Ovid, Ars Amatoria, lines 135-142
necesse est tibi commemorāre certāmen equōrum. vāstus Circus habet multās fortūnās populī. nōn requīrit tibi utī digitōs ut dicerēs cum puellā in sēcrētīs nuntiīs.
sedē prōximus ā dominā quod nēmō prohibet tē. iungē tuum latus laterī dominae. potēs tangere puellam quod omnēs sedent prope aliōs hominēs.
nec certāmen equōrum nōbilium fugiat tē, capax Circus habet multa commoda populī. nil opus est digitīs (per quōs loquāris arcana), nec nota accipienda est tibi per nūtūs: sedētō prōximus ā dominā, nullō prohibente, iungē tuum latus (suō) laterī usque quā potes; et est bene līnea, quod cōgit, sī nōlīs, iungī quod puella tangenda est tibi lege locī.
- nec tē nōbilium fugiat certāmen equōrum;
- multa capax populī commoda Circus habet.
- nil opus est digitīs, per quos arcana loquāris,
- nec tibi per nūtūs accipienda nota est:
- prōximus ā dominā, nullō prohibente, sedētō,
- iungē tuum laterī qua potes usque latus;
- et bene, quod cōgit, sī nōlīs, līnea iungī,
- quod tibi tangenda est lege puella loci.
Operatives, in the past you have seen sentences which use the present passive indicative. Compare the following sentences:
|Tiberius ā patre amātur.||Tiberius ā patre amābātur.|
|Tiberius is loved by his father.||Tiberius used to be loved by his father.|
|Recentiī viam ā Sextō dēmōnstrantur.||Recentiī viam ā Sextō dēmōnstrābantur.|
|The Recentii are being shown the path by Sextus.||The Recentii were being shown the path by Sextus.|
In the sentences on the left, the verb is in the present passive indicative. You should recognize the imperfect tense signifier -ba- in the sentences on the right. Indeed the sentences on the right are in the imperfect passive indicative. This tense is fairly easy to construct. The formula is as follows:
present stem + ba + passive personal endings
amō, amāre, amāvī, amātus - to love
imperfect passive indicative = amā + ba +
Here is what a verb looks like conjugated in the imperfect passive indicative:
|1st person||amābam||I was loved||amābāmur||we were loved|
|2nd person||amābāris||you were loved||amābāminī||you (all) were loved|
|3rd person||amābātur||he/she was lived||amābantur||they were loved|
|āctiō, āctiōnis||an action||noun|
|adiuvō, adiuvāre, adiūvī, adiūtus||to help||verb|
|āgnōscō, āgnōscere, āgnōvī, āgnitus||to recognize, identify, make out||verb|
|anxiō, anxiāre, -, -||to make uneasy or anxious||verb|
|asper, aspera, asperum||without hope||adjective|
|attonō, attonāre, attonuī, attonitus||to stun, terrify||verb|
|bēlua, bēluae||a wild beast||noun|
|Circus Maximus||an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium|
|circus, circī||a circular line, circle; an enclosure for athletic games, race-course||noun|
|clāvus, clāvī||a purple stripe (on the tunic, broad for senators, narrow for the equites); a nail; helm||noun|
|cruentus, cruenta, cruentum||bloody, stained, blood||adjective|
|dīstinguō, dīstinguere, dīstinxī, dīstinctus||to separate, divide, part||verb|
|iste, ista, istud||that, this; he, she, it; of such a kind||pronoun|
|mōnstrō, mōnstrāre, mōnstrāvī, mōnstrātus||to point out, indicate||verb|
|pergō, pergere, perrēxī, perrēctus||to go on, proceed||verb|
|plūrimus, plūrima, plūrimum||most, very much, many||adjective|
|quālis, quāle||of such a kind, such as||adjective|
|trūdō, trūdere, trūsī, trūsus||to thrust, push, shove, crowd forward||verb|
|ūnus, ūna, ūnum||only, single||adjective|
|vērus, vēra, vērum||real, true, genuine||adjective|
|vigil, vigilis - m||those on watch, on alert, awake||adjective|
|vix||with difficulty,hardly, scarcely, barely||adverb|
Operative the TSTT seems to be trying to give you a crash-course (see what we did there?) in Roman imperial, and especially civic, culture. We're theorizing that the next phase of your quest for the LAPIS is going to involve navigating the ins and outs of that culture. It probably makes a great deal of sense for you get as familiar as you can with the Circus Maximus.
CULTURALIA Comprehension Questions
Directions: Using the CULTURALIA section of your CODEX as a guide, answer the following questions:
dē Circō Māximō
1. What was the Circus Maximus used for? How large was it? What was its capacity?
2. What were the ludi and why were they important for the people of Rome?
3. Who organized the ludi?
4. Describe the key architectural improvements in the Regal era.
5. Describe the key architectural improvements in the Republican era.
6. Describe the key architectural improvements in the Imperial era.
7. Describe the connection between the minor god Consus, the associated festival, and the Circus Maximus.