Notes to Ovid, Metamorphoses 7. 10-28

ratio, -onis f.
reason, judgement, consideration; ablative of means. Placed beside furorem, it underscores her dilemma: reason versus passion is an important theme in Medea’s story.
furor, -oris m.
fury,madness, rage, frenzy; here (and often) meaning passion: Medea’s emotions are portrayed metaphorically as a madness afflicting her.
vinco, -ere, vici, victum
conquer, overcome; complementary infinitive following imperfect poterat; see also dare (l.23) and movere (l.28), both following present potest.
frustra adverb
in vain; placed emphatically as the first word of Medea’s self-address, setting the tone of the passage and indicating the hopelessness of her situation.
repugno (1)
fight against, resist, oppose.
nescioquis, -quid
some; I know not who/what (literally); an indefinite pronoun adjective, modifying deus.
obsto, -stare, -stiti, -staturum
stand in the way, hinder, obstruct; a military metaphor.
nisi conjunction
unless; except.
mirus, -a, -um
surprising, wonderful, extraordinary; translate here as a substantive noun: a wonder.
certe adverb
without doubt; certainly; at least.
similis, -e
similar (to), like, resembling; takes the dative, here the demonstrative pronoun huic (miro understood).
qui, quae, quod relative pronoun
who, which, that; what; introduces a relative clause, referring back to the antecedent demonstrative pronouns hoc and huic.
amo (1)
love; infinitive verb acting as nominative noun.
iussum, -i n.
order, command; a substantive noun formed from the perfect passive participle of iubeo, modified by dura.
nimium adverb
too; too much; very much; modifies dura here and is repeated in l. 15 as nimis.
videor, videri, visus/a sum (passive form of video)
seem; be seen ; followed by dative of first person personal pronoun mihi.
modo adverb
only, just.
denique adverb
finally, at last, just now.
ne conjunction
in case ; following a verb of fearing (timeo) it indicates positive action.
pereo, -ire, -ii (or -ivi), -itum
perish, be destroyed, pass away; subjunctive following a verb of fearing timeo.
tantus, -a, -um
so great, so large, of such a size; modifies timoris.
timor, -oris m.
fear, dread; emphatic final word of both the question and line, balancing timeo in the previous question and highlighting Medea’s anxiety.
excutio, -cutere, -cussi, -cussum
drive out, put away, shake off; the imperative at the beginning of the line marks the sudden shift in tone from questioning to self-command, as Medea tries to banish her strange feelings.
virgineus, -a, -um
maidenly, virgin; modifies pectore. Medea’s youth and innocence are emphasized by reference to her as a virgo ( see also l.21).
concipio, -cipere, -cepi, -ceptum
take in, absorb; conceive; perfect passive participle modifying flammas. Note its suggestive placement beside virgineo and the verb's reappearance in l. 22.
pectus, -oris n.
breast, heart; modified by virgineo.
flamma, -ae f.
flame, fire; familiar image used to symbolize the pain of love.
possum, posse, potui
be able; note its use with si first in the indicative, then in the subjunctive (with essem) in a contrary to fact condition. What is the effect of the alliteration of –s?
infelix, -icis
unhappy, miserable; the word evokes Vergil’s epithet for Dido and foreshadows the outcome of Medea's love.
sanus, -a, -um
sane, healthy; comparative adjective. Medea recognizes but does not understand the madness of her passion.
traho, -ere, traxi, tractum
draw, drag, pull; the subject is nova vis.
invitus, -a, -um
unwilling; understand me.
vis, vis f.
force, power, violence; it refers to the unknown god of l.12.
aliud . . . aliud
one thing . . . another/different thing; note the chiasmus that spills onto the next line: aliud . . . cupido, mens aliud.
cupido, -dinis f.
passion, desire; the god himself; the opposition of reason versus passion is highlighted also by the separation of the two words over two lines.
suadeo, -ere, suasi, suasum
persuade; urge; convince.
meliora . . . deteriora, n. pl.
better . . . worse/inferior; comparative adjectives of the polar opposites bonus and deterius. Note the interlocking word order that emphasizes the opposition of the comparatives, again spilling over two lines.
probo (1)
approve, recommend.
sequor, -i, secutus/a sum
follow; the asyndeton (omission of the conjunction sed) underscores the contrasting behaviors. Here Ovid uses foreshadowing (ll. 20-21), echoing the words of Euripides' Medea as she resolves to kill her children (Medea 1078-9).
hospes, -pitis m.
stranger; foreigner, guest; ablative case following in (here translate for). Medea avoids his name until l. 25.
regius, -a, -um
royal; modifying virgo (see also l.17 above).
uro, -ere, ussi, ustum
burn; the imagery of love as a fire persists in Medea's self-questioning.
thalamus, -i m.
marriage; marriage bed/chamber; like Dido, Medea dreams of marrying the foreigner. Click on the SPQR for a depiction of the marriage of Medea and Jason.
orbis, -is m.
land, country, world; modified by alieni. Note the repeated –or assonance in ll.16-22 that suggests sadness.
quod n. singular
what; understand the antecedant id, the object of dare. The relative quod introduces a relative clause of characteristic ("which kind of thing"), followed by the potential subjunctive ames.
vivo, -ere, vixi, victum
live; understand utrum (whether, the first of two alternatives followed by an), introducing an indirect question with the verb in the subjunctive mood. With the repetition of vivat in l. 24, now a jussive subjunctive, Medea makes her decision.
occido, -ere, -cidi, -casum
die, fall down; present subjunctive in indirect question, the alternative to vivat.
deus, -i m.
god; a syncopated form of deis, in the ablative following in (here in the hands of, with).
precor, precari deponent verb
pray, beg, request; infinitive following licet.
vel adverb
even; perhaps.
licet, licere, licuit
it is lawful/permitted, one may; impersonal verb followed by precari. Note how Medea shifts from questions to declarations, answering her doubts with her desires.
committo, -ere, -misi, -missum
do, commit, perpetrate.
Iason, -onis m.
Jason; ironically his name is derived from the Greek noun meaning "healing, remedy." His name is postponed to the end of the line, where Medea uses it for the first time and in the same sentence with amor. Click on the SPQR for an image of Jason.
crudelis, -e
cruel, unfeeling; here a substantive noun agreeing with the interrogative pronoun quem.
tango, -ere, tetigi, tactum
touch, move, affect, impress; a rhetorical question, the verb is in the potential subjunctive and singular because each of its three subjects are considered individually.
aetas, -tatis f.
youth; age; life.
genus, -eris n.
noble birth; descent; race; class.
virtus, -tutis f.
courage, virtue, manliness.
ceteri, -ae, -a
the rest, the other, the remaining; translate as a neuter noun.
desum, -esse, -fui, -futurus
fall short, lack, fail, be missing; present subjunctive following the conjunction ut (here concessive, even though, although).
os, oris n.
face; mouth; ablative of means. Supply eius, as Jason is the unnamed subject of the verb potest.

Notes to Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 7. 9-20

casus, -us m.
misfortune, chance, accident.
sic adverb
so, thus.
pervigil, -ilis
always watchful, awake; with volens, it modifies ego and ipsa, Medea's references to herself.
usque adverb
continuously; modifies pervigil.
ipse, ipsa, ipsum intensive pronoun
self; for one's own part; very. Note the emphatic placement of ego and ipsa at the beginning of lines 9 and 10.
volo, velle, volui
want, wish, be willing; present participle modifying ego and ipsa.
traho, -ere, traxi, tractum
drag, draw; the passive voice, followed by ablatives of means, reveals Medea’s feeling of helplessness.
hic, haec, hoc demonstrative pronoun
this; translate non haec (i.e., pervigilis) with mihi erat, dative of possession.
nox, noctis f.
night; modified by haec in l. 10. Like many tragic lovers, Medea’s worst suffering occurs at night.
iuvenis, -is m. f.
youth; young man; in a touching and realistic portrayal of teenage love, Medea imagines addressing the object of her desire.
fortis, -e
brave; strong; the superlative expresses Medea’s infatuation.
vultus, -us m.
expression, countenance; translate as singular and supply vidi.
qui, quae, quod relative pronoun
who, which, what, that; it refers back to tuos vultus. Note its priority in the line, emphasizing Medea’s physical attraction to Jason, but translate cur first.
iterum adverb
again; a second time.
demens, -mentis
mad, insane, foolish. Using the familiar imagery of love as madness, like Ovid’s heroine, Valerius’ Medea recognizes the insanity of her feelings for Jason. Note how the word order replicates Medea's disordered state of mind.
recordor, -ari deponent verb
recall, recollect, remember.
tam adverb
to such a degree; so.
discretus, -a, -um
separated, severed; modifying ego, the substantive adjective is formed from the perfect passive participle of discerno. The physical separation of Medea from Jason is emphasized by the position of this word between magno and mari, ablatives of separation.
hospes, -pitis m.
stranger; foreigner, guest; quid in hospite is a clear echo of Ovid l.21 above. Note Medea’s similar self-questioning.
solus, -a, -um
alone; sole, no other; single. Note the repetition in l. 15, where it modifies the antecedent of quae (vellera).
mens, mentis f.
mind; feelings; heart; supply est with mihi, a dative of reference.
cognatus, -i m.
kinsman, relative; in apposition with Phrixi. Phrixus and his sister Helle fled from their stepmother on the back of a golden-fleeced ram. Helle fell off and drowned, giving her name to the Hellespont; Phrixus safely reached Colchis, where he sacrificed the ram and hung the fleece in a grove, where it was guarded by a serpent/dragon.
potius adverb
rather, preferably.
vellus, -eris n.
fleece; translate it as singular, the antecedent for the following two relative pronouns (quae).
accipio, -ere, -cepi, -ceptum
take, receive, accept; jussive subjunctive.
labor, -oris m.
task, labor, suffering, hardship.
vir, viri m.
man, hero; dative of disadvantage (supply est).
domus, -us f.
home, house, dwelling; an irregular noun modified by the demonstrative adjective has.
reviso, -ere
return, revisit. Medea reasons that he will never return to Colchis.
Aesonius, -a, -um
Aesonian, relating to Aeson; modifying urbes. King Aeson was the father of Jason.
eo, ire, ii (or ivi), itum
go. Medea’s reference to her father reminds the reader of her duty as a daughter, the source of her dilemma.
felix, -icis
lucky, fortunate, happy, prosperous; a substantive adjective (understand viri). Medea envies the men who travelled with Jason. Ironically she too will soon be sailing with him, but will be far from lucky.
medius, -a, -um
the middle of, the midst of; between; modifies fluctibus.
se reflexive pronoun
him/her self, themselves; object of dare.
fluctus, -us m.
wave; modified by the partitive adjective mediis.
audeo, -ere, ausus/a sum
dare, risk, venture; a semi-deponent verb, it is active in the perfect (supply sunt active), followed by a complementary infinitive (dare).
tantus, -a, -um
so great, so large, of such a size; modifies vias (see above in Ovid l.16).
timeo, -ere, -ui
fear, be afraid (of); alternative third person plural ending for perfect active tense.
talis, -e
such, so great, distinguished; modifies virum; used again of Jason in l.20.
sequo, -qui, secutus/a sum
follow. The subject is qui in l. 20; supply sunt.
huc adverb
to this place, here; a conjecture for the manuscript reading hunc.
deinde adverb
from there; next.
abeo, -ire, -ii, -itum
go away; the 2nd person singular imperative marks an abrupt shift in tone as Medea stops fantasizing and seeks Jason's departure.

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