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DE FEMINIS ROMANIS

Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII.51-66

The Story of Scylla and Minos. Scylla, daughter of King Minos of Megara, has fallen in love with the Cretan King Minos from Knossos, whose army has been attacking Megara. Scylla tries to talk herself into betraying her city in order to win Minos' love.

O ego ter felix, si pennis lapsa per auras
Gnosiaci possem castris insistere regis
fassaque me flammasque meas, qua dote, rogarem,
vellet emi, tantum patrias ne posceret arces!
nam pereant potius sperata cubilia, quam sim
proditione potens! --quamvis saepe utile vinci
victoris placidi fecit clementia multis.
iusta gerit certe pro nato bella perempto:
et causaque valet causamque tenentibus armis,
et, puto, vincemur; qui si manet exitus urbem,
cur suus haec illi reseret mea moenia Mavors
et non noster amor? melius sine caede moraque
impensaque sui poterit superare cruoris.
non metuam certe, ne quis tua pectora, Minos,
vulneret imprudens: quis enim tam durus, ut in te
dirigere immitem non inscius audeat hastam?

1 penna, -ae, f. wing, feather
2 Gnosiacus Cretan
insisto, -ere (+ dat.) stand on, set foot in
3 fassa < fateor
me myself, my identity
dos, dotis, f. dowry
4 emi (present passive infinitive) < emo, emere, emi, emptum buy, win
posceret jussive subjunctive
5 nam pereant away with
cubilia "couchings"
8 pro nato perempto for his slain son (Androgeos)
9 causa, armis ablatives of respect
10 qui si exitus which doom, if it awaits (i.e. "and if this doom awaits")
11 Mavors Mars, warfare
resero -are open
12 noster poetic (or hopeful) plural, my
13 impensa, -ae, f. cost, expense
14 ne introduces object clause after verb of fearing: translate that or lest
quis = aliquis
15 ut introduces a result clause
16 immitis, -e cruel
non inscius unless by mistake

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