AM. Quō tendis āmēns? sanguinem fundēs tuum?
— pavefactus īnfāns igneō vultū patris
perit ante vulnus, spīritum ēripuit timor.
in coniugem nunc clāva lībrātur gravis:
perfrēgit ossa, corporī truncō caput1025
abest nec usquam est. — cernere hoc audēs, nimis
vīvāx senectūs? sī piget lūctūs, habēs
mortem parātam. — pectorī ēn tēla indue,
vel stīpitem istum caede mōnstrōrum illitum
converte; falsum ac nōminī turpem tuō1030
removē parentem, nē tuae laudī obstrepat.
Hercules drags Megara and his son into the palace. Amphitryon narrates how he murders them. He then calls on Hercules to kill him next.
1021 sanguinem … tuum: Hercules’ son is “his own blood.”
1022 igneō vultū: ablative of cause (AG 404) depending on pavefactus.
1023 The infant dies of terror before Hercules can strike him.
1024 in: “against” + acc.
1025 corporī truncō: dative of separation (AG 381) with abest
1026 nec usquam est: “is not there at all”
1027 senectūs: Amphitryon addresses his own old age. He then contemplates suicide (for ancient Stoic beliefs about suicide, see the Introductory Essay to Act 5).
1028 pectorī: “into my chest”
1029 caede: ablative of source (AG 403).
1030–31 Amphitryon speaks as if Lycus’ criticisms in Act 2 were genuine, namely that he is not in fact Hercules’ father. He speaks with bitter irony (we could express this by translating falsum and turpem in quotation marks). But he is also quite desperate: he is willing to say anything, even relinquishing his claims as a father, in order to convince Hercules to kill him and thereby end his suffering.
āmēns āmentis: mad, insane
pavefacio , fēci, factus: to frighten, alarm, terrify
īnfāns –antis: a baby
igneus –a –um: fiery
coniūnx coniugis f.: spouse, wife
clāva –ae f.: a club
lībrō librāre librāvī librātus: to balance; ain; brandish, swing, shoot, throw
perfringō perfringere perfrēgī perfrāctus: to break, smash
truncus –a –um: stripped of its branches, mutilated
vīvāx –ācis: long–lived; lasting long
senectūs senectūtis f.: old age
piget pigēre piguit pigitum est: to it disgusts
lūctus lūctūs m.: mourning, grief
ēn or em: Look! Behold!
stīpes or or stips –itis m.: log, post; tree trunk
mōnstrum mōnstrī n.: monster; omen
illinō –linere –lēvī –litum: to smear over, spread upon
removeō removēre removī remōtus: to move back, put away, remove
ob–strepō –strepere –strepuī –strepitum: to make a noise against