AP Latin : Passage Comprehension in Prose Passages

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Latin

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Example Questions

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Example Question #501 : Ap Latin Language

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?'

What is happening in lines 3-8 ("non...roganti")?

Possible Answers:

A girl is scolding the old woman

The old woman is scolding the God

Minerva is asking a question

Minerva is lecturing someone

Correct answer:

Minerva is lecturing someone

Explanation:

From the context of lines 1-3, we know that this is Minerva speaking to someone else, as there was no mention of a change in subject. We know that she is commanding someone because of the use of many imperative verbs, like "sperne." Reading the words in the lines, it is obvious that Minerva is lecturing someone.

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

Example Question #502 : Ap Latin Language

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?'

The girl's reaction to Minerva's words is __________.

Possible Answers:

anger

happiness

sadness

acceptance

Correct answer:

anger

Explanation:

The girl's reaction to Minerva's words is revealed in line 10 ("vixque...iram"): And scarcely holding back her hand and having revealed her anger with her expressions.

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

Example Question #361 : Sight Reading

Pyramus et Thisbe, iuvenum pulcherrimus alter,               
altera, quas Oriens habuit, praelata puellis,
contiguas tenuere domos, ubi dicitur altam
coctilibus muris cinxisse Semiramis urbem.
notitiam primosque gradus vicinia fecit,                             5
tempore crevit amor; taedae quoque iure coissent,              
sed vetuere patres: quod non potuere vetare,
ex aequo captis ardebant mentibus ambo.
conscius omnis abest; nutu signisque loquuntur,
quoque magis tegitur, tectus magis aestuat ignis.              10
fissus erat tenui rima, quam duxerat olim,               
cum fieret, paries domui communis utrique.
id vitium nulli per saecula longa notatum -
quid non sentit amor? - primi vidistis amantes
et vocis fecistis iter, tutaeque per illud                              15
murmure blanditiae minimo transire solebant.               

In lines 1-6, we learn that this story is about which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Semiramis

An Eastern nation

Love

Towns

Correct answer:

Love

Explanation:

This story is about love. The first line introduces the two protagonists: Pyramus and Thisbe. Lines 2-5 talk about how they are young and beautiful and gives the setting of this story, and line 6 explains that the story is about their love.

(Passage adapted from Metamorphoses by Ovid, IV.55-70)

Example Question #362 : Sight Reading

Pyramus et Thisbe, iuvenum pulcherrimus alter,               
altera, quas Oriens habuit, praelata puellis,
contiguas tenuere domos, ubi dicitur altam
coctilibus muris cinxisse Semiramis urbem.
notitiam primosque gradus vicinia fecit,                             5
tempore crevit amor; taedae quoque iure coissent,              
sed vetuere patres: quod non potuere vetare,
ex aequo captis ardebant mentibus ambo.
conscius omnis abest; nutu signisque loquuntur,
quoque magis tegitur, tectus magis aestuat ignis.              10
fissus erat tenui rima, quam duxerat olim,               
cum fieret, paries domui communis utrique.
id vitium nulli per saecula longa notatum -
quid non sentit amor? - primi vidistis amantes
et vocis fecistis iter, tutaeque per illud                              15
murmure blanditiae minimo transire solebant.               

How is Pyramus and Thisbe's relationship viewed by their parents?

Possible Answers:

It is forbidden

They think it is sweet

They are happy

They are indifferent

Correct answer:

It is forbidden

Explanation:

The parents (fathers, specifically) do not approve of the relationship. In line 7: but the fathers forbade that which they are not able to forbid.

(Passage adapted from Metamorphoses by Ovid, IV.55-70)

Example Question #363 : Sight Reading

Pyramus et Thisbe, iuvenum pulcherrimus alter,               
altera, quas Oriens habuit, praelata puellis,
contiguas tenuere domos, ubi dicitur altam
coctilibus muris cinxisse Semiramis urbem.
notitiam primosque gradus vicinia fecit,                             5
tempore crevit amor; taedae quoque iure coissent,              
sed vetuere patres: quod non potuere vetare,
ex aequo captis ardebant mentibus ambo.
conscius omnis abest; nutu signisque loquuntur,
quoque magis tegitur, tectus magis aestuat ignis.              10
fissus erat tenui rima, quam duxerat olim,               
cum fieret, paries domui communis utrique.
id vitium nulli per saecula longa notatum -
quid non sentit amor? - primi vidistis amantes
et vocis fecistis iter, tutaeque per illud                              15
murmure blanditiae minimo transire solebant.               

How do Pyramus and Thisbe communicate with one another?

Possible Answers:

Through letters

A friend relays their messages

They meet in the city

Through a crack in the wall

Correct answer:

Through a crack in the wall

Explanation:

Lines 11-16 of this passage explain that Pyramus and Thisbe must resort to whispering through a crack in the wall, since their parents forbid their relationship.

(Passage adapted from Metamorphoses by Ovid, IV.55-70)

Example Question #364 : Sight Reading

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.

In lines 1-2 of this passage, we learn that __________.

Possible Answers:

Bacchus is surrounded

Bacchus has returned from a trip

Bacchus refuses to do anything

Bacchus is speaking to his master

Correct answer:

Bacchus is surrounded

Explanation:

In lines 1-2, some followers of Bacchus have returned from something and are surrounding him in such a way that he cannot be seen by anyone else.

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

Example Question #365 : Sight Reading

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.

How does Pentheus feel towards Bacchus?

Possible Answers:

There is no indication of Pentheus' feelings given in the passage.

Curious

Happy

Angry

Correct answer:

Angry

Explanation:

Pentheus is angry with Bacchus. In lines 8-10, he reprimands Bacchus, refers to him as someone about to die (implying he will kill Bacchus), and curses the God's name and his ancestors.

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

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