973-986

AM.                                          Īnfandōs procul

āverte sēnsūs; pectoris sānī parum,

magnī tamen, compesce dēmentem impetum.975

 

HER.      Quid hoc? Gigantēs arma pestiferī movent.

profūgit umbrās Tityōs, ac lacerum gerēns

et ināne pectus quam prope ā caelō stetit!

labat Cithaerōn, alta Pallēnē tremit

marcentque Tempē. rapuit hic Pindī iuga,980

hic rapuit Oetēn, saevit horrendum Mimās.

flammifera Erīnys verbere excussō sonat

rogīsque adustās propius ac propius sudēs

in ōra tendit; saeva Tīsiphonē, caput

serpentibus vāllāta, post raptum canem985

portam vacantem clausit oppositā face.

Amphitryon attempts to call Hercules back to reality, but Hercules shows no sign of having heard his father. Instead, he hallucinates that the Giants, including Tityos and Mimas, are making war on heaven by tearing up the mountains Pindus and Oeta. He imagines that the battle shakes various landmarks in Greece, including Cithaeron, Pallene, and Tempe. He sees a Fury attacking him (as Juno promised in Act 1), and Tisiphone blocking the gateway to the Underworld.

The Furies, including Tisiphone, are usually depicted carrying torches (flammifera 982, face 986) and whips (verbere 982).

974–75 sēnsūs: accusative plural. pectoris sanī parum / magnī tamen: “of your mind (which is) scarcely sane, though (it is) great” (LS pectus II.B.2).

976: arma movent: “are waging war.”

977–78 lacerum … et inane: modifying pectus. Tityos still bears the scars from from his liver being eaten by vultures in the Underworld (Homer, Odyssey 11.578). He had assaulted either Leto or Artemis but was killed by the arrows of either Artemis or Apollo. According to others, Zeus killed him with a flash of lightning. prope ā caelō: in English, we would say “close to the sky.”

980–81 marcentque Tempē: “Tempe’s beauty withers” (Fitch 2018). Tempē is indeclinable neuter plural, referring to the famously beautiful valley in Thessaly. hic … hic: “this [Giant]… that one….” horrendum: an adverbial accusative. Literally, “he rages something to be fearful at”; in more natural English, “he rages fearsomely.”

982 verbere excussō: ablative absolute (AG 419)

984-85 caput … vāllāta: caput is accusative of respect, the so-called “Greek” accusative (AG 397.b). Literally, “surrounded as to her head”; in more natural English, “her head surrounded.”

985 post raptum canem: “after the dog [Cerberus] was stolen.” This is the so-called “ab urbe condita construction” (AG 497), which features a passive participle that presents the main idea.

986 oppositā face: ablative of means (AG 408)       

īnfandus –a –um: not to be uttered

āvertō avertere avertī aversus: to turn away

compescō –pescere –pescuī — : to restrain, hold back

dēmēns dēmentis: mad, raving

Gigās –antis m.: a giant

pestifer –era –erum: destructive, noxious; pestilential 

profugiō profugere profūgī: to flee

Tityos –ī m.: Tityos

lacer –era –erum: torn, mangled

ināne –is n.: void space

labō labāre labāvī labātus: to give way

Pallēnē –ēs f.: Pallene (place)

tremō tremere tremuī: to shake, quiver

marceō –ēre: to wither, droop, be feeble

Tempē indecl. n.: Tempe (valley)

Pindus or –os –ī m.: Pindus

saeviō saevīre saeviī saevitum: to rage

horreō horrēre horruī: to shake, dread

Mimās –antis m.: Mimas

flammifer–fera –ferum: flame–bearing

Erīnys –yos f.: Erinys

verber –eris n.: whip, lash; a beating

excutiō excutere excussī excussum: to shake off; cast out; examine, investigate

rogus rogī m.: funeral pile

adūrō –ūrere –ussī –ustum: to set on fire

sudēs –is f.: stake; palisade

Tīsiphonē –ēs f.: Tisiphone

serpēns –entis (gen. pl. serpentum) m./f.: snake

vāllō vāllāre vāllāvī vāllātus: to surround with a rampart; to encamp around

oppositus –a –um: hostile, opposed

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