AP Latin : Authors and Literary Conventions in Poetry Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Authors And Literary Conventions In Poetry Passages

Ni te plus oculis meis amarem,
iucundissime Calve, munere isto
odissem te odio Vatiniano:
nam quid feci ego quidve sum locutus,
cur me tot male perderes poetis?                         5
isti di mala multa dent clienti,
qui tantum tibi misit impiorum.
quod si, ut suspicor, hoc novum ac repertum
munus dat tibi Sulla litterator,
non est mi male, sed bene ac beate,                    10
quod non dispereunt tui labores.
di magni, horribilem et sacrum libellum!
quem tu scilicet ad tuum Catullum
misti, continuo ut die periret,
Saturnalibus, optimo dierum!                               15
non non hoc tibi, false, sic abibit.
nam si luxerit ad librariorum
curram scrinia, Caesios, Aquinos,
Suffenum, omnia colligam venena.
ac te his suppliciis remunerabor.                          20
vos hinc interea valete abite
illuc, unde malum pedem attulistis,
saecli incommoda, pessimi poetae.

How does "misti" (line 14) translate?

Possible Answers:

It is wet

You sent

You will release

I throw

Correct answer:

You sent

Explanation:

The word "misti" is a syncopated (shortened) form of the word "misisti," from the verb "mitto," "mittere," "misi," "missus." It translates as you sent. Syncopation is somewhat common in Latin literature— especially poetry. It is recognizable because the ending will look strange ("-i" or "-ti" is not a normal ending) and the word will use the perfect stem of the verb. In syncopation, two middle letters are typically removed and it commonly occurs in the perfect tense, second person singular form. (e.g. "amavisti" --> "amasti").

(Passage adapted from "Catullus 14," ln.1-23)

Example Question #2 : Authors And Literary Conventions In Poetry Passages

Consedere duces et vulgi stante corona
surgit ad hos clipei dominus septemplicis Aiax,
utque erat inpatiens irae, Sigeia torvo
litora respexit classemque in litore vultu
intendensque manus 'agimus, pro Iuppiter!' inquit                     5
'ante rates causam, et mecum confertur Ulixes!

The phrase "clipei dominus septemplicis" in line 2 is an example of __________.

Possible Answers:

personification

epithet

synchesis

anaphora

Correct answer:

epithet

Explanation:

The phrase "clipei dominus septemplicis" is an example of an epithet - a word or series of words that describe a well-known characteristic of a person. It is common, especially in epics, for heroes and famous individuals to be given an epithet (or many) to highlight their traits, typically in regard to a particular situation.

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses 8.1-6)

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