AP Latin : Mythology and Legends in Poetry Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

Example Question #3 : Context Of Poetry

Occiderat Tatius, populisque aequata duobus,               
Romule, iura dabas: posita cum casside Mavors
talibus adfatur divumque hominumque parentem:
'tempus adest, genitor, quoniam fundamine magno
res Romana valet nec praeside pendet ab uno,                  5
praemia, (sunt promissa mihi dignoque nepoti)               
solvere et ablatum terris inponere caelo.
tu mihi concilio quondam praesente deorum
(nam memoro memorique animo pia verba notavi)
"unus erit, quem tu tolles in caerula caeli"                         10
dixisti: rata sit verborum summa tuorum!'               
adnuit omnipotens et nubibus aera caecis
occuluit tonitruque et fulgure terruit orbem.

What/Who is "Mavors"?

Possible Answers:

The god of war

A great general

Romulus' son

A famous field

Correct answer:

The god of war

Explanation:

The word "Mavors" is the old Latin/Etruscan name for the god of war, Mars. It declines "Mavors, Mavortis." It is interchangeable with "Mars, Martis."

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, 9. 805-818)

Example Question #4 : Context Of Poetry

Arma gravi numero violentaque bella parabam
edere, materia conveniente modis.
par erat inferior versus—risisse Cupido
dicitur atque unum surripuisse pedem.
'Quis tibi, saeve puer, dedit hoc in carmina iuris?
Pieridum vates, non tua turba sumus.
quid, si praeripiat flavae Venus arma Minervae,
ventilet accensas flava Minerva faces?
quis probet in silvis Cererem regnare iugosis,
lege pharetratae Virginis arva coli?
crinibus insignem quis acuta cuspide Phoebum
instruat, Aoniam Marte movente lyram?
sunt tibi magna, puer, nimiumque potentia regna;
cur opus adfectas, ambitiose, novum?
an, quod ubique, tuum est? tua sunt Heliconia tempe?

The underlined word "Virginis" in line 10 refers to __________.

Possible Answers:

Venus

Ceres

Juno

Minerva

Correct answer:

Minerva

Explanation:

The word "Virginis" must refer to Minerva as she is the only virgin goddess mentioned in this passage. 

(Passage adapted from Amores by Ovid, I.1–15)

Example Question #1 : Mythology And Legends In Poetry Passages

Arma gravi numero violentaque bella parabam
edere, materia conveniente modis.
par erat inferior versus—risisse Cupido
dicitur atque unum surripuisse pedem.
'Quis tibi, saeve puer, dedit hoc in carmina iuris?
Pieridum vates, non tua turba sumus.
quid, si praeripiat flavae Venus arma Minervae,
ventilet accensas flava Minerva faces?
quis probet in silvis Cererem regnare iugosis,
lege pharetratae Virginis arva coli?
crinibus insignem quis acuta cuspide Phoebum
instruat, Aoniam Marte movente lyram?
sunt tibi magna, puer, nimiumque potentia regna;
cur opus adfectas, ambitiose, novum?
an, quod ubique, tuum est? tua sunt Heliconia tempe?

Who is "Phoebum"?

Possible Answers:

Jupiter

Diana

Mars

Apollo

Correct answer:

Apollo

Explanation:

The name "Phoebus" refers to Apollo. The "-um" ending indicates that the word used here is masculine in gender. If it were feminine ("Phoebe"), it would refer to Apollo's sister Diana.

(Passage adapted from Amores by Ovid, I.1–15)

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