AP Latin : Context-Based Meaning of Words and Phrases in Poetry Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

Example Question #21 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Poetry Passages

     Inde per inmensum croceo velatus amictu
aethera digreditur Ciconumque Hymenaeus ad oras
tendit et Orphea nequiquam voce vocatur.
adfuit ille quidem, sed nec sollemnia verba
nec laetos vultus nec felix attulit omen.                             5
fax quoque, quam tenuit, lacrimoso stridula fumo
usque fuit nullosque invenit motibus ignes.
exitus auspicio gravior: nam nupta per herbas
dum nova naiadum turba comitata vagatur,
occidit in talum serpentis dente recepto.                            10

How should the word "quam" in line 6 should be translated as ____________.

Possible Answers:

which

than

how

indeed

Correct answer:

which

Explanation:

The word "quam" is acting as a relative pronoun in this clause. Its antecedent is "fax" in the preceeding clause.

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, 10.1-10)

Example Question #151 : Content Of Poetry

Dignane, cui grates ageret, cui turis honorem
ferret, Adoni, fui? nec grates inmemor egit,
nec mihi tura dedit. subitam convertor in iram,
contemptuque dolens, ne sim spernenda futuris,
exemplo caveo meque ipsa exhortor in ambos:               5
templa, deum Matri quae quondam clarus Echion
fecerat ex voto, nemorosis abdita silvis,
transibant, et iter longum requiescere suasit;
illic concubitus intempestiva cupido
occupat Hippomenen a numine concita nostro.               10
luminis exigui fuerat prope templa recessus,
speluncae similis, nativo pumice tectus,
religione sacer prisca, quo multa sacerdos
lignea contulerat veterum simulacra deorum;
hunc init et vetito temerat sacraria probro.                    15

How should "in" (line 3) be translated?

Possible Answers:

Among

Into

Against

In

Correct answer:

Into

Explanation:

"In" is being used with "iram" in the accusative case to mean into. The phrase translates as: I am turned around into a sudden anger. When paired with the accusative case, "in" can be translated as among, into, or against. The exact meaning depends on context.

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, 10.681-696)

Example Question #301 : Ap Latin Language

Forsitan audieris aliquam certamine cursus              
veloces superasse viros: non fabula rumor
ille fuit; superabat enim. nec dicere posses,
laude pedum formaene bono praestantior esset.
scitanti deus huic de coniuge 'coniuge' dixit                      5
'nil opus est, Atalanta, tibi: fuge coniugis usum.               
nec tamen effugies teque ipsa viva carebis.'
territa sorte dei per opacas innuba silvas
vivit et instantem turbam violenta procorum
condicione fugat, 'ne' c 'sum potiunda, nisi' inquit             10
'victa prius cursu. pedibus contendite mecum:               
praemia veloci coniunx thalamique dabuntur,
mors pretium tardis: ea lex certaminis esto.'
illa quidem inmitis, sed (tanta potentia formae est)
venit ad hanc legem temeraria turba procorum.                15
sederat Hippomenes cursus spectator iniqui               
et 'petitur cuiquam per tanta pericula coniunx?'
dixerat ac nimios iuvenum damnarat amores;

The word "usum" in line 6 can be translated as __________.

Possible Answers:

win

used

joy

force

Correct answer:

joy

Explanation:

The word "usum" comes from "utor, uti, usus sum," which normally translates as to use. Given the right context, however, it can also be used to mean joy or to enjoy, which is what is happening here. The best translation for "usum" in this sentence is enjoyment/joy or friendship.

Example Question #21 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Poetry Passages

Consedere duces et vulgi stante corona
surgit ad hos clipei dominus septemplicis Aiax,
utque erat inpatiens irae, Sigeia torvo
litora respexit classemque in litore vultu
intendensque manus 'agimus, pro Iuppiter!' inquit                     5
'ante rates causam, et mecum confertur Ulixes!

The word "corona" (line 1) is referring to __________.

Possible Answers:

"Aiax" (line 2)

the king of a country

a crown

the "duces" (line 1)

Correct answer:

the "duces" (line 1)

Explanation:

The word "corona" comes from "corona, coronae," which normally translates as a crown or ring, but here the word is being used with the word "vulgi" (line 1) to describe the ring of men sitting around and discussing matters in the passage.

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses 8.1-6)

Example Question #152 : Poetry

Consedere duces et vulgi stante corona
surgit ad hos clipei dominus septemplicis Aiax,
utque erat inpatiens irae, Sigeia torvo
litora respexit classemque in litore vultu
intendensque manus 'agimus, pro Iuppiter!' inquit                     5
'ante rates causam, et mecum confertur Ulixes!

How should the word "stante" in line 1 be translated?

Possible Answers:

Remaining

Standing

Stood

Remained

Correct answer:

Remaining

Explanation:

The word "stante" should be translated as remaining here. Just a few words previously, the men were described as sitting, it would not make sense to describe them standing three words later. The word "sto, stare" is often used to indicated remaining in a certain position (the same way we say in English to stand your ground). Furthermore, "stante" is the present active participle form of "sto, stare: stans, stantis," which should always be translated as __________ing.

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses 8.1-6)

Example Question #21 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Poetry Passages

Atque ego, si virtus in me dubitabilis esset,
nobilitate potens essem, Telamone creatus,
moenia qui forti Troiana sub Hercule cepit
litoraque intravit Pagasaea Colcha carina;
Aeacus huic pater est, qui iura silentibus illic              5
reddit, ubi Aeoliden saxum grave Sisyphon urget;
Aeacon agnoscit summus prolemque fatetur
Iuppiter esse suam: sic a Iove tertius Aiax.
nec tamen haec series in causam prosit, Achivi,
si mihi cum magno non est communis Achille:            10
frater erat, fraterna peto! quid sanguine cretus
Sisyphio furtisque et fraude simillimus illi
inseris Aeacidis alienae nomina gentis?

How should "forti" in line 3 be translated?

Possible Answers:

By chance

For luck's sake

For the strong

With strength

Correct answer:

By chance

Explanation:

The word "forti" comes from "fors, fortis," which means chance/luck. The form "forti" is actually in the ablative singular form. It is not unusual to see an "-i" ending used for some third declension words instead of the usual -e. In general, the "ein the third declension endings are sometimes substituted for "i."

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, 8.21-34)

Example Question #22 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Poetry Passages

at non Hectoreis dubitavit cedere flammis,
quas ego sustinui, quas hac a classe fugavi.
tutius est igitur fictis contendere verbis,
quam pugnare manu, sed nec mihi dicere promptum,             
nec facere est isti: quantumque ego Marte feroci                     5
inque acie valeo, tantum valet iste loquendo.
nec memoranda tamen vobis mea facta, Pelasgi,
esse reor: vidistis enim; sua narret Ulixes,
quae sine teste gerit, quorum nox conscia sola est!             
praemia magna peti fateor; sed demit honorem                       10
aemulus: Aiaci non est tenuisse superbum,
sit licet hoc ingens, quicquid speravit Ulixes;
iste tulit pretium iam nunc temptaminis huius,
quod, cum victus erit, mecum certasse feretur.             

The word "dubitavit" in line 1 should be translated _____________.

Possible Answers:

he doubted

he pondered

he hesitated

he decided

Correct answer:

he hesitated

Explanation:

The word "dubitavit" comes from "dubito, dubitare," which usually translates as to doubt; however, due to the context of this sentence, a better translation is: he hesitated.

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, 8.7-21)

 

Example Question #23 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Poetry Passages

at non Hectoreis dubitavit cedere flammis,
quas ego sustinui, quas hac a classe fugavi.
tutius est igitur fictis contendere verbis,
quam pugnare manu, sed nec mihi dicere promptum,             
nec facere est isti: quantumque ego Marte feroci                     5
inque acie valeo, tantum valet iste loquendo.
nec memoranda tamen vobis mea facta, Pelasgi,
esse reor: vidistis enim; sua narret Ulixes,
quae sine teste gerit, quorum nox conscia sola est!             
praemia magna peti fateor; sed demit honorem                       10
aemulus: Aiaci non est tenuisse superbum,
sit licet hoc ingens, quicquid speravit Ulixes;
iste tulit pretium iam nunc temptaminis huius,
quod, cum victus erit, mecum certasse feretur.             

The word "hac" (line 2) translates as ____________.

Possible Answers:

from here

here

with this

in this

Correct answer:

from here

Explanation:

The word "hac" comes from "hic, haec, hoc," which typically translates as this, but it is also often used to denote here. Since "hac" is the ablative form, it translates as from here.

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, 8.7-21)

Example Question #23 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Poetry Passages

at non Hectoreis dubitavit cedere flammis,
quas ego sustinui, quas hac a classe fugavi.
tutius est igitur fictis contendere verbis,
quam pugnare manu, sed nec mihi dicere promptum,             
nec facere est isti: quantumque ego Marte feroci                     5
inque acie valeo, tantum valet iste loquendo.
nec memoranda tamen vobis mea facta, Pelasgi,
esse reor: vidistis enim; sua narret Ulixes,
quae sine teste gerit, quorum nox conscia sola est!             
praemia magna peti fateor; sed demit honorem                       10
aemulus: Aiaci non est tenuisse superbum,
sit licet hoc ingens, quicquid speravit Ulixes;
iste tulit pretium iam nunc temptaminis huius,
quod, cum victus erit, mecum certasse feretur.             

How should the word "quam" in line 4 be translated?

Possible Answers:

Than

What

How

Which

Correct answer:

Than

Explanation:

The word "quam" should be translated as than. It is a part of the comparative phrase on line 3, started by the word "tutius." The whole phrase ("tutius...manu") translates: it is more prudent, therefore, to argue with false (empty) words than to fight by hand.

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, 8.7-21)

Example Question #22 : Context Based Meaning Of Words And Phrases In Poetry Passages

Hector adest secumque deos in proelia ducit,
quaque ruit, non tu tantum terreris, Ulixe,
sed fortes etiam: tantum trahit ille timoris.
hunc ego sanguineae successu caedis ovantem              
eminus ingenti resupinum pondere fudi,                       5
hunc ego poscentem, cum quo concurreret, unus
sustinui: sortemque meam vovistis, Achivi,
et vestrae valuere preces. si quaeritis huius
fortunam pugnae, non sum superatus ab illo.              
ecce ferunt Troes ferrumque ignesque Iovemque          10
in Danaas classes: ubi nunc facundus Ulixes?
nempe ego mille meo protexi pectore puppes,
spem vestri reditus: date pro tot navibus arma.

The word "cum" in line 6 should be translated as __________.

Possible Answers:

why

with

because

since

Correct answer:

with

Explanation:

The word "cum" should be translated as with or by means of in this sentence. Even though a subjunctive mood verb is present, it is clear that the word "cum" is modifying quo, which is in the ablative case. The full phrase translates: by means of which he engaged in battle.

(Passage adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, 8. 82-95)

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