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 an Erinys (=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: i.e., Hercules’ hallucinations. pectoris sanī parum / magnī tamen ... impetus: “the impulses of your mind (which is) scarcely sane, though (it is) great” (LS pectus II.B.2).

    976: Quid hoc?: supply estarma movent: “are waging war.”

    977–78 lacerum … et inane: modifying pectus. Tityos was punished by vultures eating his liver 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. quam prope ā caelō: in English, we would say “how 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): the Fury cracks her whip.

    983 sudēs: the Fury’s torch, which she has lit in a funeral pyre.

    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 theft of dog [Cerberus].” This is the so-called “ab urbe condita construction” (AG 497), which features a passive participle that presents the main idea.

    986 portam vacantem: the entrance to the Underworld, which is empty because Cerberus is not there. oppositā face: ablative of means (AG 408).       

    īnfandus –a –um: unspeakable, abominable

    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

    inānis –e: empty

    labō labāre labāvī labātus: to totter, begin to fall, give way

    Pallēnē –ēs f.: Pallene (a peninsula and town)

    tremō tremere tremuī: to shake, quiver

    marceō –ēre: to wither, droop, be feeble

    Tempē indecl. n.: Tempe (valley)

    Pindus or –os –ī m.: Pindus (mountain)

    saeviō saevīre saeviī saevitum: to rage

    horreō horrēre horruī: to shake, dread

    Mimās –antis m.: Mimas

    flammifer–fera –ferum: flame-bearing

    Erīnys –yos f.: an Erinys, a Fury

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

    excutiō excutere excussī excussum: to shake out or 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 m./f.: snake

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

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