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canto, āvi, ātum, 1, v. n. and a. [cano], freq. in form, but mostly agrees in meaning with cano.

I. Neutr., to produce melodious sounds (by the voice or an instrument), to sound, sing, play (class. in prose and poetry; rare in Cic.).

A. Of men: Pamphilam Cantatum provocemus, Ter. Eun. 3, 1, 53: saltare et cantare, Cic. Cat. 2, 10, 23: neque enim vocum suavitate videntur aut novitate quădam cantandi revocare eos solitae (sirenes), id. Fin. 5, 18, 49: Arcades ambo Et cantare pares, Verg. E. 7, 5; 10, 32: cantando victus, id. ib. 3, 21; Tib. 2, 1, 66: adimam cantare severis, Hor. Ep. 1, 19, 9: ut (cantores) numquam inducant animum cantare rogati, id. S. 1, 3, 2; Suet. Tit. 3: non est Cantandum, there is no occasion for singing, i. e. for imagination, fiction, Juv. 4, 35.—Of an actor: cantante eo (Nerone) ne necessariă quidem causă excedere theatro licitum erat, Suet. Ner. 23; 20; id. Vesp. 4 al.; cf. under II. B. 2.: conducta veni, ut fidibus cantarem seni, Plaut. Ep. 3, 4, 64: structis avenis, Ov. M. 1, 677: ad chordarum sonum, Nep. Epam. 2, 1.—Less freq. of instrumental music, and only with abl. of the instrument (cf. cano): tibiis, Nep. Epam. 2, 1; id. ib. praef. 1; Vulg. Luc. 7, 32: lituo, tubă, Gell. 20, 2, 2: calamo, Sen. Ben. 4, 6, 5: ad manum histrioni, in comedy, to sing and play while the actor accompanies the song with gestures or dancing, Liv. 7, 2, 10; cf. Val. Max. 2, 4, 4.—Pass. impers.: in caelo cantatur et psallitur, Arn. 3, 21.—Prov.: surdo, Prop. 4 (5), 8, 47, and ad surdas aures, Ov. Am. 3, 7, 61, to preach to deaf ears; cf. cano, II. B.—

2. Of the singing pronunciation of an orator, to declaim in a singing tone, to sing, drawl: si cantas, male cantas, si legis, cantas, C. Caesar ap. Quint. 1, 8, 2; 11, 1, 56; 11, 3, 57; 11, 3, 58; 11, 3, 59; 11, 3, 60; cf. Juv. 10, 178.—Hence, to recite, declaim: quaecumque sedens modo legerat, haec eadem... cantabit versibus isdem, Juv. 7, 153.—

B. Of birds and fowls: prius quam galli cantent, crow, Plaut. Mil. 3, 1, 96; so, deos gallis signum dedisse cantandi, Cic. Div. 2, 26, 57: cantantes aves, Prop. 4 (5), 9, 30.—

C. Transf., of instruments, to sound, resound: pastoris bucina cantat, Prop. 4 (5), 10, 30: cantabat fanis, cantabat tibia ludis, Ov. F. 6, 659 sq.

II. Act., to make some person or thing the subject of one's singing, playing, or song (cf. cano, II.).

A. With the song itself, carmen, versus, etc., as object, to sing, play, recite: carmina non prius Audita canto, Hor. C. 3, 1, 4: rustica verba, Tib. 2, 1, 52: Hymen cantatus, Ov. H. 12, 137; cf.: Hymenaeum qui cantent, Ter. Ad. 5, 7, 7: obscena, Ov. F. 3, 676.—

B. With particular persons or things, the subjects of song, as objects, to sing, to celebrate or praise in song, sing of, write poetry upon, etc.: celebrem deum, Tib. 2, 1, 83: absentem amicam, Hor. S. 1, 5, 15: rivos, id. C. 2, 19, 11: convivia, proelia virginum, id. ib. 1, 6, 19: Augusti tropaea, id. ib. 2, 9, 19: Pythia (sc. certamina), id. A. P. 414: cantari dignus, Verg. E. 5, 54: per totum cantabimur orbem, Ov. Am. 1, 3, 25; 2, 17, 33; cf.: illa meis multum cantata libellis, Mart. 9, 50, 1: cantatus Achilles, Ov. Am. 2, 1, 29: laudes tuas, id. F. 2, 658. —Esp.,

2. Of an actor, to represent a part, to act (cf. supra, I. A.): cantavit (Nero) Orestem matricidam, Oedipodem excaecatum, etc., Suet. Ner. 21: Nioben, id. ib. 21: tragoedias, id. ib. 21: fabulam, id. ib. 46 fin.: epinicia, id. ib. 43 fin.

C. Hence, because the oracles were of old uttered in verse, of any mysterious, prophetic, or warning utterance, to predict, warn, point out, indicate, make known, say: vera cantas? vana vellem, Plaut. Most. 4, 2, 64. —Of inanimate things: urna haec litterata est: ab se cantat cuja sit, Plaut. Rud. 2, 5, 21: civi inmoeni scin quid cantari solet? id. Trin. 2, 2, 69; id. Bacch. 4, 9, 61.—

2. To bring something repeatedly to recollection, to reiterate, harp upon, forewarn of or against: haec dies noctes canto, ut caveas, Plaut. Trin. 2, 2, 12: harum mores, Ter. Heaut. 2, 3, 19: nam, ut scis, jam pridem istum canto Caesarem, Cic. Q. Fr. 2, 11 (13), 1: quid fati provida cantet avis, Tib. 2, 5, 12: quae me juvene utique cantare solebant, Quint. 8, 3, 76.—

III. In the lang. of religion, as v. n. or a., to use enchantments, charms, incantations, to enchant, to charm, Cato, R. R. 160, 1; Varr. R. R. 1, 2, 27: frigidus in pratis cantando rumpitur anguis, Verg. E. 8, 71: cantata Luna, exorcised by magic, Prop. 4 (5), 5, 13: falx, Ov. H. 6, 84: herbae, id. M. 7, 98: ignis, Sil. 1, 430: tum quoque cantato densetur carmine caelum, an incantation, Ov. M. 14, 369.—

B. To call forth, produce by charms: et chelydris cantare soporem, Sil. 8, 498: cantata umbra, Luc. 6, 767.