Incipite, famulae Dītis, ārdentem citae100

concutite pīnum, et agmen horrendum anguibus

Megaera dūcat atque lūctificā manū

vastam rogō flagrante corripiat trabem.

hōc agite, poenās petite vitiātae Stygis.

concutite pectus, ācrior mentem excoquat105

quam quī camīnīs ignis Aetnaeīs furit;

ut possit animum captus Alcīdēs agī,

magnō furōre percitus, vōbīs prius

īnsāniendum est.

    Juno orders the Furies, the personifications of madness, to drive themselves even more mad so they can madden their powerful victim Hercules.

    101 agmen: the three Furies are imagined to constitute a “battle line” because of their tremendous power.

    102 Megaera: one of the three Furies; her sisters are Allecto and Tisiphone. lūctificā: ablative of instrument (AG 409), modifying manū. For compound adjectives in –ficus, characteristic of Roman drama, see note on 58.

    103 rogō flagrante: ablative of source without a preposition, as is common in poetry (AG 403). Juno visualizes Megaera taking a torch from a funeral pyre.

    105-6 excoquat … ignis: jussive subjunctive (AG 439). Juno commands the Furies to “cook” their emotions with real fire. As Fitch observes, “it would be difficult to say where ‘literal’ fire ends and metaphor begins.”

    106 camīnīs … Aetnaeīs: ablative of place where (AG 426.3) without a preposition, as often in poetry. The ancient Greeks and Romans imagined that Vulcan the craftsman god used the fires of Mt. Etna (see line 80) to heat his forge.

    107–9 In prose, the word order would be prius vōbīs īnsāniendum est, ut Alcīdēs, animum captus, magnō furōre percitus, agī possit. The impersonal passive periphrastic (AG 500.3) governs a purpose clause (AG 531.1).

    107 animum captus: “captured with respect to his mind,” i.e., mentally impaired, a poetic equivalent of mente captus. See L-S capio I.B.i.e.β. Animum is accusative of relation, the so-called “Greek” accusative (AG 397.b). agī: “driven,” i.e., compelled to execute others’ commands.

    famula –ae f.: female house slave; maidservant

    Dīs –ītis m.: Dis; Pluto

    cieō ciēre cīvī citus: to move; rouse, disturb, excite

    concutiō –cutere –cussī –cussum: to shake; strike

    pīnus –ūs or –ī f.: pine tree

    horreō horrēre horruī: to shake, dread

    anguis anguis m. or f.: snake

    Megaera –ae f.: Megaera

    lūctificus –a –um: grief–inducing

    vāstus –a –um: empty, desolate; vast

    rogus rogī m.: funeral pile

    flagrō flagrāre flagrāvī flagrāturus: to burn

    corripiō corripere corripuī correptum: to seize, plunder

    trabs trabis f.: beam of wood

    vitiō vitiāre: to injure, spoil

    Styx –Stygis f.: Styx

    excoquō –coquere –coxī –coctum: to dry up; break down

    camīnus –ī m.: stove; furnace; forge

    Aetna –ae f.: Aetna

    furō furere: to rage, be mad

    captō captāre captāvī captātus: to seize

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

    percio, percire, percivi, percitus: to excite; stir up 

    īnsāniō īnsānīre īnsānīvī īnsānītum: to be mad, insane

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