A couple questions from Metamorphosis X

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
The Hyacinthus fable.

1) 202-203:

Atque utinam pro te uitam tecumue liceret
Reddere!

"And if only it was permitted to restore life for your sake, or with you..." ...with you what? Die with you?

2) 211-213

Tyrioque nitentior ostro
flos oritur formamque capit quam lilia, si non
purpureus color his, argenteus esset in illis.

I don't understand what the subjunctive is doing here.

Thanks in advance!
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
1) Reddere vitam means "to give back life" in the sense of giving his/her (I haven't looked at the context) own life (back to nature or whatever). So the idea is "If only I could die for (instead of) you or with you!"

2) This one gave me pause as well, but it's a present-unreal condition. Literally: "a flower grows and takes the shape that lilies (take) if these (flowers) didn't have a purple color, (and) those (i.e. lilies) a silver one." I.e. the flowers that grew looked just like lilies except that they were purple while lilies are silver-colored.
 

Dantius

Homo Sapiens
Staff member
For #2, it's a contrary-to-fact condition, rather similar to this example from A+G:
[*] Note 2.--The indicative construction is carried still further in poetry: as, sī nōn alium iactāret odōrem, “laurus erat” (Georg. 2.133) , it were a laurel, but for giving out a different odor.

So here, Ovid's basically saying that it almost looks like a lily (formam capit quam liliam [capit/caperet]), but for lilies being silver and this flower being purple.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
So here, Ovid's basically saying that it almost looks like a lily (formam capit quam liliam [capit/caperet]), but for lilies being silver and this flower being purple.
You mean quam lilia [capiunt/caperent].
 
Top