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DE FEMINIS ROMANIS

Vergil, Aeneid V.779-798

Venus pleads with Neptune to aid her son Aeneas against the wrath of Juno.

At Venus interea Neptunum exercita curis
adloquitur talisque effundit pectore questus:
"Iunonis gravis ira neque exsaturabile pectus
cogunt me, Neptune, preces descendere in omnis;
quam nec longa dies pietas nec mitigat ulla,
nec Iovis imperio fatisque infracta quiescit.
Non media de gente Phrygum exedisse nefandis
urbem odiis satis est nec poenam traxe per omnem
relliquias Troiae: cineres atque ossa peremptae
insequitur. Causas tanti sciat illa furoris.
Ipse mihi nuper Libycis tu testis in undis
quam molem subito excierit: maria omnia caelo
miscuit Aeoliis nequiquam freta procellis,
in regnis hoc ausa tuis.
Per scelus ecce etiam Troianis matribus actis
exussit foede puppis et classe subegit
amissa socios ignotae linquere terrae.
Quod superest, oro, liceat dare tuta per undas
vela tibi, liceat Laurentem attingere Thybrim,
si concessa peto, si dant ea moenia Parcae."

2 talis such accusative pl. with questus
questus, -us, m. complaint, lamentation (< queror, -i, questus/-a sum)
3 neque exsaturabile insatiable, implacable
4 preces...in omnis (to stoop) to every kind of prayer
5 quam refers to Juno
longa dies long time
pietas, -atis, f. sense of duty (her own or her victim's?)
6 infracta perfect passive participle of infringo -ere, -egi break down
7 exedo consume, eat out, devour
7-8 Construe: non satis est exedisse urbem de media gente Phrygum nefandis odiis.
8 traxe = traxisse < traho, -ere, traxi, tractum drag
poenam per omnem through every torment, through all hell
10 sciat jussive subjunctive let her fathom (She is the only one who could understand the reasons or the meaning of her raging fury.)
11 ipse tu (es/eras) testis
11-14 Venus is referring to the storm in Aeneid I.84ff instigated by Juno which drove Aeneas off course to the site of Carthage and the home of Dido. Mihi (11) is ethical dative. "You are my witness." Neptune saw and in other ways experienced the storm more intimately than did Venus.
Libycis in undis in the sea off the Libyan coast
12 molem < moles, -is, f. mass, chaotic thing, turmoil, giant storm
13 Aeoliis procellis Aeolius, adj. < Aeolus, the wind god
fretus, -a, -um relying on (+ abl.)
14 ausa (est) < audeo, -ere, ausus/a sum dare
in regnis hoc ausa tuis: the word order emphasizes the outrage of Juno's transgression of Neptune's prerogative.
15 per scelus on the road of crime, to crime
15-17 refer to events earlier in book V in which Juno tricks the Trojan women into setting fire to the ships.
16 exussit < exuro, -ere, exussi, exustum burn up, burn down
foede adv. of foedus, -a, -um
16-17 classe amissa ablative absolute
subegit < subigo compel
18 quod superest as for what is left, fot the rest
18-19 liceat dare ...tibi "permit them to entrust their sails in safety to you."
19 Laurentem refers to the ager Laurens from Tiber (Thybris) to Ardea.
20 concessa things already granted (the perfect passive participle used as a noun)
Parcae the Fates

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