AP Latin : Authors and Literary Conventions in Prose Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

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

 In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas
corpora; di, coeptis (nam vos mutastis et illas)
adspirate meis primaque ab origine mundi
ad mea perpetuum deducite tempora carmen!
     Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum               5
unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe,
quem dixere chaos: rudis indigestaque moles
nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem
non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum.
nullus adhuc mundo praebebat lumina Titan,                         10
nec nova crescendo reparabat cornua Phoebe,
nec circumfuso pendebat in aere tellus
ponderibus librata suis, nec bracchia longo
margine terrarum porrexerat Amphitrite;
utque erat et tellus illic et pontus et aer,                               15
sic erat instabilis tellus, innabilis unda,
lucis egens aer; nulli sua forma manebat,
obstabatque aliis aliud, quia corpore in uno
frigida pugnabant calidis, umentia siccis,
mollia cum duris, sine pondere, habentia pondus.                  20

In lines 1-4, what is the author doing?

Possible Answers:

Speaking about his art

Asking the gods to bless his work

Talking about history

Mentioning famous people

Correct answer:

Asking the gods to bless his work

Explanation:

In the first few lines of this passage, the author is reaching out to the gods and asking for them to bless his work for the years to come. He is asking them to make his work everlasting. This is a common convention among Roman authors, where they invoke the blessings of a Muse or some other god.

(Passage adapted from Metamorphoses by Ovid, ln.1-20)

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