AP Latin : Poetic Syntax

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Poetic Syntax

Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum severiorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,                    5
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,                        10
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus invidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.

What is the word "mille" doing in line 7?

Possible Answers:

Describing "basia"

Describing "mi"

Describing "da"

Describing "deinde"

Correct answer:

Describing "basia"

Explanation:

The word "mille" is a number referring to how many basia there are. It is "describing 'basia.'"

Passage adapted from "Catullus 5," ln.1-13

Example Question #2 : Grammar, Syntax, And Scansion In Poetry

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.

What type of use of the subjunctive is represented by "amarem" in line 1?

Possible Answers:

Potential

Causal

Jussive

Purpose

Correct answer:

Potential

Explanation:

The verb "amarem" should be translated with the word "should" or "may." It is indicating the possibility of loving or not loving. This independent use of the subjunctive is called "potential" because it indicates the potential of something to happen or not happen.

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

Example Question #2 : Poetic Syntax

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 "oculis meis" (line 1) translate?

Possible Answers:

With my eyes

For my eyes

By my eyes

Than my eyes

Correct answer:

Than my eyes

Explanation:

"Oculis meis" in line 1 is in the ablative case. The presence of the word "plus," a comparative adjective, indicates that something or things are being compared. When you have a comparative paired with the ablative case, you translate the ablative words with the word "than." The correct translation is "than my eyes."

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

Example Question #4 : Grammar, Syntax, And Scansion In Poetry

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.

The antecedent of "qui" (line 7) is __________.

Possible Answers:

multa

me

perderes

clienti

Correct answer:

clienti

Explanation:

A relative pronoun must agree with its antecedent in number and gender. The possibilities for the form "qui" are nominative singular masculine or nominative plural masculine. That narrows down the choices to "me" and "clienti"; however, the context of the next clause clears up the confusion. Whoever the "qui" is referring to has given Calvus something wicked. Since the rest of the poem has been talking about something wicked that the author has recieved, we can assume that he is not the one who gave the wicked thing.

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

Example Question #5 : Grammar, Syntax, And Scansion In Poetry

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.

Why are "horribilem," "sacrum," and "libellum" in the accusative case (line 12)?

Possible Answers:

Accusative as an appositive

Accusative direct object

Exclamatory accusative

Accusative of expression

Correct answer:

Exclamatory accusative

Explanation:

The accusative case in Latin can be used to exclaim a statement. So, here, the author does exactly this in order to further emphasize how strong his feelings are. It is an exclamatory accusative. 

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

Example Question #6 : Grammar, Syntax, And Scansion In Poetry

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.

Why is "periret" (line 14) subjunctive?

Possible Answers:

Ut Causal

Jussive

Simile

Ut Purpose

Correct answer:

Ut Purpose

Explanation:

"Periret" is subjunctive in order to show purpose. The author claims that his friend sent the poems so that they may kill him. In other words, they were sent for this specific purpose.

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

Example Question #7 : Grammar, Syntax, And Scansion In Poetry

Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
cenam, non sine candida puella
et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis.                  5
haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster,
cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli
plenus sacculus est aranearum.
sed contra accipies meros amores
seu quid suavius elegantiusve est:                     10
nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque,
quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis,
totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.

What word is the object of "favent" in line 2?

Possible Answers:

di

cenam (line 4)

diebus

tibi

Correct answer:

tibi

Explanation:

The verb "faveo, favere" takes a word in the dative case as its direct object. The commas in the text indicate that both "paucis" and "diebus" are in a separate clause from the word "favent." The word "di" can only ever be nominative or vocative [it is a shortened form of the word "dei" (from "deus, dei")]. "Cenam" in line 4 is a first-declension word, so it can only be accusative singular. "Tibi," however, is the dative case form of "tu." The phrase translates as if the gods favor you.

(Passage adapted from "Catullus 13," ln.1-14)

Example Question #8 : Grammar, Syntax, And Scansion In Poetry

Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
cenam, non sine candida puella
et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis.                  5
haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster,
cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli
plenus sacculus est aranearum.
sed contra accipies meros amores
seu quid suavius elegantiusve est:                     10
nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque,
quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis,
totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.

How many words (incuding adjectives) are the object of "sine"?

Possible Answers:

3

6

2

1

Correct answer:

6

Explanation:

The word "sine" is a preposition that takes the ablative case. In the following phrase, "candida," "puella," "vino," "sale," "omnibus," and "cachinnis" are all in the ablative case. They are all the object of "sine," as there is no other word in the clause to govern them.

(Passage adapted from "Catullus 13," ln.1-14)

Example Question #9 : Grammar, Syntax, And Scansion In Poetry

Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
cenam, non sine candida puella
et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis.                  5
haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster,
cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli
plenus sacculus est aranearum.
sed contra accipies meros amores
seu quid suavius elegantiusve est:                     10
nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque,
quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis,
totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.

The "-ve" ending on the end of "elegantiusve" connects which two words?

Possible Answers:

"elegantius" and "suavius"

"elegantius" and "seu"

"elegantius" and "quid"

"elegantius" and "est"

Correct answer:

"elegantius" and "suavius"

Explanation:

"-Ve" acts as the conjunction or. Just like "-que," it joins the word it is attached to to the preceding word. "-Ve" is joining "elegantius" with "suavius."

Example Question #10 : Grammar, Syntax, And Scansion In Poetry

Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
cenam, non sine candida puella
et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis.                  5
haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster,
cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli
plenus sacculus est aranearum.
sed contra accipies meros amores
seu quid suavius elegantiusve est:                     10
nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque,
quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis,
totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.

To what word does "quod" (line 11) refer?

Possible Answers:

cupidines

unguentum

puellae

veneres

Correct answer:

unguentum

Explanation:

Relative pronouns like "quod" must always come after the words they're describing. Additionally, they must agree in number and gender with their antecedents. Since "quod" is singular and neuter, its antecedent can only be "unguentum," since all of the other words are plural and different genders.

(Passage adapted from "Catullus 13," ln.1-14)

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