Ancient Languages/Grammar


Dear Maria,

I need your help for the senteces below. (Ars Amatoria 229-234)

Dant etiam positis aditum convivia mensis.
- Please translate 'positis mensis'?

est aliquid praeter vina, quod inde petas.
- Please explain 'quod inde petas'.

Saepe illic positi teneris adducta lacertis purpureus Bacchi cornua pressit Amor.
- What's the meaning 'illic' here?
- Please explain 'positi teneris adducta lacertis'.
- Does Bacchus have horns on his head?

permanet et capto stat gravis ille loco.
- Please explain the structure and the meaning.

Thank you.


Dear John,

1.In “Dant etiam positis aditum convivia mensis” (Ovid, Ars Amatoria,I,229) the ablative absolute  "positis mensis" literally means:”the tables (mensis, ablative plural of “mensa”) having been laid (positis)”, so that “Dant etiam positis aditum convivia mensis” literally means :
”The dining-tables (mensis) having been laid (positis), the banquets (convivia) give [ you] (dant) also (etiam) a way of approach (aditum)[to the girls]”.

2.In “est aliquid praeter vina, quod inde petas” (I, 230) "quod inde petas" literally means:
”that (quod, relative pronoun) you can look for (petas, present subjunctive expressing possibility) then (inde), i.e.: ” There’s something more than wine that you can then look for".

3.In “Saepe illic positi teneris adducta lacertis/ purpureus Bacchi cornua pressit Amor” (I,231-232)
- the meaning of "illic" is “there”.
- "positi” agrees with “Bacchi”.
-“adducta” agrees with “cornua”
-lacertis' agrees with “teneris”
-Bacchus, in the most ancient times, is represented in the form of a beautiful youth  with a crown of vine leaves or ivy upon his head, and sometimes with small horns upon his forehead.

In short, “Saepe illic positi teneris adducta lacertis/ purpureus Bacchi cornua pressit Amor” (I,231-232) literally means:
”Often (saepe) purple (purpureus) Love/Cupid (amor) has clasped (pressit) the enveloped (adducta) in [his] gentle (teneris) arms (lacertis) horns (cornua)  of Bacchus (Bacchi) who lay (positi, predicate participle agreeing with “Bacchi”) there (illic)“, i.e.:
”Often purple Love /Cupid has clasped Bacchus’s horns, drawing him to his gentle arms, as he lay there”.

4.”permanet et capto stat gravis ille loco” (I, 234) literally means:”he (ille, i.e. Bacchus) remains (permanet) and stays (stat) weighty/ drunken(gravis), [that] place (loco) having been occupied (capto. Ablative absolute) “, i.e.: “Bacchus stays drunken as a captive of the place”.

Best regards,


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