RITCHIE'S Latin stories retold, FABULAE FACILES: PERSEUS; HERCULES; THE ARGONAUTS; ULYSEES, with extensive notes and INTERLINEAR TRANSLATION, WORDLIST and ESSENTIAL GRAMMAR NOTES. RITCHIE'S FABULAE FACILES, EASY-TO-READ STORIES, ELEMENTARY LATIN READER, BEGINNER'S LATIN.
This picture shows Ulysses giving wine to Polyphemus to make him drunk.
Dum haec geruntur, Graecórum animós tantus terror
occupávit ut né vócem quidem édere possent, sed omní spé salútis dépositá
mortem praesentem exspectárent. Polyphémus, postquam famés hác tam horribilí
céná dépulsa est, humí próstrátus somnó sé dedit. Quod cum vídisset Ulixés,
tantam occásiónem reí gerendae nón omittendam arbitrátus, in eó erat ut pectus mónstrí
gladió tránsfígeret. Cum tamen nihil temeré agendum exístimáret, cónstituit
explóráre, antequam hóc faceret, quá ratióne ex spéluncá évádere possent. At
cum saxum animadvertisset quó introitus obstrúctus erat, nihil sibi prófutúrum
intelléxit sí Polyphémum interfécisset. Tanta enim erat éius saxí mágnitúdó ut
né á decem quidem hominibus ámovérí posset. Quae cum ita essent, Ulixés hóc
cónátú déstitit et ad sociós rediit; quí cum intelléxissent quó in locó rés
essent, núllá spé salútis oblátá dé fortúnís suís déspéráre coepérunt. Ille
tamen né animós démitterent vehementer hortátus est; démónstrávit sé iam anteá
é multís et mágnís perículís évásisse, neque dubium esse quín in tantó
discrímine dí auxilium látúrí essent.
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. If you need help with points of grammar raised in today's excerpt, consult ESSENTIAL GRAMMAR NOTES also top right side bar.
dum haec geruntur – dum following by present
tense in Latin, meaning literally while these things are being carried out,
probably better expressed by ‘while this was going on.’
ne ... quidem- ne
...quidem, 'not ... even.' The word which ‘even’ modifies must stand between ne
ut ....possent – possent is third person
imperfect subjunctive (they were able) in a result clause after tantus, ‘so
great that ... result/or consequence etc’. Tantus as we have seen before, can
be a signal word for a following result clause.
humi - locative case meaning 'on the ground.'
prostratus – this is the perfect passive participle of
prosterno, prosternere, prostavi, prostatus, meaning ‘knock over, prostrate’
but it doesn’t mean ‘having been knocked down’ as this is an example of what is
sometimes referred to as the reflexive use of the passive, in which the subject
is represented as acting upon itself, so it means something like ‘thrown
himself down, throwing himself down’.
somno se dedit – ablative of the masculine second
declension noun somnus, ‘to sleep’ followed by reflexive se, followed by third
person singular perfect of dare, altogether meaning ‘gave himself up to sleep’.
tantam occásiónem- -we should be on the look out for a
subjunctive verb in result clause after tantam ...’such a great opportunity
.... that ...result/consequence’.
rei gerendae - (opportunity) ‘of/for doing something, for action.'
nón omittendam arbitrátus – omittendam is the gerundive
or future participle of omitto meaning something like, ‘deserving to be missed’
or here the opposite with non, followed by arbitratus, past participle of the
first conjugation deponent verb arbitor and as we know the past participle of
deponent verbs are active in meaning so altogether it means, ‘should not be
missed, he believed/thought’..
in eo ... transfigeret – in eo , which is here followed
by the subjunctive, means to be on the point of doing something, or being just
about to do something, so in eo ... transfigeret means he was on the point of
piercing ...etc. Transfigeret is third person singular imperfect subjunctive of
nihil temere agendum-nothing, followed by temere, adverb rashly,
followed by agendum, gerundive or future passive participle, which has the idea
of ‘should be, or ought to be, must be, or worthy of being etc’ so together
meaning something like, ‘nothing should be done rashly’.
nihil sibi profuturum – nihil proesse, means to be
of no benefit, or advantage and sibi is dative of advantage or disadvantage, so
together it means nothing to him advantage or as we would more likely express
this, 'it would be of no advantage to him, or it would be of no benefit to him.'
Tanta ... eratmagnitudo.-
again, look out for a result clause after tanta with following subjunctive, ‘so
great was the size .... that ... result/consequence’.
ne a decem quidem – ne... quidem again, not even
by ten etc.
hoc conatu destitit. – hoc conatu is ablative of
separation as it accompanies destitit, third person perfect singular of the
third conjugation verb, desisto, desistere, destitit, destitus, meaning to
stop, cease, refrain from doing something.
Quae cum ita essent - literally, ‘which things
since so they were’, probably better expressed as ‘And as things stood thus or
as this was the case etc.’.
quo in loco res essent – similar to the above, literally
translated, in which place things were, but we would probably say something
like ‘how things stood’.
nulla spe oblata - 'since no hope of safety presented itself.'
e multis et magnis periculis - -e, from, followed
by ablative, multis et magnis. We often find two adjectives with the same noun joined
by et, as here with multis et magnis, whereas in English we would simply say
‘many great dangers’.
di ...laturi essent – literally, ‘the gods going
to bring help were’, probably better expressed as ‘the gods would bring help’.
As there is no future subjunctive in Latin we have this construction which is
the future participle and imperfect subjunctive.
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. Sentences marked with *need particular attention to turn them into correct English.
while this is going on
animos tantus terror occupavit
such a great fear occupied the minds of the greeks
vocem quidem edere possent,
that they could not even utter a sound
omni spe salutis deposita
but all hope of safety having been laid aside
they expected imminent death.
hac tam horribili cena depulsa est,
his hunger, with such a horrible meal, having driven
prostratus somno se dedit.
lying down on the ground he gave himself up to
cum vidisset Ulixes,
When Ulysses saw this,
such an opportunity of doing something
not to be missed, he considered
erat ut pectus
he was on the point that the breast*
of the monster with a sword he would pierce.*
tamen nihil temere
Since however nothing rashly
to be done, he considered,
he decided to explore,
before doing this,
ratione ex spelunca evadere possent.
by what method they might escape from the cave.
But when he had noticed the rock
introitus obstructus erat,
by which the entrance was blocked
sibi profuturum intellexit
nothing would be of benefit to him he realized
if he killed Polyphemus.
erat eius saxi magnitudo
the size of this rock
ut ne a
decem quidem hominibus
that not even by ten men
could it be moved.
cum ita essent,
And as things stood thus
hoc conatu destitit
Ulysses gave up this attempt
and returned to the allies;
who when they had realised
loco res essent,
in which place things were,*
spe salutis oblata
no hope of safety having presented itself/arisen
fortunis suis desperare coeperunt.
they began to despair of their fortune
tamen ne animos demitterent
He however (told them) not to lose heart
fiercely having encouraged (them);
se iam antea
he pointed out that they had already before
multis et magnis periculis evasisse,
from many great dangers to have escaped,*
dubium esse quin
and there was no doubt but that
in such a crisis
auxilium laturi essent.
the gods would bring help.
d) The following section is for you to copy and translate.