1032-1053

CHO.     Quō tē ipse, senior, obvium mortī ingeris?

quō pergis āmēns? Profuge et obtēctus lātē

ūnumque manibus aufer Herculeīs scelus.

 

HER.      Bene habet, pudendī rēgis excīsa est domus.1035

tibi hunc dicātum, maximī coniūnx Iovis,

gregem cecīdī; vōta persolvī libēns

tē digna, et Argōs victimās aliās dabit.

 

AM.        Nōndum litāstī, nāte; cōnsummā sacrum.

stat ecce ad ārās hostia, exspectat manum1040

cervīce prōnā; praebeō, occurrō, īnsequor:

mactā. — quid hoc est? errat aciēs lūminum

vīsūsque maeror hebetat, an videō Herculis

manūs trementēs? vultus in somnum cadit

et fessa cervīx capite summissō labat;1045

flexō genū iam tōtus ad terram ruit,

ut caesa silvīs ornus aut portum marī

datūra mōlēs. vīvis, an lētō dēdit

idem tuōs quī mīsit ad mortem furor?

sopor est: reciprocōs spīritus mōtūs agit.1050

dētur quiētī tempus, ut somnō gravī

vīs victa morbī pectus oppressum levet.

removēte, famulī, tēla, nē repetat furēns.

The Chorus leader urges Amphitryon to save himself by hiding. Hercules returns to the stage from the palace and celebrates what he thinks (still in the grip of his hallucination) is the defeat of his enemies. Then Amphitryon urges Hercules to slaughter him, like a human sacrifice, but Hercules collapses. Amphitryon orders slaves to remove Hercules’ weapons so he cannot cause further harm.

Amphitryon’s use of religious language (dicatum, vota, victimas) is meant to horrify the Roman audience.

1031  nē … obstrepat: “doesn’t interfere with,” “doesn’t prove an obstacle to,” negative purpose clause (AG 563). Tuae laudī: dative of disadvantage (AG 376).

1032 quō: “why?” tē … obvium … ingeris: “throw yourself in the way of,” “rush into,” + dat., a more violent version of the common idiom dare se obvium alicui, “to meet someone.”

1033 quō: “where?” obtēctus lātē: “lie hidden under cover.” obtēctus > obtego -ere; lātē is imperative > lāteō -ēre, not to be confused with the adverb > lātus -a -um.

1034 manibus: ablative of separation (AG 400). Note this line’s carefully arranged word order.

1035 bene habet: a Latin idiom meaning “it is well.” Hercules uses it to sum up how well things are going, in his opinion: “OK, so far so good.”

1036 tibi: Juno

1038 tē: ablative with digna (AG 418). Argos: Hercules intends to travel to Argos/Mycenae and kills Eurystheus (996–98n.). He sarcastically imagines that Juno will be pleased by all these “sacrifices.”

1039 litāstī: “you have made a sacrificial offering,” i.e. a full or complete one.

1041 cervīce prōnā: ablative of manner (AG 412). The string of first-person verbs that follows suggests the speed of the stage action.

1043 visūs: accusative plural

1045–46 capite summissō … flexō genū: ablative absolute phrases (AG 419)

1047 ut: “just as,” introducing a simile. caesa: “felled,” nominative perfect passive participle > caedo, modifying the feminine noun ornus.

1048 portum marī datūra mōlēs: “a mass of stone about to provide the sea with a harbor.” Roman engineers sunk massive concrete piers into the sea to provide shelter to ships in port.

1048–49 prose order: vivis? an idem furor, qui misit tuos [natos] ad mortem, leto [te] dedit? tuōs: Romans regularly referred to a person’s family members this way, as in the English expression “you and yours.”

1050 reciprocōs spīritus mōtūs agit: “his breath comes and goes regularly” (Fitch 2018).

1051–52 dētur: jussive subjunctive (AG 439). ut … levet: “so that his disease, its force [now] spent, may relieve his mind,” purpose clause (AG 563). somnō gravī: ablative of means (AG 408). vīs victa morbī: the so-called “ab urbe condita construction” (AG 497), where the passive participle presents the main idea. The phrase is the subject of levet.

1053 nē repetat: negative purpose clause (AG 563)

quī: in what manner? how? Why?

obvius obvia obvium: in the way, so as to meet, meeting (+ dat.)

ingerō –ere –gessī –gestus: to carry; heap on

quī: in what manner? how? Why?

āmēns āmentis: mad, insane

profugiō profugere profūgī: to flee

obtegō –ere –tēxī –tēctus: to cover up or over

Herculeus –a –um: of Hercules; Herculean

pudet pudēre puduit/puditum est: to makes ashamed

excīdō –ere –cīdī –cīsus: PERSOLVO

coniūnx coniugis f.: spouse, wife

Iovis –is m.: Jupiter, Jove

grex gregis m.: herd, flock

persolvō –ere –solvī –solūtus: to loosen completely; set free; free one's self from obligation; pay

libēns –entis: willing

Argī Argōrum m.: Argives

victima –ae f.: sacrificial animal; victim

aliās: at another time

litō litāre litāvī litātus: to sacrifice auspiciously; atone

cōnsummō –āre: to accomplish, complete, finish, perfect; unite

hostia –ae f.: a sacrificial animal; victim

cervīx cervīcis f.: neck

prōnus –a –um: sloping; prone to

īnsequor īnsequī īnsecūtus sum: to follow after, pursue

mactõ mactāre mactāvī mactātus: to sacrifice, offer; punish, reward

vīsus vīsūs m.: sight

maeror maerōris m.: mourning, grief

hebetō hebetāre hebetāvī hebetātus: to make blunt; to make dull; to impair

Herculēs –is m.: Hercules

tremō tremere tremuī: to shake, quiver

cervīx cervīcis f.: neck

submittō submittere submīsī submissum: to place under

labō labāre labāvī labātus: to give way

flexus –ūs m.: a bending, turning

genū genūs n.: knee

ruō ruere ruī rūtum: to rush

ornus –ī f.: mountain–ash

portus portūs m.: entrance; harbor, refuge

mōlēs mōlis f.: large/shapeless mass; rock

lētum letī n.: death

sopor –ōris m.: deep sleep

reciprocus -a -um: alernating; turning back the same way; to and fro

mōtus mōtūs m.: motion, movement

quiēs quiētis f.: rest, peace

opprimō opprimere oppressī oppressus: to press on or down; overwhelm

levō levāre levāvī levātus: to raise; make light; free from

removeō removēre removī remōtus: to move back, put away, remove

famulus –ī m.: servant, attendant 

furō furere: to rage, be mad

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