In this passage from the Metamorphoses, Juno just descended from heaven onto earth to spy the whereabouts of her husband. Jupiter, having foreseen his wife's arrival, changes Io into a heifer.

speciem Saturnia vaccae,
quamquam invita, probat nec non, et cuius et unde
quove sit armento, veri quasi nescia quaerit.
(Metamorphoses 1:612-614)

I'm having some trouble with this passage. Here's my best shot at a translation.

Juno (Saturnia), although unwilling, approves the appearance of the cow, and asks to whom, and from where, and to which herd it belongs, as if not knowing the truth.

Here are the details which stump me.

  1. What on earth should I make of the phrase "nec non"? I kind of just glossed over that.
  2. Is quove just quo with an enclitic -ve? Are -ve and -que equivalent?

I appreciate any feedback, including any other improvements I could make.

  • 3
    I don't know if the punctuation is your own, but it's misleading -- there's a clause break after probat, and nec non connects that clause with the following one (whose verb is quaerit): speciam probat, nec non (=et) quaerit.
    – TKR
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 22:53
  • @TKR Good point. I was using thelatinlibrary.com as my source. But I just checked Perseus and it punctuates the clause differently. It encloses "probat" in commas.
    – ktm5124
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 1:17

2 Answers 2


Necnon can be written as two words, "and not not"; it has a positive meaning because of the double negative. It can be translated as and with an appropriate adverb, such as and yet, and in fact.

The enclitic -ve works just like -que, except that it means "or" rather than "and".

  • 1
    Thanks! One question. In my translation, it wouldn't make sense to translate "necnon" as "and yet" or "and in fact", since you would end up with: "Juno, although unwilling, and in fact approves the appearance of the cow..." How would you put the whole thing together?
    – ktm5124
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 22:48
  • 2
    @ktm5124: I think you've misread your own translation: nec non comes after probat. She approves and in fact inquires (if "in fact" is appropriate here).
    – Cerberus
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 23:00
  • Oh, thanks! That answers it.
    – ktm5124
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 23:02
  • 1
    @ktm5124: The enclitic -ve is normally translated as "or", but, in questions and negations, the words "and" and "or" are often similar, so you can translate it as "and" if that fits the sentence.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 23:14
  • 1
    See here under the first "2": archimedes.fas.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/…
    – Cerberus
    Commented Jan 28, 2017 at 23:14

Neque (nec) non (also in one word, necnon), emphatically affirmative, and also, and besides, and indeed, and:

  • Lewis and Short Dictionary
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    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 13:16

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