Ovid, Metamorphoses, 11.40-73

By Carl Nilson, in 'Latin Grammar Questions', May 4, 2018.

  1. Carl Nilson New Member

    I just read the first part of the Ceyx and Alcyone Idyll. I have a few questions for anyone who wouldn't mind bailing out a relatively new reader of original Latin texts.

    Lines 435-436: Is feri in line 436 to be taken with caeli in line 435? I'm assuming so, and that both
    are genitive singular.

    Lines 446-447: From Alcyone's perspective, wouldn't the ship be receding, and not the land? The
    meter tells me that terra is in the nominative.

    Lines 472-473:
    1) Why is renovat singular if both the bed and the place are renewing her tears?
    2) Why are there two que's here?
    3) Is Alcyone in the ablative, meaning "from Alcyone?"
    4) What does quae mean here? I'm thinking quae pars means "what a (big) part," but if
    that's so, would the phrase not need to be in the accusative if it is the object of
    admonet? Or is quae here a relative pronoun?

    I probably have one or two more questions, but I'm sure this is enough for now.
    Last edited by Carl Nilson, May 4, 2018
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    It would seem that the version you're using has a typo. That should be feris, not feri.
    You mean 465-466. Hm, at first sight that would seem more instinctive, yes. An abrupt, unsignalled change of person so that the oculi would be that of the husband seems unlikely but I don't know. I guess the terra recessit is just figurative in a less usual way. It would be figurative from the perspective of the people on the ship as well, as whichever perspective you look at it from, in reality it's the ship that's going away, not the land. It's more usual to see this sort of metaphor from the perspective of people on ships, but I guess here it's used the other way around.
    It isn't uncommon for the verb to agree only with the closest subject. In this case, it could also be that both things, acting in concert, are felt as one agency.
    Some versions have lectusque torusque, echoing petit anxia lectum seque toro ponit, instead of lectusque locusque.
    It means "both... and...", like et... et...
    The versions I've found have Alcyonae (dative) here. An ablative wouldn't work.
    Quae is here an interrogative adjective, and quae pars absit is an indirect question depending on admonet; "... reminds [her] of what part is away".
    Last edited by Pacifica, May 5, 2018
    Carl Nilson likes this.
  3. Carl Nilson New Member

    Dear Pacifica,

    Thank you very much for your thorough and thoughtful responses to my queries. I really appreciate it!

    1) I especially like your thoughts about the land receding from the ship. You're right, I think, in supposing it be a question of relativity.

    2) Of course feris and Alcyonae make much more sense. Is there a particularly authoritative Metamorphoses text that you would recommend? I'm using the annotated text of Book XI published by Bristol Classical Press. They also publish similar texts for Books I and III, both of which I have.

    3) You're description of the function of quae in the last line is obviously right. At least it is to me now, anyway. (When I have more than one question about any particular line, I start to question everything.) I'm still wondering, though, whether the interrogative pronoun can be used together with a noun to form an exclamation, as in "What a day!" or "What nonsense!" Perhaps not.

    Once again, I thank you for your kindness in taking the time to help out a relative beginner.

    All the best,

    Carl Nilson
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    No, I don't know about editions. I just looked it up on the Latin Library (which, generally speaking, isn't devoid of typos either) and on Google.
    It can be used that way, but isn't here (the two verbs admonet and absit just wouldn't fit in that construction).
    Carl Nilson likes this.
  5. Carl Nilson New Member

    OK, I see your point now. Thanks again for all your help.

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