Levia sed nimium queror:
caelō timendum est, rēgna nē summa occupet
quī vīcit īma: scēptra praeripiet patrī!65
nec in astra lentā veniet ut Bacchus viā:
iter ruīnā quaeret et vacuō volet
rēgnāre mundō. rōbore expertō tumet,
et posse caelum vīribus vincī suīs
didicit ferendō; subdidit mundō caput70
meliusque collō sēdit Herculeō polus
nec flexit umerōs mōlis immēnsae labor;
immōta cervīx sīdera et caelum tulit
et mē prementem: quaerit ad superōs viam.
Juno fears that Hercules will overthrow Jupiter and rule in Olympus.
64 The impersonal passive gerundive timendum governs dative caelō (AG 374, as at line 10), “we must be afraid for heaven,” and introduces a fear clause (AG 564). Juno is irrationally afraid that Hercules will overthrow his father Jupiter and rule in his place.
65 patrī: dative of separation (AG 381).
66 lentā … viā: ablative of way by which (AG 429.4). Like Hercules, Jupiter’s son Bacchus was born to a human woman (Semele) and was eventually admitted to Olympus.
67 ruīnā: ablative of means (AG 409).
68 robore expertō tumet: “he swells (with pride) in his proven strength,” see L-S robur II.B.2, “power, strength, force, vigor”; experior II.B.2, past participle expertus in a passive sense, “tried, proved, known by experience; and tumeo II.B. In Juno’s view, the Labors have given Hercules proof that he has strength enough to overthrow Jupiter.
69-70 In prose word order, this would be: et didicit (caelum) ferendō caelum posse vincī suīs vīribus.
70 ferendō: “by carrying it,” ablative of the gerund (AG 507). In Juno’s view, Hercules learned by temporarily taking over Atlas’s burden of the world that he could conquer it. A metope from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia shows Atlas bringing Hercules the golden apples of the Hesperides.
70-72 describe how Hercules temporarily held up the world.
71: meliusque: “and more securely.” collō … Herculeō: poets often use an adjective in place of a metrically inconvenient genitive.
74 prementem: the gods are often imagined to have enormous weight.
summus –a –um: highest; top (of)
imus –a –um: deepest, last
scēptrum –ī n.: royal staff; scepter
praeripiō praeripere praeripuī praereptum: to snatch, carry off
lentus –a –um: flexible, sticky, slow
Bacchus –ī m.: Bacchus; Bacchant; wine
ruīna ruīnae f.: destruction, collapse
rēgnō rēgnāre rēgnāvī rēgnātus: to rule
rōbur rōboris n.: oak, strength
tumeō tumēre tumuī: to swell, puff up
subdō –ere –didī –ditus: to put under; place or fasten under
collum collī m.: neck
Herculeus –a –um: of Hercules; Herculean
polus –ī m.: pole, heavens
flectō flectere flēxī flexus: to bend; turn, direct; persuade
umerus umerī m.: shoulder
mōlēs mōlis f.: large/shapeless mass; rock
immēnsus –a –um: immeasurable, boundless, vast
immōtus –a –um: unmoved, immovable, motionless
cervīx cervīcis f.: neck