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sortes. The word passed from its literal meaning (88 n.) to signify oracular responses written on tablets, and, by an extension of use, any oracle, or, as here, the utterance of a soothsayer. Cf. Liv. I. lvi. 6, where it is used of the oracle itself (responsa sortium), and where it is mentioned that the response was given orally: ex infimo specu vocem redditam ferunt. See Lewis and Short, and for the less common use of the singular cf. IV. 643, Themis hanc dederat Parnasia sortem, Virg. Aen.VII. 254, “et veteris Fauni volvit sub pectore sortem”, Liv.xxvi. XIX. 4, “ut imperia consiliaque velut sorte oraculi missa sine cunctatione exsequerentur”. Ovid relates this first part of the story of Iphigenia, with the substitution for her at the altar of a hind, in XII. 24-38, her residence in the Tauric Chersonese and escape from it in Trist. iv. IV. 63-82, Ex Ponto III. ii. 45-96.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 7.254
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 19.4
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