AM.                                          Quod subitum hoc malum est?

quō, nāte, vultūs hūc et hūc ācrēs refers

aciēque falsum turbidā caelum vidēs?


HER.      Perdomita tellūs, tumida cessērunt freta,955

īnferna nostrōs rēgna sēnsēre impetūs;

immūne caelum est, dignus Alcīdē labor.

in alta mundī spatia sublīmis ferar,

petātur aether; astra prōmittit pater.

— quid, sī negāret? nōn capit terra Herculem960

tandemque superīs reddit. ēn ultrō vocat

omnis deōrum coetus et laxat forēs,

ūnā vetante. recipis et reserās polum?

an contumācis iānuam mundī trahō?

dubitātur etiam? vincla Sāturnō exuam,965

contrāque patris impiī rēgnum impotēns

avum resolvam. bella Tītānēs parent,

mē duce furentēs; saxa cum silvīs feram

rapiamque dextrā plēna Centaurīs iuga.

iam monte geminō līmitem ad superōs agam;970

videat sub Ossā Pēliōn Chīrōn suum,

in caelum Olympus tertiō positus gradū

perveniet aut mittētur.

    Amphitryon asks Hercules what is wrong. Hercules then claims that, having conquered the earth, seas, and Underworld, he has only heaven left to achieve. In a terrifying turn, he threatens war against heaven if he is forbidden to enter, promising to release Saturn and the Titans from the Underworld and lead them in an assault on the gods. To climb there he will pile Mount OlympusOssa, and Pelion on top of each other.

    953 quō: “why,” “for what purpose.” Amphitryon’s questions describe Hercules’ psychotic episode and indicate that an eclipse is not real but only Hercules’ hallucination.

    954 aciēque turbidā: “with confused vision.”

    955–59 Hercules’ hallucination becomes more grandiose. He imagines proceeding from a pacified earth into his father’s heaven.

    955 perdomita tellūs: supply est.

    956 sensēre: = sensērunt.

    957 immune: “untouched” (Fitch 2018).  Being immunis is usually a good thing, but Hercules in his megalomania seems to see it as a flaw. Alcīdē: ablative of specification with the adjective dignus (AG 418), as at 927.

    958 sublīmis: a predicative adjective: translate with ferar.

    958–59 ferar … petatur: hortatory subjunctives (AG 439).

    959 astra prōmittit pater: “the stars are my father’s promise”: Jupiter has promised to deify Hercules.

    960–64 Hercules questions whether heaven will in fact admit him.

    960 quid, sī negāret: a present contrary to fact condition: “what if he should now refuse?” (AG 514C). nōn capit terra Herculem: i.e., the earth cannot restrain Hercules from seeking heaven.

    963 ūnā vetante: ablative absolute (AG 420), referring to Juno. recipis et reserās polum?: it is unclear whether the question is addressed to Jupiter or Juno.

    964 an … trahō: “or should I tear down…?” The indicative instead of deliberative subjunctive is colloquial (AG 444.a Note). But there may be a hint of Hercules’ coming madness: with the indicative, he seems to imagine that he is already engaged in a war with heaven.

    965 dubitātur etiam?:  “is there still hesitation?” vincla Sāturnō exuam: Hercules will free Saturn from his restraints in the Underworld, where he has been imprisoned since Jupiter defeated the Titans.

    966 impiī: Hercules calls Jupiter impius because he attacked his own father—exactly what Hercules himself is plotting to do. Impotens, modifying regnum, means “lacking self-restraint” (rather than “powerless”). Hercules criticizes Jupiter for not ruling with moderation.

    967 parent: hortatory subjunctive (AG 439): “let the Titans prepare war” against Jupiter.

    968 mē duce: ablative absolute, “with me as their leader” (AG 419).

    968–69 saxa ... iuga: Hercules threatens to tear up trees and huge rocks to use as weapons in his attack.

    969 Centaurīs: ablative with plēna: “full of Centaurs.” The Thessalian mountain ranges were the traditional home of the Centaurs.

    970 monte geminō: ablative of means (AG 408).

    971 videat: hortatory subjunctive (AG 439), “let Chiron see.” The Centaur Chiron lived on Mount Pelion.

    972–73 in caelum … perveniet aut mittetur: “will reach to the sky or will be hurled” there. tertiō … gradū: “on the third step,” locative ablative. Olympus will be the third step up to the gods, after Pelion and Ossa.

    subitus –a –um: sudden, unexpected

    turbidus –a –um: confused, disordered; turbid, fouled

    perdomō perdomāre perdomuī perdomitum: to tame thoroughly; subdue

    tumidus –a –um: swollen; inflated with passion or pride

    fretum fretī n.: strait, channel; the sea

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

    immūnis –e: free from service; w. gen., exempt, freed from

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

    sublīmis sublīme: high, lofty; exalted 

    Herculēs –is m.: Hercules

    ēn or em: Look! Behold!

    ultrō: furthermore, beyond; voluntarily

    coitus coitūs m.: meeting together; sexual union

    laxō laxāre laxāvī laxātus: to spread out; open up

    foris foris f.: door

    reserō reserāre reserāvī reserātus: to unbolt; open

    polus –ī m.: pole, heavens

    contumāx, contumācis: insolent; stubborn

    iānua iānuae f.: door

    Sāturnus –ī m.: Saturnus

    exuō exuere exuī exūtus: to take off

    impius –a –um: disloyal, wicked

    impotens –entis: powerless; lacking control, violent

    avus avī m.: grandfather, ancestor

    resolvō –ere –solvī –solūtus: to untie

    Tītān –ānis m.: a Titan

    furō furere: to rage, be mad

    Centaurus –ī m.: a Centaur

    geminus –a –um: twin

    līmes –itis m.: boundary, limit; path

    Ossa –ae f.: Ossa, a mountain in Thessaly

    Pēlion –iī n.: Pelion, a mountain in Thessaly

    Olympus –ī m.: Olympus, a mountain in Thessaly and home of the gods

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