Operatives, so far in Latin we have seen verbs in the active voice. Look at the following examples:
|Bellātor canem portat.||canis ā Bellātōre portātur.|
|Bellator carries the dog||The dog is being carried by Bellator.|
|Clōdia mīlitem clāmāntem audit.||mīles clāmāns ā Clōdiā audītur.|
|Clodia hears the soldier shouting||The shouting soldier is being heard by Clodia.|
The verbs in the sentences on the left have verbs in the active voice. In the active voice, the subject of the verb does the action of the verb. Thus, in the first sentence, Bellator is carrying the dog.
The verbs in the sentences on the right have verbs in the passive voice. In the passive voice, the subject of the verb receives the action of the verb. Thus, in the first sentence on the right, the dog is being carried by Bellator.
Forming verbs in the passive voice is fairly easy. In the present, imperfect and future passive, the passive voice uses the following personal endings:
The present passive indicative is formed in the following way. Take the present stem of the verb and add the passive personal endings. Examine the following example:
amō, amāre, amāvī, amātus - to love
|1st person||amor||I am loved||amāmur||we are loved|
|2nd person||amāris||you are loved||amāmini||you (all) are loved|
|3rd person||amātur||he/she is loved||amantur||they are loved|
Ovid and Rome! Operative, they go together like peanut-butter and fluff! Here's Ovid's own guide to where to go in Rome found in the Ars Amatoria, and it's all (pretty much) on the way to the Palatine:
Ovid, Ars Amatoria I
Now, that you still are fancy-free, now is the time for you to choose a woman and say to her: "You are the only woman that I care for." She's not going to be wafted down to you from heaven on the wings of the wind. You must use your own-eyes to discover the girl that suits you. The hunter knows where to spread his nets in order to snare the stag; he knows the valley where the wild boar has his lair. The birdcatcher knows where he should spread his lime; and the fisherman, what waters most abound in fish. And thou who seekest out the object of a lasting love, learn to know the places which the fair ones most do haunt. You won't have to put to sea in order to do that, or to undertake any distant journeys. Perseus may bring home his Andromeda from sun-scorched India, and the Phrygian swain may go to Greece to bear away his bride; Rome alone will give you a choice of such lovely women, and so many of them, that you will be forced to confess that she gathers within her own bosom all the treasures that the world can show. As numerous as the ears of corn on Gargarus, grapes in Methymna, fish in the ocean, birds in the thickets, stars in the heavens, so numerous are the beautiful girls you'll find in Rome: Venus has made her seat of empire the city of her beloved Æneas.
If your tastes incline to a young beauty, in the very flower of girlhood, a really inexperienced girl will offer herself to your gaze; if you prefer one rather more mature, there are hundreds of young women who will take your fancy: 'twill be a veritable embarras de richesses. But perhaps you would rather have someone still older, still more experienced. In that case you've got a yet larger number to choose from. When the sun begins to enter the sign of the Lion, you've only got to take a stroll beneath the cool shade of Pompey's portico, or near that building adorned with foreign marbles erected by a loving mother who united her offerings to those of a dutiful son. Omit not to visit that portico which, adorned with ancient pictures, is called the portico of Livia, after its foundress. There you will see the Danaides plotting the death of their unhappy kinswomen, and their fell sire grasping in his hand a naked sword. And do not miss the festival of Adonis, mourned of Venus, and the rites celebrated every seventh day by the Syrian Jews.
Shun not the Temple of the Cow of Memphis, who persuades so many women to play the part she played to Jupiter. Even the Forum, strange though it sound, is propitious to love-making. Lawyers are by no means proof against the fiery shafts of Love. Hard by the marble temple sacred to Venus, where play the waters of the Appian fount, many an advocate has fallen a victim to the snares of Love; for the man who defends his client cannot always defend himself. In such a pass, words sometimes fail even the most learned orator. The tables are turned and he finds himself obliged to plead his own cause. From her temple close at hand, Venus laughs to see him in such a quandary. A patron but a little while ago, he would now rejoice to be a client.
But it is especially at the theatre you should lay your snares; that is where you may hope to have your desires fulfilled. Here you will find women to your taste: one for a moment's dalliance, another to fondle and caress, another to have all for your own. Even as the ants that come and go in long battalions with their stores of food, or as the bees, when they have found plants to plunder of their honey, hover hither and thither among the thyme and the flowers, so, and no less numerous, you may see crowds of lovely women, gaily dressed, hastening away to the theatre. I have often found it difficult to choose from such a galaxy. They come to see and, more important still, to be seen! The theatre's the place where modesty acts a fall.
It was you, Romulus, who first mingled the cares of love with public games, that far-off day when the rape of the Sabine women gave wives to your warriors who had waited for them so long. No curtains then hung in the marble theatre, nor was the stage made red with liquid saffron. In those days branches from the woods of the Palatine were the only adornment of our simple stage. The people sat on seats of turf, their heads canopied with boughs.
CULTURALIA Comprehension Questions
Directions: Using the CULTURALIA section of your CODEX as a guide, answer the following questions:
1. When did Ovid write the Ars Amatoria?
2. Briefly describe the content of the three books.
3. How was the work received? Who might not have liked it?
4. In the exerpt in the CULTURALIA section, what imagry is used at the very beginning? To what is finding a lover compared?
5. Name three of the places Ovid suggests you should go.
6. Where does Ovid think is the best place to find a lover?
7. According to what Roman myth does Ovid justify the mingling of games and love?