Monday, February 20, 2006

Mirabile Dictu, Juvencus!

In Book 4, immediately after Christ has been betrayed by Judas and one of the disciples has cut off the servant's ear, Christ addresses his captors. He mentions that no one seized Him while he was teaching in the middle of the Temple itself, and closes with these words (534-5):

' talia quisquam
in solum tantis circumlatrantibus ausus.'

Circumlatrantibus, weighing in with a hefty six syllables, strikes me as a very vivid word and one which gives a good sense of the enraged crowd that now seeks His blood--'not...having dared with so great a throng of barkers-around'. The savage animal tendencies point back nicely to the tone of rage and madness which Juvencus has been building and will continue to build (cf. ferocis, 511; furentis, 514; ferox, 526, furori, 545; frendens furiis, 550; furiis, 561).

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