Dear Maria,

Please help me understand the sentences of Ars Amatoria (1,223-228).

Hic est Euphrates, praecinctus harundine frontem:
Cui coma dependet caerula, Tigris erit.

1) praecinctus..fontem : please explain the structure of 'acc. with past participle'.
  Grammar books deal with this syntax?
2) 'cui' is dative of relative pron.? Then, what's the antecedent?
3) What's the subject of 'erit'? And why Ovid used future tense? Future tense can take the meaning of 'guess'?

Hos facito Armenios. What's the meaning of this sentence? Why imperative?
What's the subject of 'facito'? What is 'hos'?

haec est Danaeia Persis. What's the declension of 'Danaeia' and 'Persis'?

Si poteris, vere, si minus, apta tamen. What's the meaning of 'apta tamen'?

Thank you.


Dear John,

1) Note that in “Hic est Euphrates, praecinctus harundine frontem:/ Cui coma dependet caerula, Tigris erit” (Ovid, Ars Amatoria, I, 223-224):

(a) the past participle “praecinctus” governs the accusative of Specification “frontem”, aka Greek accusative,so that “ praecinctus harundine frontem” literally means:
”surrounded (praecinctus, agreeing with Euphrates) as to his forehead (frontem, Greek accusative) with reeds (harundine.Ablative)”, i.e.:“  Euphrates crowned with a wreath  made of reeds”/ “ his brow crowned with reeds”.
For Greek accusative see AG 397 b.

(b)"cui" is  the dative of relative pronoun whose antecedent is understood, so that “Cui coma dependet caerula, Tigris erit” literally means:
” [That] (“is”, antecedent of “cui”) will be (erit) Tigris (Tigris), from whom (cui)  cerulian (caerula) hair (coma, subject) hangs (dependet)”, i.e.: “This will be the river Tigris with his cerulian  hair”.

(c)the subject of "erit" is “Tigris”, of course.
Ovid uses future tense as it is a part of a conversation that will happen in the future, when the joung man will  try to please some girl.

2) “Hos facito Armenios...” (I, 225) literally means:”Make(facito,2nd sg fut imperat act of "facio") those (hos) Armenians (Armenios)”, i.e.: “Call those persons Armenians”.
Note that:

(a)the subject of "facito" is  the young man whom Ovid is addressing his suggestions.

(b)There is the imperative future because this conversation  can happen in the future, when the joung man will  court some girl.

(c)"hos" is the direct object depending on “facito”(make), while Armenios” is the Predicate Accusative related to “hos” (See AG 392).

3) In “haec est Danaeia Persis” (literally, “this is  Persia descended from Danae”)  the feminine adjective  "Danaeia"  is from “Danaeius,a,um” (1st class adjective) and the feminine noun  "Persis" whose genitive is “Persidis” belongs to the 3rd declension.
Note that the country of Persia is called "Danaeia" because the Persians are so named after Perses, the son of Perseus,who in turn was son of Danae and Jupiter.
So Perses became the progenitor of the Persians.

4)In “Si poteris, vere, si minus, apta tamen”  the meaning of "apta tamen" is “the fitting ( apta) however(tamen”.
Note that “Si poteris, vere, si minus, apta tamen” is preceded by  “ erunt quae nomina dicas” related to “duces” (generals), so that here’s the literal meaning:
“and the names that (quae nomina) you say (dicas) will be (erunt) the true ones (vere, as an adverb) , if you can (si poteris), if not/however (tamen) the most fitting (apta, agreeing with “nomina”).

Best regards,



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