVE CASE.  
Quos – relative masc. accusative plural pronoun introducing the subordinate clause ‘which that man (i.e. Eurystheus) ordered’. It is masculine plural because it agrees with the antecedent ‘labores’.  
Plurima – another example of an adjective being used as a noun, in this case neuter plural, to mean ‘many things’.
De – preposition meaning ‘concerning’, ‘about’, followed by the ablative case.
Plurima – superlative of multus, meaning ‘a great many things’ and agreeing with scripta sunt ‘have been written’.
Multa – neuter plural adjective being used as a noun again to mean ‘many things’ and agreeing with ‘quae’ which and then credibilia


Note: This section is not translated into idiomatic English but is intended, together with the notes, to give you the gist of the meaning; you can then come up with your own improved translation.

Ubi Herculés fínem fécit,
When Hercules finished,

Pýthia prímó tacébat;
Pythia at first was silent;

tandem tamen iussit eum
At length however she ordered him

ad urbem Tíryntha íre,
to go to the city of Tiryns

et Eurystheí régis omnia imperáta facere.
And to carry out all the commands of the King Eurystheus

Herculés ubi haec audívit,
Hercules when he heard these things,

ad urbem illam contendit,
hastened to that city,

et Eurystheó régí
and to the King Eurystheus

sé in servitútem trádidit.
Handed himself over into servitude.

Duodecim annós crúdélissimó Eurystheó serviébat
For twelve years he served cruel Eurystheus

et duodecim labórés, quós ille imperáverat, cónfécit;
and the twelve labours, which that man ordered, he carried out;

hóc enim únó modó
for by this one way

tantum scelus expiárí potuit.
could he expiate such a great crime.

Dé hís labóribus plúrima á poétís scrípta sunt.
About these labours a great many things have been written by the poets.

Multa tamen quae poétae nárrant vix crédibilia sunt.
But many things which the poets relate are hardly believable.

d) The following section is as a) but without the macrons for you to copy and: i) to see if you can put the macrons in; ii) provide your own translation.

Ubi Hercules finem fecit, Pythia primo tacebat; tandem tamen iussit eum ad urbem Tiryntha ire, et Eurysthei regis omnia imperata facere. Hercules ubi haec audivit, ad urbem illam contendit, et Eurystheo regi se in servitutem tradidit. Duodecim annos crudelissimo Eurystheo serviebat, et duodecim labores, quos ille imperaverat, confecit; hoc enim uno modo tantum scelus expiari potuit. De his laboribus plurima a poetis scripta sunt. Multa tamen quae poetae narrant vix credibilia sunt.


Michel said...

I may be displaying ignorance here - but isn't "Eurysthei regis" genitive (rather than dative as indicated)? By the way thanks a lot for this site!

Angela Thomas said...

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to point out this error Michel; I have changed 'dative' to 'genitive'. Thanks again and Happy Christmas!
Best wishes

Michel said...

Merry Christmas and a happy new year! Thanks again for this site.