1329-1344

in quās impius

terrās recēdēs? ortum an occāsum petēs?1330

ubīque nōtus perdidī exiliō locum.

mē refūgit orbis, astra trānsversōs agunt

oblīqua cursūs, ipse Tītān Cerberum

meliōre vultū vīdit. ō fīdum caput,

Thēseu, latebram quaere longinquam, abditam;1335

quoniamque semper sceleris aliēnī arbiter

amās nocentēs, grātiam meritīs refer

vicemque nostrīs: redde mē īnfernīs, precor,

umbrīs reductum, mēque subiectum tuīs

restitue vinclīs; ille mē abscondet locus —1340

sed et ille nōvit.

 

THE.                                 Nostra tē tellūs manet.

illīc solūtam caede Grādīvus manum

restituit armīs; illa tē, Alcīdē, vocat,

facere innocentēs terra quae superōs solet.

Hercules considers where to exile himself, but realizes that he will be recognized wherever on earth he goes. He asks Theseus to find him a hiding place and offers to don Theseus’ former chains in the Underworld. Theseus instead offers him refuge in Athens, where even Mars (Ares) was purified of blood guilt.

Mars had been acquitted for the murder of Halirrhothius. The god killed Halirrhothius in vengeance for the rape of his daughter Alcippe (Apollodorus, Library 3.14). Theseus mentions this example because Mars is a god, and Hercules should be all the more willing to follow the example for that reason. Athens had also provided refuge to mortals polluted by murder, such as Oedipus and Orestes.

1329–30 recēdēs … petēs: Hercules addresses himself. ortum an occasum: east or west, the places where the sun rises and sets.

1331 exiliō: dative of purpose (AG 382)

1332–34 The natural world will not look at Hercules, finding him more horrifying than even the sight of Cerberus was.meliōre vultū: ablative of manner (AG 412). caput: referring to Theseus.

1336 sceleris aliēnī: objective genitive depending on arbiter (AG 347)

1337–38 meritīs … nostrīs: dative, “for my services”

1338–39 redde mē ... reductum: “return me.” infernīs … umbrīs: dative indirect object. reductum, subiectum: perfect passive participles agreeing with the direct object mē  (AG 494).

1341 nostra … tellus: Athens

1342 caede: ablative of separation (AG 400) depending on manum. Gradivus: a cult title of Mars.

1343 armīs: dative, “to his weapons,” i.e. “to warfare”

1343–44 Prose order: illa terra te, Alcide, vocat, quae superos facere innocentes solet.

impius –a –um: disloyal, wicked

ortus ortūs m.: rising, beginning; sunrise, the East 

occāsus –ūs m.: a setting; sunset, the West; destruction, ruin

ubīque: everywhere

refugiō –ere –fugere –fūgī: to flee back, run away

transverto, transverti, transvertum: to turn or direct across 

oblīquus –a –um: slanting, indirect, covert

Tītān –ānis m.: a Titan

Cerberus –ī m.: Cerberus, three-headed dog of Pluto

ō: O

fīdus –a –um: faithful, trustworthy

Thēseus –ī m.: Theseus

latebra –ae f.: hiding place

longinquus –a –um: remote (in time or space)

abditus –a –um: removed, hidden

arbiter –trī m.: witness; judge; ruler

meritus merita meritum: deserved, worthy 

vicis vicis f.: change, alternation; turn

īnfernus –a –um:  of that which is below, infernal

redūcō redūcere redūxī reductus: to bring back; to restore

subiciō subicere subiēcī subiectus: to throw under

restituō restituere restituī restitūtus: to restore

abscondō abscondere abscondī and abscondidī absconditus: to put out of sight, hide

illic illaec illuc: pron., that person or thing

Gradīvus –ī m.: Gradivus

restituō restituere restituī restitūtus: to restore

Alcīdēs –ae. m.: a descendant of Alceus; Hercules

innocēns: innocent, harmless

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