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 est. arma 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