Key to Reading Unit 9

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Unit 9

  1. Aeneas, a Trojan man, was the son of Anchises and Venus. When the Greeks captured Troy, he, an exile from [his] home, first came to Macedonia. From there, seeking a new country, he crossed to Sicily. From Sicily he held his course to Italy and came to the Laurentine field. There the Trojans left their ships and brought (lit. were driving) booty from the fields. Then Latinus, the king, and the natives who held those places assembled armed from the city and fields. Latinus, having been conquered in battle, made peace and gave his daughter Lavinia in marriage to Aeneas. The Trojans founded a town and Aeneas named it Lavinium from the name of his wife (concurrunt, condunt and appellat are vivid presents; the present is often used in this way to enliven a narrative). (adapted from an old reader)

  2. The ancient Sabines once practised this [way of] life, as did Remus and his brother (lit. Remus and his brother [practised] this [life]; the brother of Remus was Romulus, the founder of Rome); thus did Etruria grow strong (fortis is predicative; see Glossary of grammatical terms). (Vergil, Georgics, II, 532f.)

  3. Proteus hides himself inside with the barrier of a huge rock. (Vergil, Georgics, IV, 422f.)

  4. Not otherwise did wild Arruns remove himself from [their] eyes, (Vergil, Aeneid, XI, 814)

  5. Of their own accord they raise themselves into the shores of light (Vergil is describing the germination of seeds; shores of light is a poetical expression for the light of day). (Vergil, Georgics, II, 47)

  6. So all Teucria (Troy) freed itself from long grief. (Vergil, Aeneid, II, 26)

  7. All [possessions] of friends are [held in] common.

  8. A rich man is either unjust or the heir of an unjust man (i.e. excessive wealth is always the fruit of crime).

  9. Fire proves gold, misery [proves] strong men.

  10. It is of its own category (i.e. is unique; the subject could also be he or she).

  11. Wicked poisons lurk under sweet honey. (Ovid, Amores, I, 8, 104)

  12. Error lurks in generalities.

  13. The way to the stars from earth is not easy.

  14. He stands on his own strength.

  15. Even a fight is sweet to the inexperienced.

  16. The roots of erudition are bitter, the fruits sweet (i.e. to become learned requires hard work but the benefits are enjoyable).

  17. Kings have long hands (lit. hands [are] long for kings; i.e. a king has no trouble in exacting punishment or revenge)

  18. Death makes everything equal.

  19. He sends his gifts with a hook (i.e. he has an ulterior motive).

  20. Nature does not make a leap (i.e. in nature changes occur slowly).

  21. Excessive familiarity breeds contempt.

  22. It is not easy to fly without wings.

  23. The immortal gods are indeed slow but certain punishers of the human race.

  24. Virtue is its own reward.

  25. The relatives of the fortunate are many.

  26. A scorpion sleeps under every stone (i.e. danger can be lurking anywhere).

  27. Little books have their own destinies (i.e. what happens with a book is beyond the control of the author; the diminutive libelli is humorous). (Terentianus Maurus l.1286; Terentianus Maurus was a grammarian of about AD300; he wrote nothing else memorable)

  28. A small home [is] a small care (i.e. a small house requires little upkeep).

  29. All things are easy for the wise.

  30. Every beginning is difficult.

  31. A fat stomach does not produce fine feeling.

  32. No bad man is happy.

  33. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak (a quotation from the Latin version of the Bible (the Vulgate - see 1.3a) -Matthew 26, 41, Mark 14, 38; legend has it that in the 1960s a computer translated the English version into Russian as the vodka's O.K. but the meat's a bit off).

  34. Dishonesty corrupts everything.

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(c) Gavin Betts 2000