Sed sēro querimur; ūna mē dīra ac fera

Thēbāna tellūs mātribus sparsa impiīs20

quotiēns novercam fēcit! ēscendat licet

meumque uictrīx teneat Alcmēnē locum,

pariterque nātus astra prōmissa occupet,

in cuius ortūs mundus impendit diem

tardusque Eōō Phoebus effulsit marī25

retinēre mersum iussus Ōceanō iubar,

nōn sīc abībunt odia; vīvācēs aget

violentus īrās animus, et saevus dolor

aeterna bella pāce sublātā geret.

Juno has a special hatred for Thebes as the birthplace of Hercules, one of Jupiter’s most famous illegitimate children. She promises that even if his mother, Alcmene, should become the queen of heaven in her place, she will take decisive action against her. She is declaring war.

19 sēro: Juno is “late” in complaining about old offenses. The final syllable is usually long (sērō), but sometimes short (sēro): a final ‘o’ was frequently shortened in poetry.

19-20 ūna … dīra ac fera / Thēbāna tellūs … sparsa: all of the adjectives modify nominative tellūs. mātribus … impiīs: Juno is thinking primarily of Semele, mother of Bacchus, and Antiope, mother of Amphion and Zethus. Thebes is “sprinkled” (sparsa) with them in that the mothers of Jupiter’s bastards are all over Thebes. But we might also think of the Maenads whose festivals sprinkled the Thēbāna tellūs with blood (animal or, in the myth of Pentheus, human).

21–23 The impersonal licet (“even if,” L-S licet II) without ut (AG 565) governs the subjunctives: ēscendat, teneat, and occupet.

21 quotiēns novercam fēcit: each time Jupiter rapes a woman who bears him a child, Juno thinks of herself as having been made an unwilling stepmother.

23 nātus: Alcmena’s son Hercules, the subject of occupet. Alcmena and Hercules have not yet become stars, but Juno believes that these stars have been prōmissa.

24 in cuius ortūs: in governs accusative ortūs to indicate purpose: “at whose (Hercules’) birth…” Ortūs a poetic plural like 3 templa. mundus impendit diem: Jupiter extended the night on which he coupled with Alcmena to engender Hercules. Heaven accordingly “spent” an extra day.

25–26 Because Jupiter prolonged the night, the sun is slow to rise.

25 Eōō … marī: ablative of place from which (AG 426.1).

26 The participle iussus modifies Phoebus and governs the infinitive retinēre: “having been ordered to hold back…” Most verbs of ordering are followed by an ut-clause, but iubeō is more often followed by an infinitive.

27–29 Juno’s description of her emotional state emphasizes her odium, īra, and dolor.

27-28 vīvācēs … īrās: Juno’s anger is “lively” or “long-lived.” She will soon (75ff.) speak directly to her īra as if it were another character.

29 pāce sublātā: ablative: “with peace having been removed,” i.e., with no possibility of truce.

sērō: late; too late

dīrus –a –um: ominous, fearful, horrible; dire

Thēbānus –a –um: Theban

impius –a –um: disloyal, wicked

noverca novercae f.: stepmother

ē–scendō –ēscendere –ēscendī –ēscēnsum: to climb up, ascend

victrīx –cis: victorious, triumphant

Alcmēna or Alcumēna –ae or Alcmēnē –ēs f.: Alcmene, mother of Hercules

pariter: alike; equally

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

impendō –pendere –pendī –pēnsum: to expend

Eōus –a –um: belonging to the dawn; eastern

Phoebus –ī m.: Phoebus, Apollo

effulgeō and effulgō effulgere effulsī: to shine forth or brightly

retentō retentāre retentāvī retentātus: to hold back

mergō –ere –mersī –mersus: to dip, immerse, plunge

Ōceanus –ī m.: Oceanus

iubar –aris n.: brightness, of the sun

vīvāx –ācis: long–lived; lasting long

violentus –a –um: violent, savage

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