AP Latin : Mythology and Legends in Prose Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

Example Question #62 : Prose

 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

This passage is from __________.

Possible Answers:

A book explaining the locations of places on Earth

An account of a famous war

A book of lessons from the gods

An account of the beginning of the world

Correct answer:

An account of the beginning of the world

Explanation:

This exerpt talks about Chaos and the beginning of the universe. It is an account of the Romans' idea of how the Earth began.

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

Example Question #63 : Prose

 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

Who is Phoebe (line 11)?

Possible Answers:

Diana

Apollo

One of the original Titans

Selene

Correct answer:

One of the original Titans

Explanation:

All of the gods listed are associated with the name Phoebe/Phoebus. The context of this passage tells us that it is still talking about the beginning of the universe. Therefore, none of the Gods (Selene, Diana, and Apollo) have been born yet. Phoebe is a Titan.

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

Example Question #64 : Prose

Primus amor Phoebi Daphne Peneia, quem non
fors ignara dedit, sed saeva Cupidinis ira,
Delius hunc nuper, victa serpente superbus,
viderat adducto flectentem cornua nervo              
'quid' que 'tibi, lascive puer, cum fortibus armis?'               5
dixerat: 'ista decent umeros gestamina nostros,
qui dare certa ferae, dare vulnera possumus hosti,
qui modo pestifero tot iugera ventre prementem
stravimus innumeris tumidum Pythona sagittis.               
tu face nescio quos esto contentus amores                       10
inritare tua, nec laudes adsere nostras!'
filius huic Veneris 'figat tuus omnia, Phoebe,
te meus arcus' ait; 'quantoque animalia cedunt
cuncta deo, tanto minor est tua gloria nostra.'

To whom does "Phoebi" (line 1) refer?

Possible Answers:

Selene

A Titan

Apollo

Diana

Correct answer:

Apollo

Explanation:

All of the above names are associated with the name "Phoebe/Phoebus"; howver, the name "Daphne" is also mentioned, who is only associated with one of those gods/Titans. This is the story of Apollo and Daphne.

(Passage adapted from Metamorphoses by Ovid, 1.452-465)

Example Question #65 : Prose

Pallas anum simulat: falsosque in tempora canos
addit et infirmos, baculo quos sustinet, artus.
tum sic orsa loqui 'non omnia grandior aetas,
quae fugiamus, habet: seris venit usus ab annis.
consilium ne sperne meum: tibi fama petatur               5
inter mortales faciendae maxima lanae;
cede deae veniamque tuis, temeraria, dictis
supplice voce roga: veniam dabit illa roganti.'
adspicit hanc torvis inceptaque fila relinquit
vixque manum retinens confessaque vultibus iram       10
talibus obscuram resecuta est Pallada dictis:
'mentis inops longaque venis confecta senecta,
et nimium vixisse diu nocet. audiat istas,
si qua tibi nurus est, si qua est tibi filia, voces;
consilii satis est in me mihi, neve monendo                  15
profecisse putes, eadem est sententia nobis.
cur non ipsa venit? cur haec certamina vitat?'

Who is Pallas (line 1)?

Possible Answers:

Vesta

Juno

Minerva

Athena

Correct answer:

Minerva

Explanation:

"Pallas" refers to the goddess Minerva. Typically you will hear this epithet in the phrase "Pallas Athena." Yes, Pallas, Minerva, and Athena are all the same person, so why is Minerva the correct answer? Simple: Latin. Remember that on any official Latin test, the default answer should be the Latin/Roman name of that person, unless otherwise stated.

(Passage adapted from Metamorphoses by Ovid, VI.26-42)

Example Question #66 : Prose

Pallas anum simulat: falsosque in tempora canos
addit et infirmos, baculo quos sustinet, artus.
tum sic orsa loqui 'non omnia grandior aetas,
quae fugiamus, habet: seris venit usus ab annis.
consilium ne sperne meum: tibi fama petatur               5
inter mortales faciendae maxima lanae;
cede deae veniamque tuis, temeraria, dictis
supplice voce roga: veniam dabit illa roganti.'
adspicit hanc torvis inceptaque fila relinquit
vixque manum retinens confessaque vultibus iram       10
talibus obscuram resecuta est Pallada dictis:
'mentis inops longaque venis confecta senecta,
et nimium vixisse diu nocet. audiat istas,
si qua tibi nurus est, si qua est tibi filia, voces;
consilii satis est in me mihi, neve monendo                  15
profecisse putes, eadem est sententia nobis.
cur non ipsa venit? cur haec certamina vitat?'

This passage is from the story of __________.

Possible Answers:

Arachne

the birth of Minerva

Minerva and the muses

Niobe

Correct answer:

Arachne

Explanation:

In this passage, Minerva disguises herself as an old woman. In this form, she speaks to a girl about something concerning wool ("lanae"), age ("aetas"), and fame ("fama"). She warns the girl to not be rash ("ne sperne...temeraria"), and so on. This is the story of Arachne, the famous weaver who competes with Minerva.

(Passage adapted from Metamorphoses by Ovid, VI.26-42)

Example Question #67 : Prose

Ecce cruentati redeunt et, Bacchus ubi esset,

quaerenti domino Bacchum vidisse negarunt;
'hunc' dixere 'tamen comitem famulumque sacrorum
cepimus' et tradunt manibus post terga ligatis              
sacra dei quendam Tyrrhena gente secutum.                       5
adspicit hunc Pentheus oculis, quos ira tremendos
fecerat, et quamquam poenae vix tempora differt,
'o periture tuaque aliis documenta dature
morte,' ait, 'ede tuum nomen nomenque parentum               
et patriam, morisque novi cur sacra frequentes!'                  10
ille metu vacuus 'nomen mihi' dixit 'Acoetes,
patria Maeonia est, humili de plebe parentes.
non mihi quae duri colerent pater arva iuvenci,
lanigerosve greges, non ulla armenta reliquit;              
pauper et ipse fuit linoque solebat et hamis                         15
decipere et calamo salientis ducere pisces.

Bacchus is the Roman counterpart of which Greek God?

Possible Answers:

Apollo

Hephaestus

Hermes

Dionysus

Correct answer:

Dionysus

Explanation:

Bacchus is the Roman name for the God Dionysus.

(Passage adapted from Metamorphoses by Ovid, III 570-586)

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