Latin for beginners (1911)/Reading Matter/The Labors of Hercules

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HERCULES

THE LABORS OF HERCULES

Hercules, a Greek hero celebrated for his great strength, was pursued throughout his life by the hatred of Juno. While yet an infant he strangled some serpents sent by the goddess to destroy him.
HERCULES ET SERPENTES
During his boyhood and youth he performed various marvelous feats of strength, and on reaching manhood he succeeded in delivering the Thebans from the oppression of the Minyæ. In a fit of madness, sent upon him by Juno, he slew his own children; and, on consulting the Delphic oracle as to how he should cleanse himself from this crime, he was ordered to submit himself for twelve years to Eurystheus, king of Tiryna, and to perform whatever tasks were appointed him. Hercules obeyed the oracle, and during the twelve years of his servitude accomplished twelve extraordinary feats known as the Labors of Hercules. His death was caused, unintentionally, by his wife Deiani'ra. Hercules had shot with his poisoned arrows a centaur named Nessus, who had insulted Deianira. Nessus, before he died, gave some of his blood to Deianira, and told her it would act as a charm to secure her husband's love. Some time after, Deianira, wishing to try the charm, soaked one of her husband's garments in the blood, not knowing that it was poisoned. Hercules put on the robe, and, after suffering terrible torments, died, or was carried off by his father Jupiter.

LIII THE INFANT HERCULES AND THE SERPENTS[1]

[2] grave supplicium sūmunt dē malīs, sed iī quī lēgibus[3] deōrum pārent, etiam post mortem cūrantur. Illa vita dīs[2] erat grātissima quae hominibus miserīs ūtilissima fuerat. Omnium autem praemiōrum summum erat immortālitās. Illud praemium Herculī datum est.

Herculīs pater fuit Iuppiter, māter Alcmēna, et omnium hominum validissimus fuisse dīcitur. Sed Iūnō, rēgina deōrum, eum, adhūc infantem, interficere studēbat; nam eī[4] et[5] Herculēs et Alcmēna erant invisī. Itaque misit duās serpentis, utramque saevissimam, quae mediā nocte domum[6] Alcmēnae vēnērunt. Ibi Herculēs, cum fratre suō, nōn in lectulō sed in scūtō ingentī dormiēbat lam audācēs serpentēs adpropinquāverant, iam scūtum movēbant. Tum frāter, terrōre commotus, magnā vōce mātrem vocāvit, sed Herculēs ipse, fortior quam frāter, statim ingentīs serpentīs manibus suis rapuit et interfēcit.

LIV. HERCULES CONQUERS THE MINYÆ

Herculēs a puerō[7] corpus suum gravissimis et difficillimis laboribus exercebat et hoc modo virēs[8] suas confirmavit. Iam adulescens Thebis[9] habitabat. Ibi Creon quidam erat rēx. Minyae, gens validissima, erant finitimi Thebanis, et, quia olim Thebanos vicerant, quotannis legates mittebant et vectigal postulabant. Herculēs autem constituit civis suos hoc vectigali liberare et dixit regi, "Da mihi exercitum tuum et ego hos superbos hostis superabo." Hanc condicionem rēx nōn recusavit, et Herculēs nuntios in omnis partis dimisit et copias coēgit.[10] Tum tempore opportunissimo proelium cum Minyis commisit. Diū pugnātum est, sed dēnique illī impetum Thebanōrum sustinēre nōn potuērunt et terga vertērunt fugamque cēpērunt.

HE COMMITS A CRIME AND GOES TO THE DELPHIAN ORACLE TO SEEK EXPIATION

Post hoc proelium Creōn rēx, tanta victōriā laetus, fīliam suam Herculī in matrimōnium dedit. Thēbis Herculēs cum uxōre suā diū vivēbat et ab omnibus magnopere amābātur; sed post multōs annōs subitō in furōrem incidit[11] et ipse suā manū līberōs suōs interfēcit. Post breve tempus ad sānitātem reductus[12] tantum scelus expiāre cupiēbat et cōnstituit ad ōrāculum Delphicum iter facere. Hoc autem ōrāculum erat omnium clārissimum. Ibi sedēbat fēmina quaedam quae Pȳthia appellābātur. Ea cōnsilium dabat iīs quī ad ōrāculum veniēbant.

LV. HERCULES BECOMES SUBJECT TO EURYSTHEUS[13]
HE STRANGLES THE NEME'AN LION

Itaque Herculēs Pȳthiae tōtam rem dēmōnstrāvit nec scelus suum abdidit. Ubi iam Herculēs finem fēcit, Pȳthia iussit eum ad urbem Tiryntha[14] discēdere et ibi rēgī Eurystheō sēsē committere. Quae[15] ubi audīvit, Herculēs ad illam urbem statim contendit et Eurystheō sē in servitūtem trādidit et dīxit, "Quid prīmum, Ō rēx, mē facere iubēs?"

Latin for beginners (1911) 223.png

HERCULES LEONEM SUPERAT

Eurystheus, quī perterrēbātur vī et corpore ingentī Herculis et eum occīdī[16] studēbat, ita respondit: "Audī, Herculēs! Multa mira[17] nārrantur dē leōne saevissimō quī hōc tempore in valle Nemaeā omnia vāstat. Iubeō tē, virōrum omnium fortissimum, illō mōnstrō hominēs līberāre." Haec verba Herculī maximē placuērunt. "Properābō," inquit, "et pārēbō imperiō[18] tuō." Tum in silvās in quibus leō habitabat statim iter fēcit. Mox feram vidit et plūris impetūs fēcit; frūstrā tamen, quod neque sagittīs neque ūllō aliō tēlō mōnstrum vulnerāre potuit. Dēnique Herculēs saevum leōnem suis ingentibus bracchiīs rapuit et faucīs eius omnibus vīribus compressit. Hōc modō brevī tempore eum interfēcit. Tum corpus leōnis ad oppidum in umerīs reportāvit et pellem posteā prō[19] veste gerebat. Omnēs autem quī eam regiōnem incolēbant, ubi fāmam dē morte leōnis ingentis accēpērunt, erant laetissimī et Herculem laudābant verbīs amplissimīs.

LVI. SLAYING THE LERNE'AN HYDRA

Deinde Herculēs ab Eurystheō iussus est Hydram occīdere. Itaque cum amicō lōlāō[20] contendit ad palūdem Lernaeam ubi Hydra incolēbat. Hoc autem mōnstrum erat serpēns ingēns quae novem capita habēbat. Mox is mōnstrum repperit et summō[21] cum perīculō collum eius sinistrā manū rapuit et tenuit. Tum dextrā manū capita novem abscidere incēpit, sed frustra labōrābat, quod quotiēns hoc fēcerat totiēns alia nova capita vidēbat. Quod ubi[22] vidit, statuit capita ignī cremāre. Hōc modō octō capita delēvit, sed extrēmum caput vulnerārī nōn potuit, quod erat immortāle. Itaque illud sub ingentī saxō Herculēs posuit et ita victōriam reportāvit.

LVII. THE ARCADIAN STAG AND THE ERYMANTHIAN BOAR

Postquam Eurystheō mors Hydrae nūntiata est, summus terror animum eius occupāvit. Itaque iussit Herculem capere et ad sē reportāre cervum quendam; nam minimē cupīvit tantum virum in rēgnō suō tenere. Hic autem cervus dīcēbātur aurea cornua et pedēs multō[23] celeriōrēs ventō[24] habēre. Prīmum Herculēs vestigia animālis petīvit, deinde, ubi cervum, ipsum vidit, omnibus vīribus currere incēpit. Per plūrimōs diēs contendit nec noctū cessāvit. Dēnique postquam per tōtum annum cucurrerat — ita dīcitur — cervum iam dēfessum cēpit et ad Eurystheum portāvit.

Tum vērō iussus est Herculēs aprum quendam capere quī illō tempore agrōs Erymanthiōs vāstābat et hominēs illius locī magnopere perterrēbat. Herculēs laetē negōtium suscēpit et in Arcadiam celeriter sē recēpit Ibi mox aprum repperit. lUe autem, simul atque Herculem vidit, statim quam[25] celerrimē fugit et metū perterritus in fossam altam sēsē abdidit. Herculēs tamen summā cum difficultāte eum extrāxit, nec aper ūllō modō sēsē liberāre potuit, et vīvus ad Eurystheum portātus est.

LVIII. HERCULES CLEANS THE AUGE'AN STABLES AND KILLS THE STYMPHALIAN BIRDS

Deinde Eurystheus Herculī hunc labōrem multō graviōrem imperāvit. Augēas[26] quidam, quī illō tempore rēgnum Ēlidis[27] obtinēbat, tria milia boum[28] habebat. Hī ingentī[29] stabulō continēbantur. Hoc stabulum, quod per trīgintā annōs nōn pūrgātum erat, Herculēs intrā spatium ūnius diēī purgāre iussus est. Ille negōtium alacriter suscēpit, et prīmum labōre gravissimō maximam fossam fōdit per quam flūminis aquam dē montibus ad mūrum stabulī dūxit. Tum partem parvam mūrī dēlēvit et aquam in stabulum immīsit. Hōc modō fīnem operis fēcit ūnō diē facillimē.

Post paucōs diēs Herculēs ad oppidum Stymphālum iter fēcit; nam Eurystheus iusserat eum avīs Stymphālidēs occīdere. Hae avēs rōstra ferrea habēbant et hominēs miserōs dēvorābant ille, postquam ad locum pervenit, lacum vīdit in quō avēs incolēbant. Nūllō tamen modō Herculēs avibus adpropinquāre potuit; lacus enim nōn ex aquā sed ē līmō cōnstitit.[30] Denique autem avēs[31] dē aliquā causā perterritae in aurās volāvērunt et magna pars eārum sagittīs Herculis occīsa est.

LIX. HERCULES CAPTURES THE CRETAN BULL AND CARRIES HIM LIVING TO EURYSTHEUS

Tum Eurystheus iussit Herculem portāre vivum ex īnsulā Crētā taurum quendam saevissimum. Ille igitur nāvem cōnscēndit—nam ventus erat idōneus—atque statim solvit. Postquam trīduum nāvigāvit, incolumis īnsulae adpropinquāvit. Deinde, postquam omnia parāta sunt, contendit ad eam regiōnem quam taurus vexābat. Mox taurum vīdit ac sine ūllō metū cornua eius corripuit. Tum ingentī labōre mōnstrum ad nāvem trāxit atque cum hāc praedā ex īnsulā discessit.


HERCULES ET TAURUS


THE FLESH-EATING HORSES OF DIOME'DES

Postquam ex īnsulā Crētā domum pervēnit, Herculēs ab Eurystheō in Thrāciam missus est. Ibi Diomēdēs quīdam, vir saevissimus, rēgnum obtinēbat et omnis ā finibus suīs prohibēbat. Herculēs iussus erat equōs Diomēdis rapere et ad Eurystheum dūcere. Hī autem equī hominēs miserrimōs dēvorābant dē quibus rēx supplicium sūmere cupiēbat. Herculēs ubi pervēnit, prīmum equōs ā rēge postulāvit, sed rēx eōs dēdere recūsāvit. Deinde ille īrā commōtus rēgem occīdit et corpus eius equīs trādidit. Itaque is quī anteā multōs necāverat, ipse eōdem suppliciō necātus est. Et equī, nūper saevissima animālia, postquam dominī suī corpus dēvorāvērunt, mānsuētī erant.

LX. THE BELT OF HIPPOL'YTE, QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS

Gēns Amāzonum[32] dīcitur omnīnō ex mulieribus fuisse.[33] Hae cum virīs proelium committere nōn verēbantur. Hippolytē, Amāzonum rēgina, balteum habuit pulcherrimum. Hunc balteum possidēre filia Eurysthei vehementer cupiēbat. Itaque Eurystheus iussit Herculem impetum in Amāzonēs facere. Ille multis cum cōpiīs nāvem cōnscendit et paucīs diēbus in Amāzonum finīs pervēnit, ac balteum postulāvit. Eum trādere ipsa Hippolytē quidem cupīvit ; reliquīs tamen Amāzonibus[34] persuādēre nōn potuit. Postridiē Herculēs proelium commīsit. Multās horās utrimque quam fortissimē pugnātum est. Dēnique tamen mulierēs terga vertērunt et fugā salūtem petiērunt. Multae autem captae sunt, in quō numerō erat ipsa Hippolytē. Herculēs postquam balteum accēpit, omnibus captivīs lībertātem dedit.

THE DESCENT TO HADES AND THE DOG CER'BERUS

Iamque ūnus modō ē duodecim labōribus relinquēbātur sed inter omnīs hic erat difficillimus. lussus est enim canem Cerberum[35] ex Orcō in lūcem trahere.
HERCULES ET CERBERUS
Ex Orcō autem nēmō anteā reverterat. Praeterea Cerberus erat mōnstrum maximē horribile et tria capita habēbat. Herculēs postquam imperia Eurystheī accēpit, statim profectus est et in Orcum dēscendit. Ibi vērō nōn sine summō perīculō Cerberum manibus rapuit et ingentī cum labōre ex Orcō in lūcem et ad urbem Eurystheī trāxit.

Sic duodecim labōrēs illī[36] intrā duodecim annōs cōnfectī sunt. Dēmum post longam vītam Herculēs ā deīs receptus est et Iuppiter filiō suō dedit immortālitātem.

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References

  1. This number refers to the lesson after which the selection may be read
  2. 2.0 2.1 and dīs are from deus. Cf. § 468.
  3. lēgibus, § 501. 14.
  4. , to her, referring to Juno.
  5. et … et^ both … and.
  6. domum, § 501. 20.
  7. ā puerō, from boyhood
  8. virēs, from vis. Cf. § 468.
  9. Thebis, § 501. 36
  10. coēgit, from cōgō
  11. in furōrem incidit, went mad
  12. ad sanitatem reductus, lit. led back to sanity. What in good English?
  13. Eu-rys'theus (pronounced U-ris'thūs) was king of Ti'ryns, a Grecian city, whose foundation goes back to prehistoric times.
  14. Tiryntha, the acc. case of Tiryns, a Greek noun.
  15. Quae, obj. of audīvit. It is placed first to make a close connection with the preceding sentence. This is called a connecting relative.
  16. occīdī, pres. pass. infin.
  17. mira, marvelous things, the adj. being used as a noun. Cf. omnia, in the next line.
  18. imperio, § 501. 14.
  19. prō, for, instead of.
  20. Iōlaō, abl. of I-o-la'us, the hero's best friend.
  21. Note the emphatic position of this adjective.
  22. Quod ubi, when he saw this, another instance of the connecting relative. Cf. p. 199, l. 3.
  23. multō, § 501. 27.
  24. ventō, § 501. 34.
  25. quam. What is the force of quam with a superlative?
  26. Augēās, pronounced in English Aw-je'as.
  27. Ēlidis, gen. case of Ēlis, a district of Greece.
  28. boum, gen. plur. of bōs. For construction see § 501. 1 1.
  29. ingentī stabulō, abl. of means, but in our idiom we should say in a huge stable.
  30. cōnstitit, from cōnstō.
  31. dē aliquā causā perterritae, frightened for some reason.
  32. A fabled tribe of warlike women living in Asia Minor.
  33. omnīnō, etc., to have consisted entirely of women.
  34. Amāzonibus, § 501. 14.
  35. The dog Cerberus guarded the gate of Orcus, the abode of the dead.
  36. illī, those famous.