Notes to Ovid, Ars Amatoria 3.281-310

credo, -ere, -idi, -itum
trust, believe, accept as true. This question is a transition into a new section of the praeceptor’s instructions. The subjunctive is used since it is a deliberative question.

disco, -ere, didici
learn, get to know, find out; followed by the infinitive of the skill being learned. The verb recurs through the passage.

etiam adverb
even; also. The word order places emphasis on ridere.

rideo, -ere, risi, risum
laugh, smile.

quaero, -ere, quaesii/ivi, quaesitum
seek, seach for, strive for; ask, demand.

a/ab preposition (with enclitic –que) + ablative
by; translate with illis (understand puellis). Although all the MSS read atque, most scholars prefer this emendation (see Roy K. Gibson, ed. Ovid, Ars Amatoria Book 3, Cambridge 2003).

pars, partis f.
direction; respect; part. Construe with hac.

decor, decoris m.
beauty; charm; seemliness; elegance. Decor is a key theme in this passage; it appears again, in emphatic positions in lines 291, 295, 299.

sum, esse, fui, futurus
be; exist. Sint is the first in a long list of jussive subjunctives: translate using let.

modicus, -a, -um
moderate, mean; a predicate adjective, attribute of rictus, the subject. Avoidance of extremes and moderation in behavior are significant themes in the Ars.

rictus, rictus m.
open mouth or jaws. Rictus is the subject of sint in this copulative phrase.

on both sides; on either side.

lacuna, -ae f.
depression; deficiency; here uniquely used as dimple. Translate as lacunae utrimque sint parvae.

summus, -a, -um
the top; highest, uppermost.

dens, dentis m.

imus, -a, -um
the bottom; lowest.

labellum, -i n.
lip. Subject of tegant; the praeceptor recommends small smiles, perhaps to cover unsightly teeth.

tego, -ere, texi, tectum
cover; hide; protect.

contendo, -ere, -tendi, -tentum
strain; stretch; tense. The subject is puellae (note the reflexive pronoun sua). Consider the word order on either side of the verb.

ilia, ilium n. pl.
insides, guts; flanks, loins. Object with sua of contendant.

risus, risus m.
laughter; laugh.

levis, leve
light, gentle, polished. Both leve and femineum are neuter adjectives functioning as internal accusatives following an intransitive verb.

nescioquid adverb
in some degree; a little bit; it modifies leve.

sono, -are, sonui, sonitum
make a sound, resound; an intransitive verb whose subject is puellae.

Est: here and in the line below, est is used without a subject to indicate the existence of something (quae and altera); translate est [puella] quae and est altera [puella] as there is .... See also lines 299 and 305.

perversus, -a, -um
disfiguring; distorting.

distorqueo, -ere, -torsi, -tortum
twist apart, distort. Understand puella as the antecedent of quae, the subject of distorqueat (subjunctive in a relative clause of characteristic).

os, oris n.
mouth; face.

cachinnus, cachinni m.
loud laughter; with perverso, an ablative of means. This is the first of three indecorous behaviors the praeceptor warns against.

concutio, -ere, -cussi, -cussum
strike, shake; agitate; perfect passive participle modifying altera, another instance of indecorous laughter. The MSS have variant readings for the opening of the line; most scholars accept this emendation.

alter, altera, alterum
the one, the other (of two); second, the next.

fleo, -ere, flevi, fletum
weep, cry.

puto (1)
suppose, think. A potential subjunctive, it introduces an accusative (understand quam as the connective to the beginning of the line) and infinitive construction.

raucus, -a, -um
harsh, hoarse; object of sonat, whose subject is illa [puella], a third type of girl.

quiddam indeclinable
something; modifies raucum.

inamabilis, -e
unlovely; the adjective is the opposite of the command amabilis esto in AA 2.107.

rudo, -ere, rudivi, ruditum
bray, bellow, roar (an animal sound). Here ut introduces a simile, hence the indicative.

scaber, scabra, scabrum
rough, scabby; although the sense is appropriate to asella, scansion confirms that scabra modifies mola, in the ablative after the preposition a(b).

turpis, -e
ugly; unsightly; base. For the Romans, appearance was a reflection of morality.

asella, asellae f.
female ass. The poet makes the gender appropriate to his audience.

mola, molae f.
mill-stone. Millstones were used to grind grain in the ancient world, and were powered by donkeys.

quo interrogative adverb
where; to which place.

ars, artis f.
skill; art. A pun on the name of the book, Ars Amatoria; the poet is in effect asking what topic his book doesn’t cover.

penetro (1)
enter, penetrate; the verb has certain connotations, intellectual and sexual, which the poet is invoking here.

lacrimo (1)
weep; shed tears; bewail.

decenter adverb
decently; gracefully; becomingly.

quoque= et quo, modifying tempore and modo.

ploro (1)
cry, weep. A third word for an action associated with women. The main verb is placed before the caesura for emphasis. Prose word order would be: quoque tempore quoque modo volunt, plorant.

quis, quid interrogative pronoun
who, what; quid cum is an idiom announcing a new topic: translate what about when . . . ?

legitimus, -a, -um
real; genuine;lawful; construe with voce.

fraudo (1)
cheat; deprive, trick; the subject is littera.

littera, litterae f.
letter (letter of the alphabet). The praeceptor reproves women for affected pronunciation. This was a severe reproach, since the Romans considered a poor speaker to be morally suspect as well.

vox, vocis f.
sound; voice.

blaesus, -a, -um
lisping; indistinct; modifies lingua.

fio, feri, facta/us sum  
become; a semi-deponent verb.

coactus, -a, -um
forced; made artificial; modifies lingua.

iubeo, -ere, iussi, iussum
order; prescribe; command; perfect passive participle modifying sono. Prose order: lingua coacta iusso sono blaesa fit.

vitium, vitii n.
defect, flaw; fault, vice; the word order heightens the paradox of finding charm in affected speech.

quidam, quaedam, quoddam adjective
certain; some; modifies verba.

reddo,-ere, -didi, -ditum
utter; reproduce, repeat; recite; the infinitive is dependent on discunt in the next line.

possum, posse, potui
be able; have power; the infinitive is dependent on discunt (its subject is puellae) and is followed by the infinitive loqui. Potuere is the shortened form of potuerunt.

minus comparative adverb
less; less well; followed by quam potuere.

quoniam conjunction
since, because.

prosum, prodesse, profui, profuturum
be useful, benefit; usefulness (rather than pleasure) is a mark of didactic poetry.

impendo, -ere, -pendi, -pensum
expend; devote; the direct object is curam, the indirect object is his omnibus (what the praeceptor has been advising). Note the direct address to his readers.

corpus, -oris n.
body; person; frame; poets often use the plural for the singular.

gradus, gradus m.
step; way of walking; construe with femineo: the praeceptor advises his readers to fit their walk to their gender.

incessus, -us m.
gait; walk, step; et here is emphatic.

contemptus, -a, -um
contemptible, mean, paltry; translate: et in incessu est decoris non contempta pars.

allicio, allicere, allexi, allectum
attract, lure, entice; the subject is ille [incessus].

ignotus, -a, -um
unknown, unfamiliar. Construe with viros.

fugo (1)
frighten away, put to flight. The subject is ille [incessus].

latus, lateris n.
side, flank; object of movet. In this line the poet conjures up the image of a dancer, implying that the girl (haec) is making excessive use of ars in her walk.

fluo, -ere, fluxi, fluxum
flow, stream; construe with tunicis.

aura, -ae f.

accipio, -ere, -cepi, -ceptum
receive; take. The subject is haec [puella].

expensus, -a, -um
measured out; expendere gradum describes an effeminate style of walking. While the MSS all contain extensos (stretched out, lengthened), Gibson, among others, feels it doesn’t offer enough contrast with ingentes gradus below.

superbus, -a, -um
arrogant, haughty; the adjective refers back to haec [puella] in line 301.

just like, just as. Illa contrasts with haec above.

coniunx, coniugis f.
wife; spouse; construe with rubicunda.

Umbrius, -a, -um
Umbrian, from Umbria. Umbria was a rural region of central Italy noted for its agricultural abundance and rusticity.

rubicundus, -a, -um
ruddy, red; actually, sun-burned from working in the fields. Ovid’s readers, on the other hand, are intentionally pale (see niveae below), a sign of their idle status.

maritus, -i m.
husband; note the clever interlocking word order.

ingens, -entis
huge, mighty, great.

varicus, -a, -um
straddling, waddling; the adjective refers back to illa in line 303.

modus, -i m.
measure, moderation; as before, the praeceptor counsels moderation.

motus, -us m.
movement. The poet condenses his words: alter motus erit rusticus, alter erit mollior concesso motu.

mollis, e
languid, soft, weak; here in the comparative form. Balanced against rusticus, it negatively suggests effete.

concessus, -a, -um
permitted; allowable; understand motu, ablative after mollior.

umerus, -i m.
shoulder; partitive genitive following pars (as decoris pars in l. 299 above). A woman’s shoulder would normally be covered by the tunic and by the palla in public. Note the singular address with tui.

lacertus, -i m.
upper arm; partitive genitive following pars. The SPQR at the end of the line shows a matrona completely draped for public appearance.

laevus, -a, -um
left; laeva manu is the left-hand side.

conspicio, -ere, -spexi, -spectum
catch sight of; look at; the future passive participle (expressing necessity, obligation, or intention) modifies pars. The SPQR at the end of the line contains a portrait of the empress Livia that models Ovid's fantasy.

praecipue adverb

niveus, -a, -um
snow-white, pale; construe as a substantive noun in the vocative case. The poet speaks to his upper-class readers whose affluence keeps them idle and indoors, in sharp contrast with the coniunx rubicunda in line 303.

decet, -ere, -uit
it suits; it is proper. Translate hoc (the advice to bare the arm) as the subject.

video, -ere, vidi, visum
see, look at. Translate hoc (the advice to bare the arm) as the object. The praeceptor speaks in the first person, substituting his experience for general advice.

osculum, -i n.
kiss, lips, mouth. Construe as the object of ferre.

qua . . . usque = usque qua adverb
to the extent that; as far as.

pateo, -ere, patui
lie open, be accessible, be open; note the rhyme with libet.

libet, -ere, -uit, -itum est
it is pleasing, it is agreeable; as an impersonal verb it introduces an accusative and infinitive construction.

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