aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

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Symphosius, Riddles 39

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Last time’s answer was a sponge (spongia). Here’s just one more for now. It might be a bit harder, perhaps?

quattuor insignis pedibus manibusque duabus
dissimilis mihi sum, quia sum non unus et unus.
et vehor et gradior, quia me mea corpora portant.

Distinguished by four feet and two hands, I am different from myself, because I am one and not one. I both ride and walk, since my bodies carry me.

The word after the comma in the last line appears variously in the manuscripts, so take your pick from:
que (= quae)

[3/4/11: Edit: I omitted to give you the answer to this one. It’s a centaur!]

Written by aleatorclassicus

February 22, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Symphosius

Symphosius, Riddles 63

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The last riddle was fairly easy – it was a ball (pila). Here’s a second one to try.

ipsa gravis non sum, sed aquae mihi pondus inhaeret.
viscera tota tument patulis diffusa cavernis.
intus lympha latet, sed non se sponte profundit.

I’m not heavy myself, but the weight of water clings to me.
All my innards swell up, spread wide by my broad cavities.
Within me the liquid lies hidden, but does not pour forth of its own accord.

Written by aleatorclassicus

February 20, 2011 at 12:00 PM

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Symphosius, Riddles 59

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I’ll post a few poems from this collection of riddles. I’ll keep the solution to this one back until I give you the next one!

non sum cincta comis et non sum compta capillis.
intus enim crines mihi sunt, quos non videt ullus.
meque manus mittunt manibusque remittor in auras.

I’m not encircled with hair, and I’m not adorned with tresses.
For my hair is inside, and no one can see it.
Hands throw me, and I am thrown back into the air by hands.

Quite a virtuosic little poem, with some remarkable alliteration in the first and last lines, three words for ‘hair’ and interesting half-rhymes at the end of the lines.

Written by aleatorclassicus

February 18, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Symphosius