Ulysses, a famous Greek hero, took a prominent part in the long siege of Troy. After the fall of the city, he set out with his followers on his homeward voyage to Ithaca, an island of which he was king; but being driven out of his course by northerly winds, he was compelled to touch at the country of the Lotus-eaters, who are supposed to have lived on the north coast of Africa. Some of his comrades were so delighted with the lotus fruit that they wished to remain in the country, but Ulysses compelled them to embark again and continued his voyage. He next came to the island of Sicily, and fell into the hands of the giant Polyphémus, one of the Cyclópes. After several of his comrades had been killed by this monster, Ulysses made his escape by stratagem and reached the country of the winds. Here he received the help of Aeolus, king of the winds, and having set sail again, arrived within sight of Ithaca; but owing to the folly of his companions, the winds became suddenly adverse and he was again driven back. He then touched at an island which was the home of Circe, a powerful enchantress, who exercised her charms on his companions and turned them into swine. By the help of the god Mercury, Ulysses not only escaped this fate himself, but also forced Circe to restore her victims to human shape. After staying a year with Circe, he again set out and eventually reached his home.
ULYSSES 81 – HOMEWARD BOUND
a)Urbem Tróiam á Graecís decem annós obsessam esse satis cónstat; dé hóc enim belló Homérus, máximus poétárum Graecórum, Íliadem opus nótissimum scrípsit. Tróiá tandem per ínsidiás captá, Graecí longó belló fessí domum redíre mátúrávérunt. Omnibus rébus igitur ad profectiónem parátís návís dédúxérunt, et tempestátem idóneam nactí mágnó cum gaudió solvérunt. Erat inter prímós Graecórum Ulixés quídam, vir summae virtútis ac prúdentiae, quem dícunt nónnúllí dolum istum excógitásse quó Tróiam captam esse cónstat. Híc régnum ínsulae Ithacae obtinuerat, et pauló antequam cum reliquís Graecís ad bellum profectus est, puellam fórmósissimam, nómine Pénelopén, in mátrimónium dúxerat. Nunc igitur cum iam decem annós quasi in exsilió cónsúmpsisset, mágná cupiditáte patriae et uxóris videndae árdébat.
Troiam obsessam esse – accusative infinitive after constat, ‘Tory was beseiged’.
de hoc enim bello – presposition de ‘concerning, about’,takes the ablative, meaning ‘concerning, or about this war’. Notice also the position of enim, ‘for concerning/about this war’; whereas ‘for’ in English comes first, enim does not come first in its clause.
omnibus ... paratis – ablative absolute meaning ‘when everything had been made ready.’
insidias – ambush, this concerns the story of the wooden horse which was brought into the town by the Trojans in which the Greeks had concealed soldiers who upon release, attacked and captured Troy.
longo bello – ablative of cause, ‘by a long war’.
vir summae virtutis - genitive of description.
dolum istum – ‘that trick’, iste is sometimes used in a perjorative sense, the trick here refers to the Trojan horse.
maximus – superlative adjective, ‘the greatest’.
magno cum gaudio – notice that the monosyllabic preposition cum comes between the noun and its adjective, ‘with great joy’.
quem ...excogitasse – shortened or syncopated perfect active infinitive of excogitare, excogitavisse, after quem, whom (some say) to have thought up etc.
obsessam esse satis constat;
was beseiged is well-enough known;
de hoc enim bello Homerus,
for concerning this war Homer,
maximus poetarum Graecorum,
the greatest of the Greek poets
Iliadem opus notissimum scripsit.
wrote (his) most famous work, the Iliad.
Troia tandem per insidias capta,
When Troy at length was taken by ambush
Graeci longo bello fessi
The Greeks, tired out by the long war
domum redire maturaverunt.
hastened to return home.
Omnibus rebus igitur ad profectionem paratis
Everything therefore having been made ready for departure
they launched the ship,
et tempestatem idoneam nacti
and when they met with suitable weather
magno cum gaudio solverunt.
they set sail with great joy.
Erat inter primos Graecorum Ulixes quidam,
There was among the best of the Greeks a certail Ulysses
vir summae virtutis ac prudentiae,
a man of the utmost virtue and wisdom,
quem dicunt nonnulli dolum istum excogitasse
who some say had thought up that trick
quo Troiam captam esse constat.
By which it is known Troy was captured.
Hic regnum insulae Ithacae obtinuerat,
He ruled the kingdom of the island of Ithica,
et paulo antequam cum reliquis Graecis
and a little while before with the remaining Greeks
ad bellum profectus est,
he set out for the war
puellam formosissimam, nomine Penelopen,
a most beautiful girl, called Penelope,
in matrimonium duxerat.
he had married.
Nunc igitur cum iam decem annos
Now therefore since ten years
quasi in exsilio consumpsisset,
as if in exile he had spent,*
magna cupiditate patriae
with great desire of his homeland
et uxoris videndae ardebat.
and of seeing his wife he was enflamed.
d) The following section is for you to copy and translate.