Ovid's Metamorphoses Book 1. 141-150

leonhartu

Member
iamque nocens ferrum ferroque nocentius aurum
prodierat, prodit bellum, quod pugnat utroque,
sanguineaque manu crepitantia concutit arma.
vivitur ex rapto: non hospes ab hospite tutus,
non socer a genero, fratrum quoque gratia rara est;
Inminet exitio vir coniugis, illa mariti,
lurida terribiles miscent aconita novercae,
filius ante diem patrios inquirit in annos:
victa iacet pietas, et virgo caede madentis
ultima caelestum terras Astraea reliquit.

And, already, a golden criminal iron, more criminal
than iron (itself), has shown up, the war appeared, one
fought against the other, and waved rattling weapons
with bloody hand. It is lived from stealing: isn't safe
the guest from the host, the father from the son, and,
likewise, the goodwill between brothers is rare;
The husband plans for the destruction of the wife, and
she for his, horrible stepmothers stir up wan aconites,
the son is interested in his father's age before the time:
The beaten piety lies on the ground, and Astraea, the last virgin
of the gods, leaves lands made wet by death.

In "vivitur ex rapto" why Ovid uses "ex" instead of "a"? Wouldn't it make more sense as "It is lived by (means of) stealing"? And in "caede madentis... terras" why is it in the genitive? "Lands of wetting by death", "Lands of being by death wet" or "Lands of dripping by/with death" make no sense, and I can't see it as a partitive genitive of lands.

I appreciate any help/correction.
 

Araneus

Umbraticus Lector
Madentis is an accusative going with terras. 'The virgin Astraea is the last of the gods to leave an earth moist with slaughter'. Not the most elegant translation perhaps, but I think the meaning gets across.

As for ex rapto, I guess the sense is that people live 'out from plunder', i.e. stealing what they need to live, instead of procuring it by other means. 'From plunder, life', kind of.
 

Araneus

Umbraticus Lector
Also, the translation is a bit off, I think. As for the first lines, I believe the sense is rather something like this:

'And now hurtful iron, and gold more hurtful than iron, it (the earth, see the preceding lines) put forth. It brought forth war, which fights by means of both (both iron (weapons) and gold (greed))...

So iron represents weapons, gold represents greed. The first is an instrument of war, the second a cause of war. That's how I read it at least.
 

LVXORD

Civis Illustris
Out of interest, can prodierat (from prodeo, right?) really have that transitive sense? Or have you merely taken some liberties with your translation?
 

Araneus

Umbraticus Lector
Out of interest, can prodierat (from prodeo, right?) really have that transitive sense? Or have you merely taken some liberties with your translation?
Oh, I mixed with Prodo. Of course it's from prodeo, and, as such, intransitive. Makes it a bit simpler.
 
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