Study Guide

Field 119: Latin CST
Interpretive Reading

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Directions for Interpretive Reading Selected-Response Questions

For the Interpretive Reading section of the test, you will read passages written in Latin and answer selected-response questions written in English based on each passage.

Each question includes four response choices. Read each question and response choice carefully and select the ONE correct response. You should answer all questions. Even if you are unsure of a response, it is better to guess than not to answer a question at all.

Select the Next button to continue.

Sample Interpretive Reading Selected-Response Questions

Competency 0001
Interpretive Reading

Read the poem below from Horace's Carmina in which Horace offers advice to Dellius; then answer the five questions that follow.

1Aequam mementō rēbus in arduīs
2servāre mentem, nōn secus in bonīs
3 ab īnsolentī temperātam
4 laetitiā, moritūre Dellī,
5seu maestus omnī tempore vīxeris
6seu tē in remōtō grāmine per diēs
7 fēstōs reclīnātum beāris
8 interiōre notā Falernī.
9Quō pīnus ingēns albaque pōpulus
10umbram hospitālem cōnsociāre amant
11rāmīs? Quid oblīquō labōrat
12lympha fugāx trepidāre rīvō?
13Hūc vīna et unguenta et nimium brevēs
14flōrēs amoenae ferre iubē rosae,
15dum rēs et aetās et Sorōrum
16fīla trium patiuntur ātra.
17Cēdēs coemptīs saltibus et domō
18vīllāque, flāvus quam Tiberis lāvit,
19cēdēs, et exstrūctīs in altum
20dīvitiīs potiētur hēres.
21Dīvesne prīscō nātus ab Īnachō
22nīl interest an pauper et īnfimā
23dē gente sub dīvō morēris,
24victima nīl miserantis Orcī;
25omnēs eōdem cōgimur, omnium
26versātur urnā sērius ōcius
27sors exitūra et nōs in aeternum
28exilium impositūra cumbae.

1. What sort of place is Horace describing in lines 9–11 (Quō ... rāmīs)?

  1. a crowded inn
  2. a bright valley
  3. a pleasant forest
  4. a towering mountain
Correct Response: C. This question requires examinees to analyze the communicative strategies and the social and cultural contexts of a text to determine an assumption, an intent, a perspective, or a point of view, including how the author's point of view or purpose shapes the content and style. In this section, Horace is describing a friendly, shaded, forested location. He refers to "friendly shadow" (umbram hospitālem) where "a great pine and a white poplar" (pīnus ingēns albaque pōpulus) "love to mingle by means of their branches" (cōnsociāre amant rāmīs).

2. The phrase Hūc ... rosae (lines 13–14) refers to:

  1. a drinking party.
  2. a gladiatorial contest.
  3. a visit to the baths.
  4. a meeting of the senate.
Correct Response: A. This question requires examinees to demonstrate understanding of the perspectives of classical Greece and Rome, the ways in which these perspectives underlie the products and practices of the classical world, the ways in which they have shaped and continue to influence the cultures of the modern world, and ways in which making comparisons among perspectives improves cultural understandings. In these lines, Horace refers to wine (vīna), perfumes (unguenta), and petals of a lovely rose (flōrēs ... rosae). All of these items are characteristic of the drinking parties of the classical world.

3. To whom does the phrase Sorōrum fīla trium ... atra (lines 15–16) refer?

  1. the Sirens
  2. the Muses
  3. the Fates
  4. the Graces
Correct Response: C. This question requires examinees to analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text and its structure and organization, including how the author's choices of structure, organization, or rhetorical devices are used to achieve particular effects and meaning. Horace's mention of the "three sisters" ( Sorōrum ... trium) with "black threads" (fīla ... ātra) is a reference to the "Fates," deities often portrayed spinning textiles, and who were believed to determine the destiny of all people.

4. Which sentence is the best literal translation of the phrase omnium ... sors (lines 25–27)?

  1. The swift urn shakes out everyone's lot too late.
  2. Sooner or later everyone's lot is shaken out of the urn.
  3. The urn shakes out everyone's lot sooner than later.
  4. Everyone's swift lot is shaken out of the urn too late.
Correct Response: B. This question requires examinees to determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in texts, including determining the meaning of English derivatives, distinguishing between nuances of meaning, understanding idiomatic expressions and commonly used figurative language, and understanding key terms and domain-specific words and phrases within the context of the text. The phrase sērius ōcius is best translated as "sooner or later." The remaining words of the phrase (omnium versātur urnā ... sors) can be translated as "everyone's lot is shaken out of the urn." Omnium, declined in the genitive plural, means "of everyone." Sors, meaning "lot," is a noun in the nominative case, indicating that it is the subject of the phrase. Versātur is a verb in the passive voice, meaning "is shaken out." Urnā is in the ablative case and means "the urn" (out of which everyone's lot comes).

5. Which statement best expresses the main idea of this passage as shown in lines 1–4 and 25–28?

  1. The gods reward hard work with long life.
  2. Both the rich and the poor can please the gods.
  3. Acquiring land and wealth is important for living a good life.
  4. Equanimity is important, for death comes to us all.
Correct Response: D. This question requires examinees to identify explicit and relevant information in a text. Throughout the poem, Horace emphasizes that we all share the same fate, and so we should face life, whatever form it may take, with calm spirits. In the first stanza (Aequam ... Dellī), Horace tells his friend Dellius to moderate his emotions no matter his circumstances because he, like everyone else, will eventually die. In the fourth stanza (Hūc ... ātra), Horace refers to the Fates to further illustrate the predestined nature of life. In the sixth stanza (Dīvesne ... Orcī), Horace remarks that no matter our station in life, whether rich (Dīvesne) or poor (pauper et īnfimā dē gente), we all meet our end in death, represented by "Orcus", a personification or deity of the underworld. The final stanza (omnēs ... cumbae) conveys the sense that sooner or later, we all get to the same place because we all are destined to die.