AP Latin : Passage Comprehension in Vergil

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

← Previous 1

Example Question #1 : Passage Comprehension In Vergil

Laocoon, ductus Neptuno sorte sacerdos,
sollemnis taurum ingentem mactabat ad aras.
Ecce autem gemini a Tenedo tranquilla per alta
(horresco referens) immensis orbibus angues
incumbunt pelago pariterque ad litora tendunt;            5   
pectora quorum inter fluctus arrecta iubaeque
sanguineae superant undas, pars cetera pontum
pone legit sinuatque immensa volumine terga.
Fit sonitus spumante salo; iamque arva tenebant
ardentisque oculos suffecti sanguine et igni                 10
sibila lambebant linguis vibrantibus ora.
Diffugimus visu exsangues. Illi agmine certo
Laocoonta petunt; et primum parva duorum
corpora natorum serpens amplexus uterque
implicat et miseros morsu depascitur artus.                15

Who is Laocoon?

Possible Answers:

A priest of Neptune

Neptune in disguise

The passage does not say

A Greek warrior

Correct answer:

A priest of Neptune

Explanation:

In line 1 of the passage, Laocoon is identified as a priest of Neptune: "Laocoon, ductus Neptuno sorte sacerdos" (Laocoon, a priest led by lot to Neptune).

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 2.201-215)

Example Question #24 : Syllabus Passages

Laocoon, ductus Neptuno sorte sacerdos,
sollemnis taurum ingentem mactabat ad aras.
Ecce autem gemini a Tenedo tranquilla per alta
(horresco referens) immensis orbibus angues
incumbunt pelago pariterque ad litora tendunt;            5   
pectora quorum inter fluctus arrecta iubaeque
sanguineae superant undas, pars cetera pontum
pone legit sinuatque immensa volumine terga.
Fit sonitus spumante salo; iamque arva tenebant
ardentisque oculos suffecti sanguine et igni                 10
sibila lambebant linguis vibrantibus ora.
Diffugimus visu exsangues. Illi agmine certo
Laocoonta petunt; et primum parva duorum
corpora natorum serpens amplexus uterque
implicat et miseros morsu depascitur artus.                15

In lines 1-2, we learn that Laocoon is __________.

Possible Answers:

making a ritual sacrifice

eating

speaking with Neptune

building something

Correct answer:

making a ritual sacrifice

Explanation:

Line 2 translates as he was sacrificing a huge bull as a ritual offering at the altars. Laocoon is making a sacrifice to Neptune.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 2.201-215)

Example Question #2 : Passage Comprehension In Vergil

Laocoon, ductus Neptuno sorte sacerdos,
sollemnis taurum ingentem mactabat ad aras.
Ecce autem gemini a Tenedo tranquilla per alta
(horresco referens) immensis orbibus angues
incumbunt pelago pariterque ad litora tendunt;            5   
pectora quorum inter fluctus arrecta iubaeque
sanguineae superant undas, pars cetera pontum
pone legit sinuatque immensa volumine terga.
Fit sonitus spumante salo; iamque arva tenebant
ardentisque oculos suffecti sanguine et igni                 10
sibila lambebant linguis vibrantibus ora.
Diffugimus visu exsangues. Illi agmine certo
Laocoonta petunt; et primum parva duorum
corpora natorum serpens amplexus uterque
implicat et miseros morsu depascitur artus.                15

In lines 3-5, we learn that __________.

Possible Answers:

Huge serpents have appeared from the sea

People are screaming in terror

The shores are being swallowed by the sea

The twin demigods, Castor and Pollux, have appeared

Correct answer:

Huge serpents have appeared from the sea

Explanation:

The phrase "Ecce autem gemini . . . angues" translates as, "Behold! Twin serpents . . ." These lines are talking about the appearance of two huge serpents from the sea.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 2.201-215)

Example Question #3 : Passage Comprehension In Vergil

Laocoon, ductus Neptuno sorte sacerdos,
sollemnis taurum ingentem mactabat ad aras.
Ecce autem gemini a Tenedo tranquilla per alta
(horresco referens) immensis orbibus angues
incumbunt pelago pariterque ad litora tendunt;            5   
pectora quorum inter fluctus arrecta iubaeque
sanguineae superant undas, pars cetera pontum
pone legit sinuatque immensa volumine terga.
Fit sonitus spumante salo; iamque arva tenebant
ardentisque oculos suffecti sanguine et igni                 10
sibila lambebant linguis vibrantibus ora.
Diffugimus visu exsangues. Illi agmine certo
Laocoonta petunt; et primum parva duorum
corpora natorum serpens amplexus uterque
implicat et miseros morsu depascitur artus.                15

In lines 12-15 ("illi...artus"), we learn that __________.

Possible Answers:

Laocoon has summoned the serpents to fight the Greeks

The serpents are very small

The serpents are messengers of Neptune

The serpents devour Laocoon

Correct answer:

The serpents devour Laocoon

Explanation:

In these lines of the passage, the author is describing the serpents tearing Laocoon limb from limb. The lines loosely translate as:

They seek Laocoon in a certain crowd and, at once, each serpent of the two (entwined around the small body parts) wrap around the miserable limbs and he (Laocoon) is devoured with a bite.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 2.201-215)

Example Question #5 : Passage Comprehension In Vergil

Defessi Aeneadae, quae proxima litora, cursu
contendunt petere, et Libyae vertuntur ad oras.
Est in secessu longo locus: insula portum
efficit obiectu laterum, quibus omnis ab alto              
frangitur inque sinus scindit sese unda reductos.

The subject of "vertuntur" in line 2 is __________.

Possible Answers:

litora

oras

Aeneadae

Libyae

Correct answer:

Aeneadae

Explanation:

In the context of this passage, both "litora" and "oras" are in the accusative plural case. That narrows the choices down to "Libyae" and "Aeneadae"; however, "Libya," "Libyae" is the name in Latin for the North African region, which means it makes little sense for it to be plural here. In fact, it is in the genitive singular, describing the word "oras." Additionally, the word "vertuntur" translates as they are turned, which makes no sense for a country. Due to the context of the passage, it makes most sense for "vertuntur" to apply to the "Aeneadae," who are described as doing various actions as they sail for the Libyan shores.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.157-161)

Example Question #6 : Passage Comprehension In Vergil

Haec dum Dardanio Aeneae miranda videntur,
dum stupet, obtutuque haeret defixus in uno,             
regina ad templum, forma pulcherrima Dido,
incessit magna iuvenum stipante caterva.

In these lines, we learn that __________.

Possible Answers:

Dido is praying

Dido is greeting a crowd

A crowd is staring at Dido

Dido is attacking someone

Correct answer:

A crowd is staring at Dido

Explanation:

In this passage, a crowd is staring at Dido. We can tell this because of the many words used describing this action:

"Aeneae miranda videntur": it seems she must be admired (gazed at) by Aeneas

"stupet": he is astounded

"obtutuque": and with a gaze

and so on.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 1.494-497)

Example Question #4 : Passage Comprehension In Vergil

Hinc via Tartarei quae fert Acherontis ad undas.              
turbidus hic caeno vastaque voragine gurges
aestuat atque omnem Cocyto eructat harenam.
Portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina servat
terribili squalore Charon, cui plurima mento                  5
canities inculta iacet, stant lumina flamma,              
sordidus ex umeris nodo dependet amictus.
Ipse ratem conto subigit velisque ministrat
et ferruginea subvectat corpora cumba,
iam senior, sed cruda deo viridisque senectus.              10
Huc omnis turba ad ripas effusa ruebat,               
matres atque viri defunctaque corpora vita
magnanimum heroum, pueri innuptaeque puellae,
impositique rogis iuvenes ante ora parentum . . .

In this exerpt, the author is describing __________.

Possible Answers:

Sailing across the Mediterranean

The voyage to the underworld

The gods

Olympus

Correct answer:

The voyage to the underworld

Explanation:

In this passage, the author is describing the journey to the underworld. We know this because Charon, the ferryman to the underworld, is mentioned, in addition to other words that translate as the underworld, bodies, Acheron, Cocytus and so on. All of these words refer to the underworld.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 6.295-308)

Example Question #42 : Ap Latin Language

Sic pater Anchises, atque haec mirantibus addit:
'aspice, ut insignis spoliis Marcellus opimis               
ingreditur victorque viros supereminet omnis.
hic rem Romanam magno turbante tumultu
sistet eques, sternet Poenos Gallumque rebellem,          5
tertiaque arma patri suspendet capta Quirino.'
atque hic Aeneas (una namque ire videbat               
egregium forma iuvenem et fulgentibus armis,
sed frons laeta parum et deiecto lumina vultu)
'quis, pater, ille, virum qui sic comitatur euntem?           10
filius, anne aliquis magna de stirpe nepotum?
qui strepitus circa comitum! quantum instar in ipso!  

In lines 2-6, who is speaking?

Possible Answers:

Marcellus

Aeneas

Quirinus

Anchises

Correct answer:

Anchises

Explanation:

In this passage, Anchises is the first one to speak. Often, Vergil introduces a new speaker with "sic _____," instead of using words like "inquit" or "ait."

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 6.854-865)

Example Question #43 : Ap Latin Language

Aeneas miratus enim motusque tumultu
'dic,' ait, 'o virgo, quid vult concursus ad amnem?
quidve petunt animae? vel quo discrimine ripas
hae linquunt, illae remis vada livida verrunt?'              
olli sic breviter fata est longaeva sacerdos:                      5
'Anchisa generate, deum certissima proles,
Cocyti stagna alta vides Stygiamque paludem,
di cuius iurare timent et fallere numen.
haec omnis, quam cernis, inops inhumataque turba est . . .

In lines 1-4 of the passage, we learn that __________.

Possible Answers:

Aeneas is consulting an oracle

Something is happening at the river bank

Aeneas is looking at the future

Aeneas is speaking to a god

Correct answer:

Something is happening at the river bank

Explanation:

In lines 1-4 of the passage, we learn that something is happening by the river. The first line states that Aeneas is amazed and moved by the commotion. In lines 1-4, he is asking about what is going on and why it is happening.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 6.317-325)

Example Question #44 : Ap Latin Language

inter quas Phoenissa recens a vulnere Dido               
errabat silva in magna; quam Troius heros
ut primum iuxta stetit agnovitque per umbras
obscuram, qualem primo qui surgere mense
aut videt aut vidisse putat per nubila lunam,                   5
demisit lacrimas dulcique adfatus amore est:               
'infelix Dido, verus mihi nuntius ergo
venerat exstinctam ferroque extrema secutam?
funeris heu tibi causa fui? per sidera iuro,
per superos et si qua fides tellure sub ima est,               10
inuitus, regina, tuo de litore cessi.  

How does Dido feel?

Possible Answers:

Angry

Sad

Apathetic

Happy

Correct answer:

Sad

Explanation:

In this passage, we can tell that Dido is very sad. Many words like "vulnere," "lacrimas," "infelix," and so on are in reference to Dido's emotions. She is crying and emotionally wounded.

(Passage adapted from the Aeneid by Vergil, 6.450-460)

← Previous 1
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: