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Metrum 1

Boethius (hereinafter: B.), imprisoned and alone, bewails his condition.

Meter: Elegiac couplets. The first line is dactylic hexameter ( - W - W - W - W - u u - - ), the second (called the pentameter) contains two hemiepes ( - W - W - - u u - u u -). In the hexameter caesura is regular after the first syllable of the third foot. No substitutions are allowed in the second hemiepes of the pentameter.

qui: "(I) who . . ." studio florente: ablative absolute; studium here, "eagerness, enthusiasm." peregi: < perago , "accomplish, complete."

lacerae: "tattered, bedraggled." scribenda: < scribo ; neuter plural accusative, gerundive of necessity: "things that must be written." Camenae: the native Latin name for the Muses.

elegi : "elegiac verses." ora: < os , oris : "mouth, face." Plural for singular is common in poetry.

Has : sc. Camenas . pervincere: "prevail upon," treated as a verb of hindering governing ne -clause in line 6 AG 558b.

comites : predicative, "as companions."

Gloria : in apposition with the subject of solantur (i.e., Camenae ). felicis : The final syllable is closed, and thus long, before the caesura.

maesti : modifies senis (genitive < senex ).

inopina : "unexpectedly"; adjectives in agreement with the subject often have adverbial force.

iussit : governs accusative/infinitive. suam : the reflexive takes its antecedent from the subject of the sentence, hence dolor .

intempestivi : "out of season," because B. is too young for cani (sc. capilli ), "grey hair."

maestis: sc. annis (line 13).

quam: exclamatory, to be taken closely with surda . . . aure . avertitur: here used in an active sense (comparable to the Greek middle voice: other Hellenisms will occur in B.): "[death] turns away [the wretches]."

saeva: with adverbial force: "cruelly."

Dum: In late Latin, dum with subjunctive is interchangeable with circumstantial cum . levibus . . . bonis: ablative, "with good things [that are] insubstantial." male: "scarcely, not at all," a common way of negating an adjective (here: fida ) in poetry.

merserat: pluperfect indicative (< mergo ) instead of perfect, for an unreal statement ( paene has the force of a negative); translate as simple past tense. Cf. LHS 328, Zus├Ątze b, on the rhetorical pluperfect.

nubila: "cloudy, gloomy," modifies fortuna understood as the subject.

me felicem: sc. esse ; accusative/infinitive with iactastis (= iactavistis ). amici: vocative.

stabili . . . gradu: ablative of description. Stabilis appears often in the Consolatio, in emphatic positions, to hint at the alternative to the mutability of fortune's world (cf. e.g., 1M4.16, 2M8.1, 3M9.3).

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae, 1.m1
    • Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae, 1.m4
    • Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae, 2.m8
    • Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae, 3.m9
    • A. A. Howard, Benj. L. D'Ooge, G. L. Kittredge, J. B. Greenough, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, 558
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