26 min

Phaedra to Hippolytus, part 2 (Ovid, Heroides 4.37-84 Latin Poetry Podcast

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Phaedra wants to take up hunting like Hippolytus and is driven to the extremes of mental derangement. Perhaps it is some family curse that the women of her Cretan line all suffer in love (Europa, Pasiphae, Ariadne)? Phaedra describes how attractive she found Hippolytus when she first saw him at Eleusis.

See Peter J. Davis, “Rewriting Euripides: Ovid, Heriodes 4,” Scholia 4 (1995) 41-55. https://www.academia.edu/4756559/Rewriting_Euripides_Ovid_Heroides_4

iam quoque — vix crēdēs — ignōtās mittor in artēs;

est mihi per saevās impetus īre ferās.

iam mihi prīma dea est arcū praesignis aduncō

Dēlia; iūdicium subsequor ipsa tuum.

in nemus īre libet pressīsque in rētia cervīs

hortārī celerēs per iuga summa canēs,

aut tremulum excussō iaculum vibrāre lacertō,

aut in grāmineā pōnere corpus humō.

saepe iuvat versāre levēs in pulvere currūs

torquentem frēnīs ōra fugācis equī;

nunc feror, ut Bacchī furiīs Elelēides āctae,

quaeque sub Īdaeō tympana colle movent,

aut quās sēmideae Dryadēs Faunīque bicornēs

nūmine contāctās attonuēre suō.

namque mihī referunt, cum sē furor ille remīsit,

omnia; mē tacitam cōnscius ūrit amor.

forsitan hunc generis fātō reddāmus amōrem,

et Venus ex tōtā gente tribūta petat.

Iuppiter Eurōpēn — prīma est ea gentis orīgō —

dīlēxit, taurō dissimulante deum.

Pāsiphaē māter, dēceptō subdita taurō,

ēnīxa est uterō crīmen onusque suō.

perfidus Aegīdēs, dūcentia fīla secūtus,

curva meae fūgit tēcta sorōris ope.

ēn, ego nunc, nē forte parum Mīnōia crēdar,

in sociās lēgēs ultima gentis eō!

hoc quoque fātāle est: placuit domus ūna duābus;

mē tua fōrma capit, capta parente soror.

Thēsīdēs Thēseusque duās rapuēre sorōrēs —

pōnite dē nostrā bīna tropaea domō!

tempore quō nōbīs inita est Cereālis Eleusīn,

Cnōsia mē vellem dētinuisset humus!

tunc mihi praecipuē (nec nōn tamen ante placēbās)

ācer in extrēmīs ossibus haesit amor.

candida vestis erat, praecīnctī flōre capillī,

flāva verēcundus tīnxerat ōra rubor,

quemque vocant aliae vultum rigidumque trucemque,

prō rigidō Phaedrā iūdice fortis erat.

sint procul ā nōbīs iuvenēs ut fēmina cōmptī! —

fīne colī modicō fōrma virīlis amat.

tē tuus iste rigor positīque sine arte capillī

et levis ēgregiō pulvis in ōre decet.

sīve ferōcis equī luctantia colla recurvās,

exiguō flexōs mīror in orbe pedēs;

seu lentum validō torquēs hastīle lacertō,

ōra ferōx in sē versa lacertus habet,

sīve tenēs lātō vēnābula cornea ferrō.

dēnique nostra iuvat lūmina, quidquid agis.

Phaedra wants to take up hunting like Hippolytus and is driven to the extremes of mental derangement. Perhaps it is some family curse that the women of her Cretan line all suffer in love (Europa, Pasiphae, Ariadne)? Phaedra describes how attractive she found Hippolytus when she first saw him at Eleusis.

See Peter J. Davis, “Rewriting Euripides: Ovid, Heriodes 4,” Scholia 4 (1995) 41-55. https://www.academia.edu/4756559/Rewriting_Euripides_Ovid_Heroides_4

iam quoque — vix crēdēs — ignōtās mittor in artēs;

est mihi per saevās impetus īre ferās.

iam mihi prīma dea est arcū praesignis aduncō

Dēlia; iūdicium subsequor ipsa tuum.

in nemus īre libet pressīsque in rētia cervīs

hortārī celerēs per iuga summa canēs,

aut tremulum excussō iaculum vibrāre lacertō,

aut in grāmineā pōnere corpus humō.

saepe iuvat versāre levēs in pulvere currūs

torquentem frēnīs ōra fugācis equī;

nunc feror, ut Bacchī furiīs Elelēides āctae,

quaeque sub Īdaeō tympana colle movent,

aut quās sēmideae Dryadēs Faunīque bicornēs

nūmine contāctās attonuēre suō.

namque mihī referunt, cum sē furor ille remīsit,

omnia; mē tacitam cōnscius ūrit amor.

forsitan hunc generis fātō reddāmus amōrem,

et Venus ex tōtā gente tribūta petat.

Iuppiter Eurōpēn — prīma est ea gentis orīgō —

dīlēxit, taurō dissimulante deum.

Pāsiphaē māter, dēceptō subdita taurō,

ēnīxa est uterō crīmen onusque suō.

perfidus Aegīdēs, dūcentia fīla secūtus,

curva meae fūgit tēcta sorōris ope.

ēn, ego nunc, nē forte parum Mīnōia crēdar,

in sociās lēgēs ultima gentis eō!

hoc quoque fātāle est: placuit domus ūna duābus;

mē tua fōrma capit, capta parente soror.

Thēsīdēs Thēseusque duās rapuēre sorōrēs —

pōnite dē nostrā bīna tropaea domō!

tempore quō nōbīs inita est Cereālis Eleusīn,

Cnōsia mē vellem dētinuisset humus!

tunc mihi praecipuē (nec nōn tamen ante placēbās)

ācer in extrēmīs ossibus haesit amor.

candida vestis erat, praecīnctī flōre capillī,

flāva verēcundus tīnxerat ōra rubor,

quemque vocant aliae vultum rigidumque trucemque,

prō rigidō Phaedrā iūdice fortis erat.

sint procul ā nōbīs iuvenēs ut fēmina cōmptī! —

fīne colī modicō fōrma virīlis amat.

tē tuus iste rigor positīque sine arte capillī

et levis ēgregiō pulvis in ōre decet.

sīve ferōcis equī luctantia colla recurvās,

exiguō flexōs mīror in orbe pedēs;

seu lentum validō torquēs hastīle lacertō,

ōra ferōx in sē versa lacertus habet,

sīve tenēs lātō vēnābula cornea ferrō.

dēnique nostra iuvat lūmina, quidquid agis.

26 min

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