Symphosius The Aenigmata: An Introduction, Text and Commentary 1472511026, 9781472511027

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Table of contents :
Introduction --
Author and title --
Date --
The collection --
(a) Martial, Symphosius, riddles and the Saturnalia --
(b) Order and arrangement --
(c) Literary style --
(d) Latinity and metre --
(e) Literary debts --
Nachleben --
The text --
Latin text --
Commentary --
Appendix : attributions to Symphosius.
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Symphosius The Aenigmata


Also available from Bloomsbury: Martial Book XIII: The Xenia By T. J. Leary 978 0 7156 3124 9 Martial Book XIV: The Apophoreta By T. J. Leary 978 0 7156 2721 1


Symphosius The Aenigmata An Introduction, Text and Commentary T. J. Leary


Bloomsbury Academic An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square London WC1B 3DP UK

1385 Broadway New York NY 10018 USA Bloomsbury is a registered trade mark of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published 2014 © T. J. Leary, 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization acting on or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by Bloomsbury Academic or the author. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: HB: 978-1-4725-1102-7 ePUB: 978-1-4725-0672-6 ePDF: 978-1-4725-1165-2 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. Typeset by RefineCatch Limited, Bungay, Suffolk


Contents Preface and Acknowledgements List of Tables Select Bibliography Introduction 1 Author and title 2 Date 3 The collection (a) Martial, Symphosius, Riddles and the Saturnalia (b) Order and arrangement (c) Literary style (d) Latinity and metre (e) Literary debts 4 Nachleben 5 The text (a) Sigla (b) Differences with Shackleton Bailey’s 1982 Teubner text Latin Text Commentary Appendix: Attributions to Symphosius General Index Index Verborum

vii ix xi 1 1 4 6 6 13 26 27 28 31 32 35 36

39 53 249 251 264



Preface and Acknowledgements There survives in the post-classical compilation known to modern scholarship as the Latin Anthology a collection of a hundred riddles, each consisting of three hexameters and preceded by a lemma which gives the riddle’s answer. It would seem from the collection’s preface that these riddles were composed extempore at a dinner to celebrate the Roman Saturnalia. The work was to have a defining influence on later collections of riddles; yet of its author almost nothing is known, and a debate regarding his biography has inevitably ensued. While the evidence will be presented in the pages which follow, it is none the less helpful to state at the outset that the name he went by was probably (a form of) Symphosius and that the riddles in his collection were probably called the Aenigmata. He seems, further, to have belonged to the period of Late Antiquity, he may have come from North Africa, it is evident that he was talented and well educated, and he may well have been a student or teacher of one of the rhetorical schools. Although his work was later to influence that of several Christian writers and is included in the Corpus Christianorum, there is nothing in it which suggests that he himself was not pagan. Past work on Symphosius has centred mostly on the text and transmission and is to be found mainly in periodicals and editions of the Minor Latin Poets or the Latin Anthology. There have in addition been several book-chapters and articles of general appreciation, and a number on such matters as the author’s name and date; but until recently there has been only one modern commentary, the doctoral dissertation of Raymond Theodore Ohl published in Philadelphia in 1928. This commentary contains much of value and was favourably reviewed when it appeared,1 but it now appears somewhat dated and leaves a good deal still to be said. Manuela Bergamin’s commentary (Florence 2005) is considerably more detailed and has much to add on the textual tradition. It appeared after I had been working for some years on my own commentary, and I have modified several of my thoughts in the light of it. I have also adopted many of her parallels. I believe nevertheless that a further edition, this time in English, is justified by our differences in interest, approach and emphasis. The Aenigmata have proved far more subtle and sophisticated than I first expected, and accordingly I have at times allowed myself to be more speculative – and even subjective – than I have been in earlier projects. The reader must judge to what extent this is justified. I have followed the format of my commentaries on Martial, and my text is therefore not accompanied by an apparatus. Instead textual variants and conjectures are supplied as part of the lemmata in the commentary. In the case of Martial this did not prove a difficulty, but the Symphosius MS tradition is more complex and a number 1

See e.g. Souter 242–3, Spaeth 279, Manitius 309–10. (Full details of these reviews are given in the Select Bibliography.)



Preface and Acknowledgements

of my lemmata are rather cumbersome in consequence.2 I could think of no easy way, within the constraints of the book’s format, of avoiding this; but I apologise for any irritation it may occasion. I have not consulted any works published after March 2013. I first began thinking about Symphosius in 2001. Since then I have accumulated a great many debts. Those whom I have pestered over individual points are thanked in the commentary below, but I am conscious of more general obligations to the following: Deborah Blake, then at Duckworth, who agreed to publish my work, and her successors at Bloomsbury, Charlotte Loveridge and the Bloomsbury production team; Dr Bridget Nichols, who has been a loyal friend and firm supporter since our first undergraduate Greek class more than thirty years ago; the many librarians who have patiently and courteously dealt with my queries, however misguided or obtuse; and Professor Kathy Coleman, Professor Stephen Harrison and Dr Nigel Kay for nobly ploughing through and commenting on my typescript. While the responsibility for any infelicities that remain in the work is entirely mine, had it not been for their efforts there would have been a great many more. (It is perhaps worth remarking here that I have not replicated material in Kay (see the Select Bibliography), especially regarding Vandal North Africa.) Finally, I must thank Dr Helen Cockle for the care and dedication with which she has prepared the final submission copy.


The more complex tradition has meant that the various MS readings have often demanded comment, explanation and summary. I have used Latin for this, in the style of an apparatus.

List of Tables 1 2 3 4 5

Symphosius and the Xenia Symphosius and the Apophoreta Overview of Symphosius’ book structure Allusions to Virgil and Horace Allusions to authors other than Virgil and Horace

7 7 15 29 30



Select Bibliography This bibliography, intended to serve the reader’s convenience and to save space in the commentary, makes no claim to completeness. It supplies bibliographical details of the texts and editions cited, of the standard reference works used, and of other works referred to, in most cases more than once. Further Symphosius bibliography can be found in Bergamin and Smolak (see below).

Editions, translations and commentaries Works published before 1800 Perionius, I.: Simphosii Veteris Poetae Elegantissimi Erudita Iuxta ac Arguta et Festiva Aenigmata, Paris 1533; 2nd edn Paris 1537 Castalio, Ios.: Aenigmata Symphosii Poetae, Rome 1581; 2nd edn Rome 1607 Pithoeus, P.: Epigrammata et Poematia Vetera, Paris 1590; 2nd edn London 1596; 3rd edn Geneva 1619 Heumann, Chr. K: L. Caelii Firmiani Lactantii ‘Symposium’ seu Centum Epigrammata Tristicha Aenigmaticha, Hannover 1722 Wernsdorf, I. Ch.: Poetae Latini Minores VI.1, Helmstadt 1794

Works published after 1800 Riese, A.: Anthologia Latina I, Leipzig 1869; 2nd edn Leipzig 1894 (Teubner) Baehrens, A.: Poetae Latini Minores IV, Leipzig 1879; 2nd edn Leipzig 1882 (Teubner) Ohl, Raymond Theodore: The Enigmas of Symphosius, Philadelphia 1928 Glorie, Fr.: Variae Collectiones Aenigmatum Merovingicae Aetatis (Pars Altera) VII: Aenigmata Symphosii, Turnhout 1968 (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina CXXXIII A) Shackleton Bailey, D. R.: Anthologia Latina I.1 : libri Salmasiani aliorumque carmina, Stuttgart 1982 (Teubner) Bergamin, Manuela: Aenigmata Symposii. La fondazione dell’enigmistica come genere poetico, Florence 2005

Other works and abbreviations Commentaries on Classical authors are referred to in the text merely by the name of the work or author and that of the commentator, and, with the exception of Kay, N-H and N-R, are not included here. For ancient sources, the abbreviations of the OLD2 and of L-S-J have generally been adopted or adapted. Periodical titles are abbreviated as in L’Année philologique. xi


Select Bibliography

Adams: J. N. Adams, The Latin Sexual Vocabulary, London 1982 André: J. André, L’Alimentation et la Cuisine à Rome, 2nd edn Paris 1981 Balsdon: J. P. V. D. Balsdon, Life and Leisure in Ancient Rome, London-Sydney-Toronto 1969, revised 1974 Bishop and Coulston: M. C. Bishop and J. C. N. Coulston, Roman Military Equipment from the Punic Wars to the Fall of Rome, 2nd edn Oxford 2006 Bonner: Stanley F. Bonner, Education in Ancient Rome, London 1977 BM: The British Museum Carcopino: Jérôme Carcopino, Daily Life in Ancient Rome trans. E. O. Lorimer, Harmondsworth (Penguin) 1941, repr. (Peregrine Books) 1962 CC: Corpus Christianorum Series Latina, Turnhout 1953– CGL: Corpus Glossariorum Latinorum ed. G. Goetz, Leipzig 1888–1923 Ciarallo and De Carolis: Annamaria Ciarallo and Ernesto De Carolis edd., Pompeii. Life in a Roman Town, Exhibition Catalogue, Naples and Los Angeles 1999 CIL: Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, Berlin 1863– CLE: Carmina Latina Epigraphica edd. F. Bücheler and E. Lommatzsch, Leipzig 1886–1926 Courtney (1981): E. Courtney, CR 31 (1981), 39–42 [review of Shackleton Bailey 1979] Courtney (1989): E. Courtney, ‘Supplementary notes on the Latin Anthology’, C&M 40 (1989), 197–211 Dale Scott: Peter Dale Scott, ‘Rhetorical and Symbolic Ambiguity: the Riddles of Symphosius and Aldhelm’ in Margot H. King and Wesley M. Stevens edd., Saints, Scholars and Heroes. Studies in Medieval Culture in Honor of Charles W. James vol. I, Collegeville, Minnesota 1979, 117–44 Davies and Kathirithamby: M. Davies and J. Kathirithamby, Greek Insects, London 1986 dell’Orto and Varone: Luisa Franchi dell’Orto and Antonio Varone edd., Rediscovering Pompeii, Exhibition Catalogue, Rome 1992 DNP: Hubert Cancik and Helmuth Schneider edd., Der neue Pauly. Enzyklopädie des Antike, Stuttgart 1996–2001 Dodds: E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational, Berkeley and Los Angeles 1951 D-S: C. Daremberg and E. Saglio edd., Dictionnaire des antiquités grecques et romaines d’après les textes et les monuments, Paris 1877–1919 Finch (1961): Chauncey E. Finch, ‘The Bern riddles in Codex Vat. Reg. Lat. 1553’, TAPhA 92 (1961), 145–55 Finch (1967): Chauncey E. Finch, ‘Codex Vat. Barb. Lat. 721 as a source for the riddles of Symphosius’, TAPhA 98 (1967), 173–9 Finch (1969): Chauncey E. Finch, ‘Symphosius in Codices Pal. Lat. 1719, 1753 and Reg. Lat. 329, 2078’, Manuscripta 13 (1969), 3–11 Forbes: R. J. Forbes, Studies in Ancient Technology, 2nd edn Leiden 1964–72 Forster: E. S. Forster, ‘Riddles and Problems from the Greek Anthology’, G&R 14 (1945), 42–7 FLP: Edward Courtney, The Fragmentary Latin Poets, Oxford 1993 Frere and St Joseph: S. S. Frere and J. K. St Joseph, ‘The Roman Fortress at Longthorpe’, Britannia 5 (1974), 1–129 GLK: Grammatici Latini ed. H. Keil, Leipzig 1857–80 Gowers: Emily Gowers, The Loaded Table. Representations of Food in Roman Literature, Oxford 1993 Healy: John F. Healy, Mining and Metallurgy in the Greek and Roman World, London 1978 Hunt (1982): J. M. Hunt CPh 77 (1982), 253–7 [review of Shackleton Bailey 1979] Hunt (1988): J. M. Hunt CPh 83 (1988), 328–41 [review of Shackleton Bailey]

Select Bibliography


ILS: H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, Berlin 1892–1916 Kay: N. M. Kay, Epigrams from the Anthologia Latina, London 2006 Keller: O. Keller, Die antike Tierwelt vol. I, Leipzig 1909; vol. II, Leipzig 1913 Khader et al.: Aïcha Ben Abed-Ben Khader, Élisabeth de Baland, Armando Uribe Echeverría, Image in Stone. Tunisia in Mosaic, Paris 2003 Kl.P.: Konrat Ziegler and Walther Sontheimer edd., Der kleine Pauly. Lexikon der Antike in fünf Bänden, Munich 1979 Kwapisz et al.: Jan Kwapisz, David Petrain, Mikolaj Szymański edd., The Muse at Play. Riddles and Wordplay in Greek and Latin Poetry, Berlin 2013 Leary: T. J. Leary, ‘ “The winter does not pass through me, but the sun sparkles within me”: a literary window on Roman glass?’, Journal of Glass Studies 53 (2011), 235–7 L-H-Sz: Lateinische Grammatik vol. I, Manu Leumann, Lateinische Laut- und Formenlehre, Munich 1977; vol. II, J. B. Hofmann, Lateinische Syntax und Stilistik revised A. Szantyr, Munich 1965 Löfstedt: Einar Löfstedt, Syntactica. Studien und Beiträge zur historischen Syntax des Lateins vol. I (2nd edn), Lund 1942; vol. II Lund 1933 Lowe: Dunstan Lowe, ‘Triple Tipple: Ausonius’ Griphus ternarii numeri’ in Kwapisz et al., 335–52 L-S: C. T. Lewis and C. Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford 1879 L-S-J: H. G. Liddell and R. Scott edd., revised H. Stuart Jones and R. McKenzie, A GreekEnglish Lexicon, 9th edn with revised supplement, Oxford 1996 Maltby: Robert Maltby, A Lexicon of Ancient Latin Etymologies, Leeds 1991 Manitius: M. Manitius, PhW 11 (1929), 309–10 [review of Ohl] MANN: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli March: Jenny March, Dictionary of Classical Mythology, London 1998 Marquardt: J. Marquardt, Römische Staatsverwaltung, Leipzig 1881–5 Marshall: F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of the Finger Rings, Greek, Etruscan and Roman, in the British Museum, London 1907 Merkelbach: R. Merkelbach, ‘Zwei Gespensternamen: Aelafius und Symphosius’, ZPE 51 (1983), 228–9 MGH AA: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi, Berlin 1817–1919 MGH PLAC: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Poetarum Latinorum Medii Aevi: Poetae Latini Aevi Carolini, Berlin et alibi 1880–1951 Moritz: L. A. Moritz, Grain Mills and Flour in Classical Antiquity, Oxford 1958 Munari: Franco Munari, ‘Die spätlateinische Epigrammatik’, Philologus 102 (1958), 127–39 N-H: R. G. M. Nisbet and Margaret Hubbard, A Commentary on Horace Odes. Book 1, Oxford 1970; Book 2, Oxford 1978 N-R: R. G. M. Nisbet and Niall Rudd, A Commentary on Horace, Odes, Book III, Oxford 2004 Neue-Wagener: Friedrich Neue, Formenlehre der lateinischen Sprache vols I–IV, revised C. Wagener, Leipzig 1802–1905 OCD4: Simon Hornblower, Antony Spawforth and Esther Eidinow edd., The Oxford Classical Dictionary, 4th edn Oxford 2012 Ohl (1932): Raymond T. Ohl, ‘Symphosius and the Latin Riddle’, CW 25 (1932), 209–12 Oleson: John Peter Oleson ed., The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World, Oxford 2008 OLD2: P. G. W. Glare ed., The Oxford Latin Dictionary, 2nd edn Oxford 2012 Otto: A. Otto, Die Sprichwörter und sprichwörtlichen Redensarten der Römer, Leipzig 1890, repr. Hildesheim 1965


Select Bibliography

Paoli: Ugo Enrico Paoli, Rome: its People, Life and Customs trans. R. D. Macnaghten, London 1963 Patr. Lat.: J.-P. Migne ed., Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina, Paris 1844–65 Pavlovskis: Zoja Pavlovskis, ‘The Riddler’s Microcosm: from Symphosius to St Boniface’, C&M 39 (1988), 219–51 PLM: Poetae Latini Minores ed. A. Baehrens, Leipzig 1879–81, revised F. Vollmer, Leipzig 1911–35 Pollard: J. Pollard, Birds in Greek Life and Myth, London 1977 PLRE: J. R. Martindale ed., Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Cambridge 1980–92 Raven: D. S. Raven, Latin Metre, London 1965 RE: Real-Encyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, Stuttgart 1893– Reynolds and Wilson: L. D. Reynolds and N. G. Wilson, Scribes and Scholars. A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature, 3rd edn Oxford 1991 Roscher: W. H. Roscher ed., Ausführliches Lexicon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, Leipzig 1884–1937 Reeve: M. D. Reeve, Phoenix 39 (1985), 174–80 [review of Shackleton Bailey] Roberts: Paul Roberts, Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum, London 2013 Sebo: Erin Sebo, ‘In scirpo nodum: Symphosius’ Reworking of the Riddle Form’ in Kwapisz et al., 184–95 SHA: Scriptores Historiae Augustae Shackleton Bailey 1979: D. R. Shackleton Bailey, Towards a text of ‘Anthologia Latina’ (Cambridge Philological Society Supplementary Volume no. 5), Cambridge 1979 Smolak: K. Smolak in Reinhart Herzog and Peter Lebrecht Schmidt edd., Handbuch der lateinischen Literatur der Antike vol. V, Munich 1989, 249–52 (§548 Symphosius) Souter: A. Souter, CR 42 (1928), 242–3 [review of Ohl] Spaeth: John W. Spaeth, CPh 29 (1934), 279 [review of Ohl] Spisak: Art L. Spisak, Martial: a Social Guide, London 2007 Tarrant: R. J. Tarrant in L. D. Reynolds ed., Texts and Transmission. A Survey of the Latin Classics, Oxford 1983 ThLL: Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, Leipzig 1900– Thompson: D’Arcy W. Thompson, A Glossary of Greek Birds, London-Oxford 1936 Ward-Perkins and Claridge: John Ward-Perkins and Amanda Claridge, Pompeii AD 79, Exhibition Catalogue, London 1976 Watt (1987): W. S. Watt, ‘Notes on the Latin Anthology’, HSCPh 91 (1987), 289–302 Watt (1996): W. S. Watt, ‘Notes on the Latin Anthology’, C&M 47 (1996), 259–60 Watt (2003): W. S. Watt, ‘Notes on the Anthologia Latina’, HSCPh 101 (2003), 449–72 White Equipment: K. D. White, Farm Equipment of the Roman World, Cambridge 1975 White Farming: K. D. White, Roman Farming, London 1970 White Implements: K. D. White, Agricultural Implements in the Roman World, Cambridge 1967 Woodcock: E. C. Woodcock, A New Latin Syntax, London 1959, repr. 1960 Woolf: É. Woolf, REL 84 (2006), 481–2 [review of Bergamin]


1 Author and title The complex questions of the title given to the riddles and the name and date of their author have attracted considerable debate. The first two of these matters – name and title – are considered immediately below, where the possibility of the author’s African origins is also raised. The last is discussed in the next section, although some relevant evidence is put forward in this. Most surviving MSS of the work mark its beginning with an incipit which contains, with variations of spelling, the words aenigmata (almost always in the nominative plural) and symphosius (always genitive singular).1 Some MSS mark the end of the work with an explicit containing the same words,2 and in the Anecdota Helvetica there appears the phrase ‘in aenigmatibus Symphosii’.3 That aenigmata is part of the original title is very likely. In Greek two words in particular were used for riddles. One was γρῖφος (a fishing basket or creel, and metaphorically therefore something intricate or woven and so a riddle). This word was transliterated into Latin (hence Ausonius’ Griphus Ternarii Numeri, a work with which the author of the Aenigmata was quite possibly familiar),4 and the Latin equivalent scirpus also existed.5 Scirpus is directly equated at Gel. 12.6.1 with the other Greek word for a riddle, αἴνιγμα: ‘quae Graeci dicunt “aenigmata”, hoc genus quidam ex nostris veteribus “scirpos” appellaverunt’. If the author knew Ausonius’ Griphus, his choice of the alternative Greek word for a riddle is not surprising. The word ‘Symphosius’ has commonly been taken as a personal name. It is attested as such in an inscription from Thugga dating to the fourth/fifth century (CIL VIII.27333) and the name was held by several Church figures at the end of the fourth century.6 This accords with Aenig. 100.1 ‘nomen habens hominis’ (on which see ad loc.) and is clearly how it was understood by those MSS which qualify it with adjectives like scholasticus, physicus or philosophus (see below). Note also the annotation above the word ‘Symphosius’ in h: ‘id est vir gentilis’. It was considered a name by Aldhelm, to


2 3 4 5 6

For details regarding the MSS and for their sigla, see Introduction (5)(a) below. The MSS are: A βcK αAng.dHMNOQRZ gGhIsV; cf. Bergamin’s apparatus. AαehI; cf. Glorie’s apparatus. See Appendix (a) below. See Introduction (2). OLD2 s.v. scirpus §2: ‘A kind of riddle (resembling basket-work in its intricacy)’. Cf. Bergamin xiii, citing Wernsdorf.



Symphosius The Aenigmata

whom is owed the earliest reference to the collection7 and by Perionius in the editio princeps, and has usually been accepted as such by modern scholarship. An exception to this understanding is von Premerstein in 1904, who has some followers.8 The praefatio of the collection establishes the Saturnalia as its context, and the several allusions it makes to drinking (5 ‘post dulcia pocula mensae’, 7 ‘madidae . . . linguae’, 17 ‘ebria Musa’) are in keeping with Saturnalian festivities,9 but drinking during and particularly after a meal is bound also to suggest to the reader a Greek-style drinking party or symposium. It was therefore assumed by von Premerstein that ‘[aenigmata] symphosii’ or rather symposii (cf. below) refers not to the author but means ‘[riddles] of or for a symposium’ (‘Räthseln des Symposions’).10 Merkelbach combines the idea of a personal name with the associations of a drinking party in suggesting that symphosii is a signum assumed by the poet as a joke to accord with the symposiastic content of the praefatio and the professed state of inebriation in which the collection was composed.11 Smolak thinks instead that the author’s name probably really was ‘Symphosius’ or rather ‘Symposius’, but he plays nonetheless on its symposiastic connotations.12 Of the two positions, this seems most likely. The spelling ‘Symphosius’ is generally favoured in the English-speaking world and is therefore followed throughout this edition, but it is very probable that, whether resulting from vulgar pronunciation13 or the incorporation of an ‘h’ shaped orthographical flourish into the MS tradition,14 the aspiration is incorrect. Merkelbach, who notes that the unaspirated spelling accords better with the work’s symposiastic character, refers in general to the index of ILS III(2), 817, for examples of false aspiration and cites specifically Phylades (ILS 7929) and Olymphia (CIL XIII.12075).15 The ascription by Scaliger in 1573 of two poems in the Latin Anthology (AL 629 and 636 Riese) to a certain Caelius Firmianus Symphosius may have contributed to the diffusion of the name Caelius Symphosius, adopted for the author of the Aenigmata by Pithoeus in 1590,16 but the justification for this ascription is slight.17 Later, in 1772, following Jerome de viris illustribus 80, Heumann ascribed the riddles to another Caelius, Caelius Firmianus Lactantius,18 the author of a Symposium, with the result that most eighteenth-century editions of the Aenigmata were incorporated in the works of Lactantius.19 This ascription, although it again has little justification, nevertheless had a

7 8

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

See Introduction (4). A. von Premerstein, Hermes 39 (1904), 337 n. 6. See also e.g. F. Murru, ‘Aenigmata Symphosii ou Aenigmata Symposii?’, Eos 68 (1980) 155–8. Cf. Introduction (3)(a) section A below. For riddles at a symposium, see Introduction (3)(a) section C. Merkelbach 229. Smolak 251. Smolak ibid. Cf. Merkelbach ibid. Note too Bergamin xiii. Cf. Bergamin xii. Cf. Ohl at Praef. 1–2. Cf. Bergamin lxiii. Cf. Bergamin lxiv.



precedent in the tenth-century Cod. Cass. 90, which contains the following gloss: ‘Simposium vel Simphonium: enigma quod Firmianus et Lactantius composuerunt’; and a further gloss, at the end of the praefatio in O, reads ‘Incanus Firmianus’, where ‘Incanus’ might derive from a miswriting of ‘Lactantius’. ‘Lactantius’ may also have given rise, via scribal intervention influenced by the content of the praefatio, to ‘vel lucani’ in the incipit of M, which reads ‘incipiunt in enigmate simphosii vel lucani’, but it is more likely that ‘vel lucani’ was a simple addition rather than a corruption, since Lucan was a ‘good’ name in the early Middle Ages and it was known that the poet had written a Saturnalia.20 Instead of ‘vel lucani’, Baehrens suggested Valentini,21 basing his argument on the ascription of the second half of Aenig. 19.2(3) to the otherwise unknown Valentinus in the early medieval treatise de dubiis nominibus, n. 129 (CC 133A = GLK V.577): ‘carmen generis neutri, ut Valentinus “nullus mea carmina laudat” ’. Baehrens suggested that Valentinus was Symphosius’ cognomen and that it was derived from his home Banasa Valentia in Mauretania Tingitana. A North African attestation of the name Symphosius is noted above, it is widely accepted that much of the material in the Codex Salmasianus (A) was originally assembled in North Africa/Carthage c. AD 533, and many of the authors came from Africa themselves.22 But although Glorie makes an ingenious attempt to account for the further titles scholasticus and philosophus as palaeographical corruptions of ‘val antini’ (i.e. ‘val entini’) in ‘Enigmata Simphosii Valentini’, he fails to convince,23 and Baehrens’ extrapolation from the de dubiis nominibus has little to commend it beyond the sentimental attraction of an African connection. Attempts to explain the attribution of Aenig. 19.2(3) in GLK include false or mistaken ascriptions, textual corruption and indebtedness by both Symphosius and the grammarian to a shared and now lost source.24 There is, however, no reason to doubt the accuracy of the citation itself, which is of relevance to the textual debate surrounding Aenig. 19: see at line 2(3). Glorie is nonetheless correct to query these further titles’ authenticity – in contrast to Riese, Ohl and Shackleton Bailey, who all head their texts ‘Symphosii Scholastici Aenigmata’. The description scholasticus is used of one ‘who attends a school of rhetoric (as student or teacher)’.25 Symphosius had affinities with the learned figures of late Antiquity26 and would therefore have merited the title, but he is unlikely to have used it of himself, just as Catullus is unlikely to have described himself as doctus, for all the neoterics’ valued doctrina.27 The adjective survives in just one MS (A) and was added by a scribe influenced by the riddles’ content. Similarly, the content of some riddles (not

20 21 22

23 24 25 26 27

Cf. Smolak 251. See his 1882 edition, 50. PLRE vol. II s.v. Symphosius, Munari 134, Tarrant 9, Kay 9–10. Wernsdorf seems to have been the first to put forward the idea that our Symphosius came from Africa: see his edition 414 f. Cf. Smolak 251 n. 8. See Smolak 251 and Bergamin xiii. OLD2 s.v. scholasticus §2a; cf. L-S s.v. scholasticus §II. See Introduction (3)(a) section C below. Cf. my note at Mart. 14.100.1 ‘docti . . . terra Catulli’.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

many) influenced the incipit in Ang., where Symphosius is termed a phisicus, i.e. a natural scientist,28 and the explicit of α, where he is a philosophus.29 The incipit in V describes Symphosius as a poeta, which is clearly also a scribal addition. In conclusion, it is highly probable that the words Aenigmata and Symposii should appear at the beginning of the Latin text of the riddles and that the title should contain nothing else.

2 Date Just as it is impossible to ascertain precisely where Symphosius wrote the Aenigmata, so it is to say exactly when: they contain no convenient references, for example, to known events or historical figures. The dates assigned to them in the past have ranged from as early as the second or third centuries to as late as the sixth.30 Although some disagreement remains, most now would probably accept a date in the late-fourth or early-fifth century.31 The initial assembly c. AD 533 of the material in the Codex Salmasianus has already been noted, and the fourth/fifth-century inscriptional evidence from Thugga of the name Symphosius and its other attestations give a further pointer. Also relevant is the poet’s use of ‘late’ words or forms.32 Bergamin cites a number of verbal similarities, some closer than others, between the Aenigmata and various late writers. She draws particular attention to the Christian writers Paulinus of Nola and Prudentius, and notes other Christian authors.33 Although these parallels also point to a late date,34 they do not indicate Christian influence on Symphosius, since both he and they were heirs to the same (pagan) literary tradition.35 Nor, pace Bergamin xxi ff. and li ff., is Christian influence to be inferred from the fact that several of the objects, substances, creatures and phenomena described by Symphosius feature symbolically in the Christian authors.36



30 31 32

33 34

35 36

For the physicus, see OLD2 s.v. physicus2, L-S s.v. physicus §II; cf. Cic. ND 1.83 ‘[sc. non pudet . . . petere] physicam id est speculatorem venatoremque naturae’. The riddles are e.g. Aenig. 8, 9, 10, 11. ‘Finiunt enigmata simphosii philosophi amen’. ‘Philosophical’ riddles include Aenig. 6; cf. Aenig. 15.3 n., 58.1 n. For surveys, see Smolak 251, Glorie 149, Ohl 14–15, Bergamin xiv. Contrast e.g. PLRE vol. II Symphosius: ‘? V/VI’. Consider, with the notes ad locc., Praef. 16 ‘[sc. me] necesse est’, Aenig. 8.2 ‘in . . . die media’, 11.2 ‘in frigore’, the conditional construction at 29(31).1, 30(29) le. ericius, the use of concessive sed at 32.1–2, tantum for tam at 51.2, 53.3 submergere, 68.3 emicat, 71.1 caespite, 73.1 dum, 75.3 ‘ardeo de lymphis’, 78.2 fabrica, 79.2 iuncta and conpressa, 79.3 ubique; cf. 79 le. n. on scopa, 92 le. pariebat, 95.3 sed, 97.3 quod. Note also Introduction (3)(c) for examples in Symphosius of Leonine verse. Bergamin xlvii–li; cf. xl. Note e.g. with the notes ad locc.: Aenig. 11.1 ‘pulvis . . . tenuis’, 29(31).1 ‘coepero nasci’, 83.3(2) ‘coepit quod non erat esse’. Cf. Peter Brown, The World of Late Antiquity, London 1977, 29–33. Thus the phoenix of Aenig. 29(31) should not be associated with the Christian idea of resurrection or Aenig. 82 conditum with the Trinity: see Aenig. 29(31) le. and 82.1 nn. Against the idea of Christian influence on Symphosius, see also Apthorp’s dismissal, reported ad loc., of Bergamin’s defence of concilium at Aenig. 18.3, 83.3(2) n. and Woolf 481–2. Bergamin also detects Christian symbolism in Aenig. 49, 50, 51 and 75; cf. 71: see her introduction xxiii–xxvi and her commentary.



Although further evidence is needed to arrive at a more precise date, the following observations are generally in keeping with the above. First, ten of the Aenigmata are contained in the Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri, the Latin adaptation of a lost Greek romance which has been tentatively dated to c. AD 500.37 If this dating is correct, the Aenigmata must have been written earlier than that. Secondly,38 while a general affinity can be observed between Symphosius’ interests and work and those of such fourth/fifth century-figures as Macrobius and Martianus Capella,39 specific points of comparison exist between the Aenigmata and the Griphus Ternarii Numeri of Ausonius, a work which originated in AD 36840 and has already been mentioned in connection with Symphosius’ title.41 Despite its name, the Griphus is not a collection of riddles, being instead an intricately woven accumulation of material involving and centred around the number three or multiples of it.42 Nevertheless it contains, as it were, the raw material of riddles or quaestiones,43 and, like the Aenigmata,44 it may have been intended, through presenting this material, to demonstrate its author’s learning and skill.45 There are, in addition, a number of formal similarities. In the prefaces to the two works we learn that both were written at times when an element of freedom was tolerated (active service: Auson. Griphus 15 Praef. 18 Green, or the Saturnalia: Aenig. Praef. 3), and were written at or were connected by their authors with mealtimes (Auson. Griphus 15 Praef. 28–9 Green, Aenig. Praef. 5). Both were written while their authors were to some degree inebriated (Auson. Griphus 15 Praef. 29–30 Green, Aenig. Praef. 5; cf. 7) and in both the authors ask their readers’ indulgence because of this (Auson. Griphus 15 Praef. 31–3 Green, Aenig. Praef. 17). Both authors claim that their compositions were hurried (Auson. Griphus 15 Praef. 27–8 Green, Aenig. Praef. 15). Finally, Ausonius’ concern with the number three compares with the length of each of the Aenigmata (three hexameters).46 Such similarities are more likely to suggest Ausonian influence on Symphosius than vice versa: the text and preface of the Griphus are very tightly integrated, while the 37

38 39 40 41 42 43

44 45 46

G.A.A. Kortekaas, Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri, Groningen 1984, 101; cf. Stelios Panayotakis, The Story of Apollonius, King of Tyre. A Commentary, Berlin and Boston 2012, 1. For the ten riddles, see n. 162 below. For the following, cf. Smolak 251. See Introduction (3)(a) section C below. So Lowe 338. See Introduction (1) above. Especially nine (Auson. Griphus 15 Praef. 23 and 36 Green); cf. Introduction (3)(b) below. Many of Ausonius’ other works display riddle-like features, e.g. acrostics or anagrams. In the Technopaegnion, for instance (Green 25), the sense of each hexameter is completed by a monosyllabic ‘answer’ at the end of the line. See also, with Kay’s note, Ep. 13.85 Green, an epigram which poses a learned (and obscene) puzzle. For the relation of the Aenigmata to quaestiones, see Introduction (3) (a) section C. Cf. the postscript to Introduction (3)(a) section C. Cf. Lowe 341. Cf. Bergamin’s argument, reported at Praef. 1–2, for a fifteen-line preface (i.e. a multiple of three) rather than one of seventeen. Writing three-line riddles may, however, have been traditional; cf. that quoted at Gel. 12.6.2, for which see n. 75 below. The suggestion that Ausonius influenced Symphosius to write 99 epigrams rather than a hundred is improbable: see Introduction (3)(b). Lowe, 342–3, observes that three of the Aenigmata have lines beginning with the word tres (Aenig. 64.1, 82.1, 92.2), but this is probably to be ascribed to Symphosius’ use of number-play (cf. Aenig. 39 le. n.) rather than to a general association of riddles with the number three, or to possible Ausonian influence.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

Aenigmata, although following naturally enough from their preface, are not closely related by their content to its Saturnalian theme.47 Ausonius and Symphosius are, however, not the only poets to plead drunkenness or to cite the manner or occasion of their composing when begging their readers’ indulgence. Another who does so is Martial, who is dismissive of his efforts in the Apophoreta (Mart. 14.1.7) and who says elsewhere that his poems will be best appreciated if the reader does not approach them with the sober attitude of morning: see on Praef. 17 below. It is clear that the Aenigmata were greatly influenced by Martial’s works, and especially the Xenia and Apophoreta.48 Therefore, although Symphosius and Ausonius wrote in a similar tradition and it is quite feasible that Symphosius knew Ausonius’ Griphus, it is impossible to prove with absolute certainty that he was directly influenced by him, or, if so, to what extent. Nevertheless, if the Griphus did help shape the Aenigmata, then the latter must have been written after AD 368.

3 The collection (a) Martial, Symphosius, Riddles and the Saturnalia Proem While Symphosius may well have known and been influenced by the works of Ausonius, specifically the Griphus Ternarii Numeri,49 and he has debts to a range of other poets,50 he was particularly influenced by Martial’s Xenia and Apophoreta. This influence is most obvious in the following respects: both the Aenigmata and Martial’s works were written for the Saturnalia, both follow the same basic format (some introductory verses followed by a succession of short poems, each preceded by a lemma), and both share subject matter, as the following tables of lemmata demonstrate.51 That no poet before Symphosius appears to have imitated these works of Martial, at any rate to any extent,52 is perhaps due to the technical difficulty of successfully bringing off this kind of composition.53 Martial himself realized, having written two such books, that he was unlikely to succeed with a third: see my introduction to the Xenia, 16. In following him, Symphosius was not only declaring a debt but also setting himself a challenge. He knew, however, that he would be judged against Martial and he was therefore careful not to copy him slavishly. Thus his book is shorter than either of Martial’s two and, while the body of Martial’s works comprises distichs (mostly

47 48 49 50 51

52 53

Cf. Introduction (3)(a) section A below. See Introduction (3)(a) Proem. Cf. Introduction (2). See Introduction (3)(e). That the lemmata in the Aenigmata were authorial rather than later scribal additions is indicated by their role in linking successive riddles. (For the ordering of the Aenigmata, see generally Introduction (3)(b) below.) Thus the lemma of Aenig. 12 flumen et piscis supplies a connection between this riddle and Aenig. 11 (note flumina, line 3). Cf. also Aenig. 26, 51, 59, 79 and 93 lee. nn. For the authenticity of Martial’s lemmata, see Mart. 13.3.7 and my note at Mart. 14.2.3. Cf. perhaps AL 78 ff. ShB although there is little here to compare. Cf. Introduction (3)(b) below.



Table 1 Symphosius and the Xenia Symphosius 26 35 42 45 47 52 83 85

grus capra beta rosa tus farina vinum in acetum conversum perna

Martial 75 98(99) 13 127 4 8 122 54

grues caprea betae coronae roseae tus far acetum perna

Note also perhaps Aenig. 14 pullus in ovo and Mart. 13.40 ova.

Table 2 Symphosius and the Apophoreta Symphosius


1 3 18 23

graphium anulus cum gemma coclea musca

21 122 121 67 68(71)

graphiarium anuli coclearia muscarium pavoninum muscarium bubulum

27 36 37 50 58 59

cornix porcus mula faenum capillus pila

74 71(70) 197 162 26 45 46

corvus porcus mulae pumilae faenum crines pila paganica pila trigonalis

63 66 67

spongia flagellum lanterna

144 55 61 62

spongea flagellum lanterna cornea lanterna de vesica

79 80 81

scopa tintinnabulum lagena

82 163 116 117–18

scopae tintinabulum lagona nivaria idem

88 90

strigilis aenea tessera

51 15

strigiles tesserae

elegiacs), the Aenigmata are made up of three hexameters each. The principles governing the arrangement of the Aenigmata differ from those used by Martial.54 Further, although Symphosius often treats the same subject matter as Martial, this is by no means always the case and, when he does, he often does so in a different 54

For Martial’s arrangement (courses of a cena in the Xenia; Saturnalian gifts in the Apophoreta), see my editions, 10–12 and 13–21.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

way.55 Also, despite the content of the preface, as is shown below, the character of his work is less ‘Saturnalian’.

(A) The Roman Saturnalia The Saturnalia is fully described elsewhere and the little that is said here is intended to do no more than serve the reader’s convenience.56 Although little is known of Saturn’s early worship, the festival seems to have been agricultural in origin: the name Saturn was popularly derived from satus (Varro L 5.64) and he was commonly represented in literature as bearing a falx (see Mayor at Juv. 13.39). Initially celebration was confined to a single day in mid-winter (19 December: Macr. 1.10.2). Thus it remained for religious purposes (Festus 325M dies), although over time secular festivities were extended until it became the main holiday period of the Roman year.57 Under Augustus, the law courts were adjourned for at least three days (Macr. 1.10.4). Caligula lengthened the holidays to five (Dio Cass. 59.6.4, Suet. Cal. 17.2; cf. Mart. 4.88.2, 14.79.2, 142.1), and seven-day celebrations are sometimes mentioned (Mart. 14.72.2, Lucian Sat. 2, Macr. 1.10.2). Official celebration took the form of a sacrificium publicum (Dionys. H. 6.1.4) and a convivium publicum before the temple of Saturn, at which senators abandoned the toga for the less formal synthesis or dinner dress58 and from which the people departed crying ‘Io Saturnalia’.59 Private celebrations were facilitated by school holidays (Pliny Ep. 8.7.1, Mart. 5.84, 14.223 with my notes). A pig was sacrificed60 and pork was traditional fare: cf. Mart. 14.71.1 ‘iste tibi faciet bona Saturnalia porcus’ and see at Aenig. 36 le. The most prominent characteristic of the Roman Saturnalia was the licence it sanctioned.61 The festival was popularly perceived as a recreation of the Golden Age, a time of freedom and happiness for all that saw the upending or reversal of the normal societal constraints of rank and decorum. Festivities were helped by general drunkenness (Mart. 14.1.9, 11.6.1, 15.5, Stat. Silv. 1.6.5, 95 f.; cf. Symph. Aenig. Praef. 7, 17), gambling, usually forbidden by the aediles, was allowed (Mart. 4.14.7–9, 5.84, 14.1.3 ‘nec timet aedilem moto spectare fritillo’), and sexual allusions and obscene jokes were tolerated and even encouraged.62 The continuing prominence of licence in Saturnalian celebrations is demonstrated by the name ‘servorum feriae’ by which the festival is entered in the calendar of Polemius Silvius in AD 448–9.63



57 58 59 60 61

62 63

Note e.g. Aenig. 50 faenum and Mart. 14.162 faenum. Also Aenig. 83 vinum in acetum conversum and Mart. 13.122 acetum. The inclusion of Aenig. 90 tessera may have been influenced by Mart. 14.15 tesserae but it draws on Mart. 14.16 turricula. For more detail regarding the Saturnalia, see my introductions to Martial’s Apophoreta, 1–8 (with bibliography), and Xenia, 4–10. See too Spisak 90–1, OCD4 s.vv. ‘Saturnus, Saturnalia’ [J. Scheid]. Cf. Balsdon 124. Marquardt III.587; cf., with my notes, Mart. 14.1.1. Marquardt ibid. Marquardt ibid. Cf. Sen. Ep. 18.1 ‘December est mensis cum maxime civitas sudat. ius luxuriae publicae datum est’, Lucian Sat. 5. Cf. Adams 7. For the festival in late Antiquity, when it came to be known as the brumalia, see RE IIA.210.19 ff. s.v. Saturnalia [Nilsson].



Given his debt to the Xenia and Apophoreta, one might expect Symphosius to refer specifically to Saturnalian gifts. He does not, but, as is explained below, gift-giving supplies an important connection between the Aenigmata and the Saturnalia. Otherwise, although the content or subjects of the riddles are at times appropriate (note e.g. Aenig. 22.2 brumae, 36 porcus, 90 tessera), there is nothing to link them with the festival in particular. It is noteworthy, too, that a Saturnalian book modelled on Martial should not contain any obscenity at all, something sanctioned by the freedoms of the festival (cf. above) and generally reflected in the literary composition it occasioned.64

(B) Saturnalian gifts and their distribution The distribution or exchange of gifts played a notable part in Saturnalian celebrations and particularly the dinners held to mark the festival. The usual way of distributing gifts at a dinner party was by means of a lottery. This is what is envisaged in Martial’s Apophoreta (note 1.5 ‘alternas . . . sortes’)65 and apparently also in the Xenia: cf. Mart. 13.5.2 ‘cum tibi sorte datur’. In these books the likeness of each lemma–epigram combination to a gift-tag and the riddle-like nature of some epigrams66 clearly recall such distributions as that at Petr. 56.7, although this was not at the Saturnalia67: ‘. . . cum pittacia in scypho circumferri coeperunt, puerque super hoc positus officium apophoreta recitavit’. Here the pittacia bear legends which refer to punning substitutes for the gifts actually given. The quality of these puns is generally low,68 but it is clear that they amused the company (‘diu risimus’, Petr. 56.10), which would have derived its pleasure from guessing (correctly or not) at the gifts they referred to and from its enjoyment of the composer’s inventiveness. Closely comparable are the riddles indicated by the ‘tituli obscuri et ambigui’ in Suet. Aug. 75: festos et sollemnes dies profusissime, nonnumquam tantum ioculariter celebrabat. Saturnalibus, et si quando alias libuisset, modo munera dividebat, vestem et aurum et argentum, modo nummos omnis notae, etiam veteres regios ac peregrinos, interdum nihil praeter cilicia et spongias et rutabula et forpices atque alia id genus titulis obscuris et ambiguis.

While not mentioning gifts specifically, Symphosius’ Saturnalian riddles can clearly be allied with these dinner-time lotteries, although they must be understood within a broader symposiastic context as well.


65 66

67 68

See Kay’s introductory note to Mart. 11.6. The number of obscene poems in the Xenia and Apophoreta is admittedly low (see my note to Mart. 13.26.2 and my introduction to Mart. 14.69), but they are nonetheless a noticeable feature. A dinner party is suggested by synthesibus (Mart. 14.1.1) and convivae (Mart. 14.1.6). Often the lemmata of the Xenia and Apophoreta supply the ‘answer’ to the ‘riddles’ of the poems. See my editions of the former, 8 and 57, and the latter, 58. Bergamin xxxv notes as especially ‘riddling’ the use of the first person by the subjects of Mart. 13.35, 50, 59 (she says 69), 103, 14.3, 34, 64. See Schmeling at Petr. 58.2. They are explained in B.L. Ullman, ‘ “Apophoreta” in Petronius and Martial’, CPh 36 (1941), 346–55. See also H.D. Rankin, ‘Saturnalian wordplay and Apophoreta in Satyricon 56’, C&M 23 (1962), 134–42.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

(C) Riddles and the Saturnalia When considering Symphosius’ use of riddles specifically in a Saturnalian context, there is no need to locate them fully within the riddle genre or to determine the extent to which he based his riddles on earlier models – although at times he clearly did so: see Aenig. 12 le. n. below.69 Instead specific attention must focus on two of the functions traditionally served by riddles and posers. First, they have long been employed as a source of diversion and amusement, and, secondly, they have long served as tests of intelligence. Since there seems to have been no strong independent tradition of riddles in Latin literature, and those Latin riddles which do survive appear to follow the Greek pattern,70 Greek usage underpins the discussion which follows. The principal context in which riddles are attested as diversions or entertainments in Greek literature is the symposium or dinner party. The earliest extant reference to dinner party riddles survives in Aristophanes’ Wasps (see Macdowell on line 20 γρίφου). Other fifth-century attestations include Simonides 25 W2, Plato Rep. 479B–C and Aristophanes fr. 122 KA, while from the fourth century note Antiphanes 74, 124 and 194. These riddles, along with others taken mostly from the Greek comic poets, are preserved by Athenaeus in the Deipnosophistae, 10.448B–459C. In this work, our best source of Greek riddles,71 Athenaeus cites Clearchus of Soli, the author of a lost work περὶ γρίφων who lived at the end of the third century BC, and gives his definition of a riddle (10.448C) as ‘a problem put in jest demanding the discovery of a solution by intellectual inquiry and which is articulated with a view to a prize or forfeit’ (γρῖφος πρόβλημά ἐστι παιστικόν, προστακτικὸν τοῦ διὰ ζητήσεως εὑρεῖν τῇ διανοίᾳ τὸ προβληθὲν τιμῆς ἣ ἐπιζημίου χάριν εἰρημένον). The prizes for correct answers were generally such objects as crowns or cakes, and the penalties imposed for failure to answer included sconces or drinking wine mixed with salt water.72 Symphosius says nothing of prizes or forfeits, but a generic relationship between those described by Clearchus and the Saturnalian and other lottery prizes of the Roman cena is easily appreciated. The use of riddles as a measure of intelligence is amusingly illustrated in Petronius where Ascyltos reacts to the low-quality punning of the pittacia employed to distribute gifts with such exaggerated amusement that, suspecting him of mockery, the freedman Hermeros rounds on him. Giton’s amusement in turn at this tirade causes the freedman to abandon Ascyltos and focus instead on him. In attempting to compensate for his


70 71


The subject of riddles generally is extensive and has attracted proportionately detailed attention. See e.g. K. Ohlert, Rätsel und Rätselspiele der alten Griechen, 2nd edn Berlin 1912, W. Schultz, Rätsel aus dem hellenistichen Kulturkreise, Leipzig 1912, RE IA(1).62–125 s.v. Rätsel [W. Schultz]. In setting Symphosius in the tradition of riddle-writing, Bergamin xxvii–xxxii identifies two levels in the Aenigmata, the literal and the allusive, and tentatively classifies the various mechanisms behind their construction, although she is not persuasive in detecting the influence on them of Christian symbolic usage; cf. n. 36 above. Contrast Dale Scott, who denies symbolic content in Symphosius while asserting its prominence in his imitators, most notably Aldhelm. See e.g. OCD4 s.v. riddles [M.L. West]; cf. Ohl 11–12. Another important collection is contained in Book 14 of the Palatine Anthology, which contains 5 miscellaneous epigrams, 1 charade, 45 oracles, 55 riddles and 44 mathematical problems: so Forster 43. Cf. Forster 43. For prizes and penalties, cf. Antiphanes fr. 75, Clearchus fr. 63 Wehrli, Pollux 6.107.



lack of learning and to assert his equality, he asks his adversary a series of riddles (Petr. 58.8–9). The ability to solve riddles is perhaps most famously presented in Classical literature as evidence of intelligence when Oedipus boasts of solving the riddle of the Sphinx through wit rather than prophetic skill (Sophocles OT 396 ff.). But in other cultures too it was a well-established convention for a battle of wits to take the form of a riddle contest. Therefore when she tried to unseat King Solomon, famed for his wisdom and wealth, the Queen of Sheba ‘came to test him with hard questions’ (1 Kings 10.1), that is riddles.73 She failed, after which there was ‘no more spirit in her’ (1 Kings 10.5). In contrast, King Hiram of Tyre had earlier achieved some success, although helped by his subject Abdemum (Josephus Ap. 1.113–15): while he was supplying Solomon with materials for the Temple, the two kings sent one another riddles and each paid a large forfeit to his rival if he was beaten. The forfeits associated with these intelligence tests far surpass those of the Greek symposium or Roman cena, however seriously the riddles there might have been taken (note Aenig. Praef. 11), but again a generic association can be identified. Use of riddle-like posers, both as an intelligence test and an entertaining means of distributing prizes at dinner, is illustrated in a specifically Saturnalian context at Gel. 18.2,74 which describes the celebrations of a group of Roman students in Athens: conveniebamus . . . ad eandem cenam conplusculi, qui Romani in Graeciam veneramus quique easdem auditiones eosdemque doctores colebamus. tum qui et cenulam ordine suo curabat, praemium solvendae quaestionis ponebat librum veteris scriptoris vel Graecum vel Latinum et coronam e lauro plexam, totidemque res quaerebat quot homines istic eramus; cumque eas omnis exposuerat, rem locumque dicendi sors dabat. quaestio igitur soluta corona et praemio donabatur, non soluta autem tramittebatur ad eum qui sortito successerat, idque in orbem vice pari servabatur. si nemo dissolvebat, corona eius quaestionis deo cuius id festum erat dicabatur. Gel. 18.2.2–5

Examples then follow of the kind of posers put to the company. These quaestiones are of a higher order than the ordinary riddle,75 having a literary, philosophical or grammatical foundation, and the ability to solve them was therefore the more admirable. Indeed the professional standing of doctores and grammatici was assessed according to it.76 The doctores in Gellius and their students, like other teachers and their pupils, would have been on holiday at the Saturnalia77 and they too marked the festival with a communal meal, but in keeping with their background and the paradoxical 73 74 75



The riddles survive in the Midrash Mishle and the second Targum to the Book of Esther: see Ohl 9. Cf. Gel. 18.13. Gellius preserves a riddle of the common variety, e.g. at 12.6.2: ‘semel minusne an bis minus sit, nescio/ an utrimque eorum, ut quondam audivi dicier./ Iovi ipsi regi noluit concedere.’ The answer is Terminus: 1 × minus + 2 × minus = ter minus, Terminus being the stubborn god who refused to budge from his original site and make way for Jupiter on the Capitol. Cf. Furius Bibaculus FLP 2.3 ff.: ‘mirati sumus unicum magistrum,/ summum grammaticum, optimum poetam/ omnes solvere posse quaestiones’ (= Hollis 85), Courtney at Juv. 7.234 and William J. Slater, ‘Aristophanes of Byzantium and problem-solving in the Museum’, CQ 32 (1982), 337, 346–9. See section A above.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

nature of intellectual endeavour – that it can both provide one’s livelihood and inform one’s recreation – they taxed one another not with ordinary riddles but with the kinds of problems at other times put to grammatici by those of their ‘customers’ wanting to test them and, if possible, catch them out. The young men in Gellius did not take full advantage of the licence condoned by the Saturnalia.78 Similarly restrained was the learned company in Macrobius’ Saturnalia: although an abundance of food and drink was available, it was not abused (Macr. 1.2.12). Since the Saturnalia is specifically identified with sympotic literature, especially Plato’s Symposium (Macr. 1.1.3), the company’s restraint might reflect in part the decision in Plato not to drink heavily (Plato Symp. 176a5 ff.). The discussions in Macrobius are far more elevated than riddles and, although not unlike quaestiones in their content, outstrip them too. (They embrace literature, philosophy, astronomy, rhetoric and law, everything being centred above all on an appreciation of Virgil.) They are nevertheless an extension of the amusement and intelligence-testing theme. Indeed, given the long-recognized sympotic resonances in the Cena Trimalchionis,79 Macrobius and Petronius might be taken as the extremes of a spectrum. A sympotic note has already been noticed in the Aenigmata with regard to Symphosius’ name and the title of his work,80 but more can be said. For instance, in publishing his book of riddles Symphosius is, like Aristodemus in Plato’s Symposium, telling someone who was not present (here the reader) what went on at the banquet, and in presenting each riddle with its lemma or ‘answer’ he reflects the exchange or dialogue between the guests. However, the erudite concern of the Aenigmata with word play and etymology,81 their literary debts82 and the astronomical, mythological, geographical, medicinal and botanical knowledge they display,83 clearly associate Symphosius more closely with Macrobius than the dinner guests parodied in Petronius. It is noteworthy that one of the company in Macrobius is Symmachus, who is also the addressee of Ausonius’ Griphus: if indeed Symphosius used this work, a circle of association is completed. While the Aenigmata can be linked with the popular lotteries and distributions of the Saturnalia, in building on Martial they focus not on the objects for distribution but, through their most sophisticated form, the means of their disposal. There is thus considerable weight behind Ohl’s observation that the Aenigmata mark their author ‘as a kindred spirit with the late-fourth and early-fifth century “scholastics” such as Ausonius, Macrobius and Martianus Capella, trained rhetoricians and grammarians who delighted in jest, conundrum and quip for mental recreation.’84 *** A postscript is necessary concerning Symphosius’ use of lemmata. While it is possible to see the provision of both riddles and their answers as reflecting the ‘exchange or 78 79 80 81 82 83


See ibid.; cf. Gel. 18.2.1 ‘Saturnalia . . . agitabamus hilare prorsum ac modeste’. See e.g. Edward Courtney, A Companion to Petronius, Oxford 2000, 88, Schmeling on Petr. 26.7–78. See Introduction (1) above. See Introduction (3)(c) and n. 106 below. See above and Introduction (3)(e) below. See e.g. Aenig. 17, 32, 39, 64, 74, 81, 84 (mythological), 32, 38 (geographical), 40, 41, 42, 43 (botanical and medical), 32, 35 (astronomical). Ohl 15; cf. Ohl (1932), 210.



dialogue’ between guests at a symposium, the fact remains that it is odd to present the reader of the Aenigmata with solutions before giving the riddle. Were it not for the lemmata, some of the Aenigmata would be very hard to guess: examples are Aenig. 12, 56, 62, 83, 93 and 94. A further possibility85 and one which does not exclude the first might be that the reader of the Aenigmata is not in fact meant to solve the riddles at all (although the dinner guests were required to solve those on which they were based; cf. Praef. 12 solvere and 15 ‘hos versus feci . . . †de carmine vocis†’, on which see ad loc.). Instead, being possessed of their solutions, he is intended to appreciate the cleverness and erudition of their composition. Thus Aenig. 32 taurus invites the reader to admire Symphosius’ etymological, astrological, mythological, geographical and biological learning – as well as his skill as a poet. Similarly, the reader of Aenig. 94 luscus alium vendens would be interested to see what he made of this unusual subject.

(b) Order and arrangement Of the ordering of the Aenigmata, Ohl remarks only that they ‘fall into no definite groups, though there is a tendency to associate those dealing with similar or related subjects’ and then gives some examples of these associations.86 This does Symphosius little justice. Subsequent scholars, most recently Sebo, have rightly advanced more sophisticated appreciations of the riddles’ arrangement. Sebo sees the subject matter and ordering of the collection as reflecting the creation by Symphosius of ‘a Saturnalian view of the world which stresses cyclical change, reversal and above all else, plurality in all things’.87 In advancing this interpretation, however, she says little of the literary, cultural and sociological tradition within which the work is to be understood, perhaps being influenced by the allegorical concerns of later writers,88 and she is in any case unable in the space of a brief chapter to expound in any detail the many formal links between individual riddles. In adopting the model of Martial’s Xenia and Apophoreta,89 and despite the apologetics and pleas for indulgence in his Preface (the Aenigmata are professedly impromptu and drunken trifles: Praef. 14–17), it is clear that Symphosius took considerable pains to combine the composition of each individual riddle in a cohesive and closely integrated literary whole.90 This is not to say that all his readers will have honoured his arrangement. Many will have dipped in and out of the work. Others will have excerpted material, as is clear from the incorporation of some Aenigmata in later works,91 but, like Martial, he would have accepted this with pragmatic realism.92 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92

Cf. Sebo 94. Ohl 20; cf. Ohl (1932), 212. Sebo 187. See Introduction (3)(a) section C and cf. Dale Scott, cited in n. 69 above. See Introduction (3)(a) Proem. For Martial’s ordering of the Xenia and Apophoreta, see Introduction (3)(a) n. 54. See Introduction (4) below. See my chapter ‘Modifying Martial in nineteenth-century Britain’ in Stephen Harrison and Christopher Stray edd., Expurgating the Classics: Editing Out in Greek and Latin, London 2012, 127– 42, esp. 132.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

Even if a reader were set on reading his work from beginning to end, Symphosius was fully aware of the challenge of maintaining his interest in a long, list-like collection of compositions dealing with subjects which were often not particularly ‘poetic’ – such as a weevil (Aenig. 24), onion (Aenig. 44) and water-pipe (Aenig. 72). Therefore, just as Martial had striven for constant variety, if not in metre (the Xenia and Apophoreta are almost all in elegiacs),93 then through humour, literary allusion, word play and etymologizing, figures of speech such as alliteration and personification and so on,94 so Symphosius, who had less scope than Martial for metrical variation, employed similar means when composing the Aenigmata. The devices he uses within each riddle (alliteration, etymologizing, word order etc.) are exemplified briefly in a separate section below.95 The arrangement of the whole collection is considered here. Although it became standard after Symphosius for riddle compilations to number one hundred,96 it has been argued, for example, by Smolak 250, that Symphosius wrote just ninety-nine riddles, having been influenced by Ausonius’ Griphus Ternarii Numeri with its concentration on the numbers 3 and 9 (cf. Griphus 15 Praef. 36 Green ‘omnia quae ad ternarium et novenarium numeros pertinent’). Suspicion has fallen on Aenig. 96, a riddle omitted by the A and B MS families97 and commonly taken as a medieval interpolation.98 However, while it is very likely that the lemma to Aenig. 96 is spurious, the riddle itself is probably genuine rather than an insertion to make up a round hundred.99 Further, even if Symphosius were influenced by Ausonius, he would not have copied him slavishly: Ausonius wrote 90 lines (Griphus 15.89–90 Green ‘hic quoque ne ludus numero transcurrat inerti,/ ter decies ternos habeat deciesque novenos’). Symphosius’ decision to write one hundred riddles might have been a conscious development of this: not ‘3 × 10 × 3 and 10 × 9’ but ‘(3 × 10 × 3) + 10 and 10 × 10’.100 Symphosius’ hundred-riddle compilation is clearly bounded.101 It begins, appropriately for a literary composition, with a riddle about a writing implement – the possibility of inverting the graphium to erase what has been written is in accordance with the self-depreciating note of the Praefatio – and it ends, again appropriately for a literary composition, with a poem about a funeral monument, thus recalling, for example, Horace Carm. 3.30.1 ‘exegi monumentum’: Symphosius’ monument is his


Exceptions, in a total of 350 poems, are Mart. 13.61 (choliambics) and 81, 14.8, 10, 37, 39, 40, 53, 56, 148 and 206 (hendecasyllables). For metrical variation in another book, see Kay’s introduction, 6, to his edition of Mart. 11. 94 See my edition of the Xenia, 14–16, and my chapter ‘Martial’s early Saturnalian verse’ in F. Grewing ed., Toto Notus in Orbe: Perspektiven der Martial-Interpretation, Stuttgart 1998, 37–47, especially 41 ff. 95 See Introduction (3)(c). 96 See Introduction (4) below. 97 See Introduction (5) section B and the introductory note to Aenig. 96. 98 See e.g. Smolak 250, Ohl ad loc. and Shackleton Bailey’s textual apparatus. 99 See the introductory note to Aenig. 96, the commentary on the lemma and Table 3; the riddle accords stylistically with the other Aenigmata and fits both the sequence and ordering of the collection. 100 The arguments in this paragraph for a total of a hundred Aenigmata were suggested to me per litteras by Dr Michael Apthorp. For ‘numerical composition’ in Latin and medieval poetry, i.e. composing with an eye to a certain number of lines or some mathematical pattern, see generally Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages trans. Willard R. Trask, London 1953, 501–9. 101 Cf. Smolak 250.



collection of riddles. (For greater detail on the bounding of the collection and both Aenig. 1 and 100, see the Commentary below.) Within these bounds, the riddles are not only grouped thematically, but each is individually linked to the one immediately before and after it. Sometimes there is a further link which skips an intervening riddle,102 occasionally to create an interwoven ‘lattice’ (cf. the metaphorical associations of the words γρῖϕος and scirpus: see Introduction (1) above).103 These links take a variety of forms. They include generic associations, verbal connections, word play and etymologizing, literary allusions or associations and shared or related content. On occasion two riddles might be linked by more than one of these factors. Although the links are sometimes very subtle and sophisticated, and their identification below is sometimes tentative, at other times they are very clear. In consequence the transmitted order of Aenig. 29–31 can be corrected. Table 3 is intended as no more than an overview of the way in which the Aenigmata are ordered and arranged. For full explication and discussion, see the Commentary. Table 3 Overview of Symphosius’ book structure Riddle

Thematic links and links embracing several riddles

Links between successive riddles

praefatio • self-depreciation 1–3

Writing equipment

1 graphium • pens 2 harundo • signata (2.3): seal stone 3 anulus cum gemma

• plures habitura figuras (3.3): multos habitura ligatos (5.1) • generic connection between finger rings (3) and chain links (anuli)? • keys on/as part of finger rings • seals: keys


House and household

4 clavis • key: (slave) chains; cf. the suggestion of servitude in Aenig. 4.3 5 catena

• catena (5 le.): catenis (10.2) • multos habitura ligatos (5.1): plures habitura figuras (3.3) • generic connection between chain links (anuli) and finger rings (3)? • domum domino (4.3): tegula (6 le.)

(continued) 102 103

Note e.g. Aenig. 3.3 and 5.1, 9.1 and 11.1, 94.1 and 96.1, 97.3 and 99.3. Note e.g. Aenig. 17–20 and 84–7.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

Table 3 (continued) Riddle

Thematic links and links embracing several riddles

6 tegula

• tiles give protection from the weather (8–11) • in alto (6.2): ex alto (9.1)

Links between successive riddles

• ignis (6.1): smoke (7 le.) • nascor (6.2): nascitur (7.3) • house (≈ tegula, 6): hearth (7) 7 fumus

• fires are appropriate in winter weather (8–11)

8–11; contrast 12–13 8 nebula

Winter weather

• smoke: cloud

• cloud: rain • heavenly bodies: heaven • media (8.2): medias (9.2) 9 pluvia

• ex alto (9.1): in alto (6.2) • delapsa (9.1): lapsus (11.1) • rain: ice • caelo (9.2): caeli (10.2)

10 glacies

• catenis (10.2): catena (5 le.) • ice: snow • unda (10.1): aquae (11.1)

11 nix

• lapsus (11.1): delapsa (9.1) • flumina (11.3): flumen (12 le.) • terras (11.3): terris (12.1)

12 flumen et piscis • currunt (12.3): curro (13.3) • river: fish ≈ sea: ship 13 navis • filia (13.1): matris (14.2) and theme of birth 14–31 14 pullus in ovo

Small creatures and birds • ‘bird’(14): bird sequence (26 ff.) • primordia (14.1): origo (15.3) • vitae (14.1): theme of life and death (15) • natus, natum (14.2–3): nasci (15.1) • partu (14.3): etymology of vipera (15 le.) • matris (14.2): matrem (15.2) • The birth of both the chick and viper is mira (14.1).

15 vipera

• theme of life and death (15): viva . . . mortua (20.3) • theme of life and death (15): vixi (16.2)

16 tinea • nec . . . novi (16.1): nosse (17.1) • Musas (16.3): Pallas (17.1)

Introduction 17 aranea

• aranea (17 le.): rana (19 le.)

18 coclea

• shelled creature • stress on creature’s mobility (18): stress on creature’s slowness (i.e. immobility) (20)


• pedibus (17.3): migrare (18.1)

• word play in both 18 and 19 • snail’s feeding on dew: unda (19.1)? 19 rana

• rana (19 le.): aranea (17 le.) • canam (19.2): canto (20.3)

20 testudo

• shelled creature • stress on creature’s slowness (i.e. immobility) (20): stress on creature’s mobility (18) • theme of life and death (15): viva . . . mortua (20.3) • tecta (20.2): tegi (21.3) • mortua (20.3): tegi terra (≈ burial) (21.3)

21 talpa

• mentioned in Verg. G. 1.181 ff. • blindness and sight (caeca, obscura, tenebris 21.1, cernitur 21.2, videbit 21.3): provida (22.1) • tegi terra (≈ burial) (21.3): vitae (22.1)

22 formica

• mentioned in Verg. G. 1.181 ff. • provida sum (22.1): improba sum (23.1) • brumae (22.2): frigora, aestate (23.2) • implication of food (22): gula (23.1)

23 musca

• musca (23 le.): mus (25 le.) • insects • gula (23.1): gurgulio (24 le.) • improba sum (23.1): non bonus (24.1)

24 gurgulio

• mentioned in Verg. G. 1.181 ff. • Cereri (24.3): Martis (26.2) • hospes (24.1): hostis (26.3): hospes (30(29).1) • lack of Roman utilitas (24.1): Romanitas (25.3) • multa vivo sagina (24.3): furtiva vivo sagina (25.2)

25 mus

• mus (25 le.): musca (23 le.) • mentioned in Verg. G. 1.181 ff. • parva . . . domus (25.1): domus . . . parvi (30(29).1) • nomen (25.3): nomen (28.1) • mus (25 le.): grus (26 le.) • terrestrial mouse hole (25.1): caeli (26.1)



Symphosius The Aenigmata

Table 3 (continued) Riddle

Thematic links and links embracing several riddles

26 grus

• bird sequence (26 ff.): bird (14) • Martis (26.2): Cereri (24.3) • hospes (24.1): hostis (26.3): hospes (30(29).1) • penna . . . volanti (26.1): penna volantis (28.2): (spinis, 30(29).1) • metamorphosis

27 cornix

• vitas (27.1) + mourning (27.2): vita + mors (29(31).1) • ‘renewed life’ theme (27 + 29(31)) • metamorphosis

Links between successive riddles

• birds ≈ siege engines?

• ‘flying creature’ • atra (27.2): noctis (28.1) + tenebris (28.3) 28 vespertilio

• nomen (28.1): nomen (25.3) • penna . . . volanti (26.1): penna volantis (28.2): (spinis (30(29).1) • metamorphosis • ‘flying creature’ • tenebris, diebus (28.3): lucis (29(31).2)

29(31) phoenix

• vita + mors (29(31).1): vitas (27.1) + mourning (27.2) • ‘renewed life’ theme (29(31) + 27) • metamorphosis • paradox of life from death (29(31)): paradox of being pierced but unharmed by weapons (30(29))

30(29) ericius

• domus . . . parvi (30(29).1): parva . . . domus (25.1) • hospes (30(29).1): hostis (26.3): hospes (24.1) • (spinis (30(29).1): penna volantis (28.2): penna . . . volanti (26.1) • corporis hospes (30(29).1): body parasite • telis . . . acutis (30(29).2): nova . . . captura (31(30).1)

31(30) peduculus

• ferarum (31(30).1): fera (34.3) • ferarum (31(30).1): animal • etymology of taurus (32 le.)


Larger animals

32 taurus

• taurus (32 le.): centaurus (39 le.) • hybrid (32, 37, 39) • constellation (32.3, 35.2, 39 le.) • ambulo (32.3): etymology of lupus (33 le.)



33 lupus • canine animals • etymology of lupus (33 le.) and vulpes (34 le.) • word play in both 33 and 34 34 vulpes

• fera (34.3): ferarum (31(30).1) • etymology of vulpes (34 le.): difficili peragrans . . . gressu (35.2)

35 capra

• constellation (32.3, 35.2, 39 le.) • birth and nurture or parentage theme (see 35 le. n.) • alma . . . nutrix (35.1): saetigerae matris fecunda natus in alvo (36.1)

36 porcus

• birth and nurture or parentage theme (see 35 le. n.) • matris . . . natus (36.1): matri (cf. patri) (37.1), nascor . . . nascitur (37.3)

37 mula

• dissimilis matri (37.1): dissimilis mihi (39.2) • hybrid (32, 37, 39) • birth and nurture or parentage theme (see 35 le. n.) • . . . ex me (37.3): . . . ex me (38.1) • nascor . . . nascitur (37.3): natos (38.3) • parentage theme

38 tigris

• birth and nurture or parentage theme (see 35 le. n.) • arrows (Sagittarius; etymology of tigris)

39 centaurus

centaurus (39 le.): taurus (32 le.) hybrid (39, 37, 32) constellation (39 le., 35.2, 32.3) dissimilis mihi (39.2): dissimilis matri (37.1) • portant (39.3): porto (41.3) • numerical reference • medicinal associations • • • •

• hybrid centaur (39): poppy’s disproportion (40) • number + pedibus (39.1), unus et unus (39.2): pes unus . . . pes . . . unus (40.2) 40–61

Flowers and vegetables

40 papaver

• • • •

purple flower numerical reference medicinal associations monstrosity • pes + numbers (40.2): pedes + numbers (41.1–2)

(continued) 1

The thematic links are too numerous to cross-reference them by riddle numbers for Aenig. 40–9, 54–61; cf. 70–85.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

Table 3 (continued) Riddle

Thematic links and links embracing several riddles

41 malva

• • • • • •

Links between successive riddles

purple flower porto (41.3): portant (39.3) numerical reference medicinal associations monstrosity lowly food • anseris . . . pedes (41.1): chenopodium genus (42 beta)

42 beta

• numerical reference • medicinal associations • lowly food • nascor (42.3): nascor (43.1) • lympha (42.3): undis (43.2)

43 cucurbita

• medicinal associations • lowly food

44 cepa

• medicinal associations • lowly food

45 rosa

• purple flower • banqueting

• word play in both 43 and 44

• biting/teeth: thorns

• purpura, rubore (45.1): ruborem (46.3) • telis (45.2): germen (46.3) 46 viola

• purple flower • banqueting • perfume • virtus (46.1), spiritus (46.2): odor (47.1)

47–9 47 tus

Eastern imports • banqueting • perfume • incense: myrrh • nemoris (47.1): ex arbore (48.2)

48 murra

• banqueting • perfume • nascor (48.2): prognatus (49.1)

49 ebur • piecemeal division of ivory (49.2): praecisa (50.2) 50–3 50 faenum

Indigenous crops • faenum (50 le.): farina (52 le.) • premor (50.3): premebant (52.1) • mole (50.3): mola (51 le.)

51 mola • lapides (51.1): saxa (52.1) 52 farina

• farina (52 le.): faenum (50 le.) • premebant (52.1): premor (50.3) • grain: vine (both profitable home-grown crops)



53 vitis • foodstuff (53): foodstuff (54) • sepulcra (53.3): morti (54.3) 54–61 54 hamus

Hardware and leather goods/their constituents • sharp/pointed object • mucronis (54.1): mucro (61.1) • medio . . . fluctu (54.2): gurgite . . . profundo, aquas medias (61.2–3) • hook: needle • exiguum (54.1): longa, exilis, tenui (55.1) • run-on lines (54.1–2; 55.1–2)

55 acus

• sharp/pointed object • needle: cobbling • laesis, solutis (55.3): lacerata (56.2) • vincula (55.2), nexum (55.3): ligata (56.2)

56 caliga

• leather product • caliga (56 le.): caligaris (57 le.)

57 clavus caligaris • sharp/pointed object • caput (57.1), capitis (57.2): capillus (58 le.) • multi (57.3): multi (58.1) 58 capillus

• sharp/pointed ‘object’ • capillus (58 le.): pila (59 le.), comis, capillis (59.1), crines (59.2)

59 pila

• leather product • comis, capillis (59.1), crines (59.2): frondicomam (60.2) • saws look similar to combs (suggested by hair) since both have teeth

60 serra

• sharp/pointed object • dentibus (60.1), mando, dentis (60.3): mordeo (61.3)

61 anchora

• sharp/pointed object • mucro (61.1): mucronis (54.1) • gurgite . . . profundo, aquas medias (61.2–3): medio . . . fluctu (54.2) • sharp/pointed object • anchora (61 le.): tridens (64 le.) • geminus . . . uno (61.1): tridens (64 le.), tres . . . unus (64.1; cf. 2 unus . . . solus) • mordeo (61.3): tridens (64 le.), dentes (64.1; cf. 2 dens) • gurgite . . . profundo (61.2): alto gurgite (62.1) • aquas medias (61.3): in mediis undis (62.2) • terras (61.3): terra . . . terrae (62.3)



Symphosius The Aenigmata

Table 3 (continued) Riddle

Thematic links and links embracing several riddles



Links between successive riddles

62 pons • lymphis (62.1): lympha (63.3); note also gurgite (62.1), undis (62.2): aquae (63.1) • There is possibly a play on (-)pon- in 62 and 63 lee., 63.1 and 3. 63 spongia • aquae (63.1), lympha (63.3): aequora (64.3) • aquatic associations of Neptune and tridents 64–6


64 tridens

• sharp/pointed object • tridens (64 le.): anchora (61 le.) • tridens (64 le.), tres . . . unus (64.1; cf. 2 unus . . . solus): geminus . . . uno (61.1) • tridens (64 le.), dentes (64.1; cf. 2 dens): mordeo (61.3) • timet (64.3): terreo (66.1) • trident (aquatic associations, Neptune): arrow (heavenly associations, Zeus) • fishing: hunting • ventus (64.3): possible wind associations of arrows

65 sagitta

• per medium (65.2): in mediis (67.3) • bird (volucri, 65.2): cattle (pecudis, pecudes, 66.1) • war contrasting with agriculture

66 flagellum

• terreo (66.1): timet (64.3) • pecudis, pecudes (66.1): cornibus (67.1)



67 lanterna

• in mediis (67.3): per medium (65.2) • man’s technological triumph over nature • perlucida (67.1): perspicior (68.1) • lumen (67.2): luminis (68.1) • intus divini sideris instar (67.2): sol . . . emicat in me (68.3)

68 specular • man’s technological triumph over nature • specular (68 le.): speculum (69 le.) • sol . . . emicat in me (68.3): fulgor inest intus radianti luce coruscus (69.2)



69 speculum • uncertainty (nulla . . . certa est, 69.1): certainty (lex, 70.1; ius, 70.2) • both mirrors and water clocks used by orators 70–6 70 clepsydra

The Four Elements, technology and building • water

71 puteus

• earth and water

• clepsydra (70 le.): lympha (71.1) • well: pipe • underworld associations • terris in caespite lympha (71.1): terra . . . in caespite lymphae (72.1) 72 tubus

• earth and water • modicus . . . ullas (72.2): magna . . . nulla (73.3)?

73 uter

• fire, air (and water)

74 lapis

• (air), earth and water

• animae (73.3): volucris (74.3) • (Pyrrha) (74): flammas, ignis (75.1) • unda (74.1): lymphis, undis (75.3) 75 calx

• fire and water • flammas, ignis (75.1): ignis (76.1) • ardeo de lymphis . . . accendor ab undis (75.3): nec ut occidat [sc. eget] undis (76.3)

76 silex

• fire and water


Composite wholes

77 rotae

• wheels: part of a cart

• road surfacing (silex): wheels

• labor . . . unus (77.2): unus . . . ordo (78.2) • ex arte (77.1): concordi fabrica (78.2) 78 scalae

• rungs: part of a ladder • quas unus continet ordo (78.2) and simul haerentes (78.3): conexa (79.1; cf. iuncta 79.2).

79 scopa

• twigs: part of a broom • parens (79.1): mater, genitor (81.1), mater (81.3) • mundi (79.1): orbem (80.1, recalling the world)



Symphosius The Aenigmata

Table 3 (continued) Riddle

Thematic links and links embracing several riddles

Links between successive riddles

80–5 Food and wine-related riddles 80 tintinnabulum • dinner gong? • orbem (80.1, recalling the world): Tellus (81.1) • sense of hearing (80): auriculae (81.2; cf. the sound of aere, 80.1) • personification through linguae (80.2): personification through mater, genitor, auriculae, ventre (81.1–2) 81 lagena

• (wine) flask • mater, genitor (81.1), mater (81.3): parens (79.1) • genitor est . . . Prometheus (81.1): word play on conditum (82 le.) and μέθυ

82 conditum

• wine • bonus, melior (82.3): malum (84 le.; cf.3) • conditum (82 le.): conversum (83 le.) • miscentur (82.2): sublatum nihil est, nihil est extrinsecus auctum (83.1)

83 vinum in • wine acetum conversum • contentio (84.1): conversum (83 le.) (cf. 82 le. conditum and 3 continet) • prima (84.3): prius (83.2(3)) 84 malum

• food (apple) • malum (84 le.): malleus (86 le.) • malum (84 le.; cf. 3): bonus, melior (82.3) • contentio (84.1): certare (86.2) • ovis (84.1): Catonis (= porci) (85.1) • sororum (84.2): soror (85.2)

85 perna

• food (ham) • perna (85 le.): pistillus (87 le.) • ham (a body part): corpore (86.1), capitis (86.2), caput (86.3)

86–91 86 malleus

Work and recreation • malleus (86 le.): malum (84 le.) • certare (86.2): contentio (84.1) • hammer: pestle • corpore (86.1): corporis (87.3) • vires (86.1): virtutis robore magno (87.1) • caput (86.3): capitum (87.2), caput (87.3)

87 pistillus

• pistillus (87 le.): perna (85 le.) • corporis (87.3); cf. corpore (86.1): instrument for use on bodies (88) • instrument associated with working (87; cf. 86): sudori, labori (88.3)

Introduction 88 strigilis aenea


• dedita (88.3): dedita (90.1) • strigils: baths

89 balneum • baths: dicing 90 tessera

• dedita (90.1): dedita (88.3) • dicing: money

91 pecunia • paretur (91.3): pariebat (92 le.) 92–5

‘Travelling’ people

92 mulier quae geminos pariebat

• number-play • mulier (92 le.): miles (93 le.) • unum (92.1), tres (92.2), duae, tertia (92.3): quinque (93.2), duo (93.3) • habui, quas (92.2): habui quod (93.2) • discessere (92.3): inability to walk (93)

93 miles podagricus

• number-play • pedes (93.2): pedibus (95.3) • high status disability; inability to walk (93): low status disability; pedlar (94) • old soldier (93): old soldier(?) (94)

94 luscus alium vendens

• number-play • cernere iam fas est quod vix tibi credere fas est (94.1): nunc mihi iam credas fieri quod posse negatur (96.1) • third person expression (94, 95, 96)

95 funambulus

• pedibus (95.3): pedes (93.2) • viator (95.2): travelling (97) • third person expression (94, 95, 96)

• pedlar (94): viator (95.2)

• pedibus (95.3): manibus (96.2) • docta . . . arte (95.2): monstrante magistro (96.2) 96–9

Shadowy or insubstantial phenomena

96 verba

• nunc mihi iam credas fieri quod posse negatur (96.1): cernere iam fas est quod vix tibi credere fas est (94.1) • third person expression (96, 95, 94) • verba (96 le.): Echo (98 le.) • sublatis (96.3): insidias . . . latenti (97.1: the idea of ‘taking away’)

97 umbra

• travelling (97): viator (95.2) • vereor (97.1): metus (99.2) • quod me nemo movet, nisi qui prius ipse movetur (97.3): sed me nemo videt, nisi qui sua lumina claudit (99.3)



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Table 3 (continued) Riddle

Thematic links and links embracing several riddles

Links between successive riddles • shadow: echo (possible Ovidian connection) • me nemo movet, nisi qui prius movetur (97.3): ultro nolo loqui, sed do responsa loquenti (98.3) • Note also formae (97.2), which might balance and contrast with the words indicating modesty in Aenig. 98.

98 Echo

• Echo (98 le.): verba (96 le.) • Echo could be described by nomen inane manet, sed dulcis vita profugit (100.2).

99 somnus

• metus (99.2): vereor (97.1) • sed me nemo videt, nisi qui sua lumina claudit (99.3): quod me nemo movet, nisi qui prius ipse movetur (97.3)

• ultro (98.3): sponte (99.1)

• sleep: death Closure 100 monumentum • nomen inane manet, sed dulcis vita profugit (100.2) possibly recalls Echo in Aenig. 98.

(c) Literary style Symphosius’ literary style has already received general treatment, for example, by Ohl, both in his edition (16–17) and in his 1932 article (211–12), and by Dale Scott (118 f.), who explores his use of rhetorical figures. There is therefore no need for detailed discussion here, especially as specific attention will be given to individual features in context in the Commentary. Nonetheless a general survey of his technique and literary practice is appropriate.105 Bergamin xli notes that while some of Symphosius’ rhetorical figures are decorative, others have a structural function in contributing to the enigmatic quality of his work. This applies especially to his fondness for word play and etymologizing,106 and for paradox.107 He pays great attention to word order within each line.108 Often this reinforces the line’s meaning, and the interwoven structure in many of his lines is in 105

Examples of stylistic usage further to those given below can be found by consulting the index. See e.g. Aenig. 4.2, 18.2, 19 le., 24 le., 26.3, 28.1, 32 le., 33 le., 36.3, 37.2, 38.1–2, 42.1, 57.2, 59 le., 63.3, 68.3, 70.2, 71.1, 78.1, 82 le., 84, 85.3, 93 le., 95.3, 98.3; cf. Bergamin xlv. 107 See e.g. Aenig. 1.1, 4.1, 8.1, 14.2, 15 le., 29(31).1, 30(29) le., 31(30).2–3, 34.1, 39.2–3, 41.3, 45 le., 53.3, 55.2, 57.1, 61.1, 66.1, 77.3, 82.2, 88.3, 89.1–2, 100.3. 108 See e.g. Aenig. 1.1–3, 9.2, 10.1, 17.3, 51.1–3, 55.1–3, 57.2, 58.1, 62.3, 63.3, 64.3, 65.1, 69.3, 73.2, 75.3, 84.1, 85.1, 87.2, 90.3, 94.3. 106



keeping generally with the ‘lattice’ work of the γρῖϕος or riddle.109 Related to wordordering is his use of juxtaposition (e.g. Aenig. 23.1, 30(29).1, 50.2) and asyndeton (Aenig. 13.1), although the latter is scarce. Also scarce is his use of transferred epithets: see at Aenig. 33.1 ‘dentibus insanis’. Examples of anaphora occur at Aenig. 53.1–3 and 100.1–2. Only once does he admit enjambement: Praef. 9–10.110 Internal rhyme can be fortuitous or unintentional in Latin,111 but he sometimes includes striking and therefore noteworthy examples (e.g. Aenig. 31(30).1, 70.1–2, 88.3), such Leonine verses being suggestive perhaps of his late date,112 and he regularly admits alliteration.113 Although he tends to avoid abstractions, preferring the material and tangible,114 he sometimes uses metonymy and synecdoche (e.g. Aenig. 8.3, 77 le.) and his expression is sometimes very poetic: note, for example, Aenig. 10.2 ‘rigidi caeli’, 11.1 ‘pulvis aquae tenuis’, 45.1 ‘purpura sum terrae’. In keeping with common practice in riddles,115 his subjects are generally personified.116 This personification is sometimes a source of humour (e.g. Aenig. 1.2, 58.3). Other humorous touches are supplied, for example, by his use of irony (e.g. Aenig. 31(30).1, 54.2–3) and hyperbole (e.g. Praef. 11), his suggestion of ridiculous concepts (e.g. Aenig. 67.2) and his choice of vocabulary (e.g. Aenig. 60.2, 79.1, 97.2). Such evidence of Symphosius’ skill as a writer is in keeping with his Latinity and metrical expertise.117

(d) Latinity and metre Although ‘late’ forms can be identified in Symphosius,118 and his possible African origins119 may have led him to introduce false quantities, at any rate in speech,120 his prosody follows classical norms: Ohl reports, 16, that only twice does he admit nonclassical quantities, at Aenig. 16.3 prŏfeci and 88.1 rūbida, but in fact the latter is correct.121 Contrast the many non-classical elements noted by Kay, 22–3, in the 109

It is notable, however, that Symphosius often places nouns and their adjectives together rather than interlocking them with another noun–adjective pair, e.g. at Aenig. 3.1 ‘corporis extremi non magnum pondus adhaesi’. This regularly coincides with his tendency to separate sense-units at the third-foot caesura: see Introduction (3)(d) and cf. e.g. Aenig. 79.1 ‘mundi magna parens, laqueo conexa tenaci’. Other examples include: Aenig. 13.3, 25.1, 35.1, 48.3, 50.3, 54.2, 55.1, 65.1, 67.1, 79.2, 84.2, 89.3, 100.2; cf. Aenig. 4.1, 10.2, 11.1, 18.2, 21.1, 25.2, 26.2, 30(29).2, 33.2, 36.1, 60.2, 61.1, 80.1, 85.1, 89.1, 95.2, 97.1, 99.2. 110 Although see ad loc. 111 Cf. Bergamin xli. 112 Cf. Introduction (2) and n. 32. 113 See e.g. Aenig. 5.2, 8.2, 10.2, 11.3, 44.1, 45.1, 50.3, 59.3, 61.2, 62.2, 63.2, 68.1 and 2, 71.2, 72.1, 87.1, 92.3, 96.2, 97.3. Assonance is less common: note e.g. Aenig. 5.2, 37.1. 114 Pavlovskis 220; cf. Ohl (1932), 220. 115 Cf. West in OCD4 s.v. riddles and n. 66 above. 116 The subject is not personified or is described in the third person in Aenig. 12, 30(29), 62, 72, 76, 77, 89, 94, 95, 96. 117 Cf. Introduction (3)(d). 118 See Introduction (2) and n. 32 above. 119 See Introduction (1) and n. 22. 120 Cf. J.N. Adams, ‘The Poets of Bu Njem: Language, Culture and the Centurionate’, JRS 89 (1999), 114–15. 121 Courtney (1981), 40; cf. OLD2 s.v. rubidus. For other assessments attesting Symphosius’ metrical qualities, see Bergamin xli.


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epigrams from the Latin Anthology edited by him. Further, Symphosius’ Latinity in the Aenigmata conforms closely to classical standards. It is worth repeating some of Ohl’s quotation, 24, from the preface of Perionius to the editio princeps: ‘de puritate quidem Latini sermonis, cum iis qui supra mille annos scripserunt . . . facile contenderit. paucis vero antiquorum palmam apte dicendi concesserit . . .’ . The following brief observations, based on my text, can be made regarding his metrics. For fuller discusssion of individual points, see the Commentary. Symphosius: ●

avoids elision (cf. on Praef. 4, 15, Aenig. 1.2, 28.3, 58.2) and admits prodelision with est infrequently: Aenig. Praef. 10 ‘locuta est’, 16 ‘necesse est’, 53.2 ‘propago est’, 85.3 ‘nata est’. Also, in the middle of the line, Aenig. 69.1 ‘certa est, nulla est’, 73.3 ‘magna est’. There are no examples of hiatus. ends hexameters with monosyllables at Aenig. 37.3 ‘ex me’, 38.1 ‘ex me’, 56.3 ‘non sum’, 68.3 ‘in me’, 94.1 ‘fas est’. Monosyllabic endings following another monosyllable are, however, less rare than those not doing so (Raven §73; cf. Harrison at Verg. A. 10.9–10). often admits bucolic diaeresis, while the third-foot caesura is usually very marked, often separating two sense units.122 sometimes expresses the personal pronoun, where emphasis is not particularly sought, e.g. Aenig. 1.1–2 ‘ego . . . versor’, 8.1 (and 19.1, 33.1) ‘ego sum’, 66.1 ‘ego terreo’. lengthens -or before the caesura at Aenig. 58.2; and note also 81.1 ‘genitōr est’.

(e) Literary debts Symphosius’ debts to Martial and Ausonius have already been considered in Introduction (2), (3)(a) Proem. above. They relate principally but not entirely to the generic nature and format of the Aenigmata: for literary reworkings of Martial and allusions, see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. and n. 55, and on Aenig. 64.1 below. In keeping with Symphosius’ probable scholastic background,123 one would expect the Aenigmata to show influence by other literary figures. Surprisingly, however, very few allusions can be identified with certainty,124 but it is less surprising, given Symphosius’ possible African origins125 that these allusions are to Latin authors. Although Symphosius knew Greek well enough to indulge in bilingual etymologizing and word play (see at Aenig. 26.3), although his subject matter often coincides with that of Greek riddles (see at Aenig. 2 le., 7 le., 59 le., 69 le.), although the Aenigmata must be located generally within the tradition of Greek riddling126 and although formulaic similarities can sometimes be identified between the Aenigmata and the Palatine Anthology (but see Aenig. 10.1 n.), it appears that Greek was not widely read in Vandal North Africa.127 122

An exception is Aenig. 30(29).3. Note also the three-part lines (unusual in Symphosius) at 11.2, 42.3, 51.1, 64.3, 70.3. 123 Introduction (3)(a) section C above. 124 Cf. Dale Scott 119, citing Ohl 19. 125 See Introduction (1) and n. 22. 126 Cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C. 127 Cf. Kay 12.



Table 4 Allusions to Virgil and Horace Praef. 4 sollemnia ludo Praef. 9–10 nescio quas . . . nugas/ est meditata diu 6.3 deserit umor 7.1 sunt mihi, sunt lacrimae, sed non est causa doloris 13.2 innumeris pariter comitum stipata catervis

14.2 matris in alvo 30(29).2–3 incolumi dorso telis confixus acutis,/ sustinet armatas segetes, habitator inermis 41.2–3 ordine cernis . . . omnes 42.3 unguor olivo 50.1 viridi de gramine 56.1 dum vita manebat 57.1–2 in caput ingredior qui de pede pendeo solo./ vertice tango solum, capitis vestigia signo 60.2 morsu depascor 77.2 cum sit labor omnibus unus 95.1 inter luciferum caelum terrasque iacentes

Verg. A. 5.605 sollemnia ludis Hor. Serm. 1.9.2 nescio quid meditans nugarum Verg. G. 1.70 deserat umor Verg. A. 1.462 sunt lacrimae rerum Verg. A. 1.497 [sc. Dido] incessit magna iuvenum stipante caterva; 4.136 tandem progreditur magna stipante caterva Hor. Carm. 4.6.20 matris in alvo (cf. also Ovid Met. 1.420 matris in alvo) Verg. A. 3.45–6 hic confixum ferrea texit/ telorum seges et iaculis increvit acutis Verg. A. 6.482 quos ille omnis longo ordine cernens Hor. Serm. 1.6.123 unguor olivo Verg. G. 2.219 viridi se gramine Possibly Verg. A. 6.608 dum vita manebat; cf. 5.724, 6.661 Possibly Verg. A. 4.177 [sc. Fama] ingreditur . . . solo et caput inter nubila condit Verg. A. 2.215 morsu depascitur Verg. G. 4.184 omnibus una quies operum, labor omnibus unus Possibly Verg. A. 1.224 despiciens mare velivolum terrasque iacentis

As might have been predicted, Symphosius recalls Virgil and Horace most often, two standard school authors (cf. Juv. 7.227) and ones he would have known well. Here he refers not only to the Aeneid, the school text par excellence,128 but also the Georgics; and not only the Odes129 but also the Satires. The significance of Hor. Carm. 3.30.1 ‘exegi monumentum’ for the ordering of the Aenigmata is noted above in Introduction (3)(b) and discussed below at Aenig. 100 le. n. Of organizational importance also is Verg. G. 1.181 ff.: see Table  3 regarding Aenig. 21–5. More specific allusions can be noted in Table 4. Other authors are also echoed, but even less commonly (see Table 5). The diversity of these is interesting, ranging from Lucretius and Manilius to Silius Italicus and Juvenal, but the most prominent is Ovid, whose influence extends beyond verbal reminiscences. Since changes of ‘state’ are well suited to riddles and often receive notice in the Aenigmata (examples are collected at Aenig. 10.1 ‘unda fui quondam’), it is not surprising that Symphosius regularly treats stories also treated in the Metamorphoses: 128 129

Bonner 214. Highly regarded: Bonner 216.


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Table 5 Allusions to authors other than Virgil and Horace 29(31).2 lucis origo 30(29).1 plena domus spinis 54.1 flexu mucronis adunci 93.3 inopem me copia fecit

Sil. 11.48 lucis origo Juv. 3.187 plena domus libis Lucr. 2.427 flexis mucronibus unca Ovid Met. 3.466 inopem me copia fecit

Compare perhaps also: 9.2 medias . . . per auras 29(31).1 morior si coepero nasci 33.1–3: dentibus (1), sanguineas (2), cruentos (2)

Ovid Met. 10.717 medias . . . per auras Manil. 4.16 nascentes morimur Ovid Met. 11.365–78, 394–6: morsu (373), sanguine (367, 374, 396; cf. 402); cruento (395) 49.3 nec remanent vires, sed formae gratia mansit Ovid Met. 3.492–3 nec vigor et vires et quae modo visa placebant/ nec corpus remanet; cf. 476 forma 80.2 mobilis . . . linguae . . . imago Lucr. 4.549 mobilis . . . lingua 93.1 saevis metuendus in armis Stat. Theb. 10.32 insanis . . . metuendus in armis 94.1 cernere iam fas est quod vix tibi credere fas Manil 4.922 quis putet esse nefas nosci, quod est cernere fas est? 97.3 quod me nemo movet, nisi qui prius ipse Ovid Met. 3.434–6 ista repercussae, quam cernis, movetur; 98.3 ultro nolet loqui, sed do responsa imaginis umbra est./ nihil habet ista sui, tecum loquenti venitque, manetque;/ tecum discedit, si tu discedere possis; 357–8 nec reticere loquenti/ nec prius ipsa loqui didicit

see Aenig. 2, 17, 48, 74, perhaps 84, and 98; note in particular Aenig. 98 le. n. A metamorphosis theme connects Aenig. 26–9.130 *** There seems no reason for the general paucity of allusions in Symphosius, and it is possible that those which are discernible often serve no purpose beyond what intellectual pleasure they might give the cognoscenti who recognize them (cf. Bergamin xlii). However, there is clearly a generic and structural relationship between Symphosius and his models, and a literary motivation is not entirely lacking. When contrasting Symphosius and his use of allusions and reminiscences with Aldhelm,131 Dale Scott 120 observes that whereas Aldhelm’s concern is to enhance the meaning of his compositions, Symphosius is ‘ironic or self-deprecating rather than allegorical or expansive’. In making his point he cites from the examples above, for instance, ‘labor omnibus unus’, which Virgil applies to bees when ‘[holding them] up as an exemplum of civic effort’, but which Symphosius uses of the course of four wagon wheels. Such ironic or bathetic humour can be identified in a number of Symphosius’ other allusions: see the Commentary below on Aenig. 7.1, 30(29).2, 41.2–3, 60.2, 93.3 and 95.1; cf. 42.3.

130 131

See Introduction (3)(b) above. See Introduction (4) below.



4 Nachleben Although it is impossible to decide how many of the riddles are original to Symphosius and how many, like Aenig. 31(30) peduculus, are reworkings of inherited material, the Aenigmata are easily the best and fullest collection of their type to have survived from Antiquity, and they exerted profound influence on later riddle-writing. Ohl comments, 20, that Symphosius ‘is to [it] what Martial was to the epigram; he gave it artistic form and set the standard for future generations’ and ‘He set the fashion for writing [riddles] in groups of 100’. Compare Pavlovskis 221: Symphosius’ ‘early successors . . . apparently derive from him the concept of a well rounded group of riddles, frequently, as in his case, comprising one hundred hexameter poems that reveal an attempt at orderly arrangement and are uniform stylistically and sometimes in length.’132 Finch and Smolak observe that the number of surviving MSS testifies to Symphosius’ popularity.133 Symphosius’ Nachleben has attracted considerable attention: see, for example, Munari 136–7 (who draws very heavily on Ohl), Ohl (1932), 212, Smolak 252 and Bergamin xviii, lviii–lix and see too Glorie’s notes, which cite the riddles of several writers influenced by the Aenigmata. There is therefore no need for full treatment here. Brief comment, however, is justified on the most important of his early and medieval imitators. Reference has already been made to the late classical Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri, which contains ten of the Aenigmata.134 It is also noteworthy that the forty-five Aenigmata transmitted by the MS Q135 are interspersed with fifty-two of the so-called Bern riddles or Aenigmata Tullii (see Finch (1961)), and that these hexastich riddles show Symphosian influence.136 But while the Aenigmata widely shaped all riddlewriting of late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, English scholars and writers of riddles in the eighth century were especially indebted to them. Of Symphosius’ followers, by far the greatest was Aldhelm of Malmesbury, Bishop of Sherborne (640–709), who wrote a century of riddles in Latin hexameters.137 Aldhelm gives the earliest surviving direct reference to Symphosius in the treatise on prosody which serves as the prose preface to his riddles,138 and he quotes twelve lines from the Aenigmata.139 Aldhelm aside, Alcuin of York shows knowledge of the Aenigmata in his poetry140 and alludes or refers to several of the Aenigmata in the disputatio Pippini regalis et nobilissimi iuvenis cum Albino scholastico, written for the instruction of his pupil Pepin the Short.141 132

The suggestion that Symphosius wrote just ninety-nine riddles is countered above in Introduction (3)(b). 133 See Introduction (5) section B. 134 See Introduction (2). The ten are listed in n. 162 below. 135 See the sigla in Introduction (5)(a). 136 See Ohl 21 and n. 9, Finch (1969), 3, Glorie and Bergamin passim. 137 Dale Scott makes a close analysis of Aldhelm’s riddles, contrasting their allegorical and spiritual symbolism with Symphosius’ rhetorical nugae. 138 de metris et enigmatibus ac pedum regulis, MGH AA XV.75. 139 The lines are Aenig. 17.2, 22.3, 24.3, 36.2, 47.1, 52.2, 53.3, 58.3 (twice), 72.1, 84.3, 91.3, 98.2. 140 Bergamin lviii cites Carm. 92.1 (MGH PLAC I.318), which echoes Aenig. 89. Cf. her note at Praef. 5, comparing Carm. 58.24 (MGH PLAC I.271). Smolak notes, 252, that, in a part of Alcuin athetized by Dümmler (Carm. 57.45: MGH PLAC I.270), there is an allusion to Aenig. 82. 141 See Patr. Lat. 101, 978 ff. The riddles are Aenig. 12, 14, 31(30), 75, 96, 98, 99.


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Tatwine, Archbishop of Canterbury (died 734), wrote 40 riddles in Latin hexameters, shortly afterwards supplemented by sixty written by Eusebius (probably Hwaetburt, Abbot of Wearmouth), and these too contain suggestions of Symphosian influence, while Pseudo-Bede’s Collectanea contain five of the Aenigmata.142 Demanding special notice in the ‘English tradition’, although it is not in Latin, is the Anglo-Saxon ‘Exeter Book’ of riddles. Riddle 16 elaborates on Aenig. 61; 37 develops Aenig. 73; 47 has its source in Aenig. 16; 60 has similarities to Aenig. 2; 65 probably derives from Aenig. 40; 85 probably from Aenig.12; 86 has its source in Aenig. 86; and 91 has a probable analogue in Aenig. 4.143

5 The text (A) The editions Of the many editions which followed the editio princeps of Joachinus Perionius, only those I cite specifically appear in the bibliography. For bibliographical details of the others, see Bergamin cxv–vii. For description and discussion of all the editions, see Bergamin lx ff. Bergamin’s collation of the MSS and her description of the work on them is the most comprehensive to date. Since my principal intention has been to write a commentary rather than produce a critical text, I have not sought to replicate her work. Instead, although I have drawn extensively on her apparatus, flawed though it sometimes is,144 I have used as a basis Shackleton Bailey’s more easily accessible 1982 Teubner edition and have thus recorded below my differences with this text rather than Bergamin’s. My own text is intended primarily to serve the reader’s convenience, for example in appreciating the riddles’ ordering and arrangement. I have therefore not supplied a critical apparatus, although I have appended to this section a list of sigla to clarify the discussion of MSS immediately below, and to allow discussion of variant readings in the Commentary. Shackleton Bailey succeeds the earlier Teubner texts of Alexander Riese and E. Baehrens. Although the most readily obtainable, it must nevertheless be used with caution.145 His emendations are often inspired, but his apparatus is at times cryptic and


See Patr. Lat. 94, 543–8. The riddles are Aenig. 1, 4, 7, 10, 12. Note also Aenig. 51.1 n. below. See too Aenig. 20 le. n. for the suggestion that Aenig. 20 influenced Riddle 28. 144 Bergamin regularly leaves the reader to deduce from the readings she gives those of the MSS she does not; and her MS reporting is at times clearly inaccurate, for instance at Aenig. 42.2 where she omits one of the MSS (= M). Other weaknesses, inaccuracies or inconsistencies in her apparatus are to be found e.g. at Aenig. 56.2 (two c readings), 69.2 (missing Ang. and O readings) and 3 (two H readings), 73.3 (two gI readings), 80.1 (two wa readings) and 3 (see Commentary), 81.2 (see Commentary), 82 (E is missing in the list of MSS and the riddle is not listed in the description of E’s contents on lxxviii–ix), 86.3 (missing I reading), 95 le. (see Commentary), 96 le. (two HV readings). Where Bergamin’s reporting is suspect, I have turned where I could to other editions for clarification; but it is worth stating very firmly that, despite these flaws, it has in every case been possible to discern the majority or most likely reading. I have assumed that ‘non legitur’ in her apparatus means ‘legi non potest’. 145 Cf. Reeve 174–80, Bergamin lxxii. 143



also contains several misprints. More significantly, he fails to consider recent and important work on the MSS. Reeve 175 mentions in particular that on Paris. Lat. 4808 (s). Despite the pointer in Courtney (1981), 40, he also makes no reference to Glorie. Glorie’s work must also be treated with caution,146 but, while his re-designation of the MSS is confusing, he considers several which Shackleton Bailey does not cite, the most notable of which is the ninth-century Vat. Reg. Lat. 1553 (Q). Attention to this MS was first drawn by Finch (1961), esp. 149, who also points future editors to Vat. Barb. Lat. 721 (V). Finch (1967) emphasizes the importance, not fully appreciated previously by editors, of Vat. Pal. Lat. 1719 (N) and 1753 (O), and draws attention to Reg. Lat. 329 (Z) (Finch (1969). Also missed by Shackleton Bailey is Aemilianus 39 (E), for which see Díaz y Díaz.147 Descriptions of these MSS are given by Bergamin, lxxvii–lxxxvii, who consults seven others not hitherto employed by editors. These are (Bergamin lxxiii): Cantab. GgV 35 (g), Leiden Scaliger Lat. F 38 (S), Sangallensis 450 (X), Vat. Reg. Lat. 2078 (R), Wolfenbüttel Gud. Lat. 331 (Gu.), a second text of the Aenigmata in Westmonasteriensis E 919 (wb) and Angelicanus 1515. The MSS missed by Shackleton Bailey regularly preserve the correct text and are crucial in establishing it, for example, at Aenig. 9.3 and 33.3.

(B) The transmission148 As has several times been remarked,149 Symphosius’ popularity is attested by the great many surviving MSS that contain either all or some of the Aenigmata. Bergamin describes over thirty. Some of these MSS have, however, been judged of little value to editors, whether because they are incomplete or derivative or both.150 Nonetheless three groupings are discernible within the MS tradition. Representing one of these three is Paris. Lat. 10318 (A), the so-called Salmasianus, since it was once owned by Claude de Saumaise. It was written at the close of the eighth or start of the ninth century in uncials, perhaps by a Spaniard or perhaps in northern Italy, it is the central MS for the whole of the Latin Anthology,151 and was adopted by Baehrens as the basis of his text of Symphosius. The remaining Symphosius MSS can mostly be assigned to one of two families, which Riese called B and D. As the best MS in the B recension, Riese selected the ninthcentury Sangallensis 196 (β), and, as the best in the D family, the ninth- to tenth-century Sangallensis 273 (α). The most significant features distinguishing B from D152 are the absence of Aenig. 96 from B153 and the placing of Aenig. 61 after Aenig. 100 in D. The two families are further differentiated by what Smolak (252) calls Ersatzfassungen, in that each will at a given point offer a different choice of words, one of which is easier to understand.


See Hunt (1988), 330–1, Bergamin lxxii. M. Díaz y Díaz, ‘Para la crítica de los Aenigmata de Sinfosio’, Helmantica 28 (1977), 121–36. 148 See Bergamin lx–lxxvii. 149 See e.g. Finch (1967), 173, Smolak 252. 150 e.g. Vat. Reg. Lat. 2078 (R), an incomplete derivative of Vat. Pal. Lat. 1753 (O): Finch (1969), 11. 151 See Kay 13–14; cf. Bergamin lxvi–vii. Both Kay and Bergamin (lxxxiv) describe the MS in detail. 152 Cf. Finch (1969), 4. 153 On the transmission of Aenig. 96, see in greater detail the introductory note in the Commentary below. 147


Symphosius The Aenigmata

The example he offers is Aenig. 79.1 where D has ‘mundi magna parens’ and B ‘in silvis genita’.154 A has close affinities with B. For example, it too omits 96 and has 61 in numerical sequence, but where B and D offer different versions A often preserves both.155 This duplicate tradition suggests contamination between A and D. The double recension in A of Aenig. 76, which contains both B’s version of the riddle, with the lemma ‘silex’, and D’s, with the lemma ‘aliter’, might indicate that the D version was added to a text already containing the B; cf. the introductory note ad loc. Riese thought in consequence that B reflected Symphosius’ first thoughts and D his second, published in a later edition. His policy was therefore consistently to favour D. The situation is, however, more complex than this. Why, for instance was Aenig. 96 not added to A from D, whereas the D version of Aenig. 76 was? Also, A is descended from a sixth-century exemplar,156 the antiquity of which raises questions about the early history of the MS tradition. Although like B in major respects, A differs in others: sometimes it preserves correct D readings without also preserving B’s corruptions;157 and sometimes, excluding the obviously later marginalia, it preserves readings which are in neither B nor D.158 It is possible that A is a witness not only of the B tradition but of an earlier phase ‘not yet touched by redactional intervention’.159 Contamination is also discernible between B and several witnesses preserving the main D characteristics.160 In reaction to Riese, Ohl 27 followed an ‘eclectic’ approach (Bergamin’s term: lxxiv), declaring: ‘I do not believe that a satisfactory text can be arrived at through either a rigid adherence to the readings of D or a decided preference of B.’ Given the uncertainties regarding the MS tradition, this has much to commend it; cf. Shackleton Bailey ix. As Bergamin observes (lxxxvii), the choice between variant readings comes down to iudicium. The difficulty remarked by Glorie of assigning MSS to one family or another is of little significance in practice,161 and Bergamin’s decision to include in her sigla a separate section containing the contaminated tradition is fully justified. In addition to the Symphosius witnesses so far discussed are the ten Aenigmata quoted in the Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri (see Introduction (2) and (4) above; cf. Finch (1969), 3),162 and the twelve lines from the Aenigmata quoted by Aldhelm (see Introduction (4) above). Of these ‘indirect’ witnesses, the former (which can be assigned


Note also e.g. Aenig. 24.3, 27.2, 42.2, 47.3, 84.3, 85.3, 88.2. See Bergamin lxxiv–v. Note Aenig. 3.1, 4.1, 20.2, 27.2, 47.3, 54.1, 73 le., 76, 84.3, 88.2. See Bergamin lxvii; cf. Aenig. 52.3 n. 156 Cf. Bergamin lxxvi. 157 Examples (derived from Bergamin’s apparatus) include Aenig. 62.1 nemus (AD: domus B), 71.2 perfossis (AD: profusis B), 77.1 arte (AD: parte B), 98.2 linguae (AD: lingua B). 158 Note e.g. Aenig. 33.3 ‘multaque cum rapiam’ (multaque curavi A: mixtaque cum rabie B: multaque cum rabie D) and 43.1 cresco (teresco A: tumesco B: nascor D). 159 Cf. Bergamin lxxvii. 160 HgIV; cf. Bergamin’s description of these MSS (lxxxvi–vii, lxxxiv–v) and Finch (1969), 4. 161 Glorie 614: ‘quamquam duae aenigmatum recensiones exstare videntur, haud facile tamen ad unam vel alteram pertinere recensionem codices definiri possunt.’ 162 The ten Aenigmata are (in order of appearance) 12, 2, 13, 89, 61, 63, 59, 69, 77, 78. See Historia Apollonii Tyrii 42–3. 155



to the B tradition: Bergamin lxviii) is more helpful in establishing the text and is cited below, for example, at Aenig. 59.1 and 69.3.

(a) Sigla163 A: Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 10318, saec. viii–ix (The Codex Salmasianus) B: to this family belong: β: St Gallen, Stiftsbibl., 196, saec. ix c: London, Brit. Libr., Cotton vesp. B XXIII, saec. xiv Gu.: Wolfenbüttel, Herzog-August-Bibl., Gud. Lat. 331, saec. xi–xii K: Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 2773, saec. ix L: Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 8088, saec. xi D: to this family belong: α: St Gallen, Stiftsbibl., 273, saec. ix Ang.: Rome, Bibl. Angelica, 1515, saec. x d: Leiden, Bibl. der Rijksuniv., Voss. Lat. Q 106, saec. ix–x e: Leiden, Bibl. der Rijksuniv., Voss. Lat. O 15, saec. xi E: Madrid, Acad. de la Hist., Aemilian. 39, saec. x F: Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 5596, saec. ix H: Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 8440, saec. x M: St Petersburg, Publ. Bibl., F.V. xiv.1, saec. viii–ix N: Vatican, Bibl. Apost., Pal. Lat. 1719, saec. ix O: Vatican, Bibl. Apost., Pal. Lat. 1753, saec. viii–ix P: Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 149 (Bouhier), saec. x–xi Q: Vatican, Bibl. Apost., Reg. Lat. 1553, saec. ix R: Vatican, Bibl. Apost., Reg. Lat. 2078, saec. ix S: Leiden, Bibl. der Rijksuniv., Scaliger Lat. F 38, saec. xiii Z: Vatican, Bibl. Apost., Reg. Lat. 329, saec. ix γ: all or most of the contaminated MSS surviving for each riddle. The contaminated MSS are: g: Cambridge, Univ. Libr., GgV 35, saec. xi G: Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 8055, saec. x h: London, Brit. Libr., Royal 12 XXIII, saec. xi I: Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 8319, saec. xi s: Paris, Bibl. Nat., Lat. 4808, saec. viii T: Berlin, Deutsche Staatsbibl., Phill. 1825 (167), saec. ix V: Vatican, Bibl. Apost., Barb. Lat. 721, saec.xi wa: London, Brit. Libr., Royal 15 XIX ff. 79r–82r (= Westmonasteriensis E 919), saec. x wb: London, Brit. Libr., Royal 15 XIX ff. 199r–220v, saec. xi X: St Gallen, Stiftsbibl., 450, saec. ix 163

For speed of reference, MSS within each family are listed in alphabetical order of their sigla, which are derived from Bergamin.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

(b) Differences with Shackleton Bailey’s 1982 Teubner text Leary Praef. 9 temptamine Praef. 15 subito †de carmine vocis† 2.1 ripae vicina profundae 3.1 magnum 8.3 lucem . . . lumen 9.3 me . . . remittit 18.3 mihi †concilium† 19.2(3) laudat 19.3(2) sed vox laude sonat quasi se quoque laudet et ipsa 21.2 ipse 24 le. gurgulio 24.2 recto 28.1 †nox† 28.3 †in† 32.2 sed non †sum† nomine solo 33.3 multaque cum rapiam 35.2 difficili 39.3 duo 45.1 rubore 46.3 germen 48.3 frondi 51.2 tantum non est piger alter 53.2 nolo virum thalamo 54 le. hamus 55 le. acus 57 le. clavus caligaris 57.1 qui 61 le. anchora 66.2 memorata 68.2 ultra 72 le. tubus 74.1 Deucalion ego sum crudeli 75.3 ardeo de 78.3 per nos 80.3 motus quam saepe 81.2 auriculaeque rigent 81.3 dum cecidi subito 84.2 †functi†, multarum 88.1 capax 89.3 non est nuda domus sed 92.2 habebam

ShB 9 †de nomine† 15 subito †e carmine vocis† 21 semper vicina profundis 24 parvum 41 lumen . . . nocte 44 se . . . recepit 71 †mihi concilium† 74 gaudet 73 sed vox laude vacat, nisi se quoque laudet et ipsa 79 ipsa XXIIII curculio 88 certo 99 nox 101 in 112 non uno sum nomine solo 116 multa cum rabie 121 de facili 134 mea 150 colore 155 tegmen 161 frondis 169 tam non est et piger alter 175 nolo virum, thalamum LIIII Amus LV Acula LVII Clavus caligarius 186 quia LXI Ancora 214 moderati 220 intra LXXII Tubus ligneus 237 †Deucalion ego sum crudelis† 242 infundor 251 pronos 257 †motus quoque† saepe 259 auriculae surgunt 260 dum cecidi, miseram 268 cincti, pulchrarum 279 rapax 284 nuda domus est et 293 alebam

Introduction 92.3 duae; sed . . . †peregit† 93.2 quod 93.3 fecit 94.2 multa 96 verba . . . remanebunt 97.2 formae 100.3 morti


294 duae, sed . . . peregit 295 bis 296 reddit 298 vendit LXXXXVI [De VIII . . . remanebunt] 307 firma 317 meritis

Differences in punctuation occur at Praef. 2, 10, Aenig. 2.2, 6.3, 19.1–3, 26.3, 28.2, 30(29).1–2, 32.2, 33.2–3, 39.2–3, 44.2, 48.2, 56.2, 57.1, 58.1, 70.3, 73.2, 79.2, 81.1, 82.3, 83.2(3)–3(2), 87.2–3, 91.1–2, 92.3, 93.2 and 99.2. Aenig. 19.2–3 are transposed. Aenig. 29 ericius, 30 peduculus and 31 phoenix are reordered: 31, 29, 30. I have generally retained Shackleton Bailey’s orthography although some standardization (e.g. of quic(d)quid) has been introduced.


Latin Text

Symposii Aenigmata Praefatio [haec quoque Symphosius de carmine lusit inepto. sic tu, Sexte, doces; sic te deliro magistro.] annua Saturni cum tempora festa redirent perpetuo †nec semper† sollemnia ludo, post epulas laetas, post dulcia pocula mensae, deliras inter vetulas puerosque loquaces, cum streperet late madidae facundia linguae, tum verbosa cohors studio sermonis inepti nescio quas passim magno tentamine nugas est meditata diu; sed frivola multa locuta est. non mediocre fuit, magni certaminis instar, ponere diverse vel solvere quaeque vicissim. ast ego, ne solus foede tacuisse viderer, qui nihil adtuleram mecum quod dicere possem, hos versus feci subito †de carmine vocis†. insanos inter sanum non esse necesse est. da veniam, lector, quod non sapit ebria Musa.




1 graphium de summo planus sed non ego planus in imo versor utrimque manu. diverso munere fungor: altera pars revocat quicquid pars altera fecit. 2 harundo dulcis amica dei, ripae vicina profundae, suave canens Musis, nigro perfusa colore, nuntia sum linguae digitis signata magistris. 3 anulus cum gemma corporis extremi non magnum pondus adhaesi (ingenitum dicas, ita pondere nemo gravatur), una tamen facies plures habitura figuras. 39


Symphosius The Aenigmata 4 clavis

virtutes magnas de viribus adfero parvis. pando domos clausas, iterum sed claudo patentes. servo domum domino sed rursus servor ab ipso. 5 catena nexa ligor ferro, multos habitura ligatos. vincior ipsa prius, sed vincio vincta vicissim; et solvi multos, nec sum tamen ipsa soluta. 6 tegula terra mihi corpus, vires mihi praestitit ignis. de terra nascor; sedes est semper in alto, et me perfundit qui me cito deserit umor. 7 fumus sunt mihi, sunt lacrimae, sed non est causa doloris. est iter ad caelum, sed me gravis inpedit aer; et qui me genuit sine me non nascitur ipse. 8 nebula nox ego sum facie, sed non sum nigra colore, inque die media tenebras tamen adfero mecum; nec mihi dant stellae lucem nec Cynthia lumen. 9 pluvia ex alto venio longa delapsa ruina. de caelo cecidi medias demissa per auras; sed sinus excepit qui me simul ipse remittit. 10 glacies unda fui quondam, quod me cito credo futuram. nunc rigidi caeli duris connexa catenis et calcata pati possum nec nuda teneri. 11 nix pulvis aquae tenuis modico cum pondere lapsus, sole madens, aestate fluens, in frigore siccus, flumina facturus totas prius occupo terras.

Latin Text


12 flumen et piscis est domus in terris clara quae voce resultat. ipsa domus resonat, tacitus sed non sonat hospes. ambo tamen currunt hospes simul et domus una. 13 navis longa feror velox formosae filia silvae, innumeris pariter comitum stipata catervis. curro vias multas, vestigia nulla relinquens. 14 pullus in ovo mira tibi referam nostrae primordia vitae: nondum natus eram, nec eram iam matris in alvo; iam posito partu natum me nemo videbat. 15 vipera non possum nasci, si non occidero matrem. occidi matrem, sed me manet exitus idem. id mea mors patitur quod iam mea fecit origo. 16 tinea littera me pavit, nec quid sit littera novi. in libris vixi, nec sum studiosior inde. exedi Musas, nec adhuc tamen ipsa profeci. 17 aranea Pallas me docuit texendi nosse laborem. nec telae radios poscunt nec licia telam. nulla mihi manus est, pedibus tamen omnia fiunt. 18 coclea porto domum mecum, semper migrare parata, mutatoque solo non sum miserabilis exul, sed mihi †concilium† de caelo nascitur ipso. 19 rana raucisonans ego sum media vocalis in unda cumque canam semper nullus mea carmina laudat sed vox laude sonat quasi se quoque laudet et ipsa.

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Symphosius The Aenigmata 20 testudo

tarda, gradu lento, specioso praedita dorso, tecta quidem, subito sed saevo prodita fato, viva nihil dixi quae sic modo mortua canto. 21 talpa caeca mihi facies atris obscura tenebris. nox est ipse dies nec sol mihi cernitur ullus. malo tegi terra: sic me quoque nemo videbit. 22 formica provida sum vitae, duro non pigra labore, ipsa ferens umeris securae praemia brumae. nec gero magna simul, sed congero multa vicissim. 23 musca inproba sum, fateor. quid enim gula turpe veretur? frigora vitabam, quae nunc aestate revertor; sed cito submoveor falso conterrita vento. 24 gurgulio non bonus agricolis, non frugibus utilis hospes, non magnus forma, non recto nomine dictus, nec gratus Cereri; sed multa vivo sagina. 25 mus parva mihi domus est, sed ianua semper aperta. exiguo sumptu furtiva vivo sagina. quod mihi nomen inest, Romae quoque consul habebat. 26 grus littera sum caeli penna perscripta volanti, bella cruenta gerens volucri discrimine Martis; nec vereor pugnas dum non sit longior hostis. 27 cornix vivo novem vitas, si me non Graecia fallit, atraque sum semper nullo conpulsa dolore, et non irascens ultro convicia dico.

Latin Text 28 vespertilio †nox† mihi dat nomen primo de tempore noctis. pluma mihi non est cum sit mihi penna volantis; sed redeo †in† tenebris nec me committo diebus. 29(31) phoenix vita mihi mors est; morior si coepero nasci. sed prius est fatum leti quam lucis origo. sic solus Manes ipsos mihi dico parentes. 30(29) ericius plena domus spinis; parvi sed corporis hospes, incolumi dorso telis confixus acutis, sustinet armatas segetes, habitator inermis. 31(30) peduculus est nova nostrarum cunctis captura ferarum, ut si quid capias, id tu tibi ferre recuses, et quod non capias, tecum tamen ipse reportes. 32 taurus moechus eram regis, sed lignea membra sequebar. et Cilicum mons sum, sed non †sum† nomine solo. et vehor in caelis et in ipsis ambulo terris. 33 lupus dentibus insanis ego sum qui trunco bidentes, sanguineas praedas quaerens victusque cruentos, multaque cum rapiam vocem quoque tollere possum. 34 vulpes exiguum corpus, sed cor mihi corpore maius. sum versuta dolis, arguto callida sensu; et fera sum sapiens, sapiens fera si qua vocatur. 35 capra alma Iovis nutrix, longo vestita capillo, culmina †difficili† peragrans super ardua gressu, custodi pecoris tremula respondeo lingua.



Symphosius The Aenigmata 36 porcus

saetigerae matris fecunda natus in alvo desuper ex alto virides expecto saginas, nomine numen habens si littera prima periret. 37 mula dissimilis matri, patri diversa figura, confusi generis, generi non apta propago, ex aliis nascor, nec quicquam nascitur ex me. 38 tigris a fluvio dicor, fluvius vel dicitur ex me, iunctaque sum vento, quae sum velocior ipso, et mihi dat ventus natos nec quaero maritum. 39 centaurus quattuor insignis pedibus manibusque duabus dissimilis mihi sum quia sum non unus et unus. et vehor et gradior quia me duo corpora portant. 40 papaver grande mihi caput est, intus sunt membra minuta; pes unus solus, sed pes longissimus unus. et me somnus amat, proprio nec dormio somno. 41 malva anseris esse pedes similes mihi nolo negare; nec duo sunt tantum, sed plures ordine cernis; et tamen hos ipsos omnes ego porto supinos. 42 beta tota vocor Graece sed non sum tota Latine. pauperibus semper proponor †namque† tabernis. in terra nascor, lympha lavor, unguor olivo. 43 cucurbita pendeo dum nascor; rursus, dum pendeo, cresco. pendens commoveor ventis et nutrior undis. pendula si non sim, non sum iam iamque futura.

Latin Text 44 cepa mordeo mordentes, ultro non mordeo quemquam; sed sunt mordentem multi mordere parati: nemo timet morsum, dentes quia non habet ullos. 45 rosa purpura sum terrae, pulchro perfusa rubore, saeptaque, ne violer, telis defendor acutis. o felix, longo si possim vivere fato! 46 viola magna quidem non sum, sed inest mihi maxima virtus. spiritus est magnus, quamvis sim corpore parvo. nec mihi germen habet noxam nec culpa ruborem. 47 tus dulcis odor nemoris flamma fumoque fatigor; et placet hoc superis medios quod mittor in ignes, nec mihi poena datur, sed habetur gratia dandi. 48 murra de lacrimis et pro lacrimis mea coepit origo. ex oculis fluxi, sed nunc ex arbore nascor, laetus honor frondi, tristis sed imago doloris. 49 ebur dens ego sum magnus populis prognatus Eois. nunc ego per partes in corpora multa recessi; nec remanent vires, sed formae gratia mansit. 50 faenum herba fui quondam viridi de gramine terrae, sed chalybis duro mollis praecisa metallo mole premor propria, tecto conclusa sub alto. 51 mola ambo sumus lapides, una sumus, ambo iacemus. quam piger est unus, tantum non est piger alter; hic manet inmotus, non desinit ille moveri.



Symphosius The Aenigmata 52 farina

inter saxa fui quae me contrita premebant; vix tamen effugi totis conlisa medullis, et nunc forma mihi minor est sed copia maior. 53 vitis nolo toro iungi, quamvis placet esse maritam. nolo virum thalamo: per me mea nata propago est. nolo sepulchra pati: scio me submergere terrae. 54 hamus exiguum corpus, flexu mucronis adunci fallaces escas medio circumfero fluctu. blandior, ut noceam; morti praemitto saginam. 55 acus longa sed exilis, tenui producta metallo mollia duco levi comitantia vincula ferro. et faciem laesis et nexum reddo solutis. 56 caliga maior eram longe quondam, dum vita manebat; at nunc exanimis, lacerata, ligata, revulsa, dedita sum terrae, tumulo sed condita non sum. 57 clavus caligaris in caput ingredior qui de pede pendeo solo. vertice tango solum, capitis vestigia signo. sed multi comites casum patiuntur eundem. 58 capillus findere me nulli possunt, praecidere multi, sed sum versicolor, albus quandoque futurus. malo manere niger: minus ultima fata verebor. 59 pila non sum compta comis et non sum nuda capillis; intus enim crines mihi sunt, quos non videt ullus. meque manus mittunt manibusque remittor in auras.

Latin Text 60 serra dentibus innumeris sum toto corpore plena. frondicomam subolem morsu depascor acuto. mando tamen frustra quae respuo praemia dentis. 61 anchora mucro mihi geminus ferro coniungitur uno. cum vento luctor, cum gurgite pugno profundo. scrutor aquas medias, ipsas quoque mordeo terras. 62 pons stat nemus in lymphis, stat in alto gurgite silva, et manet in mediis undis inmobile robur. terra tamen mittit quod terrae munera praestat. 63 spongia ipsa gravis non sum, sed aquae mihi pondus inhaeret. viscera tota tument patulis diffusa cavernis. intus lympha latet, sed non se sponte profundit. 64 tridens tres mihi sunt dentes, quos unus continet ordo; unus praeterea dens est et solus in imo, meque tenet numen, ventus timet, aequora curant. 65 sagitta saepta gravi ferro, levibus circumdata pinnis, aera per medium volucri contendo meatu, missaque discedens nullo mittente revertor. 66 flagellum de pecudis dorso pecudes ego terreo cunctas, obsequium reddens memorata lege doloris; nec volo contemni, sed contra nolo nocere. 67 lanterna cornibus apta cavis, tereti perlucida gyro, lumen habens intus divini sideris instar, noctibus in mediis faciem non perdo dierum.



Symphosius The Aenigmata 68 specular

perspicior penitus nec luminis arceo visus, transmittens oculos ultra mea membra meantes; nec me transit hiems, sed sol tamen emicat in me. 69 speculum nulla mihi certa est, nulla est peregrina figura. fulgor inest intus radianti luce coruscus, qui nihil ostendit nisi si quid viderit ante. 70 clepsydra lex bona dicendi, lex sum quoque dura tacendi, ius avidae linguae, finis sine fine loquendi, ipsa fluens dum verba fluunt ut lingua quiescat. 71 puteus mersa procul terris in caespite lympha profundo non nisi perfossis possum procedere venis, et trahor ad superos alieno ducta labore. 72 tubus truncum terra tegit, latitant in caespite lymphae; alveus est modicus qui ripas non habet ullas; in ligno vehitur medio quae ligna vehebat. 73 uter non ego continuo morior, dum spiritus exit; nam redit adsidue, quamvis et saepe recedit, et mihi nunc magna est animae, nunc nulla facultas. 74 lapis Deucalion ego sum crudeli sospes ab unda, adfinis terrae sed longe durior illa. littera decedat, volucris quoque nomen habebo. 75 calx evasi flammas, ignis tormenta profugi. ipsa medella meo pugnat contraria fato: ardeo de lymphis, gelidis accendor ab undis.

Latin Text


76 silex semper inest intus, sed raro cernitur ignis. intus enim latitat, sed solos prodit ad ictus. nec lignis ut vivat eget, nec ut occidat undis. 77 rotae quattuor aequales currunt ex arte sorores sic quasi certantes, cum sit labor omnibus unus; et prope sunt pariter nec se contingere possunt. 78 scalae nos sumus ad caelum quae scandimus, alta petentes, concordi fabrica quas unus continet ordo, ut simul haerentes per nos comitemur ad auras. 79 scopa mundi magna parens, laqueo conexa tenaci, iuncta solo plano, manibus conpressa duabus, ducor ubique sequens et me quoque cuncta sequuntur. 80 tintinnabulum aere rigens curvo patulum conponor in orbem. mobilis est intus linguae crepitantis imago. non resono positus, motus quam saepe resulto. 81 lagena mater erat Tellus, genitor est ipse Prometheus, auriculaeque rigent redimitae ventre cavato. dum cecidi subito laniavit me mea mater. 82 conditum tres olim fuimus qui nomine iungimur uno. ex tribus est unus, et tres miscentur in uno. quisque bonus per se; melior qui continet omnes. 83 vinum in acetum conversum sublatum nihil est, nihil est extrinsecus auctum; nec tamen invenio quicquid prius ipse reliqui. quod fuerat non est; coepit quod non erat esse.

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Symphosius The Aenigmata 84 malum

nomen ovis Graece, contentio magna dearum, fraus iuvenis †functi†, multarum cura sororum, hoc volo ne breviter mihi syllaba prima legatur. 85 perna nobile duco genus magni de gente Catonis. una mihi soror est, plures licet esse putentur. de fumo facies, sapientia de mare nata est. 86 malleus non ego de toto mihi corpore vindico vires, sed capitis pugna nulli certare recuso: grande mihi caput est, totum quoque pondus in illo. 87 pistillus contero cuncta simul virtutis robore magno. una mihi cervix, capitum sed forma duorum: pro pedibus caput est, nam cetera corporis absunt. 88 strigilis aenea rubida, curva, capax, alienis humida guttis, luminibus falsis auri mentita colorem, dedita sudori, modico subcumbo labori. 89 balneum per totas aedes innoxius introit ignis. est calor in medio magnus, quem nemo veretur. non est nuda domus sed nudus convenit hospes. 90 tessera dedita sum semper voto, non certa futuri. iactor in ancipites varia vertigine casus, non ego maesta malis, non rebus laeta secundis. 91 pecunia terra fui primo, latebris abscondita terrae. nunc aliud pretium flammae nomenque dederunt, nec iam terra vocor, licet ex me terra paretur.

Latin Text 92 mulier quae geminos pariebat plus ego sustinui quam corpus debuit unum. tres animas habui, quas omnes intus habebam. discessere duae; sed tertia paene †peregit†. 93 miles podagricus bellipotens olim, saevis metuendus in armis, quinque pedes habui quod numquam nemo negavit. nunc mihi vix duo sunt; inopem me copia fecit. 94 luscus alium vendens cernere iam fas est quod vix tibi credere fas est: unus inest oculus, capitum sed milia multa. qui quod habet vendit, quod non habet unde parabit? 95 funambulus inter luciferum caelum terrasque iacentes aera per medium docta meat arte viator. semita sed brevis est, pedibus nec sufficit ipsis. 96 verba nunc mihi iam credas fieri quod posse negatur. octo tenes manibus, sed me monstrante magistro sublatis septem reliqui tibi sex remanebunt. 97 umbra insidias nullas vereor de fraude latenti; nam deus attribuit nobis haec munera formae, quod me nemo movet, nisi qui prius ipse movetur. 98 Echo virgo modesta nimis legem bene servo pudoris. ore procax non sum, nec sum temeraria linguae. ultro nolo loqui, sed do responsa loquenti. 99 somnus sponte mea veniens varias ostendo figuras. fingo metus vanos nullo discrimine veri; sed me nemo videt, nisi qui sua lumina claudit.



Symphosius The Aenigmata 100 monumentum

nomen habens hominis post ultima fata relinquor. nomen inane manet, sed dulcis vita profugit. vita tamen superest morti post tempora vitae.


Preface [Symphosius playfully wrote these lines too of foolish verse. Thus, Sextus, do you teach; thus, with you as teacher, I leave my senses.] When the festive period of Saturn made its annual return, ?always? rites accompanied by continual sport, [5] after a joyful banquet, after the pleasant wine of the feast, when, amidst doting old women and talkative children, the eloquence of the drunken tongue clamoured abroad, then in its serious pursuit of foolish conversation the wordy assembly pondered for a long time on all sides some riddles or other with great effort; [10] but a lot of nonsense was spoken. Nor was it a small matter, it was the semblance of a mighty conflict to set out or solve each one in turn. But so that I, who had brought nothing with me that I could say, should not appear the only one to have been shamefully silent, [15] I composed these lines extempore ?from their verbal riddling?. Among madmen, you shouldn’t be sane. Pardon the fact, dear Reader, that a drunken muse lacks judgement. MSS: A βcK αdHMNOQRSZ gGhIsV These lines compare with the prefatory poems to Martial’s Xenia and Apophoreta in terms of both book structure (see Introduction (3)(a) Proem) and content: they too are apologetic in nature (cf. Mart. 14.1.7 ‘sunt apinae tricaeque et si quid vilius istis’) and, in excusing the professedly poor quality of the verses which follow, also describe the festive circumstances under which they were composed: cf. Mart. 14.1.1–4: synthesibus dum gaudet eques dominusque senator dumque decent nostrum pillea sumpta Iovem; nec timet aedilem moto spectare fritillo, cum videat gelidos tam prope verna lacus: . . .

S.’s preface is also comparable with the prose preface to Ausonius’ Griphus Ternarii Numeri (see Introduction (2) above). This contains close verbal and contextual parallels and is also apologetic in tone, citing the author’s inebriation in excusing what follows. Interestingly, while the Griphus is not a Saturnalian composition, the preface contains a good deal of banter such as that found in Saturnalian poems like Catul. 14 or Stat. Silv. 4.9, but the preface to S.’s explicitly Saturnalian Aenigmata contains none. Possibly this is because S. is directing his work to the general reader (lector, line 17) rather than to a specific addressee; cf. the prefatory poems in Mart. 13 and 14. 53


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1–2: These two lines do not survive in AβK. They are accepted by Riese (for his policy of favouring the D MSS, see Introduction (5) above), but rejected both by the editio princeps of Perionius and by Shackleton Bailey, Glorie, Ohl, Baehrens and Bergamin. In dismissing the lines, Baehrens notes that a fifteen-line preface would accord with S.’s choice of a three-line format for each of his Aenigmata; but seventeen lines would not, seventeen not being a multiple of three. For the structural argument for favouring a fifteen-line preface, see on lines 9–10 below. Regarding the content of lines 1–2, S. is unlikely to have referred to himself in the third person, or referred to a named individual as the source of his inspiration, given his later statement of not wanting to be left out of the company described in the poem (‘ne solus foede tacuisse viderer’, line 13) and his closing appeal to the general reader (line 17). Carmen appears to have a different meaning in line 15 from that in line 1 (see below). Lusit, meanwhile, renders repetitive ludo in line 4, inepto the inepti in line 8 and deliro, line 2, the otherwise natural deliras in line 6. Further, although there are several late Latin features in S. (see Introduction, n. 32), the use of de in line 1 (see below) suggests post-authorial activity. It seems very likely that a D scribe inserted the lines, concocted from the poem’s content and influenced by the poet’s evident education and probable academic or scholastic background. With ‘sic . . . doces’ and ‘sic te . . . magistro’, cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C and also (1), regarding the epithet scholasticus. 1 haec quoque . . . lusit: that S. wrote works other than the Aenigmata is possible, but these are unknown and, even if authentic, lines 1–2 are not evidence for his identification with other authors who did, like Lactantius; cf. Introduction (1) above. ‘Haec quoque’ was doubtless influenced by such passages as Ovid Am. 2.1.1 ‘hoc quoque composui’ and Trist. 5.1.1. The word ludere can be used ‘of almost any kind of verse outside epic and tragedy’ (N-H on Hor. Carm. 1.32.1–2 ‘si quid . . . lusimus’). Nevertheless – although lines 1–2 are suspect – its common application to light-verse composition (see OLD2 s.v. ludo §8) is in accordance with the apologetic nature of the preface, its use at Catul. 50.2 of impromptu composition (‘multum lusimus in meis tabellis’) agrees with the apparent sense of line 15 below, and its suggestion of playfulness is in keeping with the festivities of the season. Note that Catullus and Calvus compose ‘per iocum atque vinum’ (Catul. 50.6), and cf. Ovid Tr. 2.491 ‘talia luduntur fumoso mense Decembri’ of mock-didactic poems composed as Saturnalian entertainment. Symphosius codd. praeter gs (Simph- ZhV): Simposius gs. While the unaspirated spelling is probably correct (see Introduction (1)), the dubious authenticity of lines 1–2 argues for following the aspirated spelling here. de carmine . . . inepto: this usage is not classical, and is perhaps very late: for the preposition de with the ablative in later or medieval Latin, see Peter Stotz, Handbuch zur lateinischen Sprache des Mittelalters, Munich 1996–2004, IV.281 ff. (§34), noting perhaps §34.10: de with the ablative used to replace an objective genitive in a document of 868: ‘cultores de ipsa ecclesia’.



2 sic tu, Sexte, doces; sic te deliro magistro: cf. the incipit in e: ‘incipiunt Simphosii enigmata ad Sixtum ipsius acta magistrum’, but this supplies no information not already in line 2 regarding Sextus (a common praenomen: see OLD2 s.v. Sextus2) and his occupation. Sic refers to ‘de carmine lusit inepto’, line 1, and is reinforced by the balancing ‘sic . . . deliro’ in the second hemistich. Sextus’ portrayal here as giving magisterial authority to light-hearted composition would accord with the rhetorical principle that what was said or written should be appropriate to the occasion (here the Saturnalia); cf. Cic. Orat. 70 ‘ut enim in vita sic in oratione nihil est difficilius quam quid deceat videre. πρέπον appellant hoc Graeci, nos dicamus sane decorum . . . huius ignoratione non modo in vita sed saepissime et in poematis et in oratione peccatur’ and the light-hearted amusements of the young students condoned by the Saturnalia in Gellius: see Introduction (3)(a) section C. deliro: cf. Hor. Ep. 2.2.126 ‘scriptor delirus inersque’. 3 annua Saturni . . . tempora festa: similar vocabulary e.g. at Ovid Am. 3.10(9).1 ‘annua venerunt Cerealis tempora sacri’, Met. 10.431 ‘festa piae Cereris . . . annua’, Catul. 64.388 ‘annua cum festis venissent sacra diebus’, Tac. Hist. 3.78 ‘festos Saturni dies’. Tempus is regularly used of ‘a season of the year’: OLD2 s.v. tempus §3a. For the adverbial use of adjectives (here annua), see L-H-Sz II.172; cf. Prop. 1.5.12 ‘illa ferox animis alligat una viros’. On the Saturnalia generally, the date, and the celebrations and licence which characterized the festival, see Introduction (3)(a) sections A and B. cum . . . redirent I: dum . . . redirent codd. alii. Dum is printed by Baehrens, Riese, Ohl, Glorie and Bergamin, but not Shackleton Bailey, who follows Schenkl in preferring cum. In defending dum, Ohl notes that the meaning ‘during the time while’ (i.e. virtually ‘when’) is found at Livy 1.40.7 ‘dum (N: cum Gronovius) intentus in eum se rex totus averteret, alter elatam securim in caput deiecit’; cf. Woodcock §§221 n. iii, 235. Bergamin observes ad loc. that it is the customary late usage. Nevertheless it is unlikely that S. would have written ‘dum (line 3) . . . cum (line 7) . . . tum (line 8)’ rather than the more euphonious and better balanced ‘cum . . . cum . . . tum’. Scribal alteration of cum to dum in line 3 would have been easy both palaeographically and through transferability of sense. redirent codd.: fremebant Baehrens. Redire is used of a recurring festival at Ovid Ars 1.415–16 ‘quaque die redeunt rebus minus apta gerendis/ culta Palaestino septima festa Syro’ (of the sabbath); cf. Hor. Carm. 3.18.10 ‘cum tibi Nonae redeunt Decembres’, Prop. 2.33A.1 quoted below; see OLD2 s.v. redeo §9b, L-S s.v. redeo §1.B.1. Note too that the Saturnalia was viewed as a return of the Golden Age (Introduction (3)(a) section A), and redire is used in this context at Verg. Ecl. 4.5 ‘magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo./ iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna’. The MS tradition is therefore fully justified. Baehrens’ fremebant (with which cf. e.g. Ovid Met. 3.528 ‘festis . . . fremunt ululatibus agri’) weakens the point that it is only at a specific time of the year, i.e. during the annual festival, that the licence that the poem goes on to describe, e.g. in lines 5 ff., was tolerated and S. could write verses like the Aenigmata.


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4 perpetuo †nec semper† sollemnia ludo Shackleton Bailey: nec semper A: semper nobis cett. (nobis semper SG). A’s ‘nec semper’ is unmetrical. Riese, Ohl, Glorie and Bergamin follow the other MSS, taking the line in apposition to ‘Saturni . . . tempora festa’ (line 3), but nobis is redundant. In dismissing ‘semper nobis’ as a bad conjecture, Baehrens suggested instead ‘vacuis semper’, but this implies that only some were at leisure at the Saturnalia. The universal and all-inclusive nature of the holiday was part of its essence. Everyone was expected to mark it as a special occasion. It is true that in fact not all joined in the Saturnalian festivities, but the Younger Pliny was probably not typical in withdrawing to another part of the house so that he could work (Ep. 2.17.24) and, although in practice the festivities did not excuse everyone from work all of the time, such as the ὀψοποιοί and πεμματουργοί in Lucian Sat. 13, like those cooking Christmas dinners, they would have had some time off. Watt (1987), 295 conjectured et for nec, and inserted dedita after sollemnia to make the line scan, but S. avoids elision: see Introduction (3)(d) above. Shackleton Bailey’s text is the most prudent option. sollemnia were usually weighty or religious observances: cf. e.g. Verg. A. 8.185–8 ‘rex Evandrus ait: “non haec sollemnia nobis,/ . . . vana superstitio . . . / imposuit” ’ (of a sacrifice to commemorate his people’s deliverance by Hercules from Cacus). The word’s usage here is therefore in jocular contrast to ‘perpetuo . . . ludo’, but it also accords with annua, line 3, since sollemnia recur at regular intervals; cf. Prop. 2.33A.1 ‘tristia iam redeunt iterum sollemnia nobis’ (of a period when Cynthia has to refrain from the impurity of sex while worshipping the Isis cult). See OLD2 s.v. sollemne §1, L-S s.v. sollemnis §II.A.b. The conjunction of sollemnia with ludo at the line-end recalls Verg. A. 5.605 ‘sollemnia ludis’. 5–10: these lines give the purported context in which S. composed; cf. Auson. Griphus 15 Praef. 18 f. Green, also composed in the context of eating and drinking. Note too 49–50: Ausonius is pransus when he writes. 5 post epulas laetas: cf. Accius FLP 3.3–4 ‘per agros urbesque fere omnes/ exercent epulas laeti’ (of celebrating the Kronia). For the use of laetus, see OLD2 s.v. laetus §7. On Saturnalian dinners and the celebrations and entertainments which made them laetae, see Introduction (3)(a), sections A–C. On dinner-time entertainments generally, see Balsdon 44 ff., Paoli 98. post dulcia pocula mensae A: post pocula dulcia mensae cett. The MSS variants are identical metrically and in sense, but A’s ordering is perhaps lectio difficilior (adjective before noun), it varies the word-order of the noun-adjective pairs on either side of the third-foot caesura (‘epulas (n.) laetas (a.) . . . dulcia (A.) pocula (N.)’) and the alliterative ‘post pocula’ is possibly more easily obtained through corruption than ‘post dulcia’. Note too the line-ending ‘pocula mensae’ at Catul. 64.45, Verg. A. 2.739 and Mart. 8.6.5. Although the Saturnalia was particularly characterized by drinking,1 this would have been part of any cena. Wine would have been taken throughout the meal, but 1

See Introduction (3)(a) section A; cf. Kay at Mart. 11.6.1 ‘unctis . . . diebus’, my note at Mart. 14.1.9 ‘madidis . . . diebus’ and note ‘madidae . . . linguae’, 7 below.



most of the drinking would usually have been done after people had eaten, at the commissatio. This is reflected by the final section of Martial’s Xenia (poems 106–25), which is arranged to reflect the order of courses in a Roman cena (see my Introduction). In this line of the Aenigmata, pocula accordingly follows epulas. The repetition of post suggests, however, that like the eating, the drinking was also over when the guests began to pose their riddles; cf. Hor. Carm. 1.18.5 ‘post vina’ and the already-existing state of inebriation indicated by madidae in line 7. One might have expected the riddling to take place during the drinking but then S. would not have been able to excuse his versification by reference to drunkenness. Further drinks would in any case have been available to those wanting them. Entertainment perhaps also follows the drinking at V.Fl. 1.139 ‘pulsatque Chelyn post pocula Chiron’. dulcia pocula: the metonymy is common. In addition to V.Fl. 1.139, cf. Gel. 19.9.3 ‘ubi eduliis finis et poculis mox sermonibusque tempus fuit’, of drinking and talking after dinner was finished, and see OLD2 s.v. poculum §2b. Dulcis does not here indicate taste (as e.g. at Pliny Nat. 14.63 on the types of Falernian: ‘austerum, dulce, tenue’), since wines of all types were drunk at the commissatio: see T. J. Leary, ‘Martial’s Christmas Wine List’, G&R 46 (1999), 34–41. Instead it balances laetas, meaning ‘affording enjoyment’: see OLD2 s.v. dulcis §5; cf. Hor. Carm. 3.12.1–2 ‘dulci/ mala vino lavere’ with N-R. mensae: for the meaning ‘meal’ or ‘feast’, see OLD2 s.v. mensa §7a; cf. Sen. Thy. 916 ‘hoc mensa cludatur scypho’, V. Fl. 4.341 ‘toto . . . tempore mensae’, Pliny Nat. 14.91 ‘procedente mensa’. 6 deliras inter vetulas puerosque loquaces: this line is carefully arranged. Note the chiastic ordering of the nouns and adjectives (a. n. N. A.), the juxtaposition of vetulas and pueros and the correspondence between deliras at the beginning of the line and loquaces at the end. The Greek symposium was a male occasion, the only females present being courtesans, but the Roman cena was a more decorous affair, which could, but did not always, include womenfolk and children: see Keith Bradley, ‘The Roman Family at Dinner’ in Inge Nielsen and Hanne Sigismund Nielsen, Meals in a Social Context. Aspects of the Communal Meal in the Hellenistic and Roman World, Aarhus 1998, 36–55. Roman children sat at the adults’ feet, at any rate in the early days: Suet. Cl. 32 ‘adhibebat omni cenae et liberos suos cum pueris puellisque nobilibus, qui more veteri ad fulcra lectorum sedentes vescerentur’, although later they may have reclined too: Plutarch Mor. 619D. Children would have been present particularly at Saturnalian dinners since, along with men (see D-S IV(1).1081 col. 2 s.v. Saturnalia [J.-A. Hild]), the festival seems to have catered especially for them. Several of the presents described in Martial’s Apophoreta clearly have children in mind: see my notes at Mart. 14.19.2 and on pages 111 (rattle), 131 (birds), 229 (hoop), 264 (dwarf mule). See too S. L. Mohler, ‘Apophoreta’, CJ 23 (1927–8), 257. Women traditionally received gifts at the Matronalia (cf. Mart. 5.84.10 f., Suet. Ves. 19.1), but it seems that their original exclusion from the Saturnalia was relaxed in


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the early Empire: see Hollis at Ovid Ars 1.407, a line which he suggests refers to the Sigillaria, the market associated with the Saturnalia. Note too that several of the presents in Martial’s Apophoreta are difficult to account for if they were not intended for women: e.g. Mart. 14.60 lomentum addresses someone with a stretch-marked stomach while 14.151 zona addresses someone able to fall pregnant. deliras inter vetulas: the word vetula is unflattering. Note the ‘vetulae amicae’ of Mart. 8.79.1 whom Fabulla takes around with her so that she can seem young and beautiful in comparison, Pl. Mos. 275 and Juv. 6.239–241 ‘scilicet expectas ut tradat mater honestos/ atque alios mores quam quos habet? utile porro/ filiolam turpi vetulae producere turpem’. The adjective delirus is similarly unfavourable: cf. Apul. Met. 6.25 ‘delira et temulenta . . . anicula’, Cic. Tusc. 1.48 ‘quae est anus tam delira quae . . .’, de Orat. 2.75 ‘deliros senes’. It would appear that the old women here have entered their second childhood and, helped perhaps by the alcohol they have consumed (cf. on ‘post dulcia pocula’, line 5), are enjoying the Saturnalia as much as the children with whom the line pairs and contrasts them. S.’s purpose in drawing attention to their indecorous appearance is perhaps to suggest that, given their use of the seasonal freedoms, he is altogether justified in expecting his readers to show tolerance of his efforts at versification (cf. lines 16–17). puerosque loquaces: puer can be used of children of either sex: see OLD2 s.v. puer §4a, L-S s.v. puer §1; cf. Paul. dig. ‘ “pueri” appellatione etiam puella significatur’. Children would naturally chatter excitedly at a festival like the Saturnalia. These children parallel the old women in the first half of the line and garrulity was also associated both with women (Pl. Aul. 124 ‘loquaces merito omnes habemur (sc. mulieres)’, Otto s.v. mulieres §1) and the elderly; cf. Cic. Sen. 55 ‘senectus est natura loquacior’. 7 cum streperet late madidae facundia linguae vel sim. codd. praeter A: latea madidevide A. Riese tries to explain madidevide as a combination of madidae and avidae (cf. Baehrens and Ohl), but Shackleton Bailey’s suspicion that -vide resulted through dittography is more plausible. cum streperet late: cf. Quint. Inst. 1.2.8 ‘omne convivium obscenis canticis strepit’. Cum picks up ‘cum . . . redirent’ in line 3. Strepo, used of confused shouting (see OLD2 s.v. strepo §2), finds pointed contrast in facundia. madidae facundia linguae: for Saturnalian drunkenness, see on ‘post dulcia pocula mensae’, line 5. Madidus meaning ‘drunk’ goes back to Plautus: Murgatroyd at Tib. 2.5.87 ‘madidus . . . pastor’; cf. Juv. 6.297 ‘madidum . . . Tarentum’, Mart. 6.89.2 ‘madidus . . . Panaretus’ with Grewing. See too ThLL VIII. 34.18 ff. s.v. madeo [Richter]. At Pl. As. 856 ff. madidum contrasts with ‘virum siccum’. The personification of facundia possibly emphasizes the drink-fuelled volubility of the talk, for which cf. Hor. Ep. 1.5.19 ‘fecundi calices quem non fecere disertum?’, Cic. Cael. 67 ‘ad vinum diserti’; see Otto s.v. vinum §1.



8 verbosa cohors: cohors survives most commonly of a military unit vel sim. (OLD2 s.v. cohors §§2–4, L-S s.v. cohors §IIA), but can refer to any group assembled in a certain place (con- + *hors; cf. hortus). It is used here of people united by a shared tie (verbosity), for which usage see OLD2 s.v cohors §6, ThLL III.1551.7 f. s.v. cohors [Bannier]. Cf. also Juv. 6.515 ‘rauca cohors’, of priests of Cybele: the word is commonly used in the context of ecstatic religions (note too Catul. 63.26 ‘vaga cohors’, again in association with Cybele, Ovid Met. 11.89 ‘adsueta cohors, satyri Bacchaeque’). The gathering on this occasion is similarly absolved from the usual workaday behavioural expectations and constraints. The -osus ending often denotes excess (see Brown at Lucr. 4.1161 nervosa; cf. Mart. 14.149.1 ‘mammosas metuo’ of overly-endowed women) and verbosus is used in negative contexts, e.g. at Catul. 98.2 ‘id quod verbosis dicitur et fatuis’ (of a certain Victius who talks too much) and Apul. Met. 5.28 ‘verbosa . . . avis’ (of a tale-telling seagull). Here excessive talk is both sanctioned by the occasion and provides supportive context for the indifferent verse composition which S. later seeks to excuse. studio sermonis inepti codd. praeter A: inepto A. Inepto is clearly wrong, resulting from homoeoteleuton with studio: the pursuit of conversation is not in itself inappropriate and therefore worthy of notice. That of inappropriate conversation is, at any rate usually. Studium was associated with serious concerns; cf. Cic. Inv. 1.36 ‘studium est . . . animi assidua et vehementer ad aliquam rem adplicata . . . occupatio, ut philosophiae, poeticae, geometricae, litterarum’, Att. 16.13a(b).2 ‘ardeo studio historiae’. However, the customary freedoms and reversals of the Saturnalia (see Introduction (3) (a) section A) meant that ‘inept’ conversation was entirely appropriate at Saturnalian celebrations – as was the indifferent verse for which S. later asks indulgence. While sermo is used of the Saturnalian talk at Gel. 18.2.1–2 and the table talk in Macrobius (cf. Macr. 1.1.2, where it is characterized as being more iucundus than the serious debates held earlier in the day; note too Macr. 1.1.4), the conversation here is nonetheless of a high order (see Introduction (3)(a) section C), and the word is elsewhere used of literary discourses and of dialogues on literary, philosophical, scientific and other such themes: see Tac. Dial. 1.2 ‘disertissimorum . . . hominum sermo repetendus esset, quos eandem hanc quaestionem (viz. the decline of oratory) pertrectantes . . . audivi’ and OLD2 s.v. sermo §3b. The juxtaposition of sermonis with inepti, already emphatically placed at the line-end, is therefore the more pointed here. 9–10 nescio quas . . . nugas/ est meditata diu: cf. Hor. Serm. 1.9.2 ‘nescio quid meditans nugarum’. Nugae are often trifles or literary trivia (see OLD2 s.v. nugae §3b and my note at Mart. 13.2.4). Here, however, they are specifically the riddles put to one another by the company (‘ponere . . . vel solvere quaeque’, line 12) which S. has apparently versified extempore (see on line 15); cf. Auson. Griphus 15 Praef. 1 Green ‘inter nugas meas’, Epist. 27.13.67 Green ‘accipe congestas, mysteria frivola, nugas’. Their alleged triviality – for in fact they turn out to be very sophisticated – is emphasized here by the indefinite ‘nescio quas’. Brown comments at Lucr. 4.1182 that meditata is a ‘semi-technical verb for preparing a speech’ and compares Cic. Ver. 1.103 ‘qui meditati ad dicendum paratique venimus’


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and Livy 40.15.13 ‘diu ante praeparata ac meditata . . . oratione’, referring additionally to ThLL VIII.576.38 ff. s.v. meditor [Buchwald]. Given also diu (cf. the linking of meditata and diu by Lucretius and Livy ibid. and at Tac. Ann. 14.1), its application here to nugae is therefore pointed and humorous. S. usually matches the conclusion of each line with the conclusion of a sense unit. This applies even to the run-on lines of Aenig. 56.2–3 and 70. ‘Est meditata diu’ is the only certain example of true enjambement in the Aenigmata (although see Aenig. 42.2 n.) and, if lines 1–2 are spurious, it means that the Praefatio divides into two sections of seven and a half lines each. The half-way point signalled by line 10 is reinforced by the corresponding arrangement of the words ‘est meditata . . . locuta est’ around the third-foot caesura. 9 passim: cf. Hor. Ep. 2.1.117 ‘scribimus indocti doctique poemata passim’. magno tentamine Harrison: de nomine codd.: †de nomine† Shackleton Bailey: conamine Buenemann: molimine Baehrens. Ohl defends the MS reading, taking nomen to mean titulus and translating ‘some trifles with grand titles’, but (a) if these trifles are the Aenigmata which follow, their titles are not particularly grand; (b) de + ablative does not mean ‘with’; and (c) his parallels do not support the equation of nomen with titulus, referring to the title or lemma of a riddle or epigram: Cic. Fam. 1.4.2, Tac. Hist. 4.73 ‘ceterum libertas et speciosa nomina praetexuntur’, Sal. Cat. 38.3 ‘quicumque rem publicam agitavere honestis nominibus’, Tac. Ag. 30.5 ‘auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium atque ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant’. Bergamin also follows the MSS, translating ‘di grande importanza’. This is more successful, contrasting with ‘nescio quas . . . nugas’ and complying with ‘meditata diu’, but the parallels she cites (e.g. Sil. 17.393–4 ‘saevus magno de nomine terror/ praecedit [sc. the Punic leader]’) need supplementing to confirm her understanding. Although he obelizes the MS reading, Shackleton Bailey commends both Buenemann and Baehrens in his apparatus. Buenemann’s suggestion, ‘with great endeavour’, fits the sense, according with ‘meditata diu’ (line 10) and ‘magni certaminis’ (line 11) and contrasting too with nugas. It also sounds a mock epic note in describing the level of effort required (when drunk; cf. lines 5, 7) to perform the simplest of tasks; cf. Ovid Met. 3.59–60 ‘molarem/. . . magnum magno conamine misit’, Sil. 5.295, Stat. Theb. 6.659; see ThLL IV.1.23 ff. s.v. conamen [L.]. Baehrens’ conjecture in his apparatus is similar in meaning to Buenemann’s (see OLD2 s.v. molimen §1) and its application to mental effort is relevant here (ThLL VIII.1356.59 ff. s.v. molimen [R.]). For its use with magno, cf. Ovid Met. 12.356–7 ‘solido . . . revellere dumo/ annosum pinum magno molimine temptat’ and Lucr. 4.901–2 ‘ventus . . ./ trudit agens magnum magno molimine navem’. It is, however, less close palaeographically. Better than both is Harrison’s tentamine, a rare word which copyists might easily have corrupted (cf. the variant certaminis for tentaminis at Ovid Met. 13.19, of the shield-debate between Ajax and Ulysses). Its application to serious verbal endeavour (e.g. a great forensic undertaking at Stat. Silv. 5.2.109) would make pleasingly ironic its use here of drunken Saturnalian table talk. For the use in poetry of nouns in -men instead of the metrically difficult -mentum, see Harrison at Verg. A. 10.306.



10 est meditata diu; sed frivola multa locuta est codd.: -tata; diu sic Heumann. Sed, best made to follow a semi-colon (cf. Baehrens, Riese, Glorie, Ohl) points the contrast between ‘meditata diu’ (words attractively linked: see on lines 9–10 above) and ‘frivola multa’. Heumann’s sic misses this, while his punctuation separates meditata and diu and shifts from the third-foot caesura, often very clearly marked in S. (cf. Introduction (3) (d)) and especially likely to be so here if the poem divides into two equal sections; cf. above on lines 9–10. Shackleton Bailey tentatively proposes in his apparatus ‘-tata diu, dein’, but this suggests, in conflict with verbosa in line 8, that the company is silent while contemplating and only then speaks forth. With ‘frivola multa’, cf. Auson. Griphus 15 Praef. 10–11 Green ‘misi . . . haec frivola gerris Siculis vaniora’, Epist. 27.13.67 Green, cited above (lines 9–10 n.); see ThLL VI(1).1342.10 ff. s.v. frivolus [Vollmer]. On the prodelided est, see Introduction (3)(d). 11 non mediocre fuit, magni certaminis instar: despite the trivial nature of the table talk (‘nescio quas . . . nugas’, line 9; ‘frivola multa’, line 10), it was taken very seriously: hence the emphatic litotes (for which see L-S s.v. mediocris §IIA). The earnestness of the participants was doubtless increased by their inebriation (cf. lines 5, 7). magni certaminis instar: certamen can be used of a serious and philosophical debate (see OLD2 s.v. certamen §4d) and this sense is certainly present here, but it can also mean ‘battle’ (OLD2 s.v. certamen §2a, L-S s.v. certamen §IIB), the hyperbolic, almost epic scale of which is here affirmed by magni; cf. e.g. Livy 21.60.7 ‘magni certaminis’. Contrast Cic. Mur. 33 ‘illam pugnam navalem . . . mediocri certamine et parva dimicatione comissam arbitraris?’ 12 ponere diverse vel solvere quaeque vicissim: ponere is balanced by solvere, diverse by vicissim. Diverse recalls passim (line 9); vicissim, in turn, continues the idea of a contest or battle. Ponere is standard of posing a problem or subject for debate (OLD2 s.v. pono §15b, L-S s.v. pono §9; cf. Macr. 7.4.1 ‘sortiamur . . . ut per ordinem unus quisque proponat quam solvendam aestimat quaestionem’), but it also perpetuates the military note sounded by ‘magni certaminis’, being usual of deploying military forces: see OLD2 s.v. pono §1c, L-S s.v. pono §B1; cf. Cic. Att. 9.15.1 ‘legiones singulas posuit Brundisi, Tarenti, Siponti’. For solvere of solving quaestiones and riddles, cf., in addition to Macr. 7.4.1, Quint. Inst. 8.6.53 ‘[sc. aenigmata] solvuntur’, Sen. Oed. 102 ‘triste carmen alitis solvi ferae [i.e. the Sphinx]’. 13 ne solus . . . tacuisse viderer: contrast loquaces, ‘cum streperet late madidae facundia linguae’, verbosa and sermonis, ‘multa locuta est’ (lines 6, 7, 8, 10): everyone else is talking apart from S. (hence the force of ‘ast ego’ at the start of the line), and he needs to make a particular effort to integrate himself. As Bergamin observes, maintaining silence rather than talking nonsense is usually commendable. She refers to Gel. 1.15 and Otto s.v. tacere §1. Here, however, in keeping with the reversals sanctioned by the Saturnalia (cf. Introduction (3)(a) section A), talking nonsense takes precedence.


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foede: a strong word, used e.g. of abandoning a camp (Livy 4.40.5), of shameful sexual activity (Livy 3.51.7), or of an ignoble or demeaning death (Cic. Fam. 9.18.2): see OLD2 s.v. foede §2, L-S s.v. foedus §II, ThLL VI(1).1001.48 ff. s.v. foedus [Vollmer]. Its juxtaposition with tacuisse is therefore telling. 14 qui nihil adtuleram mecum quod dicere possem: the idea that guests should bring contributions to a dinner is an old one, going back, for example, to the Homeric eranos where each participant contributed a share: cf. e.g. Homer Od. 1.226. That they should contribute to a meal by their conversation is implicit in Catul. 13.1–5 ‘cenabis bene . . . si tecum attuleris bonam . . . cenam, non sine . . . sale et omnibus cachinnis’. More explicit is Gel. 7.13.2–3 where the guests bring not food but topics for discussion: ‘coniectabamus ad cenulam non cuppedias ciborum sed argutias quaestionum. unusquisque igitur nostrum commentus paratusque ibat quod quaereret . . .’. Despite the alleged triviality of their riddles (nugas, line 9), it seems that the guests in the Aenigmata too had prepared them in advance. This advance preparation and Gellius’ description of guests bringing topics to the dinner-table are in keeping with the association already suggested between S. and the scholastics of the fourth/fifth centuries (see Introduction (3)(a) section C), but S., who seems not to have brought any riddles on this occasion, allies himself with another convention, that at a dinner-party a poet should contribute the thing which he was best qualified to provide, i.e. poetry. Cf. Mart. 14.1.9 ‘sed quid agam potius . . .’ and see Henriksén’s introduction (189) to Mart. 9.43: ‘Martial and Statius (probably like several other poets or would-be poets as well) would have been amongst the guests [sc. at the dinner given by Novius Vindex to show off a statuette of Hercules]; quite obviously, neither would have failed to bestow some verses on the “object of honour”, which would also be Vindex’ reason for inviting them.’ 15 hos versus feci subito: feci codd.: ieci Müller. Weissbrodt similarly conjectured iecerat for legerat at Tac. Ann. 3.49, but facere is common of verse composition (cf. Stat. Silv. 1 Praef. 18 ‘centum hos versus . . . feci’, Catul. 50.16; see OLD2 s.v. facio §5a) and feci should be retained. The context at this point, contrasting with ‘meditata diu’ in line 10, suggests impromptu composition, and this is supported by subito: expressions like ‘subito dicere’ are commonly used for ‘to extemporise’: cf. e.g. Cic. de Orat. 1.150 ‘utile est etiam subito saepe dicere’. Note also Stat. Silv. 1 Praef. 3–4: the poems in this book were composed ‘subito calore et quadam festinandi voluptate’, and see OLD2 s.v. subitus §5b and Coleman at Mart. Sp. 35(31).1, quoted at line 17 below. On extempore composition, both rhetorical and in verse, and on occasional verse composition generally, see Alex Hardie, Statius and the Silvae: Poets, Patrons and Epideixis in the Graeco-Roman World, Liverpool 1983, 76 ff, William Fitzgerald, Martial: the World of the Epigram, Chicago 2007, 206 n. 20. Given his probable ‘scholastic’ background (cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C), S. would certainly have nurtured the ability to compose impromptu poetry as well as speeches. Of course, hurried or impromptu verses could later be tidied up for publication: hence the Aenigmata show signs of careful and artistic ordering (see Introduction (3)(b)).



†de carmine vocis†: de carmine (e carmine A) codd.: e conamine Baehrens: discrimine Müller Schenkl: tentamine Unger. The suggestions of Baehrens, Unger, Müller and Schenkl all reflect the company’s riddling battle of wits, to which S. is listening. Baehrens’ suggestion introduces elision, which S. avoids: see Introduction (3) (d). The other two conjectures are therefore perhaps preferable (with ‘discrimine vocis’, Bergamin tentatively compares Verg. A. 6.646 ‘septem discrimina vocum’ and Sil. 5.393 ‘vario discrimine vocum’), but none is entirely convincing, especially in conjunction with vocis, where a plural would be more understandable. (Tentamine can in any case not be read here if it is accepted in line 9.) Obelizing the MS reading is the most prudent course. The translation, which is offered without confidence, draws ‘verbal’ from vocis and ‘riddling’ from carmen, used of riddles at Sen. Oed. 102 (quoted at line 12 above): S. based his compositions on what he heard, although he did not necessarily versify these riddles exactly; cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C. 16 insanos inter sanum non esse necesse est: insanos is emphasized in this sententia by its position in the line and the word-play which follows it (note ‘insanos’ and ‘inter sanum’, and ‘non esse’ and ‘necesse’ with the prodelided est), the sound effects and hyperbaton: the prose word-order would be ‘necesse est [sc. me] inter insanos non sanum esse’. For ‘necesse est’ with the accusative in late Latin, see L-H-Sz II.124. Other ‘late’ usages in S. are listed in Introduction n. 32. With this line, Ohl compares Hor. Serm. 2.3.39–40 ‘ “pudor”, inquit, “te malus angit,/ insanos qui inter vereare insanus haberi” ’ and Petr. 3.2 ‘doctores peccant, qui necesse habent cum insanientibus furere’. See also Otto s.v. furere §1. However, while S. justifies his insanity by reference to that of the company, poets were in any case commonly regarded as mad: cf. Plato Phaedrus 245a, Hor. Ars. 296 ‘[sc. Democritus] excludit sanos Helicone poetas’ with Brink, Ovid Pont. 1.5.31 f. ‘an populus vere sanos negat esse poetas . . . ?’. Note also Mart. 12.47(46).2 ‘sanos, Classice, nunc nega poetas’ (where the point is that while sane poets might be bad at poetry they could nevertheless be good businessmen). Further, madness or Ἄτη was commonly associated or equated with wine and drunkenness: cf. Pl. Men. 373 ‘certo haec mulier aut insana aut ebria est’; see Dodds 5, 38. Finally, drunkenness and poetic composition were often associated. Hence Bacchus was regarded as a source of inspiration by poets from before the Augustan era (N-H on Hor. Carm. 2.19 (pages 316–17), Hollis at Ovid Ars 1.525 ‘ecce, suum vatem Liber vocat’ citing [Tib.] 3.4.43–4; see too Jasper Griffin, Latin Poets and Roman Life, London 1985, ch.  3). Indeed it was often stated that poets owed their quality to heavy drinking: the work of ὑδροπόται or ‘aquae potores’ did not survive. Cf. Hor. Ep. 1.19.2–3: ‘nulla placere diu nec vivere carmina possunt,/ quae scribuntur aquae potoribus’ and see Dodds 101 n. 124, Kay at Mart. 11.6.12 ‘possum nil ego sobrius’. In humorous self-depreciation S. therefore excuses bad composition by pleading madness/drunkenness when good composition was considered impossible without it. 17 da veniam, lector, quod non sapit ebria Musa: cf. Auson. Griphus 15 Praef. lines 31 ff. Green ‘sed tu quoque hoc ipsum paulo hilarior et dilutior lege; namque iniurium est de poeta male sobrio lectorem abstemium iudicare’. Also relevant, given ‘tempora festa’,


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line 3 above, are lines 30–1 Green: ‘sit ergo examen pro materia et tempore’. Martial associates drunken versification particularly with a Saturnalian dinner at Mart. 13.1.4 ‘postulat . . . novos ebria bruma sales.’ Note too Mart. 10.20(19).18–21 ‘haec hora est tua, cum furit Lyaeus,/ cum regnat rosa, cum madent capilli:/ tua me vel rigidi legant Catones’: Martial’s poems are appropriate for dinner time when his readers’ literary judgement was tempered by wine; cf. 4.8.7–10. da veniam, lector: cf. Mart. Sp. 35(31).1 ‘da veniam subitis’, Ovid Tr. 4.1.104 ‘cum venia facito, quisquis es, ista legas’. For addresses to the reader, see generally Citroni at Mart. 1.1.4 ‘lector studiose’. non sapit ebria Musa: a proverbial sounding utterance, although Otto cites no parallels. Sapere refers here to aesthetic, and specifically literary, taste or discernment; cf. Mart. 7.69.6, Hor. Ars 212; see L-S s.v. sapio §II2. Note also Mart. 1.117.18 ‘sapis, Luperce’ where Lupercus has decided that a book of Martial’s epigrams is not worth the asking price; cf. 11.94.2, 106.4. For ‘ebria musa’, cf. Venantius Fortunatus Carm. 11.23.7–8 (at the end of a banquet) ‘non digitis poteram, calamo neque pingere versus,/ fecerat incertas ebria musa manus’. The Muse Thalia is ebria at Mart. 10.20(19).13. Note also AL 280 ShB ‘Calliope madido trepidat se iungere Baccho,/ ne pedibus non stet ebria Musa suis’.

1 A stylus Flat as to the top but not flat at the bottom, I’m turned either way in the hand. I discharge a conflicting duty: one end undoes whatever the other has done. MSS: A βcGu.L αAng.deEFHMNORSZ gGhIsVX le. graphium vel grafium dEHSZγ: grafius A: grafio e: de graphio βAng.NOR (de graphio scriptoris gh): stilus cGu.LM: α legi non potest. Aenig. 1 begins a short section on writing equipment. It describes a stylus, an implement pointed at one end for writing on a wax tablet and spatulate at the other for smoothing over or erasing what has been written. The word graphium, preserved by about half of the D tradition, is nonetheless uncommon. It survives in classical Latin only at Ovid Am. 1.11.23 ‘digitos . . . graphio lassare tenendo’. According to Isid. Orig. 6.9.2 the usual Latin word was scriptorium. The rarity of graphium prompted the glosses in cGu.LM, which were then incorporated into the text, and accounts for A’s incorrect expansion of the abbreviation grafiū. This abbreviation prompted e’s grafio and possibly ‘de graphio’, which disagrees with the majority testimony for tituli in the MSS (similar corruptions appear in the lemmata of e.g. Aenig. 3, 6, 17, 55, 56, 57, 58, 68, 72, 73, 78, 83, 87, 88, 92, 95, 99), but may represent an attempt at emendation. In writing graphium, S. may have been influenced by Mart. 14.21 graphiarium, describing a stylus-case. For S.’s debt to Martial, see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. While it is appropriate to begin a literary work with a section on writing equipment – similarly the early poems in the Apophoreta, 3–11, deal with such material – since the



ends of the graphium can be used either to write or to erase what has been written, the choice of a stylus here accords with the poet’s self-depreciatory remarks in the Praefatio (note especially lines 15–17) by suggesting that the Aenigmata might just as well not have been composed. Pavlovskis 222 notes that ‘In a charming combination of two standard ways of constructing a riddle (mentioning what a thing is or what it is not), the stylus is described as being and not being flat; accomplishing and revoking’. The literary appropriateness of Aenig. 1 is balanced by the allusion to Horace in the closing riddle of the collection: see Introduction (3)(b). On the stylus generally, see DNP IV.1241§2 s.v. Griffel [R. Harder]. For illustrations, see Ward-Perkins and Claridge, cat. 284 (an iron stylus in the BM, inv. 1968.2–2.1), the picture of the so-called Sappho, a fourth-style fresco from Pompeii showing a girl with a stylus (MANN inv. 9084; Ciarallo and De Carolis, cat. 277), and that from Herculaneum of a man holding a papyrus roll, and a woman with wax tablets and a stylus (MANN inv. 9058; Ciarallo and De Carolis, cat. 38). Examples in the BM are PRB 1934.12–10.78, 1934.11–6.3, 1856.7–1.1223, 1863.12–11.8 and 9, 1951.10–5.5. AP14.45, on the wax spread on a writing tablet, and 60, on the tablet itself, both mention the stylus, designated as Ἄρης. 1 de summo planus sed non ego planus in imo: the first hemistich finds balance, contrast and varietas in the second: ‘de summo planus sed non ego planus in imo’. The caesura before sed lends it force, emphasizing the difference between the flat and sharp ends of the stylus. ‘Non . . . planus’ might suggest that the pointed end is in fact very sharp. de summo . . . in imo: summus here is used literally, denoting the highest point of the stylus when it is held for writing, i.e. the part used for erasures (see OLD2 s.v. summus §1). This usage, of a pen, appears to be paralleled only by the corresponding use of imus, ‘lowest’ (OLD2 s.v. imus §1d), although the summus/imus contrast is in itself very common. Of course, when the pen is inverted the ‘top’ becomes the ‘bottom’, a literal inversion which accords with the paradoxical ‘I am what I am not’ motif characteristic of riddles and, more generally, with the inversions traditionally associated with the Saturnalia: cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C. 2 versor utrimque manu. diverso munere fungor: in framing the line versor (a passive verb) and fungor (deponent) balance and contrast with one another, identifying the stylus as both a subject instrument (passive verb) and simultaneously an independent agent able to carry out a duty. ‘Versor . . . diverso’ and ‘manu . . . munere’ meanwhile bind the line together through interlocking word-play. versor utrimque manu: the phrase ‘vertere stilum’ came to mean ‘erase’; cf. Cic. Ver. 2.101 ‘vertit [sc. iste] stilum in tabulis suis’, Hor. Serm. 1.10.72 ‘saepe stilum vertas’; see OLD2 s.v. verto §6a. utrimque AβEHMNOγ: utrumque cAng.dFRgh: utraque Gu.αeSZX. The senseless utrumque is a simple palaeographical error. Utraque, which may also have resulted from


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miscopying, can be rejected since ambidexterity is not at issue here. Ohl is surely correct to take utrimque to mean ‘either way’, but in support cites just the ‘similar usage’ at Hor. Ep. 1.18.9 ‘virtus est medium vitiorum et utrimque reductum’ where utrimque means something like ‘from both extremes’. Exact parallels remain elusive, but cf. GLK VI.113.27 (Victorinus) where it appears with legentibus meaning ‘backwards and forwards’. diverso munere fungor (diverse c) ABEgh: diverso et munere vel sim. codd. alii. ‘Diverso munere’ accords with S.’s avoidance of elision: see Introduction (3)(d). For munus of a function or requisite task, see OLD2 s.v. munus §1a, L-S s.v. munus §1. It is common with fungor which often (but not always) governs the ablative: see OLD2 s.v. fungor §1b, L-S s.v. fungor §1; cf. Cic. Brut. 63.4 ‘functus omni civium munere’, Att. 1.1.2 ‘in omni munere candidatario fungendo summam adhibebimus diligentiam’. It is almost as if this personified stylus is performing civic duties which – a further humorous touch – cancel one another out. For diversus meaning ‘opposite’, see OLD2 s.v. diversus §5b, L-S s.v. diversus §1.B.1; cf. e.g. Ovid. Met. 1.468–9 ‘[sc. Cupid] prompsit duo tela pharetra/ diversorum operum: fugat hoc, facit illud amorem’, Hor. Ep. 1.18.5 ‘est huic diversum vitio vitium’. 3 altera pars revocat quicquid pars altera fecit: the ‘altera pars . . . pars altera’ reversal (also at e.g. Ovid Met. 1.429 and 13.925) here reflects the stylus’ use both to write and erase. So too does the correspondence between and half-rhyme of revocat and fecit and the separation of the two sense units by the third-foot caesura. For revoco meaning ‘cancel’ or ‘annul’, see OLD2 s.v. revoco §7b, L-S s.v. revoco §B2b; cf. Ovid Met. 9.618 ‘si facta mihi revocare liceret’. As Ohl observes, citing Hor. Ep. 1.18.71 and Ars 390 ‘nescit vox missa reverti’, the spoken word, unlike the written, cannot be undone. For facere of verse composition, see on Praef. 15 ‘hos versus feci’ above.

2 A reed pen Sweet mistress of a god, neighbour of the infernal bank, singing sweetly for the Muses, steeped in the colour black, I am the tongue’s messenger, having been distinguished by a master’s fingers. MSS: A βc αAng.deEHMNORSZ gGhIsVX le. harundo: the word harundo (‘reed’; cf. κάλαμος) was applied to many different objects made of reeds (see OLD2 s.v. harundo §2). It is used here primarily of a reed pen, following on from graphium in the previous riddle and in keeping with the section on writing equipment, but its use of pan pipes (see L-S s.v. harundo §F, OLD2 s.v. harundo §3a) is recalled in the opening half of the riddle. For reed pens, cf. Mart. 14.38 fasces calamorum, noting Martial’s influence on S. (see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. above). Lines 1–2 of the riddle are similar in content to AP 9.162:



ἤμην ἀχρεῖον κάλαμος φυτόν· ἐκ γὰρ ἐμεῖο οὐ σῦκ’, οὐ μῆλον φύεται, οὐ σταφυλή· ἀλλά μ’ ἀνὴρ ἐμύησ’ ἑλικωνίδα, λεπτὰ τορήσας χείλεα, καὶ στεινὸν ῥοῦν ὀχετευσάμενος. ἐκ δὲ τοῦ εὖτε πίοιμι μέλαν ποτόν, ἔνθεος οἷα, πᾶν ἔπος ἀφθέγκτῳ τῷδε λαλῶ στόματι. I was a reed, a useless plant; for from me is born neither fig nor apple nor grape; but a man initiated me into the ways of Helicon, having shaped fine edges and having carved out a narrow channel. From then, should I drink black liquid, as if inspired, with this dumb mouth I utter every kind of word.

The best reed pens came from Asia Minor, but those from Egypt found favour because Egypt provided the papyrus to write on (cf. Pliny Nat. 16.157). Note e.g. Alan K. Bowman, The Roman Writing Tablets from Vindolanda, London 1983, plate 12 (reed pens from Egypt now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford), and GR 1906.10–22.18 in the BM. Note too John Drane, Introducing the New Testament, Oxford-Batavia-Sydney 1986, repr. 1989, 354: a photograph of a first-century wooden case, also in the BM, containing six reed pens and equipped with an ink well containing remains of black ink (EA 43048, of unknown provenance). See generally DNP IV.455 s.v. Feder [R. Harder], D-S I(2).811 col. 2 s.v. calamus [E. Saglio]. For references in literature, see OLD2 s.vv. calamus §2a, harundo §2d and L-S s.v. calamus §II.A.1. Whereas Aenig. 1 admits a self-depreciating note through mentioning the use of a stylus for deleting as well as composing (see Aenig. 1 le. n. above), there is no mention of deletion here; had S. seriously considered his work unworthy, he would not have published it in the first place and, while expressions of modesty might appear conventional but still be sincere, he would not have wanted to detract further from his work than he had already. Indeed, although carbon ink is watersoluble and easily washed off writing material (cf. C. H. Roberts and T. C. Skeat, The Birth of the Codex, London 1987, 20 and n. 1, and my note on Mart. 14.7.2 ‘delebis, quotiens scripta novare voles’), and it is probable that S. would have used it rather than metallic ink (cf. on ‘nigra perfusa colore’, line 2), writing with pen and ink conveys a greater sense of intended permanence than scratching on wax. As their Nachleben proves (cf. Introduction (4) above), S. was justified in suggesting that the Aenigmata would be his lasting monument: see Aenig. 100 le. n. below. 1: dulcis amica dei: these words refer to Pan and his attempted rape of the nymph Syrinx. Her flight was blocked by the River Ladon and, after praying to the river nymphs for protection, she was metamorphosed into a bunch of reeds. When Pan grasped these instead of Syrinx, they sounded under his sighing, thus becoming the prototype of pan pipes; cf. ‘suave canens Musis’, line 2. See Ovid Met. 1.689–703 with Bömer, who notes that the story does not survive before Ovid; cf. Servius at Verg. Ecl. 2.31.


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The choice of amica is humorous: Syrinx was not the sweetheart of Pan (OLD2 s.v. amica §2, L-S s.v. amica §B) but the object of his lust – although he did become enamoured of her after she was changed into a reed, and when she could no longer become his mistress.2 Dulcis shares in this humour in that it is common of a lover or spouse: see OLD2 s.v. dulcis §7a; cf. CIL XIII.10025.199 ‘a me dulcis amica bibe’ (on a drinking cup), Verg. G. 4.465 dulcis coniunx’ (of Eurydice); but it can also mean ‘sweetsounding’ or ‘melodious’ and therefore suits the context of pan pipes: see OLD2 s.v. dulcis §4a; cf. Lucr. 4.584–5 ‘dulcis . . . querelas,/ tibia quas fundit’, Ovid Met. 1.709 ‘vocis . . . dulcedine’. Ohl compares Auson. Idyl. 20.4 [i.e. Peiper’s 1886 Teubner, 22.3.2, = Loeb Appendix III.2] ‘dulciloquis calamos Euterpe flatibus urget’ and Cato Disticha 1.27 ‘fistula dulce canit’. Note also PLM V.63.1 de Philomela ‘sum noctis socia, sum cantus dulcis amica’, although here amica means just ‘friend’. ripae vicina profundae vel sim. codd. D(praeter e)gh: semper vicina profundis ABγ. The e reading is a combination of both traditions. Most editors omit ripae after ‘dulcis amica dei’, printing ‘semper vicina profundis’. This is problematic if by profundis they understand ‘waters’. Although profundum, -i can be applied to rivers (e.g. the Tiber at V. Max. 4.7.2) as can the adjectival form (see OLD2 s.v. profundus §1a), it is usually applied to oceans or large tracts (OLD2 s.v. profundum §1, L-S s.v. profundum §b(a)). Reedbeds are generally shallow and the suggestion that reeds are always the neighbours of deep water is wrong. Instead ‘ripae . . . profundae’ recalls the Styx, which was characterized by its reedbeds; cf. Hermesianax 3.6, Verg. G. 4.478 ff., Prop. 2.27.13. For profundus meaning ‘infernal’, cf. Lucr. 3.978 ‘Acherunte profundo’, Luc. 1.455 ‘Erebi sedes Ditisque profundi’; see OLD2 s.v. profundus §2. 2 suave canens Musis: cf. Cic. Brut. 187 and V. Max. 3.7 ext. 2 ‘mihi cane et Musis’, where the flute-player Antigenidas is telling his pupil not to worry about an indifferent reception from the audience. Note too the reference to the story at Symm. Ep. 9.115.2: S. might here be asserting, after the self-depreciation of the Praefatio and Aenig. 1, that he does not in fact mind if his lector disapproves of the Aenigmata, since he is not actually writing for him. While ‘suave canens’ fits well with the pan pipes of line 1, it also applies to the pen: pens do not ‘sing’ themselves, but, as the ‘tongue’s messengers’ (cf. line 3), convey the poet’s song. With canens cf. perhaps most famously Verg. A. 1.1 ‘arma virumque cano’. nigro perfusa colore: Ohl wrongly takes perfusa to indicate that the reed here is ‘drenched’, comparing perfundit at Aenig. 6.3 (of heavy rain), but see ad loc. The sense required here is ‘fully and sufficiently’ rather than ‘excessively’ wet; cf. the rose at Aenig. 45.1, which is ‘pulchro perfusa colore’, and Sen. Ep. 36.3, where perfundi means ‘to imbue slightly’. nigro . . . colore: cf. Mart. 14.5.2 ‘nigra . . . littera’. Despite S.’s late date, for which see Introduction (2), it appears from these words that he was not thinking of the metallic 2

The application of amica to inanimate objects is regular: see ThLL I.1906.12 ff. s.v. amicus [Hey], but Syrinx was only inanimate after her metamorphosis.



ink which characterized late Antiquity but the ‘lustrous black’ of a carbon ink; cf. E. G. Turner, Greek Manuscripts of the Ancient World, 2nd edn edited by P. J. Parsons, London 1987 (Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 46), 22. For atramentum, which comprised ingredients such as lamp-black, water, resin, wine lees and the ink from cuttlefish, see Kl.P. V.856.35 ff. s.v. Tinte [W.H. Gross], L-S s.v. atramentum §1, OLD2 s.v. atramentum §2a, D-S I(1).529 col. 1 s.vv. ‘atramentum librarium’ [Charles Graull]. 3 nuntia sum linguae digitis signata magistris: Ohl compares Ovid Tr. 5.13.29 ff. ‘sic ferat ac referat tacitas nunc littera voces,/ et peragant linguae charta manusque vices’, Tr. 3.7.2 ‘littera, sermonis fida ministra mei’. signata codd.: stipata Heumann: sinuata Watt. Signata has often been taken wrongly with harundo. Thus Watt (1996), 259–60, claims that it ‘yields no appropriate sense’ and quotes Wernsdorf: ‘harundo non signatur sed ducitur et dirigitur manu.’ Watt rejects Heumann’s stipata, ‘compressed’, since this word, while appropriate of letters grouped together, cannot denote the grip of fingers on the pen. Instead he proposes sinuata, citing the sense attested by OLD2 s.v. sinuo §3, ‘to cause to move in curved or wavy lines’, and comparing the corruption of sinuata to signata at Manil. 2.339. However, Roman handwriting is not ‘wavy’. In fact signata qualifies nuntia and means something like ‘marked out’ or ‘distinguished’; cf. Verg. A. 6.780 (of Romulus) ‘et pater . . . suo . . . signat honore’. Note perhaps also Verg. A. 3.287 ‘et rem carmine signo’. The humble reed can be the tongue’s messenger only because it has been sanctioned in this role by the master’s guiding fingers. magistris AD (praeter Ang.H)γ: magistri BAng.H: ministris Heumann Baehrens. Magistris is preferable to magistri, being lectio difficilior and introducing varietas with the possessive linguae. For the adjectival use of a noun see generally L-H-Sz II.157–9. With magistris here, cf. Sil. 3.387–8 ‘sonipes . . . asper . . . iussis parere magistris’. Ministris is inappropriate, since the pen is the servant of the fingers, not the fingers those of the pen.

3 A ring with a jewel-stone I have clung fast, no great weight at the body’s end (so unburdened is anyone by this weight, you would declare it inborn), a single countenance but one nonetheless which will have many impressions. MSS: A βc αAng.deFHMNORSZ gGhIsVX le. anulus cum gemma cD(praeter HOR): anulus AβX: de anulo gemmato HORgh: legi non potest s. Bergamin does not supply readings for GIV. The riddle describes a signet ring (see line 3), as opposed to the ring key of Aenig. 4. ‘Cum gemma’ is confirmed as part of the lemma by A, although it includes these words in line 1. (Against lemmata in de, see Aenig. 1 le. n.) Signet rings would have been used to seal letters and other documents.


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This riddle continues and concludes the section on writing equipment beginning with Aenig. 1 graphium. It is connected to the previous riddle by signata (Aenig. 2.3), although the word there means ‘distinguished’ or ‘marked out’ rather than ‘sealed’. Many seal stones have been recovered, e.g. from the drains of baths: see J. David Zienkiewicz, The Legionary Fortress Baths at Caerleon II. The Finds, Cardiff 1986, 117–41. Pliny, Nat. 37.88, suggests that sardonyx was the best type of stone, since it did not drag away the wax when lifted. The designs on stones varied but were often portraits; cf. facies (line 3). Lentulus Sura’s seal was a portrait of his grandfather Publius Cornelius Lentulus (Cic. Catil. 3.10), while Epicureans wore the likeness of Epicurus (Cic. Fin. 5.3). Hadrian had his own likeness (SHA Hadr. 26.7), although earlier emperors wore that of Augustus (Suet. Aug. 50; before adopting his own image, Augustus had worn that of Alexander the Great; cf. Pliny Nat. 37.10.) For signet rings and the seals mounted in them, see Marshall xv–xviii and Jeffrey Spier, Ancient Gems and Finger Rings, Malibu 1992, passim. The rings were often large and vulgar; cf. Mart. 11.37.3–4 ‘anulus iste tuis fuerat modo cruribus aptus:/ non eadem digitis pondera conveniunt’ with Kay, Mart. 14.123.1 ‘gravis . . . anulus’. In contrast (cf. line 1 ‘non magnum pondus’) this ring was a smaller and lighter one, perhaps like the signet ring described in Ovid Am. 2.15 (note line 15 ‘signare tabellas’), which claims it will not burden a lady’s finger: note 21–2 ‘non . . . futurus/ quod . . . tener digitus ferre recuset onus’; cf. perhaps the ‘levis anulus’ at Mart. 5.61.5. Aenig. 3 and 4 recall the ring epigrams in Martial’s Apophoreta: 14.122 anuli and 123 dactyliotheca. For S.’s indebtedness to Martial, see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. 1: on the word-order in this line, see Introduction n. 109. corporis extremi: i.e. the finger. For the idiomatic genitive, cf. Catul. 11.22–3 ‘prati/ ultimi flos’. Extremus is common of the body’s extremities; cf. Pliny Nat. 2.218 ‘in corpore extrema pulsum venarum . . . magis sentiunt’, Tac. Ann. 15.70 ‘paulatim ab extremis cedere spiritum’. non magnum pondus adhaesi: magnum (magnarum F; om. Ang.) codd.: parvum Shackleton Bailey. Presumably influenced by the tradition of large and ostentatious rings, Shackleton Bailey asks why anyone should find a small weight oppressive (1979, 37). He argues that magnum is a ‘polar error’, referring e.g. to Kopff (see Aenig. 75.3 n.), and in his apparatus he compares AL 407.8 Sh.B. ‘magnarum rerum parva (Tollius: magna V) sepulcra vides’. He does not explain how, in going against the MSS, he understands line 2. Bergamin plausibly explains ‘[sc. corporis extremi] non magnum pondus’ by reference to a play on unguis or ungula, meaning a claw or finger-nail (the masculine diminutive is used of a toe-nail at Pl. Epid. 623) and ungulus, a type of ring; cf. Isid. Orig. 19.32.5 ‘inter genera anulorum sunt ungulus, Samothracius, Thynius. ungulus est gemmatus, vocatusque hoc nomine quia, sicut ungula carni, ita gemma anuli auro adcingitur’; cf. Pliny Nat. 33.10 ‘[sc. anulum] apud nos prisci ungulum vocabant’. The ring in this riddle, an ungulus, is so light on the finger it is almost part of it, like a fingernail; cf. line 2 ‘ingenitum dicas’.



adhaesi ADγ: inhaesi vel sim. ABsX. As often (see Introduction (5) and n. 155), A preserves both B and D readings. Since adhaerere can mean ‘to form a continuous or organic whole with’ (OLD2 s.v. adhaereo §2a; cf. Col. 2.3.1 (of hide-bound oxen); note also Lucr. 3.557 of the body and mind), adhaesi would accord with ingenitum in line 2, on which see ad loc., whereas the prefix in- in inhaesi would make it inelegantly repetitive. 2 (ingenitum dicas, ita pondere nemo gravatur): in making line 2 an aside, Shackleton Bailey’s punctuation (see 1979, 37) suits dicas, ‘you would say’, and the generalizing nemo, and gives point to the repetition of pondus/-ere. ingenitum: i.e. ‘implanted by nature, natural’ or ‘inborn’. See OLD2 s.v. ingenitus §§1a and 1b and see ThLL VII(1).1554.20 ff. s.v. ingigno [Hofmann]; cf. Quint. Inst. 2.16.14 ‘arma iis ingenita quaedam’ (of animals’ natural weapons or defences), Pliny Nat. 7.14 ‘horum corpori ingenitum fuit virus exitiale serpentibus’; cf. above on adhaesi. 3 una tamen facies plures habitura figuras: una and plures, at the start of each hemistich, correspond and contrast while interlocking with the alliterative facies and figuras. The word-order reinforces the paradox that a single facies can have many figurae. facies: cf. Juv. 14.291 ‘facies . . . minutas’ of the heads on coins. Facies is used of the impression left by a signet ring at August. Epist. 59.2 ‘hanc epistulam signatam misi anulo, qui exprimit faciem hominis attendentis in latus’, cited without parallels at ThLL VI(1).47.15–16 s.v. facies [Hey]. habitura figuras codd.: habet ore figuras Riese. Cf. Aenig. 5.1 ‘habitura ligatos’. Riese’s ore is repetitive after facies and his conjecture dilutes the personification of the ring by taking facies as a new subject rather than understanding it in apposition to the subject of adhaesi. Figura commonly has the sense ‘image’ or ‘portrait’: see ThLL VI(1).728.43 f. figura [Vetter], especially 792.12–13. It is applied specifically to the wax impression of a seal stone at Isid. Diff. 1.528: ‘figura est cum impressione formae alicuius imago exprimitur, veluti si in cera ex annulo effigiem sumat’; cf. (pace Howell) the allusion to signet rings at Mart. 1.53.2 ‘pagina . . . certa domini signata figura’.

4 A key Great powers I bring from small strength. I open shut houses, but again I close open ones. I keep the house safe for the master but in turn I am kept safe by him. MSS: A βcGu.L αdeEFHMNORSZ gGhIsVX le. clavis: this riddle initiates a new section which relates to the security and containment of the house and household. It describes a door key: note domos in line 2 and domum


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in line 3; see OLD2 s.v. clavis §1. Aenig. 5 describes a slave-chain, Aenig. 6 a roof tile and Aenig. 7 smoke from the hearth. Aenig. 6 and 7 prepare the way for the next section, on winter weather. Door keys were generally large, like the ‘magna clavis’ which falls from Euchides’ sinus at Mart. 5.35.7. Nevertheless, as small keys were often attached to or integral with finger-rings so that they could be worn for safe-keeping, a connection exists between this riddle and the ring of Aenig. 3. Since Aenig. 3 describes a signet ring, there is a further link in that a seal is a sort of lock: cf. Mart. 9.87.7 ‘nunc signat meus anulus lagonam’ (to prevent pilfering), Juv. 14.132, Tac. Ann. 2.2 ‘vilissima utensilium anulo clausa’ (cf. clausas and claudo, line 2). For Roman locks and keys generally, see DNP XI.186 s.vv ‘Schloß, Schlüssel’ [R. Harder]. For ring keys, see Marshall xviii. Examples in the BM include GR 1867.5– 8.156 (Roman, third to first century BC, Blacas collection). They are very common. 1 virtutes magnas de viribus adfero parvis: keys, even large ones, are fragile: they can bend or break. The paradox that they can nonetheless confer power disproportionate to their strength is underlined by the interlocking of virtutes and viribus with magnas and the contrasting parvis. Parvis recalls the earlier vir-. virtutes magnas: Pavlovskis suggests (222) that the prominently placed virtutes sounds a moral note: the key can lock out evil. In practice, however, it is only as reliable as the key-holder, who could be bribed or duped: cf. Tib. 1.6.33–4 ‘tua si bona nescis/ servare, frustra clavis inest foribus’ with Murgatroyd. de viribus adfero parvis vel sim. Dγ: de viribus divitibus adoffero parvis A: divitibus offero parva vel sim. B. As often, A preserves both the D and B traditions: see Introduction (5) and n. 155. The nonsensical B reading clearly arose through palaeographical corruption. 2 pando domos clausas, iterum sed claudo patentes: cf. Isid. Orig. 20.13.5 ‘clavis dicta quod claudat et aperiat’. The line’s verb-adjective alternation combines with word-play: pando and patentes frame the hexameter and claudo in the second hemistich recalls clausas before the third-foot caesura. Etymologizing gives the riddle’s answer. Domos prepares for domus and dominus in line 3, where further etymologizing (see below) also points to S.’s possible scholastic background (see Introduction (3)(a) section C). pando domos clausas: cf. Catul. 61.76 ‘claustra pandite ianuae’, Ovid Pont. 1.7.36 clausa . . . domus’, etc.; see OLD s.v. pando §§3a, 4b. 3 servo domum domino sed rursus servor ab ipso: the hexameter divides around the third-foot caesura, pointing the paradox that the key, which ‘keeps safe’ the domus for the dominus, is in turn ‘kept safe’ by its master himself. Servor corresponds with yet varies the active servo, while juxtaposition points the etymologizing in ‘domum’ and ‘domino’ (cf. Isid. Orig. 10.65 ‘dominus per derivationem dictus, quod domui praesit’; see Maltby s.v. dominus).



Pavlovskis remarks (222–3) that ‘there seems [in this riddle] to be a specifically Roman kind of client–patron reciprocity between the key and its master’. Both the key and the master benefit from their association, but in the Saturnalian context of the riddle the idea of ‘being served’ by a master must also recall the social inversion that characterized the festival: see Introduction (3)(a) section A.

5 A chain I am bound, fastened with iron, and will hold many bound. I am restrained myself first but, having been restrained, I restrain in turn; and I have set loose many and am nonetheless not set loose myself. MSS: A βcL αdeEFHMNORSZ gGhIsVX le. catena: this riddle continues the theme of the house and household, but whereas Aenig. 4 refers to a door key, the catena here is not a security device but a vinculum (note vincior, vincio and vincta in line 2) such as might be used e.g. for domestic slaves. In addition to the generic association of key and chain, this riddle recalls also the allusions to servitude in Aenig. 4.3. The riddle possibly has connections with Aenig. 3 beyond the recollection in line 1 ‘multos habitura ligatos’ of Aenig. 3.3 ‘plures habitura figuras’, since the links of a chain may have been called anuli (cf. Pliny Nat. 34.150 ‘ferunt . . . exstare ferream catenam . . . cuius anulos . . . robigine infestari’ and Mart. 3.29.1–2 ‘has cum gemina compede dedicat catenas,/ Saturne, tibi Zoilus, anulos priores’). Several sets of vincula survive, e.g. the very fine example in the Museum of London: 3563, first to second century AD, from Walbrook Stream. When not used for securing field slaves (Col. 1.8.16) or runaways (Pl. Men. 80), they were used for prisoners of war (Pl. Men. 79) or robbers and cut-throats (cf. Braund on Juv. 3.309–11). That Verres ordered innocent men to be chained is cited against him at Cic. Ver. 5.106. On chains in general see at great length RE VIII(A).2198.25 ff. s.v. vincula [T. Mayer-Maly]. Each line in this riddle is carefully balanced in two sense units around the thirdfoot caesura, and the whole riddle is carefully structured: see below and especially on line 3. Much of its vocabulary is paralleled by Sil. 11.247–8 ‘at Decius, dum vincla ligant, “necte ocius” inquit/ . . . “catenas”.’ 1 nexa ligor ferro, multos habitura ligatos: ligor is balanced by ligatos. The paradox of the personified chain’s both being bound (i.e. in the course of its construction) and binding pervades the riddle, being most strongly pointed in line 2. For ligare of binding or chaining up, cf. in addition to Sil. loc. cit., Tac. Ger. 39.3 ‘vinculo ligatus’ and, preparatory to a man’s judicial beating, Gel. 12.3.1 ‘crura . . . et manus ligari vincirique . . . solita sint’. nexa . . . ferro: nectere is used of making chains e.g. at Pliny Ep. 9.28.4 ‘iam tibi compedes nectimus’; cf. Porph. at Hor. Carm. 1.29.5 ‘catenae ipsae enim nexibus


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quibusdam constant’. It is used of binding with chains in Sil. loc. cit.; cf. Ovid Am. 2.2.41 ‘adspicis indicibus nexas per colla catenas?’ S. uses it in its compound form metaphorically of ice at Aenig. 10.2 ‘nunc rigidi caeli duris connexa catenis’. The metonymical ferro is paralleled e.g. by Tib. 2.6.26 ‘crura sonant ferro’, Cic. Ver. 5.107 ‘homines . . . in ferrum . . . coniectos’. 2 vincior ipsa prius, sed vincio vincta vicissim: vincior (passive) is picked up by the active vincio, followed by vincta. The v alliteration and c sound continue in vicissim, the meaning of which (‘in turn’) balances prius to create an interlocking arrangement: ‘vincior . . . prius . . . vincio . . . vicissim’; cf. below on the structure of line 3. Vincire is usual of binding with chains or other bonds; cf. e.g. Sil. loc. cit., Caes. Gal. 1.53.5 ‘trinis catenis vinctus’, Verg. A. 11.81 ‘vinxerat et post terga manus’, Manil. 1.923; see OLD2 s.v. vincio §1a. Hence vincio here; but it is also used of fastening the links of a chain together (thus vincior and vincta): cf. Rut. Lup. 1.13 ‘quem ad modum catenam multi inter se circuli coniuncti vinciunt’. 3 et solvi multos, nec sum tamen ipsa soluta: et solvi cMγ(exsolvi L): sed solvi AβD(praeter E): cum solbam E. Exsolvi (cf. Apul. Met. 7.10 ‘vinculis exsolvunt virginem’) is an easy copying error. Sed is repetitive after sed in line 2. E might reflect an attempted emendation. Ironically, as well as binding others, the chain can also unbind them, but it cannot itself be unbound. The line is carefully constructed within itself (et is balanced by nec, solvi by soluta and multos (many) by the singular ipsa), but also corresponds and contrasts with lines 1–2: ‘et solvi multos’ (start of line 3) recalls and counters ‘multos habitura ligatos’ (end of line 1) while ‘nec sum . . . soluta’ (end of line 3) recalls the sense, if not the words, of ‘nexa ligor’ (start of line 1). ‘Vincior ipsa’ (start of line 2) is meanwhile picked up by ‘ipsa soluta’ (end of line 3) and the opposition of positive and negative and active and passive pervades. This interweaving possibly reflects the inter-linked nature of a chain. solvi . . . nec sum . . . soluta: for solvere of undoing chains, cf. Ovid Met. 3.700 ‘nullo solvente catenas’, [Tib.] 3.11.15–16, Rhet. Her. 4.51 ‘sicut . . . belua soluta ex catenis’; see L-S s.v. solvo §IA1a, OLD2 s.v. solvo §5a.

6 A tile The earth provided my body, fire my strength. I am born of the earth; my seat is always in the sky, and a wave of water washes over me which quickly leaves me. MSS: A βc αdeEFHMNOQRSZ gGhIsVX le. tegula AcD (de tegula OR)γ: tegulae β. While continuing the house and household theme beginning with Aenig. 4, this riddle on a roof tile looks ahead (with Aenig. 7, see below) to a section on the weather it would protect against. This weather, appropriately wintry given the Saturnalia’s date (see Introduction (3)(a) section A), is of increasing



severity: cloud (Aenig. 8), rain (Aenig. 9), ice (Aenig. 10), snow (Aenig. 11). All the epigrams relate to water, in one or other state. According to Pliny Nat. 7.195 ‘tegulas invenit Cinyra . . . in insula Cypro’. Those in this riddle are terracotta (note terra, line 1), but other substances were also used, e.g. marble (see Kl.P. V.1533.8 ff. s.v. Ziegel [W. Zschietzschmann]). The tile manufacturer (a tegularius: CIL X.3729, 6637) would probably also have made bricks and pipes. The variant tegulae here perhaps arose from the reflection that a roof comprises many tiles, but the singular is common (cf. e.g. Mart. 7.36.1–4, esp. 3–4 ‘quae posset subitos effundere nimbos,/ . . . tegula’, Juv. 3.201–2 ‘quem tegula . . . tuetur/ a pluvia’) and the plural does not agree with the singulars mihi (line 1) and nascor (line 2), and the other lemmata. (Only Aenig. 77 rotae and 78 scalae are plural, and they describe multiple components of what is in effect a single entity.) On the corrupt preposition in ‘de tegula’, see Aenig. 1 le. n. On tiles in general, see G. Brodribb, Roman Brick and Tile, Gloucester 1987, esp. 5–33. 1 terra mihi corpus, vires mihi praestitit ignis: cf. Enn. Varia 51 Vahlen ‘terra corpus est, at mentis ignis est’, Lucil. 28.789 ‘γῆ corpus . . . est’. Terra and ignis possibly introduce the four elements; note also air (‘in alto’, line 2) and water (umor, line 3); cf. Cic. Ac. 1.26 ‘itaque aer . . . et ignis et aqua et terra prima sunt’. The tile’s personification possibly reflects the Empedoclean idea that living creatures, including man (cf. Isid. Orig. 11.1.16), comprise the four elements (see e.g. W.K. Guthrie, The Greek Philosophers, London 1967 repr., 51 ff.), but the riddle is also consistent to some extent with the earlier, Heraclitean principle of constant flux and strife which maintains cosmic order. Note that despite the opposition of terra and ‘in alto’ at the start and close of line 2, the four elements in fact all operate together to establish the tile’s identity and being. This collaboration is perhaps underlined by the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ usage of praestitit, and that umor in line 3 has no effect on the strength-giving ignis in line 1. For Heraclitus’ liking for paradoxical, oracular or riddling expressions, see Guthrie op. cit. 43; cf. Pease at Cic. N.D. 1.74. See generally also OCD4 s.v. Heraclitus [M.C. Nussbaum and M. Schofield]. There is, of course, an element of the ridiculous in presenting a domestic tile in a philosophical context. The words in each half of this chiastic line balance and mirror those in the other: terra:ignis; mihi:mihi; corpus:vires. terra mihi corpus . . .: as well as referring to the element earth, terra is regularly used for clay: cf. Tib. 2.3.48 ‘ficta . . . Cumana lubrica terra rota’, Pliny Nat. 28.194 ‘terra Samia’, Vitr. 2.3.1 ‘primum de lateribus, qua de terra duci eos oporteat, dicam’. In keeping with the tile’s anthropomorphization, corpus here means ‘body’ (cf. Lucil. 26.635 ‘physici . . . constare hominem ex anima et corpore dicunt’ and see on ‘de terra nascor’, line 2) but it also designates the tile’s ‘substance’. See OLD2 s.v. corpus §11. vires mihi . . . ignis: superficially this refers to the hardening and strengthening by firing in the kiln,3 but for the Heraclitean associations of ignis and vires, cf. Cic. N.D. 3

On tile kilns, see e.g. Alan McWhirr, ‘Roman tile-kilns in Britain’ in Alan McWhirr (ed.), Roman Brick and Tile. Studies in Manufacture, Distribution and Use in the Western Empire, Oxford 1979, 97–190.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

3.35 ‘omnia . . . solent ad igneam vim referre Heraclitum . . . sequentes’ and 2.24 ‘omne . . . quod vivit . . . vivit propter inclusum in eo calorem. ex quo intellegi debet eam caloris naturam vim habere in se vitalem.’ 2 de terra nascor; sedes est semper in alto Aγ: est domus in alto sedes est semper in imo/alto vel sim. BDghV. Of modern editors, only Glorie follows the variant, which he emends to ‘est domus in imo, sedes est semper in alto’, but this lacks both the philosophical allusion and personifying force of ‘de terra nascor’, words which reiterate the beginning of line 1. de terra nascor: these words perhaps recall the universal Earth Mother (cf. e.g. Apul. Met. 6.10 ‘terrae omniparentis’, Prec. Ter. 1), but given the personification of this tile, they may also hint at the story of Prometheus, both god of potters and creator of man from clay; see on Aenig. 81.1 below; cf. Mart. 14.101.1 ‘vili calices de pulvere natos’. For nascor used in this way to indicate origin, see OLD2 s.v. nascor §9a. For the theme of parentage in the Aenigmata, see Aenig. 92 le. n. sedes est semper in alto perhaps suggests divine immortality. If so, this would contrast humorously with the domestic roof-tile’s humble and earthly origins. For sedes of the gods’ heavenly abode, see OLD2 s.v. sedes §5b; cf. Hor. Carm. 3.3.33–4 ‘lucidas . . . sedes’; with ‘in alto’, cf. e.g. Verg. A. 1.297 ‘Maia genitum demittit ab alto’; see OLD2 s.v. altum §2a. 3 et me perfundit qui me cito deserit umor: perfundit must here mean something like ‘to flood’ or ‘to wash over’; cf. OLD2 s.v. perfundo §3a. The water is not absorbed, as Ohl’s ‘drenches’ might suggest. The quick run-off is illustrated by the use of dactyls in the second hemistich and the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ umor. For umor used of rain without qualification, cf. Verg. G. 1.70 ‘ne deserat umor harenam’, a line to which S. is possibly alluding here. Contrast e.g. Lucr. 6.495–6 ‘pluvius . . . umor’. Umor is used of the element water at Lucr. 5.249.

7 Smoke Tears I have indeed, but there is in me no cause for grief. My passage is to Heaven, but the weighty air hinders me; and the one who gave me birth is not born himself without me. MSS: A βcL αdeEFHMNOQRSZ gGhIsVX le. fumus: Cf. AP 14.5, a riddle which also deals with smoke: εἰμὶ πατρὸς λευκοῖο μέλαν τέκος, ἄπτερος ὄρνις, ἄχρι καὶ οὐρανίων ἱπτάμενος νεφέων· κούραις δ’ ἀντομένῃσιν ἀπενθέα δάκρυα τίκτω· εὐθὺ δὲ γεννηθεὶς λύομαι εἰς ἀέρα.



I am the black child of a white father; a wingless bird, flying even to the clouds of heaven. I give birth to tears free from mourning in youths meeting me, and having been born I am at once dissolved into air.

Aenig. 7. continues the house and household theme by suggesting the hearth: smoke from confined domestic fires would have been particularly likely to cause the lacrimae of line 1.4 It is linked to Aenig. 6 by its lemma, which recalls ignis in Aenig. 6.1; note also nascitur (Aenig. 7.3) and nascor (Aenig. 6.2). Like Aenig. 6 it leads into the next section, since fires are appropriate to winter weather. Ohl, le. n., cites several proverbial expressions concerning smoke, but no equivalent to our (metaphorical) ‘there’s no smoke without fire’ (cf. line 3). Note, however, Pl. Cur. 53 ‘flamma fumo est proxima’. See too Cic. Part. 34 ‘argumentum quod numquam aliter fit certumque declaret, ut fumus ignem’ and Otto s.vv flamma §2 and ignis §7. 1 sunt mihi, sunt lacrimae, sed non est causa doloris: the almost unanimous MS tradition affords no justification for doubting this difficult line. Bergamin understands mihi as ‘dativus auctoris’ but the second hemistich (with which mihi must be taken too) suggests that the dative is possessive with a pregnant sense: the smoke ‘has tears’ in that it can prompt them in others but it does not have the ability to induce mourning or grief. The line may allude ironically to Verg. A. 1.462 ‘sunt lacrimae rerum’; cf. Introduction (3) (e). Here, in contrast, human suffering is of prime importance; cf. e.g. Verg. A. 2.3 ‘infandum . . . dolorem’, 6–8 ‘quis talia fando . . . temperet a lacrimis’. This allusion is perhaps emphasized by the repeated sunt before sed: tears there may be, but. . . . For smoke as the cause of tears, cf. e.g. Ovid Met. 10.6 ‘lacrimoso . . . fumo’, Hor. Serm. 1.5.80; also Pl. Mos. 891 ‘Ph. oculi dolent. Ad. cur? Ph. quia fumus [i.e. foolish talk] molestus est.’ With ‘sed non est causa doloris’, cf. AP 14.5.3 ἀπενθέα δάκρυα. 2 est iter ad caelum, sed me gravis inpedit aer: the first half of the line (impersonal verb) contrasts with the second. Inpedit perhaps picks up on iter (‘course to be followed’, ‘route’; cf. OLD2 s.v. iter §5c), combining humorous personification with word-play: the fumus does not have feet (pedes) for the air to impede. The oxymoron ‘gravis . . . aer’ accords with the nature of riddles. Presumably the air is ‘heavy’ in comparison with the smoke, which would rise to Heaven faster or more easily were the air not there. Contrast Sen. Nat. 5.3.1 ‘cum aer nubilo gravis est’, where the air is heavy with cloud. est iter ad caelum: cf. Verg. A. 9.239–40 ‘ad sidera fumus/ erigitur’, 12. 592 ‘vacuas it fumus ad auras’, AP 14.5.2, quoted above, Sen. Nat. 2.24.1 ‘cum dicatis ignis hanc esse naturam ut petat superiora’. 3 et qui me genuit sine me non nascitur ipse: ‘me genuit’, in the first half-line, is balanced by ‘sine me . . . nascitur’ in the second. Nascitur is alliterative after non. Ipse picks up qui. 4

For smokeless wood for burning on open country hearths, see my note at Mart. 13.15 le. ligna acapna.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

Similar to the ‘genuit . . . non nascitur’ paradox are such lines as Aenig. 29(31).1 ‘vita mihi mors est; morior si coepero nasci’ and (less comparable) 15.1 ‘non possum nasci, si non occidero matrem’. Cf. too Appendix (a) below: ‘mater me genuit, eadem mox gignitur ex me’. Giving birth and being born are very human activities, furthering the smoke’s personification; cf. AP 14.5.1 τέκος, 3 τίκτω, 4 γεννηθείς quoted above. The Aenigmata often refer to parturition and parentage: see Aenig. 92 le. n.

8 Cloud In appearance I am night but I am not black in colour, and yet at mid-day I bring the darkness with me, and neither do the stars give light to me nor Cynthia illumination. MSS: A βcL αdeEFHMNOQRSZ gGhIsV le. nebula: natural phenomena occur in riddles from earliest times (cf. Forster 42), but those in the series of weather riddles which begins here and ends with Aenig. 11 nix are particularly suited to the seasonal conditions of the Saturnalia; cf. Aenig. 6 le. n. above. Given this riddle’s content, ‘fog’ might translate nebula better here; cf. Livy 10.32.6 ‘nebula erat . . . densa adeo ut lucis usum eriperet’, but ‘cloud’ leads more naturally on to pluvia in Aenig. 9 (cf. Tac. Ag. 12.3 ‘caelum crebris imbribus ac nebulis foedum’), and possibly follows more naturally after fumus in Aenig. 7. Fumus and nebula are often associated; cf. e.g. Lucr. 6.104 ‘nebulae fumique volantes’, Verg. G. 2.217, A. 8.257–8. Ovid uses nebula of smoke at Tr. 5.5.31; cf. Pers. 5.181 ‘pinguem nebulam vomuere lucernae’. 1 nox ego sum facie, sed non sum nigra colore: the nebula is paradoxically both like and unlike night (‘sum . . . non sum’): it causes night-like conditions (see OLD2 s.v. nox §5a) but is grey. The arrangement of n and c sounds (‘nox . . . facie . . . non . . . nigra colore’) binds the contrasting line-halves. nox ego sum facie: cf. Ovid Met. 1.602–3 ‘et noctis faciem nebulas fecisse volucres/ sub nitido mirata [sc. Juno] die’. Contrast Aenig. 67.3 ‘noctibus in mediis faciem non perdo dierum’. sed non sum nigra colore: for the blackness of night, cf. Verg. A. 7.414 ‘nigra . . . nocte’, 1.89 ‘nox . . . atra’, 6.272, Tac. Ger. 43.5 ‘atras . . . noctes’. 2 inque die media tenebras tamen adfero mecum: cf. Petr. 114.1 ‘nubesque undique adductae obruere tenebris diem.’ inque die media: the ablative alone is sufficient in classical Latin to indicate a ‘point in time’. Some editors (e.g. Heumann, Migne) would therefore emend to ‘diem mediam’, but this would suggest that the nebula starts bringing darkness at an earlier time and



does it right up to mid-day. Note also Sen. Ben. 5.6.3 ‘in luce media’. For in with the ablative in late Latin, see L-H-Sz II.148. (Other ‘late’ usages in S. are listed in Introduction (2) n. 32.) Dies is used in the feminine as early as Virgil and Ovid: L-H-Sz II.10. tenebras tamen adfero mecum: tenebrae is commonly used of night-time darkness: see OLD2 s.v. tenebrae §1b, L-S s.v. tenebrae §1.B.1. Its juxtaposition with ‘die media’ is calculated, and reinforced by the alliteration and postponement of tamen. Tamen means something like ‘just the same’, ‘yet’, contrasting with the fact that the nebula is nevertheless not black (nigra, line 1). See OLD2 s.v. tamen §4. Adferre is more usual of bringing light or lamps than darkness; cf. e.g. Enn. Ann. 1.35 Skutsch ‘anus attulit . . . lumen’, Tib. 1.9.42 ‘multa lumina nocte tuli’. This deliberate reversal is pointed by the appearance of lumen in line 3. 3 nec mihi dant stellae lucem nec Cynthia lumen: the word ‘Cynthia’ was originally an epithet of Diana (cf. N-R at Hor. Carm. 3.28.12), who came to be associated with the moon: see Edward O’Neill, ‘Cynthia and the Moon’, CPh 53 (1958), 1–2. Its metonymical use of the moon is found also e.g. at Ovid Her. 18.74 ‘si dubitas, caecum, Cynthia, lumen habes.’ Here it introduces varietas to the line’s parallel arrangement: ‘nec . . . stellae (noun) . . . nec Cynthia (metonym) . . .’. lucem . . . lumen D(praeter E)γ: lumen . . . lucem ABE: lumen . . . nocte Shackleton Bailey. The D reading is perhaps supported by the juxtaposition of lumen and Cynthia in the Heroides, cited above. Although rightly rejected as unnecessary by Bergamin, Shackleton Bailey’s nocte (1979, 38) is nonetheless attractive. Being the last word in the riddle, it recalls nox (first word) in a variation of Umklammerungstechnik (common in epigram: see E. Siedschlag, Zur Form von Martials Epigrammen, Berlin 1977, 123–4; cf. Aenig. 60.1–3 ‘dentibus . . . dentis’), its first syllable perhaps recalls nec at the beginning of the line, and while avoiding the repetitious ‘lucem . . . lumen’, it contrasts with ‘die media’ in line 2. Further, it emphasizes the nebula’s opening claim, that it is both like night (in appearance: facie) and unlike it, perhaps even suggesting that, although not black, it is even darker than night because it obscures rather than is lightened by the moon and stars.

9 Rain I come from on high having glided down in a long fall. I have dropped from the sky, sent down through the mid-air; but the bosom receives me which at the same time itself sends me back. MSS: A βcL αdeEFHMNORSZ gGhIsVX le. pluvia: this riddle, which continues the weather sequence, follows naturally after the nebula of Aenig. 8. Medias in line 2 recalls media (Aenig. 8.2), and both riddles refer to the heavens or heavenly bodies.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

1 ex alto venio longa delapsa ruina: cf. Ovid Met. 3.101–2 ‘ecce viri fautrix superas delapsa per auras/ Pallas adest’ with Bömer, Verg. A. 7.620 ‘regina deum caelo delapsa’, Cic. Har. Resp. 62 ‘deus . . . delapsus de caelo’. Also [Quint.] Decl. 10.14 ‘ut numen et deus delabi sideribus et venire de . . . aere videbatur’: while describing rainfall, these words humorously suggest an epiphany or at any rate ‘the miraculous . . . arrival of [a] wonderful gift from heaven’ which ‘the recipient has done nothing to earn’: so Hollis on Ovid Ars 1.43 ‘delapsa per auras’. ex alto venio: cf. Aenig. 6.2 ‘in alto’ above. For venire of rain, cf. Pl. Mos. 111 ‘venit imber’, Cic. Top. 39 ‘aqua pluvia . . . de caelo veniens’. longa delapsa ruina: ruina is common of rainfall and the like. Cf. Sil. 1.251 ‘excipere insanos imbres caelique ruinam’ (note excepit, line 3, caelo, line 2), Verg. A. 1.129 ‘caelique ruina’, Lucr. 6.156–7 ‘ruina/ grandinis’. With delapsa, cf. lapsus (Aenig. 11.1) of snowfall. Elsewhere delabi is used not of rainfall but water run-off: Var. R. 1.29.2 ‘et [sc. boves] sulcant fossas quo pluvia aqua delabatur’, Cic. de Orat. 3.180 ‘ex utraque tecti parte aqua delaberetur’. 2 de caelo cecidi medias demissa per auras: this line corresponds with line 1 in its word-order: preposition (ex, de); noun or substantive (alto, caelo); verb (venio, cecidi); adjective (longa, medias); participle (delapsa, demissa); noun (ruina, auras). de caelo cecidi: the c alliteration is prominent. With caelo, cf. Cic. Top. 39, Sil. 1.251 and Verg. A. 1.129, quoted above. For cado, commonly of rainfall, see OLD2 s.v. cado §2c; cf. Verg. Ecl. 6.38, Lucr. 6.415, Sen. Nat. 1.3.5 ‘pluviae cadentis’. It is used of snow at Mart. 4.2.5. medias demissa per auras: demissa s: dimissa cβX(-as A): transmissa LDγ. In support of transmissa, Bergamin cites Col. 3.12.3 (of rain passing through loose soil) and Pliny Nat. 18.110, but the rain in this riddle is coming down through the sky. With demissa (cf. the nonsensical dimissa), Shackleton Bailey compares Lucr. 6.496–7 ‘in terras demissus ut imber/ decidat’ (1979, 38); cf. also Verg. G. 1.23 ‘[sc. di deaeque . . . qui] caelo demittitis imbrem’. medias . . . per auras: cf. Ovid Met. 10.717, a passage S. might be echoing since the words do not appear elsewhere. 3 sed sinus excepit qui me simul ipse remittit: me codd.: se Shackleton Bailey; remittit S: recepit vel sim. codd. reliqui. All modern editors except Bergamin print recepit. This has caused them difficulty in interpreting the line: see Bergamin ad loc. for a review of their efforts. Of these Shackleton Bailey (1979, 38) rightly thinks that the line refers to the rain cycle but, comparing e.g. Manil. 2.75 ‘pontus [sc. alit] gravidas nubes’, takes sinus to refer to the sea, which receives back its own when the rain has fallen. Note too Lucr. 6.627–30, describing the process of evaporation from the sea to make rain clouds. His emendation se is nonetheless stylistically uncharacteristic of the



Aenigmata, since it requires me to be understood, whereas S. does not ask his readers to supply words in this way; cf. Aenig. 48.2 n. below. It is more productive to focus on recepit. Ohl comments ad loc. with regard to ‘excepit . . . recepit’ that S. is especially fond of word-play in the third line but is wrong to assert that this usually embraces two compounds of the same verb. Instead it generally takes the form of complex–simplex pairing: see the examples cited at Aenig. 12.2. Instead Bergamin is probably correct to suggest that recepit may have arisen through homoeoteleuton with excepit. She also understands the line to refer to the water cycle, but takes sinus to refer to the bosom (seno) of the earth which receives the rain from the sky and then returns it. In support of remittit she cites Verg. G. 2.218 ‘et bibit umorem et, cum vult, ex se ipsa remittit’, Sen. Nat. 3.6.1 ‘quidam existimant quicquid ex imbribus terra concepit, id illam rursus emittere’, 3.5.1 ‘quidam iudicant terram, quicquid aquarum emisit, rursus accipere’. sed sinus excepit: for sinus of the earth’s bosom, cf. Col. 4.1.4. ‘hospitali atque . . . materno sinu [sc. terrae]’, Pliny Nat. 2.166, Sen. Her. F. 260. Rain is received into the earth’s lap also at Lucr. 1.250–1 ‘postremo pereunt imbres, ubi eos pater aether/ in gremium matris terrai praecipitavit’ and Verg. G. 2.325–6 ‘tum pater omnipotens fecundis imbribus Aether/ conuigis in gremium laetae descendit’. For excipio of catching falling rain, cf. the references at OLD2 s.v. excipio §12a, e.g. Cic. Brut. 43 ‘hunc . . . aiunt . . . excepisse sanguinem patera’ (of catching sacrificial blood).

10 Ice Once I was water, which I believe I will soon be. Now, bound together with the harsh chains of an unbending sky, I can suffer being trod on and I cannot be held uncovered. MSS: A βcL αdeEFHMNOQRSZ gGhIsVX le. glacies: this riddle continues the weather sequence starting at Aenig 8. Ice, i.e. frozen water, follows naturally after rain; cf. on line 1 below. Note also caeli, line 2, which recalls caelo, Aenig. 9.2; and cf. the heavenly bodies in Aenig. 8.3: stellae, Cynthia. Catenis, line 2, might link with Aenig. 5 catena. That the same substance, water, could paradoxically be both liquid and solid makes ice a natural subject for a riddle. Cf. Appendix (a). This riddle is to some extent comparable with the commonplace of walking or driving on ice (cf. line 3), which once was water (cf. line 1) and therefore supported ships; cf. Ovid Tr. 3.10.31–2 ‘quaque rates ierant, pedibus nunc itur, et undas/ frigore concretas ungula pulsat equi’, Verg. G. 3.362, AL 531–42 Riese disticha de glaciali aqua. 1 unda fui quondam, quod me cito credo futuram: fui is picked up by futurum, and the two ‘f ’ words embrace the ‘qu- . . . qu- . . . c- . . . c-. . .’ arrangement, where quondam is balanced by cito. The diaeresis after cito and the c alliteration emphasize the speed with which ice melts.


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unda fui quondam: cf. Aenig. 50.1 ‘herba fui quondam’. The formula ‘I was once . . . [sc. but now . . .]’ appears several times in the Palatine Anthology (cf. AP 9.162.1, of a pen: ἤμην . . . κάλαμος and see Niall Rudd, The Satires of Horace, Cambridge 1966, 68), and was taken over by the Latin poets; cf. Harrison at Verg. A. 10.230–1. S. continues the tradition. In addition to Aenig. 50.1, cf. 56.1–2, 91 and 93. For unda of water as opposed to a wave, see OLD2 s.v. unda §4; cf., with pluvia (Aenig. 9 le.), Ovid Met. 1.82 ‘pluvialibus undis’. 2 nunc rigidi caeli duris connexa catenis: rigidi vel sim. BDγ: frigidi AX. The colourless minority reading may be an attempted emendation or a subconscious scribal alteration. Rigidi corresponds with duris (thus allowing a balance of noun–adjective pairs around the caesura: ‘rigidi . . . caeli’, ‘duris . . . catenis’), it regularly means ‘stiff with snow/ice’ (OLD2 s.v. rigidus §2a) and is similarly used e.g. at Sen. Med. 715 ‘rigida . . . bruma’. Cf. also Sen. Dial. 3.11.3 describing the hardy Germans who have no ‘suffugia adversus perpetuum caeli rigorem’. Ohl overstates in commenting ad loc. that S.’s ‘striking and apt figure [i.e. of the chains of a stiff sky] seems to be quite original’ (see below), but it is undoubtedly poetic. duris connexa catenis: here, in contrast to line 1, the c alliteration after duris (and note also caeli) possibly helps suggest the hardness of ice. Durus can mean ‘frozen solid’ (cf. Livy 21.36.8 ‘in dura et alta concreta glacie’, Ovid Tr. 3.10.39 quoted below) but has also the sense ‘harsh’ or ‘pitiless’ (OLD2 s.v. durus §5c). Compare Pl. Men. 975 ‘frigus durum’, Cic. Scaur. 25 ‘durissima . . . hieme’, Caes. Gal. 7.8.2 ‘durissimo tempore anni . . .’ . With connexa, cf. Prop. 4.3.47–8 ‘cum pater altas/ adstrictam in glaciem frigore nectit aquas’. The idea of chains of ice recurs at Petr. 123.188 ‘undarum vincula rupit’ (cf. 187 ‘nimbos . . . ligatos’); cf. Ovid Pont. 3.1.15 ‘tu glacie freta vincta tenes’. 3 et calcata pati possum nec nuda teneri Baehrens: nec (ne Q) . . . nec codd. Pati and teneri correspond. Both depend on possum, but one is deponent while the other is passive. The participial calcata balances and contrasts with the adjectival nuda. The p and n alliteration affords further balance. Also parallel and contrasting are et and nec. Baehrens’ emendation is necessary because ice can be and is trampled. For the ‘et . . . nec’ and similar combinations, see ThLL V(2).889.48 ff. s.v. et [Hofmann]. et calcata pati possum: cf. Ovid Tr. 3.10.39–40 ‘durum calcavimus aequor,/ undaque non udo sub pede summa fuit’ of the frozen Black Sea, Sen. Her. F. 535 ‘calcavit . . . freti terga rigentia’. For pati with the sense ‘endure’, see OLD2 s.v. patior §5a, L-S s.v. patior §I.A.1. It is combined with calcare at Claud. Carm. 3.375–6 ‘calcabitur asper/ Phasis equo pontemque pati cogetur Araxes’. Cf. also AL 534.1 Riese ‘unda rotam patitur celerem nunc passa carinam’. nec nuda teneri: nudus does not survive elsewhere of ice, but is regularly used of things like the bare ground; see OLD2 s.v. nudus §11; cf. Verg. Ecl. 1.15 ‘silice in nuda’. To protect themselves from cuts as well as cold, those handling ice would probably have worn gloves – although no examples survive and literary references to them are few: in addition to the manicae at Col. 1.8.18 and Pliny Ep. 3.5.15, gloves for heavy work are



cited by Palladius (Opus Agriculturae 1.42.4) and Ionas (Vita Columbari 1.15), and they are mentioned in defixiones from Bath (Tab. Sul. 5), Uley (see Britannia 27 (1996), 439 n. 1) and Radcliffe-on-Sea (see Britannia 35 (2004), 337 no. 3).5 The idea of gloves here would contrast well with the shod foot suggested by calcata (cf. calceus).

11 Snow Fine water dust which has fallen with moderate weight, melting in the sun, flowing in the summer, dry in the winter, about to make rivers, first I occupy whole lands. MSS: A βcL αdeHMNOQRSZ gGhIsVX le. nix: the D MSS place this riddle after Aenig. 12 (see Bergamin lxviii), but this would disrupt the meteorological sequence from Aenig. 8. Snow follows very naturally the ice of Aenig. 10 (a generic pair), and the riddle’s content, mentioning the different states of water or aqua (line 1), whether liquid or solid, is in accordance with Aenig. 10.1 ‘unda fui quondam, quod me cito credo futuram’. Snowfall in North Africa, whence S. possibly came (Introduction (1) and n. 22), was regular and not always confined to high ground. As well as Pease at Verg. A. 4.250 ‘nix umeros infusa teget’ (of Mount Atlas) and Pliny Nat. 5.14, see Peter Morris and Daniel Jacobs, The Rough Guide to Tunisia, 6th edn London 2001, xiv. 1 pulvis aquae tenuis: Ohl, 211, remarks on the poetic nature of this unparalleled description of snow, although cf., with Coleman’s note, Martial’s application of ‘watery dust’ to spray from the wheels of chariots at Sp. 34(30).5 ‘in aequoreo . . . pulvere’. Bergamin ad loc. compares Sen. Nat. 2.30.2, which describes sand ‘more nivis incidens’. With aquae Ohl compares Mart. 4.3.1 ‘densum tacitarum vellus aquarum’ in an epigram describing a snowfall in central Rome; cf. also 4.3.4 and 7, cited below. Since dust is dry (cf. line 2 ‘in frigore siccus’ of unmelted snow), the juxtaposition of pulvis and aquae is paradoxical. For tenuis (‘fine’), see OLD2 s.v. tenuis §5a. Bergamin cites several instances in Christian Latin where it qualifies dust, e.g. Vulg. Is. 29.5 ‘sicut pulvis tenuis’ and Cassiod. Expos. Psalm. 1.4 ‘pulvis tenuissimus’. These might support a late date for S. (see Introduction (2) and n. 34), but cf. also, from the second century, Apul. Apol. 6.10 ‘tenuem candificum . . . pulvisculum’ of tooth powder. modico cum pondere lapsus: modico accords with the juxtaposed tenuis. For labor of slipping or gliding down through the air, see OLD2 s.v. labor1 §1b; cf. delapsa, Aenig. 9.1, of rain. 2 sole madens, aestate fluens, in frigore siccus: this three-part line is unusual. S. generally has a third-foot caesura, as in lines 1 and 3; cf. Introduction (3)(d) and see


My thanks to Miss Lindsay Allason-Jones.


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n. 122 (other three-part lines). He is possibly trying to demarcate the seasons (spring, summer, autumn) and emphasize the contrast between frigore after sole and aestate (all nouns), and siccus (an adjective) after madens and fluens (both participles). sole madens: cf. Ovid Her. 13.52 ‘more nivis lacrimae sole madentis eunt’; see ThLL VIII.34.62 ff. s.v. madeo [Richter]. For sol indicating the end of winter (and therefore the beginning of spring), cf. Ovid Trist. 4.7.1 ‘bis me sol adiit gelidae post frigora brumae’. aestate fluens partly repeats ‘sole madens’, although with the onset of summer the thaw will have advanced. Fluere survives of meltwater also at Luc. 4.83–4 ‘Pyrenaeae . . . fluxere nives’; cf. Ovid Fast. 2.219–20 ‘torrens . . . auctus nive . . . fluit’. in frigore siccus: siccus comes close here to meaning ‘solid’. It is used of snow also at Mart. 4.3.7 ‘siccis . . . aquis’. Contrast Ovid Am. 3.6.106 ‘sicca . . . hiemps’ of a winter without rain or snow. For frigus meaning ‘winter’, see OLD2 s.v. frigus §2b. It is contrasted with aestas again at Verg. Ecl. 2.22 and Pliny Nat. 2.152. Cf. also Ovid Tr. 4.1.57–8 ‘aestu numerabis aristas,/ poma per autumnum frigoribusque nives’. The juxtaposition of frigus and siccus is paradoxical. The use of the ablative with in is a feature of late Latin: see L-H-Sz II.148. Other ‘late’ features in S. are listed in Introduction n. 32. 3 flumina facturus totas prius occupo terras: cf. Petr. 123.189–90 ‘incaluere nives. mox flumina montibus altis/ undabant modo nata’. The line is carefully composed: flumina, at the beginning, is balanced by terras at the end: while being about to make a liquid, the snow paradoxically occupies the (non-liquid) earth. This balance is also present in the f alliteration (emphasizing the river) and the countering t alliteration (emphasizing the earth). The f alliteration also recalls ‘. . . fluens, in frigore’ in line 2. This means that siccus (last word in line 2) is framed (‘fluens . . . frigore siccus/flumina facturus’) so that it contrasts pointedly with flumina (first word in line 3). Prius contrasts with the future participle facturus, which, in turn, recalls and qualifies the present participles madens and fluens in line 2. With ‘flumina facturus’, cf. Sen. Nat. 3.11.6 ‘pluvia potest facere torrentem’, although he goes on to say that, while able to make a torrent, rain cannot make an evenly flowing river. With occupo here, cf. Fest. 43M ‘frigoribus occupatas terras incolunt’, and Fest. 131M, dig. 18.6.7 pr. ‘ager . . . flumine occupatus’ and, where it is used of inundations.

12 A river and a fish There is a house in the earth which re-echoes with a clear voice. The house itself resounds, but the silent guest makes no sound. Nevertheless both guest and house run together at the same time.



MSS: A βcL αdeEHMNOQRSZ gGhIsVX le. flumen et piscis: this riddle is unusual in the Aenigmata in not having a personified first-person subject: see the introductory n. to Aenig. 96. It would be very difficult to solve without the lemma (cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C) and the likelihood is that it was a traditional one which S. has adopted (cf. Bergamin ad loc.; notable amongst the other traditional riddles in S. is Aenig. 31(30); cf. 20, 92, 93, 94, 96). It survives also at Hist. Apoll. 42, where it is explained: ‘domus quae in terris resonat unda est; hospes huius domus tacitus piscis est, qui simul cum domo currit’. Bergamin refers to later versions, commonly containing references to the arrival at the ‘house’ of ‘robbers’ (fishermen), the apertures of whose nets constitute the ‘windows’ by which the fish or ‘inhabitants’ go out. Rivers, fish – and, by implication, fishing – and ships (Aenig. 13) contrast with the winter weather of Aenig. 8–11, when activities both inland and on open water would cease. Flumen links with ‘flumina facturus’ at Aenig. 11.3. (Note also terris, line 1, which recalls terras, ibid.) Piscis prepares for the section on small creatures which begins at Aenig. 14. Ohl comments (le. n.) on the importance of fish in the Roman diet, and the high price which luxury fish could command; cf. Balsdon 37 and my edition of Mart. 13, index s.vv. ‘food: fish’. The poor would have eaten fish only if they lived near the coast or rivers (Balsdon 53), and refined taste preferred sea fish to freshwater: Marcius Philippus, for instance, consul in 56 BC, is said once at dinner to have spat out a freshwater fish in disgust: Var. R. 3.3.9, Col. 8.16.3–4. Therefore while fishing scenes are common in North African mosaics, these tend to depict sea-fishing. See e.g. Khader et al. plates 317, 322, 325, 328, 330, 353–4, 356. (For S.’s possible North African origins, see Introduction (1) and n. 22.) Although not exactly parallel, a fish and river riddle which contrasts earth and water survives at AP 14.23: Νηρέος ὄντα με παῖδα φέρει γαιήϊος υἱός, τὸν Στυγὸς ἱμερτοῖς νάμασι δυόμενον. A son of the earth bears me, the child of Nereus, being plunged in the lovely stream of the Styx. [I.e. a fish in its own juice (‘Styx’ because the fish is dead), contained in an earthenware vessel.]

1 est domus in terris: domus occurs regularly of an animal’s dwelling place: see on Aenig. 25.1 domus, referring to a mouse hole. At Aenig. 18.1 it is used of a snail’s shell but refers there to part of the animal itself rather than its habitat. It is paradoxical here that the fish’s abode, i.e. a river, is ‘in terris’. clara quae voce resultat: vox is applied indirectly to the noise of water at Ovid Fast. 6.9–10 ‘secretus ab omni/ voce locus, si non obstreperetur aquis’. Clarus here indicates loudness; cf. Cic. Clu. 134 ‘clara voce ut omnis contio audire posset dixit . . .’; see OLD2 s.v. vox §4b.


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Resultat is taken up by resonat, line 2, where other examples of running water are collected. Resonare and resultare survive together at Dracont. Romul. 8.356 ‘flumina tunc resonant, montes et lustra resultant.’ The domus or river here re-echoes with the noise it creates itself; contrast Pliny Paneg. 72–3 ‘resultantia/ vocibus tecta’, where the voices are not generated by the tecta. 2 ipsa domus resonat, tacitus sed non sonat hospes: ‘ipsa domus’ qualifies ‘est domus’ in line 1. Note the juxtaposition of resonat and tacitus round the third-foot caesura. Resonat is balanced by ‘non sonat’. S. often pairs complex and simplex forms of the same verb in a line (or two complex forms), although only here in line 2. Other examples of pairing are Aenig. 22.3 ‘gero . . . congero’, 49.3 ‘remanent . . . mansit’, 56.3 ‘dedita . . . condita’ and 59.3 ‘mittunt . . . remittor’. On the phenomenon, see R. Renehan, ‘Compound and simplex verbal iteration in Plautus’, CPh 72 (1977), 243, Charles Murgia, ‘Notes on Quintilian’, CQ 41 (1991), 210 n. 69. Also Jeffrey Wills, Repetition in Latin Poetry. Figures of Allusion, Oxford 1996, 436 ff. and Coleman at Mart. Sp. 26(22).9. Domus and hospes, identically placed in the line at Aenig. 30(29).1, recur in reversed order in line 3 below. At Aenig. 89.3 domus is used of a bath house, hospes of a bather. The fish is perhaps a guest here because it could go to or live in other rivers. ipsa domus resonat: similar words at Hor. Serm. 1.2.129 ‘pulsa domus strepitu resonet’, but a different context: a returning husband discovers his wife with a lover. With resonat of a river’s noise, cf. Verg. A. 9.124–5 ‘amnis/ rauca sonans’, 12.139 ‘fluminibusque sonoris’, 524 ‘dant sonitum . . . amnes’. Also, Dracont. Romul. 8.356, quoted above. tacitus . . . hospes: fish are conventionally silent: Ovid Met. 4.50 ‘tacitos . . . pisces’, Ars 3.325–6 ‘mutus . . . piscis’, Hor. Carm. 4.3.19 ‘mutis . . . piscibus’. Hence the ‘piscis vocalis’ of the River Clitorius in Arcadia was doubly marvellous. (Pliny, Nat. 9.70, records the phenomenon but does not vouch personally for it; Pausanius, 8.21.2, says that despite waiting there a long time he did not hear the fish perform.) Usually the domus would be silent, until the guest within it made a noise. 3 ambo tamen currunt hospes simul et domus una: ‘ambo tamen’ unifies house and fish after their differentiation in lines 1–2. Una is adverbial in meaning here, but in coming at the end of the line its numerical sense balances and contrasts with ambo at the beginning. Domus, near the end of the riddle, recalls the word’s appearance near the beginning; cf. at Aenig. 8.3 on Umklammerungstechnik. Currere is not generally applicable to a domus, but can be used of a river (OLD2 s.v. curro §4c; cf. Verg. A. 1.607 ‘in freta dum fluvii current’) and a fish or similar: OLD2 s.v. curro §3a; cf. Prop. 2.26.17 ‘sed tibi subsidio delphinum currere vidi.’ For the combination of simul and una, cf. Pl. Pers. 170 ‘quamquam ego vinum bibo, at mandata non consuevi simul bibere una’ and see H. Thomson, Pleonasmus bei Plautus und Terentius, Uppsala 1930, 102.



13 A ship Long, fast, daughter of a handsome wood, I am carried, pressed at the same time by numberless crowds of companions. I run along many courses leaving behind no footprints. MSS: A βcGu.L αdeFHMNOQRSZ gGhIVX le. navis: this riddle follows easily after the river and fish of Aenig. 12: note curro in line 3, which recalls currunt, Aenig. 12.3, and see on line 2 below. This particular ship is a warship: see on line 1 below. For Roman warships, see C. G. Starr, The Roman Imperial Navy, 2nd edn Cambridge 1960, 51–5, Michel Reddé, Mare Nostrum. Les infrastructures, le dispositif et l’histoire de la marine militaire sous l’empire Romain, Rome 1986, 11 ff., OCD4 s.v. navies [P. de Souza]. The first permanent Roman naval forces were established by Augustus soon after the battle of Actium. The fleets of the Roman Imperial navy originally comprised mostly triremes, but after the defeat of Licinius in AD 324 these were largely replaced by dromones, i.e. two-banked galleys. See generally L. Casson, Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World, Princeton 1971. 1 longa feror velox: for the ‘longa navis’, cf. Enn. Ann. sed. inc. 504 Skutsch ‘navibus longis’, Caes. Gal. 4.21.1 ‘cum navi longa’, Livy 21.17.5 ‘naves longae’; also e.g. Thuc. 1.41 νεῶν . . . μακρῶν. Although conducive to speed, length rendered ships unsuitable as merchantmen, and maintaining a specialist navy was expensive; cf. OCD4 s.v. navies [P. de Souza]. With velox, cf. Verg. A. 5.116 ‘velocem Mnestheus agit . . . Pristim’, Curt. 4.4.7 ‘velocitate inter ceteras eminens’ of the foremost Macedonian quinquereme. Both longa and velox, at the beginning and end of the half-line, have emphasis, perhaps reinforced by asyndeton. For feror, applied not to the sailors or passengers (as at Hor. Ep. 2.2.200 and Catul. 4.19) but the ship, borne over the water, cf. e.g. Lucr. 4.897 ‘navis velis ventoque feratur’. formosae filia silvae: note the f alliteration, also in feror. This is a grandiose phrase, befitting a superior vessel: formosae applies grammatically to silvae and woods can indeed be ‘handsome’, but the ship takes after its parent and so is also fine-looking and thus to be appreciated. For the personification, cf. Hor. Carm. 1.14.11–12 (of the Ship of State) ‘quamvis Pontica pinus/ silvae filia nobilis’ and see N-H ad loc., Lycophron Alexandria 24 (of Paris’ ship) αἱ φαλακραῖαι κόραι, Catul. 64.1 prognatae (of the Argo); also Mart. 14.90 ‘silvae filia Maurae’, of a table. With silvae, cf. Catul. 4.10–11 ‘ubi iste post phaselus antea fuit/ comata silva’. 2 innumeris pariter comitum stipata catervis vel sim. ADγ: innumera . . . stipante caterva B. S.’s allusion here to Verg. A. 1.497 ‘[sc. Dido] incessit magna iuvenum stipante caterva’ and 4.136 ‘tandem progreditur magna stipante caterva’ was ‘corrected’ by the B tradition, and is widely rejected by editors (Riese, Glorie, Shackleton Bailey, Bergamin; also Schenkl). Scholars have differed over the meaning of comitum. Ohl records three suggestions ad loc.: (a) fish, (b) other ships and (c) the beams and timbers of the ship (his favoured


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explanation). Against (c) one can object that filia in line 1 refers to the whole ship, not one of its timbers that is accompanied by others. Since Roman warships operated in fleets, (b) is possible, although see below. As for (a), there is nothing in the riddle to suggest fish, and supplying them directly from Aenig. 12 is forced. A possibility, however, which links more subtly with Aenig. 12, especially line 3 ‘ambo . . . currunt . . . simul . . . una’, is that the ship’s countless crowd of travelling companions are the waves on which it is borne (feror, line 1) and over which it sails: just as a fish ‘runs’ with the river, so the ship ‘runs’ (curro, line 3) on the sea. (Innumeris is picked up by multas.) The case for a link with Aenig. 12 overrules (b) and Bergamin’s further suggestion that the comites are passengers on the ship. 3 curro vias multas, vestigia nulla relinquens: the participial relinquens at the end of this chiastic line varies the active verb curro at the start. Note also the v alliteration (‘vias . . . vestigia’), the contrast between multas and nulla and the ‘v- . . . m- . . . v- . . . n-. . .’ alternation. curro vias multas: for currere used of ships travelling through water, see OLD2 s.v. curro §3a; cf. e.g. Hor. Serm. 1.1.29–30 ‘nautae . . . per omne/ audaces mare qui currunt’, Verg. A. 3.191 ‘vastum . . . cava trabe currimus aequor’. Via survives of sea-courses e.g. at Aetna 246 ‘scire vias maris’ and Stat. Silv. 5.1.242 ff. ‘ubi . . . puppis . . . invasit . . . vias’. Note also Homer Od. 9.261 ὁδόν and contrast ‘aerias . . . vias’ at Ovid Ars 2.44. The qualification multas is fully justified, since Roman quinqueremes probably lasted about twenty-five years under the Republic (Casson op. cit. 119–20) and, unless sunk or wrecked, ships under the Empire would have had a similar period for voyaging. For the considerable extent to which the navy was used under the Empire, see Starr op. cit. Chapter VIII. vestigia nulla relinquens: Bergamin compares e.g. Vulg. Sap. 5.10 ff.‘tamquam navis quae pertransit fluctuantem aquam cuius cum praeterierit non est vestigium invenire neque semitam carinae illius in fluctibus . . ., sic et nos . . .’ , although S. uses the image here without symbolic import. The juxtaposition of vestigia and nulla is emphatic. For the impermanence of marks on water in a wholly different context, cf. Catul. 70.3–4 ‘sed mulier cupido quod dicit amanti,/ in vento et rapida scribere oportet aqua’, with which Fordyce compares the Greek use of εἰς ὕδωρ γράφειν; see Otto s.v. aqua §5.

14 A chick in an egg I shall relate to you the extraordinary origins of my life: I had not yet been born nor was I now in my mother’s womb; though an offspring was already brought forth, no one saw me born. MSS: A βcGu.L αdeEFHMNOQRSZ gGhIsVX le. pullus in ovo: although not specifically part of this riddle, the question as to which came first, the chicken or the egg, was debated in antiquity (see Plutarch Mor.



635E–638A) and is suggested by the lemma. The chicken’s speaking before it has hatched adds paradox to its personification. S. may have had Mart. 13.40 ova in mind when writing this riddle. For S. and Martial see Introduction (3) Proem. Eggs played a prominent role in the Roman diet, being so much part of the gustatio as to feature in the proverbial ‘ab ovo . . . ad mala’ (cf. Hor. Serm. 1.3.6–7), describing the passage of the cena. Several recipes survive for chicken: see Apic. 236–51 Budé. Col. 8.2–7 deals with farmyard poultry. See too Var. R. 3.9.1 ff. This riddle introduces a series of small creatures (Aenig. 15–25), which is followed by a short series on birds beginning with Aenig. 26 grus. These small creatures therefore have a ‘bird’ frame. It is linked to the preceding riddle by filia (Aenig. 13.1), matris (Aenig. 14.2) and the theme of birth (common in S.: see Aenig. 92 le. n.). 1 mira tibi referam nostrae primordia vitae: this grandiose line (cf. ‘formosae filia silvae’, Aenig. 13.1) contrasts with the humble chick. As well as the interlocking of the noun–adjective pairs and the poetic plural nostrae, note the prominent position of mira and the loftiness of primordia; cf. Lucr. 1.55 ‘et rerum primordia pandam’, Ovid Met. 15.67–8 ‘magni primordia mundi . . . docebat [sc. Pythagoras]’. Also AL 429.5 ShB, where the poet rejects epic and tragic themes and ‘magni . . . primordia mundi’ for smaller undertakings. S. appears in this line, especially through referam, to be promising a lengthy and epic disquisition, and it is is bathetically humorous that just two verses follow. 2 nondum natus eram, nec eram iam matris in alvo: this line ignores the difference between oviparous and viviparous reproduction, but thereby achieves an attractive paradox: the chick had not yet been born because it is still in the egg, and yet it had been ‘born’ since the egg had been laid and the chick is therefore no longer in its mother’s womb. The paradox is reinforced by the contrast of nondum and iam and the parallel ‘natus eram’ and ‘nec eram’. Natus, matris and alvo all contribute here to the chick’s personification, despite their all being used elsewhere of animals or fowl. For nascor, cf. e.g. Col. 8.14.7 ‘anser trigesimo die nascitur’, for mater, cf. e.g. Juv. 11.70–1 ‘grandia . . . ova adsunt ipsis cum matribus’ and Mart. 7.31.1 ‘raucae chortis aves et ova matrum’, and for alvus, cf. e.g. Col. 8.11.5 ‘vix dum concepta in alvo vitiat [sc. pavo] ova’. nec eram iam matris in alvo B(praeter Gu.)αeEFMZIV (iam om. βαFMZ: tunc L): nec eram genetricis in alvo dHORSghX: nec fueram matris damnatus in alvo A: fueram nec matris in alvo Gu. A’s reading is unmetrical and makes difficult sense; Shackleton Bailey plausibly suggests that damnatus arose from an earlier corruption in the line to ‘matris iam matris’. Gu. restores the metre but the reversal of fueram and nec is uncharacteristic of S. and the sense remains problematic: the egg had been ‘in alvo’. Genetricis (in some D MSS) has initial appeal as lectio difficilior, but it would exclude the ‘nondum . . . iam’ balance. With ‘iam matris in alvo’ (in other D MSS), cf. Hor. Carm. 4.6.20 and Ovid Met. 1.420. L’s tunc is wrong, since the chick is talking about the present, in which the egg has been laid but not hatched.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

3 iam posito partu natum me nemo videbat: the line repeats the sense of line 2, but reverses the line-halves. This repetition, and especially that of natus, is emphatic. The initially rhyming partu and natum are tellingly juxtaposed since here, paradoxically, they indicate opposite states. The n alliteration in the second hemistich balances that of p in the first. Note also the repetition of m. posito partu: although continuing the chick’s personification here, partus is used several times of eggs elsewhere: see ThLL X.538.61 ff. s.v. partus [Kruse]; cf. Col. 8.5.5. ‘cum primum partum consummaverunt gallinae’. At Apul. Met. 9.33, the words ‘quae (gallina) multo iam tempore cotidianis nos partubus saginasti’ actually refer to the hen’s giving birth to a fully formed chick, but the reader does not know this until later. With posito, cf. Ovid Met. 8.258 of the partridge: ‘ponit . . . in saepibus ova’. nemo videbat: this possibly has a legal ring; cf. Juv. 16.29–30 ‘audeat ille/ nescio quis, pugnos qui vidit, dicere “vidi” ’, 7.13, Cic. Ver. 5.165; see OLD2 s.v. video §11a. Although the mother has been delivered of offspring, there is paradoxically no one who has witnessed and can therefore testify to the birth of a chick.

15 A viper I cannot be born without having killed my mother. I have killed my mother, but the same fate awaits me. My death allows that which my birth has now accomplished. MSS: A βcGu.L αdeEHMNORSZ gGhIsVX le. vipera: the word ‘viper’ was popularly derived from vis and pario: see Maltby s.v. vipera, citing Servius at Verg. G. 3.416: ‘vipera . . . species serpentis est, quae vi parit; nam corrosis eius lateribus exeunt pulli cum matris interitu’; cf. Isid. Orig. 12.4.10 ‘vipera dicta, quod vi pariat. Nam et cum venter eius ad partum ingemuerit, catuli non expectantes maturam naturae solutionem conrosis eius lateribus vi erumpunt cum matris interitu.’ This riddle allows S. to indulge his taste for etymologizing, in accordance with his probable scholastic background (for which see Introduction (3)(a) section C). The earliest surviving description by a classical author of the mating and procreation of vipers is Hdt 3.109: . . . ἐπεὰν θορνύωνται κατὰ ζεύγεα καὶ ἐν αὐτῇ ᾖ ὁ ἔρσην τῇ ἐκποιήσι, ἀπιεμένου αὐτοῦ τὴν γονὴν ἡ θήλεα ἅπτεται τῆς δειρῆς, καὶ ἐμφῦσα οὐκ ἀνίει πρὶν [ἂν] διαφάγῃ. ὁ μὲν δὴ ἔρσην ἀποθνῄσκει τρόπῳ τῷ εἰρημένῳ, ἡ δὲ θήλεα τίσιν τοιήνδε ἀποτίνει τῷ ἔρσινι· τῷ γονέϊ τιμωρέοντα ἔτι ἐν [τῇ] γαστρὶ ἐόντα τὰ τέκνα διεσθίει τὴν μητέρα, διαφαγόντα δὲ τὴν νηδὺν αὐτῆς οὕτω τὴν ἔκδυσιν ποιέεται. . . . when they pair off and the male is right at his climax, while he is discharging his seed, the female takes him by the neck and, having latched on, does not let go until she has eaten through it. So the male dies in the manner described; but for the male the



female pays a penalty of this kind: in avenging their father, the young eat their mother while still in her belly and by devouring her womb so make their exit.

Herodotus’ description of the male’s death differs slightly from Isidore’s, who records (Orig. 12.4.11) that it has its head bitten off by the female after it has inseminated her by spitting its seed down her throat. In fact the viperidae mate in the usual serpentine way and, although most species produce live young rather than laying eggs, the female neither kills the male after she has been fertilized nor dies during parturition. The viper in S.’s riddle, which accords with the classical tradition, is clearly female since it is to die in the same way as its mother (line 2). The succession of tenses might suggest a continuing cycle. Thus in line 1: present – (future) perfect; in line 2: perfect – present; in line 3: present (with future reference) – perfect. This riddle continues the series on small creatures introduced by Aenig. 14. It is connected to that riddle verbally and by the themes of birth, life and death: in addition to the etymological recollection by vipera of partu (Aenig. 14.3), note nasci, line 1 (natus, Aenig. 14.2; natum, 14.3; partu, 14.3); matrem, line 2 (matris, Aenig. 14.2); origo, line 3 (primordia, Aenig. 14.1); occidero, line 1; occidi, line 2; exitus, line 2; mors, line 3 (vitae, Aenig. 14.1). Like the chick’s, the viper’s birth is mira (Aenig. 14.1). For other treatments of parturition in S., see Aenig. 92 le. n. With the paradox in this riddle of life through death, cf. Aenig. 29(31) phoenix below. 2 occidi matrem, sed me manet exitus idem: ‘occidi matrem’ picks up ‘occidero matrem’, which closes line 1, thus confirming that the viper has killed its mother and has thus been born. This birth is counter-balanced by exitus at the line’s end. Ohl speculates (le. n.) that the viper’s ‘sublime ingratitude’ in killing its mother so that it can be born ‘gave rise to the proverbial use of the viper as a symbol of treachery.’ (He cites Cic. Har. 50 ‘in sinu . . . viperam . . . habere’, Petr. 77.2 ‘tu viperam sub ala nutricas’. See also Otto s.v. vipera §2.) Certainly parricide was regarded as one of the great taboo crimes (see e.g. Cic. S. Rosc. 70–1), and the traditional punishment was accordingly harsh: ‘poena parricidii more maiorum haec instituta est, ut parricida virgis sanguineis verberatus deinde culleo insuatur cum cane, gallo gallinaceo et vipera et simia: deinde in mare profundum culleus iactatur’ (Just. dig. 48.9.9). The matricidal manner of its birth might explain the inclusion of a viper in the sack: see E. H. Donkin, M. Tullii Ciceronis pro Sexto Roscio Amerino oratio ad iudices, Macmillan 1916, reprinted 1998, xxii–xxiv.6 3 id mea mors patitur quod iam mea fecit origo: id is picked up and balanced by quod after the caesura, and ‘mea mors’ finds balance and contrast in ‘mea . . . origo’. For origo of the birth of animals, cf. Pliny Nat. 1.10a ‘quorum animalium origo adhuc incerta sit’. The viper is resigned to its inevitable fate and is almost Stoic in its acceptance of it; cf. F. H. Sandbach, The Stoics, 2nd edn London 1989, 36.


For explanations as to the inclusion of the other animals, see xxiii.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

16 A bookworm Literature has nourished me, but I do not know what literature might be. I have lived in books, but I am not more learned in consequence. I have devoured the Muses, but I myself have not yet made progress. MSS: A βcGu.L αdeEFHMNORSZ gGhIsVX le. tinea is a loose term, applied to maggots, grubs, worms and other such creatures. Its application to bookworms is common; cf. Mart. 14.37 scrinium, of a book case: constrictos nisi das mihi libellos, admittam tineas trucesque blattas.

and see my notes ad loc. and Coleman at Stat. Silv. 4.9.10. The books referred to in this riddle would have been written on papyrus. E. G. Turner, Greek Papyri: an Introduction, Oxford 1980, plate 5 shows the worm holes in P. Oxy. 1803. While they posed a threat to all books (which were treated with cedar oil to protect them: Turner op. cit. 3), the consumption of unfashionable literature by bookworms was a topos (cf. Hor. Ep. 1.20.12, Ovid Pont. 1.1.72, Mart. 6.61(60).7 ‘quam multi tineas pascunt blattasque diserti’ with Grewing), and the personified bookworm’s assertion here that it has learned nothing from devouring them and the Muses possibly contains the suggestion by S. that his Aenigmata were of indifferent quality. For his selfdepreciation, see Aenig. Praef. 15–16 and Aenig. 1 le. n. Like the stylus in Aenig. 1 (see le. n.) the tinea here describes both what it is (here does) and what it is (here does) not; cf. Pavlovskis 272. The riddle continues the series on small animals: see at Aenig. 14 le. above. Vixi, line 2, recalls the theme of birth and death in Aenig. 15 and vitae at Aenig. 14.1. 1 littera me pavit, nec quid sit littera novi: the structure of this line (opening assertion in the first hemistich; qualification opening with nec in the second) recurs in lines 2 and 3. The bookworm’s devouring literature without profit recalls Juv. 3.207 ‘divina opici rodebant carmina mures’: see Mayor and Courtney on opici (‘barbarous, not knowing Greek’); with divina, cf. Musas in line 3. littera me pavit: there is a play on both littera and pavit. Littera (singular here for metrical reasons) might refer to literary works (see OLD2 s.v. littera §8) on which one might feed metaphorically; cf. e.g. Cic. Att. 4.10 ‘ego hic pascor bibliotheca Fausti’ and note also passages like Cic. Att. 7.3.2 ‘qui illos libros devorasti’ and Sen. Ep. 84.1 ‘alit lectio ingenium’. However, it also refers metonymically to the papyrus rolls which the worm literally eats: for pasco used of tineae, cf. Mart. 6.61(60).7 quoted above, Hor. Ep. 1.20.12 ‘tineas pasces . . . inertis’. At AP 9.251 the bookworm is addressed as σελιδηφάγη. The double meanings and the repetition of littera in the second hemistich underpin the paradox that although it feasts on letters the worm is still without learning.



nec quid sit littera novi: as well as ‘literature’ littera can also designate a letter of the alphabet (OLD2 s.v. littera §1): the suggestion might be that, while the worm has feasted on literature, it does not even know the alphabet. 2 in libris vixi: the tinea has lived literally in books by burrowing into them while eating, but ‘living in books’ had also a metaphorical meaning; cf. Cic. de Orat. 3.85 ‘in istis libris . . . vivere’, ad Fam. 9.26.1 ‘vivas . . . in litteris’, 13.28.2 ‘studia . . . nostra, quibus antea delectabamur, nunc etiam vivimus’. 3 exedi Musas, nec adhuc tamen ipsa profeci: exedi picks up pavit, line 1, and again carries two senses. It is used of the worm’s literally eating the book (cf. Auson. Comm. Prof. 11.22.3 Green ‘exesas tineis . . . chartas’), but also has a metaphorical sense; cf. Pl. Aul. 537 ‘nimium lubenter edi sermonem tuom’. nec adhuc tamen ipsa profeci: according to Gellius, 2.17.5, the first syllable of proficere was pronounced long, but writers of hexameter verse enjoyed an element of licence; cf. L-H-Sz I.561. For proficere of progressing in studies, see OLD2 s.v. proficio §4a; cf. Cic. Off. 3.8.37 ‘si modo in philosophia aliquid profecimus’. ‘Nec adhuc tamen’ suggests that the tinea never will benefit from devouring the Muses.

17 A spider Pallas taught me to know the work of weaving. Neither do my warps call for shuttles nor my heddles for a warp. No hand do I have but everything comes about through my feet. MSS: A βcGu.L αdeEFHMNORSZ gGhIsVX le. aranea BD(praeter Z)GIV (de aranea ORgh): araneus A: s legi non potest: om. ZX. The sequence of small creatures continues (see Aenig. 14 le. n.) and within it this riddle begins a further, interlocking sub-sequence: aRANeA (Aenig. 17) – shelled creature (Aenig. 18) – RANA (Aenig. 19) – shelled creature (Aenig. 20). This sub-sequence is disrupted in FGI, which place it before Aenig. 16. These MSS possibly omitted Aenig. 16 by mistake and then inserted it afterwards. The riddle is linked to the previous one by nosse, line 1, which recalls and contrasts with ‘nec . . . novi’, Aenig. 16.1, and by Pallas, line 1, which corresponds with Musas, Aenig. 16.3. Not only does A’s masculine lemma disagree with the story of Arachne, to which the riddle refers,7 but it disrupts the subsequence identified above (aRANeus pairs less well with RANA) and disagrees with the surrounding 1st declension lemmata (Aenig. 15 vipera, 16 tinea, 18 coclea, 19 rana). Against the form ‘de aranea’, see Aenig. 1 le. n.


Note also that weaving was traditionally woman’s work: see e.g. Sarah B. Pomeroy, Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity, New York 1975.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

Appreciation of this riddle depends to some degree on an understanding of weaving. Specific explanation is given as necessary below. In general, see Murgatroyd at Tib. 1.6.79 ‘firmaque conductis adnectit licia telis’, Page at Verg. G. 1.285 ‘licia telae/ addere’ and John P. Wild in Oleson, 471. 1 Pallas me docuit texendi nosse laborem: Pallas, i.e. Athena or Minerva, taught the human Arachne how to weave (cf. Ovid Met. 6. 23 ‘a Pallade doctam’) and then, after she proudly challenged the goddess to a weaving competition (Ovid Met. 6. 25), ‘taught’ her how to weave again by turning her into a spider and forcing her to use a different technique. This line alludes to both stages of the story, although it concentrates on the second. In particular, the words ‘texendi nosse laborem’ suggest the accomplished handiwork of which the human Arachne was capable; cf. Verg. A. 1.455–6 ‘operum . . . laborem/ miratur’, Quint. Inst. 2.17.3 ‘texendi . . . artem’. (For noscere meaning ‘to be conversant with or know (a language, art, etc.)’, see OLD2 s.v. nosco2 §9). However, they refer principally to the toil of her endless punishment after metamorphosis; cf. Isid. Orig. 12.5.2 ‘telae semper intenta numquam desinit [sc. aranea] laborare’. Pallas me docuit: cf. the wording at Homer Od. 6.233 ὅν . . . δέδαεν . . . Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη: Pallas was patroness of crafts generally, rather than just those associated with women. Hence she helped the Greeks build the wooden horse at Troy: see Austin at Verg. A. 2.15 ‘divina Palladis arte’. Regarding her, see generally OCD4 s.v. Athena [R. C. T. Parker], March s.vv. ‘Athena or Athene’. 2 nec telae radios poscunt nec licia telam: the words in this line are carefully arranged, perhaps suggesting a piece of weft: ‘nec telae’ is balanced by ‘nec . . . telam’, radios and licia correspond, the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ poscunt binds the line together, and the variation of case usage and number (telae and telam) precludes monotony. nec telae radios . . . nec licia telam Shackleton Bailey: nec telae (om. Gu.) . . . telae AB(praeter c): nec tela . . . tela α: nec pepli . . . tela(e) (tale F) cD(praeter α)γ. The repetition of tela(e) is clumsy and likely to be corrupt. Although pepli is reminiscent, with manus in line 3, of Homer Il. 5.733–5 αὐτὰρ Ἀθηναίη . . . πέπλον μὲν κατέχευεν ἑανὸν . . . ποικίλον, ὅν ῥ’ αὐτὴ ποιήσατο καὶ κάμε χερσίν, the line must refer to the mechanics of weaving and this is weakened by an allusion to finished garments. It probably arose through scribal intervention. While tela can be used of a spider’s web (OLD2 s.v. tela §2, Catul. 68.49 ‘nec tenuem texens sublimis aranea telam’) and this sense is very much present at a secondary level, it refers principally here to the warp (i.e. the vertical threads) on a standing loom (OLD2 s.v. tela §3), through which the shuttle is passed; cf. Ovid Fast. 3.819–20 ‘illa [sc. Pallas] . . . stantes radio percurrere telas/ erudit’. (For shuttles, see OLD2 s.v. radius §3b, Ciarallo and De Carolis cat. 133–4.) Meanwhile, although licium can be used generally to mean ‘thread’ (OLD2 s.v. licium §1), it is also the technical term for a leash or heddle (OLD2 s.v. licium §2, Tib. 1.6.79 and Verg. G. 1.285 cited above): on a standing loom every alternate warp or vertical thread was attached by a leash to a horizontal bar. By pulling this bar forward or letting it fall back, the shuttle could be passed easily now over and now under every alternate



warp thread.8 To aid this process, the loom was positioned at a slight angle, every warp thread was weighted (an abundance of loom weights survive: see e.g. Ciarallo and De Carolis cat. 121–3), and alternate warp threads either hung vertically or were placed over a horizontal bar at the bottom of the angled loom. A spider, however, would have no need for such equipment when spinning a web. 3 nulla mihi manus est, pedibus tamen omnia fiunt: completely dactylic lines are rare in S. The vocabulary of the line-halves corresponds, balances and interlocks, again reflecting the weave of a piece of fabric: ‘nulla . . . omnia’; ‘manus . . . pedibus’; ‘est . . . fiunt’. Since spiders do not need looms to weave they do not need hands; cf. Ovid Am. 1.14.7–8 ‘vel pede quod gracili deducit aranea filum/ cum leve deserta sub trabe nectit opus’, although contrast Met. 6.143, of the metamorphosed Arachne: ‘in latere exiles digiti pro cruribus haerent’. Pliny Nat. 11.80 refers to the spider’s weaving ‘moderato ungue’.

18 A snail I carry my home with me, always ready to move, and I’m no wretched exile through a change of territory but my ?society? derives from heaven itself. MSS: A βcL αdeEHMNOQRSZ gGhIsVwbX le. coclea: this riddle continues the sequence of small creatures introduced by Aenig. 14, at which see the le. n. See too Aenig. 17 le. n. on the interlocking arrangement of Aenig. 17–20. It is interesting that, while the snail’s slowness was proverbial (cf. Pl. Poen. 532 ‘podagrosi estis ac vicistis cocleam tarditudine’), S. stresses its mobility in this riddle (note e.g. ‘semper migrare parata’, line 1), although he draws particular attention to the slowness of the tortoise, also proverbial, at Aenig. 20.1. The snail’s travelling may recall pedibus in Aenig. 17.3. The Romans thought of snails principally as food. Pliny records, Nat. 9.173, that ‘coclearum vivaria’ were established by Fulvius Lippinus in Tarquinia shortly before the war with Pompey; cf. Var. R. 3.14.1–5, which gives advice on keeping them. They are a gustatio at Mart. 13.53.2 (see my note on the lemma) and Pliny Ep. 1.15.2. Apicius gives recipes for them at 323–6 Budé.9 Bearing in mind the Saturnalian context of the Aenigmata (see Introduction (3)(a)), note that snails and snail shells are listed as Saturnalian gifts at Mart. 4.46.11 and Stat. Silv. 4.9.32–3, cited below. The African snail (Λιβυκός, Africana) was especially admired (Pliny Nat. 30.45 ‘laudatissimae . . . sunt . . . Africanae’; cf. Diosc. 2.9), and this may be relevant here given S.’s possible African origins (see Introduction (1) and n. 22).

8 9

See the functional model of a loom illustrated in Ciarallo and De Carolis, 146. On the cocleare or ‘snail pick’, see my note at Mart. 14.121.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

Hesiod uses φερέοικος of a snail at Op. 571, which is comparable with ‘porto domum mecum’ in line 1. On the use of such kennings, see West at Op. 524 ἀνόστεος. He documents various attempts to explain or account for them. Amongst these is that they are ‘riddle-words’. With this suggestion, cf. the snail riddles at Athen. 2.63B (identified specifically as a riddle propounded at symposia): ὑλογενής, ἀνάκανθος, ἀναίματος, ὑγροκέλευθος Born in the undergrowth, without spine, without blood and with a slimy trail.

and 10.455E: ζῷον ἄπνουν ἀνάκανθον ἀνόστεον ὀστρακόνωτων ὄμματά τ’ ἐκκύπτοντα προμήκεα κεἰσκύπτοντα. An animal without a foot, spine or bone, with a back made of shell, and which pops its long eyes in and out.

On kennings generally, see Ingrid Waern cited at Aenig. 19.1 raucisonans below. 1 porto domum mecum: domus is regular of the shell of invertebrates: ThLL V(1).1972.49 ff. s.v. domus [Hofmann]. It is used of tortoise shells at Phaedr. 2.6.5 ‘cum abdidisset cornea corpus domo’ and Stat. Silv. 4.9.32–3 ‘Cinyphiis vagata campis/ curvarum domus uda coclearum’. For its combination with porto, cf. Cic. Div. 2.133, quoting an unattributed line about a snail: ‘terrigenam, herbigradam, domiportam, sanguine cassam.’ Note too Hsd Op. 571 cited above. semper migrare parata: for migrare, with the idea of constant movement from place to place, see OLD2 s.v. migro §1b; cf. Sil. 3.290–1 ‘nulla domus; plaustris habitant; migrare per arva/ mos atque errantes circumvectare penates’. It is qualified by ‘mutato . . . solo’ in line 2. 2 mutatoque solo non sum miserabilis exul: exul was derived, wrongly, in antiquity from solum: cf. [Quint.] Decl. 366.2 ‘inde exul . . . dictus est, quasi ex solo patrio expulsus’ and see Gaertner at Ovid Pont. 1.2.109 exule, Maltby s.v. exul. The scholastic S. (see Introduction (3)(a) section C) is here playing on words. For the application of exul to animals, see ThLL V(2).2101.37 ff. s.v. exul [Van Nes]. Given the importance of his citizen status to the Roman, the strength of his sense of corporate belonging and the importance of his home, exile was a pitiable condition; cf. the lamentable state suggested by Stat. Theb. 7.500 ‘exilio vagus et miserabilis hospes’, Cic. Clu. 175 ‘cum vagus et exsul erraret atque undique exclusus’, Sil. 2.701–2 ‘vagus exul in orbe/ errabit toto’. The snail, however, is always at home and so never wretched. mutato . . . solo: ‘solum mutare/vertere’ is the technical phrase for going into voluntary exile, e.g. to escape statutory punishment: see OLD2 s.v. solum1 §5b, L-S s.v. solum §B.1;



cf. Cic. Caec. 100 ‘[sc. qui] volunt poenam aliquam subterfugere aut calamitatem, eo solum vertunt, hoc est sedem ac locum mutant’, Cic. Parad. 4.31 ‘omnes scelerati atque impii . . . quos leges exilio adfici volunt exules sunt etiamsi solum non mutarunt’. Comparing domum, line 1, note too Verg. G. 2.511–12 ‘exsilio . . . domos et dulcia limina mutant/ atque alio patriam quaerant sub sole iacentem’. 3 sed mihi †concilium† de caelo nascitur ipso: concilium codd. praeter cLeEgVX: consilium vel sim. ceEX: conchilium LgV: conchylium Castalio (1607 edn): mobilitas Apthorp: corniculum . . . pascitur Watt: sed genitale solum Shackleton Bailey: condicio Leary. For the considerable debate over the text here, see Bergamin ad loc. and the summary of M. Apthorp in Acta Classica 50 (2007), 147–9, whose ideas both here and in letters have greatly informed my thinking in this note. The word conchilium, initially accepted by Castalio, does not exist, and conchylium, which has a long ‘y’, is unmetrical. Consilium is suspect because the snail is not generally known for its capacity to make decisions. Further, the word cannot indicate here that its travel plans are dictated by the weather (cf. the defence of consilium by Jacobus Sirmondus recorded ad loc. by Ohl), since this contradicts ‘semper parata migrare’: the snail is explicitly not just a fair-weather traveller. Consilium may be a palaeographical variant of concilium, but the question remains of what concilium might mean. Apthorp, loc. cit. 147, reports Bergamin’s defence of concilium at AVM 62 (1994), 37–68, esp. 61–4). There she argues that S. was, if not himself a Christian, nevertheless familiar with Christian values.10 She takes concilium in its Lucretian sense to mean ‘aggregation’ or ‘union’, and, while she takes it to refer principally to the bond between the snail’s shell and flesh, she suggests that it recalls the union between man’s body and soul, made possible by divine will. She proposes further that S. is trying deliberately to distract the reader from the correct solution, viz. ‘snail’, by suggesting ‘soul’ while at the same time hinting at the former: concilium sounds like conchylium, used of a shellfish or marine snail. As Apthorp comments (ibid.), her ‘. . . far-fetched and convoluted exegesis is unlikely to convince many’, and, unsurprisingly, she offers a revised explanation in her edition (see below). Shackleton Bailey recalls in the apparatus of his Teubner text his attempt (1979, 38) to achieve sense: ‘I suspect that line 3 began originally “sed genitale solum”. The snail is on his native (i.e. home) ground wherever he wanders for his shell, the ‘sky’ that covers him, makes any ground his patria.’ While being palaeographically unaccountable (in itself not necessarily disqualifying the conjecture), this suggestion seems, as Apthorp comments (ibid. 148), to contradict ‘mutato . . . solo’ in line 2 (the snail’s new solum cannot be its ‘genitale solum’), while everywhere else in S. caelum simply means ‘sky’ or ‘heaven’. Shackleton Bailey prints †mihi concilium†. Watt (1987), 296, recalls that snails were thought habitually to feed on dew, but otherwise on their own juice: Pl. Capt. 81 ‘suo sibi suco vivont, ros si non cadit’; cf. Symm. Ep. 1.33 ‘aiunt cochleas, cum sitiunt roris atque illis de caelo nihil liquitur, suco proprio victitare’. He suggests reading ‘sed mihi corniculum de caelo pascitur ipso’, 10

For other instances where Christian influence on S. has been suspected, see Introduction (2) and n. 36.


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explaining that ‘Symphosius may have imagined that the snail used its tentacles [i.e. “horns”?] to feed itself ’, but this is too speculative to be persuasive. While rejecting Watt, Apthorp is prompted by his reference to dew to recall that the snail’s ability to move is dependent on slime: ‘in times of heat and drought, to avoid dehydration and death, she will lie low, retreating into her shell and aestivating. But when it rains, she will emerge from her hiding-place, moving around . . . If there is no rain or dew to drink, there will be no surplus slime and hence no movement’ (ibid. 148). Hence, he argues (ibid. 149 ff., and with palaeographical explanation of how it might derive from concilium) that it is the snail’s mobilitas that ‘de caelo nascitur ipso’. He replaces with a semi-colon the comma adopted by other editors after exul in line 2, and takes sed to ‘introduce a new clue in the form of a contrast between earth (solo) and heaven (caelo)’. However, three objections arise. Again (cf. above), the snail is ‘semper migrare parata’, not just when it is wet. Secondly, Apthorp’s comparison with Aenig. 9 pluvia (note ‘de caelo cecidi’, line 2) to support a context of moisture is tenuous: S. does not link riddles so far apart (caelo there connects with caeli in Aenig. 10). Finally, while a contrast between solo and caelo is clearly intended (note the positioning of the words: solo in the first half of line 2, caelo in the second of line 3), the introduction in line 3 of ‘a new clue’ is less likely than an explanation of ‘non sum miserabilis exul’. In her edition, Bergamin follows ThLL IV.46.72 s.v. concilium [Gudeman] in understanding concilium in the sense ‘aggregazione di animali’ and comparing Ovid Met. 10.143–4 ‘inque ferarum/ concilio medius . . . sedebat’ (on which see Bömer, who agrees with her, himself comparing Aenig. 18.3) and Stat. Theb. 3.549–550 ‘volantum/ concilia’. She explains that the snail remains in hiding when it is hot but that it emerges, along with a collection of others, when it is moist. With some addition and expansion, her case is a strong one: if a wretched exile, the (personified and very Roman) snail would be denied the concilium of other snails (cf. Vitr. 2.1.2 ‘propter ignis inventionem conventus initio apud homines et concilium et convictus esset natus’, recalling ignis in the legal formula for exile: ‘interdictio aquae et ignis/tecti’). But, because dew forms everywhere, wherever there is sky, and groups of snails appear whenever there is moisture, the snail in this riddle is never denied the society of its kind wherever it might ‘carry or make its home’ (it is, to return to the exile formula, never subject to an ‘interdictio aquae’). Bergamin is not persuasive, however, in arguing that concilium, with migrare and caelo, has a secondary sense, recalling the meeting of the souls of the dead, and her repeated suggestion, that, by virtue of its similarity to conchylium, it points to the riddle’s solution, remains unconvincing. A difficulty with Bergamin’s primary explanation of concilium is again raised by ‘semper migrare parata’: the snail cannot always be ready to migrate if it remains in hiding whenever it is hot. Secondly, while a large number of snails might emerge together after rainfall or the formation of dew, the concept of a community of molluscs is less easily entertained than one of birds or warm-blooded animals. If emendation is necessary, a very tentative suggestion of my own is the palaeographically similar condicio, used by Ovid of his unhappy circumstances as an exile at Tr. 3.14.52 and Pont. 1.2.72 (note ‘pro misera . . . fuga’, line 70). The snail, in contrast, which is not a ‘miserabilis exul’, enjoys a happy condicio because it can live under (and derive its sustaining moisture from) any sky; cf. the brave man, fish and birds of Ovid Fast. 1.493–4 ‘omne



solum forti patria est, ut piscibus aequor,/ ut volucri vacuo quicquid in orbe patet’. To print and obelize concilium (cf. Shackleton Bailey) is, however, the most prudent course. de caelo nascitur ipso: for this use of nascor, see L-S s.v. nascor §IIA, OLD2 s.v. nascor §4a.

19 A frog I am the harsh-sounding one, loud-voiced in the midst of the water, and although I sing all the time no one praises my songs, but my voice resounds with praise as if it too is praising itself. MSS: A βcGu. αdeEHMNOQRSZ gGhIsVwbX le. rana derives from racna; cf. racco, ‘to roar’ or ‘to cry out’: see L-S s.v. rana; cf. Var. L. 5.78 ‘rana ab sua dicta voce’, Isid. Orig. 12.6.58 ‘ranae a garrulitate vocatae, eo quod circa genitales strepunt paludes, et sonos vocis importunis clamoribus reddunt’. Etymologizing therefore underpins the riddle’s solution in the lemma. There is perhaps further word-play on rana and raucisonans in line 1. Word-play and etymologizing are in keeping with S.’s possible scholastic background, for which see Introduction (3)(a) section C. They link this riddle to the last (see on Aenig. 18.2 exul), which continues the sub-section on small creatures: see Aenig. 14 le. n. (See too Aenig. 17 le. n., on the interlocking arrangement of Aenig. 17–20.) Note also unda, line 1, which perhaps recalls the snail’s feeding on dew and liking of moisture generally: see Aenig. 18.3 above. The croaking of frogs was often regarded as a sign of rain: Cic. Att. 15.16a.1 ‘equidem etiam pluvias metuo si Prognostica nostra vera sunt; ranae enim ῥητορεύουσιν’, Pliny Nat. 18.361, Plut. Mor. 912C-D, 982E. Frogs may have featured as humorous apophoreta at Saturnalian and other dinner parties: see my note at Mart. 14.183 Homeri Batrochomachia, discussing Petr. 56.9 ‘muraena (= mus + rana) et littera’. Of greater importance, however, than any Saturnalian or Martialian associations here (cf. Introduction (3)(a)) is the frog’s proverbial selfimportance (cf. Petr. 74.13 ‘inflat se tamquam rana’). In consequence it praises its own song, although no one else does: lines 2(3)–3(2). The textual difficulties in this riddle have attracted considerable attention. These are mostly confined to line 2 of the transmitted text. I have no MS support for transposing lines 2 and 3, but the transposition yields easier sense than the received order and obviates the need for emendation (pace Heumann: see below). 1 raucisonans ego sum αdeHSghwb: rauca sonans vel sim. codd. reliqui. Most editors favour ‘rauca sonans’; cf. Verg. A. 9.125 ‘rauca sonans’ of the River Tiber. Rauca is used of a frog again at Ovid Met. 6.377 ‘vox . . . rauca est’. In contrast Ohl adopts raucisonans, transmitted by some D and contaminated MSS, as lectio difficilior. He is probably correct to do so. While he compares the compound word frondicomam at Aenig. 60.2,


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he might also have noted that the word’s grandiloquence accords with the frog’s inflated self-opinion, and that kennings are appropriate to riddles; cf. Aenig. 18 le. n. above and see Ingrid Waern, ΓΗΣ ΟΣΤΕΑ: the Kenning in pre-Christian Literature, Uppsala 1951. Raucisonans would be ‘colloquial’ or ‘denominative’ in type (cf. Waern 50) since its starting point in describing the frog is a characteristic detail. Waern continues: ‘The denominative type . . . can advantageously be accompanied by the normal word’, which is here contained in the lemma (cf. Mart.13.93.1 saetiger after the lemma aper). With raucisonans, cf. the use of raucisonus at Catul. 64.263 and Lucr. 2.619 (of the blaring of horns), and at Lucr. 5.1084 (of the croak of a raven). media vocalis in unda: vocalis is carefully positioned between media and unda to illustrate the frog’s position. It is again applied to frogs at Pliny Nat. 18.361 ‘ranae . . . vocales’. Its use here is probably suggestive of high volume; cf. OLD2 s.v. vocalis §2a. For unda used of rivers or water generally, see OLD2 s.v. unda §§2a–b, 4. The water itself is likely to have made some noise, especially mid-stream (see on Aenig. 12.1 ‘clara . . . voce’ and 2 resonat above), but the frog makes more. 2(3) cumque canam semper, nullus mea carmina laudat: canam is taken up in the second hemistich by carmina (notice the c alliteration; for the singing of frogs, cf. Verg. G. 1.378 ‘et veterem . . . ranae cecinere querelam’) and nullus contrasts with the juxtaposed semper. nullus . . . laudat codd. (-et NOQ: om. s): gaudet Baehrens. Laudat is attested also at GLK V.577; cf. Introduction (1). This aside, transposition of the closing two lines of the riddle means that, rather than appearing clumsily repetitive after ‘laude . . . laudet’ in line 3(2), it gives the line point: see below. Emendation is therefore unnecessary. The croaking of frogs prevents sleep at Hor. Serm. 1.5.14–15, and disturbed the young Augustus on his grandfather’s estate: Suet. Aug. 94.7 ‘cum primum fari coepisset, in avito suburbano obstrepentis forte ranas silere iussit, atque ex eo negantur ibi ranae coaxare’. Cf. also Isid. Orig. 12.6.58 ‘ranae . . . sonos vocis inportunis clamoribus reddunt’. 3(2) sed vox laude sonat quasi se quoque laudet et ipsa: quasi se ABD(praeter EMQS)γ: quae se S: quas se MI: qua se GV: quasi Q: tamquam E. The numerous attempts by scholars to emend this line are documented by Bergamin ad loc. The sense of these emendations is that the frog’s voice lacks praise unless it praises itself or, since self-praise is meaningless, because it praises itself. The latter interpretation lies behind Heumann’s ‘sic vox laude caret, quae se laudaverit ipsa’ (reported in Bergamin), but since he also transposes lines 2–3, his emendation is unnecessary too. The minority readings are all palaeographically similar to or, in the case of E, a gloss on ‘quasi se’ and the MS tradition has therefore considerable weight. The meaning of the line is this: although no one else praises the frog’s song (line 2(3)), such is its vainglory that nevertheless (sed) its voice resounds with praise as if everyone else was applauding it and it is joining with them in also praising itself.



se quoque laudet et ipsa: cf. Ovid Met. 6.97 (of a stalk) ‘ipsa sibi plaudat crepitante ciconia rostro’. For ‘quoque . . . et’ see ThLL V(2).915.66 ff. s.v. et [Hofmann], citing e.g. Livy 3.21.3 ‘patres quoque . . . et ipsi’ and Verg. A. 1.5 ‘multa quoque et bello passus’.

20 A tortoise Slow with a tardy step, endowed with a handsome back, covered over indeed but suddenly betrayed in a cruel death, I who said nothing while alive sing in this way when recently dead. MSS: A βc αdeHMNOQRSZ gGhIVwbX le. testudo here has a double sense. Most of the riddle clearly describes the tortoise, but, as ‘quae sic modo mortua canto’ reveals (line 3), it also refers to the lyre, first fashioned by Mercury or Hermes from a tortoise shell: cf. Homeric Hymns 4, esp. lines 25 ff.; see N-H at Hor. Carm. 1.10.6. For the synecdoche, cf. e.g. Hor. Carm. 4.3.17–18 ‘testudinis aureae/ dulcem . . . strepitum’, Prop. 2.34.79–80, V.Fl. 1.277. This riddle continues the sequence of creatures introduced by Aenig. 14 (see le. n. above) and completes the interlocking sub-sequence beginning at Aenig. 17 (see Aenig. 17 le. n. above), but it also builds on the previous riddle: canto, line 3, recalls ‘canam . . . carmina’ in Aenig. 19.2(3). Whereas the frog sings badly while alive, the tortoise, however, presumably sings well when dead. For details regarding the Roman lyre, its nature and construction, see G. Wille, Musica Romana, Amsterdam 1967, 212 f. The riddle has a long tradition. It seems first to have appeared in Latin in the second century BC in Pacuvius’ Antiope, a work said by Cicero to be a translation of Euripides, and is cited at Div. 2.133; see Lawrence K. Shook, ‘Old-English Riddle 28 – Testudo (Tortoise-Lyre)’, Mediaeval Studies 20 (1958), 93–7, esp. 94–5; cf. fr. 4 Ribbeck: Amphio: quadrupes tardigrada agrestis humilis aspera brevi capite, cervice anguina, aspectu truci eviscerata inanima cum animali sono. Astici:

ita saeptuosa dictione abs te datur quod coniectura sapiens aegre contuit: non intellegimus, nisi si aperte dixeris.

Amphio: testudo.

Cicero refers to the Pacuvian version as if it were widely known and understood; cf. Tert. de Pallio 3.3, who cites some of it and speaks of the ‘Pacuvian tortoise’. The vocabulary and asyndeton in line 1 might reflect S.’s knowledge of it. For his use of ‘traditional riddles’ in the Aenigmata, see Aenig. 12. le. n. Shook argues that S.’s version influenced Riddle 28 of the Exeter Book and that the solution to that riddle too is testudo or tortoise-lyre. A later influence is detected by


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E. K. Borthwick, ‘The Riddle of the Tortoise and the Lyre’, Music and Letters 51 (1970), 373–87, who gives a full account of the riddle in its varying forms when discussing the legend on an Italian octave spinet (c. 1700) in the Russell collection of early keyboard instruments: ‘dum vixi tacui mortua dulce cano’, from a version in which the tortoise has been replaced by a tree: Borthwick 379. Following others (e.g. Keller II.248), Borthwick, 376, explains the riddle at AP 14.30 as part of the tradition: κριὸν ἔχω γενετῆρα, τέκεν δέ με τῷδε χελώνη· τικτομένη δ’ ἄμφω πέφνον ἐμοὺς γονέας. I have a ram as a father, a tortoise bore me to him, and at my birth I slew both my parents.

While its sounding box comes from the tortoise, the lyre’s strings come from the ram’s intestines. 1 tarda, gradu lento: cf. Cic. Div. 2.133 tardigrada. The slowness of the tortoise, possibly emphasized here by the positioning of tarda, was proverbial. Cf. Aesop. 352 Chambry and see Otto s.v. testudo. Contrast the mobility of the snail in Aenig. 18: see le. n. specioso praedita dorso: cf. Curt. 9.8.2 ‘dorsa testudinum’ in a list of gifts from India. Tortoise shell was greatly admired for its appearance (hence specioso) and it was therefore used e.g. for decorative inlay work. See my note at Mart. 14.87.1 ‘scriptum testudine’ citing e.g. G. M. A. Richter, The Furniture of the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans, Aberdeen 1966, 126; cf. Mart. 12.66.5 ‘gemmantes prima fulgent testudine lecti’. 2 tecta quidem, subito Shackleton Bailey: tecta quidem subeo Watt: docta quidem studio codd. Ohl follows the MSS, translating ‘learned indeed in my zeal’; but while this might arguably be appropriate of a lyre, the tortoise has not yet been ‘saevo prodita fato’. Shackleton Bailey’s tecta is supported by Lucr. 4.936 ‘conchis . . . tectae’. Note also tegumen in Livy 36.32.6. It makes sense of sed later in the line – the tortoise has been killed despite its protective covering – and supplies a point of connection between this and the next riddle (Aenig. 21.3 tegi). Meanwhile the active subito contrasts with ‘tarda, gradu lento’ in line 1, while agreeing with the story: Hermes made the lyre soon after his birth, having sprung from his cradle: Homeric Hymn 4.20 ff. Although accepting tecta ‘but in a different sense’, Watt (1987, 296) would continue ‘quidem subeo, sed’, understanding ‘I withdraw into my shell, but meet a cruel death’. This accords with the way in which S. usually uses the third-foot caesura to separate two sense units (cf. Introduction (3)(d)) and generally positions sed (cf. the introductory note to Aenig. 96). Nevertheless the present tense subeo conflicts with dixi in line 3: at its time of speaking the tortoise is already dead and so can no longer ‘withdraw’. saevo prodita fato: prodita possibly plays on praedita, line 1. Although the tortoise was betrayed by its supposedly protective shell, the idea of betrayal accords with Hermes’ reputation for trickery (cf. Homeric Hymn 4.13–15).



saevo . . . fato: saevo vel sim. Dγ: duro vel sim. BX: sevo duro A. Duro is a gloss on saevo, which has then been incorporated into the text. For A’s common preservation of both B and D variants, see Introduction (5) and n. 155. 3 viva nihil dixi quae sic modo mortua canto: cf. Homeric Hymn 4.38 ἢν δὲ θάνῃς, τότε κεν μάλα καλὸν ἀείδοις and Soph. Ich. 293 θανὼν γὰρ ἔσχε φωνήν, ζῶν δ’ ἄναυδος ἦν ὁ θήρ. As often, the line has an interlocking structure: viva contrasts with mortua and dixi corresponds with canto. The paradox that the hitherto silent testudo can sing in the way it does (sic, i.e. as a lyre) only after its death (and death is not normally a singing matter) recalls that of Aenig. 15, where the viper lives only by killing its mother.

21 A mole My face is blind, hidden in black shadows. The very day is night and no sun is seen by me. I prefer being covered by the earth: in this way no one will see me either. MSS: A βcGu. αdeEHMNORSZ gGhIVwbX le. talpa: this riddle continues the sequence of small creatures (Aenig. 14 le. n.), but introduces an agricultural sub-sequence describing animal pests, some of which (the talpa, formica, gurgulio and mus) are identified by Virgil (G. 1.181–6) as threats to the threshing floor. It is linked to the previous epigram by tegi, line 3, which recalls tecta, Aenig. 20.2. See too on line 3 below. Since the mole feeds on worms and grubs, it is possible that in listing the talpa Virgil was in fact thinking neither of the common mole (which, although visually impaired, is not blind) nor the Tuscan mole (which is blind) but of the vegetarian and slightly larger but frequently confused blind rat (which also burrows); cf. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, ‘The “Mole” in Antiquity’, CR 32 (1918), 9–12. In including the talpa here S. may have been following him in this confusion. The origins of the word talpa are uncertain (OLD2 s.v. talpa), but Isid. Orig. 12.3.5 ‘talpa dicta, quod sit damnata caecitate perpetua tenebris’ appears to link the word with tenebrae. If S. is etymologizing here (cf. tenebris, line 1), this accords with his probable ‘scholastic’ background: see Introduction (3)(a) section C. 1 caeca mihi facies atris obscura tenebris: the mole’s proverbial blindness is widely attested; cf. e.g. Pliny Nat. 11.139 ‘talpis visus non est’, Sen. Nat. 3.16.5, Isid. Orig. 12.3.5 cited above. See Keller I.20. With ‘caeca . . . facies’, Bergamin compares Ennod. Carm 2.112.3 (MGH AA VII.215) ‘caeca per innumeros facies portatur amicos’. Facies is perhaps paralleled by Lucr. 5.841 ‘sine vultu caeca’, where Costa notes that vultus in the restricted sense ‘eyes’ is unusual but that the shift in meaning ‘face–expression–eyes’ is natural enough. Tenebrae is regular of the darkness resulting from blindness; see OLD2 s.v. tenebrae §2a; cf. Lucr. 3.413–14 ‘at si tantula pars oculi media illa peresa est,/ occidit extemplo lumen tenebraeque sequuntur’, Ovid Met. 3.515–16 ‘tenebras . . . et cladem lucis ademptae/ obicit’. With obscura, cf. Prop. 2.26C.55 ‘ipsa . . . sidera erunt nullis obscura tenebris’.


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2 nox est ipse dies: nox is emphatically placed, emphasizing the mole’s blindness. It is balanced by dies before the third-foot caesura and picks up in line 1 caeca (cf. Verg. A. 2.397 ‘per caecam . . . noctem’), atris, obscura (cf. Verg. A. 2.420 ‘obscura nocte’) and tenebris. For the application of night to blindness, see OLD2 s.v. nox §6b, L-S s.v. nox §B6; cf. Ovid Met. 7.2–3 ‘perpetua . . . trahens . . . sub nocte senectam/ Phineus’, Sen. Oed. 1049. The confusion of night and day, ordinarily instantly identifiable as being different, usually signals a portentous happening or an inversion of the natural order. Hence, e.g., the nightfall during the day that followed the unnatural feast of Thyestes (Luc. 1.543–4 ‘qualem fugiente per ortus/ sole Thyesteae noctem duxere Mycenae’). This inversion is in keeping with that of the Saturnalia (cf. Introduction (3)(a) section A), while the paradox that night and day are one is consistent with the nature of a riddle. ipse D(praeter H)γ: ipsa ABHgwb. Ipse would agree with dies; ipsa with nox. Most modern editors print ipse (not Glorie and Shackleton Bailey). This fits the required sense: the blind mole’s day is night. Ipsa (which indicates the opposite: ‘night is itself day’) was introduced by scribes who failed to appreciate S.’s emphatic and poetic wordordering. nec sol mihi cernitur ullus: this half-line repeats the sense of the first, with sol picking up dies. (For sol meaning dies, see OLD2 s.v. sol §2c, L-S s.v. sol §IIB; cf. Verg. A. 3.203–4 ‘tris . . . incertos caeca caligine soles/ erramus pelago’.) ‘Sol . . . ullus’ suggests that there are many suns, a new one for each day; cf. soles in Catul. 5.4, quoted below. 3 malo tegi terra: sic me quoque nemo videbit: paradoxical. If the mole is covered by the earth, he cannot be seen by anyone and caught (just as he cannot see anything because of his blindness: videbit picks up cernitur, line 2). However, ‘tegi terra’ suggests the burial of the dead (see OLD2 s.v. tego §1b; cf. Prop. 1.6.28 ‘in quorum numero me . . . terra tegat’, CLE 1175.12 ‘quam nunc sub parvo marmore terra tegit’) and an association was made between the dead and moles; cf. Pliny Nat. 30.19 where they are ‘sepultis . . . similes’. The mole would therefore rather be already dead and buried than caught and killed. The suggestion of death is prefigured by nox, dies and sol in the previous line; cf. Catul. 5.4–6 ‘soles occidere et redire possunt:/ nobis, cum semel occidit brevis lux,/ nox est perpetua una dormienda’. It connects with mortua, Aenig. 20.3.

22 An ant I look ahead to my livelihood, I am not sluggish in hard work, carrying off on my own shoulders the prizes for a trouble-free winter. I do not carry large loads all at once, but bit by bit I carry together many things. MSS: A βc αdeEHMNOQRSZ gGhIVwbX le. formica: regarding the ant, see generally Davies and Kathirithamby 37–46. It is identified at Verg. G. 1.186 as a threat to the threshing floor; cf. Cic. N.D. 2.157, AL 93.1



ShB ‘verrit tetra boum gratos formica labores’, Var. R. 1.51.1, Col. 2.19.1 and note praemia, line 2 below. Nonetheless it was a somewhat ambiguous creature, being commonly cited for its perceived wisdom, patience, industry and providence. Hence line 1; cf. Hor. Serm. 1.1.33 ff. ‘sicut/ parvula, nam exemplo est, magni formica laboris/ ore trahit quodcumque potest atque addit acervo/ quem struit, haud ignara ac non incauta futuri’, Verg. G. 1.186 with Mynors. See also Otto s.v. formica §1 and compare Proverbs 6.6 ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise’. Within the larger sequence of small creatures introduced by Aenig. 14, this riddle continues the agricultural sub-sequence of animal pests beginning with Aenig. 21 talpa (see the le. n.) and in doing so initiates a short interlocking arrangement: Aenig. 22 formica (‘good’ scavenger, or at any rate not wholly bad); Aenig. 23 musca; Aenig. 24 gurgulio (‘bad’ scavenger: ‘non bonus’, line 1); Aenig. 25 mus. Provida, line 1, picks up and contrasts with caeca, obscura and tenebris in Aenig. 21.1 and recalls cernitur and videbit in Aenig. 21.2 and 3. Vitae, line 1, recalls the suggestion of death in ‘tegi terra’ (Aenig. 21.3: see ad loc.). 1 provida sum vitae, duro non pigra labore: cf. the ants at Ovid Met. 7.656–7: ‘genus . . . patiens . . . laborum/ quaesitique tenax et quod quaesita reservet.’ The first hemistich is expressed in simple positive terms; the second through litotes (the ant is the opposite of pigra), with the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ sum linking the two. The juxtaposition of vitae and duro is significant: life is hard, but the ant does not shirk. Note too the repetition of p and v sounds and the varied case usage (genitive vitae in the first half-line; ablative ‘duro . . . labore’ in the second). provida sum vitae: cf. Paul. Nol. Epist. 39.2 ‘illa [sc. formica] de frugibus vitae provida’, Avien. Fab. 34.2 ‘vitae providus’ (in the fable of the cicada and the ant), Cic. Nat. 1.4 ‘[sc. a dis] hominum vitae consuli et provideri’; cf. OLD2 s.v. providus -a -um §2a. duro non pigra labore: labore AEMSγ: labori BD(praeter EMS)Gwb. The dative makes sense of a sort (cf. e.g. Ovid Pont. 4.1.23 ‘numquam pigra fuit nostris tua gratia rebus’), but the ablative of respect is more natural; cf. e.g. Stat. Silv. 2.5.22 ‘[sc. leo] piger . . . gradu’ with Van Dam, Cic. Fam. 2.1.1 ‘scribendo impiger’. 2 ipsa ferens umeris: cf. Verg. A. 4.405–6 ‘pars grandia trudunt/ obnixae frumenta umeris’, Pliny Nat. 11.108 ‘umeris obnixae’. Umerus is used of the shoulders of bees at Pliny Nat. 11.24 and 54. securae praemia brumae: cf. e.g. Verg. A. 4.402–3 ‘ingentem formicae farris acervum/ cum populant hiemis memores’, Phaedr. 4.24(25).14 ‘ego [sc. an ant] grana in hiemem . . . congero’, AL 93.4–5 ShB ‘sollers/ colligit [sc. formica] hibernae commoda grana fami’. Brumae, in a Saturnalian collection, triggers thoughts of the festival’s mid-winter date; cf. Mart. 14.72.1 ‘mediae . . . tempore brumae’; see Introduction (3)(a) section A above. It is possible that the Romans, like ants laying in winter stores or mothers planning ahead for Christmas today, might have begun stock-piling festive fare months


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in advance, or, at any rate, their ingredients – such as fine flour, honey and pepper. Storage difficulties like poor refrigeration would have constrained their preparations. 3 nec gero magna simul, sed congero multa vicissim: the line is carefully balanced around the third-foot caesura. Nec corresponds with sed, gero with congero, magna with multa (note the alliterative m), and simul with vicissim. Although complex–simplex iteration is a feature of the Aenigmata (see Aenig. 12.2 n. above), Bergamin suggests attractively that ‘gero . . . congero’ here underlines the contrast between the small loads taken each time by the ant (cf. Isid. Orig. 12.3.8 ‘formica dicta, ab eo quod ferat micas farris’) and the mass it eventually accumulates; cf. Hor. Serm. 1.1.34–5 ‘ore trahit quodcumque potest atque addit acervo/ quem struit’. gero . . . congero: cf. Ovid Met. 7.625 ‘[sc. adspeximus] grande onus exiguo formicas ore gerentes’, Pliny Nat. 11.108 ‘gerunt ea [sc. onera] morsu [sc. formicae]’, Cic. Div. 1.78 ‘formicae . . . tritici grana congesserunt’, Phaedr. 4.24(25).14 cited above. Gero can be used of spoils (Livy 1.10.5, 1.26.2), which would fit with praemia in line 2.

23 A fly I am shameless, I confess; for what disgusting thing does my throat fear? I avoided the cold, who now return in summer, but I am soon moved on, frightened by a false wind. MSS: A βcα Ang.deEHMNOQRSZ gGhIVwbX le. musca: this riddle continues the main sequence of small creatures introduced by Aenig. 14, the sub-sequence beginning at Aenig. 21 and the interlocking arrangement beginning at Aenig. 22: see le. n. above. Points of contrast and connection between it and the previous riddle are the opening words ‘inproba sum’, which recall those of Aenig. 22 ‘provida sum’, and frigora and aestate in line 2, which connect with brumae in Aenig. 22.2. The disgusting nature of the fly contrasts with the (mostly) positive image of the industrious and worthy ant, which makes provision for the winter rather than avoiding it, and both riddles imply food or mention it directly. Some of these links are reflected by Phaedr. 4.24(25), where flies and ants are directly contrasted. Note lines 2–3 ‘formica et musca contendebant acriter/ quae pluris esset’, 14 ff. ‘ego grana in hiemem cum studiose congero/ te circa murum pasci video stercore’ and 19–21 ‘aestate me lacessis: cum bruma est, siles./ mori contractam cum te cogunt frigora,/ me copiosa recipit incolumem domus’. This riddle, with its suggestion of a fly-swatter (line 3), is one of several recalling Martial Books 13–14. (See Introduction (3)(a) Proem.) Note e.g. Mart. 14.68 muscarium bubulum and especially 67 muscarium pavoninum: ‘lambere quae turpes prohibet tua prandia muscas,/ alitis eximiae cauda superba fuit’ with my notes ad loc. Flies were (and are) a persistent irritation in the Mediterranean summers, and Martial mentions fly-swatters again in the context of food or dinners at Mart. 3.82.12 ‘fugatque muscas myrtea puer virga’. Note also CIL IV.2464, which appears to describe a fly-cover of sorts for a table: ‘tabulas positas in muscario’, and the veil-covered fruit basket depicted in a



wall-painting in the Villa of Oplontis: see The Villa of Oplontis (Collana ‘Guida’, Casa Editrice Ditta Vincenzo Carcavallo), Naples n.d., 11. On the insect, see generally Davies and Kathirithamby 150–5, Keller II.447–54. 1 inproba sum, fateor: inproba is similarly used of a mosquito at Phaedr. 5.3.8 ‘contempti generis animal inprobum’. At Mart. 3.44.8 it is used of a scorpion, but with a slightly different sense: Shackleton Bailey’s Loeb translates ‘vicious’. It is qualified in the second hemistich by turpis (with which it is linked also at Cic. Parad. 5.33 ‘cum ipse improbissimis dominis, dedecori ac turpitudini, parere desierit’) and gula (on which see below), since, as well as meaning ‘shameless’ (OLD2 s.v. inprobus -a -um §4, esp. b), it has connotations of excess (cf. Mynors at Verg. G. 1.146). Fateor is regular of admitting guilt: OLD2 s.v. fateor §1b. It is a mark of the fly’s shamelessness that in confessing it shows no regret or remorse. quid enim gula turpe veretur?: the word gula carries several meanings. Principally it means ‘throat’ (OLD2 s.v. gula §1) but this is inappropriate of a fly’s proboscis (on which see my note at Mart. 14.67.1 lambere). It can, however, also refer to the seat of one’s appetite (OLD2 s.v. gula §2a) and, by extension, to greed or gluttony; cf. Juv. 1.140–1 ‘quanta est gula quae sibi totos/ ponit apros’, Mart. 5.70.5 ‘o quanta est gula centiens comesse’. So shameless is this fly that it gorges itself on the disgusting. Further, and in contrast, the gula was often regarded as an organ of taste and even discernment: OLD2 s.v. gula §2b; see my notes at Mart. 13.62.2 ‘ingeniosa gula est’, 14.220.2 and Grewing at Mart. 6.11.5–6 ‘tu Lucrina voras, me pascit aquosa peloris:/ non minus ingenua est et mihi, Marce, gula’. Given this sense, turpe is tellingly juxtaposed here: the fly’s unashamed ‘good’ taste is for the foul and repulsive. Turpis is a strong word. As well as being applied to flies (cf. Mart. 14.67.1, quoted above), it is used of frogs at Hor. Epod. 5.19 and pigs at Pliny Nat. 18.364. It describes a cow’s anus at Hor. Epod. 8.5 and the task of cleaning the Augean stables at Sen. Her. F. 248. Despite knowing that flies settled on both food and excrement, the Romans often built their domestic lavatories in or near kitchens: cf. Barry Hobson, Latrinae et Foricae. Toilets in the Roman World, London 2009, 148 and passim, Roberts 261–2. 2 frigora vitabam, quae nunc aestate revertor: in this interlocking line, frigora is balanced by aestate and vitabam by revertor, where the present tense contrasts with the imperfect vitabam. The fly would have avoided the winter by dying (cf. Phaedr. 4.24(25).19–20 above) rather than e.g. migration (cf. Mart. 5.67.3 ‘[sc. volucres] ad tempora verna reversae’) and its return would be through the birth of new flies. This line’s suggestion that it is now (nunc) summer appears anomalous given the Saturnalia’s mid-winter date (see Introduction (3)(a) section A); but the fly is contrasted here with the provident ant of Aenig. 22. frigora vitabam: cf. Grat. 420 ‘[sc. canes] et pluvias et Cauri frigora vitent’. 3 sed cito submoveor falso conterrita vento: submoveor AD(-ear αdSV)γ: commoveor Bgh. This line qualifies the fly’s summer return by emphasizing its


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impermanence even when present because, on settling, it is soon moved on by someone wielding a terrifying and wind-generating fly-swatter; cf. Phaedr. 4.24(25).16 ‘nempe abigeris, cum venis?’ In support of submovere, cf. OLD2 s.v. submovere §1a and b. It is used e.g. of lictors (with their rods of office) moving on crowds in the way of magistrates. Commoveri makes good sense (cf. OLD2 s.v. commoveo §5a), but possibly makes conterrita repetitive. falso conterrita vento: conterrita recalls veretur, line 1, in describing what the fly does fear. The wind is ‘false’ since it is generated by the swatter rather than being natural; cf. Jerome Epist. 44.2 ‘muscaria parvis animalibus ventilanda’ and Ovid Am. 3.2.37–8 of the ‘wind’ generated by fanning: ‘vis tamen interea faciles arcessere ventos,/ quos faciet nostra mota tabella manu?’

24 A weevil I am not good in the judgement of farmers, not a useful visitor to the corn, not large in appearance, not called by the right name, not pleasing to Ceres; but I live on a lot of provender. MSS: A βc αAng.deHMNOQRSZ gGhIVwbX le. gurgulio AβαeQSγ: curculio cAng.dHMNwb: de curculio(ne) OR: om. Z. On the corrupt preposition de, see Aenig. 1 le. n. The MSS are fairly evenly divided between gurgulio and curculio and indeed both forms of the word were used in antiquity. Hence Shackleton Bailey (1979, 39) approves the emendation certo for the MSS’s recto in line 2: the name is ‘not certain’. But although the weevil is sometimes called a curculio, this name is not ‘right’, since it obscures the origin of the word in gurges (cf. Keller II.413) or guttur, and thus denies this riddle a link with gula at Aenig. 23.1; cf. Var. ap. Serv. G. 1.186 ‘Varro ait hoc nomen per antistoechon dictum, quasi gurgulio, quoniam paene nihil est nisi guttur’, Isid.Orig. 12.8.17 ‘gurgulio dicitur, quia pene nihil est aliud nisi guttur’. For S.’s etymologizing and probable scholastic background, see Introduction (3)(a) section C. For the debate over ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ forms, cf. Mart. 14.120 ligula argentea: ‘quamvis me ligulam dicant equitesque patresque,/ dicor ab indoctis lingula grammaticis.’ The weevil here continues the sequence of small creatures (see Aenig. 14 le. n.) and the sub-sequence starting at Aenig. 22: see Aenig. 22 le. n. above. Like the mole (Aenig. 21), ant (Aenig. 22) and mouse (Aenig. 25), it is identified by Virgil as a threat to the threshing floor (Verg. G. 1.185–6), although in fact it was the granary or store room that it endangered. For the risk it posed and methods of dealing with it, cf. Cato Agr. 92, Var. R. 1.63.1, Col. 1.6.14 ff. and Pliny Nat. 18.302. The riddle’s structure defines the weevil by emphatic negatives (cf. Bergamin le. n.): it is what it is not; cf. Pavlovskis 222, cited at Aenig. 1 le. n. Nevertheless, some poetic variation is admitted: the anaphoric ‘non . . . non. . .,/ non . . . non. . .’ of lines 1–2 is followed in line 3 by the possibly less emphatic connective nec before the forcefully conclusive sed: despite not being gratus to Ceres, the gurgulio still eats ‘multa . . . sagina’.



1 non bonus agricolis, non frugibus utilis hospes: note the balance and correspondence of the words in the two half-lines (non:non; bonus:utilis; agricolis:frugibus) and the arrangement nonetheless to avoid the boredom of exactly replicated word-order. On the use of the datives see below. non frugibus utilis hospes: cf. CGL IV.501.32 ‘curcillio vermis frugibus inimicus’. The force of ‘non . . . utilis’ (cf. ‘non bonus’) is significant: the gurgulio is emphatically ‘un-useful’. It is also ‘un-Roman’: utilis is often used of usefulness in a military context or of usefulness to the state. See N-H at Hor. Carm. 1.12.42; cf. Hor. Epod. 2.1.124 (of the poet): ‘militiae quamquam piger et malus, utilis urbi’. Note also Juv. 14.70 ff. ‘gratum est quod patriae civem populoque dedisti/ si facis ut . . . sit . . . utilis agris (sc. colendis),/ utilis et bellorum et pacis rebus agendis’, CIL IV.6668 ‘C. Gavium Rufum II vir . . . utilem iuvenem probum’. In its destructiveness towards crops and farming (like soldiery, a fundamental support of traditional Roman life) this hospes is undermining the very existence of the Roman state. Contrast the ‘Roman’ mouse of Aenig. 25: see on line 3. The irony of hospes is marked. Guests were not supposed to harm their hosts. Hence the force of hostis used by Dido of Aeneas at Verg. A. 4.424, where previously he had been a hospes – if not a husband (Verg. A. 4.10, 323–4). The bond between guests and hosts was ‘stronger than any other but that of the relation of father and son’: see Austin at Verg. A. 4.323, citing W. Warde Fowler, Aeneas at the Site of Rome, 2nd edn Oxford 1918, 91. Frux is often used of corn (see OLD2 s.v. frux §1b). That corn should have a visitor is on first appearances odd, but the word is here metonymical of the farmyard or granary. The dative frugibus indicates disadvantage, thus contrasting with agricolis, dative of ‘the person judging’: see Woodcock §65, L-H-Sz II.96; cf. Catul. 86.1 ‘Quintia formosa est multis’. 2 non magnus forma, non recto nomine dictus: recto codd.: certo Basuelus. For textual discussion, see the le. n. above. The small size of the gurgulio renders its capacity for evil and destruction the more impressive. 3 nec gratus Cereri: gratus builds on bonus and utilis, line 1, and Ceres, the goddess of fruits and grain (OLD2 s.v. Ceres §1), recalls frugibus and also agricolis. So bad is this weevil that it offends not just farmers but the agricultural deity herself. sed multa vivo sagina ABX: non (sed gh) parvam sumo saginam Dγ. The adversative sed follows well after nec: see the le. n. above; cf. Aenig. 22.3 ‘nec . . . sed’. Further, the D tradition diminishes the parallel with Aenig. 25.2 ‘furtiva vivo sagina’ below. It possibly resulted from the introduction into the text of a gloss on the ablative usage without preposition after vivo, for which see OLD2 s.v. vivo §8a. Multa contrasts with the weevil’s diminutive size, described in line 2. It may be relevant that, while sagina can be used in post-Augustan Latin simply of food (L-S s.v. sagina §B1a), it is especially used in the context of building up or fattening (animals, poultry, athletes etc.): OLD2 s.v. sagina §§1–2.


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Aenig. 25.2 aside, sagina recurs at Aenig. 36.2 and 54.3, always in the same metrical position.

25 A mouse My house is small but my door is always open. I live at small expense on stolen food. The name which is applied to me a consul of Rome used to have too. MSS: A βcL αAng.deEHMNORSZ gGhIVwbX le. mus: on the mouse in general, see Keller II.193 ff. The mus here continues the sequence of small creatures initiated at Aenig. 14 and concludes the sub-sequence of agricultural pests beginning at Aenig. 22 (see Aenig. 22 le. n. above). As at Verg. G. 1.181–2 ‘saepe exiguus mus/ sub terris posuitque domos’, where the mus is identified as a threat to the area, the word signifies mice in general rather than any particular species; cf. Mynors ad loc. The riddle is linked verbally to the previous one by line 2 ‘furtiva vivo sagina’, which echoes Aenig. 24.3 ‘multa vivo sagina’, while the Roman associations claimed by the mouse contrast with the weevil’s lack of utilitas: see on Aenig. 24.1 and line 3 below. This contrast reflects an ambiguity in the Roman view of the mouse; compare the ambiguity towards the ant documented at Aenig. 22 le. n. In addition to Verg. G. 1.181 ff., it is identified as a pest e.g. at Cato Agr. 92, where it is paired with the curculio, and Cic. N.D. 2.157. On the other hand the country mouse in Hor. Serm. 2.6 is credited with laudable qualities of generosity and thrift. Note lines 79–83 ‘olim/ rusticus urbanum murem mus paupere fertur/ accepisse cavo, veterem vetus hospes amicum/ asper et attentus quaesitis, ut tamen artum/ solveret hospitiis animum’. 1 parva mihi domus est, sed ianua semper aperta: with domus of a mouse hole, cf. Verg. G. 1.182 quoted above, Hor. Serm. 2.6.88 and 98. Note also Verg. G. 2.209 ‘domos avium’, Verg. A. 5.214 (again of a bird’s nest), Stat. Theb. 1.367 (of a sheepfold) and cf. Aenig. 12.1 n. above; see OLD2 s.v. domus §3a, ThLL V(1).1972.17 ff. s.v. domus [Hofmann]. A mouse hole was, of course, literally always open, but, combined with ianua, aperta here might carry also the suggestion of generosity or open-handedness, contrasting with the size of the domus; cf. Hor. Serm. 2.6.79–83, quoted above, where the country mouse receives the town mouse generously in his ‘paupere . . . cavo’. If so, this adds to the irony in line 2: see on ‘exiguo sumptu’ below. Ianua and the possible hint of generosity are anthropomorphic touches which, along with domus, prepare the way for mus as a personal name in line 3. 2 exiguo sumptu: cf. Verg. G. 1.181 ‘exiguus mus’, although exiguus refers there to physical size. Here, combined with sumptu, it suggests a commendable restraint (cf. Stat. Silv. 3.3.107 ‘exiguaeque dapes’), perhaps recalling the customary carefulness of the impoverished but generous country mouse in Hor. Serm. 2.6: note especially line 82



‘attentus quaesitis’. The irony of this is pointed by the juxtaposition of ‘furtiva . . . sagina’: the food with which the mouse is thrifty (and possibly generous; cf. on line 1) is stolen. furtiva vivo sagina: cf. Pl. Pers. 58 ‘quasi mures semper edere alienum cibum’ (≈ Capt. 77), where Satyrio is describing his parasitical forebears. 3 quod mihi nomen inest, Romae quoque consul habebat: with the construction inest + dative, cf. Ovid Pont. 3.3.104 ‘grandius ingenio nec tibi nomen inest’. Many Roman cognomina derive from the names of familiar animals and vegetables: note e.g. Brutus, Verres, Catulus, Faber and Cicero; cf. Aenig. 85.1 ‘nobile duco genus magni de gente Catonis’ of a perna or ham (Catonis is a reference to M. Porcius Cato; cf. porcus). The man referred to here is P. Decius Mus, either father (consul in 340 BC, who ‘devoted himself to death’ in the Latin war of that year so that Rome might be victorious), or son (consul in 312, 308, 297 and 295, who died fighting the Gauls at Sentinum, following his father’s example), or both. See OCD4 s.vv. ‘Decius Mus’ (1), (2) [T. J. Cornell].11 Despite confessing to theft in the previous line, but in keeping with the riddle’s possible hints of generosity and frugality, the mouse likens himself not only to a Roman citizen, but a consular hero; cf. Pavlovskis 226, who notes that by boasting a Roman namesake the mouse is effectively integrating himself into Roman society. Romae BeEMγ: Troiae AD(praeter eEM). The variant arose from misreading INESTROMAE as INESTROIAE. Troy did not have consuls and in any case there was no connection between it and the Decii, although their origins are uncertain: Kl.P. I.1410.17–18 s.v. Decius §5 [R. Hanslik]; cf. OCD4 s.v. ‘Decius Mus’ (1), where T. J. Cornell mentions the possibility that they came from Campania. For patricians who claimed Trojan descent, see Mayor at Juv. 1.99–100.

26 A crane A letter of heaven I am, written by a flying feather, waging bloody war in the winged contest of Mars; nor do I fear fisticuffs, provided the enemy isn’t taller. MSS: A βc αAng.deHMNOQRSZ gGhIVwbX le. grus: this riddle begins a sub-sequence of four birds (Aenig. 26–7) and bird-like or flying creatures (Aenig. 28–29(31)), held together by an interlocking arrangement: 26 and 28 both refer to feathers or wings (26.1 penna; 28.2 pluma, penna), while 27 and 29(31) both contain the word vita (27.1 ‘vivo novem vitas’ and 29(31).1‘vita mihi mors est’) and refer to long or renewable life. All the creatures in the sequence feature in accounts of metamorphosis or regeneration: see at Aenig. 26.2, 27.2, 28.1, 29(31) le. 11

There was also a grandson of the same name (consul in 279 BC), but usually just two Decii are mentioned: see e.g. Cic. Sest. 48, Front. Str. 4.5.15. For the grandson, see OCD4 s.v. ‘Decius Mus’ (3) [T. J. Cornell and E. T. Salmon].


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This bird sequence comes naturally after the terrestrial creatures it follows. Thus caeli, line 1, contrasts with the mouse hole of Aenig. 25 mus (with which grus rhymes; cf. Sebo 188). Reference to Mars in line 2 contrasts with Ceres, and the associations of agriculture with peace, at Aenig. 24.3; and hostis, line 3, recalls ‘non . . . utilis hospes’, Aenig. 24.1. For general information regarding cranes, see Mynors at Verg. G. 1.120, Pollard 83–4 and passim, Thompson 68–75. In composing this riddle S. may have been influenced by Mart. 13.75 grues: ‘turbabis versus nec littera tota volabit,/ unam perdideris si Palamedis avem’. On his literary debt to Martial, see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. 1 littera sum caeli penna perscripta volanti: this line refers to the tradition that Palamedes invented or added to the alphabet by watching the flight of cranes in formation: see my note at Mart. 13.75 le. grues, Henriksén at Mart. 9.12(13).7. The letter for which he is most often credited is V (cf. in Greek Λ, Υ and γ): note Auson. Technopaegnion 25.14.25 Green ‘haec grues effigies Palamedica porrigitur V’. It is probably this that S. has in mind. To form it, or any letter, would require more cranes than the single bird in the lemma, but a plural there would disagree with the singulars in the rest of the bird sequence and destroy the rhyme with Aenig. 25 le. mus. For Palamedes’ reputation for inventiveness, see Kl.P. IV.418.32 ff. s.v. Palamedes [H. Gärtner]. penna perscripta volanti: volanti S Heumann: -tis codd. reliqui. The prosaic majority MS reading may have been influenced by Martis in line 2 (cf. hostis, line 3) or volantis in Aenig. 28.2. By penna the word-playing S. means both ‘feather’ and ‘quill-pen’. For the scholastic background possibly behind such word-play, see on line 3 below. 2 bella cruenta gerens volucri discrimine Martis: Martis, at the end of the line, balances bella at the beginning. The noun-adjective pair ‘bella cruenta’ is countered by ‘volucri discrimine’. Volucri echoes volanti in line 1. This line and the next refer to the mythical battles each year of the cranes and pygmies, the earliest surviving description of which is Homer Iliad 3.2–7. The Homer passage perhaps suggests that the tradition originated in stories of farmers defending their crops from migrating cranes. Another explanation, alluded to at Ovid Met. 6.90–3, is that Hera once transformed a beautiful pygmy girl into a crane as punishment for her arrogance. The girl tried, in her crane-form, to claim her baby son, who was still with the pygmies, but was forcefully driven off. Perpetual hostility between the cranes and pygmies ensued. This metamorphosis version concurs with other allusions to metamorphosis within the section: see le. n. above. The geranomachy is frequently represented in art, the earliest surviving example being the François vase (570 BC). For further information, see Véronique Dasen, Dwarfs in Ancient Egypt and Greece, Oxford 1993, 182 ff., OCD4 s.v. pygmies [K.W. Arafat], Kl.P. II.758.49 ff. s.v. Gerana [H. von Geisau].



bella cruenta: cf. Ovid Fast. 6.176 ‘quae Pygmaeo sanguine gaudet avis’, Hor. Carm. 2.14.13 ‘cruento Marte’. volucri discrimine: although the pygmies would not have fought ‘on the wing’, the cranes would have attacked them from the air. 3 nec vereor pugnas dum non sit longior hostis: i.e. the crane is not afraid of fights, provided the opposition does not have a size advantage. However, this superficial meaning is underpinned by a double layer of etymologizing. Pugna was derived from the Latin word for a fist; cf. Isid. Orig.18.1.10 ‘pugna vocatur eo quod initio usus fuisset in bello pugnis contendere, vel quia primo bellum pugnis incipiebant’; see Maltby s.v. pugna. The Greek for a fist is πυγμή, and this was also used of a cubit (see L-S-J s.v. πυγμή §II). The height of the pygmy (one cubit), hinted at by pugnas, is picked up by longior. Although tall birds, cranes are still shorter than humans and therefore at a physical disadvantage when facing them – unless their opponents stand no more than a cubit high. The crane is therefore not afraid of fights, provided they are with pygmies. The etymology of pugna possibly adds an element of paradoxical humour, since cranes do not have fists. I have tried to reflect this by translating ‘fisticuffs’. S.’s etymologizing in this line is the more ‘scholastic’ (cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C) for being bilingual. For bilingual etymologizing, see too on Aenig. 31(30).1 ferarum, 32 le. taurus. Cf. the bilingual punning or word-play at Aenig. 42.1 (see n. ad loc.) and 84.1. dum non sit longior hostis: cf. Juv. 13.173 ‘tota cohors [sc. Pygmaeorum] pede non est altior uno’, Priap. 46.3 ‘[sc. puella] Pygmaeo brevior gruem timenti’. Longus commonly means ‘tall’: cf. Cic. Inv. 1.35 ‘longus an brevis [sc. sit homo]’, Catul. 8.6.1–2 ‘Quintia . . . longa/ . . . est’; see OLD2 s.v. longus §3. It is applied specifically to pygmies at Gel. 9.4.11.

27 A crow I live nine lives, if Greece does not deceive me, and I am always black, though stricken with no grief, and, not being angry, I hurl insults without prompting. MSS: A βc αAng.deHMNOQRSZ gGhIVwbX le. cornix: this riddle is the second in the bird sub-section, for which see Aenig. 26 le. n. above. Given the reference to fighting in Aenig. 26, it may be relevant that both grus and corvus are used of types of siege engine: Vitr. 10.13.3. On crows generally, see Thompson 159 ff., Pollard, esp. 25–6; cf. Pliny Nat. 10.32, Mart. 14.74. The word cornix (cf. κόραξ; also corvus, a raven) is probably onomatopoeic; cf. on line 3 below. 1 vivo novem vitas, si me non Graecia fallit: verbs begin and end this line. The v alliteration in the figura etymologica ‘vivo . . . vitas’ interlocks with ‘novem . . . non’. Novem contains a further v.


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The earliest surviving testimony to the crow’s longevity is Hsd fr. 304 M-W. This longevity became proverbial: see OLD2 s.v. cornix §1e, Otto s.v. cornix §1, Thompson 169; cf. Ovid Met. 7.274 ‘novem cornicis saecula passae’, Auson. Griphus 15.12 Green ‘et totiens trino cornix vivacior aevo’, Cic. Tusc. 3.69, Sen. Ben. 2.29.1, Hor. Carm. 3.17.13 with N-R. The crow here is nonetheless not the first to question the Greek (Graecia) or Hesiodic tradition: cf. Pliny Nat. 7.153 ‘Hesiodus, qui primus aliqua de hoc prodidit, fabulose, ut reor, multa hominum aevo praeferens, cornici novem nostras attribuit aetates’, but it is humorous that it is questioning a tradition about itself. si me non Graecia fallit: Greeks had a reputation for lying, cheating and deceiving. See Austin at Verg. A. 2.65–6 ‘accipe nunc Danaum insidias et crimine ab uno/ disce omnis’; cf. Cic. Orat. 1.47 ‘Graeculos homines contentionis cupidiores quam veritatis’, Scaur. 4 ‘Graeculi . . . multa fingunt’. Note too the ‘Greek’ Rome of Juv. 3, where to survive one has to lie and, while Umbricius cannot (‘mentiri nescio’, line 41), the Greeks’ lying flatteries are believed: lines 92–3, discussed by A. N. Sherwin-White, Racial Prejudice in Imperial Rome, Cambridge 1967, 71–8. Of the Greeks, the Cretans were singled out as being particularly mendacious: cf. Ovid Ars 1.298 ‘mendax Creta’ with Hollis; see Otto s.v. Creta. 2 atraque sum semper nullo conpulsa dolore: according to Ovid, Met. 2.541 ff., the crow was originally white but was turned black as a punishment for treachery. Thereafter, however, the bird became famous for its black colouring; cf. Apul. Met. 2.9 ‘corvina nigredine’, Petr. 43.8 ‘niger tamquam corvus’, Catul. 108.5 ‘atro gutture corvus’, Juv. 7.202 ‘corvo . . . rarior albo’, i.e. exceptionally rare. That this crow is perpetually black (semper is alliteratively emphatic after sum) heightens the paradoxical contrast between its funereal appearance and lack of grief: note the juxtaposition of semper and nullo. For the dark colours worn by mourners, cf. e.g. Prop. 4.7.27–8 ‘denique quis nostro curvum te funere vidit,/ atram quis lacrimis incaluisse togam’, Apul. Met. 2.23 ‘fusca veste’; see OLD2 s.v. pullus2 §1b. atraque sum semper M: utraque (ultra- Ang.: va- X) sum semper D(praeter M)γ: nomen habens atrum Bghwb: nomen habens atrum utraque sum semper A. The M (≈ D) reading is clearly correct. B’s nomen possibly arose under influence of novem in line 1 or nomen in Aenig. 28.1, and an attempt at emendation followed which leaves the second hemistich unexplained. Also, the crow does not have a black, i.e. sinister, name. On the contrary, crow omens were generally good; cf. e.g. Pl. As. 260, Cic. Div. 1.85, Suet. Dom. 23.2. For A’s common preservation of both variants, see Introduction (5) and n. 155. 3 et non irascens ultro convicia dico: contrast Mor. 108 ‘furens dicit convicia’. This line reverses the ordering of line 2, where the negative and participle appear in the second hemistich. Crows were well known for their garrulity (Ovid Met. 2.547–8 ‘garrula . . . cornix’, Auson. Eclogae 14.22.3 Green) and their ability to imitate human speech, because of which they were taught to greet people on seeing them approach; cf. ultro: the crow spoke first. Note e.g. Mart. 14.74.1 ‘corve salutator’; cf. 3.95.2. Given, however,



the harshness of the bird’s voice (cf. Lucr. 5.1084, 6.751–2 ‘raucae/ cornices’, Verg. G. 1.388 ‘improba voce’), it appeared to insult rather than greet them. Hence the paradox in the line, since these apparent insults were not prompted by any ill-feeling (‘non irascens’). For bird mimics generally, see Pollard ch. 15, esp. 136 ff., D-S 1(1).700 col. 1 ff. s.vv. ‘bestiae mansuetae’ [E. Courtney, E. Saglio]. The self-awareness evident from this line (cf. the bird’s scepticism regarding its nine lives in line 1) conflicts with the generally held belief that, while able to speak, bird mimics did so without any understanding of what they were saying; cf. Philostratus Vit. Apoll. Tyan. 1.7 (of philosophers schooled by rote), Apul. Fl. 12 ‘verum enimvero et corvus et psittacus nihil aliud quam quod didicerunt [sc. from others] pronuntiant’. convicia: while used principally here of insulting talk or abuse, this word also carries the sense ‘clamour’ or ‘uproar’, thus reflecting the crow’s harsh voice; cf. its use of magpies at Ovid Met. 5.676 ‘nemorum convicia, picae’ and of the noise of frogs at Phaedr. 1.6.5 and Col. 10.12. Note also Phaedr. 3.16.3–4, of a cricket.

28 A bat ?Night? gives me my name from the first part of the night. Plumage I have not although I have the wing of a bird; but I return in darkness and do not entrust myself to the daylight. MSS: A βc αAng.deHMNOQRSZ gGhIVwbX le. vespertilio: the ancients were puzzled as to whether the bat should count as a bird or other animal; note e.g. Macr. 7.16.7 ‘volantia universa de ovis prodeunt, excepto uno quod incertae naturae est, nam vespertilio volat quidem pellitis alis, sed inter volantia non habendus est, quia quattuor pedibus graditur formatosque pullos parit et nutrit lacte quos generat’; Var. Men. 13 ‘factus sum vespertilio; neque in muribus plane neque in volucribus sum’, Non. 46.30M cited below on line 1. This uncertainty makes the bat well suited to be the subject of a riddle (cf. Plato Rep. 479b–c, which refers to the children’s riddle in which a bat both is and is not a bird, and Pavlovskis 222, cited at Aenig. 1 le. n.), and it is reflected by Aenig. 28: note especially line 2. While part of the bird sub-sequence (see Aenig. 26 le. n.), the riddle marks a transition from the crane and crow to the unreal and mythical phoenix (for the transposition of Aenig. 29(31) see below), and also anticipates the animals that begin again with Aenig. 30(29) ericius. Bird associations aside, this riddle is perhaps further linked to Aenig. 27 by noctis (28.1) and tenebris (28.3), which recall atra (27.2). Keller I.11 ff. gives further information on the role of the bat in riddles and fables. 1 †nox† mihi dat nomen primo de tempore noctis: cf. Ovid Met. 4.414–15 ‘lucem . . . perosae/ nocte volant seroque tenent a vespere nomen’, concluding a section describing the metamorphosis of Minyas’ daughters for defying Bacchus, Non. 46.30M ‘vespertilio


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animal volucre, biforme, dictum quod vespero se ad volatum proferat noctis’, Isid. Orig. 12.7.36 ‘vespertilio pro tempore nomen accepit, eo quod lucem fugiens crepusculo vespertino circumvolet’; see Maltby s.v. vespertilio. Such etymologizing is in keeping with S.’s probable scholastic background: see Introduction (3)(a) section C. Similar etymologizing appears at Mart. 13.71.1 ‘dat mihi pinna rubens nomen’. †nox†: nox codd. praeter S (non d): vox S. Watt observes that ‘the repetition “nox . . . noctis” seems very improbable’ (1996, 260). In this he was preceded by Schenkl: see Bergamin ad loc. Watt suggests vox for nox, apparently without knowledge of S, understanding ‘vox mihi dat nomen’ as a periphrasis for vocor, for which he compares Aenig. 42.1 and 91.3. Alternatively, he proposes sors, ‘my lot in life’, paralleling the corruption of sors to nox by reference to Housman at Manil. 2.222. Sors is colourless; and that he proposes an alternative suggests that Watt himself was not convinced by vox. S. does not paraphrase like this elsewhere. Vox might otherwise be understood in a technical and grammatical sense to mean ‘a word’ (i.e. vesper); cf. e.g. Var. L. 9.50.89 ‘eadem vox nomen et verbum significabit’; see OLD2 s.v. vox §10, L-S s.v. vox §IIA. This would be in accordance with S.’s fondness for etymologizing. However, de is then difficult to construe. The most prudent option is to obelize. 2 pluma mihi non est cum sit mihi penna volantis: with the paradox of this line, that bats do not have feathers or plumage and yet fly on wings, cf. Ovid Met. 4.410–11 ‘non illas [sc. Minyeidas] pluma levavit,/ sustinuere tamen se perlucentibus alis’. This paradox is emphasized by careful line-arrangement: est in the first hemistich is balanced by sit, mihi by mihi and pluma by penna. With the kenning-like volantis, cf. the not entirely parallel Lucr. 2.1083 ‘corpora cuncta volantum’ and Verg. A. 6.728. For kennings in S., see Aenig. 18 le. and 19.1 nn. 3 sed redeo †in† tenebris nec me committo diebus: cf. Ovid Met. 4.406–7 ‘ignes ac lumina vitant . . . petunt latebras’. The second half-line repeats the sense of the first. Nec corresponds with sed while committo balances redeo as diebus does tenebris. sed redeo (me A) in tenebris (tebris A) ABD(praeter EZ)γ: sed sedeo in tenebris ZGIV: sed tego me in tenebris E: et sedeo in tenebris Bergamin: sed prodeo in tenebris Schenkl: sed resto in tenebris Baehrens. ‘Sed sedeo’ is clearly corrupt (bats do not sit and the jingle is unattractive), but it is palaeographically equivalent to and therefore supports ‘sed r-’. The point of ‘sed redeo’ is that, while like a bird in that it flies, the bat differs in that it returns from its night-time forays while it is still dark, since it does not entrust itself to the daylight. Bergamin’s attempt to remove the jingle does not answer the objection that bats do not sit, prodeo is both unnecessary and totally unsupported by the tradition and resto suggests, given the rest of the line, that the bat never goes out at all. None of the emendators comments on the elision of in with redeo, sedeo or their conjectures. Given the avoidance of elision in S., however (see Introduction (3)(d)), Shackleton Bailey suggests in his apparatus that it should be deleted; cf. Cic. Phil. 2.76 ‘luce, non tenebris’. He is possibly correct. Avoidance of elision is an argument also



against E’s ‘tego me in’, which otherwise makes good sense, balances well with the second hemistich and draws some support from A.

29(31) Phoenix Life is death to me; I die if I have begun to be born; but the fate of death comes before the beginning of life. In this way I alone declare the shades themselves are my parents. MSS: A βc αAng.deHMNOQRS gGhIVwbX le. phoenix: this riddle, once transposed, concludes the bird sub-section beginning at Aenig. 26 grus: see Aenig. 26 le. n. Lucis in line 2 picks up on tenebris and diebus in Aenig. 28.3; cf. the connection of night, shadows and blackness between Aenig. 27 and 28: see Aenig. 28 le. n. The renewable life of the phoenix recalls the nine lives of the crow in Aenig. 27. Vita, line 1, echoes vitas (Aenig. 27.1), while mors recalls the mourning in Aenig. 27.2 dolore. The paradox that the phoenix lives as a result of death recalls that in Aenig.15 vipera. The details of the phoenix story vary, but the general outline is that once every 500 years or so the bird flies from the East to Egypt, where it builds a nest lined with spicewoods upon which it burns and perishes; but it is then reborn from the ashes. In S.’s version, the death and rebirth of the phoenix appear to be contemporaneous; cf. on fatum, line 2 below: the ‘bird’ is effectively immortal. The story is alluded to first in surviving Classical literature at Hsd fr. 304 M-W. It is related by Herodotus (2.73), who professes not to believe it. See too Pliny Nat. 10.3 ff. and Tac. Ann. 6.28; cf. Sen. Ep. 42.1 ‘tamquam Phoenix semel anno quingentesimo nascitur’, Stat. Silv. 2.4.37 ‘scandet odoratos phoenix felicior ignes’. Note also the de Ave Phoenice (AL 485a Riese) ascribed to Lactantius and AL 385 ShB, especially lines 31–4, describing the life-giving touch of the sun: ‘namque docet phoenix ustis reparata favillis/ omnia Phoebeo vivescere corpora tactu./ haec vitam de morte petit, post fata vigorem;/ nascitur ut pereat, perit ut nascatur ab igni.’ At Ovid Met. 15.391 ff. the phoenix is cited as unique (cf. solus, line 3 below) in that it renews itself: its primordia are not derived ‘ex aliis generis’ (line 391). The bird appears on coins e.g. of Trajan and Hadrian to symbolize the birth of a new era. See further March s.v. Phoenix, Kl.P. IV.799.38 ff. s.v. Phoenix 3 [K. Ziegler]. The rebirth of the phoenix was used by Christian writers from the first century to symbolize the resurrection of the dead: see Bergamin ad loc. It is not surprising that they should adopt the myth for this purpose, but the inclusion of a riddle about the phoenix cannot be taken to indicate Christian influence on S. For similar instances where Christian influence has been suspected, see Introduction (2) and n. 36. 1 vita mihi mors est; morior si coepero nasci: mors and morior correspond in the middle of the line, as do vita at the beginning and nasci at the end. This arrangement heightens the paradox that the phoenix lives through dying; cf. e.g. AL 385.33 ShB cited above (le. n.), AL 485a.32 Riese ‘vivit morte refecta sua’, 78 ‘nam perit, ut vivat: se tamen ipsa creat’, 166 ‘ut possit nasci, appetit ante mori’. The life-death paradox is very suitable


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for exploitation in philosophical contexts (cf. e.g. Cic. Rep. 6.14, Tusc. 1.75), but it has no symbolic meaning in S. morior si coepero nasci: cf. Manil. 4.16 ‘nascentes morimur’, a paradoxical coupling which may have influenced S.: Manilius is dealing not with the phoenix but with fate, which is sealed at a man’s birth, and ‘fate’ appears to be the meaning of fatum in line 2. Bergamin refers to L-H-Sz II.661 in noting that, although the combination of a present tense apodosis and future perfect protasis has classical parallels, it is usual in late Latin. She also notes that ‘coepisse nasci’ finds parallel in Christian authors only (cf. e.g. Aug. Epist. 143.6). For other indications of a late date for the Aenigmata, see Introduction (2) and nn. 32 and 34. 2 sed prius est fatum leti quam lucis origo: cf. AL 385.34 ShB quoted above (le. n.), Claud. Carm. Min. 27.102–3 ‘praebetur origo [sc. Phoenicis]/ per cinerem’, Aenig. 15.3 ‘id mea mors patitur quod iam me fecit origo’. The chiasmus ‘fatum leti . . . lucis origo’ combined with the tmesis of ‘prius . . . quam’ binds the two half-lines together and thus emphasizes the paradox that death precedes life. For the ‘fatum . . . origo’ contrast, cf. V. Max 7.1.1. ‘a primo originis die ad ultimum usque fati tempus’, Manil. 4.16 ‘finis . . . ab origine pendet’. For lux meaning ‘life’, see ThLL VII(2).1910.12 ff. s.v. lux [Ehlers], OLD2 s.v. lux §6a; cf. Verg. G. 4.255–6 ‘tum corpora luce carentum/ exportant tectis et tristia funera ducunt’. fatum ABD(praeter dNS)γ: factum dNS. Initially, factum might seem attractive: ‘the accomplishment of death’ nicely balances the ‘beginning of life’ while ‘fatum leti’ appears tautologous (for fatum meaning ‘death’, see OLD2 s.v. fatum 6a). However, ‘morior si coepero nasci’ in line 1 suggests that the process of being born is simultaneous with dying. Death does not happen first. Fatum here means ‘destiny’ or something which has been ordained (L-S s.v. fatum §IIA): it is not death but the fate of death that is a prerequisite to the phoenix’ birth. lucis origo: cf. Sil. 11.48 ‘despecta . . . lucis origo’. 3 sic solus Manes ipsos mihi dico parentes: cf. Claud. Carm. Min. 27.24–7 ‘hic neque concepto fetu nec semine surgit,/ sed pater est prolesque sibi nulloque creante/ emeritos artus fecunda morte reformat/ et petit alternam totidem per funera vitam’, AL 485a.167–8 Riese ‘ipsa sibi proles, suus est pater et suus heres,/ nutrix ipsa sui, semper alumna sibi’. While sed at the start of line 2 introduces its qualification of the paradox in line 1, sic introduces the riddle’s general conclusion. Manes is often used poetically of death itself (cf. OLD2 s.v. manes §4), but it here refers more properly to the spirits of the departed: since the ‘old’ phoenix (cf. Claud. Carm. Min. 27.72 ‘Manes . . . paternos’) has to die for the ‘new’ one to be born, the ‘spirits’ of the ‘old’ one are ‘parents’ to the ‘new’. solus dAng.Rh: solos ABD(praeter dAng.R)γ. Solus accords with the phoenix’s unusual and paradoxical birth; cf. Ovid Met. 15.392 ‘una est, quae reparet seque ipsa reseminet, ales’. It alone can claim the Manes- usually the opposite of birth- as its parents. Solos not



only denies the phoenix its uniqueness but overloads Manes, which is already qualified by ipsos.

30(29) A hedgehog His home is full of prickles; but, the guest of a small body, pierced by sharp weapons although his back is unharmed, he withstands armed crops while being an unarmed occupant. MSS: A βc αAng.deEHMNORS gGhIVwbX le. ericius: this riddle is unusual in not having a personified first-person subject; see Introduction n. 116. With Aenig. 25 mus it frames the sub-section on birds or bird-like creatures (Aenig. 26–29(31); cf. Aenig. 26 le. n. above): ‘domus . . . parvi’ in line 1 echoes ‘parva domus’ at Aenig. 25.1. Spinis possibly recalls penna in Aenig. 28.2 and 26.1, as perhaps hospes does hostis in Aenig. 26.3 and hospes in 24.1. The paradox that the hedgehog is unharmed by the many weapons which pierce the small body it inhabits follows easily the paradox that life for the phoenix in Aenig. 29(31) comes about through its death. The word ericius of a hedgehog survives at Var. Men. 490, but the animal was more commonly called an erinaceus in classical times: ericius became common only in late antiquity. See ThLL V(2).776.59 ff. s.v. ericius [K.-M.]. It may therefore be further indication of a late date for S.; cf. Introduction (2) and n. 32. It survives more often in military contexts, where it is applied to a kind of spiked barrier; cf. Caes. Civ. 3.67.5 ‘erat obiectus portis ericius’, 3.67.6, Sall. Hist. 3.36. While according with words in the riddle like ‘telis . . . acutis’ (line 2) and armatas (line 3), this military meaning contrasts with inermis (line 3). For the epigrammatic combination of a small animal and military activity, cf. Mart. 13.60 cuniculi, which is concerned principally with rabbits for eating but makes direct reference to siege operations. While S. was probably not influenced by Mart. 13.60 here, it is worth recalling Mart. 13.86 echini, which deals with sea urchins, and that ἐχῖνος is the Greek for ‘hedgehog’. For Martial’s influence on S. generally, see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. For the hedgehog generally, see Keller I.17–20. 1 plena domus spinis; parvi sed corporis hospes: cf. Nemes. Cyneg. 57 ‘implicitum . . . sinu spinosi corporis erem’, Aenig. 12.2 (in wording, not sense) ‘ipsa domus resonat, tacitus sed non sonat hospes’. While domus in the first hemistich and the balancing corporis in the second both refer to the hedgehog’s bodily frame, hospes designates its soul or life-force; cf. Venant. Fort. Mart. 1.175 ‘erigitur . . . iacens pariter domus et suus hospes’ (referring to the body and soul of one restored to life) and see on corporis below. Parvi balances and contrasts with the alliterative plena. plena domus spinis: cf. Aug. in psalm. 70.1.5 ‘spinis plenus tamquam ericius’ and the wording at Juv. 3.187: ‘plena domus libis’. Contrast Aenig. 18.1 where domus is used not of the snail’s body but its shell: ‘porto domum mecum’. S. elsewhere uses domus of a mouse hole (Aenig. 25.1) and the habitat of a fish: Aenig. 12.2. The word survives as the


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home of the soul (again, cf. on corporis) at Ovid Met. 15.58–9 ‘animae . . . novis domibus vivunt’ and 57–8 ‘animae sumus inque ferinas/ possumus ire domos’. See too ThLL V(1).1979.61 ff. s.v. domus [Hofmann]. Spina, literally a thorn, is commonly used of the spines of animals: see OLD2 s.v. spina §3. It is used elsewhere of echinus spines at Pliny Nat. 8.133 and 28.67. Its juxtaposition with domus is telling: homes usually have comfortable associations. parvi . . . corporis hospes: cf. FPL Hadrian 3.1–2 ‘animula vagula . . . hospes comesque corporis’ of the emperor’s soul. Corpus is used elsewhere of the soul’s corporeal dwelling place at Verg. A. 6.713–4 ‘animae, quibus altera fato/ corpora debentur’ and Cic. Tusc. 1.52 ‘corpus . . . quasi vas est aut aliquod animi receptaculum’. Although the hedgehog is just a guest in its body, any transience this might suggest (cf. vagula in the Hadrian passage above) is emphatically countered in lines 2 and 3, where it is clear that its occupancy is long-standing. 2 incolumi dorso telis confixus acutis: the second half of the line recalls ‘plena domus spinis’, the first half of line 1. The participial confixus gives varietas to the adjectival ablative absolute in the first hemistich, thereby pointing the paradox that the hedgehog is simultaneously pierced and unharmed. For the dorsum of small animals, cf. Curt. 9.8.2 ‘dorsa testudinum’ of a tortoise shell. With ‘telis . . . acutis’, cf. Aenig. 45.2 ‘telis defendor acutis’ of the thorns of a rose. Although the hedgehog gives the appearance of being pierced by enemy darts, its spines are in reality defensive weapons of its own, like the rose’s thorns: it is not actually inermis (line 3) and S. is unusual in portraying it as such; contrast Isid. Orig. 12.3.7 ‘[sc. spinis] . . . quibus undique protectus est’, Claud. Carm. Min. 9.10 ff., 43. An explanation of this departure from normal practice might perhaps be found in Dale Scott’s identification, 120, in this line and the next of an ironically trivializing allusion to Verg. A. 3.45–6 ‘hic confixum ferrea texit/ telorum seges et iaculis increvit acutis’ of the murdered Polydorus; cf. Introduction (3)(e). While ironic debunking is possible, the application of epic language to a hedgehog is certainly humorous. confixus ABgh: conplectus d(complector E): conpletus D(praeter dE)γ. Configo is regular of piercing with weapons: OLD2 s.v. configo §4a; cf. Verg. A. 3.45–6 cited above, 9.543 ‘confixi . . . suis telis’, Tac. Ann. 14.37 ‘confixa . . . telis . . . iumenta’, Ovid Pont. 2.7.15 ‘fortunae telis confixus iniquis’. The variants probably arose through palaeographical corruption (CONFIXUS → CONPLXUS → CONPLEXUS → CONPLE(C)TUS; for confusion of I and L, see Reynolds and Wilson 223), although conpletus might have been influenced by plena in line 1. 3 sustinet armatas segetes, habitator inermis: it is unusual in S. for the third-foot caesura not to coincide with a sense pause; cf. Introduction (3)(d) and n. 122. Armatas is balanced by the contrasting inermis and these two adjectives enclose their nouns. Habitator recalls hospes in line 1. segetes βgh: sedes AcDγ. Sedes is probably a palaeographical corruption. With segetes, cf. Auson. Epitaphia Heroum 12.19.2 Green ‘telorum seges’, in a poem describing



Polydorus, Verg. A. 3.45–6, cited above, 7.526 ‘horrescit strictis seges ensibus’, 12.663–4 ‘strictisque seges mucronibus horret/ ferrea’. Note also Verg. G. 2.142 ‘densisque virum seges horruit hastis’, where, however, seges refers to soldiery rather than weapons. The appearance of a standing crop of corn is easily equated with that of a collection of arrows or spears which have been thrown.

31(30) A louse We all have an unusual way of capturing our own big game, so that if you should catch anything, you would refuse to bear it for yourself, and what you do not catch you yourself would nevertheless take back with you. MSS: A βc αAng.deHMNORS gGhIVwbX le. peduculus: S. sometimes recycles traditional riddles in the Aenigmata: cf. Aenig. 12 le. n. This riddle survives e.g. in Heraclitus fr. 56 Diels-Kranz and the Contest of Hesiod and Homer 326. See too Bettina Bergman, ‘A painted garland: weaving words and images in the House of the Epigrams in Pompeii’ in Zahra Newby and Ruth Leader-Newby edd, Art and Inscription in the Ancient World, Cambridge 2007, 71–6 and fig.  3.9, showing a panel depicting the riddle’s setting: Homer reportedly asked some fisherboys if they had caught anything, to which they replied (AP 9.448) ὅσσ’ ἕλομεν λιπόμεσθ’, ὅσσ’ οὐχ ἕλομεν φερόμεσθα (‘Whatever we caught we left behind and what we did not catch we carry away’). When Homer asked what they meant, they explained that they had caught no fish, but the lice they had caught on themselves instead they had left behind, although they still carried those which they had not caught. Homer is said to have died of his irritation at not having solved the riddle; cf. AP 14.65 and 66, which recall the oracle in which his death in this way is foretold. On lice generally, see Kl.P. III.521.31 ff. s.v. Laus 1 [E. Mensching], Davies and Kathirithamby 168–76. They were a general if undesirable feature of life in the ancient world (cf. cunctis, line 1), being common enough to appear in proverbs (cf. Petr. 57.7 ‘in alio peduclum vides, in te ricinum non vides’), and several references to lice-picking survive; cf. e.g. Athen. 13.586A, Hdt 4.168. Possibly two points of connection link this riddle with the last. The first is the parasitical nature of the louse, which recalls Aenig. 30(29).1 ‘corporis hospes’. The second is the different form of hunting described in line 1: lice are not hunted with weapons, as are other animals, and so there is a contrast with the ‘telis . . . acutis’ of Aenig. 30(29).2. S. may have been conscious that Martial includes hunting and hunting equipment of the traditional sort in the Apophoreta: note 14.30 venabula and 31 ‘culter venatorius’. For Martial’s influence on S., see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. Regarding riddles where the subject is not personified, see the introductory n. to Aenig. 96. 1 est nova nostrarum cunctis captura ferarum vel sim. ABγ: cunctis nostrarum D. The D reading would dispense with the third-foot caesura, which is usual in S.; cf.


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Introduction (3)(d). The internal rhyme in this line is striking. For other instances, see Introduction (3)(c). nova . . . captura: for nova meaning ‘strange’ vel sim., see OLD2 s.v. novus §3. As well as hunting with weapons, usually (contrast lines 2–3) one would carry back captured game but would not bring back that which had not been captured. This, however, is not the case with lice. Captura is picked up by capias in both lines 2 and 3. nostrarum . . . ferarum: nostrarum codd. praeter α (nostra): alii edd. alii. Although nostrarum has caused editorial puzzlement, emendation is unnecessary. In his apparatus Shackleton Bailey glosses it as ‘i.e. quae corpora nostra habitant’. The lice are ‘ours’ because they are parasites on our own bodies. Fera is usual of big game; cf. Verg. A. 9.551 ‘ut fera, quae densa venantum saepta corona/ contra tela furit seseque haud nescia morti/ inicit et saltu supra venabula fertur’, Mart. 13.95.1 ferarum in the context of venationes in the arena; cf. OLD2 s.v. fera §1. Its application to lice here, combined with the pointedness of nostrarum (we are not proud of our possession) is ironically humorous; cf. Martial’s ‘tenuem . . . feram’ of an ant at 6.5.2. There is possibly some word-play on φθείρ, θήρ (Aeolic φήρ) and fera. (For bilingual etymologizing in S., see Aenig. 26.3 n.) There may be further word-play on ferarum in ferre (line 2) and reportes (line 3). 2 ut si quid capias, id tu tibi ferre recuses: id Pithoeus: sed AβD(praeter S)γ: et cghwb: hoc S. The adversative is nonsensical after si. It derives from ‘capias id’. Et too makes little sense. Something is needed to pick up quid. While hoc does, it lacks the support of the other MSS. It is probably an attempted correction. Tu tibi is picked up but varied in line 3 by ipse. 3 et quod non capias, tecum tamen ipse reportes: capias ABαAng.Mgh: capies D(praeter αAng.M)γ. This line restates but reverses the paradox in line 2. The repetition of capias recalls that of ἕλομεν in AP 9.448. (See le. n.) Capies arose through homoeoteleuton with reportes. Pace Bergamin, reporto does not survive of bringing back kill from the hunt, although it is used of carrying back battle spoils (OLD2 s.v. reporto §3a, L-S s.v. reporto §IB). She is therefore still justified in detecting some irony in its application here to an uncaught louse.

32 A bull I was the lover of a royal although I pursued wooden limbs, and I am a mountain of the Cilicians although?I am not of a single name?, and I am both borne in the heavens and I walk on the earth itself. MSS: A βc αAng.deHMNOQRS gGhIVwbX le. taurus: this riddle begins a series on large animals, ending with Aenig. 39 cenTAURUS. Apart from its animal content, the sequence also contains an astrological thread: both Taurus (see on line 3 below) and Sagittarius (Aenig. 39 centaurus) are zodiacal



signs, as is Ares, although Aenig. 35 capra actually refers to a different constellation: see on line 2. For astrology in the ancient world, see OCD4 s.vv. astrology [R. L. Beck] with further bibliography and ‘constellations and named stars’ [G. J. Toomer and A. Jones]. The riddle is linked to Aenig. 31(30).1 by ferarum both thematically (the bull was an animal) and possibly etymologically, since taurus equates to ταῦρος (see Maltby s.v. taurus, citing e.g. Isid. Orig. 12.29 ‘taurus Graecum nomen est’), and ταῦρος is cognate with θήρ; cf. the Aeolic form φήρ and words like the German ‘Tier’. That there might be similar etymologizing at Aenig. 31(30).1 (see above) is a further connection. For bilingual etymologizing in S., see Aenig. 26.3 n. Such etymologizing aside, the riddle’s mythological, geographical and astronomical content is in line with the knowledge, interests and debates of the grammaticus, to which class S. probably belonged: see Introduction (3)(a) section C; cf. Quint. Inst. 8.2.13, which cites taurus as a homonym and notes that ‘ut . . . animal sit an mons an signum in caelo an nomen hominis an radix arboris nisi distinctum non intellegetur’. On the bull generally, which played a prominent role in religion and cult as well as everyday life in the ancient world, see Kl.P. V.546.22 ff. s.v. Taurus §4 [D. Wachsmuth]. 1 moechus eram regis, sed lignea membra sequebar: the story of Pasiphae’s unnatural lust for a bull and of how she consummated her passion with the help of Daedalus’ craftsmanship held a lurid fascination for the Romans, like the Greeks before them (see Robert Coleman at Verg. E. 6.45) and literary and artistic treatments of it are frequent: see Kathleen M. Coleman’s introductory notes to Mart. Sp. 6(5). moechus eram regis: rex is epicene in late Latin and refers here to Pasiphae (Bergamin cites the fourth-century Charisius 61.4 ff. Barwick ‘rex communi genere dicitur’ (= GLK I.49.19) and Neue-Wagener I.902–3.) sed lignea membra sequebar: although the bull copulated with Pasiphae, it was not drawn to her by any royal charms but by the unregal wooden crate devised by Daedalus. Hence sed, which has concessive force as elsewhere in late Latin: L-H-Sz II.487. (For other indications of ‘lateness’ in S., see Introduction (2) and n. 32.) The word is echoed by sed in line 2 and finds a contrast in et after the caesura in line 3. For Pasiphae and the crate, cf. Prop. 3.19.11–12 ‘quae . . . induit abiegnae cornua falsa bovis’, 4.7.57–8 ‘Cressam . . . mentitam lignea monstra bovis’, Ovid Ars 1.325–6 ‘hanc tamen implevit vacca deceptus acerna/ dux gregis’. Membra here carries the principal sense of limbs and therefore ‘body’ (OLD2 s.v. membrum §2), but might also hint at its use to refer to genitals: Adams notes (46) that this usage is largely restricted to the male organ, but cf. Auson. Ep. 13.74.4 Green ‘uxoris coepit lingere membra suae’ and 87.3 Green ‘muliebre membrum’. Possibly also Lucr. 3.346 ‘maternis . . . membris alvoque’. Sequor is often used in the sense of pursuit for sexual purposes; cf. again, in the context of Pasiphae, Verg. Ecl. 6.49–50 ‘at non tam turpis pecudum tamen ulla secuta/ concubitus’. 2 et Cilicum mons sum sed non †sum† nomine solo: sum sed non sum nomine solo ecγ: sum sed mons sum nomine solo AD(praeter eM): sum sunt, non sum nomine


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solo β: nomine solo M: sum sed non hoc nomine solo Courtney: sum sed non sub nomine solo Parroni: non uno sum nomine solo Shackleton Bailey: sum sed mons sum nomine multo Baehrens. As Watt observes (1996, 260), there is no doubt that this line refers to the many names by which the Taurus range of mountains was known in different parts of its length. (For mons of a range as opposed to a single mountain, cf. e.g. Isid. Orig. 14.8.2 ‘mons Caucasus’.) Watt refers to Pliny Nat. 5.98 ‘numerosis nominibus . . . insignis’ and Oros. 1.2.36 ‘multa sunt nomina’. There has nonetheless been some debate about the text. Baehrens’ emendation gives the required sense, but all the MSS agree on solo. Shackleton Bailey’s suggestion dispenses with the effective and extremely well-attested sed, and thus weakens the structure of the poem: see on sed, line 1. Watt (ibid.) defends the ecγ reading (of which the other MSS are mostly meaningless palaeographical variants). This, he says, can be retained if solo is taken as ‘uno solo’, and, as well as referring to OLD1 (= OLD2) s.v. solus §5c, he compares Aenig. 57.1 ‘de pede pendeo solo’. It was possibly thus that Parroni understood solo in suggesting sub for the second sum, which may well have resulted from dittography, in his review of Shackleton Bailey’s text (Gnomon 57 (1985), 608). Nevertheless both sum and sub lack the specific reference and attractive emphasis that Courtney’s hoc introduces (Courtney (1989), 208). I have kept but obelized ecγ, although Courtney may be correct. For the Taurus mountains, see OCD4 s.vv. ‘Taurus mountain range’ [E. H. Warmington], Richard J. A. Talbert ed., Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, Princeton 2000, Maps 65 and especially 66. See too S. Mitchell in vol. II of the Directory to Talbert op. cit, 1013, who cites George Ewart Bean and Terence Bruce Mitford, Journeys in Rough Cilicia 1964–1968, Vienna 1970. For Cilicia, see also Kl.P. III.208.35 ff. s.v. Kilikien [K. Ziegler, A. Kammenhuber], OCD4 s.v. Cilicia [G. E. Bean, S. Mitchell]: ‘The name was applied variously to regions [sc. of Asia Minor] at different periods but came ultimately to designate the eastern half of the south coast.’ It is particularly linked with the Taurus range e.g. at Cic. Fam. 15.1.3, 15.2.2 and Att. 5.20.2. The genitive plural here echoes but varies that of the singular regis in line 1. 3 et vehor in caelis et in ipsis ambulo terris: i.e. the taurus is both the constellation (see OLD2 s.v. Taurus §2) and the animal which walks on the earth. The two half-lines are carefully balanced: et corresponds with et, vehor with ambulo and ‘in caelis’ with ‘in . . . terris’. With ‘et . . . et’, cf. Aenig. 39.3 ‘et vehor et gradior’. The second et gives varietas to sed after the caesura in lines 1–2. Vehor is not usual of heavenly bodies, but cf. possibly Tib. 1.4.66 ‘dum caelum stellas, dum vehet amnis aquas’. Ipsis emphasizes the contrast between caelis and terris, but is possibly also transferable to the bull who is carried (passive) through the heavens but walks on the earth under his own steam.

33 A wolf I am the one who mutilates lambs with my maddened teeth, seeking bloody spoils and gory victuals, and, since I snatch a good deal, I can also carry away the voice.



MSS: A βc αAng.deEHMNOQRS gGhIVwbX le. lupus: the wolf continues the large-animal sequence beginning with Aenig. 32. The riddle appears also to be incorporated by the zodiacal or astrological sub-thread, since Aenig. 32 and 35, which both refer to constellations, enclose 33 and 34, describing the generically similar wolf and fox. There may in addition be an etymological link between lupus (sometimes derived from leo + pes: see Isid. Orig. 12.2.23) and ambulo, Aenig. 32.3. (Leo too is a sign of the zodiac.) For etymologizing in the Aenigmata, in keeping with S.’s possible scholastic background, see Introduction (3)(a) section C. On the wolf generally, see Kl.P. V.1386.18 ff. s.v. Wolf [W. Krenkel]. Wolves were common in Italy (see N-H at Hor. Carm. 1.22.9, Keller II.88) and were known in Africa too.12 For S.’s possible North African origins, see Introduction (1) and n. 22. The wolf ’s position in the Roman tradition is ambiguous: on the one hand, the she-wolf played a crucial part in Rome’s foundation myth, but the animal was also a proverbial embodiment of cruelty and menace, and the threat wolves posed to farmers and their livestock is frequently remarked: cf. e.g. Hor. Epod. 12.25 f. ‘ut pavet acris/ agna lupos’, 15.7 ‘pecori lupus . . . infestus’ and the passages illustrating ‘dentibus insanis’, line 1 below. Note also Epod. 4.1–2 ‘lupis et agnis quanta sortito obtigit,/ tecum mihi discordia est’ and the proverbial use of ‘entrusting lambs to wolves’, i.e. people to their worst enemies: OLD2 s.v. lupus §2c, Otto s.v. lupus §5. Regarding the wolf in Roman literature and life, see also Bömer at Ovid Fast. 4.766. Ovid uses similar vocabulary of the wolf at Met. 11.365–78 and 394–6. Cf. dentibus, line 1, with morsu (Met. 11. 373), sanguineas (line 2) with sanguine (Met. 11.367, 374, 396; also sanguinis, line 402), and cruentos (line 2) with cruento (Met. 11.395). S. may have had these passages in mind. Although Mart. 13.89 lupus deals not with a wolf but the sea-bass, the identical lemma combines with other similarities between Martial’s work and the Aenigmata: see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. 1–3: to some extent similar is the wording at Aenig. 60.1–2: ‘dentibus innumeris sum toto corpore plena./ frondicomam subolem morsu depascor acuto’, although this describes a saw. 1 dentibus insanis ego sum qui trunco bidentes: dentibus, applying to the wolf at the start of the line finds balance and contrast in bidentes at the end, referring to young sheep: ruminants acquire their first two permanent teeth after two years and these


The existence, over a wide geographical range, of a North African grey wolf lineage has very recently been established by mtDNA analysis. See Philippe Goubert, Cécile Bloch, Slim Benyacoub, Adnan Abdelhamid, Paolo Pagani, Chabi Adéyèmi Marc Sylvestre Djagoun, Arnaud Couloux, Sylvain Dufour, ‘Reviving the African Wolf Canis lupus lupastar in North and West Africa’, http://www.; article published 10 August 2012, accessed 22 July 2013.


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stand out prominently from the surviving milk teeth. See Fordyce at Verg. A. 7.93 and Charles Knapp, The Classical Weekly 21 (1928), 81–3. Although the term bidens commonly had a ritual application, this was not always so (see OLD2 s.v. bidens1 §1) and it is used by S. here solely for the purposes of word-play. dentibus insanis: Ohl compares Ovid Trist. 1.1.77–8 ‘nec procul a stabulis audet discedere, siqua/ excussa est avidi dentibus agna lupi’; cf. Hor. Ep. 2.2.28–9 ‘vehemens lupus et sibi et hosti/ iratus pariter ieiunis dentibus acer.’ Transferred epithets are rare in S., but cf. Aenig. 66.2 ‘memorata lege’, 93.1 ‘saevis . . . in armis’ and 95.2 ‘docta . . . arte’. qui trunco: quis trunco Baehrens: qui vinco codd. praeter X (vivo lo). Vinco is very tame after ‘dentibus insanis’ and given the references to blood in line 2. It may have been influenced by victus, mistakenly taken to be a participle. Trunco is therefore probably correct. However, although it is approved as possibly right in Shackleton Bailey’s apparatus, quis (= quibus) is unparalleled in S. and in any case the formulation ‘ego sum qui’ is a common one. 2 sanguineas praedas quaerens victusque cruentos: in this chiastic line (adjective noun participial verb Noun Adjective), cruentos balances sanguineas and victus balances praedas. Praeda is common of animal prey (OLD2 s.v. praeda §2a), and its correspondence with victus and the association here of both with blood emphasizes the savagery which underpins the wolf ’s very existence. 3 multaque cum rapiam vocem quoque tollere possum: it was commonly believed that if a man was seen by a wolf before he saw it himself, he lost his voice: see OLD2 s.v. lupus §2e, Otto s.v. lupus §§10–11; cf. Pliny Nat. 8.80 ‘sed in Italia quoque creditur luporum visus esse noxius vocemque homini, quem priores contemplentur, adimere ad praesens’, Verg. Ecl. 9.53–4 ‘vox quoque Moerim/ iam fugit ipsa: lupi Moerim videre priores’, Theoc. Id. 14.22 οὐ φθεγξῇ; λύκον εἶδες; Isid. Orig. 12.2.24. Therefore, while ‘vocem tollere’ would normally mean ‘raise a cry or shout’ (cf. Verg. A. 6.492–3 ‘pars tollere vocem/ exiguam’, Hor. Ars 93 ‘vocem comoedia tollit’), tollere here must mean ‘take away’; cf. OLD2 s.v. tollo §10a. multaque cum rapiam Bergamin (cf. multaque quum capiam E: multaque cum rapio X): multaque cum rabie vel sim. Dγ: mixta cum rabie Bgh: multaque curavi A. If multa is ablative with rabie, -que is unmetrical and so the Dγ reading cannot stand. ABgh make little sense. Various conjectures have therefore been made. Bergamin’s text, which requires minimal alteration of the Dγ tradition, restores the metre, is stylistically consistent with the Aenigmata elsewhere (for instance, each line in the riddle is a self-contained sense unit), and yields good and bathetically humorous sense: snatching voices is the culminating example of lupine rapacity. The corruption of rapiam to rabie may have been prompted by memories of such passages as Ovid Met. 11.369–70 ‘qui quamquam saevit pariter rabieque fameque/ acrior est rabie’.



34 A fox My body is small but my heart is greater than my body. I am accomplished in tricks, cunning in keen perception; and I am a rational beast, if any beast is called rational. MSS: A βc αAng.deEHMNORS gGhIVwbX le. vulpes: this riddle continues the larger animal sequence beginning with Aenig. 32, but, through fera in line 3, it also connects with Aenig. 31(30).1 ferarum. It partners the generically similar wolf of Aenig. 33, while the word vulpes continues the etymological link with feet identified in lupus (see Aenig. 33 le. n.; cf. Isid. Orig. 12.2.29 ‘vulpes dicta, quasi volupes. est enim volubilis pedibus’). Both Aenig. 33 and 34 contain word-play in their first lines. For foxes in Italy, Greece and North Africa, see N-R at Hor. Carm. 3.27.4, Keller I.88. See too Kl.P. II.623.47 ff. s.v. Fuchs [W. Richter]. The fox occurs regularly in fable, where, although it does not always emerge triumphant, it is an embodiment of cunning, craftiness or intelligence; cf. line 2 callida below. This reputation for cunning goes back at least as far as Archilochus: see fr.185.5 West ἀλώπηξ κερδαλῆ; cf. Lucr. 3.742, Pers. 5.117 ‘astutam . . . volpem’, Hor. Serm. 2.3.186 ‘astuta . . . volpes’, Ep. 1.1.73 ‘volpes . . . cauta’. 1 exiguum corpus, sed cor mihi corpore maius: maius balances and contrasts with exiguum, and the line plays on the etymologically unrelated corpus and cor. For the line-opening ‘exiguum corpus’, cf. Aenig. 54.1. The paradox that a part of the body should be larger than the being whose body it is survives also at Mart. 13.58 iecur anserinum: ‘aspice quam tumeat magno iecur ansere maius!/ miratus dices: “hoc rogo, crevit ubi?”’; cf. too Aenig. 46.1–2 (viola): ‘magna quidem non sum, sed inest mihi maxima virtus./ spiritus est magnus, quamvis sim corpore parvo’. Cor refers superficially here to the physical heart, but also to the heart as the seat of intelligence. For this sense, see in detail Kay at Auson. Ep. 13.48.2 Green, my note at Mart. 14.219.2 on ‘cor habere’, ‘to have sense’, OLD2 s.v. cor §3; cf. Mart. 11.84.17 ‘unus de cunctis animalibus hircus habet cor’. The fox is more cunning than one would expect given its physical size. This line is the only clear instance in the Aenigmata where the verb must be supplied by the reader; cf. Aenig. 48.2 n. below. 2 sum versuta dolis, arguto callida sensu: on the fox’s cunning, see the le. n. The second half-line here repeats and emphasizes the first. With arguto, cf. Hor. Ars 364 ‘argutum . . . acumen’. For sensus of the mind or perception, see OLD2 s.v. sensus §4a. 3 et fera sum sapiens, sapiens fera si qua vocatur: fera frames the repeated sapiens and contrasts with it. Although the word sapiens is elsewhere used of small creatures like ants (Hor. Serm. 1.1.38) and mice (Pl. Truc. 868), the intellectual capacity of animals was debated (see Stephen T. Newmyer, Animals in Greek and Roman Thought. A Sourcebook, London 2011, 3–26), and they were not generally considered capable of sapientia, i.e. reason or understanding (OLD2 s.v. sapientia §§1–2); cf. e.g. Cic. Leg. 1.22 f. In particular


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ferae were associated not with sapientia but action according to whim or instinct; cf. Serv. ad Verg. A. 1.215 ‘feras dicimus aut quod omni corpore feruntur [cf. line 1 corpus], aut quod naturali utuntur libertate et pro desiderio suo feruntur’, Isid. Orig, 12.2.2. The fox suggests, however, that its cleverness comes as close as possible to proving the common view.

35 A nanny goat The fostering nurse of Jupiter, clothed in long hair, ranging with ?difficult? step the lofty heights, I respond to the guardian of the flock with a bleating tongue. MSS: A βc αAng.deHMNORS gGhIVwbX le. capra: this epigram continues the animal sequence beginning with Aenig. 32, and the astronomical sub-thread by referring in line 2 to another heavenly body; cf. Aenig. 32 le. n. It is connected to Aenig. 34 by the ‘foot’ etymology of vulpes (see le. n.) and †difficili† peragrans . . . gressu’ in line 2, and it also begins a sub-sequence concerning birth and nurture or parentage, which concludes with Aenig. 38: 35 capra 36 porcus 37 mula 38 tigris

alma . . . nutrix (line 1) matris fecunda natus in alvo (line 1) matri, patri (line 1); nascor . . . nascitur (line 3) natos (line 3)

This birth and nurture theme is in keeping with a general interest in the Aenigmata in parentage and parturition: see Aenig. 92 le. n. Martial has two comparably styled epigrams, Mart. 13.39 haedus and 13.98(99) caprea, on the roe-deer. For his influence on S., see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. For goats in general, see Kl.P. V.1529.32 ff. s.v. Ziege [W. Richter]. Var. R. 2.3.1 ff. deals with keeping goats; cf. Col. 7.6.1 ff. 1 alma Iovis nutrix: a grand phrase which helps set up the anticlimax in line 3 (see below); cf. Ovid Fast. 5.120 ‘nutrix . . . Iovis’ (note too nutricem and nutricis in 127), Manil. 1.366. A she-goat, either called Amaltheia or owned by a nymph of that name, nursed the infant Zeus in Crete where his mother took him so that he would not be eaten by his father Cronus. One of this goat’s pair of horns, the original cornucopiae, flowed with nectar, the other with ambrosia; cf. alma. Zeus later gave one to the nymphs who had cared for him. The goat was translated into Heaven as the star Capra or Capella in the constellation of Auriga. See March s.v. Amaltheia, Kl.P. I.287.16 ff. s.v. Amaltheia [H. von Geisau]; cf. line 2 below. longo vestita capillo: for the long hair of goats, used e.g. in the manufacture of felt, cf. Verg. G. 3.312 ‘Cinyphii tondent hirci saetas . . . comantis’ and see Kl.P. V.1350.42–6 s.v. Ziege [W. Richter] and my notes on Mart. 14.141 udones Cilicii. Vestio is commonly



used of hair or the like: see Reinhardt and Winterbottom at Quint. Inst. 2.16.14: they cite Cic. N.D. 2.121 ‘aliae . . . villis vestitae’ and refer to OLD1 (= OLD2) s.v. vestio §2a. Capillus (a play here on capella?) is used of the hair of kids at Gel. 12.1.15. 2 culmina †difficili† peragrans super ardua gressu: difficili BDγ: de ficile A: de facili Salmasius. ‘Difficili . . . gressu’ conflicts with the goat’s well-attested reputation for sure-footedness, for which see my note at Mart. 13.98(99).1–2 ‘pendentem . . . videbis,/ casuram speres’; cf. Verg. Ecl. 1.75–7 ‘ite capellae./ non ego vos posthac viridi proiectus in antro/ dumosa pendere procul de rupe videbo’: one would expect a word indicating ease rather than difficulty. Modern editors like Baehrens and Shackleton Bailey have therefore followed Salmasius, but there are no parallels for this use of de with the ablative. Difficilis might refer not to the goat’s own difficulty in traversing the heights but that which it knows would be experienced by anyone else who tried; but this explanation is forced. Alternatively, ‘difficili . . . gressu’ could be taken as an ablative of quality: the culmina are ‘of difficult step’ (cf. Aenig. 46.2 ‘quamvis sim corpore parvo’), but culmina is already qualified by ardua. Obelizing seems the most prudent course. 3 custodi pecoris tremula respondeo lingua: anticlimactic: the nurse of Jupiter who ranges the heavens nonetheless does what the mortal herdsman says. pecoris Dc: pec(c)orum βγ: pecori A. A’s pecori lends some support to Dc. Pec(c)orum gives the herdsman too much power, thus weakening the anticlimax after lines 1–2. On the use of pecus for animals other than sheep, cf. e.g. Var. R. 2.1.12 ‘de pecore maiore, in quo sunt . . . boves asini equi’, Verg. G. 3.72 ‘pecori . . . equino’, Col. 8.4.3 ‘volatile pecus’. It is generally qualified by an adjective, but the lemma renders this unnecessary here. Pecus survives of goats at Col. 7.6.1 ‘caprinum pecus’. At Stat. Silv. 3.2.77 ‘Olenium . . . pecus’ refers specifically to Capella. custodi pecoris: the expression is common; cf. Stat. Theb. 1.581 ‘pecoris custodi’, 9.508 ‘pecoris custos’, Verg. Ecl. 10.36 ‘custos gregis’; see OLD2 s.v. custos §1c. tremula . . . lingua: cf. Lucr. 2.367 ‘teneri tremulis cum vocibus haedi’.

36 A pig Formed in the fertile womb of a bristly mother, I hope for green nourishment down from on high, possessing divinity in my name if the first letter were to pass away. MSS: A βc αAng.deEHMNORS gGhIVwbX le. porcus: this is a double riddle, the second part being contained in line 3, which is founded on word-play: porcus becomes Orcus with the removal of p; cf. Aenig. 74 lapis, line 3: ‘littera decedat, volucris quoque nomen habebo’ (= apis). Similar letter- and word-play can be found in AP 14.35 (ὄνυξ → νύξ), 105 (πούς → οὖς → ὗς → ς, i.e. 200)


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and 106. Such word-play, along with the kenning in line 1, is in keeping with S.’s possible scholastic background: see Introduction (3)(a) section C. Pork accounted for much of the meat eaten at Rome: see Courtney at Juv. 11.82, Hollis at Ovid Met. 8.648, Coleman at Stat. Silv. 4.9.34–5, André 136 ff., Kl.P. V.44.29 ff. s.v. Schwein [W. Richter]. It was, however, also standard Saturnalian fare (cf. Introduction (3)(a) section A), and it would have been odd for S.’s Saturnalian collection not to have contained a riddle on a pig. Martial’s Apophoreta and Xenia contain several, such as Mart. 14.71 porcus :‘iste tibi faciet bona Saturnalia porcus,/ inter spumantes ilice pastus apros’ and 13.41 porcellus lactans. Note also Mart. 13.35, quoted below, and 93. This riddle continues the series on animals, but also the theme of birth and nurture beginning at Aenig. 35 and ending with Aenig. 38: see Aenig. 35 le. n. A direct link with Aenig. 35 is provided by alvo, line 1: see below. 1 saetigerae matris fecunda natus in alvo: cf. Mart. 13.41.1 ‘pigrae . . . matris alumnum’, 13.35.1 ‘filia Picenae venio Lucanica porcae’, of a pork sausage, Verg. A. 12.170, quoted below. This grand, epic-sounding line contrasts with its lowly subject – a domestic pig; cf. on saetiger below. For the wording, cf. Aenig. 14.2 ‘nec eram iam matris in alvo’. saetigerae matris: cf. Mart. 13.93.1 saetiger (of the Calydonian boar’s equal) with my note ad loc., citing Bömer and Hollis at Ovid Met. 8.376. Cf. also Sen. Med. 643–4, Ovid Met. 10.549 ‘saetigeros . . . sues’, Verg. A. 7.17 ‘saetigeri . . . sues’, 12.170 ‘saetigeri fetum suis’. The kenning-type adjective here not only sounds archaic and high-flown, contrasting with the lowly pig, but is appropriate to a riddle: see on Aenig. 19.1 above; cf. 18 le. n. fecunda natus in alvo: cf. Cic. N.D. 2.160 ‘nihil genuit natura fecundius [sc. sue]’. A breeding sow could produce two litters a year: Var. R. 2.4.14, Col. 7.9.4. Alvus here means ‘womb’, as often: OLD2 s.v. alvus §3a. It picks up alma, Aenig. 35.1; cf. Paul ex Fest. 8M ‘alvus venter feminae ab alendo dicta’. Natus must presumably mean ‘formed’ rather than ‘born’, for which sense one would expect ‘de/ex alvo’, although used thus it appears to be confined elsewhere to body parts rather than whole creatures; cf. OLD2 s.v. nascor §2a. 2 virides . . . saginas: Ohl explains this phrase, which is kenning-like and therefore appropriate for a riddle, as referring to acorns; cf. ‘desuper ex alto’ (a striking and apparently unparalleled pleonasm). This seems likely: while pigs will eat most kinds of food, acorns were considered the best pig fodder; cf. Var. R. 2.4.6 ‘[sc. sus] alitur maxime glande’, Hor. Serm. 2.4.40–1 ‘iligna nutritus glande . . . aper’, Mart. 7.27.1–2 ‘aper . . . ilice multa/ iam piger’, 14.71.2 ‘ilice pastus’, and see my notes ad loc. Presumably the acorns are ‘green’ because they have just fallen – and are therefore at their best and most tasty. Although this pig is not assured a diet of fresh acorns, it hopes for one: OLD2 s.v. exspecto §3a. On sagina, see Aenig. 24.3 n., noting that it was used especially in the context of fattening animals. 3 nomine numen habens si littera prima periret: for the (p)orcus word-play and parallels in other riddles, see the le. n. above. The word-play is underlined by the n and



p alliteration in the line and the punning on nomen and numen, for which cf. e.g. Accius 646 Ribbeck ‘nomen et numen Iovis’, AL 672.41–2 Riese ‘divi sub numine nomen/ laudetur’. Numen was derived from the word ‘to nod’, and since gods give approval by nodding, it came to mean ‘divine power’: Paul ex Fest. 173M ‘numen quasi nutus dei ac potestas dicitur’. The power of Orcus or Hades was immense, since everyone had to die. The association of such divine power with pigs is both incongruous and amusing; cf. the derisive tone of Petr. fr. 47.1. Buecheler ‘Iudaeus licet et porcinum numen adoret’. si littera prima periret: cf. Luc. 5.716 ‘perit . . . littera’ of the letter formed by flying cranes (cf. Aenig. 26.1 n.) after they have been dispersed by the wind.

37 A mule Unlike my mother, different in appearance to my father, of mixed stock, offspring not suited to breeding, I am born of others, and nothing is born of me. MSS: A βc αAng.deEHMNOQRS gGhIVwbX le. mula: on the word mula, see J. N. Adams, ‘The generic use of mula and the status and employment of female mules in the Roman World’, RhM 136 (1993), 35–61. According to Var. R. 2.8.1, the mulus (male and female) was the hybrid offspring of a he-ass and a mare, as opposed to the hinnus (male and female), produced by a stallion and a she-ass: ‘ex equa . . . et asino fit mulus, contra ex equo et asina hinnus’. But whereas, in keeping with usual practice, Varro uses equa and asina to refer specifically to the female equus and asinus (the generic terms for ‘horse’ and ‘donkey’), his generic use of mulus was not universal; cf. Col. 6.37.3 ‘mula . . . non solum ex equa et asino, sed ex asina et equo . . . generatur’, where mula embraces both sexes (cf. Adams 36–7). Indeed, although mula was not invariably used as the generic term even in the fourth century, it was well established as such from the first century AD (cf. Adams op. cit. 39). The female mule was preferred to the male for its temperament, longevity, agility and size and, while the castrated male was suitable for use as a pack-animal (a lowstatus role), the female was sought after, e.g., to draw the carriages of the wealthy (Adams op. cit. 40 ff., 60). The desirability of the female and its use for higher-status work accounts for the generic use of mula (Adams op. cit. 43, 61). Since this riddle is specifically about a female mule (see below on line 1), one cannot be certain whether S.’s use of mula is generic or not, but it is probable; cf. Adams op. cit. 60–1: ‘Imperial literature tends to use mula for the mule as a genus, and this usage must reflect the fact that many speakers . . . would normally only have needed to refer to the female’. For the inability of mules to breed, referred to in line 3, and the consequent portentous significance if one did, cf. e.g. Pliny Nat. 8.173 ‘idcirco mulas non parere. est in annalibus nostris peperisse saepe, verum prodigii loco habitum’ and Suet. Galba 4.2.


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Cf. also e.g. Hdt 3.151.2 τότε γὰρ αἱρήσετε ἡμέας, ἐπεὰν ἡμίονι τέκωσι and Juv. 13.66 with Mayor and Courtney ad loc.: an upright man is like a pregnant mule, i.e. non-existent. See Otto s.v. mulus §2. This riddle continues the main animal sequence and also the birth and parentage sub-sequence identified at Aenig. 35 le.: ‘matri, patri’ in line 1 and ‘nascor . . . nascitur’ in line 3 recall ‘matris . . . natus’ in Aenig. 36.1. 1 dissimilis matri, patri diversa figura: cf. Var. L. 9.28 ‘ubi dissimilis fetus, ut ex equa mulus, tamen . . .’ , Pliny Nat. 8.173 ‘observatum ex duobus diversis generibus nata tertii generis fieri et neutri parentium esse similia’. Contrast Mart. 14.174.2 (of Hermaphroditus): ‘pars est una patris, cetera matris habet’. The juxtaposition of matri and patri is framed by the alliterative and balancing ‘dissimilis . . . diversa’. Dissimilis also opens Aenig. 39.2: ‘dissimilis mihi sum’. matri, patri A: matri(s) patri(s) B: patri(s) matri(s) Dγ. AB’s ordering is confirmed by figura: while the mula is ‘dissimilis matri’ because it is not a mare, it is nonetheless female and so has female genitalia, not those of its father. For figura in this sense, cf. Vitr. 6.7.6 ‘virili figura signa’, Priap. 36.3 ‘trahit figuram virginis tener Bacchus’. Note too that reading patri first would weaken the effect of the repeated m in ‘dissimilis matri’ and that, following AB, matri occupies the same metrical position as matris in Aenig. 36.1. 2 confusi generis, generi non apta propago: the line combines word-play, in the ‘generis, generi’ juxtaposition, with the paradoxical use of propago. The first instance of genus means ‘stock’ (OLD2 s.v. genus1; cf. e.g. Suet. Tib. 3.1 ‘ex hac stirpe Tiberius Caesar genus trahit’), and it finds contrast in the second, ‘offspring’ (OLD2 s.v. genus1 §2, L-S s.v. genus §IIA – note that genus comes from gigno). In turn, this is qualified by ‘non apta’ and propago, a word which implies progeny specifically with breeding potential: see OLD2 s.v. propago2 §2a; cf. Nep. Att. 18.2 ‘familiarum originem subtexuit, ut ex eo clarorum virorum propagines possimus cognoscere’. With ‘confusi generis’, cf. Hor. Ep. 2.1.195 ‘diversum confusa genus panthera camelo’ (= the camelopard/giraffe). 3 ex aliis nascor, nec quicquam nascitur ex me: ‘ex aliis’ is balanced by ‘ex me’ as is nascor by nascitur. The repetition of nascor mirrors that of genus in line 2. On monosyllabic hexameter endings in S., see Introduction (3)(d). This one gives emphasis to the second hemistich. ex aliis nascor: the mule is born of others, i.e. its parents (OLD2 s.v. alius1 §1a; for ex and nasci of fathers, see OLD2 s.v. ex §15a), but it is also born of different beings (OLD2 s.v. alius1 §1b; cf. dissimilis, line 1), an ass and a mare. quicquam αAng.cgh (quidquam A): quisquam βD(praeter αAng.)γ. ‘Anyone’ agrees with the mule’s personification, but ‘anything’ is more emphatic, stressing the animal’s sterility.



38 A tiger I am named from a river, or a river is named from me, and I, who am swifter than the wind itself, am akin to the wind, and the wind gives me offspring and I do not seek a husband. MSS: A βc αAng.deHMNORS gGhIVwbX le. tigris: this riddle, on a tiger or rather a tigress, continues the animal theme which starts at Aenig. 32 and ends the birth theme which starts at Aenig. 35; see Aenig. 35 le. n. It is linked to Aenig. 37 by natos in line 3 (cf. Aenig. 37.3 ‘nascor . . . nascitur’) and maritum (also line 3), which recalls Aenig. 37’s focus on parentage (note especially lines 1–2). ‘Ex me’ at the end of line 1 echoes ‘ex me’ at the end of Aenig. 37.3. (For final monosyllables in S., see Introduction (3)(d).) The River Tigris, mentioned in line 1, rises in the Taurus range, on which see Aenig. 32.2 above. While Aenig. 32 begins the animal sequence, Aenig. 38 is closely connected with Aenig. 39 centaurus, the riddle which concludes it. See Aenig. 39 le. n. Although Augustus exhibited a tame tiger at Rome in AD 11 and Claudius later exhibited four at the same time (Pliny Nat. 8.65), the distance from which they had to be imported meant that, while the Romans knew of them in the Classical period (thus they sometimes featured as the figureheads of ships; cf. Harrison at Verg. A. 10.166), actual specimens remained rare; cf. George Jennison, Animals for Show and Pleasure in Ancient Rome, Manchester 1937, repr. Philadelphia 2005, 77, J. M. C. Toynbee, Animals in Roman Life and Art, London 1973, 71, who observes that artistic representations were relatively uncommon. S.’s later date does not necessarily mean that he was better acquainted with the animal than his predecessors. For its speed, celebrated in this riddle, cf. e.g. Pliny Nat. 8.66 ‘animal velocitatis tremendae’ and Luc. 5.405 ‘ocior . . . tigride feta’. 1 a fluvio dicor, fluvius vel dicitur ex me: which was named after the other was probably the subject of learned debate – despite the assurance of Isid. Orig. 13.21.9 ‘Tigris fluvius . . . vocatus . . . propter velocitatem, instar bestiae tigris nimia pernicitate currentis’, which has the river named after the animal. Isidore holds that the animal in turn was named, on account of its speed, from the Persian word for arrow: Isid. Orig. 12.2.7 ‘tigris vocata propter volucrem fugam; ita enim nominant Persae et Medi sagittam’. Var. L. 5.100 equivocates, saying that the tiger is so called because tigris is both the river’s name and the word for an arrow. The ‘arrow’ derivation is hinted at in line 2: see below. This multiple level of etymologizing accords with S.’s probable scholastic background: see Introduction (3)(a) section C. The line’s uncertainty regarding the tiger’s name is emphasized by the interlocking repetition, and in different cases and persons, of fluvius and dicere. On the River Tigris, see Kl.P. V.829.13 ff. s.v. tigris [J. Duchesne-Guillemin]. 2 iuncta . . . sum vento: the wind was proverbially swift: see Otto s.v. ventus §5. Swift animals and the wind were commonly associated; cf. e.g. Mynors at Verg. G. 3.271–9 on


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the belief that swift horses were sired by it. The fathering of the tiger by the Zephyr is attested at Opp. Cyn. 3.354 αὐτῷ γάρ τε θέειν ἰκέλη Ζεφύρῳ γενετῆρι. For iunctus meaning ‘connected by kinship’, see OLD2 s.v. iunctus1 §2, but, given line 3, its sexual sense (see Adams 179) is also relevant. quae sum velocior ipso: the idea that something very fast is swifter than the wind itself is common; cf. Ovid Met. 3.209 ‘rapida velocius aura’, 1.502 ‘ocior . . . aura’, Hor. Carm. 2.16.24 ‘ocior Euro’ (of the cares which pursue one), Verg. A. 5.319 ‘ventis . . . ocior’ (of Nisus in the foot race), etc. Note also Claud. Rapt. 3.265–6 ‘premit illa [sc. the Hyrcanian tiger] marito/mobilior Zephyro’. But as well as describing the tiger’s swiftness, these words also allude to the derivation of the word tigris from the Persian for an arrow: see on line 1 above. Arrows are, of course, faster than the wind because they can fly through the air. For velox of a weapon or missile, cf. Verg. G. 2.530 ‘velocis iaculi certamina’. That the tiger is faster than the wind to which it is related is emphasized by the repetition in the line of ‘sum v-’. 3 et mihi dat ventus natos: while line 2 possibly hints at impregnation by the wind (cf. on ‘iuncta . . . sum vento’), ventus here refers to it explicitly. Bergamin parallels dat with Vulg. Gen. 29.1 ‘ait [sc. Rahel] marito suo: “da mihi liberos”’. nec quaero maritum: when used of male domestic animals, maritus indicates in particular their stud value; cf. OLD2 s.v. maritus §2. As well as meaning ‘I look for’ (cf. Claud. Cons. Stil. 1.72–3 ‘dubius toto quaerebat ab axe/ dignum coniugio generum’), quaero carries the sense ‘I need’ (OLD2 s.v. quaero §5; cf. Cic. Phil. 2.35 ‘virum res illa quaerebat’). Because of the wind, which apparently impregnates its own children, the tiger does not require a breeding male.

39 A centaur Remarkable for my four feet and two hands, I am unlike myself, since I am not one and yet one. I both ride and walk, since my two bodies carry me. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOQRS gGhIVwbX le. centaurus: Pavlovskis observes (225) that S. usually avoids exotic or mythological subjects; cf. Mart. 10.4.9, where the poet states that he is going to write about real life and not mythological characters and beasts like the centaur. However, the centaur of this riddle recalls Aenig. 32 taurus, ending the animal sequence which begins there (cf. the mythological phoenix of Aenig. 29(31), which ends the bird sequence starting at Aenig. 26), and, especially, it recalls line 1, which refers to Pasiphae’s unnatural coupling and, by extension, the mythological half-man and half-bull Minotaur. Centaurs too were hybrids: they were the offspring of Ixion’s son Centaurus and the wild Magnesian mares on Mount Pelion. Indeed, Centaurus himself was a hybrid as well, since he was conceived by the cloud which Zeus created in the shape of Hera to decoy Ixion after he



had tried to rape her; cf. Pasiphae’s deception of the bull with a wooden crate. In addition, both Taurus and the centaur (Sagittarius) are star signs; cf. also Aenig. 35 capra. Sagittarius provides the link (sagitta) to Aenig. 38 via the derivation of tigris from the Persian for ‘arrow’: see Aenig. 38 lines 1 and 2. (Isid. Orig. 18.8.1 ‘sagitta a sagaci ictu, id est veloci ictu, vocata’ agrees with velocior, Aenig. 38.2.) This riddle also connects with Aenig. 37: note dissimilis (Aenig. 39.2 and 37.1) and the hybrid nature of both mules and centaurs. It begins a short series of riddles which refer to numbers: note lines 1–3, Aenig. 40.2, 41.2 and possibly 42.3. Number-play is a common feature of riddles (cf. the many numerical puzzles in the Palatine Anthology), but lines 1–2 are the first notable instance of it in S. See further on Aenig. 51, 57, 61, 64, 77, 82, 92, 93, 94. Since the centaur Chiron was renowned for his discovery of healing and the medicinal properties of plants (Pliny Nat. 7.196, Serv. ad Verg. G. 3.550 ‘Phillyrides Chiron medicinae inventor’), this riddle prepares for the medicinal associations of those that follow. See Aenig. 40–4 le. nn. below. Further information on centaurs appears at Kl.P. III.183–4 s.v. Kentauroi [H. von Geisau], OCD4 s.v. Ixion [A.H. Griffith], March s.v. Centaurs. 1 quattuor insignis pedibus manibusque duabus: careful line-construction and word-arrangement emphasize the hybrid nature of the centaur: pedibus and manibus are juxtaposed and quattuor and duabus balance and contrast at the line’s beginning and end. Ohl comments that insignis often designates the monstrous; cf. Quint. Inst. 1.1.2 ‘prodigiosa corpora et monstris insignia’, Curt. 9.1.25 ‘[sc. infantes] insignes aut aliqua parte membrorum inutiles . . . necari iubent’. The exceptional Chiron and Pholus aside, the centaurs were notorious for their monstrous behaviour, which was characterized by uncontrolled lust, violence and greed for alcohol. Insignis can, however, also be used simply of a remarkable appearance, and is thus well suited to the hybrid physique of a half-horse/half-man: see OLD2 s.v. insignis §3. 2 dissimilis mihi sum quia sum non unus et unus: sum non AcAng.eNVwb: non sum B(praeter c)D(praeter Ang.eN)γ. The ordering ‘sum non’, with the juxtaposition of non and unus, reinforces the paradox that the centaur, being unlike itself, is not one (it is a hybrid) and at the same time is a single creature. With dissimilis, cf. Var. L. 10.4 ‘similis homo homini, equus equo, et dissimilis homo equo’. The phrase ‘dissimilis sibi’ is used of the River Nile at Sen. Nat. 4a.2.5, which flows torrentially (torrens) after having been sluggish (turbidus). References to the centaur’s two-fold form abound: cf. e.g. Ovid Am. 2.12.19 ‘populumque biformem’, Her. 2.71 bimembres, Stat. Theb. 1.457–8, Lucr 5.878–81. 3 et vehor et gradior quia me duo corpora portant: vehor, which finds balance and contrast in the active portant at the end of the line, is regular of animals carrying riders (OLD2 s.v. veho §1a). Here it applies to the man part of the centaur, the ‘rider’. Gradior is common of animals walking (OLD2 s.v. gradior §1a) and here applies to the horse part; cf. Gell. 18.5.9 ‘equus sub homine gradiens’. Porto applies to both: one body ‘carries’


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the centaur, since the man part is ‘riding’ (cf. e.g. Verg. A. 9.49–50 ‘quem Thracius . . . portat equus’), but the other walks, since the centaur proceeds on its own feet; cf. Juv. 3.27–8 ‘dum . . . pedibus me/ porto meis nullo dextram subeunte bacillo’. duo AB(praeter c)gh: mea cDγ. Mea robs the line of the number-play and weakens the paradox, continued from line 2, that a single creature can have two bodies.

40 A poppy My head is large, my organs inside are tiny; I have just one foot, but one foot that is very long; and sleep loves me, yet I do not sleep with my own sleep. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOQRS gGhIVwawbX le. papaver: this riddle begins a series on flowers and vegetables ending at Aenig. 46 viola, which then leads into a section on perfumes, unguents and Eastern products. It is verbally linked via ‘unus . . . unus’, line 2, with Aenig. 39.2 ‘non unus et unus’, and there is a further link – and contrast – between ‘pes . . . unus’ in line 2, and ‘quattuor . . . pedibus’ in Aenig. 39.1. The medicinal associations of the centaur Chiron mean that Aenig. 39 prepares for the narcotic (see line 3 below) and medicinal properties of the plants in Aenig. 40–2. On the numerical sub-sequence to which this epigram belongs, see Aenig. 39 le. n. There is possibly also a thematic link between the hybrid centaur and the poppy’s monstrous and almost surreal ‘anthropomorphization’ in lines 1–2: large head containing its tiny internal organs, directly attached to one very long foot. Although the Romans knew several varieties of poppy of various colours (see e.g. Pliny Nat. 19.168–9), in literary contexts the flower is always pink, red or purple; cf. Prop. 1.20.38 ‘purpureis . . . papaveribus’. Colour therefore demarcates the flower– vegetable section, since both the papaver somniferum in this riddle and Aenig. 41 malva describe plants with purple flowers, as do Aenig. 45 rosa and 46 viola. However, whereas the rose and violet were valued for their blooms, the opium poppy and mallow were not, or not principally. Narcotic properties aside, the poppy was grown for its edible and oily seeds and, like the vegetables in the following riddles, inhabited the kitchen garden; cf. Livy 1.54.6 (poppies in the ‘hortus aedium’), Col. 11.3.42 and perhaps Homer Il. 8.306 μήκων . . . ἥ τ’ ἐνὶ κήπῳ. However, it was also grown alongside arable crops such as grain; cf. Verg. G. 1.212 ‘Cereale papaver’. The flower at the edge of a ploughed field in Catul. 11.21–4, was almost certainly a poppy: cf. purpureus in Verg. A. 9.435–6 ‘purpureus veluti cum flos succisus aratro/ languescit moriens’, a passage in part inspired by Catullus. For poppies in general, see RE XV.2433.48 ff. s.v. Mohn [Steier]. 1 grande mihi caput est, intus sunt membra minuta: grande and minuta correspond and contrast, as do caput and membra. Caput is applied to the poppy again e.g. at Verg. A. 9.436–7 ‘papavera . . . demisere caput’ and Livy 1.54.6 ‘summa papaverum capita’. For its botanical use, see also Aenig. 94.2 n. S. often contrasts the word with pes (here in line 2);



cf. Aenig. 57.1 ‘in caput ingredior qui de pede pendeo solo’, 87.3 ‘pro pedibus caput est’. Membra appears to be unparalleled of poppy seeds, but it is used of internal organs at Cic. Fin. 3.18 ‘[sc. membra] quae sunt intus in corpore’. For the poppy’s anthropomorphization, see the le. n. above. 2 pes unus solus, sed pes longissimus unus: similar wording at Aenig. 64.2 ‘unus praeterea dens est et solus in imo’. That the pes is solus is emphasized by the positioning of the adjective just before the third-foot caesura, and its great length (longissimus) is possibly illustrated by the spondaic metre. The application of the word pes to the stalk of a poppy is initially surprising. Something like crus, which is used of a lettuce at Col. 10.188, would have been more logical here. However, pes supplies a link with the previous and following riddles (see above and Aenig. 41 le. n.), and it contributes to the monstrosity of the poppy’s anthropomorphization (cf. the le. n. above). The word is regular in botanical contexts, e.g. of the stalk or pedicle of a grape (Col. 12.36) or olive (Pliny Nat. 15.5), or of the stem of a mushroom (Pliny Nat. 22.94 ‘rarum . . . ut geminus (boletus) ex uno pede’). See too on Aenig. 41.1 pedes below. 3 et me somnus amat, proprio nec dormio somno: i.e. somnus loves the sleepinducing poppy, but the poppy does not put itself to sleep. The poppy’s associations with sleep are well-attested: cf. e.g. Verg. A. 4.486 ‘soporiferum . . . papaver’, Ovid Fast. 4.532–3, Trist. 5.2.24, Am. 2.6.31, Col. 10.104. Not surprisingly, it is the poppy inter alia which grows outside the cave of Sleep at Ovid Met. 11.605 ff.: ‘ante fores antri fecunda papavera florent/ innumeraeque herbae, quarum de lacte soporem/ Nox legit et spargit per opacas umida terras’.

41 A mallow I don’t wish to deny that my feet are like those of the goose, nor are they only two but you see more in a row, yet I carry all of these feet upside down. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOQRS gGhIVwawbX le. malva: this mallow continues the sequence, starting with Aenig. 40, of flowers and vegetables. Mallows, like the poppy, have purple flowers, and pedes, line 1, recalls ‘pes . . . pes’ in Aenig. 40.2. Duo and plures in line 2 contrast with ‘unus . . . unus’, Aenig. 40.2. (On the numerical sub-sequence beginning with Aenig. 39, see the le. n.) The mallow’s many feet and their being upside down perhaps corresponds to the poppy’s one-footed monstrosity: see Aenig. 40 le. n. Porto, line 3, recalls portant, Aenig. 39.3. The mallow receives detailed treatment at Pliny Nat. 20.222 ff. Apicius gives several recipes involving it: Apic. 86, 140, 174, 175 Budé. It was regarded as a simple food: see Hor. Carm. 1.31.15–16 ‘me pascunt olivae,/ me cichorea levesque malvae’ with N-H, West at Hsd Op. 41; cf. Mor. 72, where it appears in a humble vegetable garden. Lowly status characterizes the next three riddles too. Cicero, Fam. 7.26.2, reports diarrhoea brought on by mallows and beet, and they were in fact commonly employed as a


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laxative: cf. Mart. 3.89.1–2 ‘utere lactucis et mollibus utere malvis:/ nam faciem durum, Phoebe, cacantis habes’, 10.48.7 ‘exoneraturas ventrem . . . malvas’, Hor. Epod. 2.57 f. ‘gravi/ malvae salubres corpori’, Isid. Orig. 17.10.5. This medicinal use and the many others identified by Pliny loc. cit. (e.g. treating stings, running sores, tooth ache, scrofula, dysentery) connect with the associations of the centaur Chiron (see Aenig. 39 le. n.) and continue the medicinal sub-sequence which begins with Aenig. 40: see the le. n. 1 anseris esse pedes similes mihi nolo negare: ‘anseris . . . similes’ means literally ‘like a goose’ (OLD2 s.v. similis §1a), but the mallow’s leaf looks like a goose’s foot, an unflattering characteristic of which it is nonetheless unashamed: ‘nolo negare’. Despite the appearance of its leaves, the plant does not belong to the Chenopodiaceae or ‘Goosefoot’ family, although the beet of the next riddle does, and both are magnoliophyta. Col. 12.7.1 refers to ‘milvinus pes’ or ‘kite’s foot’, a type of herb, while Pliny Nat. 1.25a mentions a plant called ‘pedes gallinacei’. 2 nec duo sunt tantum, sed plures ordine cernis: the mallow naturally has more leaves than the goose has feet. The two line-halves point the distinction between plant and bird: nec and sed balance and contrast, as do duo and plures. The leaves of a plant do not grow in rows although ordo is commonly used of a row of several plants (OLD2 s.v. ordo §1a). The imprecision in this line is tolerable if, in describing the mallow, the ironic S. intends ‘plures ordine cernis’ (cf. omnes in line 3) to allude to the grand epic of Verg. A. 6.482 ‘quos ille omnis longo ordine cernens’, where Aeneas sees the Dardanidae; cf. Introduction (3)(e). The appearance of ordo with a number invites comparison with Aenig. 64.1 ‘tres mihi sunt dentes, quos unus continet ordo’. 3 et tamen hos ipsos omnes ego porto supinos: ‘et tamen . . . omnes’ picks up and qualifies ‘nec duo . . . tantum’ and plures in line 2. Porto is appropriate of feet supporting a body (cf. Juv. 3.27–8 ‘dum . . . pedibus me/ porto meis’); but here, paradoxically, things are reversed: the body supports the feet. With supinos, ‘upside down’ (OLD2 s.v. supinus §4), cf. AL 469.6 ShB ‘malvae . . . supinae’.

42 A beet I am named in full in Greek but am not complete in Latin. For the poor (for I am always served in taverns) I am born in the earth, I am washed in water, I am dressed with oil. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOQRS gGhIVwawb le. beta: this riddle continues the sequence of flowers and plants beginning with Aenig. 40 papaver but, while referring to the vegetable, the word beta also allows play on the letter β in line 1; cf. Petr. 56.9 ‘muraena et littera’, a gift tag in which littera refers to the ‘fascem . . . betae’ which a guest receives in the distribution of apophoreta. Also Col.



10.251–4, Isid. Orig. 17.10.15. The riddle departs from the ‘monstrosity element’ in Aenig. 40 and 41 (see le. nn.) but possibly continues the numerical interest started at Aenig. 39 (see le. n.), since the letter β was also used in Greek for the number two (cf. duo, Aenig. 41.2). Beets and mallows are botanically similar: see Aenig. 41.1 n. above. Like mallows, beet was used as a laxative (Mart. 3.47.9 ‘pigro . . . ventri non inutiles betas’; cf. Cic. Fam. 7.26.2, cited above: Aenig. 41 le. n.) and it was considered useful for other ailments too; cf. Pliny Nat. 20.69 ‘nec beta sine remediis est’, after which follows a list of medical uses, and Marcellus Med. 1.94. Thus the riddle continues the ‘medicinal’ sub-sequence introduced by Aenig. 39: see Aenig. 40. le. n. Both mallows and beet were considered lowly or simple foods (cf. Aenig. 41 le. n. and note pauperibus and tabernis, line 2; cf. Pers. 3.114 ‘plebeia . . . beta’, Mart. 13.13.1 ‘fatuae, fabrorum prandia, betae’, Pl. Ps. 815 ‘apponunt . . . betam’, of second-rate cooks), and the two appear together as ingredients in several of Apicius’ recipes: Apic. 140, 174, 380, exc. 2 Budé. Two of these (Apic. 97 and 98 Budé) involve serving with oil; cf. ‘unguor olivo’, line 3. See also André 30. 1 tota vocor Graece sed non sum tota Latine: tota balances itself on either side of the caesura, Graece and Latine correspond and vocor is varied by ‘non sum’. tota . . . tota D(praeter S): beta . . . beta BSγ: beta . . . tobeta A. MS confusion is not surprising here, since beta is the riddle’s subject and tota and beta are palaeographically similar. Scribal puzzlement over what tota means is paralleled by modern debates as to the line’s precise interpretation. The D reading is far more subtle and satisfactory than the pedestrian BSγ tradition: no other riddle contains the ‘answer’ as obviously as this (although note e.g. Aenig. 64. 1 ‘tres mihi sunt dentes’ in a riddle about a trident or tridens). It is followed by nearly all modern editors (not Glorie) and can be explained as follows: while the second letter of the Greek alphabet is beta, that in the Latin alphabet is be. Therefore, since the vegetable has the same name in Greek as the letter, it is called by its whole name in that language but by just half its name in Latin; cf. Auson. Technopaegnion 25.14.13 Green ‘dividuum betae monosyllabon Italicum B’, and see Ohl ad loc. The unmetrical A reading tobeta represents either τὸ β (for the neuter gender of Greek letters, see A. Bain, Latomus 43 (1984), 598–9) or results from the inclusion in the text of the gloss be on tota; cf. Bergamin ad loc. While the above explanation of the D reading is satisfactory, more has been suspected: R. Renehan, CQ 31 (1981), 471, sees a bilingual pun on tota and τῷ τα, i.e. ‘with a τα’. He would thus translate something like ‘I (the letter) am called whole/with the τα in Greek but I am not called whole/with the τα in Latin’. He acknowledges that the use of the instrumental dative τῷ would be strained in continuous Greek but suggests that the context of word-play renders it tolerable, especially as the Greek interpretation operates at a secondary level. He may be right. Certainly, a bilingual pun (another at Aenig. 84.1; cf. the bilingual etymologizing remarked at Aenig. 26.3) would accord with S.’s possible scholastic background (see Introduction (3)(a) section C), and bilingual word-play is found in both Martial and Ausonius. (For their influence on S., see Introduction (2), (3)(a) Proem. and section C.) Renehan cites Martial 1.50 ‘si tibi Mistyllos cocus, Aemiliane, vocatur,/ dicatur quare non Taratalla mihi?’, playing on the Homeric formula μίστυλλóν τ’ ἄρα τἆλλα.


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vocor is standard in etymologizing contexts: cf. Mart. 14.58 aphronitrum: ‘rusticus es? nescis quid Graeco nomine dicar:/ spuma vocor nitri. Graecus es? aphronitrum’, 14.121 coclearia: ‘sum cocleis habilis sed nec minus utilis ovis./ numquid scis, potius cur cocleare vocer?’ In these passages it is natural to translate ‘I am called’. Here, however, where word-play rather than etymologizing is in question, a translation like ‘my name is’ (Renehan) is more natural. Graece . . . Latine: educated Romans were expected to be ‘utraque lingua eruditus’ and Greek is common, e.g., in their private letters, although its use in more formal contexts could draw disapproval as being an affront to Latinitas; see J. N. Adams, Bilingualism and the Latin Language, Cambridge 2003, 309 ff. and my note on Mart. 14.58.2 ‘Graecus es? aphronitrum’. It is possible here that S. is drawing a contrast between line 1, suggesting urbane and educated Romans who know Greek but have the good taste not to indulge it, and the uncultivated patrons of lowly taverns who eat a humble vegetable diet with a Greek name. 2 pauperibus semper proponor †namque† tabernis: pauperibus semper proponor namque tabernis ABAng.GIVwb: ante tamen mediam cauponis scripta tabernam D(praeter M?)ghVwb. (Bergamin does not report the reading of M.) The D reading might suggest a sign in front of the taberna advertising its fare by way of the Greek letter. For inn signs, see e.g. R. Meiggs, Roman Ostia, Oxford 1973, repr. 1997, 478: the thermopolium on the Via di Diana has a large painting depicting some of the goods for sale; see too L. Casson, Travel in the Ancient World (2nd impression), London 1979, 205–6. It would, however, be repetitive to have a second line referring to the letter beta, and cauponis is redundant given tabernam. In contrast, Bergamin explains ‘ante . . . mediam . . . scripta tabernam’ as referring to the letter be before the middle of the word tabernam, but this solution is forced. Also it is the letter β rather than be that would be indicated by tamen. Modern editors other than Riese and Bergamin follow AB, but have been puzzled by namque. The translation above follows Watt (1987), 296, who places ‘semper . . . tabernis’ in parentheses and has the line run on into the next. Both parenthesis and enjambement are rare in Symphosius, but they are not unknown (note Aenig. 3.2 and see at Praef. 9–10), and his solution is otherwise a neat one: the rich would have eaten in their own homes or as guests in the homes of their peers. Only the poor would have eaten out (cf. Mary Beard, Pompeii: the Life of a Roman Town, London 2008, 58), and the beet was their special food. 2–3 pauperibus . . . / in terra nascor, lympha lavor, unguor olivo: three-part lines are unusual in S. (see Introduction n. 122), but line 3 stresses all the advantages bestowed by the beet on the poor: pauperibus is prominently and emphatically placed at the start of line 2. 3 in terra nascor D: terris ABγ. The singular accords with the singulars lympha and olivo. S. ensures varietas by following an ablative of place with two instrumental ablatives, and by placing the verb before rather than after the noun in the last section.



unguor olivo: cf. Hor. Serm. 1.6.123 ‘unguor olivo’ in the same metrical sedes. This ironic allusion (cf. Dale Scott 120) accords humorously with the personification of the beet. While Horace is referring to anointing one’s body with oil, the riddle’s lowly vegetable is dressed with it; cf. Hor. Serm. 2.3.125–6 ‘unguere si caules oleo meliore . . . / coeperis’. Nevertheless the idea of anointing combined with washing (lavor) suggests that the beet visits the baths for the benefit of the poor who will eat it (cf. Ter. Phorm. 339 ‘unctum atque lautum e balineis’).

43 A gourd I hang while I am coming forth; again, while I hang, I grow. While hanging I am moved in the wind and fed by the moisture. If I were not hanging, I shall soon not exist. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOQRS gGhIVwawb le. cucurbita: this riddle (probably describing the Cucurbita lagenaria L. or bottle gourd) continues the flower and vegetable theme starting at Aenig. 40 papaver. The riddle is linked verbally with Aenig. 42 by nascor (line 1 and Aenig. 42.3) and undis, line 2; cf. Aenig. 42.3 lympha. Also, like the beet, the gourd was a lowly vegetable: see Kay at Mart. 11.31.1, André 42 f.; cf. Priap. 63.12 ‘cucurbitarum ligneus vocor custos’, where the god laments his lot. Pliny, Nat. 19.69–74, discusses them and their uses in some detail. For their medicinal uses, e.g. in treating various stomach complaints (cf. the laxative uses of mallows and beet in the previous two riddles), see Marcellus Med. 20.13, 28.8 and 30.23. This riddle therefore continues the medical sub-sequence introduced by Aenig. 39: see Aenig. 40 le. n. 1 pendeo dum nascor; rursus, dum pendeo, cresco: ‘Pendeo dum’ (cf. pendens and pendula at the start of lines 2 and 3) is balanced by dum pendeo, and nascor by cresco. Note the -sc- sound in the middle of each word and the variation of deponent and active voice. Pendeo is usual of fruit hanging on the tree or vine: OLD2 s.v. pendeo §2c. It is used of gourds at Pliny Nat. 19.73 ‘cibis quo longiores tenuioresque, eo gratiores, et ob id salubriores quae pendendo crevere.’ Nasci is common of plants or vegetables forming or coming into being: see OLD2 s.v. nascor §2a. The personifying nascor is picked up by nutrior (line 2) and the play on ‘being’ in line 3. For rursus meaning ‘then again’, see OLD2 s.v. rursus §2c; cf. e.g. Curt. 4.1.10–11 ‘Dareus Graecos . . . vastavit . . . rursus Xerxes venit’. dum pendeo cresco: dum pendeo teresco A: dum pendo tumesco (dependo tumescens K) Bγ: dum pendeo nascor DV. Cresco, a marginalium in A, is very probably correct, commonly being used of plant growth. In addition to Pliny Nat. 19.73, cited above, cf. Verg. G. 2.3 ‘prolem tarde crescentis olivae’, Culex 398–9 ‘hic et acanthos/ et rosa purpureum crescunt pudibunda ruborem’, Cato Agr. 43.2. Teresco is senseless and unmetrical. Tumesco scans if one reads pendo, but pendo makes difficult sense and destroys the ‘pendeo . . . pendeo’ balance. Nascor is a meaningless dittography.


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2 pendens commoveor ventis et nutrior undis: contrast Pliny Nat. 19.70 where the gourd is a ‘pondus immobile aurae’. Col. 12.46.2 describes the measures taken by some ‘ne . . . [sc. mala] vento commoveantur’. The gourd’s ‘hanging’ is possibly emphasized by the positioning in the line and spondaic form of pendens. et nutrior undis: the gourd was well known for its love of water: Pliny Nat. 19.69 ‘amant rigua’, Pallad. Agr. 4.9.7 ‘longi et teneri fiunt, si aquam in patenti vasculo sub eis ponas duobus palmis inferiorem, ad quam festinando tales efficientur’, Col. 11.3.48. For unda in this general sense, see OLD2 s.v. unda §4. With nutrior, cf. Catul. 61.24–5 ‘[sc. myrtus, . . . quos] roscido/ nutriunt umore’, Ovid Met. 5.590 ‘nutrita . . . populus unda’; see L-S s.v. nutrio §B, OLD2 s.v. nutrio §2b. 3 pendula si non sim, non sum iam iamque futura: juxtaposition of the hypothetical ‘non sim’ with ‘non sum’ gives balance and varietas and allows play on futura (emphatically juxtaposed with ‘iam iamque’) while an element of s alliteration binds the line together. If not trellised off the ground, gourds will rot, but this process takes a little while, whereas the repetition in ‘iam iamque’ ‘expresses an action so imminent that it seems to have happened’ (Fordyce at Verg. A. 8.708). It is likely therefore that ‘pendula si non sim’ means ‘if I were to be plucked from the trellis’. P. T. Eden notes (Seneca: Apocolocyntosis, Cambridge 1981, 4) that ‘[a]t whatever stage of growth the Cucurbita lagenaria, the bottle gourd, is plucked, the watery pulp inside soon decomposes to leave nothing but the pips and the hard smooth outer rind.’ This drying out would contrast with ‘nutrior undis’ in line 2. Since pendeo can be used of hanging someone from a tree or crucifixion (cf. e.g. Cic. Ver. 3.66 ‘videtis pendere alios ex arbore’, Ovid Pont. 1.6.38 ‘aliquis pendens in cruce’), it is paradoxical that the gourd dies as soon as it is not being hanged.

44 An onion I bite those who are biting; of my own accord I do not bite anyone; but there are many ready to bite me as I am biting: no one fears my bite, since it does not have any teeth. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHNOQRS gGhIVwawb le. cepa: the onion (Allium cepa L) continues the vegetable–plant sequence starting at Aenig. 40 and concludes the sub-sequence of medicinal plants: for the medical authors who mention the onion, see RE III.672.37–49 s.v. βολβός [Olck]. Although not exclusively a lowly dish (onions are a common ingredient in Apicius (see Apic. 305–9 Budé) and were regularly part of the gustatio: see Mart. 13.34 bulbi and my notes ad loc.), the onion was often spurned by the refined and eaten by the poor: see André 19, who refers to Plutarch Quaest. conv. 669B. Thus this riddle continues the sequence of humble foods but also prepares for the banqueting associations of the riddles which follow: see Aenig. 45 le. n. The word-play on mordere, much imitated by S.’s successors (cf. Bergamin on line 1), connects with that on pendere, different forms of which begin



each line in the previous riddle. It underlines the riddle’s personification of the inanimate and toothless onion and emphasizes the paradoxical nature of its content. 1 mordeo mordentes, ultro non mordeo quemquam: cf. Pliny Nat. 27.133 ‘radix . . . gustu acri mordet’. Morsus is regularly used of a sharp or bitter taste; cf. Mor. 83 ‘quae . . . trahunt acri vultus nasturtia morsu’, Mart. 7.25.5 ‘morsu . . . aceti’ with Galán Vioque, Auson. Technopaegnion 25.9.8 Green. For mordeo of eating an onion, cf. Pers. 4.30–1 ‘tunicatum cum sale mordens/ cepe’. 2 sed sunt mordentem (-s AαQ) multi mordere parati AD: sed multi sunt mordentem B. The participle mordentem, now applied to the onion, varies mordentes (from which the AαQ reading derives) of the onion-consumers in line 1. The inferior B reading interrupts the juxtaposed alliteration of s and m and does away with the third-foot caesura regularly present in S.; cf. Introduction (3)(d). Bergamin is right to follow Baehrens in ending the line with a colon, since the paradox – that despite being ‘bitten’ by the onion, large numbers are nonetheless still prepared to bite it – is explained in line 3. 3 nemo timet morsum, dentes quia non habet ullos: nemo picks up multi in line 2. The juxtaposition of morsum and dentes reinforces the paradox that the onion’s bite lacks teeth, and there is further word-play in that ‘morsum dentes’ echoes mordentes/m in lines 1 and 2. The sequence of t and d sounds in the line possibly helps illustrate the concept of biting.

45 A rose I am the purple of the earth, steeped in a beautiful blush, and, being hedged around so that I am not attacked, I am defended by sharp weapons. Happy, indeed, if I were able to live a long life. MSS: A βcK αAng.deFHMNOQRS gGhIVwawb le. rosa: it is only comparatively recently that hardy roses have been developed. Roman roses flowered in the spring (cf. e.g. Cic. Verr. 5.27, [Auson.] de rosis nascentibus 1 ‘ver erat’, Col. 12.28.3), but died off in the heat of the summer: see N-H at Hor. Carm. 1.38.4 sera. The flower’s ephemeral nature was often remarked in literature before the eighteenth century (see N-H at Hor. Carm. 2.3.13 ff. ‘nimium brevis/ flores amoenae . . . rosae’; cf. Gow at Theoc. 27.9 f.), and, together with its beauty, ensured its value and desirability in the ancient world. Winter roses were particularly esteemed because they had to be imported or grown in hothouses; cf. my note at Mart. 13.127 le. coronae roseae. However, despite the Saturnalia’s mid-winter date (see Introduction (3)(a) section A), the fact that roses often featured at banquets and symposia (e.g. Hor. Carm. 1.36.15, 2.11.14, 3.29.3), and that the dramatic setting for the Aenigmata is a Saturnalian festive meal (see Praef. 3 f., noting especially line 5 ‘epulas laetas’ and ‘dulcia pocula’), it


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is clear that a winter rose is not envisaged here. Instead, the riddle remarks the poignancy of the rose’s condition, since in its beauty and security (lines 1–2) it appears to have everything and yet, paradoxically, it lacks the happiness of a long life to enjoy it (line 3).13 Further, the riddle recalls the use of the rose to symbolize a beautiful young girl who is embarrassed by and blushes at the male attention she attracts (see on ‘pulchro perfusa rubore’, line 1), and repels it (see on ‘ne violer’, line 2). A corollary of this is the common metaphorical use of the rose to symbolize the rapid passing of youthful good looks by those enjoining unwilling lovers to make the most of their charms before they disappear; cf. AL 72.9 ShB ‘ne pereant, lege mane rosas. virgo senescit’, Prop. 4.5.59 ff. and [Auson.] de rosis nascentibus 49–50 ‘collige, virgo, rosas dum flos novus et nova pubes,/ et memor esto aevum sic properare tuum’. Together with Aenig. 46, describing a purple viola, this riddle frames and concludes the section on vegetables and plants starting with Aenig. 40 and 41: see Aenig. 40 le. n. Its reference to thorns in line 2 (‘telis defendor acutis’) connects with the biting and teeth in Aenig. 44. The banqueting associations of roses possibly recall and contrast with the lowly foodstuffs of Aenig. 41–4. 1 purpura sum terrae, pulchro perfusa rubore: roses were conventionally purple; cf. Hor. Carm. 3.15.15 ‘flos purpureus rosae’, 4.10.4, Copa 14 ‘purpurea . . . rosa’, [Auson.] de rosis nascentibus 26, 28; note also Catul. 64.49 ‘tincta tegit roseo conchyli purpura fuco’, Ovid Met. 2.112–14 ‘ecce vigil nitido patefecit ab ortu/ purpureas Aurora fores et plena rosarum/ atria’: the adjectives purpureus and roseus were almost synonymous. The p alliteration and the poeticism of the words here emphasize the beauty and colour of the rose, thereby making its brief life the more pitiful in contrast. The colour purple was a significant and enduring mark of status in the ancient world (see M. Reinhold, History of Purple as a Status Symbol in Antiquity, Brussels 1970, especially chapter 6, ‘The Later Roman Empire’, and the conclusion) and the word purpura is used metonymically of royalty at Luc. 7.228. The nobility of the rose’s colour – it is ‘ruler’ of the earth – contrasts further with the pity of its short life. Although suggesting elevated status, purpura also prepares for the second hemistich, together with which it recalls the blush of a young girl: cf. on the lemma above and note perfusa and rubor of Lavinia’s blush at Verg. A. 12.64 ff. Also AL 191.19 ShB ‘en pudorem florulentae prodiderunt purpurae’. rubore D(praeter eH)Vwb: colore ABeHγ. Colore draws support from Aenig. 2.2 ‘nigro perfusa colore’, and is used of flowers or vegetation at Prop. 1.2.9 ‘aspice quos summittat humus non fossa colores’ and V.Fl. 6.492 ‘lilia per vernos lucent velut alba colores’. Cf. too Lucr. 4.1094 ‘pulchro . . . colore’, of a pleasing complexion; but rubore balances better the poeticism of purpura and its suggestion of purple dye: the word is often used of Tyrian purple (cf. e.g. Verg. G. 3.307; see OLD2 s.v. rubor §1a, noting in addition that perfusus is used in dye contexts e.g. at Verg. A. 5.111–12 ‘ostro/ perfusae vestes’). Also,


Contrast e.g. the mythical Tithonus, who has eternal life but not eternal youth or beauty: see Kl.P. V.869.17–24 s.v. Tithonus [H. von Geisau].



and decisively, it is confirmed by Aenig. 46.3 ruborem, with which it contrasts: see Aenig. 46.3. n. 2 saeptaque, ne violer, telis defendor acutis: military vocabulary (saepta, telis, defendor) emphasizes the extent to which the rose is protected by its thorns, e.g. from being eaten by animals. With saepta, cf. Verg. A. 1.506 ‘saepta armis’ of Dido, Stat. Theb. 2.385 ‘saeptum . . . armis’, Coripp. Ioh. 6.517 ‘saeptus telis’. It is illustrated by the positioning of defendor, which is ‘hedged around’ by telis and acutis. Telum survives of the prickles defending plants also at Pliny Nat. 22.17. See too OLD2 s.v. telum §4. It is used with acutus of a hedgehog’s spines at Aenig. 30(29).2. ne violer: violo can be used of the violation of boundaries (OLD2 s.v. violo §1b), which is consistent with the line’s military tone, but its use of sexual violation (OLD2 s.v. violo §2c) is also relevant here; cf. the le. n. above: the rose, as symbolizing a beautiful young woman, is protected from the sexual advances of her admirers by her ‘thorns’, whether they be metaphorical for her resistance or ‘prickliness’ or symbolize more literally her fingernails; cf. Claud. Fesc. de nupt. Hon. 14.5–6 ‘ne cessa, iuvenis, comminus adgredi,/ impacata licet saeviat unguibus’ and 10 ‘armat spina rosas’. Were she and her beauty longer lived (cf. line 3), she would be happy in being able to reject them longer. 3 o felix, longo si possim vivere fato: si possim βαAng.dQγ: si possem cKHMNORSghwb: sim possim A. The A reading is senseless. The imperfect subjunctive is possible in present unreal conditions, but the present subjunctive is more natural. In general see Woodcock §197. felix . . . si possim: cf. Verg. A. 4.657–8 ‘felix, heu nimium felix, si litora tantum/ numquam Dardaniae tetigissent nostra carinae’, for which Pease gives many parallels. For the macarismos, see generally Richardson at the Homeric Hymn to Demeter 480. longo . . . vivere fato: for fatum of an allotted life-span, see OLD2 s.v. fatum §4a. Along with the spondaic metre, the separation of fato and longo possibly illustrates the length of the life that the rose desires.

46 A violet To be sure I am not big; but there is in me the greatest attraction. Although I might be of small stature, my aura is large; and my shoot holds no ability to harm and no guilt holds my blush. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNORS gGhIVwawb le. viola: although the designation viola was quite widely applied, making it difficult sometimes to identify exactly the flower in question (cf. Kl.P. V.1154.1–8 s.v. Veilchen [H. Gärtner]), it is clear from this riddle’s reference to size (lines 1–2), fragrance (see on


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spiritus, line 2) and colour (ruborem, line 3) that the viola odorata or ‘English’ violet is meant here. The riddle concludes the flower–vegetable series starting with Aenig. 40 (see le. n.) and begins a short sequence united by perfume (see Aenig. 47.1 and 48 le. nn.). Colour aside (cf. Aenig. 45 le. n.), it is directly linked to the previous riddle through noxam (line 3), which connects with telis, Aenig. 45.2 (see below), but the two flowers were in any case similarly esteemed and naturally paired: cf. e.g. Cic. Tusc. 5.73, Col. 10.101–2. The violet was also a spring flower (Pliny Nat. 21.64) and, like the rose, was used for garlands: Pliny Nat. 21.14. 1 magna quidem non sum, sed inest mihi maxima virtus: magna is balanced and qualified by maxima, and the play on size is continued in line 2: magnus and parvo; cf. that at Aenig. 34.1. The alliteration of m frames that of ‘sum, sed’ at the caesura. With virtus of the flower’s attractiveness, cf. Ovid Met. 15.205–6 ‘omnia tunc [i.e. in the Spring] florent . . . neque ad huc virtus in frondibus ulla est’, Cic. Leg. 1.45, AL 5.7 ShB; see OLD2 s.v. virtus §5a. 2 spiritus est magnus, quamvis sim corpore parvo: sim corpore αAng.eγ: in corpore Bgh: e corpore D(praeter Ang.eRS): de corpore S: corpore R. This line repeats line 1, but reverses it: ‘spiritus est magnus’ echoes ‘sed inest . . . maxima virtus’ as ‘quamvis sim corpore parvo’ does ‘magna quidem non sum’. In the light of this correspondence, sim is clearly superior to the possible variants. R is unmetrical. Spiritus refers to the flower’s notable scent – despite its small size; cf. e.g. Gell. 9.4.10 ‘spiritu florum naribus hausto’, Lucr. 3.222 ‘spiritus unguenti suavis diffugit in auras’; see L-S s.v. spiritus §B2 and (of perfume) OLD2 s.v. spiritus §10. Note too Isid. Orig. 17.9.19 ‘viola propter vim odoris nomen accepit’. Corpus appears not to be used elsewhere of the body of a flower, although it is used of the wood of a tree and the flesh of fruit (L-S s.v. corpus §1b, OLD2 s.v. corpus §5b). Nevertheless, it accords with the personification of the violet here. 3 nec mihi germen habet noxam nec culpa ruborem: this line, which was incomprehensible to Riese (see his apparatus), must be explained with reference to the previous riddle; cf. Ohl ad loc.: the violet has no weapons like the rose’s thorns to protect it (‘telis defendor acutis’, Aenig. 45.2) and in consequence harms no one. This being the case, its blush cannot be attributed to feelings of guilt at having done so. germen codd.: tegmen Baehrens. For germen of a sprig, offshoot or bud, see L-S s.v. germen §I, OLD2 s.v. germen §§1a, b. It is used of the violet at Venant. Fort. Carm. 8.6.7–8 ‘inter odoriferas tamen has quas misimus herbas/ purpureae violae nobile germen habent’. There is no need for emendation. noxam: for the meaning ‘ability to harm’, cf. e.g. Manil. 2.857–8 ‘locus imperat astris/ et dotes noxamque facit’ and see OLD2 s.v. noxa §3c. ruborem: as Isidore observes (Orig. 17.9.19), the violet could otherwise be white or quince-coloured.



47 Incense Sweet smell of the grove, I am worn out by flame and smoke; and the fact that I am cast into the midst of the flames is pleasing to the gods; and punishment is not given to me, but thanks for giving are mine. MSS: A βcK αAng.deFHMNORS gGhIVwawb le. tus: although tus is specifically frankincense, i.e. ‘the oleo-gum-resin extracted chiefly from the species Boswellia sacra Flückiger and Boswellia Carterii Birdwood of the family Burseracea’, it is as often as not referred to simply as incense, that is by ‘the general name given to a variety of aromatic gum resins which, when heated, produce a fragrant odour’: OCD4 s.v. incense [D. T. Potts]. This riddle begins a series of three on Eastern, and therefore imported, commodities, while continuing the perfume theme begun by the previous riddle (see Aenig. 46 le. n.): with odor, line 1, cf. spiritus, Aenig. 46.2. It possibly also continues the banqueting association of the flowers in Aenig. 45 and 46. While incense featured prominently in divine worship generally (see on superis, line 2), here it perhaps also recalls the practice of divine offerings to mark the beginning of a (Saturnalian) cena; cf. my note on Mart. 13.4. tus. For a detailed account of the production and trade in frankincense, see Pliny Nat. 12.51–65. 1 dulcis odor nemoris: cf. Tac. Ger. 45.5 ‘nemora . . . ubi tura balsamaque sudantur’, Florus Epit. 1.140 ‘per nemora illa odorata, per turis et balsami silvas Romana signa circumtulit’, Lucr. 3.327 ‘e thuris glaebis evellere odorem’. Odor could signify both pleasant and unpleasant smells: OLD2 s.v. odor §§2a and b. Dulcis is therefore not a redundant qualification. It is combined with odor again e.g. at Pliny Nat. 26.148. Nemus can have religious connotations in the sense ‘sacred grove’ (OLD2 s.v. nemus §2) but, despite superis in line 2, probably here means just ‘a clump of trees’; cf. OLD2 s.v. nemus §1. flamma fumoque fatigor: the triple f alliteration is notable, although the ‘flamma fumoque’ pairing is paralleled several times: see E. Wölfflin, ‘Über die alliterierenden Verbindungen der lateinischen Sprache’ in Ausgewählte Schriften, Leipzig 1933, 259 and 261 s.vv. ‘flamma fumo’ and ‘fumus flamma’. For smoking incense, cf. Ovid Met. 10.273 ‘tura . . . fumabant’, 11.248 ‘fumo turis’, Tr. 5.5.29 ‘fumos e ture coortos’; see N-R at Hor. Carm. 3.18.7–8. Fatigor might suggest that the incense, despite its sweet perfume, is tortured by the fire and smoke (cf. Cic. Top. 74 ‘verberibus tormentis igni fatigati’), but see below on poena in line 3. 2 et placet hoc superis: cf. Hor. Carm. 1.36.1–3 ‘ture . . . iuvat placare . . . deos’, at which N-H comment (on placare) that gods were potentially hostile, Ovid Med. 83 ‘quamvis tura deos irataque numina placent’. Cf. also Ovid Met. 11.577 ‘superis pia tura ferebat’. For the use of incense to worship the gods, see OCD4 s.vv. ‘incense in religion’ [I. Malkin], Kl.P. V.1354.54 ff. s.v. Weihrauch [C. J. Classen], W. Burkert, Greek Religion, Oxford 1985, 62.


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medios quod mittor in ignes: cf. Luc. 3.351–2 ‘pectoribus rapti matrum . . . medios mittentur in ignes’, a description of infanticide intended to horrify rather than bring pleasure. In contrast, the consignment of incense to the flames in this riddle is a legitimate cause of divine gratification and, paradoxically (see line 3), being burnt is something from which the personified incense gains, rather than a punishment from which it suffers. 3 nec mihi poena datur, sed habetur gratia dandi D(praeter Ang.)ghVwb: nec in pena datur sed habetur gratia dandi A: cum mihi peccandi meritum (vitium Perionius) natura negavit (negarit Perionius) ABAng.GIVwa. As often (see Introduction (5) and n. 155), A preserves both the B and D texts, although here it does not transmit the D text exactly. The D text appears most satisfactory after line 2, the import of whose hemistichs it reverses: the incense is not punished through being thrown on the fire (first hemistich of line 3 and second of line 2), but divine favour is secured by the action (second hemistich of line 3 and first of line 2). The text also shows signs of S.’s characteristically careful word-ordering (see Introduction (3)(c) and n. 108): ‘nec . . . poena . . . datur . . . sed . . . gratia . . . dandi’. Note also the contrasting datur and habetur. The Latin of the alternative tradition might mean ‘although nature has denied me the deserts (‘vice’: Perionius) of sinning’, that is that, although naturally guiltless, the incense is still ‘punished’ by being placed in the fire for the pleasure of the gods. However, this lacks the pithiness and compositional appeal of D and imputes to the gods a vindictive arbitrariness in addition to their potential hostility. nec mihi poena datur: poena can just mean ‘pain’ (see L-S s.v. poena §II), which would accord with the possible suggestion of torture by fatigor in line 1, but ‘punishment’ is more likely after ‘medios . . . mittor in ignes’, line 2. Although punishment by fire included branding and use of the lamina, it extended to execution, and this is suggested here; cf. Murgatroyd at Tib. 1.5.5–6. Fire was considered an extreme punishment when dealing with slaves; cf. Petr. 115.18 ‘hanc poenam gravissimam credimus, ubi servis irascimur’. For citizens, at any rate humiliores, burning to death was the ancient punishment for serious crimes like treachery (cf. J. A. Crook, Law and Life of Rome, 90 bc–ad 212, New York 1967, 273 and Peter Garnsey, Social Status and Legal Privilege in the Roman Empire, Oxford 1970, 126). In accordance with the principle of talio (see Kl.P. V.503.11–34 s.v. Talio [D. Medicus]), it was also the punishment for arson: Crook ibid., Garnsey ibid. 125–6, Courtney at Juv. 8.235 ‘tunica . . . molesta’. The ‘tunica molesta’, employed e.g. by Nero to punish the Christians he blamed for the fire of AD 64, is characterized at Sen. Ep. 14.5 as a form of saevitia, and burning alive is cited as a mark of extreme cruelty at Cic. Ver. 4.73, describing the tyrant Phalaris: ‘vivos supplici causa demittere homines et subicere flammam solebat’. Being cast into the middle of a fire is, however, no punishment for the incense. sed habetur gratia dandi: dandi codd.: danti Castalio. The genitive is unusual with gratia meaning ‘thanks for’, but cf. Pl. Mil. 1355 ‘tibi habeo magnam gratiam rerum omnium’. Rather than being punished by burning, the incense enjoys the favour which follows the appropriate and necessary respect for the gods. Castalio’s present participle



suggests that divine gratitude lasts only as long as the act of giving. It does not extend beyond it. Do is regular of divine offerings; cf. Verg. A. 8.106 ‘tura dabant’ and Mart. 13.4.2 ‘da pia tura Iovi’.

48 Myrrh From tears and instead of tears my beginning arose. I flowed from the eyes but now I am born of a tree, a joyful glory to the foliage but the sorrowful likeness of grief. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNORS gGhIVwawb le. murra (myrra) ABNγ: sucinum (-us d; -ilium M) D(praeter NOR): de sucino/a ORgh: sucinum myrrae G. The variant sucinum, in its different forms, was prompted by the story of Phaethon. Following his death after driving the Sun’s chariot, his mourning sisters were changed into poplar trees which shed amber tears: see Ovid Met. 2.340–66, Pliny Nat. 37.31 (where electrum is used instead of sucinum but means the same thing). Amber, however, came from the Baltic (OCD4 s.v. amber [D. W. R. Ridgway]) whereas Aenig. 47 tus and 49 ebur describe eastern goods. Myrrh, which is similar in substance to amber and is formed and was collected and transported in the same way, also came from the east (cf. Pliny Nat. 12.51 ‘principalia . . . in illa [sc. Arabia] tus atque murra’), and is clearly what S. is describing. This riddle refers to the hardened tears not of Phaethon’s sisters but those of the incestuous daughter of Cinyras who was metamorphosed into a tree while bewailing her crime. The most famous early treatment of the Myrrha story was the formidably obscure Zmyrna of Cinna (see FLP Cinna, 6–8), but it is best known from Ovid Met. 10.298–502; cf. Ars 1.285–8. For other versions, see Kl.P. III.1523.59 ff. s.v. Myrra §2 [K. Ziegler]. Aenig. 48 is verbally and generically linked to Aenig. 47 by ‘ex arbore’, line 2, which recalls nemoris, Aenig. 47.1. Like incense, myrrh was valued for its perfume, and was used especially as a hair oil: Verg. A. 12.100, Ovid Met. 3.555, 5.53, Prop. 1.2.3 ‘quid [sc. iuvat] Orontea crinis perfundere murra’. For its cosmetic uses, see also Kl.P. ibid. 31 ff. It would therefore have featured at Saturnalian and other banquets (see N-H at Hor. Carm. 1.4.9 nitidum for the festive associations of unguents) and so accords with the banqueting associations of the previous three riddles: see Aenig. 45. 46 and 47 lee. nn. 1 de lacrimis et pro lacrimis mea coepit origo: like δάκρυ, lacrima was commonly used of tree or plant exudations: see Mynors at Verg. G. 4.160–1; cf. Ovid Fast. 1.339 ‘lacrimatas cortice murras’, Met. 10.500–2, Ars 1. 287 with Hollis ad loc. This accounts for the word’s first appearance, but the second points particularly to the story of Myrrha’s metamorphosis. Since she was unable to weep real tears after her transformation, she wept myrrh instead. For pro meaning ‘instead of ’, cf. Ovid Her. 7.186 ‘qui [sc. gladius] iam pro lacrimis sanguine tinctus’; see OLD2 s.v. pro1 §6a. There is perhaps the secondary sense here too that, while a desirable commodity, myrrh is only to be had in exchange for unhappiness; cf. L-S s.v. pro §2a and on ‘tristis . . . imago doloris’, line 3 below.


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coepit origo: for the seemingly pleonastic combination, cf. Paul. dig. 18.1.1 ‘origo emendi vendendique a permutationibus coepit’ and Pliny Nat. 36.12 ‘originem . . . coepisse’ (of the art of carving marble), although origo might here have the specific sense of ‘birth’ (see OLD2 s.v. origo §1b), agreeing with nascor in line 2. Note also Aenig. 15.3 ‘id mea mors patitur quod iam mea fecit origo’ after nasci, line 1. 2 ex oculis fluxi, sed nunc ex arbore nascor: the first hemistich refers to Myrrha’s tears before her metamorphosis, the second to her ‘tears’ after being changed. ‘Ex oculis’ is balanced and varied by ‘ex arbore’, and the perfect fluxi by the present nascor, which is emphasized by the alliterative nunc. Fluxi is common of tears: cf. Ovid Met. 3.202–3 ‘lacrimae . . . per ora . . . fluxerunt’, Fast. 2.820 ‘fluunt lacrimae more perennis aquae’; see OLD2 s.v. fluo §2b. With nascor here, cf. Pliny Nat. 12.66 ‘murram in isdem silvis [i.e. as tus] nasci tradidere aliqui’. For its use generally of plants, fruit or foliage, see OLD2 s.v. nascor §2a. For the theme of birth in S., see Aenig. 92 le. n. Shackleton Bailey and Riese end the line with a full stop, Baehrens with a semicolon, but this would deny line 3 an expressed verb and S. does not normally leave words to be understood (an exception is in Aenig. 34.1). Ohl and Glorie’s comma is therefore rightly followed by Bergamin. (Shackleton Bailey’s punctuation requires an understood verb also at Aenig. 56.2 and 91.2; cf. Aenig. 53.2.) 3 laetus honor frondi, tristis sed imago doloris: the two halves of this line balance one another: laetus is countered by tristis (words which pick up on the tears in line 1) and frondi is countered by doloris, where the different cases afford varietas. Honor is balanced by imago. ‘Laetus honor’ and ‘tristis . . . imago’ were possibly influenced by Virgil (see below), although any influence does not extend beyond echoing his words. laetus honor frondi: cf. Verg. A. 5.58 ‘laetum . . . honorem’ of the rites to mark the anniversary of Anchises’ death. Honor is something that lends grace or dignity to a person (OLD2 s.v. honor §6a; cf. Pliny Pan. 4.7 ‘honor capitis et dignitas oris’). Usually a tree’s honor is conferred by its foliage (cf. Verg. G. 2.404 ‘et silvis Aquilo decussit honorem’, Hor. Epod. 11.6, Ovid Met. 1.565, V.Fl. 6.296), but the myrrh here affords further distinction to the conventional chief attribute: for frons of the leafy part of a tree, see OLD2 s.v. frons1 §1. Since laetus has connotations of luxuriance when applied to plants, crops, etc. (see OLD2 s.v. laetus §1a; cf. e.g. Cic. Ver. 4.107 ‘laetissimi flores’), its application to myrrh is appropriate. frondi ABD(praeter αM)hwb: frondis (frondes V) αMγ. Myrrh does not come from the leafy part of the tree. Riese, Bergamin and Shackleton Bailey are therefore wrong to follow the minority tradition. tristis sed imago doloris: an imago is an example or manifestation, a thing which makes something visible; see OLD2 s.v. imago §11; cf. Cic. Orat. 6 ‘imago animi [sc. est] vultus’, Verg. A. 6.405 ‘tantae pietatis imago’ (i.e. Aeneas). Myrrh is the discernible product of grief. ‘Tristis imago’ is used e.g. of Anchises’ ghost at Verg. A. 6.695.



49 Ivory As a great tusk I was born to the peoples of the East. Now I have declined bit by bit into many bodies. My strength does not remain, but the charm of my beauty has done. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNORS gGhIVwawb le. ebur: as well as being used e.g. for the architectural adornment of luxury houses (see N-H at Hor. Carm. 1.31.6 ‘ebur Indicum’), ivory was made into a range of small objects such as writing tablets (Mart. 14.5), cash boxes (ibid. 12), knucklebones (ibid. 14), bird cages (ibid. 77), medicine chests (ibid. 78), and so on. Given the reference to its beauty in line 3, the personified subject of this riddle is possibly a statue (for ebur signifying a statue, see OLD2 s.v. ebur §3a–b), but its exact nature is not specified. It appears, however, to regard itself as the surviving essence of the original tusk, from which pieces have gradually been taken to make many other things (cf. ‘in corpora multa’, line 2). These may but need not have been statues too. Some ivory came from North Africa, like the table bases at Mart. 14.3.2, but the piece in this riddle came from India, another important source. See on ‘populis . . . Eois’, line 1, and cf. Hor. Carm. 1.31.6 above, Verg. G. 1.57 ‘India mittit ebur’, A. 12.67–8 ‘Indum . . . ebur’, Mart. 2.43.9 ‘Indis . . . dentibus’, 10.98.6 ‘Indicos . . . dentes’, Catul. 64.48 ‘Indo . . . dente’. Its great strength when unworked, acknowledged in the context of the games (cf. Mart. 14.91.1 ‘[sc. dentes eborei] grandia taurorum portant qui corpora’), is contrasted in this riddle with its brittle beauty after it has been crafted into a smaller object. On ivory in general, see H. H. Scullard, The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World, London 1974, 260–1, RE V.2358 s.v. Elfenbein [Blümner]. This riddle ends the brief series of Eastern products starting at Aenig. 47 tus. Prognatus, line 1, links with nascor, Aenig. 48.2. For the theme of birth in S., see Aenig. 92 le. n. below. 1 dens ego sum magnus populis prognatus Eois: prognatus Baehrens: cognatus codd. (cognitus Ang.). Cognitus is unmetrical and cognosco, ‘I get to know’ or ‘find out’, is in any case unsuitable in context. Cognatus is questionable, since the ivory does not stop being related to the people of the East after the great tusk from which it comes has been cut up. Prognatus clearly identifies India as the source of the ivory and it links more strongly than cognatus with nascor in Aenig. 48.2. At Catul. 64.1 Fordyce comments that the word is ‘stately’ and ‘old-fashioned’, which accords with the circumlocutionary ‘populis . . . Eois’; cf. perhaps the tone of ‘formosae filia silvae’ at Aenig. 13.1. Although the word Eous is used of the people of India here (cf. its application to the sea to the east of India: OLD2 s.v. Eous §2a; cf. Mela 3.61 ‘India . . . Eoo . . . adposita pelago’), it is of general import, being used e.g. of Assyria at Luc. 6.52. Like ἠῷος and ἑῷος it was commonly applied to Eastern products: cf. e.g. Prop. 1.15.7 ‘Eois . . . lapillis’ and Stat. Theb. 1.263 ‘turis Eoi’. 2 nunc ego per partes in corpora multa recessi: strengthened by its initial position and ego, second word in both lines 1 and 2, nunc contrasts with line 1’s perfect ‘sum . . .


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prognatus’; cf. Aenig. 56.2 ‘at nunc’ where again a distinction is made between what the subject of the riddle once was and what it has become. See also Aenig. 52.3. For ‘per partes’, see OLD2 s.v. pars §1b; cf. Sen. Nat. 2.54.2 ‘per partes et minutatim’. Together with ‘in corpora multa’, it contrasts with the initial magnitude (magnus, line 1) of the undivided tusk. 3 nec remanent vires, sed formae gratia mansit: nec is balanced by sed, remanent by mansit and vires by ‘formae gratia’. The verbal pairing of complex and simplex forms is common in S.: see at Aenig. 12.2 above. Here it illustrates the difference between the ivory’s earlier and later forms; cf. Bergamin ad loc. S.’s use of tenses is also worth remarking: the ivory is now no longer strong (present) but its initial attractiveness has lasted (perfect). In this line S. may be recalling and inviting a contrast with the words used by Ovid of Narcissus at Met. 3.492–3 ‘nec vigor et vires et quae modo visa placebant/ nec corpus remanet’ after he had lost the forma (cf. 476) which he owed to his ‘eburnea colla’ (422) and was about to be metamorphosed. sed formae gratia mansit: cf. e.g. Ovid Met. 7.44 ‘gratia formae’, of Jason when he has first attracted Medea. Although it is common to refer to the beauty of ivory objects (cf. e.g. Cic. Brut. 257 ‘signum ex ebore pulcherrimum’), referring to the beauty of an uncarved tusk is unusual. The tusk was, however, desirable because of its potential beauty.

50 Hay I was once grass from the greensward of the earth, but, having been cut when tender by the hard metal of the scythe, I am pressed down by my own bulk, shut up beneath a high roof. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOQRS gGhIVwawb le. faenum: contrast Mart. 14.162 faenum: fraudata tumeat fragilis tibi culcita mula. non venit ad duros pallida cura toros.

Whereas Martial describes the bedding of a poor man that he has secured by defrauding his mule (hay was normally used for animal fodder; cf. White Farming 202), S. describes grass which, while a soft and luxurious place to lie before it is cut (see on line 1), ceases to serve as such once harvested and stored in the barn or hayloft. The riddle begins a series on arable crops or related objects (Aenig. 50–2) followed by the vine (53). Its connection with the previous series (Aenig. 47–9) is perhaps the contrast between home-grown products and exotic imports. This would accord with the idea that the Saturnalia was a recreation of the Golden Age (cf. Introduction (3)(a)



section A), a time of self-sufficiency when trade, ships and wars were unnecessary and therefore unknown: see e.g. OCD4 s.vv. ‘golden age’ [P. G. Fowler, D. P. Fowler], Spisak 91. (The specific links between the Saturnalia and grain-growing receive notice in Aenig. 52 le. n. below.) Otherwise, despite the possible African connections of S. himself (Introduction (1) and n. 22), it fits with the commonly expressed view that Italy’s own products were such that imports were unnecessary; cf. Var. R. 1.2.6 ‘quid in Italia utensile non modo non nascitur, sed etiam non egregium fit?’ and see Hollis at Ovid Ars 1.56. Praecisa, line 2, supplies the specific link with Aenig. 49, where the ivory is cut up bit by bit. Regarding the growing, harvesting, storing and use of hay, see Var. R. 1.49 and 56 (quoted at line 3 below), Col. 2.18, Cato Agr. 53; cf. also Pliny Nat. 18.258 ff. 1 herba fui quondam viridi de gramine terrae: viridi BD(praeter H)γ: virides A: viridae H. Cf. Verg. G. 2.219 ‘viridi se gramine’, in a line which is metrically identical with this one; cf. Bergamin ad loc. H was influenced by the ending of terrae. A’s reading, possibly influenced by de, is senseless. Baehrens follows viridis, the emendation marked in A, but it either introduces a transferred epithet, although these are rare in S. (see at Aenig. 33.1 ‘dentibus insanis’), or, if it is taken with herba rather than terrae, would weaken the third-foot caesura, which generally separates sense units; cf. Introduction (3)(d). herba fui quondam: for the formula ‘I was once . . .’, see at Aenig. 10.1 ‘unda fui quondam’, where line 2 begins with nunc, as opposed to sed here. Herba is common of grass: OLD2 s.v. herba §1a; cf. Ovid Met. 10.87 ‘area, quam viridem faciebant graminis herbae’. Note also Var. R. 1.47 ‘herba in pratis ad spem faenisciae nata’. viridi de gramine terrae: cf. [Ovid] Am. 3.5.5 ‘area gramineo . . . viridissima prato’, Verg. G. 3.144. Gramen often occurs with mollis (cf. line 2) in descriptions of the soft grass typifying the ‘locus amoenus’; cf. Lucr. 2.29 ‘prostrati in gramine molli’, Ovid Fast. 6.328 ‘pars iacet et molli gramine membra levat’; also Verg. Ecl. 10.42 ‘mollia prata’. Having been cut for hay, this grass can, of course, no longer serve as a soft place to lie down. 2 sed chalybis duro mollis praecisa metallo: the word chalybs comes from the Χάλυβες of Pontus, who were famous for the manufacture of steel (Kl.P. I.1127.15 ff. s.v. Chalybes [Christo Dunoff ]), although it was used of iron as well: OLD2 s.v. chalybs §1. Here it is used metonymically, as often (OLD2 s.v. chalybs §2, L.-S. s.v. chalybs §II), of a farm implement, presumably a scythe; cf. Cato Agr. 10.3 ‘falces fenarias’. Photographs of scythe blades can be found in White Farming, plates 39 and 40. See too White Implements 98 ff. The hardness of this scythe is emphasized by the juxtaposition of duro and mollis and the alliteration of the contrasting mollis and metallo. With ‘mollis praecisa’, cf. Pliny Nat. 18.260 ‘[sc. faenum] secandum antequam inarescat’. Although praecido survives e.g. of lopping trees (OLD2 s.v. praecido §1a; cf. Marcellus Med. 25.14 ‘eam [sc. herbam] sine ferro praecides’), it can also have more brutal ‘cutting’ associations, e.g. in the context of physical mutilation: cf. e.g. Pl. Aul. 189


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linguam, Cic. Inv. 2.59 manum. This would accord both with the hay’s personification and the adjective duro. The contrast between the soft grass and hard scythe calls to mind to some extent the pathos of Verg. A. 9.435–6 ‘purpureus veluti cum flos succisus aratro/ languescit moriens’. 3 mole premor propria: mole followed by pr- possibly plays on mollis followed by pr- in line 2. The hay is pressed down by its own ‘bulk’ (OLD2 s.v. moles §4) or ‘weight’ (OLD2 s.v. moles §7b) not only because it is massive but because, now that it is no longer greensward, no one else is lying on it: premere is usual of lying on a couch: cf. Petr. 131.9 and Prop. 2.29B.35 ‘toro . . . presso’. For propria thus, cf. Phaedr. 1.4.1 ‘amittit merito proprium qui alienum petit.’ The p alliteration gives it emphasis. tecto conclusa sub alto: cf. Var. R. 1.56 ‘faenisciae conduntur melius sub tecto quam in acervis, quod ita fit iucundius pabulum’, although Varro simply means ‘under cover’. Alto here points specifically to the faenilia or hayloft, for which see Col. 1.6.9. Conclusa suggests tight packing, according with ‘mole premor propria’.

51 A mill We are a pair of stones, we are as one, and we lie placed as a pair. As lazy as one is, the other is not. The former remains unmoving, the latter does not cease to be moved. MSS: A βcK gGhIVwawb le. mola: the singular mola usually indicates a single millstone (L-S s.v. mola §I, OLD2 s.v. mola §1a), but the riddle clearly refers here to an entire mill; cf. Paul. dig. ‘est . . . meta inferior pars molae, catillus superior’. This mill continues the sequence of crops and related objects beginning with Aenig. 50 and, despite the difference in meaning, mola here links with mole, Aenig. 50.3. The large commercial grain mills from Pompeii are especially well known: see Moritz chapter 11, Ward-Perkins and Claridge 51, Michael Grant, The Art and Life of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Milan 1979. These were probably turned by animals, usually asses, and not by slaves: Moritz chapter 13. Line 3 ‘non desinit . . . moveri’ possibly recalls the relentless toil to which they were subjected; cf. Apul. Met. 9.11 ‘nec die tantum, verum perpeti etiam nocte’ and see Moritz 98–9. In general, see White Equipment 12 ff. The omission of this riddle by D and some other MSS might have been prompted by the mole/mola echo noted above, especially if the lemma was justified to the left margin. The riddle’s vocabulary and structure recall Sen. Ep. 90.23, describing the invention of milling: ‘aliquis . . . lapidem asperum aspero inposuit . . . quorum pars immobilis motum alterius expectat.’ 1 ambo sumus lapides, una sumus, ambo iacemus: three-part lines are unusual in S.: see Introduction n. 122. This one plays on ambo and una to emphasize the paradox that a single mill comprises two parts. Concern with constituent parts continues in line 2



(‘unus . . . alter’) and 3 (‘hic . . . ille’). For numerical play in S., see generally Aenig. 39. le. n. above. Ambo commonly means ‘two of a pair’: see OLD2 s.v. ambo §1b, L-S s.v. ambo §I; cf. Juv. 10.227–8 ‘ambos/ perdidit . . . oculos’. The paired objects need not be absolutely identical, however: here one stone is static, the other is not. Lapis survives of opposing mill stones also at Pl. As. 31 ‘num me illuc ducis ubi lapis lapidem terit’ (note the juxtaposition) and Lucr. 1.884 ‘cum lapidi in lapidem terimus [sc. aliquid]’; cf. Sen. Ep. 90.23, quoted above. Elsewhere saxum is used: see Aenig. 52.1 n. below. Iaceo gives varietas to the repeated sumus: for its meaning esse or ‘situm esse’, cf. L-S s.v. iaceo §IB4, ThLL VII(1).18.81 ff. s.v. iaceo [Köstermann]. 2 quam piger est unus, tantum non est piger alter: the two half-lines balance and contrast: ‘quam piger est unus, tantum non est . . . piger alter’; cf. line 3 below. That one of the mill stones is impiger goes against the nature of stones (cf. Pliny Nat. 36.126 ‘quid lapidis rigore pigrius’) and contributes to the riddle’s paradoxical nature. [quam . . . ,] tantum non est piger alter GIVwa: tantum sed non piger alter gh: tantum non piger et alter βK: tantum manet impiger alter wb: unus est non piger et  alter A: tam velox non piger alter c: tam non est et piger alter Baehrens. The reading of GIVwa (= γ) makes excellent sense, and is supported by gh, which initially omitted est and then inserted sed to restore the metre if not the meaning. It is rightly followed by Riese and Bergamin. Bergamin notes that tantum thus is regular in late Latin; cf. L-H-Sz II.592 and Löfstedt II.266, although neither gives examples of ‘quam . . . tantum’ as opposed to ‘quantum . . . tantum’. Other ‘late’ usages in S. are listed in Introduction n. 32. There is therefore no need for Baehrens’ reconstruction, and it is  (= tantum) rather than the in any case unlikely that the MSS would mistake tam for tm other way round. The wb reading makes some sense but renders manet repetitive in line 3. (Manet is more appropriate of something that is inmotus than something which is impiger, and so is better there.) AβK are unmetrical, c makes little sense. 3 hic manet inmotus, non desinit ille moveri: desinit Bghwb: desinet Aγ. The present tense is necessary, since the latter stone is moved at the same time as the former is still. Desinet may have been prompted by the ending of manet. The two half-lines mirror those in line 2, with each treating one of the stones and balancing the other: ‘hic manet inmotus, non desinit ille moveri’. The spondaic inmotus, followed by the caesura, might suggest immobility, contrasting with the dactylic ‘(non) desinit’. The contrast of the passive moveri with the active ‘manet inmotus’ is pointed by the shared m sounds.

52 Flour I was between stones which, ground together, crushed me. Nevertheless I escaped, barely, bruised to my core throughout, and now I’m smaller in size but greater in number.


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MSS: A βcK αAng.deFHMNOQRS gGhIVwawb le. farina: although the word farina was originally associated with far (emmer), in Classical times it came to denote meal ground from all kinds of grain: Moritz 164–5. In particular, it was used of that which was finely sifted and therefore of high quality. Since this was used not only for domestic cooking but quite probably also for commercial bread making (cf. Moritz 152, 164, 214), the farina here links with the large type of mill mentioned in Aenig. 51. Further to this generic link between flour and mill stones, saxa, line 1, recalls lapides (Aenig. 51.1). Meanwhile premebant, line 1, echoes premor, Aenig. 50.3, and both Aenig. 50 and 52 have lemmata beginning with ‘fa-’. Grain held an important position in the Roman religious calendar; cf. Gowers 59 and see Cato Agr. 75, a recipe for libum, a cake regularly employed in religious services. This importance is particularly consistent with the Saturnalia, since Saturn’s function seems originally to have been agricultural: see Introduction (3)(a) section A. It is notable that Martial’s Xenia include several epigrams treating grain or cereals: 13.6 alica, 13.8 far, 13.10 simila, 13.11 hordeum, 13.12 frumentum. AL 391 ShB, a calendar poem, possibly intends a direct association between Saturn and grain-growing in lines 45–8: ‘annua sulcatae †coniecti† semina terrae/ pascit hiems. pluvio de Iove cuncta madent./ aurea nunc revocet Saturno festa December./ nunc tibi cum domino ludere, verna, licet’. On grain production generally, see White Farming chapter VII. 1 inter saxa fui quae me contrita premebant: cf. Sen. Ep. 90.23 ‘deinde utriusque [sc. lapidis] attritu grana franguntur et saepius regeruntur donec ad minutiam frequenter trita redigantur.’ The positioning of me between saxa and ‘contrita premebant’ possibly illustrates inter and the grinding process. For saxa of mill stones, cf. Ovid Fast. 6.469–70 ‘simul . . . cereris fruges aspera saxa terunt’, Verg. G. 1.267 ‘frangite [sc. fruges] . . . saxo’, Auson. Mos. 16.362 Green ‘cerealia saxa’, of a water wheel. Tero is possibly more common than contero in the context of grinding (cf. Ovid Fast. 6.470 and Sen. Ep. 90.23 above; see also OLD2 s.v. tero §3), but cf. Pliny Nat. 18.112 ‘tunditur granum eius [sc. alicae] in pila lignea ne lapidis duritia conterat’. The closest parallel to contrita here is possibly Cato Agr. 3.5 ‘si orbes contriti sient’, although the word there means something like ‘worn’. Premere usually indicates presses, e.g. for olives or grapes, rather than mills (prelum and premo are cognate; cf. OLD2 s.v. premo §25), but it here possibly prefigures the personification in line 2; cf. B. Afr. 84.1 ‘cum . . . elephans . . . eum [sc. militem] . . . pondere suo . . . premeret atque enecaret’. 2 vix tamen effugi totis conlisa medullis: these highly personifying words are such as a human might have spoken after a narrow and partial escape: note the prominently placed vix, and see line 3 for the changes to the grain after its experience. Conlisa is used e.g. of the soldiers’ bodies crushed by charging horses at Sil. 4.160, while medulla is especially personifying: although this word is regularly used of the pith of plants (OLD2 s.v. medulla §3a, L-S s.v. medulla §IB), being applied specifically to grain at Pliny Nat. 18.87 ‘nam [sc. frumenta] quae sicca moluntur plus farinae reddunt, quae salsa aqua sparsa, candidiorem medullam’, it usually applies to bone-marrow (OLD2 s.v.



medulla §1a). It is combined with totis also at Ovid Met. 9.484, in the context of the deep passion felt by Byblis for her brother Caunus. 3: as often, the balance and contrast of this line is notable: ‘et nunc forma mihi minor est sed copia maior’. et nunc (tunc Kwa) forma mihi (om. g) minor est:BHMγ: et iam forma mihi (om. R) minor est D(praeter HM): et iam mihi nunc forma minor est A. Nunc, of which tunc is an obvious corruption, emphasizes the contrast between the farina and the unground grain; cf. Aenig. 56.2 ‘at nunc’ (after ‘maior eram’ in line 1) and 49.2. The D tradition is ruled out since S. does not use iam elsewhere in such ‘before’ and ‘after’ contrasts; and nunc is used in all the ‘then . . . now’ passages quoted by Coleman in her introductory note to Mart. Sp. 2, pp. 15–18, viz. Prop. 4.4.11–12, Ovid Ars 3.113–14, Fast. 6.401–6, Hor. Serm. 1.8.14–16 and Verg. A. 8.547–8. A, here unmetrical, reflects both B and D; cf. Introduction (5) section B. forma . . . copia: i.e. the size of the particles of flour, once ground, is less than that of the original grains, but they are more numerous. For forma used of size, see OLD2 s.v. forma §2b; cf. Petr. 64.7 ‘ingentis formae . . . canis’. For copia of number, see OLD2 s.v. copia §2, L-S s.v. copia §1B; cf. Var. L. 8.2 ‘cum de copia verborum [i.e. the Latin vocabulary] scribam.’

53 A vine I do not want to be joined in marriage, although being married is pleasing. I do not want a husband for my bedchamber: my offspring is born through me. I do not want to encounter tombs: I know how to bury myself in the earth. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOPRS gGhIVwawb le. vitis: the importance attached to viticulture in classical Antiquity is reflected e.g. by the sixty-four chapters given to wine by the Elder Pliny: Nat. 17.152 ff. Indeed, it may have been seen by some as a threat to the politically important production of grain. Hence possibly Domitian’s much-discussed vine edict of 91: see Brian W. Jones, The Emperor Domitian, London-New York 1993, 77–9. Here, however, rather than opposing the farina of Aenig. 52, the vine is regarded as a similarly useful and profitable home-grown crop, contrasting with the imported Eastern goods of Aenig. 47–9; cf. Aenig. 50 le. n. above. Similar to this contrast between imported goods and indigenous crops is that at Quint. Inst. 8.3.8 between commercially useless ‘luxury’ plants and useful or profitable agricultural production characterized by olives and the ‘married elm’. By the latter he means an elm around which a vine has been trained, and it is to marriage of this nature that the vine in this riddle refers in line 1. S. is possibly playing on one of the etymologies of vitis: Isid. Orig. 17.5.2 ‘alii putant vites dictas quod invicem se vittis innectant vicinisque arboribus reptando religentur’.


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For the ‘marriage’ of vines to their supports, see Courtney at Juv. 8.78, Fordyce at Catul. 62.49, Mynors at Verg. G. 2.221. See too N-H on Hor. Carm. 2.15.4 caelebs. White Farming fig. 2h illustrates the tree-supported vine. The elm was commonly used for this purpose: as well as Quintilian above, cf. Ovid Am. 2.16(17).41 and see N-H at Hor. Carm. 2.15.5 ulmos. Alternatives were the black poplar and ash, since they produced little foliage. See White Farming 236. Training vines up trees was a particularly Italian practice (White ibid.), and, notwithstanding S.’s possible African origins (Introduction (1) and n. 22), this is consistent with the idea that Aenig. 53 describes home-grown produce. 1 nolo toro iungi, quamvis placet esse maritam: the paradoxical content of the line is pointed by its arrangement in two halves around the third-foot caesura. Lines 2–3 are similarly composed, all three lines starting with the anaphoric nolo. nolo toro iungi: these words are ambiguous. Torus is used of the binding employed to train a vine to something (cf. Col. R. 5.6.25 ‘vitis . . . novella tribus toris ad arborem religetur’) and iungere can be used simply of joining one thing to another (OLD2 s.v. iungo §2a), alluding here to the vine’s bond to its support; cf. Col. Arb. 16.4 ‘arborique iungito [sc. vitem]’, Verg. G. 1.2 ‘ulmisque adiungere vitis’ and Tib. 1.7.33 ‘palis adiungere vitem’. Thus the words can mean ‘I do not want to be joined with a tie’. But the torus was also a bolster or cushion and was used metonymically of a (marriage) couch; cf. OLD2 s.v. torus1 §5a. Meanwhile iungere can be used of sexual union (OLD2 s.v. iungo §3b;) and, notably here, of the marriage bond (OLD2 s.v. iungo §7b). In particular ‘toro iungere’ can mean ‘unite in marriage’; cf. Luc. 2.329 ‘virgo toris melioris iuncta mariti’, Ovid Fast. 3.511 ‘iuncta toro’. Although the vine does not need a husband to reproduce (cf. line 2), it welcomes ‘marriage’ in the sense of being supported by a tree. esse maritam: for the accusative and infinitive as a ‘subject’ noun phrase, see Woodcock §25. Maritus is used of the supporting tree rather than the vine e.g. at Catul. 62.54 and Cato 32.2, as well as Quint. Inst. 8.3.8 ‘maritam ulmum’. 2 nolo virum thalamo: per me mea nata propago est: with the first hemistich, cf. Aenig. 38.3 ‘nec quaero maritum’. The point of the second, that the vine can reproduce on its own, is emphasized by the juxtaposition of me and mea between the alliterative per and pro-. For the prodelision of propago and est, see Introduction (3)(d). Propago continues the ambiguity of ‘nolo toro iungi’: the word refers to vine shoots used for propagating the plant: cf. OLD2 s.v. propago2 §1a and see on line 3, but also carries the sense ‘offspring’ or ‘progeny’ (OLD2 s.v. propago2 §2). The vine does not want to die (‘nolo sepulchra pati’, line 3), but by being buried in its own way, i.e. planted rather than entombed (‘scio me submergere terrae’, line 3), it brings its offspring to life (nata). nolo virum thalamo codd. praeter Aα: viro thalamum α: viro thalamo A: virum thalamum Shackleton Bailey. The majority MS reading is unobjectionable, thalamo being either dative (as translated above) or ablative (for the ablative of place without a



preposition, see L-H-Sz II.145), and the variants are easily explained by the palaeographical similarity of ū (i.e. -um) and o. Shackleton Bailey’s text introduces an uncharacteristic parataxis. In his apparatus he wonders about reading ‘nolo viro, thalamo [sc. propaginem nasci]’, but while nasci, understood, would parallel iungi and pati in lines 1 and 3, the reader is not normally expected to supply unexpressed words in S.; cf. Aenig. 48.2 n. above. With ‘nolo virum’, cf. Mart. 2.36.4 ‘nolo virum nimium . . . nolo parum’. 3 nolo sepulchra pati: these words continue the vine’s personification: usually it is people, not vines, who are buried in tombs, just as it is humans who marry. They prepare for the paradox in the following half-line, that the vine knows how to bury itself, something usually impossible: dead people are buried by others. (There is further personification in scio.) The vine’s desire not to have a tomb in the usual way (pati here means ‘meet with’: L-S s.v. patior §2) calls to mind and contrasts with the conventional fear of being denied a proper burial; cf. Verg. A. 6.363 ff., 9.485 ff., Homer Od. 11.71 ff. Although the vine alludes here to its own entombment, vines were often planted in the gardens surrounding other people’s tombs: Petr. 71.7 with Smith, Howell on Mart. 1.88 (pages 293–4), and see J. M. C. Toynbee, Death and Burial in the Roman World, London 1971, 95 ff. These gardens gave pleasure, so it was believed, to the souls of the dead, but also supplied produce which could generate income for the tomb’s upkeep and to cover the expenses incurred in observing the cult of the dead. scio me submergere terrae continues line 2 ‘per me mea nata propago est’ by alluding to ‘layering’, a method of vine propagation in which a shoot from a grown vine is bent horizontal, pegged down and covered (‘buried’) in a furrow leading from the parent plant so that only the tip of the shoot shows. This shoot is cleft by wedges at intervals along its length and new growth proceeds from the fibrous portions of each cleft. Once this has taken root, the attachment to the mother-plant is severed. Cf. Ohl ad loc., Cato Agr. 32.2, Pliny Nat. 17.212, Col. Arb. 7.2. Submergere is generally used only of water, but cf. possibly, from the second century, Apul. Met. 2.5 ‘[sc. Pamphile] omnem istam lucem mundi sideralis imis Tartari et in vetustum chaos submergere novit’. S.’s usage here may be further evidence of a late date: see Introduction (2) and n. 32.

54 A hook Small in stature, I carry around deceptive bait in mid-stream on the curve of a bent spike. I allure so as to harm. I put forward food for death. MSS: A βcK αAng.deEHMNOPQRS gGhIVwawb le. hamus: many of the MSS transmit amus, which is printed by Shackleton Bailey, but note e.g. GLK VII.207.16–17 ‘notandum igitur quod hamus . . . cum adspiratione debet scribi’ and see ThLL VI(2–3).2522.71–2 s.v. hamus [Brandt].


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This riddle begins a collection of items of hardware, all with points or sharp ends (Aenig. 54 hamus, 55 acus, 60 serra and 61 anchora), which surround leather goods (Aenig. 56 caliga and 59 pila) or their constituents (Aenig. 57 clavus caligaris and 58 capillus), which are also pointed. It is linked thematically by food with the previous riddles: fish here, crops there. Note also sagina of bait in line 3, a word which is used of cereals at Aenig. 24.3 and 25.2. Whereas the farina of Aenig. 52 would sustain life, however, this bait is ‘food for death’, and death supplies another link: with morti, cf. sepulchra, Aenig. 53.3. Notwithstanding the food link, Mediterranean fish stocks fluctuated, so fish was never a staple food in the way that legumes and cereals were: see OCD4 s.v. fishing [N. Purcell]; cf. Balsdon 53: fish would have been eaten by the poor in Italy only if they lived near water. Rather it was a supplementary or luxury food. Balsdon notes, 208, that sea fish in particular were admired. Possibly the risk involved in open-sea fishing enhanced their value. Apicius Book 10 contains fish recipes. See too, on the types of fish and their preparation, André 96 ff. The different methods of catching fish are given by Ovid, Ars 1.763–4 ‘hi iaculo pisces, illi capiuntur ab hamis,/ hos cava contento retia fune trahunt’; cf. Oppian Hal. 3.72–3 τέτραχα δ’ εἰναλίης θήρης νόμον ἐφράσσαντο/ ἰχθυβόλοι (his four methods are hook, net, basket or trap, and trident). Cf. also Auson. Ep. 27.13.53–7 Green, a description of sea-fishing equipment, and Mos. 16.240–82 Green, a graphic description of netting and, especially, line-fishing on the Moselle. On (sea) fishing at Pompeii, see Giovanni F. Russo in Ciarallo and De Carolis, 84. For fish hooks, see cat. 54–62. Note additionally those, e.g., in the British Museum: GR 1772.3–12.51, 1975.11–7.5, 1856.12–26.1036, 1868.1–10.248 and 250. See too Frere and St Joseph 61–2, and D-S III(1).8 col. 1 s.v. hamus [Georges Lafaye]. Ludi piscatorii were held each year in Rome on 7 June; cf. Ovid Fast. 6.239 ‘festa dies illis qui lina madentia ducunt’ and see RE XX(2).1774.59 ff. s.vv. ‘piscatorii ludi’ [W. Ehlers]. Both Martial, 10.30.16–18, and Pliny the Younger, Ep. 9.7.4, speak of fishing from the bedroom windows of sea villas. For metaphorical fishing, e.g. for legacies or lovers, cf. Mart. 6.63.5 ‘misit [sc. munus] in hamo’ with Grewing’s note ad loc., Ovid Ars 1.763–4 quoted above and see Gibson at Ars 3.425–6. Although this riddle describes a real or literal fish hook, blandior, line 3, connects with this metaphorical tradition. 1 exiguum corpus: corpus Bγ: munus D(praeter E)wb: munus corpus A: ferrum E. Cf. Aenig. 34.1 ‘exiguum corpus’. The translation (cf. the adjectival phrases which begin Aenig. 55) takes corpus as an accusative of respect, but the word might otherwise mean object: see OLD2 s.v. corpus §11a, ThLL IV.999.35 ff. s.v. corpus [L.]; cf. Gell. 5.15.5 ‘corpus esse Graeci dicunt τὸ τριχῆ διάστατον’, i.e. ‘The Greeks define a body as that having three dimensions.’ The appositional construction ‘A[n object], . . . I [perform a certain action]’ is paralleled by Aenig. 79.1–3 ‘mundi magna parens, . . . ducor’ and 98.1 ‘virgo modesta . . . servo’. Note also Mart. 14.76.1 ‘pica loquax . . . te . . . saluto’, 99.1 ‘barbara de pictis veni bascauda Britannis’, etc. Despite its diminutive size (exiguum carries particular emphasis at the start of the line), this hook is very powerful. The reading munus might have been inspired by the hook and legacy-hunting tradition (cf. Mart 6.63.5 quoted above), but fish hooks make an unusual present and,



while Saturnalian gifts underpin Martial’s Xenia and Apophoreta (two of S.’s models: see Introduction (3)(a) Proem.), there is no theme of gifts in the Aenigmata. Alternatively, it might be taken to mean ‘bait’ and as an accusative in parallel with ‘fallaces escas’ in line 2 (cf. Riese), but this sense is unparalleled and it is unlikely that a riddle so pointedly about a hook (witness the lemma) should begin with a prominent reference to something else. As often (see Introduction (5) section B and n. 155), A preserves both B and D readings. E’s ferrum can be discarded, since iron rusts easily and was therefore not suitable for fish hooks. It was doubtless influenced by the corruption of flexu to ferri after the caesura, for which see below, noting the reversal in e of munus and ferri. flexu mucronis adunci: ‘on the curve of a bent spike’ is appropriately riddling language. For flexu thus, see ThLL VI(1).911.39 ff. s.v. flexus [Brandt]. Mucro is used of the point of a hook at Cels. 7.7.4B ‘tum idem medicus hamulum acutum, paululum mucrone intus recurvato, subicere extremo ungui debet’. With adunci, cf. Ovid Met. 13.934 ‘[sc. pisces quos] sua credulitas in aduncos egerat hamos’, 15.476 ‘nec celate cibis uncos fallacibus hamos’, Pont. 2.7.10 ‘unca . . . aera’, [Ovid] Nux 115 ‘obuncis . . . hamis’. Similar words survive at Lucr. 2.426–7 of particles which cause sensations that are neither completely pleasing nor completely distasteful: ‘sunt etiam quae iam nec levia iure putantur/ esse neque omnino flexis mucronibus unca’. S. may well have had line 427 in mind, even though he is describing something completely different. flexu Ang.: flexi AβKEγ: ferri cde(ex. ferri mun.)HMNOPSwb: ferri flexu αR: ferri flexum Q. Ferri is meaningless. Its introduction may have been influenced by Aenig. 61.1 ‘mucro . . . geminus ferro coniungitur uno’ (note too ferro, Aenig. 55.2), helped by its palaeographical similarity with flexu/i. On the unlikelihood of iron fish hooks, see above. 2 fallaces escas medio circumfero fluctu: cf. Mart. 4.56.5–6 ‘sic avidis fallax indulget piscibus hamus,/ callida sic stultas decipit esca feras’, Ovid Pont. 2.7.9–10 ‘qui semel est laesus fallaci piscis ab hamo/ omnibus unca cibis aera subesse putat’, Ovid Met. 15.476 cited above. Note also Sen. Her. F. 156 ‘deceptos instruit hamos’. The prominence of ‘fallaces escas’ at the start of the line is reinforced by the metre (cf. Bergamin ad loc.), since it is followed immediately by the third-foot caesura. Circumfero resolves the sense of the first two lines. (On the run-on line here, see Aenig. 55 le. n. below.) The word is carefully positioned between medio and fluctu, i.e. in ‘mid-stream’, thus illustrating the sense of the noun–adjective pair; cf. Sil. 6.684 ‘medio consurgere fluctu’ of two islands. It is used of taking or passing food around in company (OLD2 s.v. circumfero §4a, L-S s.v. circumfero §1), and there is possibly some irony behind its use of bait here. 3 blandior, ut noceam; morti praemitto saginam: both half-lines contain a paradox or irony: blandishments are subverted to bring harm; food here promotes death rather than life. While in this sense parallel, the two half-lines are also varied: the first contains


Symphosius The Aenigmata

a final clause, the second a main clause with a dative to indicate purpose (cf. Woodcock §67, L-H-Sz 98). blandior, ut noceam: cf. Petr. 109.6 ‘hamis blandientibus convellebat praedam [i.e. pisces]’ and the wording at Gregorius Eliberritanus Epithalamium 4.25 ‘haeresis blanditur ut noceat’. morti praemitto saginam: cf. Auson. Mos. 16.249 Green ‘inductos escis . . . letalibus hamos’. The word sagina is used especially in the context of building up or fattening (see Aenig. 24.3 n. above). Its use of bait here, with morti, is therefore ironic. Praemitto lacks parallel. It might allude to the act of casting a line (cf. perhaps Auson. Mos. 16.249 Green iaciens) but is more likely (cf. circumfero, line 2) to recall serving or setting out food.

55 A needle Long but slender, drawn out into thin metal, I fashion soft bonds, the companions to my light iron; I both restore appearance to the torn and bonding to the undone. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOPRS gGhIVwawb le. acus: βαdeNSγ: acula cKHM: de acu(s) vel sim. OPRgh: cocla A: Ang. legi non potest. The diminutive form (of which A’s reading is a version) is very rare, appearing elsewhere only in passages like CGL V.41.13 and 48.13 (Cledonius). It may have been introduced under the influence of longa and producta in line 1. Lemmata prefaced by de are inconsistent with S.’s usual practice: see Aenig. 1 le. n. In continuing the series on hardware, this riddle follows naturally the generically similar hook of Aenig. 54. (For fish hooks and net needles, see Ciarallo and De Carolis cat. 54–62.) In addition, longa, exilis and tenuis in line 1 recall Aenig. 54.1 exiguum. Both Aenig. 55 and 54 contain run-on lines, which are rare in S. (see too Aenig. 56.2–3 and 70). These might suggest the hooking and stitching of the objects in the two riddles. This needle is iron (ferro, line 2), but other materials were commonly used, e.g. bone and bronze. A case of iron needles survives from Chesterholm: see S. S. Frere et al., ‘Roman Britain in 1987’, Britannia 19 (1988), 434 and plate XXII B. A long (34.6 cm) double-eyed bronze needle survives from Pompeii: see Ciarallo and De Carolis cat. 135. Although the word acus had many other applications (e.g. to hairpins and toilet articles like eyebrow pencils: see D-S I(1).61 col. 1 ff. s.v. acus [E. Saglio]), when used of a needle the word regularly designated one for embroidery, as in Mart. 14.150 cubicularia polymita. This epigram may have influenced S. here. (For his debt to Martial, see Introduction (3)(a) Proem.) Cf. also Verg. A. 11.777 ‘pictus acu tunicas’, Ovid Met. 6.23. In general, see DNP VIII.678–9 s.v. Nadel [R. Hurchmann]. 1 longa sed exilis, tenui producta metallo: cf. Aldhelm Carm. 29.3 ‘acus exilis’ (MGH AA XV.109), Var. R. 1.48.1, describing a grain stalk: ‘arista [sc. est] quae ut acus tenuis



longa eminet e gluma.’ The word-order is carefully calculated so that longa and producta with their similar meanings surround and contrast with the juxtaposed exilis and tenui. This contrast is qualified by word-play, however, since exilis comes from exigo, which can mean ‘stretch out’ (OLD2 s.v. exigo §4). tenui producta metallo: the translation is Souter’s, 242, who seems to takes ‘tenui . . . metallo’ as a kind of dative ‘des Zieles’ (cf. L-H-Sz II.100–1). A possible parallel is Luc. 5.548, describing the moon: ‘duxit recto tenuata cacumina cornu’. Producere is used of metalwork also at Juv. 15.165–6 ‘ast homini ferrum letale incude nefanda/ produxisse parum est’; cf. Servius at Verg. A. 9.503 ‘Lycaon Arcas gladium longiore lamina produxisse narratur’. Note too Tib. 1.3.47–8 ‘nec ensem/ immiti saevus duxerat arte faber’, cf. OLD2 s.v. duco §23c and see Fordyce at Verg. A. 7.634. 2 mollia duco levi comitantia vincula ferro: mollia is paradoxical with vincula, levi with ferro: bonds are usually harsh, iron is heavy. Note too the paradoxical juxtaposition of metallo (end of line 1) and mollia at the start of line 2. Vincula is possibly illustrated by the interlocking construction (‘mollia . . . levi . . . vincula ferro’), which binds the line together. Ferro at the line-end corresponds with metallo at the end of line 1. Although the bonds in this riddle are expressly not of iron, the juxtaposition of vincula and ferro is a reminder that bonds regularly were: cf. Luc. 2.72 ‘vincula ferri’, Claud. Rapt. 3.94. Note also Aenig. 5.1 ‘nexa ligor ferro’. There is possibly some verbal play on duco and producta in line 1: the needle has been ‘fashioned’, just as it fashions ‘mollia . . . vincula’. With duco of needles, cf. Cels. 7.7.11 ‘transuere acu duo lina ducente.’ It is used of spinning at Ovid Met. 4.36 ‘deducens . . . filum’ and 14.265 ‘fila sequentia ducunt.’ 3 et faciem laesis et nexum reddo solutis: et n- AMGIV: sed n- BD(praeter M)γ. Et is clearly required by the sense; cf. Aenig. 32.3 ‘et . . . et’. The common confusion of sed and et may here have been helped by ‘laesiset’. The interwoven balance of the line (‘et . . . et’, ‘faciem . . . nexum’, ‘laesis . . . solutis’) and the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ reddo illustrate the effect of the needle’s stitching. et nexum reddo solutis: nexus (a ‘bond’ or ‘joint’; cf. OLD2 s.v. nexus3 §2a) echoes vincula in line 2. These two words appear together also at Pliny Nat. 7.3, of swaddling clothes ‘[sc. new born babies] vincula excipiunt et omnium membrorum nexus’.

56 A boot I was far bigger once, while life remained; but now dead, mangled, bound-up, skinned, I have been given to the earth but not interred in a tomb. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOPRS gGhIVwawb le. caliga: this riddle, which draws on the language of epitaph (see below), would be difficult to guess were it not for the lemma; cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C.


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Although civilian versions appeared in the later Empire, the caliga was the boot worn especially by soldiers up to the rank of centurion. Hence Seneca speaks of Marius, who rose from the ranks, as ‘ad consulatus a caliga perductus’ (Ben. 5.16.2), while the term caligati distinguished the men from their superiors: cf. Suet. Aug. 25.3, Vit. 7.3. See also Courtney at Juv. 16.24. The Emperor Gaius was nicknamed Caligula by the soldiers of his father Germanicus, amongst whom he was born and reared: ‘iam infans in castris genitus, in contubernio legionum eductus, quem militari vocabulo Caligulam appellabant, quia plerumque ad concilianda vulgi studia eo tegmine pedum induebatur’, Tac. Ann. 1.41; cf. Suet. Cal. 9. Note also Sen. Dial. 10.17.6, Pliny Nat. 7.135: the word caliga came to stand for military service itself. This riddle, which continues the sequence on hardware and leather goods starting with Aenig. 54 hamus, links thematically with the last in that the cobbler (cf. CIL V.5919.3 ‘sutor caligarius’, Mart. 9.73.10) would have used a needle. Note also the verbal links: lacerata, line 2, recalls laesis and solutis (Aenig. 55.3), while ligata recalls vincula and nexum (Aenig. 55.2–3). Particularly characteristic of the military caliga were its thickly-studded hobnails, which supply a connection with Aenig. 57 clavus caligaris. See in particular Judith Lynn Sebesta and Larissa Bonfante, The World of Roman Costume, Madison, Wisconsin 1994, 122–3 and fig. 6.27b, a surviving caliga with its hobnails intact in the Römisch-Germanisches Zentral Museum, Mainz. Also DNP XI.254–5 s.v. Schuhe [R. Hurschmann], D-S I(2).107 col. 2 ff. s.v. caliga [E. Saglio], Kl.P. I.1015.23 ff. s.v. caliga [W.H. Groß]. Normally a boot would be regarded as part of a pair, but a plural lemma here would conflict with the surrounding lemmata and the first-person singular eram in line 1. 1–2 maior eram longe quondam, dum vita manebat;/ at nunc . . .: the boot makes a distinction between what it was (i.e. before the slaughter of the animal whose leather was used for its construction) and what it has become. In doing so it humorously suggests that it was formerly the whole hide. However, while reminiscent of the ‘I was once . . . but now’ formula of Greek epigram (see Aenig. 10.1 n. above), the contrast here between quondam and nunc also recalls such tombstone contrasts as that at CLE 1111.7–8: ‘gratus eram populo quondam notusque favore./ nunc sum defleti parva favilla rogi’ and 403.7 ‘nomen erat puero Pagus, at nunc funus acerbum’. This riddle plays on life (vita) and death (exanimis, line 2), although (line 3), after dying, the animal hide is not committed to the earth in the sense of burial because, paradoxically, it takes on new life as a boot – which walks on the earth; cf. Pavlovskis 226. The concept of burial adds to the boot’s personification – although an inanimate object, the boot is personified, whereas the animal from which it is made is not. dum vita manebat: although these words became a cliché in grave inscriptions (cf. Austin at Aen. 6.608; note e.g. CLE 628.1 and also 437.15, 514.1, 610.6, etc.) and thus give further point to tumulo in line 3, it is possible that S. is alluding to Virgil too; cf. also Verg. A. 5.724 and 6.661.



2 at nunc exanimis, lacerata, ligata, revulsa: Shackleton Bailey places a full stop after revulsa but the absence of an expressed verb in line 2 is uncharacteristic (cf. Aenig. 48.2 n.). Although run-on lines are also unusual in S. (cf. Praef. 9–10 n.) and one here might weaken the contrast between the two hemistichs in line 3, both of the preceding riddles contain them (Aenig. 54.1–2 and 55.1–2), and Bergamin is probably correct to restore the comma of Glorie and Migne. As has been observed, e.g. by Ohl ad loc., the participles represent the successive steps in making a boot from an animal hide, although revulsa should follow exanimis to achieve a strictly chronological sequence: see below. Given the boot’s personification, they also suggest that, before its ‘burial’ and new life, it has been tied up (cf. Gel. 12.3.1 ligare of binding hands and legs) and physically abused; cf. Ovid Met. 9.168–9 ‘[sc. cutis] haeret membris frustra temptata revelli/ aut laceros artos . . . detegit’. lacerata does not refer to the tearing of the leather, something which would be difficult to accomplish, although this sense of the word links with Aenig. 55: see le. n. above. Instead, it refers to its softening to make it workable. While this could be done by beating, it seems that Roman cobblers would sometimes chew leather to soften it; cf. Mart. 9.73.1–2 ‘dentibus antiquas solitus producere pelles/ et mordere luto putre vetusque solum’, 12.59.7 ‘hinc sutor modo pelle basiata’ (of one by whom one would rather not be kissed). For lacero of biting or teeth, cf. Phaedr. 1.12.11 ‘lacerari coepit morsibus saevis canum’, Quint. Inst. 8.2.20, Livy 22.51.9 (‘auribus . . . laceratis’ as a result of ‘laniando dentibus’); see L-S s.v. lacero §1. ligata: ligare appears not to survive elsewhere specifically of stitching, but for the sewing up of (old) shoes, cf. Mart. 1.103.6 ‘calceus est sarta terque quaterque cute’, Juv. 3.149 ff. ‘et rupta calceus alter/ pelle patet, vel si consuto vulnere crassum/ atque recens linum ostendit non una cicatrix’. Ohl observes that ligare can also refer to the lacing of the finished boot; cf. Isid. Orig. 19.34.12 ‘caligae vel a callo pedum dictae, vel quia ligantur’, but this weakens the link with Aenig. 55 acus. revulsa: cf. Col. 2.3.1 ‘pellem revellat nec patiatur corpori adhaerere’ (not of skinning but to prevent plough-oxen from becoming hide-bound after their labours). 3 dedita sum terrae, tumulo sed condita non sum: dedita corresponds with condita (for such pairing in S. see Aenig. 12.2 n. above), sum with ‘non sum’, and terrae is juxtaposed with the alliterative tumulo. This arrangement emphasizes the paradoxical content of the two line-halves. Terra of a place of burial (see OLD2 s.v. terra §3b) is used with dare at Acc. Trag. 112 Ribbeck ‘qui . . . terraest datus’. For condo of burying a corpse, see OLD2 s.v. condo §4a, L-S s.v. condo §IIB3; cf. CLE 1041.2 ‘hoc tumulo condita’. The final monosyllable here possibly emphasizes the unusual nature of the hide’s ‘burial’. For others, see Introduction (3)(d).


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57 A hobnail I march on my head who hang from a single foot. I touch the ground with my top, I imprint the marks of my head; but many companions suffer the same lot. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOPRS gGhIVwawb le. clavus caligaris αAng.deMSV: clavis caligarius G: claus callicarius A: clavus HBwawb: caligarius I: de clavo (caligaro) vel sim. OPRgh. Bergamin does not report the N reading. This riddle continues the sequence of hardware and leather goods or their constituents beginning with Aenig. 54 hamus: the hobnail, pointed like the other items of hardware (see Aenig. 54 le. n.), is part of a leather boot; cf. Aenig. 56 and see the le. n. While clavus accords with the single-word lemmata of the surrounding riddles, it needs the qualification of an adjective to establish the connection with the previous riddle. The readings of HBwawb can therefore be dismissed. So too can the lemmata prefaced by de: see Aenig. 1 le. n. The question remains of whether to read clavus caligaris or clavus caligarius. Although ‘clavus caligarius’ survives at Pliny Nat. 34.143 ‘clavisque caligariis’, Pliny also uses the form ‘clavus caligaris’ (Nat. 9.69, 22.94), which is here much better attested and has the backing of Charisius, GLK I.76.21 f.: ‘cubicularius est custos cubiculi, cubicularis vero lectus cubiculo aptus, ut caligarius artifex, caligaris clavus’; cf. Marcellus Med. 36.53 ‘clavos caligares’, CGL III.496.61 ‘kasoima solum caligare’. Pliny Nat. 34.143 mentions the iron best suited for hobnails. For an example of a caliga with its hobnails intact, see Aenig. 56 le. n. above. Illustrations of individual hobnails can be found e.g. in fig. 18 of Roger Leech et al., ‘The Excavation of a RomanoBritish Farmstead and Cemetery on Bedley Hill, Somerton, Somerset’, Britannia 12 (1981), 177–252. 1 in caput ingredior qui de pede pendeo solo: cf. Aenig. 40.1–2 ‘grande mihi caput est . . . pes unus solus’, 87.3. The repeated in(-) in the first half-line is balanced by the repeated pe- in the second. Together with line 2, this line possibly recalls the wording of Verg. A. 4.177: ‘[sc. Fama] ingreditur . . . solo et caput inter nubila condit’. Caput is regularly used of a nail head (cf. Pliny Nat. 35.182 ‘clavorum capitibus’ and Var. R. 2.9.15 ‘clavulis capitatis’), while pes refers to the nail’s ‘foot’ rather than that of the boot’s wearer. As well as anthropomorphizing the nail, the words mark it as a onefooted freak which, in keeping with the inversions of the Saturnalia (cf. Introduction (3)(a) section A), up-ends the usual order by walking on its head. in caput ingredior: the paradox of ‘walking on one’s head’ is emphasized by the juxtaposition of caput and ingredior. The use of in and the accusative might suggest that ingredior here indicates an attack (cf. OLD2 s.v. ingredior §6). An attack would be appropriate for the nail of a soldier’s boot (cf. Aenig. 56 le. n. above), and the idea of attacking one’s own head is appealingly ridiculous. Nevertheless, it is probable that the preposition here simply mirrors the prefix of ingredior, that its use with caput is adverbial, and that it balances de with the ablative later in the line.



qui de pede pendeo solo: cf. Pl. As. 301 ‘quando pendes per pedes’ of someone strung up by his heels. qui α quia AcdeHMNγ: quod SPOR: que βK. Que is nonsense. Quia (cf. quod) is not illogical and can be paralleled by Aenig. 39.2 ‘dissimilis mihi sum quia sum non unus et unus’. However, for qui in the characterization of an object at the start of a riddle, cf. Aenig. 33.1 ‘dentibus insanis ego sum qui trunco bidentes’ and, in the same metrical position, Aenig. 82.1 ‘tres olim fuimus qui nomine iungimur uno.’ 2 vertice tango solum, capitis vestigia signo: The first hemistich echoes ‘in caput ingredior’ in line 1 while solum, ‘ground’, plays on solo. Solum can also mean the sole of a shoe (OLD2 s.v. solum1 §2) and, although it does not mean that here, the riddle’s subject matter inevitably recalls this sense too. The words of the first half-line are balanced in the second by ones similar in appearance (vertice, vestigia) or meaning (tango, signo), and the line is marked by a ‘v- . . . s- . . . v- . . . s- . . .’ alternation. The juxtaposition of solum and capitis, and of capitis and vestigia (‘headprints’) emphasizes the paradox of walking on one’s head. For signo of footsteps, cf. Hor. Ars 158–9 ‘puer . . . pede certo/ signat humum.’ Touching the ground with one’s head inverts the usual desire to touch the stars: cf. Ovid Met. 7.61 ‘vertice sidera tangam’. 3 sed multi comites casum patiuntur eundem: the ‘many companions’ are all the other nails in the boot. Since a comes is a travelling companion, and can also be used of a soldier (cf. Juv. 16.55 ‘signorum comitem’), the word is appropriate here. That consolation can be had from many companions’ being in the same situation continues the nail’s personification. The juxtaposition of comites and casum is significant.

58 A hair No one can split me, many can cut me, and I change colour and at some stage will be white. I prefer to stay black: I shall fear my final destiny less. MSS: A βcK αAng.deFHMNOPRS gGhIVwawb le. capillus D(praeter HPOR)γ: capillos A: de capillo PORgh: capilli BH. While capillus can be used as a collective singular (see Ohl ad loc.), the riddle’s singular verbs point to just one hair here. Capillos is presumably a scribal corruption and capilli a ‘correction’. Against lemmata prefixed by de see Aenig. 1 le. n. This riddle continues the sequence of hardware and leather goods and their constituents beginning at Aenig. 54 (see le. n.), hair being a constituent of a leather ball (see Aenig. 59 le. n.) just as the hobnail (Aenig. 57) is a constituent of a leather boot (Aenig. 56). Aenig. 57 and 58 and their personified subjects are further linked perhaps by the repetition of multi (Aenig. 57.3, 58.1) and certainly by the thematic connection between hair, caput and capitis (Aenig. 57.1, 2). In this regard note that more often than


Symphosius The Aenigmata

not, capillus refers to hair on a person’s head. (For exceptions, see OLD2 s.v. capillus §1c, L-S s.v. capillus §IIA, ThLL III.317.30 ff. s.v. capillus [Meister].) Both hairs and hobnails are pointed. The hair’s concern at going grey recalls two of Martial’s Apophoreta: see, with my notes ad locc., Mart. 14.26 crines and 14.27 sapo. These epigrams follow Mart. 14.24 ‘acus aurea’ (cf. the acus of Aenig. 55) and 14.25 pectines, with which compare perhaps the comb-like serra of Aenig. 60. For S.’s debt to Martial, see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. 1 findere me nulli possunt, praecidere multi: praecidere balances findere, multi balances nulli, and the two line-halves are bound by the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ possunt. findere me nulli possunt: no precedents for these words survive in the context of hair: nothing is cited by Otto, no parallels are given at ThLL VI(1).769.18 s.v. findo [Vollmer] and the impossibility of splitting hairs does not feature e.g. in the list of traditional adynata. (For these, see K. F. Smith on Tib. 1.4.65–6 and the references to further secondary literature in N-H at Hor. Carm. 1.29.10.) There seems to be no element here of the pedantry understood by the English idiom ‘splitting hairs’. Bergamin detects a Lucretian or philosophical note, alluding to the ‘atom’, i.e. that which cannot be divided, and cites Lucr. 1.531 ‘nec findi in bina secando’ and [Bede] de divisionibus temporum 28 (Patr. Lat. 90.654.B): ‘discipulus: atomus in corpore quomodo est? magister: quidquid minimum in corporibus, quod secari aut dividi non potest, atomus dicitur, veluti sunt minutissima grana arenarum, ut capillus dixit: “findere me nulli possunt, praecidere multi”. Est enim pilus in corpore, qui per longum vix dividi potest.’ Superficially, this may be justified; but, although [Bede] quotes line 1 exactly, this interpretation does not square well with the apprehension about death revealed in line 3. praecidere multi: cf. Petr. 105.1 ‘capillos . . . praecidit’. According to Pliny, Nat. 7.211, who cites Var. R. 2.11.10, ‘in Italiam ex Sicilia venere [sc. tonsores] post Romam conditam anno ccccliv adducente P. Titinio Meno.’ Before that, Varro notes ‘tonsores non fuisse adsignificant antiquorum statuae, quod pleraeque habent capillum et barbam magnam’. Indeed it was not until the second century BC that hair-cutting became common (Paoli 108). Carcopino, 176, speaks of innumerable barber shops under the Empire in the tabernae of the city, while humbler customers were served in the open; cf. multi here. On barbers generally, usually men of low social status although they might become very prosperous, see Galán Vioque, 373, on Mart. 7.64 and Frank W. Nicholson ‘Greek and Roman Barbers’, HSCPh 2 (1891), 41–56. See too my note at Mart. 14.36 ferramenta tonsoria and Carcopino 177. Also D-S II(2).1242 col. 2 s.v. forfex [Salomon Reinach]. 2 sed sum versicolor, albus quandoque futurus: diversicolor sum Baehrens. Baehrens may have been concerned that versicolor does not survive elsewhere of hair turning grey, but is more likely to have been troubled by the lengthening of -or. The elision introduced by his conjecture nonetheless conflicts with Symphosian practice: cf. Shackleton Bailey’s apparatus and see Introduction (3)(d). As Ohl notes ad loc. in the reading’s defence, -or is lengthened in Virgil, e.g. at Ecl. 10.69, again just before the



caesura: ‘omnia vincit amōr:// et nos cedamus amori’. Coleman ad loc. compares Verg. A. 12.668 ‘et furiis// agitatus amōr// et conscia virtus’. See too H. Nettleship’s ‘Excursus to Book XII’ in John Conington, P. Vergili Maronis Opera, 3rd edn, London 1883, III.487–8. In S., cf. Aenig. 81.1 genitōr, although, unlike the examples above, this is after the third-foot caesura. Sed here is a connective rather than an adversative. See OLD2 s.v. sed §2c, L-S s.v. §IIA1, L-H-Sz II.487. albus quandoque futurus: albus is regular of grey hair (cf. e.g. Tib. 1.8.45 ‘albos . . . capillos’, Verg. A. 9.651), being often contrasted in this context with niger; note line 2 below and cf. e.g. Prop. 3.5.24 and Ovid Trist. 4.8.2. 3 malo manere niger: minus ultima fata verebor: the hair’s personification here introduces a wryly humorous note. It too is worried about dying, a worry that is possibly emphasized by the repeated m sounds, but while this concern at the inevitable cannot be allayed entirely, as is conceded by ‘minus . . . verebor’, it can be to some extent by recourse to the self-delusion of hair dye, to which ‘malo manere niger’ alludes. References to the futility of dyeing one’s hair are collected by Murgatroyd at Tib. 1.8.43; cf. Mart. 3.43, esp. line 3 ‘scit te Proserpina canum’. To darken grey hair a nut, vegetable or plant dye would be needed. For references to such dyes, see e.g. Pliny Nat. 24.42, 52, 94, 110, 122 and cf. Marcellus Med. 7. Vereor conveys a sense of apprehension rather than a concrete fear (cf. Sen. Ben. 4.24.2 ‘timeo inpensam, timeo periculum, vereor offensam’, Pliny Ep. 6.4.4 ‘vereor omnia, imaginor omnia’) and is therefore possibly more appropriate here than a word like timeo.

59 A ball I am not dressed with hair and I am not devoid of tresses; for my hair is inside, which nobody sees; and hands send me forth and by hands I am sent back into the air. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOPRS gGhITVwawb le. pila: on balls see generally D-S IV(1).475 col. 2 f. s.v. pila [G. Lafaye]. The ball described here, initially playfully since the terms in line 1 could be applied to a young girl, would have been made of felt or leather, perhaps brightly coloured, and was stuffed with hair. It therefore continues the series of hardware, leather goods and their constituent parts beginning at Aenig. 54 (see le. n.). It is the hair-stuffing which supplies the direct link between this riddle and Aenig. 58 capillus: note comis and capillis in line 1 and ‘intus enim crines mihi sunt’ in line 2. In keeping with his probable scholastic background (see Introduction (3)(a) section C), S. would have been aware of the supposed etymology of the lemma; cf. Isid. Orig. 18.69 ‘pila proprie dicitur quod sit pilis plena’. The riddle, which survives also at Hist. Apoll. 43, recalls the several epigrams in Martial’s Apophoreta dealing with balls and ball games: see Mart. 14.45 pila paganica,


Symphosius The Aenigmata

46 pila trigonalis, 47 follis, 48 harpasta. (Regarding Martial’s influence on S., see Introduction (3)(a) Proem.) Ball games ranged from the gentle to the very strenuous and were therefore enjoyed by players of all ages and levels of fitness. Line 3 ‘meque manus mittunt manibusque remittor in auras’ would suggest trigon, one of the fastest. This game was played by three people who stood in a triangle and randomly threw several balls to one another. Each player would feint, dummy and deflect, trying to mislead the others, and the eventual winner was the one who dropped the fewest catches; cf. Sen. Ben. 2.32.1 ‘bonus lusor . . . apte et expedite remisit [sc. pilam] quam acceperat’, 2.17.4 ‘pilam mittemus’, Prop. 3.14.5 ‘cum pila velocis fallit per bracchia iactus’ and see my notes at Mart. 14.46, DNP XII(1).815 s.v. Trigon [R. Hurschmann], DNP II.426–7 s.v. Ballspiele [R. Hurschmann]. At Petr. 27.3 ‘alter numerabat pilas, non quidem eas quae inter manus luso expellente vibrabant, sed eas quae in terram decidebant’, Trimalchio reverses the rules so that his incompetent catching ability nonetheless wins; cf. Schmeling ad loc. A similar riddle, which possibly also alludes to trigon, survives in the Palatine Anthology: AP 14.62 εἰς σφαῖραν: λίην ἔντριχός εἰμι, τὰ φύλλα δέ μου κατακρύπτει τὰς τρίχας, εἰ τρύπη φαίνεται οὐδαμόθεν. πολλοῖς παιδαρίοις ἐμπαίζομαι· εἰ δέ τίς ἐστιν εἰς τὸ βαλεῖν ἀφυής, ἵσταται ὥσπερ ὄνος. I am very hairy, but the leaves [i.e. the ball’s leather covering] cover my hairs if no hole is visible anywhere. I trifle with many boys; but if one is unskilful in throwing he stands there like a donkey.

1 non sum compta comis et non sum nuda capillis: the careful balance of this line’s parallel yet contrasting halves (‘non sum . . . non sum’, ‘compta . . . nuda’, ‘comis . . . capillis’), which prompted several textual variants, is restored by conjecture. compta comis . . . nuda capillis Shackleton Bailey: compta comis . . . compta capillis A Hist. Apoll. (codd. AP): cincta comis . . . compta capillis BSHγ Hist. Apoll. (cod. β): cincta comis . . . cincta capillis D(praeter SH): vi(n)cta comis . . . nudata capillis T Hist. Apoll. (cod. Tegernseensis): cincta comis . . . nuda capillis Riese: compta comis . . . calva capillis Baehrens. Cincta (cf. the nonsensical vi(n)cta) has strong MS support, especially in the first hemistich, and cingo is paralleled of hair e.g. at Ovid Trist. 4.7.11– 12, describing the snake-like hair surrounding the Gorgon’s face, but the ball is not adorned with hair, because its hair is inside it. Also, given S.’s probable scholastic background (cf. the le. n. above), the etymologizing juxtaposition of compta with comis has considerable appeal; cf. Isid. Orig. 10.56 ‘comptus a coma dictus’ and see the parallels collected by McKeown at Ovid Am. 1.1.20 ‘longas compta puella comas’. A’s repetition of compta in the second hemistich is inelegant, while ‘compta capillis’ in BSHγ is without the etymologizing support identified above. I do not understand Baehrens’ calva: one cannot be ‘bald with hair’. Riese’s nuda gives the required opposite to ‘compta comis’ while introducing an element of word-play, since nudus with the



ablative commonly means ‘bereft of ’ (see L-S s.v. nudus §B1a; cf. e.g. Hor. Carm. 1.14.4, of the Ship of State: ‘nudum remigio latus’), and the word is used of a head which is bald in the middle at Mart. 5.49.6 ‘nudum est in medio caput’. It affords some varietas within the line-structure, and it has some MS backing since nudata in T Hist. Apoll. (cod. Tegernseensis) corrupts ‘nuda ca-’. 2 intus enim crines mihi sunt, quos non videt ullus: this line explains (enim) the paradox in the previous line, the first half expanding on ‘non sum nuda capillis’ (line 1, second half) and the second ‘non sum compta comis’ (line 1, first half). 3 meque manus mittunt manibusque remittor in auras: the interwoven word-order (‘manus . . . manibusque’, ‘mittunt . . . remittor’) combines with the m alliteration to illustrate the idea of a ball’s being thrown swiftly back and forth; cf. the le. n. above. For complex–simplex pairing in S., see at Aenig. 12.2 above.

60 A saw I am full with countless teeth throughout my body. I feed on leaf-haired progeny with a sharp bite. Nonetheless, I, who spit out the prizes of my tooth, chew in vain. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOPRS gGhIVwawb le. serra: on the Roman saw in general, see Kl.P. V.138.1 s.v. serra [W.H. Gross], Roger B. Ulrich in Oleson, 446–7, RE IIA.1740.64 ff. s.v. serra [Keune], D-S IV(2).1256 col. 2 ff. s.v. serra [A. Héron de Villefosse]. Its invention was attributed to Daedalus (Pliny Nat. 7.198) or his nephew Perdix; cf. Ovid Met. 8.244–6. Fragments of saw blades survive e.g. from Britain (see Frere and St Joseph 78 and 79) and from Pompeii: see Ciarallo and De Carolis 123. Note also cat. 74, showing a fresco depicting, inter alia, two workmen using a bow saw to cut wood. This riddle continues the hardware section beginning at Aenig. 54: see le. n. Like most of the riddles in this section, it describes a sharp or pointed object. It is linked verbally with Aenig. 59.1–2 comis, capillis and crines by frondicomam in line 2 and by general association in that the saw’s dentes (lines 1 and 3) make it look comb-like.14 1 dentibus innumeris sum toto corpore plena: cf. Ovid Met. 8.246 ‘perpetuos dentes’. Other references to the saw’s teeth are e.g. Vitr. 2.7.1 ‘serra dentata’, Pliny Nat. 36.167 ‘dentata serra’, 16.227 ‘serrarum . . . dentes’. Note also ‘morsu . . . acuto’, line 2.


A clear illustration of a Roman comb, in appearance not unlike a bow saw, can be found in Ciarallo and De Carolis, cat. 70. Regarding the comb’s teeth, see Murgatroyd and Smith at Tib. 1.9.68 ‘tenues denso pectere dente comas’. Martial’s Apophoreta also include combs (Mart. 14.25 pectines), mentioning teeth in line 2,‘multifido . . . dente’. For Martial’s influence on S., see Introduction (3)(a) Proem.


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Bergamin compares the opening of Aenig. 33 ‘dentibus insanis’, a riddle describing a wolf. While the saw is not mad, it is certainly described in monster-like terms in that its body, unlike most, contains nothing but teeth. As line 3 makes clear, however, it is an ineffectual monster. 2 frondicomam subolem: frondicomam (cf. raucisonans, Aenig. 19.1) is in accordance with S.’s liking for unusual compounds: only two other instances survive in Latin: see ThLL VI(1).1346.52 ff. s.v. frondicomus [Robbert], citing Prud. Cath. 3.102 ‘frondicomis . . . locis’ and CLE 1327.6 ‘frondicoma . . . pinus’, although note φυλλόκομος at Arist. Birds 215 and 742. Suboles is similarly grand; cf. Cic. de Orat. 3.154, who notes that it has an archaic tinge and suits poetry rather than oratory, although through the use of such words, appropriately placed, ‘grandior atque antiquior oratio saepe videri solet’. This combined grandeur is nonetheless ironic: where suboles is applied to trees elsewhere (OLD2 s.v. suboles §1a), it indicates young shoots or growths for which a full-size saw might well be too heavy or unwieldy a cutting tool, and such shoots would be consistent with frondicomus. It is possible that S. has in mind a small pruningsaw, like that described at Pallad. 1.42.2. Bergamin observes, when comparing the opening of Aenig. 33, that this saw was called a lupus. The riddle therefore perhaps describes an apparently monstrous implement, which has many teeth, shares a name with a ferocious beast and feeds on a lofty diet, but which is in fact humble, utilitarian and tiny. morsu depascor acuto: these words are an ironic and bathetic allusion (see Introduction (3)(e)) to Verg. A. 2.215 ‘morsu depascitur’, in the context of the monstrous serpents eating up Laocoon’s sons. Austin comments there that the compound verb ‘implies a methodical process carried through to the finish’. If this applies here, ‘mando . . . frustra’ in line 3 becomes the more paradoxical: the saw never finishes ‘chewing’. 3 mando tamen frustra quae respuo praemia dentis vel sim. BDγ: mando tamen focis quod spernunt dentes acuti A. The line is framed by mando, here ‘I chew’, and dentis. A’s reading loses this contrast since it takes mando to mean ‘I entrust’ (it suggests that saws cut firewood only) and for metrical reasons has to make dentes the penultimate rather than final word. It also loses the balance between dentis, final word in the riddle, and dentibus, the word with which the riddle opens. (On Umklammerungstechnik, see Aenig. 8.3 n.) Acuti is repetitive after acuto in line 2. The word mando is often used in the context of animals and monsters, and this may be relevant here; see OLD2 s.v. mando2 §1a; cf. Livius Andr. Od. 33(36) and Verg. A. 3.627 of the Cyclops. The repeated p sounds in ‘respuo praemia’ combine with diaeresis to emphasize the paradox of spitting out or spurning one’s prizes. quae BPR(-que)ghwb: quia D(praeter SPR)waIV: quod S (cf. A, supra): qui G. Quia makes good sense (cf. quod, ‘because’) but quae accords e.g. with Aenig. 20.3 ‘viva nihil dixi quae sic modo mortua canto’ and 23.2 ‘frigora vitabam, quae nunc aestate revertor’. The G reading is the wrong gender.



61 An anchor My twin point is joined in a single piece of iron. I strive with the wind, I fight with the ocean deep. I search through the midst of the waters, and I also bite the very earth. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPQRS gGhIVwawb le. anchora: ABD(praeter HMOR)γ: anhora I: de anc(h)ora ORgh: om. HM. Modern editors generally print ancora (not Bergamin), but cf. Servius ad Verg. A. 1.169: ‘hoc nomen [sc. anchora] cum in Graeco, unde originem ducit, aspirationem non habeat, in Latino aspiratur’ and Isidore’s distinction (Orig. 19.2.15) between the orthographical practice of his own day and that of earlier: ‘[sc. anchora] apud Graecos aspirationem non habet, nam ἄγκυρα dicitur; unde et apud maiores sine aspiratione proferebatur’. Against lemmata in de, see Aenig. 1 le. n. This riddle also survives at Hist. Apoll. 42. Its positioning after Aenig. 100 is a defining feature of the D family: see Introduction (5) section B. It rounds off the section on hardware beginning at Aenig. 54 (see le. n.), with which it has verbal links: mucro, line 1, recalls mucronis (Aenig. 54.1) and ‘gurgite . . . profundo’ and ‘aquas medias’ (lines 2–3) recall ‘medio . . . fluctu’, Aenig. 54.2. Its generic connection (pointed hardware) with Aenig. 60 is reinforced by mordeo, line 3, which recalls mando (Aenig. 60.3) and the teeth of the saw. Although ending a sub-section, Aenig. 61 also looks forward to the next, which has associations with water. This section ends with Aenig. 64 tridens, which in turn begins yet another, dealing with weapons, but which also frames the water section by recalling Aenig. 61: as well as their generic similarity (metal objects with points), tridents and anchors are both associated especially with the sea (they are represented one after another in the aquatic display at Mart. Sp. 30(26).3), the ‘teeth’ of Aenig. 64 tridens (cf. lines 1 dentes and 2 dens) connect with mordeo (line 3), and both riddles play on numbers (Aenig. 61.1 ‘geminus . . . uno’; Aenig. 64 le. tridens, 1 ‘tres . . . unus’, and 2 ‘unus . . . solus’). For number-play in S., see Aenig. 39 le. n. General information on anchors in the ancient world can be found at Kl.P. I.343.37 ff. s.v. ancora [W.H. Groß], D-S I(1).266 col. 2 ff. s.v. ancora [E. Ruschach], RE I.2219.54 ff. s.v. Anker [Luebeck]. According to Pliny, Nat. 7.209, the anchor was invented by Eupalamus. Anchors often had wooden stocks with wooden ‘teeth’ sheathed in metal, but ‘ferro . . . uno’ (line 1) might suggest an anchor made completely of metal. For these, see e.g. Khader et  al. 326, a detail from a mosaic (third century, Thugga) showing a fisherman carrying a completely metal anchor, and M. Grant, Roman History from Coins, Cambridge 1968, pl. 30.4 (= Ancyra (AD 130) AE 35 – Antinous); cf. perhaps Livy 37.30.9 ‘ferrea manu’. 1 mucro mihi geminus ferro coniungitur uno: uno balances and contrasts with geminus. That a single anchor (‘ferro . . . uno’) should comprise a ‘mucro . . . geminus’ is pleasingly paradoxical. The expression ‘ferro . . . uno’ appears to be unparalleled.


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2 cum vento luctor, cum gurgite pugno profundo: the vocabulary of each half-line is carefully balanced but also varied: thus gurgite has an adjective whereas vento does not, and the deponent luctor contrasts with the active pugno. cum vento luctor: i.e. to stop the ship from blowing away. Luctari is regularly used in the context of winds; cf. Verg. A. 1.53 ‘luctantis ventos’ (the winds in Aeolus’ cave) and Hor. Carm. 1.1.15 ‘luctantem Icariis fluctibus Africum’, of the SW wind wrestling with the sea. Although the word does not survive elsewhere of an anchor, at Prop. 4.1B.147 it is used of a ship: ‘nunc tua vel mediis puppis luctetur in undis’, and it is used of a helmsman at Sil. 14.453–4 ‘bonus . . . per artem/ crudo luctari pelago atque exire procellas’; cf. Sen. Dial. 6.10.6 ‘luctatos cum fluctibus’, of those tossed by fortune. cum gurgite pugno profundo: cf. Avienus Arat. 1235 ‘gurgitis . . . profundi’, and, with particular reference to the open sea, Verg. A. 6.310 ‘gurgite ab alto’ and 7.704 with Horsfall. Firm anchorages are difficult in deep water and the p alliteration perhaps emphasizes the struggle that achieving one would entail. The possibility that the Romans used sea-anchors in very deep water or when stormy conditions made fixed anchorages impractical is suggested by χαλάσαντες τὸ σκεῦος at Acts  27.17 in the account of St Paul’s shipwreck: see Bruce ad loc. 3 scrutor aquas medias, ipsas quoque mordeo terras: as in line 2, the two line-halves are distinguished by a deponent and active verb. ‘Aquas medias’, in the first hemistich here, recalls ‘gurgite . . . profundo’ in the second there. scrutor aquas medias: scrutor indicates the care with which the anchor has to look for a hold; cf. that with which treasure hunters trawl the depths: Sen. de Clem. 1.3.5 ‘mare lucri causa scrutamur’ and Tac. Agr. 30.5 ‘mare scrutantur’. A poor fisherman is described as a ‘scrutator aquarum’ at Stat. Theb. 7.720. ipsas quoque mordeo terras: cf. e.g. Drac. Romul. 8.249–50 ‘mox anchora mordet/ litus’, Ennod. Carm. 1.6.16 (MGH AA VII.6) ‘anchora . . . mordet obunca solum’, Verg A. 1.169 ‘unco non alligat ancora morsu’, and Luc. 3.699. An anchor has teeth at Verg. A. 6.3–4 and Mart. Spect. 30(26).3; cf. Isid. Orig. 19.2.15 ‘anchora dens ferreus’. The words here possibly recall the battle in line 2 (luctor, pugno), but whereas ‘biting the dust’ in epic denotes losing (cf. e.g. Verg. A. 11.418 ‘procubuit moriens et humum semel ore momordit’), this anchor ‘wins’ instead of dying. ipsas codd. (ipsos α): imas Hist. Apoll. Although the MSS agree on ipsas, imas bears serious consideration. First, it allows attractive word-arrangement: aquas and terras balance and contrast with their adjectives juxtaposed inbetween, and imas counters medias better than does ipsas. Secondly, it is not surprising that an anchor should bite the very earth: that is its intended purpose; but anchorage in deep water is remarkable: not only does this anchor plumb the depths but it also, quoque, gains purchase. Thirdly, the anchor contends with the sky (vento, at the top), the sea (gurgite, in the middle) and the earth – at the bottom.



62 A bridge A grove stands in the waters, in the deep stream stands a wood, and the oak remains unmoving in the midst of the waves. However, the earth puts forth that which performs the duties of the earth. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOPQRS gGhIVwawb le. pons: regarding the third-person formulation of this riddle, see the introductory n. to Aenig. 96. It would be difficult to solve without the lemma; cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C. The riddle opens with an inversion of the natural order – trees do not normally grow in water – and it ends with a contrast between terra and the references to water in lines 1–2. Ohl explains line 3 as follows: ‘i.e. earth supplies the trees from the wood of which is fashioned a bridge, which fulfils for the traveller the same function as earth, i.e. furnishes him footing for his journeyings.’ The riddle therefore reflects, in lines 1–2, the up-ending of normality sanctioned by the Saturnalia (cf. Introduction (3)(a) section A), and it also recalls the topos of man’s technical prowess and his ability to tame or overcome Nature: see Pavlovskis 223–4. Similar riddles in this respect are Aenig. 67 lanterna, 68 specular, 71 puteus, 72 tubus and 89 balneum. The Romans’ pride in their technical prowess is reflected by the great detail which Caesar supplies in recording his own building of a pile bridge over the Rhine (Gal. 4.17.3–10): tigna bina sesquipedalia paulum ab imo praeacuta, dimensa ad altitudinem fluminis, intervallo pedum duorum inter se iungebat. haec cum machinationibus inmissa in flumen defixerat fistucisque adegerat, non sublicae modo derecte ad perpendiculum sed prone ac fastigate, ut secundum naturam fluminis procumberent, his item contraria duo ad eundem modum iuncta intervallo pedum quadragenum ab inferiore parte contra vim atque impetum fluminis conversa statuebat. haec utraque insuper bipedalibus trabibus inmissis, quantum eorum tignorum iunctura distabat, binis utrimque fibulis ab extrema parte distinebantur; quibus disclusis atque in contrariam partem revinctis, tanta erat operis firmitudo atque ea rerum natura ut, quo maior vis aquae se incitavisset, hoc artius inligata tenerentur. haec derecta materia iniecta contexebantur ac longuriis cratibusque consternebantur; ac nihilo setius sublicae et ad inferiorem partem fluminis oblique agebantur, quae pro ariete subiectae et cum omni opere coniunctae vim fluminis exciperent, et aliae item supra pontem mediocri spatio ut, si arborum trunci sive naves deiciendi operis essent a barbaris missae, his defensoribus earum rerum vis minueretur neu ponti nocerent.

On this bridge and wooden bridges generally, see Roger B. Ulrich in Oleson, 441 and 455–6. This riddle continues the series of those with water associations which begins with Aenig. 61, to which it is linked by several verbal echoes: ‘alto gurgite’ (line 1) recalls ‘gurgite . . . profundo’ (Aenig. 61.2), ‘in mediis undis’ (line 2) recalls ‘aquas medias’ (Aenig. 61.3), and ‘terra . . . terrae’ (line 3) recalls terras (Aenig. 61.3).


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1 stat nemus in lymphis, stat in alto gurgite silva: the two half-lines correspond in both content and wording (note ‘stat . . . stat’, ‘nemus . . . silva’ and ‘in lymphis . . . in . . . gurgite’), while admitting some varietas: the first stat and in (long by position) contrast with the second. Stat recalls the way in which the clustered piles or uprights of the bridge resemble stands of trees (for stare of trees see OLD2 s.v. sto §4a–b). The religious associations of nemus (OLD2 s.v. nemus §2) possibly lend a mystical quality to man’s triumph over Nature, as do the poetic words for water, viz. lymphis, gurgite and, in line 2, undis; cf. Verg. A. 9.22–4 ‘et sic effatus [sc. Turnus] ad undam/ processit summoque hausit de gurgite lymphas/ multa deos orans, oneravitque aethera votis’, with Hardie’s note. ‘Alto gurgite’ is more appropriate of the sea than a stream (cf. at Aenig. 61.2 above), but note perhaps AL 524.1 Riese, in the description of an image reflected by still water. 2 et manet in mediis undis inmobile robur: this line restates line 1 while emphasizing it: not only do the silva and nemus mentioned there stand in the water, but they continue to do so. Manet is reinforced by the m and n sounds which follow it: ‘in mediis’, undis, inmobile. With inmobile, cf. Caesar Gal. 4.17.7 ‘operis firmitudo’. Although it could be used of any hard timber (see OLD2 s.v. robur §3; cf. Col. 4.26.1 ‘olea . . . quercus et suber, ac si qua sunt similia robora’), the word robur refers principally to the oak tree (OLD2 s.v. robur §1). Here it is used metonymically of the bridge; cf. Verg. A. 2.260 ‘cavo . . . robore’, of the wooden horse. Ovid uses roboreus of the Sublician bridge at Fast. 5.622. 3 terra tamen mittit quod terrae munera praestat: for explanation of this line, see le. n. above. It is held together by both the alliterative interlocking of t and m and the alternation of terra and terrae with the verbs mittit and praestat. This perhaps illustrates the interlocking of the bridge’s timbers. With mittere, ‘to put forth’, cf. e.g. Col. 5.10.13 and Arb. 22.2, of nuts or trees putting out roots. ‘Terrae munera’ might call to mind passages like Hor. Ep. 1.6.5–6 ‘quid censes munera terrae,/ quid maris extremos Arabas ditantis et Indos’, although munera here refers not to gifts but duties which the bridge performs: cf. Cicero de Orat. 2.38 ‘omnes artes aliae sine eloquentia suum munus praestare possunt, orator sine ea nomen obtinere suum non potest’; see L-S s.v. praesto §IIC and Souter 242, OLD2 s.v. munus §1, L-S s.v. munus §1.

63 A sponge I myself am not heavy, but the weight of water clings to me. All my innards swell, distended with outspread chambers. Water lies hidden within, and it does not pour forth of its own accord. MSS: A βcK αAng.deEHMNOPQRS gGhITVwawb le. spongia: this riddle about a sponge also survives in Hist. Apoll. 42. It continues the water theme noted at Aenig. 61 le. above, and has verbal connections with Aenig. 62



pons: note aquae and lympha (Aenig. 63.1, 3), and lymphis, gurgite and undis (Aenig. 62.1, 2). There may possibly also be an element of word-play in the lemmata spongia and pons; cf. pondus, line 1, and sponte, line 3. Sponges had many uses in the ancient world, being employed e.g. for sanitary purposes (Mart. 12.48.7), in medical contexts (Pliny Nat. 31.125 ff.), for erasing writing on tablets (Suet. Aug. 85.2), and for gags (Sen. Dial. 5.19.3). Note also Mart. 14.144 spongea, which refers to wiping tables: haec tibi sorte datur tergendis spongea mensis utilis, expresso cum levis imbre tumet.

S.’s allusion to squeezing out water in his last line is perhaps a conscious echo of Martial. Other connections are observed in the notes on lines 1 and 2 below. Martial’s influence on S. receives general treatment in the Introduction, (3)(a) Proem. On sponges in general, see DNP XI.272 s.v. Schwamm II [R. Hurschmann], Pliny Nat. 31.123–31, 9.148–50. Also D-S IV.1.1442–3 s.v. spongia [Maurice Bernier] and my note at Mart. 14.144 le. Bergamin sees the sponge here described as if it were suffering from hydropsy. With the personifying viscera (sponges do not normally have innards), tument and diffusa in line 2, cf. Cass. Felix. 76.1 ‘est hydropica passio diffusio humoris aquosi cum inflatione’ (although the swelling here is caused by air) and Ser. Med. 496 ‘tum lympha interius . . . tumescit’. 1 ipsa gravis non sum, sed aquae mihi pondus inhaeret: as often, the line-halves are carefully arranged around the caesura, with pondus picking up and varying gravis. ‘Gravis non sum’ recalls levis, Mart. 14.144.2; cf. 13.47.1 quoted at line 2 below. aquae B(praeter c)Dγ: aqua AcT. For the genitive, cf. Ovid Met. 1.52–3 ‘pondere . . . aquae’. It is more natural than the ablative, i.e. ‘by means of water’, and -a is an easy corruption of -ae. 2 viscera tota tument: tumeo is used of a sponge which has been squeezed out at Mart. 14.144.2, cited above. With tument here, of one which has soaked up water, cf. Mart. 13.47.1, describing Picene bread soaked in milk: ‘ut levis accepta spongea turget aqua’. The t alliteration possibly emphasizes tota. patulis diffusa cavernis: similar wording at Cic. de Orat. 1.7.28 ‘platanus . . . patulis est diffusa ramis’. Cavernis perhaps hints at the size of the sponge’s water-filled holes. It is used in the context of sponges also at Isid. Nat. 46.1 ‘sapientes dicunt terram in modum spongiae esse conceptumque ventum . . . ire per cavernas’. The translation attempts to combine biological and speliological terminology. 3 intus lympha latet, sed non se sponte profundit: cf. Aenig. 76.2, of fire struck from a flint: ‘intus enim latitat, sed solos prodit ad ictus.’ The second half-line expands on the first. (For sed, cf. Aenig. 58.2 n. and see L-H-Sz II.487: ‘ist zwischen adversativem und kopulativem sed oft kaum zu scheiden.’) The positive latet at the end of the first


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half-line contrasts with ‘non . . . profundit’ at the end of the second, while the alliterative ‘lympha latet’ is balanced by ‘se sponte’. sed non se sponte profundit: a little water might seep out of the unsqueezed sponge, but it would certainly not pour forth. Contrast Cic. Att. 11.7.6 ‘se . . . profuderunt’ of gushing tears. Profundit picks up and plays on the literal sense of diffusa in line 2.

64 A trident I have three teeth which one row holds together. There is one tooth besides and on its own at the bottom. A god holds me, the wind fears me and the seas have regard for me. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOPRS gGhIVwawb le. tridens: the trident and its link with Neptune (cf. line 3 ‘me . . . tenet numen’) connect with the water associations of the preceding riddles. Note also aequora, line 3, which recalls aquae and lympha (Aenig. 63.1 and 3) and lymphis, gurgite and undis (Aenig. 62.1 and 2), and note too the generic connection between tridents and the anchor of Aenig. 61: see Aenig. 61 le. n.; cf. on line 1 below. But the riddle’s water connections also start a new section, on weapons (Aenig. 64–6). Roman fishermen used the trident to spear large fish (cf. Pliny Nat. 9.51, 84, 92 and cf. Khader et al. 356, a third-century mosaic from Sousse), and it was therefore used in the arena by the retiarius, e.g. against the murmillo or ‘fish man’, a type of secutor (see Eckardt Köhne, Cornelia Ewigleben and Ralph Jackson edd., Gladiators and Caesars, London 2001, 60); cf. the possibly gladiatorial trident from Stoney Street, Southwark, in the Museum of London (acc. no. 1773). It contrasts with the aerial weaponry of the riddle which follows it, Aenig. 65 sagitta. Neptune’s trident – the symbol of his authority – was thought originally to be a bolt of lightning: see Kl.P. IV.1076.34–6 s.v. Poseidon [W. Pötscher]. Numerous illustrations survive of him holding it. See e.g. the Tunisian mosaics depicted in Khader et al.: 320 (third century, Utica), 336 (third century, Hadrumetum), 337 (second century, Caput Vada). For Neptune generally, see Kl.P. IV.64.28 ff. s.v. Neptunus [K. Sallman], Roscher III.201.65–207.23 s.v. Neptunus [Wissowa]. For tridents, see D-S V.440–2 s.v tridens [Ad. Reinach]. 1 tres mihi sunt dentes, quos unus continet ordo: quos unus B(praeter c)GIwa: unus quos cDγ: unus A. The cDγ reading has both half-lines begin with a number; cf. the unmetrical A. While this is attractive, delayed relatives are rare in S. Note just Aenig. 12.1 ‘est domus in terris clara quae voce resultat’. ‘Quos unus’ is paralleled almost exactly at Aenig. 78.2 ‘quas unus continet ordo’, a description of steps. The number-play in this line, and riddle (note also tridens in the lemma and ‘unus . . . solus’ in line 2) recalls that in Aenig. 61.1: see the le. n.



tres mihi sunt dentes: cf. Mart. 2.41.6 ‘et tres sunt tibi . . . dentes’, of an unattractive woman. S. may have had Martial in mind here, although he is describing something completely different. For his debt to Martial, see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. dentes . . . ordo: cf. Ovid Ars. 3.279–80 ‘si . . . non erit ordine natus/ dens tibi’ of real teeth. For dens of objects resembling teeth, see OLD2 s.v. dens §3. Its application to anchors is remarked in Aenig. 61.3 n. 2 unus praeterea dens est et solus in imo: i.e. the pronged end of the shaft, well illustrated by Khader et al. 356. Unus, at the start of the line, mirrors tres at the start of line 1 while contrasting with ‘unus . . . ordo’ in the second hemistich. It is combined with solus, albeit slightly differently, also at Aenig. 40.2 ‘pes unus solus, sed pes longissimus unus’. The distinction made by praeterea between the single tooth in line 2 and the row of three in line 1 is emphasized by et. With ‘in imo’, cf. Aenig. 1.1 of the sharp end of a stylus, although the words there apply specifically to the way the stylus is held when writing. 3 meque tenet numen, ventus timet, aequora curant: instead of the usual bi-partite line-structure (see Introduction n. 122), S. here has three sections, although the first still ends at the third-foot caesura. Each section contains a subject noun and a verb but, as well as this parallelism, there is varietas between sections: the alliterative tenet and timet contrast with the plural curant, and while timet and curant end sections, tenet does not. Timet and curant are similar in meaning but not the same. The first section contains three words, and there are two each in the second and third. At Verg. A. 1.132–41, Neptune rebukes the winds and asserts his authority over the waves before calming the storm caused by Aeolus at Juno’s behest: tantane vos generis tenuit fiducia vestri? iam caelum terramque meo sine numine, venti, miscere et tantas audetis tollere moles? quos ego – sed motos praestat componere fluctus. post mihi non simili poena commissa luetis. maturate fugam regique haec dicite vestro: non illi imperium pelagi saevumque tridentem, sed mihi sorte datum. tenet ille immania saxa, vestras, Eure, domos; illa se iactet in aula Aeolus et clauso ventorum carcere regnet.

Power over the wind and the waves was naturally associated with more-than-mortal beings. Thus the disciples wonder at Luke 8.25: τίς ἄρα οὑˆ τός ἐστιν ὅτι καὶ τοῖς ἀνέμοις ἐπιτάσσει καὶ τῷ ὕδατι, καὶ ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ; meque tenet numen: Neptune is tridentifer at Ovid Met. 8.596; cf. 11.202 tridentiger, Sil. 15.159 tridentipotens. Note too Verg. A. 1.138, cited above.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

ventus timet: here the wind is fearful, whereas normally it is feared; cf. e.g. Ovid Fast. 2.97 ‘ventos . . . timebas’, Her. 19.95. aequora curant: for curo (i.e. observo) in conjunction with timeo, cf. Ovid Pont. 1.2.81–2 ‘maxima pars hominum nec te, pulcherrima, curat,/ Roma, nec Ausonii militis arma timet’. The celerity with which the waters obey Neptune is indicated by Ovid Met. 1.281: ‘iusserat; hi [sc. amnes] redeunt ac fontibus ora relaxant.’

65 An arrow Ringed with heavy iron, surrounded by light feathers, I race through the mid-air with the flight of a bird and, having been despatched in departing, I return with no one despatching me. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOPRS gGhIVwawb le. sagitta: this riddle continues the weapon series beginning with Aenig. 64: the arrow’s heavenly realm (cf. ‘aera per medium’, line 2) contrasts with the trident’s watery associations. Bergamin notes that the arrow was used for hunting, as the trident was for fishing. Arrows were associated with the wind (cf. Aenig. 38.2 ‘iuncta . . . sum vento’ of the tigris, ‘tiger’, but also the Persian word for ‘arrow’), and this possibly links with Aenig. 64.3 ventus. Archery did not feature in Roman ludi, and it is included in the games of Verg. A. Book 5 out of literary deference to Homer and to lead into the portent of Acestes’ arrow, which catches fire and disappears like a shooting star: see Williams at lines 485 ff. Although their value was appreciated in warfare, the archers used by the Roman army were generally auxiliaries rather than legionaries; cf. Jeffrey L. Davies, ‘Roman Arrowheads from Dinorben and the Sagittarii of the Roman Army’, Britannia 8 (1977), 260–2, 265–6. Ovid suggests (see Hollis at Ars 1.209) that the Parthian archers were cowardly and devious in contrast to the brave simplicity of the Roman soldier. Although many arrow heads survive (note in the BM e.g. GR 1872.11–5.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), arrow shafts are rare, since they were made of wood or reed; cf. Davies op. cit. 264, citing wooden shafts from Masada. Both arrows and arrow heads were of different designs, depending on their intended use, e.g. against cavalry horses, as fire arrows, or to carry messages. See generally Kl.P. IV.1498.43 ff. s.v. sagitta [A. Newman], D-S IV(2). 997–1000 s.v. sagitta [A. J. Reinach], Bishop and Coulston 166–7, 205–6. 1 saepta gravi ferro, levibus circumdata pinnis: the words of the two half-lines are carefully chosen so as to balance (saepta:circumdata; gravi:levibus; ferro:pinnis) but their varied placing within each half also ensures varietas. saepta gravi ferro: saepta BDγ: secta A. Secta is nonsensical and arrows were not cased in iron, as is suggested by the emendation tecta which is marked in A. Ohl translates ‘bound round with heavy iron’. Something like this must be correct, although



his understanding of saeptus is without precise parallel. (Bergamin cites Aenig. 45.2 ‘saepta . . . telis defendor acutis’, of a rose defended by its thorns, but this is of no help.) For ferrum of an arrow, cf. Ovid Met. 9.128. levibus circumdata pinnis: cf. e.g. [Ovid] Am. 3.5.21 ‘levibus . . . pinnis’: the verbal conjunction is common. For the feathers surrounding the arrow to aid its flight, cf. Isid. Orig. 18.8.1: ‘pinnae . . . ideo adglutinantur ut leves sint et pervolent’ and Pliny Nat. 34.138. Circumdare means ‘surround’ also at, e.g., Juv. 6.458 ‘cum viridis gemmas collo circumdedit’ and Suet. Vit. 9.1 ‘laurea, quam religiosissime circumdederat’. 2 aera per medium . . . contendo: cf. Verg. Aen. 5.520 ‘aerias telum contendit in auras’, of Acestes’ arrow, Sil. 1.322–3 ‘sagittas/ contendit nervo’ and see L-S s.v. contendo §IB1. volucri . . . meatu: volucri builds on pinnis in line 1 and foreshadows the swiftness indicated by contendo (see OLD2 s.v. volucris §2, esp. 2b). It is regularly applied to arrows; cf. Verg. A. 5.242 ‘citius volucri . . . sagitta’, describing a speeding boat, 544 ‘volucri . . . harundine’, 11.858 ‘volucrem . . . sagittam’, Manil. 1.850 ‘volucris . . . sagittas’. Meatus can be used of many types of movement. Hence the qualifying adjective here. It refers to birds’ movement elsewhere e.g. at Pliny Nat. 10.111 ‘aves solae vario meatu feruntur et in terra et in aere’ and Tac. Hist. 1.62 ‘aquila leni meatu . . . praevolavit’. Note also Manil. 5.160 ‘volucris . . . meatus’. 3 missaque discedens nullo mittente revertor: i.e. the arrow is shot up into the air but returns to the ground under the force of gravity. Missa and ‘nullo mittente’ balance and contrast. So too do the interlocking discedens and revertor, although these admit greater varietas, since they are not cognate and one is not a participle. Mittere and reverti are again opposed, albeit in a different context, at Hor. Ars 390 ‘nescit vox missa reverti.’ For mitto of an arrow, cf. Ovid Ars 2.195 ‘missis . . . sagittis’ and see OLD2 s.v. mitto §7a, L-S s.v. mitto §IIK. discedens αAng.eMSγ: descendens ABdHPNORwa. Discedens is not generally employed of weapons, but it can be used of troops moving out, appearing thus, in conjunction this time with the active form of revertere, at Caes. Gal. 6.33.4 ‘discedens post diem septimum sese reversurum confirmat.’ This would be in accordance with the arrow’s personification, although the parallel suggests that the arrow returns to its point of departure, something which would happen only in the unlikely event of its being fired straight up. Descendens is therefore not without appeal, although reading it means that the third-foot caesura would not correspond with a sense pause, as is usually the case in S.: see Introduction (3)(d).

66 A whip Coming from the back of an ox, I terrify all oxen, securing submission through the rule of remembered pain. I do not want to be ignored, but on the other hand I do not want to injure.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMNOPQRS gGhVwawb le. flagellum: Martial’s Apophoreta contain two epigrams on whips, one presented as a charioteer’s (Mart. 14.55 flagellum) and the other for beating slaves (Mart. 14.79 flagra). In fact both were possibly children’s toys, intended e.g. for beating spinning tops. Martial’s influence on S. is treated in the Introduction, (3)(a) Proem. The word flagellum covers a wide variety of whips: see D-S II(2).1152 col. 2 ff. s.v. flagellum [G. Fougères]. This whip concludes the weaponry theme beginning with Aenig. 64, with which it has verbal connections: note terreo, line 1, and timet, Aenig. 64.3. Its association with cattle possibly contrasts with the bird associations of Aenig. 65, while its agricultural use perhaps counters the arrow’s potential use in warfare. 1 de pecudis dorso pecudes . . . terreo: although pecus could refer specifically to sheep (OLD2 s.v. pecus2 §1b), it was applicable to any farm animal, and oxen were regularly so designated (OLD2 s.v. pecus2 §1a; cf. Cic. Off. 2.11 ‘equi, boves, reliquae pecudes’). The alternation of d and p words and the framing of dorso emphasize the paradox that this whip has been made from the back of one of those it now threatens. 2 obsequium reddens ABγ: obsequio (obsequia Q) cogens DGV. The majority reading reddens, meaning ‘bring about’ or ‘produce an effect, condition, etc.’ (OLD2 s.v. reddens §16a, L-S s.v. reddo §27), makes good sense with obsequium. Nonetheless ‘obsequio cogens’, ‘forcing through compliance (with the law of . . .)’ is not impossible. memorata lege doloris ABwb: moderati D(praeter Ang.dP)γ: moderata Ang.: moderate dP: moderanti Schenkl. While injuring draft or traction animals would be counter-productive, as is acknowledged by line 3, moderati and its variants do not accord with terreo in line 1. Hence Schenkl’s conjecture ‘moderating’ for ‘moderate’; but although S. avoided transferred epithets (cf. Aenig. 33.1 n.), there is merit in memorata: when driving already-broken oxen one cracks the whip in their ears rather than actually touching them, but they remember from their training that if the whip touches it will hurt; cf. Col. 2.2.26, who advocates blows only as a last resort. 3 nec volo contemni, sed contra nolo nocere: each half-line ends with an infinitive, one passive, the other active, and the two halves are linked by n and c sounds. Pavlovskis, 225, sees in this line an indirect echo of Verg. A. 6.853 ‘parcere subiectis et debellare superbos’, but it merely reflects the simple pragmatism of an ox-driver with work to complete. contemni here means ‘be ignored’ or ‘disregarded’ (see OLD2 s.v. contemno §2; cf. Cic. Tusc. 2.38 ‘contemnere vulnus consuetudo docet’). It does not convey personal feeling or attitude, as does the English derivative ‘contempt’.



67 A lantern Fitted with curved horn, translucent with my smooth surround, containing light within, like the divine star, in the middle of the night I create the appearance of day. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPQRS gGhIVwawb le. lanterna: this riddle, describing a lantern, begins a series (Aenig. 67–9) involving light, its transmission, reflection and especially containment: cf. on ‘lumen habens intus’, line 2 below, and see Leary (2011), 237. The riddles, and especially Aenig. 67.3 and 68, celebrate man’s technological triumph over Nature, whether by conquering darkness or shutting out the elements. For other riddles like this, see Aenig. 62 le. n. The lantern is linked to the cattle of Aenig. 66 by the horn used to make it; cf. line 1 ‘cornibus . . . cavis’. Note also that ‘in mediis’ (Aenig. 67.3) recalls ‘per medium’ (Aenig. 65.2) so that Aenig. 65 and 67 interlock with Aenig. 64 and 66, which are linked by timet and terreo: see Aenig. 66. le. n. above. Municipal street lighting was first provided, in the form of torches, in late antiquity in Ephesus, Byzantium and Antioch; cf. DNP II.549 s.v. Beleuchtung [Hurschmann]. Before that, both there and generally, what lighting there was was incidental, coming e.g. from shops and street-corner shrines; cf. Donald M. Bailey, Greek and Roman Pottery Lamps, Oxford (British Museum) 1972, 11, Petr. 79.1. It was therefore usual for night-time travellers to take their own illumination. This ranged from the poor man’s candle to the bronze lamp of the rich (see Juv. 3.286 ff. with Mayor at 285 and 287), which was carried by a ‘servus praelucens’ (Suet. Aug. 29.3; cf. Dio 39.31.1, Mart. 8.75.6– 7). A lantern was an obvious way of stopping this illumination from blowing out. On lanterns generally, see Paoli 81–2 and fig. 19, Forbes VI.167 ff., D-S III(2).925 s.v. lanterna [J. Toutain]. Also dell’Orto and Varone cat. 80 with notes, Ciarallo and De Carolis cat. 332 and notes. Martial’s Apophoreta devote two epigrams to them: Mart. 14.62 lanterna de vesica treats a lantern made from an animal bladder stretched round a frame, while 14.61 lanterna cornea deals with a more expensive lantern made of thinly sliced horn, like the one in this riddle. (For Martial’s influence on S. see Introduction (3)(a) Proem.) Horn lanterns are mentioned also at Pliny Nat. 11.49 ‘cornu lanternae tralucido’ and Pl. Am. 341 ‘quo ambulas tu qui Volcanum in cornu conclusum geris’; cf. too Lucr. 2.388 ‘lumen per cornum transit’ and see RE XII.693.30 s.v. lanterna [Hug]. No examples of horn casing survive, but the intact metal frame of a horn lantern was recently discovered in Suffolk and is now in the Ipswich Museum: see Current Archaeology 248 (2010), 10; cf. GR 1856.12–26.670 and 1079 in the BM. Bladder and horn aside, lantern surrounds could comprise canvas or thin animal hide (DNP VI.1085 s.v. Lampe [Hurschmann]), and, in the later Empire, glass: CGL V.111.13, Isid. Orig. 20.10.7. 1 cornibus apta cavis, tereti perlucida gyro: the nouns, placed at the beginning and end of the line, enclose, lantern-like, the remaining words. The plural cornibus is not poetic: several pieces of horn would have been needed. For apta, ‘provided with’, see OLD2 s.v. aptus §4. With cavis, ‘curved’, cf. e.g. Verg. A. 3.286 ‘aere cavo clipeum’.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

Gyrus is appropriate since the horn ‘glass’ encircles the light-source: see OLD2 s.v. gyrus §3; cf. Stat. Ach. 1.314 ‘pater armenti . . . cui nondum toto peraguntur cornua gyro’. However, the word has cosmic associations, being applied to the orbit of heavenly bodies (see OLD2 s.v. gyrus §4a), and therefore prepares also for lumen and sideris in line 2. 2 lumen habens intus: cf., in the current series of riddles, Aenig. 68.3 ‘sol . . . emicat in me’ and 69.2 ‘fulgor inest intus’. Also Aenig. 76.2 ‘intus enim latitat [sc. ignis]’ in a riddle about flint. According to Isidore, the lantern owed its name to its containment of a light: Orig. 20.10.7 ‘lanterna inde vocatur quod lucem interius habeat clausam’. ‘Recluso intus lumine’ in Isidore’s next sentence parallels S. here. Note also Pliny Nat. 11.126 ‘lumen inclusum’ and Pl. Am. 341 conclusum, cited in the le. n. above. As well as ‘light’ or ‘lamp’ (OLD2 s.v. lumen §6a), lumen can mean ‘daylight’ (OLD2 s.v. lumen §2, ThLL VII(2).1812.5 ff. s.v. lumen [Ehlers]; cf. Austin’s note on Verg. A. 4. 358). This accords with ‘divini sideris’. divini sideris instar: sidus here refers to the sun (see OLD2 s.v. sidus §2c; cf. Verg. A. 12.451–2 ‘qualis ubi ad terras abrupto sidere nimbus/ it mare per medium’, Ovid Met. 1.424, Tib. 2.1.47 with Murgatroyd): the ‘divine star’ is the god Sol. For divinus of the sun, see ThLL V(1).1619.66 ff. s.v. divinus [Gudeman]. Instar links with faciem in line 3. In this riddle S. playfully contrasts appearance, i.e. the sort of light the lantern seems to contain, with the reality of what it and the lantern achieve; cf. Pavlovskis 250. That the sun should be contained by a lantern is, of course, ridiculously humorous. With lines 2–3, cf. perhaps Ovid Am. 3.11B.47 ‘per . . . tuam faciem, magni mihi numinis instar’. 3 noctibus in mediis faciem non perdo dierum: the line begins with night (first word) and ends with day (last word), each time-period occupying half a line. Cf. Prud. Cath. 5.27–8 (the hymnus ad incensum lucernae) ‘absentemque diem lux agit aemula,/ quam nox cum lacero victa fugit peplo’. Contrast Aenig. 8.2, of a cloud: ‘inque die media tenebras tamen adfero mecum’. faciem non perdo dierum: the litotes suggests that the lantern does the opposite of destroying the appearance of day. With faciem, cf. Ovid Met. 1.602–3, quoted at Aenig. 8.1 ‘nox ego sum facie’.

68 A window pane15 I am looked right through and I do not hinder the eye’s vision, letting them wander through my body and beyond. Although the winter does not pass through me, the sun within me nonetheless shines out.


Much of the content of the commentary below on this riddle has already appeared in Leary (2011).



MSS: A β αAng.deHMOPRS gGhIVwawb le. specular vel sim. D(praeter Ang.)γ: vitrium A: de vitreo speculo (specular h) gh: Ang. legi non potest: om. β. Vitreum is too general: the riddle is specifically about a window pane, although, given S.’s late date (see Introduction (2)), it is indeed probably a glass one. (If not of glass, window panes could be made e.g. of ‘specularis lapis’ (cf. Pliny Nat. 36.160), probably a transparent selenite or gypsum.) The A tradition might originally have read ‘specular vitreum’ before the corruption to vitrium and the incorporation of specular in line 1, where A has ‘perspicior specular penitus’. Against lemmata with de, see Aenig. 1 le. n. above. Although the singular form is rare (cf. just Tert. Anim. 53.5 ‘per corneum specular’), specular, without qualification, is confirmed by the similar lemma of the next riddle, Aenig. 69 speculum. For the manufacture of glass window panes, see Denise Allen, ‘Roman Window Glass’ in Miranda Aldhouse-Green and Peter Webster edd., Artefacts and Archaeology: Aspects of the Celtic and Roman World, Cardiff 2002, 102–11. Until about AD 300 they were made from a molten glass mass which was poured on to a tray of sorts (possibly of terracotta), flattened using a block of wood and then pulled out and squared with tools, being re-heated as necessary. The resulting ‘matt glossy’ glass was translucent but not transparent; cf. N-R at Hor. Carm. 3.13.1. Increasingly from AD 300, however, window glass was made by blowing a large blob, elongating this into a cylinder by swinging it and then cutting and opening it out into a flat sheet while it was still warm. This resulted in more transparent panes and is probably the process envisaged in this riddle, although the perfect transparency proclaimed in lines 1–2 would fall below modern standards. (For colourless glass – albeit not described in the context of windows – see E. Marianne Stern in Oleson, 528–9.) Fragments of window glass survive in abundance from across the Roman Empire, but the most memorable evidence is perhaps the impressions of broken pieces left in the lava in Herculaneum’s suburban baths (cf. Allen ibid. 109). Complete panes include e.g. GR 1772.3–17.21, also from Herculaneum and now in the BM. Aenig. 68 continues the light theme beginning in Aenig. 67, with which there are further thematic and verbal links. Again, especially in line 3, the glass recalls man’s technological triumph over Nature (cf. Aenig. 67 le. n. above). Perspicior (line 1) recalls perlucida (Aenig. 67.1), luminis (line 1) recalls lumen (Aenig. 67.2), and sol (Aenig. 68.3) recalls ‘divini sideris instar’ (see at Aenig. 67.2). For the idea of ‘containment of light’, which unites Aenig. 67–9, see Aenig. 67 le. and 2 nn. above and on ‘emicat in me’, line 3 below. The protection from the elements afforded by the window in winter (hiems, line 3) is in accordance with the Saturnalia’s mid-winter date, for which see Introduction (3)(a) section A. As well as interpolating specular, A misorders the lines from Aenig. 68.1 onwards as follows: 68.1; 69.2–3; 68.2–3; 69 le.; 69.1; 70.1; 70.3. It omits 70.2. The copyist possibly jumped from Aenig. 68.1 to 69.2–3 after confusing the similar lemmata of Aenig. 68 and 69 (perhaps before specular was dropped from ‘specular vitreum/vitrium’ and incorporated in Aenig. 68.1) and filled in Aenig. 69.1 afterwards. A may have omitted Aenig. 70.2 because it and line 1 begin with similar words (lex, ius) and both close with -endi.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

1 perspicior penitus: cf. Prud. Cath. 5.144 ‘perspicuo . . . vitro’, of the clear glass through which lamp-light shines. The transparency of the window pane here is emphasized not only by the p alliteration (cf. Var. Men. 209 of cetarii looking for tunny, who climb aloft ‘ut penitus per aquam perspiciant pisces’), but also by the words’ position at the start of the line and the repetition of their sense in the second hemistich (where the active and negatived arceo counters the positive and passive perspicior). nec luminis arceo visus: cf. Stat. Theb. 5.285 ‘visus arcentibus umbris’. Lumen here means ‘eye’ (OLD2 s.v. lumen §9) in contrast to the senses of Aenig. 67.2 lumen, for which see ad loc. The tautologous combination of visus and lumen finds parallels e.g. at Lucr. 5.101 ‘oculorum . . . visu’ and Quint. Inst. 1.2.11. See too ThLL VII(2).1819.51–4 s.v. lumen [Ehlers]. 2 transmittens oculos: for transmitto meaning ‘give passage to’, see L-S s.v. transmitto §1A2, OLD2 s.v. transmitto §5; cf. Sen. Epist. 90.25 ‘[sc. usus] speculariorum . . . transmittentium lumen’. Trans- picks up per- in line 1, while oculos continues perspicior and ‘luminis . . . visus’. ultra mea membra meantes: cf. Manil. 1.553 ‘qua per inane meant oculi quaque ire recusant’ and see L-S s.v. meo §II. Membra, referring to the substance of the glass, continues the personification of the first-person verbs in line 1. The m alliteration (note also transmittens) further emphasizes the window pane’s transparency. ultra Baehrens: intra codd. Intra contradicts transmittens and perspicior (line 1), and conflicts with the contrast (surely intended) between lines 1–2 and ‘nec . . . transit’ in line 3. It may have arisen under influence of ‘in me’ in line 3 and the ‘containment of light’ theme; cf. the le. n. above. Ultra restores the required sense. 3 nec me transit hiems, sed sol tamen emicat in me: for sed followed by tamen after a clause with concessive force, cf. OLD2 s.v. sed §6. Sol contrasts with hiems in the first hemistich. On final monosyllables, see Introduction (3)(d). ‘In me’ is a playful, punning reversal of emicat, i.e. ex micat. nec me transit hiems: as often, hiems here means ‘winter weather’: OLD2 s.v. hiems §1. For windows excluding winter weather, cf. Pliny Ep. 2.17.4 ‘egregium hae adversus tempestates receptaculum; nam specularibus . . . muniuntur’ (of an atrium and porticus). Note also Mart. 8.14.3–4 ‘hibernis obiecta Notis specularia puros/ admittunt soles et sine faece diem’, of panes of glass in a greenhouse which exclude the winter wind while admitting the daylight. S. would have known this epigram, along with Mart. 8.68, which also describes a greenhouse but uses ‘perspicua . . . gemma’ (line 5) instead of specularia, but his use of sol (‘sun’) in the second hemistich differs from Martial’s of soles: see below. For S.’s knowledge of Martial, and particularly the Xenia and Apophoreta, see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. sed sol tamen emicat in me: emico is used of the internal reflection of light in an amethyst at Pliny Nat. 37.42: ‘ille emicans in amethysto fulgor’. This usage is apt,



especially if the amethyst were cut and faceted, but, despite ‘in me’, the word must mean something different in S.: sunlight does not ‘sparkle within’ a window pane. Instead, it reflects off it. It ‘shines out’. Cf. perhaps Prud. Cath. 2.56 ‘cum sol resurgens emicat’ (a parallel possibly suggesting a late usage). While describing in the first two lines the transparency of the window for someone on the inside looking out and, in the first half of line 3, the protection it affords from the elements, S. seems next to be describing the sun’s reflection on the glass seen by a person looking inwards; cf. Aenig. 69.2 ‘fulgor . . . radianti luce coruscus’ of the light ‘contained’ (‘inest intus’) in a mirror.

69 A mirror16 No shape is fixed for me, none is foreign. There is within a brightness flashing with beaming light which shows nothing unless it has seen something earlier. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPRS gGhITVwawb le. speculum: this riddle, describing a mirror, concludes the series on light, and especially its containment, starting with Aenig. 67, at which see the le. n. Most surviving ancient mirrors are of bronze, and there is nothing in the body of this riddle to suggest glass. However, its positioning after Aenig. 68 specular might indicate this, as might the parallel, if the words refer to the sun reflecting off a mirror-like window, between Aenig. 68.3 ‘sol . . . emicat in me’ and ‘fulgor inest intus radianti luce coruscus’, line 2 below. Glass mirrors are often dated to the late Empire (OCD4 s.v. glass [F. N. Pryce, M. Vickers]; cf. Forbes V.187–8), but it can be very difficult to distinguish them from other pieces of glass once they have lost their surrounds, and so many earlier examples may not have been recognized for what they are. In fact they became a common domestic item from the first century BC; cf. Rabun Taylor, The Moral Mirror of Roman Art, Cambridge 2008, 9. Glass mirrors owed their reflective properties to a backing of metal foil, wax or plaster; cf. Ohl ad loc., OCD4 s.v. mirrors [G. Lloyd Morgan]. Metal mirrors (bronze, gold and silver) had, in contrast, to be kept highly polished. There are several glass mirrors from Roman Egypt in the Petrie Museum (University College London) which, while not precisely provenanced, are assigned by the museum to the second century AD. Note e.g. UC22479, a very attractive folding double mirror or ‘compact’ with a red leather surround. D-S IV(2).1428 col. 2 ff. s.v. speculum [de Ridder] gives a great deal of general information. Although Isidore Orig. 19.31.18 betrays some uncertainty over the origins of the word speculum (‘dictum . . . speculum vel quod ex splendore reddatur, vel quod ibi feminae intuentes considerent speciem sui vultus’), Varro is more confident: L. 6.82 ‘hinc speculum, quod in eo specimus imaginem’. That the mirror will reflect everything, but the apparently accurate image it presents is in fact insubstantial and transient, makes it a suitable subject for riddling. Other mirror-riddles survive at AP 14.108 (see below) and 56 εἰς εἴσοπτρον: 16

Much of the content below has already appeared in Leary (2011).


Symphosius The Aenigmata

ἄν μ’ ἐσίδῃς, καὶ ἐγὼ σέ. σὺ μὲν βλεφάροισι δέδορκας, ἀλλ’ ἐγὼ οὐ βλεφάροις· οὐ γὰρ ἔχω βλέφαρα. ἂν δ’ ἐθέλῃς, λαλέω φωνῆς δίχα· σοὶ γὰρ ὑπάρχει φωνή, ἐμοὶ δὲ μάτην χείλε’ ἀνοιγόμενα. If you look at me, I look at you too. You look with eyes, however, but I do not look with eyes, for I do not have eyes. And if you like, I speak without a voice, for you have a voice, but I only have lips that open in vain.

With this, cf. Ovid’s description of Narcissus on seeing his reflection. Note especially Met. 3.462 ‘verba refers aures non pervenientia nostras’. 1 nulla mihi certa est, nulla est peregrina figura: this is a hysteron proteron of sorts: the mirror reflects everything (second hemistich) but no reflected image can be counted on (first). The parallelism but paradoxical contradiction of the two line-halves, both beginning with nulla and bound together by the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ mihi and figura, is similar to that of AP 14.108.1 οὐδὲν ἔσωθεν ἔχω, καὶ πάντα μοι ἔνδοθέν ἐστι. The unreality and uncertainty of the mirror’s reflection, with one thing merging into another, is suggested by the prodelision of est with both certa and nulla. The scarcity of prodelision in S. (see Introduction (3)(d)) makes more emphatic the double instance here. The indefiniteness of this line contrasts with Stat. Silv. 3.4.97–8 “‘tu modo fige aciem et vultus hic usque relinque.”/ sic ait et speculum seclusit imagine rapta’, where one of Venus’ Cupids holds a mirror to Earinus on the cutting and dedication of his hair, and on which Shackleton Bailey comments ad loc. (Loeb n., 2003): ‘The Cupid’s powers anticipated photography’. With figura of a reflected image, cf. AL 530 Riese ‘fonte repulsata depicta tuentis imago,/ seu levi in speculo solet apparere figura’, 522–3. 2 fulgor inest intus: cf. Pliny Nat. 7.64 ‘speculorum fulgor’, AL 520.2 Riese ‘speculi fulgore’, Quint. Inst. 11.3.68 ‘quamvis fulgor ille sinistras imagines reddat’, Auson. Mos. 16.235 Green ‘fulgenti . . . metallo’. Intus picks up intus (Aenig. 67.2) and ‘in me’ in Aenig. 68.3. It is combined with inest again at Aenig. 76.1 ‘semper inest intus, sed raro cernitur ignis’ (of flint), a combination which seems not to survive elsewhere. radianti luce coruscus: radianti vel sim. Dγ Hist. Apoll.: radiata B: radientia A: divini T (Bergamin does not report the readings of Ang. and O); coruscus AD(praeter deHP) GI(coruscis)V Hist. Apoll.: coruscans BdeHPghwawb: inestur T. Of these readings, radiata makes some sense, although the perfect participle does not accord with the present inest, and coruscans is also possible; but ‘radianti . . . coruscus’ is better attested. Cf. Venant. Fort. Carm. 8.3.141 ‘radianti luce coruscum’. Divini was inspired by Aenig. 67.2 (where it follows the word intus, as does radianti here), while inestur is unmetrical and meaningless. 3 qui nihil ostendit nisi si quid viderit ante: cf. Aenig. 97.3, of a shadow: ‘quod me nemo movet, nisi qui prius ipse movetur’. Nihil is balanced by quid and ostendit by



viderit. For ostendere of a reflective surface, cf. Hor. Ep. 1.5.23–4 ‘ne non . . . lanx/ ostendat tibi te’. With viderit, cf. Sen. Nat. 1.13.1 ‘nihil enim refert quid sit quod speculo ostendatur: quicquid videt reddit.’ Ohl comments ad loc. on the double meaning of ante, which is helped by the personification of fulgor: it has both a temporal sense (the mirror has first to ‘see’ before it can reflect) and a local one: the mirror can only reflect what is in front of it. nisi si quid viderit ante: si quid ceMO: si quod waGI: iam quod gh: quicquid Ang.: quid ARS Hist. Apoll.: quod αdHPTVwb: vel quod quid β: vel K. The omission of si after nisi is easily explained by haplography, and it is probable that iam in gh was a scribal supplement to fill out the metre. This was also the case with the more attractive quicquid (cf. Sen. Nat. 1.13.1 cited above), and possibly too with vel, although βK are unmetrical. Deciding whether to read quid or quod is more difficult, since either is possible; cf. the uncertainty perhaps betrayed by β, which records both. However, quid is more common, it has the support of Hist. Apoll. with its independent tradition, and its positive associations (OLD2 s.v. aliquis §9a: ‘something (as opposed to nothing)’) go better after nihil; cf. §9a, Cic. Att. 4.14.2 ‘si nihil habebis, tamen scribas aliquid’.

70 A water-clock I am the kindly law of speaking, I am also the harsh law of keeping silent, the rule of the greedy tongue, an end to talking without end, myself flowing while the words flow so that the tongue may rest. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPRS gGhIVwawb le. clepsydra: the clepsydra or water-clock was first introduced to Rome by Scipio in 159 BC; cf. Pliny Nat. 7.215 ‘tunc Scipio Nasica collega Laenati primus aqua divisit horas aeque noctium ac dierum idque horologium sub tecto dicavit anno urbis DXCV’. It was especially used in the law courts and assemblies as a means of dividing equitably the available time between opposing speakers. Four glasses were generally reckoned to the hour, but it appears that they could be regulated if necessary to run more slowly; cf. Sherwin-White at Pliny Ep. 2.11.14 ‘dixi horis paene quinque; nam duodecim clepsydris, quas spatiosissimas acceperam, sunt additae quattuor’. On water-clocks generally see Robert Hannah in Oleson, 752–4. For details of the clepsydra, see Ohl, le. n., Grewing at Mart. 6.35.1, D-S III(1).261 col. 1 ff. s.v. horologium [E. Ardaillon], DNP XII(1).973–4 s.v. Uhr [G. Dohrn-van Rossum]. This riddle begins a new series, which ends with Aenig. 76 silex. Although it incorporates widely differing subjects (e.g. water-clocks and flint), the riddles all feature one or more of the four elements and have a mechanical, technological or building interest which follows easily after the technological content of the previous section (for this, see Aenig. 67 le. n.). The definite bounds and certainty imposed on a speaker by the clepsydra contrast with the uncertainty of an image reflected in the speculum of Aenig. 69. It may be pertinent that mirrors as well as water-clocks were used by orators;


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cf. Quint. Inst. 11.3.68 ‘decor quoque a gestu atque motu venit. ideoque Demosthenes grande quoddam intuens speculum componere actionem solebat; adeo, quamvis fulgor ille sinistras imagines reddat, suis demum oculis credidit quod efficeret.’ Aenig. 70 bears a slight resemblance to Mart. 14.208 notarius: currant verba licet, manus est velocior illis: nondum lingua suum, dextra peregit opus.

This describes a shorthand writer, again a feature of the law courts, and S. may have been influenced by it. (For Martial and S., see Introduction (3)(a) Proem.) Having muddled the lines in Aenig. 68 and 69, A omits the lemma to this riddle, thus conflating it with the last, and numbers each of the successive riddles in the new series lower by one than in the other MSS. It then inserts an extra riddle (see Aenig. 76 le. n.), which restores the numerical sequence. 1 lex bona dicendi, lex sum quoque dura tacendi: each half-line begins with lex. The opposed bona and dura correspond, as do dicendi and tacendi The internal rhyme in these words continues in loquendi, line 2, which completes the talking–silence–talking sequence. For other instances of internal rhyme in S., see line 2 below and Introduction (3)(c). Lex, which recalls the water-clock’s forensic use, here refers to the power of the clepsydra to control the length of a speech; cf. Cic. Verr. 32 ‘legitimo tempore’ of the time Cicero is allowed for speaking. The lex is ‘kindly’, since it guarantees the orator his say (for the use of bonus here, cf. Luc. 2.390 ‘[sc. Cato] in commune bonus’ and see ThLL II.2087.28 ff. s.v. bonus [Hey]), and it is ‘harsh’, since, when his time is up, the speaker is forbidden to continue – even if he is a tribune: Pliny Ep. 1.23.2. It is not employed here to indicate good or acceptable linguistic usage, as e.g. at Quint. Inst. 1.5.29 ‘lex sermonis’; cf. 1.8.14 ‘contra legem loquendi’, Juv. 6.453 ‘servata semper lege et ratione loquendi’. 2 ius avidae linguae, finis sine fine loquendi: the two half-lines are similar in meaning. The words ‘avidae linguae’ and loquendi both balance and vary one another (a noun–adjective pair in the genitive or dative and a gerund in the genitive). Both half-lines contain internal rhyme: ‘avidae linguae’ and ‘finis sine fine’. The word-play on finis finds continuation in the double application (to words and water) of fluo in line 3. ius avidae linguae: cf. Cic. Sen. 46, regarding old age: ‘sermonis aviditatem auxit’. Ius picks up lex at the start of line 1. (The similarity of these words may have played a part in prompting A’s omission of line 2; cf. Aenig. 68 le. n. above.) Its juxtaposition with avidae is telling: while avidus connotes excessive desire (cf. Ovid Fasti 6.145 ‘avidis . . . linguis’ of greedy and child-devouring screech owls), ius indicates the controlling of it; cf. possibly Hor. Ars 70–1 ‘usus/ quem penes . . . est ius . . . loquendi’, with which Brink ad loc. compares Var. L. 9.5 ‘eorum [sc. orators and poets] non idem ius’, regarding usage of expression and vocabulary.



finis sine fine loquendi: cf. Verg. A. 6.76 ‘finem dedit ore loquendi’, Pl. As. 605 ‘sermoni iam finem face tuo’. 3 ipsa fluens dum verba fluunt ut lingua quiescat: the synchronous flow of words and water, which is suggested by the run-on lines throughout the riddle (rare in S.: see Praef. 9–10 n.), is reflected in line 3 by the three-part line-structure: a marked third-foot caesura in accordance with S.’s usual practice (see Introduction (3)(d) and n. 122) would here be disruptive. Lingua recalls and qualifies ‘avidae linguae’ in line 2; quiescat (last word, bringing the riddle to an emphatic close) picks up tacendi, last word in line 1.

71 A well Water sunk far from the surface in the deep earth, I am not able to go forth except by way of an excavated course and I am dragged to those above, drawn by another’s toil. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPQRS gGhIVwawb le. puteus: while the word puteus might be used of a spring, as e.g. at Hor. Ep. 1.15.15 ‘puteos perennis’, it here refers to a man-made well: note lines 2 ‘perfossis . . . venis’ (the well has been specially dug) and 3, where the water is drawn ‘alieno . . . labore’ rather than rising naturally. It is therefore in accord with the technological interest of the section beginning with Aenig. 70: see Aenig. 70 le. n. above. (For man’s technical triumph over Nature, here in extracting subterranean water, see Aenig. 62 le. n.) Nonetheless it is not the well that speaks in this riddle but the water in it (lympha, line 1), and it is water and the idea of coming forth or flowing (cf. procedere, line 2) that provides the immediate link between it and the clepsydra of Aenig. 70. (For the elements as a theme in Aenig. 70–6, here earth as well as water, see again Aenig. 70 le. n.) Bergamin suggests that this riddle alludes to the use of well-water in Christian imagery: it has to be extracted from the ground by human toil, just as Christian truths must be extracted by exegesis; but the effort of drawing water was the same for pagan and Christian alike, and a good water supply was fundamentally important to the Roman lifestyle. It would have been particularly valued in the North African dryness known to S., for whose possible African origins see Introduction (1) and n. 22; cf. the bargaining banter over the request for water from the well in Cyrene at Pl. Rud. 431 ff. There is no need to cite Christianity in explaining this riddle. Against the suggestion of Christian influence on S., see Introduction (2) and n.36. For the sinking of well-shafts, cf. Vitr. 8.6.12–13, although he is more concerned with the dangers of working underground than actual water engineering. The history and nature of wells in classical Antiquity is summarized by Andrew I. Wilson in Oleson, 285–7. See too A. T. Hodge, Roman Aqueducts and Water Supply, London 1992, 52–8. 1 mersa procul terris in caespite lympha profundo: cf. AL 486.99 Riese ‘mersi puteis latices’. Procul and profundo balance around terris and caespite, both of which contrast with lympha.


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mersa procul terris: cf. Front. Aq. 18 ‘infra terram aquas mergebant’, although in S. the water is naturally mersa rather than having been led underground. While terra seems here to refer to the surface of the earth, it cannot be paralleled with this sense and does not survive elsewhere thus with procul. It is sometimes used of the Underworld (cf. Prop. 3.5. 39 ‘sub terris sint iura deum et tormenta reorum’), and it would appear that the water here is presented as being dead and ‘buried’ there (cf. Sen. Herc. F. 422 ‘mersus inferis coniunx’, Sen. Thy. 1007–8), but drawn into the world of the living by the efforts of others; cf. on caespite and profundo in the second hemistich and on trahor, line 3 below. in caespite lympha profundo: cf. Aenig. 72.1 ‘in caespite lymphae’ (a line which also contains terra), Col. 10.25 ‘putei . . . sede profunda’, Pliny Nat. 36.161 ‘puteis . . . effoditur [sc. lapis specularis] e profunda altitudine’. Caespes most often refers to the turf or the uppermost layer of soil (OLD2 s.v. caespes §§1–2, ThLL III.110.49 ff. s.v. caespes [Stadler] ‘proprie: gleba terrae una cum gramine’) but could also be used of the ground in general (‘latiore . . . sensu . . . i.q. terra’): see ThLL ibid. 112. 65 ff.; cf. Avienus Descriptio Orbis Terrae 388–9 ‘istius [sc. Libyae] extenti sola caespitis undique sulcant/ gentes innumerae’. Its use here may be a further indication of a late date for S.; cf. Introduction (2) and n. 32. The word’s burial connections (see ThLL ibid. 111.8 ff.) accord with mersa in the first hemistich, the hint of the Underworld in terris and the strong Underworld associations of profundus (OLD2 s.v. profundus §2). The juxtaposition of lympha and profundo suggests a play on profundere. 2 non nisi perfossis possum procedere venis: the prominent p alliteration emphasizes the water’s inability to ‘proceed’ without man’s technological intervention. Note also the repeated n and s sounds. For procedere of liquids, cf. Catul. 64.273–4 ‘[sc. undae] tarde primum clementi flamine pulsae/ procedunt’, Apul. Met. 8.6 ‘lacrimae procedere noluerunt.’ perfossis . . . venis A: profusis (profossis c) . . . venis B: perfossis (S legi non potest) . . . rimis (rimus R: rivis Q) D: perfossis . . . rivis γ. Profusis is inappropriate and doubtless arose through confusion, aided by profundo line 1, of the per- and proabbreviations. Also inappropriate is rimis, of which rivis might be an attempted emendation: cracks, fissures and streams are not specially dug. With perfossis, cf. Pliny Nat. 36.88 ‘perfossis cuniculis’, describing the underground galleries attached to a labyrinth. Vena is regularly used of water courses: see OLD2 s.v. vena §5; cf. Ovid Trist. 3.7.16 ‘fecundae vena . . . aquae’. It is used of underground channels feeding springs at Vitr. 8.1.7 and wells at Vitr. 8.6.13 and 14. Here, however, where the plural is poetic, it indicates a well-shaft; cf. Pliny Nat. 17.76, where it is employed of an irrigation trench. 3 et trahor ad superos: with trahor, cf. Cic. N.D. 2.25 ‘ex puteis iugibus aquam calidam trahi’. In describing the raising of water, this hemistich humorously reverses such locutions as CIL III.14850.10 ‘iam trahor in tenebras’; cf. VIII.21179.4. The superi are



not the gods, as at Aenig. 47.2, but the living, in contrast to the inferi (cf. Verg. A. 6.481, V.Fl. 1.788). The personified water is here being drawn from the realms of the dead, ironically, to enable continued life for the living. alieno ducta labore qualifies ‘non . . . possum procedere’ and ‘nisi perfossis . . . venis’ in line 2. Ducere does not survive elsewhere of drawing water from a well, but compare its use of taking in a fishing line: see OLD2 s.v. duco §21a; cf. Ovid Fast. 6.239 ‘qui lina madentia ducunt’. The effort of drawing water is clearly attested by the grooves commonly found on the inner edge of well-heads: note e.g. the first/second-century marble puteal from Capri in the BM (GR 1805.0703.227); cf. that from the cistern of the House of the Dioscuri in Pompeii: see Roberts 153 (fig. 168).

72 A pipe The earth covers the tree trunk, the waters lie hidden in the ground; the channel is modest, which does not have any banks. In the middle of a piece of wood is borne that which bore pieces of wood. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPQRS gGhIVwawb le. tubus vel sim. D(praeter OR)γ: tubus ligneus A: de tubis vel sim. ORgh: (h)ic tibus ligni βKwa: lign c. A’s ligneus (cf. the nonsensical Bwa readings) is a scribal gloss suggested by ‘ligno . . . ligna’, line 3, which has been drawn into the text and is easily dismissed: a two-word lemma would conflict with the one-word lemmata of the surrounding riddles and S.’s usual practice. (Exceptions are the lemmata of Aenig. 3, 12, 14, 83, 88, 92–4.) Against readings in de, see Aenig. 1 le. n. Although lead was more common for water pipes in the late Empire (for the date of the Aenigmata, see Introduction (2) above), wood was certainly not unknown. Examples of wooden pipe sections, from Billingsgate and Poultry (first/second century AD), can be seen in the Museum of London (77.254/3; ONE). They have an internal diameter of 10–12 cm, thus indeed being modicus (line 2) in comparison with the usual size of a river channel. Pliny Nat. 16.224 lists the types of wood used for piping: ‘pinus, piceae, alni ad aquarum ductus in tubos cavantur’. He continues ‘obrutae terra plurimis duraturae annis eaedem, si non integantur, cito senescunt, mirum in modum fortiores, si umor extra quoque supersit’. Otherwise Roman pipes were commonly made of stone and terracotta. Leather pipes are attested in Phoenicia: Pliny Nat. 5.128 ‘e fonte dulcis aqua tubo coriis facto usque a vado trahitur’. This riddle is related to Aenig. 71 puteus generically and verbally: note Aenig. 72.1 ‘terra . . . in caespite lymphae’ and 71.1 ‘terris in caespite lympha’. See too on line 1 below. It accords with the technological interest of the section from Aenig. 70 to 76, again recalling man’s triumph over Nature (see Aenig. 62 le. n), while also fitting in with the way the other riddles in the section refer to one or more of the elements (see Aenig. 70 le. n.): here, as in Aenig. 71, reference is made to earth and water. On its third-person formulation, see Introduction n. 116.


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1 truncum terra tegit, latitant in caespite lymphae: covering and hiding are emphasized by the alliteration of t in the first half-line and l in the second. Tegit and latitant are juxtaposed on either side of the caesura. For caespes used to mean terra (and employed for varietas here) see Aenig. 71.1 n. above. truncum terra tegit: cf. Aenig. 21.3 ‘malo tegi terra’ of a mole. If ‘terra tegit’ suggests burial here as there, this recalls the burial and Underworld associations of Aenig. 71: see on line 1. In a paradoxical reversal the tree trunk is here below rather than above the ground. 2 alveus est modicus qui ripas non habet ullas: alveus is usual of a river channel and often appears in conjunction with ripae. Hence there were ‘curatores riparum et alvei Tiberis’. This common association emphasizes the riddling paradox that this particular ‘river channel’ does not have banks. 3 in ligno vehitur medio quae ligna vehebat: water was the easiest way of conveying logs and other such materials to their destination. This line, which plays on lignum and vehere, remarks on how the water, which originally conveyed the timber from which the pipe was made, is now carried by it. Similar is Aenig. 62.3 ‘terra tamen mittit quod terrae munera praestat’, describing a bridge. vehitur medio quae Shackleton Bailey: vehitur medio quod vel sim. cDγ: modico vehiturque A: vehitur modicoque (qui β) βK: medio vehitur quae Baehrens. Quod, cDγ, is ungrammatical since lympha (cf. lymphae, line 1) is feminine. Hence Shackleton Bailey, Glorie and Baehrens print quae; cf. -que in K and A. Baehrens’ reversal of cDγ’s ‘vehitur medio’ was perhaps prompted by the order of A’s ‘modico vehitur’ (modico, also in βK, was introduced under the influence of modicus in line 2), but it destroys the ‘l- . . . v- . . . l- . . . v- . . .’ arrangement with medio in the middle.

73 Bellows I do not die at once when my breath goes out for it returns continually although it also keeps withdrawing, and now my supply of breath is great, now it is nothing. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPQRS gGhIVwawb le. uter vel sim. D(praeter Ang.PR)GIV: follis Bwawb: uter follis A: de follibus gh: de viris R: Ang. legi non potest: om. P. Deciding between uter and follis is difficult. Follis is attractive, being the usual word for bellows. Noting the personification and ‘breathing’ of the bellows in the riddle (see below), cf. Tert. Anim. 10.7 ‘spirari cur non putes sine pulmonum follibus’ and the metaphorical and satirical Juv. 7.111 ‘tunc immensa cavi spirant mendacia folles’. Also follis is the lemma of Mart. 14.47, describing a bladder ball, and the Aenigmata often echo Martial’s lemmata: see Introduction (3)(a) Proem.



Uter nonetheless has appeal (cf. Polyb. 21.28.15 ἀσκόν, ᾧπερ οἱ χαλκεῖς χρῶνται and possibly Ovid Am. 3.12.29, describing the bag in which Aeolus tied up the winds for Odysseus), since the word is probably an adaptation of ὑδρία (OLD2 s.v. uter1) and so would accord with the concern of the preceding three epigrams with water. It is certainly lectio difficilior. As often A combines the variants of B and D: see Introduction (5) section B and n. 155. Against lemmata in de, see Aenig. 1 le. n. R’s viris may have been prompted by the riddle’s ‘breathing’ personification of the bellows. This riddle continues the series beginning at Aenig. 70: it has both a technological interest (bellows would have been used e.g. in metalworking and as part of hypocaust systems) and, leaving aside the possibility that uter suggests water, its use in fire-making and its association with air (spiritus, line 1, and ‘animae . . . facultas’ in line 3) are in keeping with the presence of one or more of the four elements in each of the riddles. It is possible that ‘magna . . . nulla’ in line 3 recalls Aenig. 72.2 ‘modicus . . . ullas’. The action of bellows is given poetic treatment also at Verg. A. 3.449–50 ‘alii ventosis follibus auras/ accipiunt redduntque’, G. 4.171–2 and Auson. Mos. 16.267–8 Green ‘sic ubi fabriles exercet spiritus ignes/ accipit alterno cohibetque foramine ventos/ lanea fagineis alludens parma cavernis’. (With accipere and reddere, cf. ‘redit . . . recedit’, line 2 below.) For bellows generally, see Paul T. Craddock in Oleson, 102–3. A bellows with a protective shield is depicted on the first/second-century tomb of a blacksmith in the Archaeological Museum at Aquileia: see Paul Veyne ed., A History of Private Life. From Pagan Rome to Byzantium, trans. Arthur Goldstone, Cambridge MA and London 1987, 133. 1 non ego continuo morior, dum spiritus exit: for dum meaning cum, cf. Aenig. 81.3 ‘dum cecidi’; cf. Eduard Wölfflin ed., Archiv für lateinische Lexicographie und Grammatik vol. X, Leipzig 1898, 373 on the interchangeable usage of dum and cum by Gregory of Tours; also Praef. 3 n. above. For other linguistic indications of S.’s late date, see Introduction (2) and n. 32. The personification of the bellows is paradoxical: most things would die when their spiritus departed. (Exit is deliberately placed at the end of the line.) The bellow’s ‘expiring’ is envisaged also at Aetna 563–4 ‘folles . . . trementes/ exanimant pressoque instigant agmine ventos’. dum spiritus exit: cf. Ovid Ars 3.741 ‘iam spiritus exit in auras’ of the dying Procris. Spiritus is used both of life-spirit and the air in bellows again at Pl. Bac. 9–10 ‘scio spiritum eius maiorem esse multo/ quam folles taurini habent’. 2 nam redit adsidue, quamvis et saepe recedit: the line explains ‘non . . . continuo morior’ in line 1. It is chiastic, with redit and recedit balancing, as do adsidue and saepe. These latter words here mean much the same; cf. Ter. Ad. 60 ‘venit ad me saepe’ (‘he keeps coming to me’). redit . . . recedit: both words continue the ‘breath-of-life’ idea contained in line 1; cf. Hor. Carm. 4.8.14–15 describing the marble inscriptions ‘per quae spiritus et vita redit


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bonis/ post mortem ducibus’ and Lucr. 3.439 ‘cum semel [sc. anima] ex hominis membris ablata recessit’, and also Verg. A. 4.705 ‘in ventos vita recessit’. 3 et mihi nunc magna est animae, nunc nulla facultas: ‘nunc magna’ and ‘nunc nulla’ balance, while the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ facultas (‘supply’: see OLD2 s.v. facultas §5a, L-S s.v. facultas §II) binds the line together around the shared animae. Anima continues the paradoxical personification and the double meaning of spiritus in line 1: the bellows have either a large supply of wind/life-breath or none – and yet they do not die; cf. Tert. adv. Marc. 5.9.3 ‘ita vocabulum mortuum non est nisi quod amisit animam, de cuius facultate vivebant’. Anima is used of the wind in bellows also at Verg. A. 8.403. The prodelision of magna and est might here help illustrate the bellows’ continual supply and lack of breath. For the rarity of prodelision in S., especially in the middle of the line, see Introduction (3)(d). et mihi nunc B(om. nunc K)wag: nunc mihi AD (et nunc mihi M)ghV: nunc mihi sic I: nunc mihi nunc wb: nuncque mihi Camerarius Riese: om. G. Bergamin cites two readings for g and I. Her incorrect I reading is omitted above. The repetition of nunc by wb is inept, sic (added by I to restore the metre and followed by Baehrens) is pedestrian and the -que of Camerarius and Riese is without support. The Bwag reading allows the most emphatic contrast between magna and nulla.

74 A stone I am a Deucalion, safe from the cruel sea, a relation of the earth but much harder than it. Let a letter be subtracted, I shall also have the name of a winged creature. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPRS ghIVwawb le. lapis: the first two lines of this riddle are based on the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha, the sole human survivors of the flood sent by Zeus to destroy the human race because of its wickedness. This story is an appropriate subject for S. since, when asked how to repopulate the world, the goddess Themis framed her reply to the humans in riddling terms: ‘ossa . . . post tergum magnae iactate parentis’ (Ovid Met. 1.383). Deucalion interpreted these words as follows: ‘magna parens terra est: lapides in corpore terrae/ ossa reor dici’ (Ovid Met. 1.393–4). The stones thrown by Pyrrha became women, those by Deucalion men, and the hardness of these stones (cf. durior, line 2), despite the marvel of their becoming soft after they had been cast (Ovid Met. 1.400 ff.), is cited as the origin of the hardness of the human race: Ovid Met. 1.414; cf. e.g. Verg. G. 1.62–3. (It naturally follows that men too, like stones, are related to the earth; cf. ‘adfinis terrae’, also in line 2.) For the story generally, see e.g. Ovid Met. 1.125–415 and March s.v. Deucalion. In addition to the Deucalion story, the riddle contains a further poser in line 3 ‘littera decedat, volucris quoque nomen habebo’: lapis without the initial letter becomes apis; cf. the similar word-play at Aenig. 36.3 porcus/orcus and the accompanying notes.



The riddle continues the theme of technology and building beginning at Aenig. 70, being the first of three (also Aenig. 75 and 76) that describe building material and specifically types of stone. The relation of stone to earth (line 2) is in accordance with the series’ connection with the four elements; cf. unda, line 1, and volucris (≈ air) in line 3 – which possibly recalls animae in the previous epigram. Although Pyrrha is not directly mentioned in the riddle, her close association with the Deucalion story suggests fire through the meaning of her name. 1 Deucalion ego sum crudeli sospes ab unda: crudelis (h)ospes codd. Heumann’s correction of ‘crudelis (h)ospes’ to ‘-li sospes’ is generally accepted by modern editors (Baehrens, Riese (1st edn), Ohl, Glorie, Bergamin; cf. Shackleton Bailey, reported below), but several have questioned Deucalion (transmitted by all but R, which has just ‘ego sum crudelis hospes’), since it appears to require the stone and stone-thrower to be one and the same. Attempts to emend include Heumann’s ‘Deucalionis ego crudeli sospes’, which calls for egō, and, in his second edition, Riese’s ‘Deucalionea proveni sospes’, which introduces an unparalleled single-word first hemistich. While accepting sospes, Shackleton Bailey otherwise follows the MSS, but places ‘Deucalion . . . crudelis’ in daggers. Instead of obelizing, Ohl explains that the stone is identified via a sort of personification with its wielder: both it and Deucalion have survived the flood. (The use of unda here might suggest the flood’s extensiveness.) Similarly, Bergamin takes Deucalion as a metonym for ‘stone’, i.e. the two are the same thing here, and compares Prud. Apoth. 292 ‘venerator Deucalionum’ of a pagan who reveres statues of men. This seems reasonable and I have followed them. 2 adfinis terrae sed longe durior illa: this line is riddling both through its paradoxical nature (the stone is and at the same time is not something) and in its use of the kenning-like ‘adfinis terrae’. For kennings in S. and in riddles generally, see Aenig. 19.1 n. above. The proverbial hardness of rocks and stones is documented at Otto s.v. saxum §1. Concerning the duritia of the stones in the Deucalion story, see the le. n. above. 3 littera decedat, volucris quoque nomen habebo: for explanation of this line, see the le. n. above. With decedat, cf. e.g. Bonif. Ars gramm. CC 133B 52.561 ‘r litteram decedendo’, commenting on the switch from passive verbs like ducor and legor to their active forms, Ter. Ad. 816 ‘de summa nil decedet’; see ThLL V(1).123.82 ff. s.v. decedo [L.]. Volucris survives of bees also at Ovid Fast. 5.271 ‘volucres . . . mella daturas’ and Var. R. 3.16.7 ‘quae [sc. apes] . . . Musarum esse dicuntur volucres’. The word is used of a fly at Phaedr. 5.3.3; cf. OLD2 s.v. volucris §1c. quoque ABαγ: tum V: mox S: iam Ang.: sic e: om. D(praeter aAng.eS)I. Quoque is not strictly accurate: should lapis lose its initial letter, it becomes just apis, not both words simultaneously. Bergamin prints tum following V and Castalio. She may be correct, but V’s pedestrian logicality suggests scribal intervention; cf. the readings of Ang.eS, which were supplied to restore the metre following D’s omission of the original word.


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75 Lime I have escaped the flames, I have fled the tortures of fire. The very remedy for my death fights in opposition: I burn from water, I am inflamed by icy waves. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPRS ghIVwawb le. calx: since quicklime comes from heating limestone (cf. line 1), this is the second of three ‘stone’ riddles; cf. Aenig. 74 lapis and Aenig. 76 silex. (Note that silex is used of limestone at Ovid Met. 7.107–8 ‘aut ubi terrena silices fornace soluti/ concipiunt ignem liquidarum adspergine aquarum.’) The riddle continues the technological theme beginning at Aenig. 70 by describing a type of building material. Its references to fire and water associate it, like the other riddles in the series, with the elements and link it directly to the previous epigram: flammas and ignis in line 1 recall the name of Deucalion’s consort Pyrrha, while lymphis and undis, line 3, recall unda, Aenig. 74.1. With lymphis, cf. also Aenig. 71.1 lympha and 72.1 lymphae. Although the reaction of lime with water (CaO + H2O) generates considerable heat, the production of calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) is not accompanied by actual combustion.17 It seems, however, that like Ovid (cf. Met. 7.108 ‘concipiunt ignem’ above), S. was unaware of this, thinking that builders’ lime was what was left once the flames had gone out. For lime-based building material, see Frederick A. Cooper in Oleson, 235–8. Vitruvius gives a general discussion of lime (Vitr. 2.5) and describes its use in preparing stucco (Vitr. 7.2) and cement for cisterns (Vitr. 8.6.14). 1 evasi flammas, ignis tormenta profugi: the words in this grimly but humorously personifying line are carefully ordered so that the verbs balance one another at the beginning and end, as do flammas and ignis around the caesura. Fire was used for both torture (tormenta) and execution; cf. Aenig. 47.3 n. above. Execution is possibly hinted at by fato in line 2. 2 ipsa medella meo pugnat contraria fato: medella survives of fire-fighting precautions at Gel. 15.1.4 ‘qua medella quaque sollertia ignem defenderes, ut ne ulla tua aedificatio e ligno correpta atque insinuata flammis arderet’. With the adverbial contraria, cf. Luc. 9.333–4 ‘ventis contraria volvens/ aestus’. 3 ardeo de lymphis, gelidis accendor ab undis: cf. Pliny Nat. 33.94 ‘calx aqua accenditur’, Aug. Civ. 21.4 ‘cum [sc. calx] extinguitur, tunc accenditur’, Sen. Nat. 3.24.4. This paradoxical line repeats and expands on the previous one. It is carefully arranged: ardeo is balanced by accendor as is ‘de lymphis’ by the poetic ‘ab undis’, in an interlocking pattern which links the half-lines. Accendor and gelidis are tellingly juxtaposed.


My thanks here to Mr David Keyworth.



ardeo de (ardeo eR) D(praeter Ang.)γ: infrigidor vel sim. ABAng.wawb: infundor Baehrens. Since quicklime is heated rather than being cooled by water, infrigidor gives the precise opposite to the required sense. Like calidis (see below), it is a sort of ‘polar error’. ‘Ardeo de lymphis’ is consistent with the lime’s paradoxical nature. With de here, cf. Pl. Truc. 632 ‘mihi de vento . . . condoluit caput’; see L-H-Sz II.262: this use of de is frequent in late Latin, which is of some help in dating the Aenigmata. See Introduction (2) and n. 32 above. There is nevertheless some attraction in Baehrens’ infundor, taken as the first part of a paratactic conditional construction, i.e. ‘If I am flooded, I am . . .’; see L-H-Sz II.657, J. Svennung, ‘Lateinische Nebensätze ohne Subordinationswort’, Glotta 22 (1934), 164 ff. This is another ‘late’ usage, like ardeo it would balance with accendor, and, in beginning the line, it would be picked up by undis at the end. gelidis . . . ab undis: gelidis Baehrens: calidis ABAng.wa: mediis (-ios dHPS) D(praeter Ang.)γ. Mediis is illogical: why should the calx be affected by the middle of the water/ waves? Calidis destroys the paradox: there is nothing remarkable about being inflamed by something hot. To illustrate the corruption of gelidis Shackleton Bailey cites AL 164 ShB de balneis: una salus homini est gelidum (Sh.B.: calidum A) captare lavacrum, ne tepidus reddat morbida membra vapor.

For other ‘polar errors’ and discussion of the phenomenon, see e.g. E. Christian Kopff, ‘An emendation in Herodotus 7.9.β.2’, AJPh 96 (1975), 117–20, and Ward W. Briggs, Jr., ‘Housman and Polar Errors’, AJPh 104 (1983), 268–77; cf. Aenig. 3.1 n.

76 Flint Fire is always within, but it is rarely seen, for it lies hidden inside but comes forth to blows alone. It needs neither wood to live nor water to die. MSS: A αAng.deHMOPRS ghIVwawb This riddle is transmitted by the D family and γ. It is omitted by B, which has an alternative. A preserves both B and D versions, as often: see Introduction (5) section B and n. 155. The B alternative reads as follows (Shackleton Bailey’s text): virtus magna mihi duro; mollitur ab igne (igni A) cessantique (-teque Aβ) foco intus mihi virtus adhaeret: semper inest in me, sed raro cernitur ignis.

A has silex as the lemma of the B version, aliter as that of the D. By including both versions, it synchronizes its numbering again with the other MSS: see at Aenig. 70 le. n. Its lemmata possibly suggest that it added the D version to a text already containing the


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version in B. For discussion of this and the deductions made from it, see Introduction (5) section B. Of modern editors, only Baehrens and Glorie accept the B variant. Baehrens rejects the D version as an editorial attempt to improve the text. Glorie prints both versions, numbering the B variant Aenig. 77. His lemma reads aliter. While Glorie changes only the punctuation of the text given above (‘mihi; duro’, ‘foco,’), Baehrens emends as follows, thus removing the repetition of virtus and the hiatus in line 2: virtus magna mihi: durus mollibor ab igni, cessantique foco fomes mihi vivus adhaeret: semper inest in me, sed raro cernitur ignis.

There remains, however, the lack of an expressed verb in the first hemistich of line 1, contrary to S.’s usual practice (see Aenig. 48.2 n.). Also, while the sense of mollitur in line 1 of the transmitted version is difficult, ‘durus mollibor’ is no improvement, since flint is not softened by fire. Neither ‘durus mollibor’ nor fomes, line 2, has MS support. Finally, the B version lacks the richness supplied, e.g. by the lignis and undis contrast in line 3, and without undis it is denied one of the links with Aenig. 75: see below. le. silex: the third of the ‘stone’ riddles, Aenig. 76 concludes the building and technology series starting at Aenig. 70. The word silex could be used for any hard rock (OLD2 s.v. silex §1a), and it is probably basalt that Martial means at Mart. 9.75.1 when speaking of the construction of baths (see Henriksén ad loc.). Something similar would have been used for paving, which provides a link with Aenig. 77 rotae; cf. the passages cited in the le. n., which illustrate silex used of road surfaces. However, in concentrating on its fire-making properties, Aenig. 76 makes it plain that silex means ‘flint’ here; cf. Verg. G. 1.135 ‘ut silicis venis abstrusum excuderet ignem’, Verg. A. 1.174 ‘silici scintillam excudit’, 6.6–7 ‘quaerit pars semina flammae/ abstrusa in venis silicis’, Pliny Nat. 11.214 ‘ut ignis elidatur velut e silice’. (For the ways and difficulties of generating fire in the ancient world, see OCD4 s.v. fire [J. T. Vallance].) Nevertheless ‘fire-making’ flint would also have been used where locally available for construction work. The concern of Aenig. 76 with fire and its reference to water mean that, like the other riddles in the series, it features some of the elements. These supply the links with the previous riddle. Ignis (line 1) recalls flammas and ignis in Aenig. 75.1, and line 3 ‘nec ut occidat [sc. eget] undis’ recalls and contrasts with Aenig. 75.3 ‘ardeo de lymphis’ and ‘gelidis accendor ab undis’. Regarding riddles in the third person, see Introduction n. 116. 1 semper inest intus, sed raro cernitur ignis: cf. Aenig. 69.2 ‘fulgor inest intus’. Intus is picked up and explained in line 2 by ‘intus enim latitant’, with which compare the similar words, although the context is totally different, at Paul. Nol. Carm. 19.404 ‘intus enim latitabant mystica vasa’. The line’s paradoxical content, that fire is always present



yet is seldom seen, is emphasized by the parallel arrangement ‘semper inest . . . sed raro cernitur’, with ignis supplying the subject of both verbs. 2 intus enim latitat, sed solos prodit ad ictus: cf. the references to hidden (abstrusus) fire and to blows (excudere) in the lines about flint quoted in the le. n. Solos emphasizes the effort needed to make a fire: nothing but blows will suffice. intus enim latitat: cf. Aenig. 63.3 ‘intus lympha latet’. There is a proverbial ring to ‘hidden fire’. Cf. perhaps Call. Ep. 44.2 (= AP 12.139) πῦρ ὑπὸ τῇ σποδιῇ, cited as Call. Ep. 46.2 by Otto, s.v. ignis §5. Fire is also hidden in ash at Lucr. 4.926 ‘cinere ut multa latet obrutus ignis’. 3 nec lignis ut vivat eget, nec ut occidat undis: the words in this line are carefully arranged around the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ eget so as to emphasize their paradoxical content through balance and contrast: ‘nec . . . ut . . . nec ut’, ‘lignis . . . undis’, ‘vivat . . . occidat’. Unlike other kinds of fire, the spark from a flint is struck rather than fed and dies without being doused. With occidere, cf. Sen. Oed. 308 ‘[sc. flamma] subito refulsit lumine et subito occidit’, Petr. 22.6 ‘lucernis occidentibus oleum infuderat’; see ThLL IX(2).350.23 ff. s.v. occido [Baer].

77 Wheels Four equal sisters run skilfully as if in this way striving, although the task for all is one and the same; and they are equally close and yet cannot touch one another. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPR SghIVwawb le. rotae: in describing wheels and effectively a waggon (for the synecdoche, see OLD2 s.v. rota §1c), this riddle begins a short series on single entities with multiple components. Its plural lemma, which contrasts with S.’s usual practice, corresponds with that of Aenig. 78 scalae. Although A places this riddle after Aenig. 78, it should clearly follow Aenig. 76, since hard stone or silex was used to pave the roads along which the wheels would run: see OLD2 s.v. silex §1b; cf. CIL X.5204 ‘viam silice sternendum . . . curaverunt’, Stat. Silv. 4.3.1. See too Lionel Casson, Travel in the Ancient World, London 1974, 168–9: ‘Where traffic was heavy . . . [the Romans] laid a first quality road, a “via silice strata” “road paved with silex”, i.e. with polygonal paving stones of durable igneous rock, such as basalt (silex), granite or porphyry’. Casson comments on waggons generally, loc. cit. 179. Four-wheeled carriages are illustrated in Balsdon figs 11a–b. A reconstruction of a four-wheeled cart, probably one used by craftsmen to transport their materials and instruments, is depicted in Ciarallo and De Carolis, 248. Given his etymologizing elsewhere, it is possible that the scholastic S. (see Introduction (3)(a) section C) has particularly in mind the petor(r)itum, a name derived from petru (Gallic for ‘four’) and *rota (‘a wheel’); cf. Paul ex Fest. 207, cited by


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Maltby s.v. petor(r)itum: ‘petoritum, et Gallicum vehiculum esse, et nomen eius dictum existimant a numeri quattuor rotarum’; also Gell. 15.30. For the Gallic contribution to vehicle words in Latin, see L. R. Palmer, The Latin Language, London 1954, 53. Martial’s influence on S. (see Introduction (3)(a) Proem.) may account in part for the inclusion of this riddle. Note Mart. 14.168 trochus: inducenda rota est: das nobis utile munus: iste trochus pueris, at mihi cantus erit.

1 quattuor aequales currunt ex arte sorores: Ohl explains ‘i.e. through the skill by which they have been conjoined they equally pursue an equal course’, although the line may allude also to the skill needed for waggon-driving; cf. Ovid Ars 1.4 ‘arte leves currus [sc. moventur]’. aequales . . . sorores: as is demonstrated by the Pompeian reconstruction (see le. n. above) and also by fig.  23.5 in Oleson, the wheels of the four-wheeled Roman waggon were of equal size and status. Contrast Ovid Ars 1.264 ‘imparibus vecta Thalea rotis’ and Pont. 3.4.86 ‘disparibus . . . rotis’, where the force of the image lies in the fact that, unusually, the ‘wheels’ of elegiac verse are not ‘equal’. Soror is regularly used of things joined or associated; cf. Mart. 14.148.2 ‘iunctae . . . sorores’ (of lodices), Catul. 66.51 (hairs), Pl. Poen. 417–18 (left and right hands), Aenig. 85.2 below; see OLD2 s.v. soror §3. Nonetheless, the personification it introduces, along with currunt, is in keeping with S.’s practice of personifying the subject of his riddles elsewhere. For the riddle’s use of third-person verbs, see, however, the introductory n. to Aenig. 96. currunt: cf. Ovid Pont. 4.9.9–10 ‘si . . . mea sincero curreret axe rota’ and the use of currus to designate a wheeled vehicle: see OLD2 s.v. currus §1a–d. 2 sic quasi certantes: that the wheels actually work together is confirmed in the second hemistich, but it appears that they are competing in a race against one another. Certantes picks up currunt: for the word’s use of a footrace, cf. e.g. Sal. Jug. 6.1 ‘cursu . . . certare’, Sis. hist. 30 ‘. . . ali saltu ac velocitate certare’. For certare of competing siblings (stars vying in brightness), cf. Manil. 5.141 ‘certantis luce sorores’. cum sit labor omnibus unus: cf. Verg. G. 4.184 ‘omnibus una quies operum, labor omnibus unus’ of bees, an allusion which is discussed by Dale Scott: see Introduction (3)(e) above. Unus at the end of the line balances and contrasts with quattuor at the start of line 1. 3 et prope sunt pariter nec se contingere possunt: the paradox, that the wheels are equally close together but effectively far apart, since they cannot touch, is pointed by et and nec at the start of each hemistich. Pariter recalls aequales in line 1.



78 A ladder I am what climbs to the sky, seeking the heavens, something which a single series holds in a unified structure so that clinging together I am accompanied to the heights by means of myself. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPRS ghVwawb le. scalae AKD(praeter dMOR)γ: scala cβM: de scala ORgh: d legi non potest. Scalae were either flights of stairs (cf. e.g. Mart. 1.117.7) or ladders. This riddle, which deals with the latter, is the second in the series of singular entities comprising a number of parts, here rungs; cf. Aenig. 77. le. n. ‘Unus . . . ordo’, line 2, recalls Aenig. 77.2 ‘labor . . . unus’, and further connection between the two riddles is possibly supplied by ‘concordi fabrica’, line 2, and Aenig. 77.1 ‘ex arte’. Several examples of Roman ladders survive, e.g. that in the Museum of London (21234; first century, from Queen’s Street). According to Varro the singular forms scala and scopa (cf. Aenig. 79) are incorrect because a ladder/stairway has a number of rungs/steps and a broom is made up of many twigs: L. 9.69, 10.24. See also Löfstedt I.31–2. The singular reading transmitted here conflicts with the plural forms in the riddle itself (which must be translated as singulars) and the plural lemma of Aenig. 77. Note too that Hist. Apoll. 43 has scalae. On the singular scopa in the lemma of Aenig. 79, see, however, below. Against lemmata in de, see Aenig. 1 le. n. 1 nos sumus ad caelum quae scandimus, alta petentes: scandimus ABγ: tendimus D (praeter MOR)wb Hist. Apoll. 43 (Recensio B): contendimus MOR: scandit Hist. Apoll. 43 (Recensio A). While tendimus makes sense, contendimus does not. Tendimus is nonetheless inferior to scandimus, which is supported by scandit, although this reading neither scans nor agrees with nos, and is confirmed by S.’s love of word-play and etymologizing: see Introduction (3)(c) and Maltby s.v. scala citing Var. L. 9.69 ‘sic scalas, quod ab scandendo dicuntur’, Isid. Orig. 19.18.4 ‘scalae ab scandendo, id est ascendendo, vocatae.’ For S.’s scholastic affinities, with which such etymologizing is consistent, see Introduction (3)(a) section C. alta petentes: cf. Verg. A. 5.508 ‘alta petens’ of an archer aiming high with Williams on alta, ‘the heavens’. 2 concordi fabrica quas unus continet ordo: cf. Aenig. 64.1 ‘quos unus continet ordo’, although quos there refers to the multiple teeth which make up a trident (≈ ‘unus . . . ordo’) while quas here refers to the ladder as a composite entity, a ‘concors fabrica’. For ordo meaning ‘series’, cf. perhaps Sil. 6.657 ‘longus rerum . . . ordo’, of a succession of events. For fabrica thus, see ThLL VI(1).14.50 ff. s.v. fabrica [Jachmann]. The usage is a feature mostly of later authors; cf. Introduction (2) and n. 32. 3 ut simul haerentes per nos comitemur ad auras: comitemur Shackleton Bailey: comitentur vel sim. codd. In following the MSS, Ohl takes haerentes substantivally


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as the subject of comitentur (‘they who cling to us’), but it is far more natural to take it as applying to the ladder, in parallel with petentes in line 1. Shackleton Bailey’s comitemur (1979, 39) makes this possible, if taken as the passive of comito rather than a form of the deponent verb comitor. It avoids the introduction to the riddle of a second, independent subject, while continuing the ladder’s personification: paradoxically, the ladder (the sum of its constituent parts) is ‘climbing’ itself to the upper air and in doing so is accompanied by means of itself: hence ‘per nos’, on which see below. For haereo of climbing a ladder, cf. e.g. Cic. Fam. 6.7.3 ‘scalarum gradus . . . male haerentis’. per nos codd.: pronos Shackleton Bailey. Because Shackleton Bailey understood comitemur as being from the deponent comitor rather than the passive of comito, he had to supply it with an object. His proposal pronos (1979 ibid.), by which he means someone facing down while climbing a ladder but which he does not support by any argument, might possibly be paralleled by Apul. Met. 8.19 ‘senex . . . gravatus annis, totus in baculum pronus’, and the abbreviations for per- and pro- are often confused by copyists. The substantival use of pronus is unparalleled, however, and there is in any case no need to question the unanimous MSS testimony. For per and an accusative pronoun expressing agency, see Woodcock §44; cf. Cic. S. Rosc. 111 ‘non . . . possumus omnia per nos agere.’

79 A besom Great mother of the world, held together by a firm noose, conjoined with a level surface, pressed to it by two hands, I am drawn everywhere in following and everything also follows me. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPQRS ghIVwawb le. scopa: as Ohl explains ad loc., brooms in the ancient world ‘were made of twigs, small branches and leaves tied together . . . Elm, myrtle and holly were most frequently used . . . but especially prized was the dwarf palm that grows so prolifically in north Africa, Sicily and southern Italy.’ This riddle on a besom is the third to treat an object made up of smaller components; cf. Aenig. 77 and 78 lee. nn. See also RE IIA.830.29 ff. s.v. scopae [Hug], D-S IV(1).1122 col. 2 s.v. scopae [E. Saglio] and my notes at Mart. 14.82 scopae, an epigram S. would have known: see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. The singular form scopa survives of a besom in later Latin (L-S s.v. scopae; cf. GLK I.33.22–3 (Charisius) ‘dicimus tamen et scopa’), although the plural was preferred in the classical period; cf. Aenig. 78 le. n. above. A plural here would agree with Mart. 14.82 and the plural lemmata rotae (Aenig. 77) and scalae (Aenig. 78), but the singular, transmitted by nearly all the MSS (not eHwa) is certain given the singulars within the riddle. It would accord with a late date for S.; cf. Introduction (2) and n. 32. A verbal link between Aenig. 79 and 78 is supplied by conexa, line 1 (cf. iuncta, line 2), which recalls both Aenig. 78.2 ‘quas unus continet ordo’ and 78.3 ‘simul haerentes’.



1 mundi magna parens ADγ: in silvis genita Bwawb. Phrases like ‘mundi magna parens’ are common in medieval hymns referring to the creator or the Virgin Mary. It is possible that Bwawb’s unmetrical reading was substituted by monkish scribes anxious to avoid blasphemy: so Lemaire, cited ad loc. by Ohl. Metre aside, in substituting thus they destroyed the humorous play on mundus and munditiae; cf. Pl. Stich. 347 ‘munditias volo fieri. ecferte huc scopas’. In a ridiculous hyperbole, the humble besom, the ‘parent’ or origin of cleanliness (see OLD2 s.v. parens2 §7b), is described in terms used not only of Nature (cf. Manil. 2.209 ‘ille parens mundi natura’) but even of Jupiter himself (cf. Luc. 4.110 ‘o summe parens mundi’), the words ‘parens mundi’ being thus used at Stat. Silv. 4.1.17 to flatter Domitian; cf. Coleman ad loc. on the implicit equation of god and emperor. laqueo conexa tenaci: the besom’s bondage (cf. Ovid Met. 11.252 ‘ignaram laqueis vincloque innecte tenaci’, Sen. Phaedr. 1085–6 ‘[sc. Hippolytus] implicuit . . . laqueo tenaci corpus’) contrasts humorously with its status as parens. 2 iuncta solo plano: with iuncta, ‘contiguous’ or ‘conjoined’, cf. possibly Coripp. Ioh. 1.220–1 ‘lintea laxa cadunt, nulloque tumentia flatu/ arboribus iunxere suis’. This meaning is consistent with ‘manibus conpressa duabus’, where conpressa refers not to the firmness with which the besom must be grasped but the force with which it must be applied to the surface to be swept (both hands are needed) in order to be effective; cf. Vulg. Num. 22.25 ‘asina iunxit se parieti’ and Aug. Num. 50 ‘compressit se ad parietem’. Like scopa (see above), both iuncta and conpressa would accord with a late date for S. Besoms today are generally used for outdoor paths and the like, but ‘solo plano’ indicates the flatness of an internal surface; cf. Pliny Nat. 36.184, which describes the ἀσάρωτος οἶκος of Sosos of Pergamon (cf. Paoli 95 and fig. 16), a mosaic floor showing the scraps of food dropped by diners, which would have been cleared away later by scoparii. 3 ducor ubique sequens et me quoque cuncta sequuntur: paradoxically, the broom is led or guided (cf. Sen. Ep. 94.51 ‘digiti illorum tenentur et aliena manu per litterarum simulacra ducuntur’, of someone being taught to write), it follows (in that it goes after the person holding it), and it is followed in that everything that is swept accompanies the sweeper and his broom until it is disposed of. The first-person form ducor is balanced by me, ubique by cuncta and sequens by sequuntur. For ducor with ubique, cf. AL 672.36 Riese and Dracont. Laud. 1.672. Bergamin observes that the use of this adverb with a word of motion is not classical. For other indications of ‘lateness’ in S., see on the lemma and line 2 above. Cuncta is appropriate for sweepings, but the idea that ‘all things’ are ‘followers’ possibly also recalls the hyperbolically religious note struck by ‘mundi magna parens’ in line 1.

80 A bell Stiff with curved bronze I am put together into a wide-mouthed circle. Inside there is the moving likeness of a chattering tongue. I make no noise when set down; whenever I’m moved I sound forth.


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MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMPS ghIVwawb le. tintinnabulum: A increases the number by one of each riddle from here to Aenig. 95. Since it omits Aenig. 96 its numbering agrees again with that of the other MSS from Aenig. 97 umbra. Bells were used for a number of purposes, religious and secular. See Kl.P. V.858.25 ff. s.v. tintin(n)abulum [W.H.Gross], RE VIA.1406.29 ff. s.v. tintinnabulum [Gertrud Herzog-Hauser], especially 1409.33 ff., D-S s.v. tintinnabulum V.341 col. 1 ff. [Ém Espérandieu]. Mart. 14.163 tintinabulum possibly describes the bell used to signal the closing down of the furnaces at the baths. In following him by including a riddle about a bell (see Introduction (3)(a) Proem.), S. may have been thinking of one to signal the readiness of a meal: the riddles which follow (Aenig. 81–5) relate to food and drink. Aenig. 80 is possibly connected to Aenig. 79 by orbem (line 1) which, meaning ‘world’ (OLD2 s.v. orbis §12b), would recall mundi (Aenig. 79.1). While bells were usually made of bronze (cf. line 1), their clappers were generally iron. Examples, with clappers only partly preserved, survive e.g. from Pompeii: see Ciarallo and De Carolis cat. 143–4; note also cat. 351. A bell with its iron clapper intact has been found at Wanborough: see A. S. Anderson and J. S. Wacher, ‘Excavations at Wanborough, Wiltshire: An Interim Report’, Britannia 11 (1980), 121–2 and fig.  4. These bells all have ring-attachments for suspension, but positus, line 3, might suggest that S. is here describing a handbell. 1 aere rigens curvo: cf. Verg. A. 8.621 ‘ex aere rigentem’. The associations of bronze with stiffness and hardness (cf. N-R at Hor. Carm. 3.30.1 ‘aere perennius’) combine with rigens in contrasting with the juxtaposed curvo. patulum conponor in orbem: patulus, meaning ‘gaping’ or ‘like a mouth’ (OLD2 s.v. patulus §1a), prepares for linguae in line 2. With orbis, here referring to the bell’s shape (cf. OLD2 s.v. orbis §7a), cf. Varro in Pliny Nat. 36.92 ‘orbis aeneus . . . ex quo pendeant exapta catenis tintinabula’. The words are similarly combined to describe the bowl of a helmet at Luc. 9.502: ‘patulum galeae confudit in orbem [sc. aquam]’. For componere thus, see ThLL III.2122.12 ff. s.v. componor [Hofmann]; cf. Tib. 1.1.39–40 ‘fictilia antiquus primum sibi fecit agrestis/ pocula de facili composuitque luto’. 2 mobilis . . . linguae crepitantis imago: cf. Lucr. 4.549 ‘mobilis . . . lingua’, words which S. might be echoing here. Mobilis contrasts with rigens in line 1. Although it is like a tongue, the clapper is not really one. Hence imago: see OLD2 s.v. imago §8. Lingua appears not to survive of a clapper elsewhere, but cf. Pliny Nat. 16.171, where it is used of the reed in a musical pipe. While able to ‘talk’, bells could not speak rationally and misogynistic comparisons were therefore made between female garrulity and the sound of bells; cf. Courtney on Juvenal 6.441 tintinnabula. Crepito does not survive elsewhere of a bell (although it is used of musical instruments: see ThLL IV.1170.35 ff. s.v. crepito [Lambertz]), but its association with garrulity is illustrated by Mart. 14.54, describing a child’s rattle or crepitaculum: note line 2 ‘garrula sistra’. Sen. Ep. 123.10 ‘philosophia et iustitia verborum inanium crepitus est’ illustrates its association with empty speech.



3 non resono positus, motus quam saepe resulto: motus quam saepe Watt et  al.: motus quoque saepe BHγ: motus quoque longe AIV: om. D(praeter H): †motus quoque† saepe Shackleton Bailey: sed motus saepe Schenkl Riese: motus longeque Castalio 1581 Baehrens. The BHγ reading contradicts the first hemistich, since quoque suggests that the bell does sound after all when positus; and saepe would indicate that the bell did not always ring when it was moved. The AIV variant is unmetrical. Castalio’s conjecture, influenced by AIV, is unsatisfactory since the bell does not need to be moved long to sound forth. (He prints ‘motus quoque saepe’ in 1607.) Schenkl’s suggestion (of which Shackleton Bailey’s tentative ‘commotus saepe’ (1979, 39–40) is a more pointed version, since it allows direct juxtaposition with positus) assumes that saepe refers ‘to the repeated strokes of the clapper’; but the bell would sound forth if struck just once. Instead of quoque, which he notes might have come from Aenig. 79.3, Watt, (1987) 296, suggests an exclamatory quam. This conjecture appears also in Bergamin, who translates ‘mosso quanto spesso risuono!’ and who does not register Watt’s primacy, although she cites his article in her bibliography. Unaware of Watt, I too suggested quam (CQ 52 (2002), 634–5), but I did not take it as exclamatory: the bell does not sound often, once it has been moved. It sounds just once and then is silent until it is moved again; cf. Pl. Trin. 1004–5 ‘numquam edepol temere tinnit tintinnabulum:/ nisi qui illud tractat ut movet, mutumst, tacet’. Instead I compared Tib. 1.6.21 ‘exibit quam saepe, time’, which Murgatroyd glosses ad loc. ‘quam saepe exibit, tam saepe time’, and noted that the formation ‘quam saepe’ recalls that of ‘quam diu’: L-H-Sz II.606. Not only does this understanding make excellent sense (‘as often as I am moved, I sound forth’) but the conjecture adds to the line’s structural balance, since, as well as the ‘resono . . . resulto’ and ‘positus . . . motus’ contrast, non too is partnered. With resulto cf. Mart. 9.68.5 ‘tam grave percussis incudibus aera resultant’, illustrating the sound of the beatings administered by a schoolmaster: just as every movement causes the bell to sound, every single blow makes a noise. It is used without this reiterative sense but again in close conjunction with resono at Aenig. 12.1–2.

81 A flask My mother was Earth, my father is Prometheus himself and my little ears stick up, crowned with – a hollowed belly. When I fell unexpectedly, my own mother mangled me. MSS: A βcK αAng.deMPS ghIwawb le. lagena: the lagena (otherwise lagoena/lagona/laguna, etc.: see ThLL VII(2).894.10 ff. s.v. lagoena [B.]) was principally a wine vessel, although it was commonly also used for water. It was usually made of clay, as here (‘mater erat Tellus’, line 1), although silver, stone and glass examples are attested. It could have one or, as here (auriculae, line 2), two handles and was usually long-necked and narrow-mouthed. Its size made it readily portable, appropriate for serving wine at table. (At Mart. 6.89, having drained a lagena


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of wine, the drunken Panaretus uses it as a urine flask.) In general, see Werner Hilgers, Lateinische Gefässnamen, Düsseldorf 1969, 61 ff. and 203 ff. By initiating a short sub-series on wine (Aenig. 81–3), this riddle continues the section on food and drink preceded by Aenig. 80. It is connected to the previous riddle through personification, since, while the bell has a ‘tongue’, the flask has a mother (cf. also Aenig. 79.1 parens), a father, ears and a belly. Also, auriculae (line 2) possibly echoes the sound of aere (Aenig. 80.1) and in any case the idea of hearing is suggested both by a bell and ears. Tellus (Aenig. 81.1) possibly recalls orbem (Aenig. 80.1) just as orbem might recall mundi (Aenig. 79.1); cf. Aenig. 80 le. n. Mart. 14.116 describes a ‘lagona nivaria’; cf. 117–18 and the lagona-shaped ‘matella fictilis’ of 14.119. For Martial’s influence on S., see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. 1 mater erat Tellus, genitor est ipse Prometheus: mater is balanced by genitor, erat by est and Tellus by Prometheus. Other Aenigmata mentioning parentage are listed at Aenig. 92 le. n. mater erat Tellus: cf. e.g. Var. R. 1.1.5 ‘Tellus [sc. appellatur] terra mater’, Cic. Clu. 193 ‘[sc. terram] quae mater est omnium’. Allusion to the Earth Mother contrasts humorously with the lowly associations of terracotta, for which, see e.g. my notes at Mart. 14.106 urceus fictilis and on 114 patella Cumana; cf., with Murgatroyd, Tib. 2.3.47–8 ‘at mihi laeta trahunt Samiae convivia testae/ fictaque Cumana lubrica terra rota’ describing modest aspirations. Compare the grandiloquence of Aenig. 79.1 ‘mundi magna parens’, of a humble broom. genitor est ipse Prometheus: Prometheus moulded men out of clay and then animated them with fire brought from Heaven: for his role as a creator god, cf. Mart. 9.45.8 with Henriksén, 10.39.4; see Kl.P. IV.1175 s.v. Prometheus [W. Pötscher], N-H at Hor. Carm. 1.16.13. Thus he became the patron god of potters, and the name ‘Prometheus’ can be used to mean ‘potter’; cf. Juv. 4.133 with Courtney and my note at Mart. 14.182. While the Earth Mother supplied the clay for this lagena, the creator god/master potter himself (ipse) is the one who cast it. Genitor is humorously grand, being used e.g. of Jupiter (father of Apollo) at Ovid Met. 1.517 and Peleus (father of Achilles) at Ovid Met. 13.155. est Aβ: erat cKwa: fuit wb: sed I: om. Dgh. Sed can be discounted: an adversative is not required by the sense and, since all the other MSS have a form of the verb ‘to be’, it was probably a scribal introduction. Fuit is probably an emendation to agree with the past tense of ‘mater erat Tellus’ while providing an explanation for genitōr, i.e. making the final syllable long by position; but both A and B agree on a reading in e-, est introduces varietas after erat while making perfectly acceptable sense in context, and -or is lengthened at Aenig. 58.2 versicolor. 2 auriculaeque rigent Froehner: auriculaeque regunt ghwa: auricula(e) regunt (cregunt β) ABIwb: auriculae surgunt Shackleton Bailey: om. D. There appear to be no Latin parallels of auris/auricula meaning ‘pot-handle’, but note Hor. Carm. 1.9.8 diota



with N-H ad loc. (‘a two-eared wine cup’); cf. Homer Il. 11.633–4 οὔατα δ’ αὐτοῦ/ τέσσαρ’ ἔσαν of Nestor’s cup and see L-S-J s.v. οὖς §II.1. The diminutive contrasts very effectively with the lagena’s grand parentage, described in line 1. Regunt would presumably refer to the control afforded by such handles when liquid was being poured from the lagena and such control contrasts attractively with the diminutive auriculae, but one would expect to find with it an expressed object like me; cf. Aenig. 48.2 n. on the scarcity of unexpressed verbs in S. Froehner’s rigent, which requires the connective -que with auriculae if it is to scan (cf. ghwa) but otherwise involves little change to the majority tradition, recalls rigens at Aenig. 80.1. Since the lagena is earthenware, its ears would be stiff; cf. Apul. Met. 2.4, describing stone dogs whose ‘aures rigent’. Note also such expressions as ‘aures arrigere’ (see OLD2 s.v. auris §2e): being stiff, the ‘ears’ of the lagena would appear ‘pricked up’. Shackleton Bailey’s surgunt (1979, 40) does not need -que but is otherwise less attractive. redimitae ventre cavato: redimitae Perionius: redimito A: redimita BI: om. D. (Apart from I, Bergamin does not report the γ readings.) Redimita is nonsensical, but the hollow body of a lagena might conceivably have been ‘crowned’ by its ‘ears’ or handles, in which case redimito is possible. It is printed by Riese. The application of two perfect passive participles (redimito and cavato) to the same noun (ventre) is nonetheless suspicious. Froehner (see Ohl’s apparatus) and Shackleton Bailey ibid. follow Perionius in expanding redimita to redimitae, qualifying auriculae. So does Bergamin, although she does not acknowledge him. She cites e.g. Catul. 64.193–4 ‘Eumenides, quibus anguino redimita capillo/ frons’ in explaining that ‘ventre cavato’ is an ἀπροσδόκητον for hair: instead of this crowning adornment the lagena has – a belly. The ‘belly’ of the lagena may, of course, have been covered with the ‘hair’ of wicker-work insulation, like the vessel at Mart. 2.85.1, but mentioning this would weaken the joke. With venter, cf. Juv. 12.60 ‘cum . . . ventre lagonae’, Col. 10.385 ‘ventre . . . medio’, of a vegetable gourd. 3 dum cecidi subito: dum gaudii(gaudiis α) subito D(praeter Se): gaudeo dum subito Se: dum misera (misere wb) cecidi (cecidit A) ABγ: dum cecidi, miseram . . . Shackleton Bailey. Even if gaudeŏ is acceptable (and such shortening is found in post-Augustan Latin; cf. Raven 23), the Se reading is illogical: the flask would have no reason for rejoicing. It is perhaps an attempted emendation of the main D tradition. Gaudii and gaudiis here are without sense, but if they are a corruption of cecidi (cf. ABγ), the rest of the hemistich is acceptable. For dum meaning cum, see Aenig. 73.1 n., while for subito meaning ‘unexpectedly’, cf. e.g. Ovid Pont. 1.4.5 ‘nec, si me subito videas, agnoscere possis’. Note also Prud. Hamart. 801 ‘in caenosas subito cecidisse paludes’. In the ABγ tradition, ‘dum miseră cecidi’ is unmetrical although misere scans, makes sense and admits a typically Symphosian third-foot caesura: see Introduction (3)(d). It could therefore be correct. However, it does not add a further element to the hemistich whereas subito in the D tradition does. It is therefore likely to be an emendation by the scribe of wb, and the D tradition is right. Shackleton Bailey’s text, which is allied to his emendation of the second hemistich, is discussed below.


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laniavit me mea mater Shackleton Bailey: mater mea me laniavit (laniabit dMPS) D: mea mater me divisit (dimisit cK) AB: mater mea meque (me ante I) divisit ghI: mater mea post diu vixit wa: dimisit me mea mater wb. Apart from wb, the γ readings are unmetrical. Dimisit, wb, which is nonsensical in context, is clearly a version of divisit. Dividere is less appropriate than the emotive laniavit (cf. OLD2 s.v. lanio1 §1a), which accords with the Earth’s unnatural maternal behaviour. By adopting the D reading after switching laniavit with mater, Shackleton Bailey dispenses with the unparalleled four-syllable hexameter ending, while making the riddle both start and end with the same word. (On Umklammerungstechnik, see Aenig. 8.3 n.) The past tense of laniavit presumably suggests that after having been broken in a fall the lagena has been repaired. Shackleton Bailey’s adoption and adaptation of the D text here connects with his text in the first hemistich which, while less forceful than the D text there, nonetheless bears notice. The whole line, as he prints it, reads: ‘dum cecidi, miseram laniavit me mea mater’. In recalling the expression ‘me miserum’ (for which see OLD2 s.v. miser §1b; cf. Pl. Bac. 1094 of a slave: ‘Chrysalus me miserum spoliavit’), it emphasizes the lagena’s wretchedness, since mothers do not normally harm their children.

82 Seasoned wine Once we were three who are joined in a single name. From three there is one and three are mixed in one. Each of us is good by itself; better is that which contains us all. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMPQRS ghIVwawb le. conditum: sc. vinum. While part of the section on food and drink signalled by Aenig. 80, this riddle continues the sub-series on wine initiated by Aenig. 81 lagena; cf. Mart. 13.106–25, a longer series on wine, which may have influenced S. (cf. Introduction (3)(a) Proem.), although it does not contain conditum. It does, however, include acetum (Mart. 13.122; cf. Aenig. 83). A further link to the previous riddle might be the recollection in conditum (cf. condo) of Prometheus’ creator function (see Aenig. 81.2 n.) and word-play on his name and μέθυ or μέθη; cf. the possible punning in ‘ebrius . . . Prometheus’ at Mart. 14.182.1. Wine was the everyday drink of all classes in the Graeco-Roman world: see e.g. OCD4 s.v. wine [J. J. Paterson]. Its treatment in ancient literature reflects its influence in society and the appreciation of it. See generally Jasper Griffin, Latin Poets and Roman Life, London 1985, chapter 4, ‘Of wines and spirits’. On Mart. 13.106–25 and Martial’s knowledge of wine, see T. J. Leary, ‘Martial’s Christmas winelist’, Greece and Rome 46 (1999), 34–41. The seasoned wine described by this riddle commanded a good price: 24 denarii per Italic sextarius in the list of wines ranging from 8 denarii to 30 at Ed. Diocl. 2.17. Apicius preserves a couple of recipes (Apic. 1–2 Budé); cf. Pliny Nat. 14.108 ‘qualia . . . fiunt pipere et melle addito, quae alii condita, alii piperata appellant’ and the glossator on tres, line 1, in h: ‘id est, mel et vinum et piper’; see André 166–7.



1 tres olim fuimus qui nomine iungimur uno: play on the numbers one and three (note the positioning of tres and uno at the start and end of the line) is continued in line 2: ‘ex tribus . . . unus . . . tres . . . in uno’. For number-play elsewhere in S., see at Aenig. 39 le. n. The play here has been thought to reflect Trinitarian or Christian influence; cf. Bergamin ad loc. and her note on the lemma, where she cites the specific comparison between conditum and the Trinity made by the fifth-century Anopius in his commentary on the Song of Songs. A clear reference to the Christian Trinity survives at Auson. Griphus 15.88 Green ‘tris numerus super omnia, tris deus est’, a ‘riddling’ work by which S. may have been influenced (see Introduction (2)). However, a Trinitarian interpretation of this line admits the heterodox implication that the constituent persons of the Trinity were originally three discrete rather than homousian entities; cf. the heretical implication in line 3 that the three persons were less good individually than when combined. Secondly, the marvel of ‘three in one’ appears much earlier, in assuredly non-Christian contexts (cf. e.g. Ovid Her. 9.91–2 ‘[sc. narrabas] prodigiumque triplex . . . Geryones, quamvis in tribus unus erat’ with Casali), and, finally, while the peculiar nature of conditum might be helpful in an analogy illustrating Christian dogma, there are no grounds for detecting Christian influence on S. just because he remarks its peculiar nature. Against the suggestion of Christian influence on S., see also Introduction (2) and n.36. nomine iungimur uno: cf. Aenig. 61.1 ‘coniungitur uno’. Iungo of combining in a mixture is rare, apparently surviving elsewhere only at Cels. 5.25.9 ‘quae separatim contusa postea iunguntur’ (OLD2 s.v. iungo §2f). The union here would not have lasted long: honey will not dissolve in wine, even mixing (cf. miscentur, line 2) is difficult, and, if allowed to stand, a mixture of honey and wine will separate (see my notes on Mart. 13.108 mulsum and 14.127.1–2). Therefore conditum would in due course revert to something like its original state, a problem which the second of Apicius’ recipes (for a ‘travelling variety’) tries to address. The present tense of iungimur contrasts with ‘olim fuimus’. 2 ex tribus est unus, et tres miscentur in uno: the two half-lines say the same thing, but in different ways. The paradox that unus and tres are the same is emphasized by the alternation of the words (‘tr- . . . un- . . . tr- . . . un- . . .’) and the cases in which they appear: tribus and uno (both ablative) start and end the line while surrounding the nominatives unus and tres. The present tense of miscentur continues that of iungimur. For mixing conditum, see on line 1 above. 3 quisque bonus per se; melior qui continet omnes: the number-play continues, but is no longer numerically expressed: quisque (≈ one) contrasts with omnes (≈ three). Melior balances bonus. Riese’s semi-colon is preferable to the colon favoured by Shackleton Bailey and most others (not Bergamin), since the second half-line is not a consequence of the first. The individual constituents of conditum were indeed bonus. Roman approval of wine needs no particular comment here. Honey had value as the principal sweetener in the ancient world, and apiculture was a correspondingly important part of rural life.


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See generally OCD4 s.v. honey [J. R. Salleres] and André 186–9. For pepper, see Galán Vioque at Mart. 7.27.7, Kay at Mart. 11.18.9 and my note on Mart. 13.5 le. It was imported mostly from India and, although Pliny was surprised by its popularity (Nat. 12.29), it fetched a good price.

83 Wine turned to vinegar Nothing has been taken away, nothing has been added from outside nor yet do I find anything which I myself have abandoned earlier. What had been is not; what was not has begun to be. MSS: A βcK αAng.deEFHMPQRS ghIVwawb le. vinum in acetum conversum vel sim. AαeFQwb: vinum versum in acetum B: de vino in acetum converso vel sim. Rgh: acetum ex vino V: acetum wa: vinum amarum dHPS: om. Ang.M. This riddle would be very difficult to guess without its lemma; cf. those listed at Introduction (3)(a) section C. That it originally contained both the words vinum and acetum is indicated by all of the MSS bar wa and Ang.M. (Amarum was a gloss on acetum which was then incorporated in the text.) Since lemmata in de can be rejected (see Aenig. 1 le. n.) and V lacks any corroboratory support, a choice must be made between B and AαeFQwb. Vertere can mean ‘to change into something’ (OLD2 s.v. verto §22) and the B testimony therefore makes sense here, but conversum has the backing of two MSS families and possibly recalls the first syllable of conditum (Aenig. 82 le.). The only other lemma in S. to contain a participle is that to Aenig. 94. This riddle continues the series on food and drink signalled by Aenig. 80 and concludes the sub-sequence on wine. However, whereas Aenig. 82 describes a wine with additives (note Aenig. 82.2 miscentur), Aenig. 83 describes one that has changed, apparently without anything having been either added or taken away: line 1.18 In writing the riddle, S. may have been influenced by Mart. 13.122 acetum although, contrary to initial appearances, Martial is actually concerned with high-quality vinegar rather than the poor or spoilt wine meant here and by acetum at Hor. Serm. 2.3.117, Mart. 10.45.5 and 11.56.7. For Martial’s influence on S. see generally Introduction (3) (a) Proem. 1 sublatum nihil est, nihil est extrinsecus auctum: auctum, at the end of the line, contrasts with sublatum at the start. Nihil est, on either side of the caesura, affords further balance. 2(3) nec tamen invenio quicquid prius ipse reliqui: most editors (not Bergamin or Glorie) follow Heumann in transposing this and line 3(2). Transposition achieves the 18

In fact the two-stage oxidization process whereby the alcohol in wine (ethanol) turns via ethanal to vinegar (ethanoic acid) requires both the loss of electrons and the addition of oxygen; but S. was a poet, not a chemist. My thanks here to Mr David Keyworth.



following progression: nothing has been changed due to external action; nothing has changed due to internal action; and yet change has taken place. Nec provides a natural transition between lines 1 and 2(3) while line 3(2) supplies a neat conclusion. invenio AβKwa: inveni cDγ. The acetum can find no current consequence of a previous action. Hence the present tense invenio is correct, followed by the perfect reliqui (which might have prompted inveni). For invenio used of finding out or ascertaining, see L-S s.v. invenio §B, OLD2 s.v. invenio §5. 3(2) quod fuerat non est; coepit quod non erat esse vel sim. Dγ: quod fueram non sum; coepi quod non eram esse vel sim. AB. Hiatus is unparalleled in S. That of ‘eram esse’ therefore argues against AB. The line is carefully arranged: in addition to the ‘quod . . . est . . . quod . . . esse’ alternation, it plays on different moods and tenses of the verb ‘to be’ (fuerat, ‘non est’, ‘non erat’, esse). Coepit suggests that, while it has gone sour, the process affecting the wine is not yet complete: oxidization is a slow process, which S. may have noted even if he did not appreciate the chemistry involved. With the wording of this line Bergamin ad loc. compares descriptions of the incarnation of Christ, e.g. the anonymous CC 9.130.50–3 ‘verbum caro factum non amisit quod fuerat, sed coepit esse quod non erat’ and Prudentius Psychomachia 82–3 ‘ille manet quod semper erat, quod non erat esse/ incipiens’. Although such passages offer close similarities, it is nevertheless unlikely that S. was influenced by them. Instead, both they and S. probably draw on their shared literary tradition, a suggestion, perhaps, of S.’s late date (see Introduction (2) and n. 34). First, the rhetorical play on the verb ‘to be’ is natural in describing any kind of metamorphosis; cf. e.g. Ovid Met. 15.184–5 ‘nam quod fuit ante relictum est/ fitque quod haut fuerat’. Secondly, the Christian writers develop the metamorphosis image by emphasizing the unusual or surprising fact that the incarnate Christ nonetheless retains His original identity, whereas S.’s representation of oxidization conforms – this is more likely than reverting – to the normal and more unimaginative pattern: in changing to vinegar the wine loses its original character. Against the idea of Christian influence on S. see further Introduction (2) and n. 36.

84 An apple The name of a sheep in Greek, a great cause of goddesses’ strife, the trick of a †dead† young man, the concern of many sisters, I want this, that my first syllable should not be read short. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMPS ghIVwawb le. malum: this riddle plays on mālum (apple), μῆλον (sheep/goat and apple; the latter is μᾶλον in Doric and Aeolian) and mălus (bad). Cf. Pl. Am. 723, which plays on mālum and mălum, Auson. Epist. 27.16.4 Green ‘poma ut mala voces, carmina vero mala’ and


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AL 154.1 ShB. Note also Mart. 13.24 Cydonea (sc. mala), where there is word-play on μελίμηλα. Bilingual word-play, which accords with S.’s possible scholastic background (see Introduction (3)(a) section C), has been detected also in Aenig. 42: see on line 1 ‘tota vocor Graece sed non sum tota Latine’. This riddle and Aenig. 85 conclude the series on food and drink which begins with Aenig. 80. The reference to mălus in line 3 recalls bonus and melior in Aenig. 82.3. The riddle’s direct link with Aenig 83 is not immediately obvious, although contentio in line 1 possibly echoes conversum (Aenig. 83 le.); cf. conditum and continet (Aenig. 82 le. and 3). With prima (line 3) perhaps compare prius (Aenig. 83.2(3)). Pavlovskis suggests (235) that the riddle’s mythological content is uncharacteristic. It is certainly more extensive than elsewhere, but see nonetheless Introduction n. 83. 1 nomen ovis Graece, contentio magna dearum: each half-line contains a noun in the nominative (first word) and another in the genitive – although there is some variation here: singular followed by plural, second word and third. Along with fraus and cura (line 2), nomen and contentio are different manifestations of the subject of volo in line 3. nomen ovis Graece: on the word-play in this riddle, see the le. n. above. Varro explains (R. 2.1.6) that μῆλον meaning ‘sheep’ or ‘goat’ is onomatopoeic from bleating and the ‘golden apples’ stolen by Hercules (see on line 2 below) were in fact animals; cf. Servius at Verg. A. 4.484 ‘greges rufam lanam habentes abegit Hercules . . . unde mala fingitur sustulisse, hoc est oves, quae Graece μῆλα dicuntur’. Since S. alludes to the Hesperides later, however, he cannot be thinking of this tradition here. contentio magna dearum: contentio means ‘the object of a dispute’ also at Cic. Top. 95 and Luc. 78. The dispute referred to is that ignited between Hera, Athena and Aphrodite (dearum) by the golden apple inscribed with ‘for the fairest’ which Eris or Strife rolled into the gathering at the marriage of Peleus and Thetis and which preceded the judgement of Paris. It was great enough for the goddesses to offer significantly large bribes (imperial power by Hera, victory in battle by Athena, and the world’s most beautiful woman by Aphrodite), but ‘contentio magna’ must also hint at the ten-year Trojan War which followed. For details and references to this story in literature and art, see March s.vv. ‘Judgement of Paris’, Roscher III.1586 ff. and 1607 ff. 2 fraus iuvenis †functi†: functi codd. (praeter V): cincti Klapp: iuncti Froehner: pulchri V Castalio: Phrygii Riese (Frugii Buecheler): furtim Schenkl. This half-line might refer to one of two stories, that of Acontius and Cydippe, or that of Hippomanes (or Milanion) and Atalanta. In the former, Acontius threw into Cydippe’s lap an apple inscribed with an oath by the sanctuary of Artemis to marry him. Cydippe read out the inscription aloud and, although she would normally have married someone of a higher station than Acontius, could not retract the vow she had uttered. See March s.v. Acontius; cf. Ovid Her. 20.21–2 ‘deceptam dices nostra te fraude licebit,/ dum fraudis



nostrae causa feratur amor’, Trist. 3.10.73–4. In the latter story, to win Atalanta’s hand, suitors had to beat her in a footrace, but they all failed to do so until Hippomanes distracted her by throwing a golden apple in her path whenever she passed him. She stopped to recover these, and, with a final burst of speed, he reached the finish first. See March s.v. Atalanta; cf. Ovid Met. 10.560–680. Functus is inappropriate to both stories. Pulchri, drawn by Castalio from V (i.e. Cod. Vat. Barb. Lat. 721; see Finch (1967), 176) is printed by Baehrens, who applies it to the Acontius story, but its generality would have suited it as well to Hippomanes. Both were handsome. Its imprecision therefore disqualifies it. Phrygii and Buecheler’s variant Frugii are clearly wrong, since reference has already been made to the story of Paris, for which fraus is in any case inappropriate. Schenkl’s furtim (for the usage, cf. Tib. 2.5.53) is repetitive after fraus. Cincti (i.e. ‘girt up’ for action; cf. Hor. Serm. 2.8.10, Pl. Am. 308) would fit well with a footrace and therefore Hippomanes and Atalanta. It is possibly correct. It is certainly more compelling than iuncti, since, as Froehner himself observes (Philologus suppl. V (1889), 7), the use of iungere to mean ‘einholen’ (‘to catch up’) is unparalleled. multarum cura sororum: multarum BDγ: pulcram multorum A: Maurarum Delz: pulchrarum Klapp: cantricum Shackleton Bailey: iunctarum Baehrens. The words here presumbly refer to the Hesperides, identified in Hesiod (Theog. 215) as the daughters of Nox, who were charged with guarding the tree from which, as his eleventh labour, Heracles had to steal the golden apples. See March s.v. Heracles, OCD4 s.v. Hesperides [A. J. S. Spawforth]. The number of these sisters ranges from three to eleven, according to the version followed; cf. Watt (2003), 456. Multarum would be inappropriate for three sisters and has been thought weak even if there were as many as eleven. It has therefore been queried, but the alternatives which have been suggested are not wholly convincing. Of these, Maurarum is best: the gardens of the Hesperides were sometimes located in Mauritania (Watt loc. cit.). Klapp’s pulchrarum has some support from A but, while they might be assumed to have been reasonably good-looking, the Hesperides were not particularly famed for their beauty; and while they were known for their singing (cf. Hsd Theog. 275 Ἑσπερίδες λιγύφωνοι), cantrix is relatively rare (ThLL III.292.26–33 s.v. cantrix [Pöschel]) and Shackleton Bailey is cautious when suggesting cantricum in his apparatus note. He does not print it. Instead of the Hesperides, Baehrens thinks these words refer to the Three Graces, although, as Ohl observes ad loc., they had no concern with apples. His iunctarum makes sororum tautologous: for iunctus meaning ‘related’, see OLD2 s.v iunctus1 §2. 3 hoc volo ne breviter mihi syllaba prima legatur ADγ: excidium Troiae (dum VI) bella cruenta peregi (peregit c) ABghwawb. In keeping with its practice elsewhere, A preserves both readings (see Introduction (5) section B and n. 155). Bergamin lxxv explains that the second reading probably arose as a gloss on the lemma, understood as a cause of the Trojan War, but she is wrong to suggest ad loc. that it recalls the previous line, which does not refer to Paris.


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For the play on mālum (apple) and mălus (bad), see the le. n. above. The different meanings indicated by the different quantities of ma- draw comment at GLK IV.260.2 ff.: ‘item malum pro pomo et arboris malo et malas pro genis cum accipimus, prima syllaba longa erit . . . at si pro pernicie vel labore dictum fuerit, brevis erit’.

85 A ham I draw a noble descent from the family of the great Cato. I have one sister, although there are thought to be more. My appearance is born of smoke, my ‘savoir’ of the sea. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMPS ghIVwawb le. perna: the perna was a type of ham. Martial has an epigram on it in the Xenia, and also on the petaso, another type of ham (Mart. 13.54 and 55). S. would have known these epigrams and been prompted by them to include the perna here. For Martial’s influence on S. see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. There has been some debate as to how the perna and petaso differed: see my note at Mart.13.54 le. The most likely explanation is that the perna was part of the petaso (cf. Athen. 14.657E πετασῶνος μέρος ἑκάστῳ κεῖται, ἣν πέρναν καλοῦσιν, Ed. Diocl. 4.8) but that while the petaso was eaten fresh, the perna was preserved. To preserve it, a ham was first salted and then exposed to smoke: see Cato Agr. 162.3. Both salting and smoking are mentioned in line 3, although in reverse order. This riddle concludes the series on food and drink signalled at Aenig. 80. It has two points of connection with Aenig. 84: livestock (Aenig. 85.1 porcus – see below on Cato’s cognomen – and 84.1 ovis) and verbal repetition (Aenig. 85.2 soror and 84.2 sororum). 1 nobile duco genus magni de gente Catonis: Roman cognomina were often derived from the names of animals: see at Aenig. 25.3 above, about a mouse: ‘quod mihi nomen inest, Romae quoque consul habebat’. The perna here claims descent from the great M. Porcius Cato Censorius (234–149 BC), consul in 195 and the father of Latin prose; cf. Cic. Brut. 61. For the derivation of Porcius from porcus, see Var. R. 2.1.10. While often described as magnus (cf. e.g. Verg. A. 6.841), Cato was a ‘novus homo’ and was therefore not himself descended from a ‘nobile . . . genus’,19 but he was followed by a long line of distinguished descendants who were. Of these the most famous was perhaps his great-grandson M. Porcius Cato Uticensis. That a ham should assert so noble an ancestry is ridiculous. The perna seems generally to have been regarded as an inferior form of ham because it was not fresh (cf. my note at Mart. 13.54 le.) and, if this is true, it emphasizes its pretentiousness here. So possibly does its use of duco (normal of tracing family origins, but used in elevated contexts; cf. e.g.


See N-R at Hor. Carm. 3.17.1: ‘in Roman political life a nobilis was somebody directly descended in the male line from a consul’.



Verg. A. 6.834 ‘genus qui ducis Olympo’, of Julius Caesar), and the parallel ordering of the line-halves: the adjective nobile is balanced by magni, duco by de, and genus by the cognate gente. On the Porcius Catos, see OCD4 s.vv. ‘Porcius Cato (1), Marcus’ [J. Briscoe], ‘Porcius Cato (2), Marcus’ [G. E. F. Chilver, M. T. Griffin] and Kl.P. I.1086.59–1089.21 s.v. Cato [H. G. Grundel], R. Syme, The Augustan Aristocracy, Oxford 1986, passim. 2 una mihi soror est, plures licet esse putentur: each animal has two hams and therefore each ham has just one sister; and yet the hams of all animals of the same type belong to the same family, and so the number of their sisters might be thought greater. Soror, which continues the family theme of line 1, is commonly used of objects closely related or similar to one another: see above at Aenig. 77.1 ‘quattuor aequales currunt ex arte sorores’. putentur BDγ: videntur A. Of the two readings, the majority putentur is better, since ‘esse putentur’ echoes ‘est, plures’. Plures, after the caesura, contrasts with una at the start of the line. 3 de fumo facies, sapientia de mare nata est: in this chiastic line, ‘de fumo’ is balanced by ‘de mare’, facies and sapientia are juxtaposed on either side of the caesura and the two line-halves are united by the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ ‘nata est’. With being born of the sea, cf. AL 363.4 ShB ‘quod mare nata foret’. For the prodelided est, see Introduction (3)(d). de fumo facies: the smoking process dries and darkens ham, and smoked ham is therefore instantly recognizable by its appearance; cf. Ovid Met. 8.648 ‘sordida terga suis’. Facies is used specifically of colour at Sen. Nat. 2.40.6 ‘coloratur id cuius alia fit quam fuit facies, tamquam caerulea vel nigra vel pallida’. Smoking would in fact have affected its taste as well as its appearance (cf. the smoked cheese or ‘caseus fumosus’ at Mart. 13.32.2: ‘Velabrensem qui bibit, ille sapit’), but not as much as the salting process alluded to in the second hemistich. sapientia de mare nata est D(praeter α)IV: sapientia nata est de mare α: de mare sapientia nata est gh: de mari mihi sapor inhesit B: mihi sapor inhesit A: deque mari sapor inhaesit wa: maris et sapor intus inhesit wb. The B reading, of which A is a condensed version, is unmetrical. Also unmetrical is wa although wb scans. This reading possibly results from emendation, however, and it does not answer the further objection to the ABwawb testimony, that while inhaerere might be tolerable with sapor, the ham’s facies cannot have ‘clung’ to it from smoke. Sapor was probably introduced because of scribal misunderstanding of sapientia in ‘sapientia de mare nata est’, of which αgh are unmetrical variants. Sapientia introduces a play on words, since sapio can mean both ‘I have taste/taste of ’ and ‘I am wise/intelligent’ (OLD2 s.v. sapio §§1b, 6a; cf. Cic. Fin. 2.24 ‘cui cor sapiat ei non sapiat palatus’). The personified ham in this riddle has ‘savour’ because it tastes of the sea or rather the salt from it (sal was derived by some from salum: Isid. Orig. 16.2.3),


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but it claims to derive its wisdom from sea salt as well. For sal meaning ‘wit’ or ‘intelligence’, see OLD2 s.v. sal §6b; cf. Phaed. 5.5.8 ‘scurra, notus urbano sale’. For the inter-relationship of sapientia, sapio and sapor, cf. Maltby s.vv. S.’s word-play accords with his possible scholastic background, for which see Introduction (3)(a) section C. For the form mare (mari is usual), see e.g. Bailey at Lucr. 1.161.

86 A hammer I do not lay claim to strength from all my body, but in head-butting I refuse to contend with no one: I have a mighty head and the whole of my weight is in it too. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMPRS ghIVwawb le. malleus: while the hammer in this riddle and the pestle in the next have ‘work’ associations, they merge, through Aenig. 88 (another implement but one with leisure associations), with a sequence dealing with recreation. The riddle is perhaps connected to Aenig. 85 by its reference to body parts (note corpore, line 1), which contrasts the head (capitis, line 2; caput, line 3) with the ham of Aenig. 85. However, it is also part of a sequence beginning with Aenig. 84 in which the lemmata alternate initial syllables and letters (Aenig. 84 malum; 85 perna; 86 malleus; 87 pistillus). Certare, line 2, recalls contentio, Aenig. 84.1. References to hammers survive in the context of woodworking, metalworking, sculpture, agriculture and sacrifices (for use on victims). See OLD2 s.v. malleus §1. The size of the Roman hammer ranged according to its intended use; cf. on line 2 ‘capitis pugna’ below. For examples, see D-S III(2).1561 col. 1 ff. s.v. malleus [Georges Lafaye]. 1 non ego de toto mihi corpore vindico vires: by pointedly denying any claim to strength throughout its body, the hammer emphasizes the strength it does claim, i.e. in its head (see line 2). Non is emphasized by its position at the start of the line, as is toto just before the caesura. For ‘vindico mihi’ meaning ‘I lay claim to’ in a non-legal sense, cf. e.g. Pliny Ep. 6.32.2 ‘partem oneris tui mihi vindico’ (of undertaking to provide the trousseau of a friend’s daughter) and see OLD2 s.v. vindico §2a, L-S s.v. vindico §IIA. 2 capitis pugna: Bergamin compares Cic. Off. 1.38 ‘[sc. certamen] . . . capitis’, although this refers to a struggle to the death rather than a literal banging of heads. Caput (cf. line 3) appears not to survive elsewhere in Latin of a hammer-head but is natural enough; cf. the usages documented at OLD2 s.v. caput §9a. Since nails also had heads (see Aenig. 57.1 n.), the ‘battle of heads’ here might suggest that this hammer was used for driving them in rather than beating metal, breaking clods of earth, or performing some other function. However, line 3 might suggest a larger implement than a carpentry hammer. nulli certare recuso: the hammer stresses its willingness to do battle by using recuso and nulli rather than the positive phrasing ‘I will fight with everyone’. Nulli has emphasis



after the caesura and may be intended to contrast with mihi in line 1. For certare with the dative, see Watson at Hor. Epod. 11.18, who notes that the construction is based on Greek usage after verbs of fighting. 3 grande mihi caput est: cf. Aenig. 40.1, where the same words are used of a poppy. totum quoque pondus in illo: the handles of hammers were made of wood and their weight was therefore insignificant compared to that of their heads. Some of the wooden handle survives inside the iron sheathing of the carpenter’s hammer pictured in Ciarallo and De Carolis, cat. 102. It is likely here, though, that pondus also carries the sense of ‘significance’ or ‘claim to importance’; cf. OLD2 s.v. pondus §6a: without its head a hammer is worth nothing.

87 A pestle I grind up everything together with great force of strength. I have one neck but the appearance of two heads: there is a head instead of my feet, for the other parts of my body are missing. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMPRS ghIVwawb le. pistillus vel sim. AαdAng.HP: pistillum vel sim. Bewa: de pistillo vel sim. Rgh: malleus S: om. M. Malleus derives from Aenig. 86. Against lemmata in de, see Aenig. 1 le.n. While the form pistillum exists (OLD2 s.v. pistillus and L-S s.v. pistillum), there is no reason for preferring it here to pistillus, which has slightly stronger support. The pestle is generically related to the hammer of Aenig. 86 (they both pound or crush), and there are further, verbal connections between this riddle and the last, viz. corpus (Aenig. 86.1 and 87.3) and caput (Aenig. 86.2 and 3, 87.2 and 3). Note also ‘virtutis robore magno’ (Aenig. 87.1) and vires (Aenig. 86.1). Although the malleus in Aenig. 86 would have been a work tool, it is likely that the pistillus here was used in domestic contexts: see Moritz 23 n. 2; cf. Pl. Aul. 95, where a pistillus is listed with other household objects. 1 contero cuncta simul: cf. Mor. 99–100 ‘pistillo primum fragrantia mollit/ alia, tum pariter mixto terit omnia suco’, Col. 12.57.1 ‘[sc. semen sinapis] in mortarium . . . adicito et pistillis conterito’, Vitr. 7.13.3 ‘in mortariis terendo’. The pronounced c alliteration emphasizes the amount of force indicated in the second hemistich. virtutis robore magno: the apparent pleonasm here is not present at Cic. Phil. 10.16 ‘virtutis robore firmior quam aetatis’, where virtus has a different sense; cf. ‘de virtutis robore’ at Tusc. 5.4. 2–3: most editors place a full stop after duorum (line 2) and a colon after est, line 3: Shackleton Bailey, Glorie, Ohl, Riese. Baehrens has a semi-colon and then a colon. Best


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sense is achieved, however, by a colon after duorum and a comma after est; cf. Bergamin. Thus line 3 explains line 2 and the second hemistich of line 3 explains the first. 2 una mihi cervix, capitum sed forma duorum: duorum at the line-end counters una at the start, while cervix and capitum balance at the caesura. Similar wording and arrangement occurs at Aenig. 94.2 ‘unus inest oculus, capitum sed milia multa’. Pestles were of various designs. This one was narrow in the centre and bulbous at the two ends. Hence the reference to a neck and two heads; cf. fig. 5149 in D-S III(2).2008 col. 2 s.v. mortarium [André Baudrillart]. See also RE XVI.320.43 ff. s.v. mortarium [Aug. Hug]. 3 pro pedibus caput est: the juxtaposition of pes and caput, in conjunction with the p alliteration, stresses the paradoxical replacement of feet by a head. S. also contrasts these body parts at Aenig. 40.1–2 and 57.1. nam cetera corporis absunt wa: nam (et R) cetera corpora non sunt AB(praeter K) D(praeter HM): nam cetera membra non sunt H: nam cetera non sunt M: nam cetero corpore non sum K. The majority reading is clearly wrong: the pestle is a single object and saying that there are no other bodies is stating the obvious. Corpora was prompted by the ending of cetera and ‘non sunt’ is a simple mistake. (Et was presumably substituted for nam by a scribe who saw that the second hemistich does not explain the first.) H’s membra derives from a gloss on corpora, while K’s reading is an attempt at emendation. Both make sense but are unmetrical. Also unmetrical is M. Bergamin and Shackleton Bailey are right to follow wa; cf. ‘cetera corporis’ at Apul. Met. 1.6 and 2.2.

88 A bronze strigil Ruddy, curved, deep, wet from the flasks of others, professing with a false shine the colour of gold, devoted to sweat, I give in to moderate toil. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMPS ghVwawb le. strigilis aenea ASV: strigilis aerea D(praeter MS)wb: strigill(a)e Bwa: de strigillo gh: om. M. Against lemmata in de, see Aenig. 1 le. n. Bghwa presumably corrupt the rare form strigula (cf. apparently just the scholiast at Juv. 3.263). Choosing between the palaeographical equivalents aenea and aerea is impossible. I have printed the former, but the latter could just as easily be correct. Numerous bronze strigils survive, e.g. the four fastened together on a ring in the Museo Nazionale in Naples (inv. 69970–4; see Ward-Perkins and Claridge cat. 230). Note also Ciarallo and De Carolis cat 259. Otherwise, there are examples made of iron, lead, horn, bone, ivory and silver. See generally DNP XI.1054 s.v. Strigilis [R. Hurschmann], D-S IV(2).1532 col. 1 ff. s.v. strigilis [Sorlin Dorigny]. Martial’s poem on strigils (Mart.14.51) would have been known to S.: see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. The strigil here, which continues the series on work and leisure (cf. Aenig. 86 le. n.), follows generically from the malleus and pistillus of Aenig.



86 and 87, since it too is an implement, but its recreational use, in contrast to the work implied by hammers and pestles, is pointedly asserted by the vocabulary in line 3: see below on ‘dedita sudori’ and cf. ‘modico . . . labori’. While Aenig. 88 does not contain the word corpus, the strigil’s use on a person’s body recalls corpus in Aenig. 87.3; cf. 86.1. 1 rubida, curva, capax: of these three adjectives, only curva has not been challenged; cf. the Pergamene strigil described at Mart. 14.51.1 ‘curvo destringere ferro’. rubida (uvida S) Dγ: rubea ABwa. Rubeus is more appropriate to animals than strigils; cf. OLD2 s.v. robeus §1a. Uvida, which makes humida repetitive, is a palaeographical variant of rubida. Contrary to L-S s.v. rŭbidus, where the quantity is wrong, rubida is not unmetrical here. This mistake has nonetheless prompted several needless discussions and attempts at emendation, which were effectively checked by Courtney (1981), 40. Although rare, the word, which refers to a dark red (Gel. 2.26.14), survives in the context of strigils and oil flasks at Pl. Stich. 230 ‘robiginosam strigilem, ampullam rubidam’. Reference to the colour red is in accordance with aenea in the lemma and ‘auri mentita colorem’ in line 2: for the redness of gold, see OLD2 s.v. rutilus §b; cf. Luc. 9.364 ‘rutilo . . . metallo’, Claud. in Rufin. 1.197 ‘rutilos . . . fontes’ of the gold-bearing River Pactolus, Juv. 14.299. capax codd.: rapax Shackleton Bailey. The more oil a strigil could scrape up and hold, the better it was. This strigil is a good one, like the deep and richly decorated example illustrated in Ciarallo and De Carolis, 198 (cat. 252). Capax does not refer, as Shackleton Bailey thought (1979, 40), to the strigil’s capacity for sustained work and so does not conflict with ‘modico subcumbo labori’ in line 3. Emendation is therefore unnecessary. alienis humida guttis: the flask used for taking oil to the baths was called a gut(t)us: cf. e.g. Juv. 3.263 ‘pleno . . . guto’; see OLD2 s.v. gutus. This would not have been owned by the strigil. Hence alienis; but since the strigil is ‘dedita sudori’ (line 3 below) and gutta can mean ‘a drop (of liquid)’ (see OLD2 s.v. gutta §1), a secondary interpretation is also possible, that the strigil becomes moist not from its own sweat but that of the body it scrapes down. 2 luminibus falsis auri mentita colorem: auri mentita colorem (colore α) Dγ: auri (aureo βwa) simulata metallo Bwa: auri simulata metallo mentita colorem A. As often, A combines both D and B readings: see Introduction (5) section B and n. 155. The B reading (‘having been counterfeited with the metal of gold’) is nonsense: one does not fake cheaper metal with more expensive. (βwa is unmetrical.) D’s reading expands on rubida, line 1, on which see above: being dark red, the bronze strigil displays the same colour as gold, with which bronze was occasionally confused, e.g. by thieves: Paul. dig. With ‘mentita colorem’, Bergamin compares Solinus 40.23 ‘colores . . . facile mentitur [sc. chamaeleon]’. Cf. perhaps also Verg. Ecl. 4.42 ‘nec varios discet mentiri lana colores’, Mart. 14.133.1 ‘non est lana mihi mendax nec mutor aheno’ and 12.63.4. However, these references are all to wool that has been deliberately dyed colours other than its own, whereas the strigil’s deception is fortuitous, since it is


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naturally gold coloured. Mentior is used with the accusative also at Prop. 4.7.58, quoted at Aenig. 32.1. For lumen of the shine of gold, cf. e.g. Manil. 5.511 ‘aurea . . . lumina’. 3 dedita sudori, modico subcumbo labori: ‘dedita sudori’ has a double meaning here. The words would normally mean something like ‘devoted to work’: see OLD2 s.v. deditus §2a, L-S s.v. deditus, OLD2 s.v. sudor §2b, L-S s.v. sudor §II. In this sense they contrast paradoxically with the second hemistich: despite its devotion, the strigil cannot work very long. But the expression also refers to the strigil’s leisure associations, as opposed to the work associations of the previous two riddles: it is ‘devoted to [removing] the sweat’ of those at the baths. The line is carefully composed: thus the participle dedita is followed by the firstperson active verb subcumbo, while sudori before the caesura is balanced by labori at the line-end. For other instances of internal rhyme in S., see Introduction (3)(c). modico subcumbo labori: although ‘devoted to sweat’, the strigil had to be used gently; cf. Ohl ad loc., who notes that Augustus is said to have acquired calloused spots resembling ring-worm ‘vehementi strigilis usu’ (Suet. Aug. 80). The strigil gives in to light exertion not because of its own limitations but the tolerance of those on whom it is used.

89 A bathhouse A harmless fire goes in through the whole establishment. In the middle there is a great heat which no one fears. The house is not naked but, naked, the guest assembles. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMPQRS ghIVwawb le. balneum: this riddle, describing a bathhouse, continues the work and recreation sequence beginning with Aenig. 86. Since strigils played an important part in a visit to the baths, it follows naturally on from Aenig. 88. Regarding third-person riddles, see the introductory n. to Aenig. 96. As Kay notes at Mart. 11.52.4 ‘Stephani balnea’, the principal difference between balnea and thermae was one of scale. Thermae were large public baths. Balnea were smaller and more numerous, often being found in the middle of street-blocks, and were often the result of private enterprise, being named after their builders or owners. The bathing process would nonetheless have been very similar at both. Pavlovskis observes (223–4) that the riddle comments on man’s subjugation of Nature to suit his convenience and comfort; cf. Aenig. 62 le. n. above, which cites comparable instances in S. The literature on baths and bathing is extensive, such was the importance of the baths in the ancient world. See the bibliography listed at OCD4 s.v. baths [J. DeLaine]. 1 per totas aedes innoxius introit ignis: cf. Stat. Silv. 1.5.58–9 ‘ubi languidus ignis inerrat/ aedibus’ of the baths of Claudius Etruscus. It was, of course, the heat of the fire



rather than the fire itself which swept through the building, but in Seneca’s day the temperature of the baths was such that he could remark (Ep. 86.11) ‘nihil mihi videtur iam interesse, ardeat balineum an caleat’. per totas aedes: aedes AcαAng.HMRQghwb: sedes βKdePSIVwa. Both sedes and aedes are possible given domus in line 3, but the corruption of ‘-s aedes’ to ‘-s sedes’ is easier than the reverse. S. emphasizes totas by placing it before its noun. Per, first word in the line, is also emphatic. The hypocaust and flues would have heated thoroughly both the floor and the walls of the balneum. Cf. Auson. Mos. 16.337–40 Green ‘fumant/ balnea, ferventi cum Mulciber haustus operto/ volvit anhelatas tectoria per cava flammas,/ inclusum glomerans aestu exspirante vaporem.’ innoxius introit ignis: fire was usually harmful. Hence the flamma which surrounded Iulus’ head at Verg. A. 2.682 ff. was all the more portentous for being ‘tactu . . . innoxia’. The oxymorons innoxius and ignis (also at Prud. Apoth. 57, of the burning bush) are emphasized by their positioning at the start and end of the half-line. Introire can have the sense of entering with hostile intent (OLD2 s.v. introeo §3), and so its juxtaposition with innoxius is pointed. The destructiveness of fire was well appreciated: hence Juv. 3.7 cites incendia as one of the proverbial dangers of living in Rome. Mayor ad loc. lists the precautions taken against fire, while Courtney gives useful secondary bibliography. See also my note at Mart. 14.44.1–2, describing a ‘candelabrum ligneum’: ‘servas nisi lumina, fiet/ de candelabro magna lucerna tibi’. Many fires must have started this way. With this riddle’s exploitation of the ‘harmless fire’ paradox, cf. e.g. AL 202.9 ShB ‘utilis hic [i.e. at the baths] flamma est et nullos pascitur artus’ and 203.7 ShB ‘uritur hic semper gaudens neque laeditur hospes’, from a short series (AL 201 ff. ShB) on the baths of Thrasamundus, and also AL 372.8–9 ShB ‘stat utus lautor multo circumdatus igne/ innocuas inter flammas (mirabile dictu)’. 2 est calor in medio magnus, quem nemo veretur: a further paradox; cf. AL 204.9 ShB ‘hic . . . ardentis timet ora camini’. The heat of the baths was a cause of fear only if its patrons were ill equipped: to protect their feet they had to wear sandals like those depicted, along with an oil flask and strigils, in the ‘salvom lavisse’ wall mosaic in the museum at Sabratha. Fronto, Aur. 5.59.1, tells of how he accidently burnt his knee against the door of the baths while his slaves were carrying his litter out rather carelessly. Pliny, Ep. 3.14.2, describes how Larcius Macedo’s slaves attacked him in the baths and ‘cum exanimem putarent, abiciunt in fervens pavimentum, ut experirentur an viveret’: if he had still been alive, the heat would have made him try to get up, or so they thought. est calor in medio magnus: medio (i.e. the caldarium?) is placed between calor and magnus for illustrative effect. Magnus gives alliterative emphasis, reinforced by quem and nemo. 3 non est nuda domus sed nudus convenit hospes: nuda domus est et Shackleton Bailey. Shackleton Bailey’s text undermines the paradoxical contrast


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between the first and second hemistichs. He was guided by the explanation at Hist. Apoll. 42 ‘nuda domus est quia nihil intus habet praeter sedilia’. Bergamin explains ‘non . . . nuda’ as a reference to the bath’s ornate decoration, as evidence of which she cites AL 108.8 ShB, where the bather ‘lumina picturis, membra fobit aquis’. She parallels nuda by reference to Cic. Verr. 2.84 ‘domum eius exornatam et instructam . . . iste [sc. Verres] reddiderat nudam atque inanem’, but nudam is here explained by its context. It is more likely that nuda means something like ‘dispossessed’, dispossession being the usual consequence of a building fire; cf. Juv. 3.210 nudum of the destitute Codrus when his garret has burnt down. Hospes is used of a visitor to the baths also at AL 203.7 ShB, quoted above, 109.4 ShB and 110.2 ShB. Since hospites would not generally visit a house or domus when naked, the image of a ‘nudus . . . hospes’ is humorous. Convenit possibly reflects the baths’ function as a place of social resort and interaction as well as of personal ablutions. With the contrast between domus and hospes, cf. Aenig. 12.2: ‘ipsa domus resonat, tacitus sed non sonat hospes’.

90 A die Not being sure of the future, I am always entrusted to prayer. I am thrown through varied shaking so as to fall in one of two ways, being myself neither mournful in illcircumstances nor happy in favourable ones. MSS: A βcK αAng.deEHMPS ghIVwawb le. tessera: the word tessera has a wide range of meanings, but here refers to a die. Playing games involving dice would, of course, have been common at the baths. Hence e.g. the gaming board scratched on the floor of the Palaestra Petronii at Thuburbo Maius in Tunisia. This riddle, which continues the series on work and recreation beginning with Aenig. 86, therefore follows Aenig. 89 easily. Meanwhile dedita in line 1 recalls Aenig. 88.3. Although a single die is described here, in keeping with the singulars of the surrounding lemmata, the Greeks usually played with three dice, and the Romans with two (as at Sen. Apoc. 15). Numerous examples of Roman dice survive. See e.g. dell’Orto and Varone cat. 54 (bone) and Ward-Perkins and Claridge cat. 237 (ivory), and in detail D-S V.125 col. 2–128 col. 1 s.v. tessera [Georges Lafaye]. The inclusion of this riddle may have been influenced by Mart. 14.15 tesserae: ‘non sim talorum numero par tessera, dum sit/ maior quam talis alea saepe mihi’, on which see my explanatory notes, and its content was surely influenced by Mart. 14.16, cited below. For Martial’s influence on S., see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. When dicing for money, each player would stake a value of coin, high or low, to be paid for each pip on the dice, the player with the lowest throw paying up the value of coins corresponding to the difference between his pips and the winner’s; cf. Pollux 8.95. Such dicing was usually illegal, but was allowed at the Saturnalia: see Kay at Mart. 11.6.2 citing Ulpian dig. 11.5.2 f., N-R at Hor. Carm. 3.24.58 and my note at Mart. 14.1.3; cf. Introduction (3)



(a) section A. To follow this riddle with one on pecunia (Aenig. 91) accords with the Saturnalian dispensation. 1 dedita sum semper voto: throwing dice was not necessarily governed entirely by chance and therefore subject always to prayer. Even if there were no attempt to cheat, e.g. by weighting the dice, the skilful could nonetheless influence the outcome of a throw; cf. Isid. Orig. 18.66: ‘de iactu tesserarum: iactus tesserarum ita a peritis aleatoribus componitur ut adferat quod voluerit, ut puta senionem, qui eis in iactu bonum adfert. vitant autem canem quia damnosus est; unum enim significat’. Nevertheless, the chance element of dicing – and also of throwing the knucklebones – was greatly increased, if not guaranteed, by the use of dice-tumblers (fritilli or turriculae/pyrgi), for which see D-S II(1).1341 col. 2 s.v. fritillus [E. Saglio], Balsdon 387 n. 107. These were rifled on the inside to catch the corners of the dice as they were shaken; cf., with my notes ad loc., Mart. 14.16 turricula: ‘quae scit compositos manus inproba mittere talos,/ si per me misit, nil nisi vota facit’. Use of a dice-tumbler here is confirmed in line 2, especially by ‘varia vertigine’. Surprisingly, given how natural it is, the use of dedita here seems unparalled. For prayers over dice, see AL 8.16 Riese. Prayers over a gaming board are remarked at Ovid Ars 3.377 ‘nulla fides tabulae (quae non per vota petuntur!)’.20 Gods aside, one might invoke the name of a sweetheart or beloved: Pl. Asin. 905, Curc. 356. non certa futuri: futuri Heumann: futuro (futura βM) codd. praeter Ang. (non legi potest). Most modern editors follow Heumann; cf. Ovid Met. 13.722 ‘futurorum certi’ and Tac. Dial. 13.6 ‘incertus futuri’. Although the almost unanimous MS reading is not impossible (as a dative of respect), there is no parallel for it in surviving literature and it is likely to have arisen under the influence of voto. 2 iactor in ancipites . . . casus: cf. AL 182.1 ShB ‘ancipiti sub iactu’ of dice-throwing in a board game. Iactare, iacere and its forms are frequently applied to dice; cf. e.g. Ovid Ars 2.203–4 ‘seu ludit, numerosque manu iactabit eburnos,/ tu male iactato, tu male iacta dato’ and Isidore, quoted above. See OLD2 s.vv. iacto §1b, iacio §3c and iactus §4. Cado too is usual of dice (see OLD2 s.v. cado §15; cf. Ter. Ad. 740 ‘si illud quod maxume opus est iactu non cadit’), but casus here also means ‘outcome’ (OLD2 s.v. casus §6), in close accord with anceps: while dice can fall in many more ways than two, what matters is whether a throw delivers a winning result or not, a ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ one; cf. line 3 below. 3 non ego maesta malis, non rebus laeta secundis: N-H note at Hor. Carm. 2.1 that it was a traditional piece of wisdom that triumph and disaster should be treated with equal indifference. The die conforms to this, unlike the dice players at AL 8.24 Riese, who ‘dolent gaudentque’. Each half-line here begins with non, while malis at the end of the first is balanced by and contrasts with secundis at the end of the second. Malis is reinforced by alliteration


For the text, see Gibson ad loc.


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with maesta, itself balanced by the contrasting laeta, and the whole line is held together by the shared rebus. The inclusion of the grammatically unnecessary ego stresses the die’s position, whatever hopes the dice-thrower might have. non . . . non cD(praeter H)γ: nunc . . . nunc AβKHwa. While the dice-player might be happy or not, depending on his throw, the die has no interest in the way it falls. Hence ‘non . . . non’ is correct.

91 Money At first I was earth, concealed in earth’s hiding places. Now flames and a name have given me a different value, and I am no longer called earth, although earth is bought with me. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMPS ghIVwawb le. pecunia: this riddle concludes the section on work and recreation beginning with Aenig. 86. It is linked to Aenig. 90 tessera by the idea of gambling, dicing for money being allowed at the Saturnalia (cf. Aenig. 90 le. n.), although it was illegal at other times. Similar to the die–money progression here is that at Mart. 14.12–19, where two poems about loculi, i.e. money boxes, are followed by several describing knucklebones, dice, shakers and other gaming objects. For S.’s debt to Martial, see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. Although the Saturnalia was commonly seen as a recreation of the carefree and selfsufficient Golden Age (cf. Introduction (3)(a) section A and see Aenig. 50 le. n.), this did not extend to the cessation of material values during the celebrations. Hence, therefore, the materialism with which the comparative value of Saturnalian gifts was assessed by their donors and recipients: see my edition of Martial’s Xenia, 7 and passim. While this riddle is materialistic throughout, its allusion to mining in line 1 as the source of money is particularly noteworthy, since, along e.g. with sea travel and trade, mining was traditionally regarded as one of the greed-driven activities which marked the end of the Saturnian era; cf. Ovid Am. 3.8(7).35 ff. ‘at cum regna senex caeli Saturnus haberet,/ omne lucrum tenebris alta premebat humus;/ aeraque et argentum cumque auro pondera ferri/ Manibus admorat, nullaque massa fuit’. In similar vein is Ovid. Met. 1.138–40, although it is describing the Bronze Age: ‘sed itum est in viscera terrae/ quasque recondiderat [sc. terra] Stygiisque admoverat umbris,/ effodiuntur opes, inritamenta malorum’. 1–2 terra fui primo, latebris abscondita terrae./ nunc aliud pretium flammae nomenque dederunt: cf. [Verg.] Aetna 276–8, 258–9: scrutamur rimas et vertimus omne profundum, quaeritur argenti semen, nunc aurea vena, torquentur flamma terrae ferroque domantur, dum sese pretio redimant, verumque professae tum demum vilesque iacent inopesque relictae.



In his Teubner text Shackleton Bailey has a comma after terrae and a semi-colon after aliud. In contrast, Ohl, Glorie, Riese and Baehrens have a comma after terrae and nothing after aliud. Shackleton Bailey is correct (1979, 40–1) to note a contrast between primo and nunc, but a stronger pause than a comma is indicated after terrae to mark the difference between ‘at first’ and ‘now’. Bergamin has a semi-colon, but a full stop is better still. Shackleton Bailey’s semi-colon after aliud (he suggests a full stop in 1979, loc. cit.) requires the reader to understand sum from fui, but unexpressed verbs are uncharacteristic of S.: see Aenig. 48.2 above. Instead, not punctuating after aliud but taking it with pretium secures a satisfying progression within the riddle, from what the pecunia was (line 1) to what it has become (line 2), to a statement of the consequences of this change (line 3). For the formula ‘I was once/formerly . . . but now’, see Aenig. 10.1 n. 1 terra fui primo: primo ADγ primum BIwa. The palaeographical difference between primo and primū is negligible. Both words can mean ‘at first’, ‘originally’ or ‘to begin with’ (OLD2 s.vv. primo §1, primum2 §5), but primum refers principally to status or precedence rather than a point in time. latebris abscondita terrae: terrae D(praeter Ang.)gh: diris ABAng.wawb: duris IV. It was conventional to regard precious metals as being ‘hidden’ in the earth, so that they required the effort of mining to extract them; cf. Sen. Nat. 5.15.3 ‘fuere [sc. in an earlier age too] qui pecuniam in altissimis usque latebris sequerentur et . . . in illos se demitterent specus in quos nullum perveniret noctium dierumque discrimen’, Ovid Met. 1.138–40, cited above, Cic. N.D. 2.98 ‘reconditas auri argentique venas’. (For the ablative without a preposition, see Woodcock §53 Note.) Terrae qualifies this received view by balancing terra at the start of the line, so as to make the ironic and paradoxical point that, before processing (represented by ‘flammae nomenque’ in line 2), the ore was in fact no different from or more valuable than any other type of terra. It was ‘hiding’ in itself. Diris was probably an attempt at emendation, prompted by failure to see this and the consequent attempt to remove repetition, but there is no reason why earth’s hiding places should be terrible or dirus here – although they might be elsewhere, for instance in the context of the Underworld. Bergamin compares Sen. Ag. 493 ‘dirae Stygis’. Duris is possibly an attempt to make diris relevant by referring to the difficulty of ore extraction. For Roman mining, see generally Healy, and Forbes VII.153–66. 2 nunc aliud pretium flammae nomenque dederunt: nomen has generally been taken as an accusative in parallel with pretium; cf. Hor. Ars 299 ‘pretium nomenque’ of the esteem and name of a poet which was sought by growing one’s hair long. This understanding is at odds with the word-order, however. Courtney (1989), 208, suggests rearranging the line so as to read ‘nunc aliud flammae nomen pretiumque dederunt’, but there is no MS support for this and, more significantly (see Introduction (3)(d)), it would mean that the third-foot caesura did not coincide with the end of a sense unit. It therefore seems best to take nomen as a nominative. After processing, the ore has value of a different kind. The name bestowing this ‘aliud pretium’ is not ‘ “denarius” vel sim.’ (Shackleton Bailey 1979, 41), but either the riddle’s lemma and solution or possibly the name struck on it. In this case flammae would indicate the smelting process


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(described by Paul Craddock in Oleson, 102–4) and nomen the coining one which followed – for which see e.g. Charlotte Wikander in Oleson, 772. 3 nec iam terra vocor, licet ex me terra paretur: this line rounds off the first two. ‘Nec . . . vocor’ recalls nomen (line 2), iam continues nunc (also line 2) and the whole of the first half-line contrasts with ‘terra fui primo’ (line 1). The second half-line completes the paradox that terra ceases to become earth by becoming money, and the means to buy more earth. For parare, ‘to buy’ or ‘to procure’, see Ohl ad loc., OLD2 s.v. paro §4, L-S s.v. paro §IIB; cf. Cels. dig. 50.16.88 ‘quidquid ex ea [sc. pecunia] parati potest’. At Aenig. 94.3 parabit balances and counters vendit. Investing in land was both profitable and ‘respectable’, whereas commercial activity attracted the disdain of senatorials like Cicero, Tacitus and the Younger Pliny; cf. John H. D’Arms, Commerce and Social Standing in Ancient Rome, Cambridge MA 1981, 6–7. In practice, however, members of the privileged classes engaged in trade too: D’Arms op. cit. chapter 3, ‘Senators and Commerce’.

92 A woman who has given birth to twins I have borne more than one body ought. I had three souls, all of which I kept inside. Two departed; the third almost ?passed away?. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMPRS ghIVwawb le. mulier quae geminos pariebat vel sim. AβKAng.eIwawb: mulier quae cum gemitu parit geminos α: de muliere quae geminos peperit vel sim. Rgh: mulier geminos pariens vel sim. cV: mulier cum geminis HPS: mulier d: om. M. This riddle’s lemma is the longest in the Aenigmata, since that of Aenig. 96 de VIII tollas VII et remanet VI is almost certainly corrupt: see ad loc. Its length gave rise to the survival of several MS variants. Leaving aside M’s omission, dHPS do not refer to giving birth and so contain insufficient information for the ‘answer’ to the riddle, and the participle in cV has little MS support. Against de in Rgh, see Aenig. 1 le. n. Rgh and the clearly corrupt α are, however, sufficiently similar to the best attested reading ‘mulier quae geminos pariebat’ to lend it support. The imperfect pariebat is an example of the late ‘konstatierendes Impf. als Wiedergabe des gr Aorists’: L-H-Sz II. 303, which cites Vitae Patr. 3.216 ‘vitam suam consumebat’. For late forms in S., see Introduction (2) and n. 32. The riddle has some similarity to that at Fasti 4.665–6 ‘morte boum tibi, rex, Tellus placenda duarum:/ det sacris animas una iuvenca duas’, where Ovid is describing the festival of the Fordicidia (15 April). Faunus had approached Numa with the riddle in a dream, and its solution, to sacrifice a pregnant cow (forda), was supplied by the nymph Egeria. While this riddle possibly has a long Indo-European ancestry, Ovid was the first to introduce it to Latin literature: Bömer at Fast. 4.666. For ‘traditional’ riddles in S., see Aenig. 12 le. n. Many of S.’s riddles have to do with parentage or parturition (note Aenig. 6.2, 7.3, 14, 15, 29(31), 35, 36.1, 37, 38.3, 48.2, 49.1, 81; cf. the interest in parturition evident in the



Bern riddles (AL 481 Riese): 5, 8, 19, 29), but this is the first to deal specifically with humans. In so doing it begins a sequence on people ending at Aenig. 95 funambulus, although only this one is about a woman; cf. Mart. 14.201–23, a series which alternates slaves with cheaper objects usually associated in some way with these slaves. For Martial’s influence on S., see Introduction (3)(a) Proem. The people in S. are all connected in some way with travelling: note discessere in line 3, the preoccupation with feet in Aenig. 93, the pedlar in Aenig. 94 and the viator in Aenig. 95. A verbal echo connects Aenig. 92 to the previous riddle: pariebat (Aenig. 92 le.) and paretur (Aenig. 91.3). Its number-play is paralleled by Sen. Ag. 837–8, of the Geryones: ‘geminos . . . fratres/ pectore ex uno tria monstra natos’. Other examples of number-play in S. are listed at Aenig. 39 le. n. While mulier can mean ‘woman’ generally (OLD2 s.v. mulier §1), it can refer especially to one with sexual experience: OLD2 s.v. mulier §2. This is relevant in the context of childbirth here; cf. Quint. Inst. 6.3.75 ‘Cicero obiurgentibus quod sexagenarius Publiliam virginem duxisset “cras mulier erit” inquit’, Phaedr. 1.18 ‘mulier parturiens’. With lines 2–3, cf. Venant. Fort. Carm. 4.26.49 ‘sic animam generans anima spoliatur’. The paradox of birth coinciding with death is treated e.g. in AP 7.168, at the end of a cycle concerning women who died during or after childbirth. The incidence of death in childbirth in classical Antiquity is often assumed to be high, but studies range in their estimates from 5 in 20,000 to 25 in 1,000: OCD4 s.v. childbirth [E. G. Clark]. Being delivered of twins would, of course, have increased the risk to the mother. 1 plus ego sustinui quam corpus debuit unum: the number-playing S. balances plus at the start of the line with unum at the end. ‘Plus . . . sustinui’ is explained by ‘tres animas habui’ in line 2, something which exceeds the due quota of a single body. 2 tres animas habui, quas omnes intus habebam: in starting the line, tres corresponds to plus (first word in line 1) and contrasts with unum (last word). Together with omnes it continues the riddle’s number-play. Omnes is emphasized by internal rhyme with tres and perhaps by its positioning, although the fourth-foot diaeresis is not uncommon in S. and not always emphatic; cf. corpus in line 1. tres animas habui: ‘animas habere’ means here not to ‘have’ three lives, like the nine of a cat, but to contain them, the mother’s own and those of the two twins: see OLD2 s.v. habeo §13a. For anima used metonymically to mean a ‘life’, i.e. a creature endowed with a soul, see L-S s.v. anima §3; cf. Hor. Serm. 1.5.41. quas omnes intus habebam codd.: alebam Baehrens. The MSS’s reading might appear repetitive after habui, but this is countered by the difference in tense; cf. R. Renehan in Hunt (1982), 256, who takes the word closely with intus in contrast to discessere in line 3: although the mulier was keeping all the souls within her, two got away. (With ‘intus habere’, cf. Aenig. 67.2 ‘[sc. lanterna] lumen habens intus’, Lucr. 1.367.) Alebam is accepted by Shackleton Bailey (1979, 41; cf. his text), who compares e.g. Burman’s aluit for habuit at AL 190.7 Riese (= AL 180.7 ShB), but it does not survive elsewhere with anima and, while it is appropriate of the souls of unborn children, the mother does not nurture her own soul.


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3 discessere duae: discessere AβcD(praeter dR)γ: discedere R: discere KdV: abscessere Baehrens. Abscessere is unnecessary and removes the line’s ‘d- . . . d- . . . p- . . . p- . . .’ alliteration. Discessere, of which R and KdV offer clearly corrupt variants, is humorously used here of birth given its common application to death, i.e. departing from life: see OLD2 s.v. discedo §3d; cf. Sen. Dial. 1.6.9 ‘illud quod vocatur mori, quo anima discedit a corpore, . . . est . . .’. However, the twins’ departure into life almost causes their mother’s departure from life. sed tertia paene †peregit†: sed . . . peregit AβKwa: sed . . . secuta est cDγ: sed . . . perivit Jones: sed . . . profugit Watt: sed . . . peracta est Baehrens: se . . . peregit Renehan. One would expect a stated object with peregit; cf. Mart. 1.78.7–8 ‘sanctam Romana vitam sed morte peregit/ dimisitque animam’ and 5.37.15–16 (of Erotion) ‘quam pessimorum lex amara fatorum/ sexta peregit hieme’. Note also Sen. Apoc. 2.4 ‘Claudius animam agere coepit’. Both Ohl ad loc. and Shackleton Bailey (1979, 41) suspect that the MS variant was an attempt to remove this difficulty through emendation, but, like abscessere (see above), it destroys the line’s alliterative arrangement. Clearly a word beginning with p is required. Although he prints peregit in his text, Shackleton Bailey earlier accepted Jones’s perivit as possibly correct (Shackleton Bailey op. cit.). It is attractive, since it connotes departure (per + eo) and would therefore balance discedo. Watt (1987), 297 suggests profugit, comparing Aenig. 100.2 ‘sed dulcis vita profugit’, but the sense of this possibly combines less well with paene. Baehrens’‘peracta est’ introduces prodelision, admittedly not unparalleled in S. but not very common either: see Introduction (3)(d). Renehan’s solution is prefigured by Shackleton Bailey, op. cit., who observes ‘If peregit is sound, me has to be understood and the point lies in a paradox: the third life (her [i.e. the mother’s] own) was nearly the death of her’. Understanding me is problematic for two reasons. First, S. does not normally leave words to be understood; cf. Aenig. 48.2 n. Secondly a reference is required not to the mother (who is speaking) but to her anima. Renehan’s alteration of ‘sed t-’ to ‘se t-’ (see Hunt (1982), 256) fits this requirement while removing the need to take any word as understood; but sed accords stylistically with S.’s practice elsewhere (see Aenig. 96 introductory n.). Jones’s suggestion is the most satisfactory, and I have adopted it for my translation, but I am not convinced that it is right. The safest course is therefore to obelize.

93 A gouty soldier Powerful once in war, fearful in harsh arms, I had five feet, which no one ever denied. Now I have barely two: abundance has made me poor. MSS: A βcK αAng.deEHMOPRS ghVwawb le. miles podagricus D(praeter dMOR)Vwb: de milite podagrico (podagrim R) OR: miles potager A: miles Bwa: de milite gh: d legi non potest: om. M. This riddle would be very difficult to solve without the lemma; cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C. More



than just miles or de milite is needed to explain it, and lemmata in de are in any case to be rejected: see Aenig. 1 le. n. Bghwa can therefore all be discounted. So too can OR, although, along with A’s meaningless potager, they lend support to podagricus. The etymology of this word, for which see Maltby s.v., citing Charisius 95.22 Barwick (= GLK I.75.16–17) ‘podagricus [sc. dicitur] a pedum aegritudine’, is reflected by the focus on feet in line 2 and especially 3. Such etymologizing is in keeping with S.’s probable scholastic background; cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C. In describing a gout-ridden soldier this is the second riddle in the section on ‘travelling’ people: see Aenig. 92 le. n. Miles possibly recalls the sound of mulier, Aenig. 92 le., while allowing a male–female contrast, but the words are not etymologically linked. This riddle too contains some number-play: note quinque (line 2) and duo (line 3) and see Aenig. 92 le. n. Note also that the phrasing in line 2 recalls Aenig. 92.2; cf. below. The riddle is slightly reminiscent of the Riddle of the Sphinx. For traditional riddles in S., see Aenig. 12 le. n. For gout and its treatment in the Roman world, see Ralph Jackson, Doctors and Diseases in the Roman Empire, London 1988, 177–9. 1 bellipotens olim: olim is countered by nunc in line 3, which points the contrast between the old soldier, now physically disabled but formerly bellipotens. For the formula ‘I was once . . . but now’, see Aenig. 10.1 n. The grand bellipotens is used to describe Mars himself at AL 266.1 ShB ‘bellipotens Mavors’; cf. its substantival use of the god at Stat. Theb. 3.577, V.Fl. 1.529, Verg. A. 11.8. Its prominence at the riddle’s opening emphasizes the soldier’s fall. saevis metuendus in armis: saevis (saevus OR) BD: semper A. A’s reading qualifies and reinforces olim, but saevis is preferable: although it is a regular epithet of arms (see OLD2 s.v. saevus §2e; cf. Ovid Ibis 296 ‘saevo . . . ense’, Luc. 7.313 ‘saevum . . . ferrum’), the adjective actually applies here to the once bellipotens soldier who used them, being a sort of transferred epithet; cf. Stat. Theb. 10.32 ‘insanis Capaneus metuendus in armis’. The soldier is saevus no more. Transferred epithets are admittedly rare in S. (see at Aenig. 33.1 ‘dentibus insanis’), but it is possible that he was alluding specifically to Statius here. 2 quinque pedes habui quod numqam nemo negavit: quinque (quique R) D: sex ABγ: sexque Perionius, Pithoeus; quod DVwb: quos ABwagh: bis Shackleton Bailey. This line has been much discussed, most recently by Erin Sebo, ‘Symphosius 93.2. A New Interpretation’, HSCPh (2011), 315–20, who gives some of the background to the debate and whose solution is summarized below. Sex, which may have resulted from the miscopying of ‘V’ as ‘VI’, is unmetrical. Sexque, the reading and solution of Perionius and Pithoeus (cf. Ohl ad loc.), assumes a cavalryman, with two of his own feet and his horse’s four. However, this would conflict with miles in the lemma (hence Pithoeus substitutes eques there, although this has no MS support), it would remove the paradoxical juxtaposition of active infantry service and the inability to walk through gout, and it makes otiose the alliterative, very emphatic and surely pointed ‘quod numquam nemo negavit’: if a cavalryman were to tot up his and his horse’s feet correctly, why would anyone contest his total? Riese


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obelizes quinque, saying in his apparatus that he does not understand it. Ohl, who prints it, suggests that there is a play on pes meaning a foot to walk on and the foot as a unit of measurement, with reference to the soldier’s height. But this explanation, first proposed by Castalio, does not agree very well with the height stated by Vegetius as desirable in a recruit (between five foot ten and six foot: Mil. 1.5.1); cf. Sebo op. cit. 316. Indeed, as Ohl himself acknowledges, Vegetius can also be used to support reading sex. Also, the second hemistich remains otiose: whatever the height of the miles, there is little point in asserting its undeniability. Shackleton Bailey suggests (1979, 41) that, while pes refers to a unit of measurement, the man’s height is not in question. Instead the gouty old soldier had been a centurion, a ‘castrorum metator’ like Decidius Saxa and therefore a decempedator; cf. Veg. Mil. 3.8.13 ‘opus vero centuriones decempedis metiuntur’. Thus he had previously had ten feet in the form of a ten-foot measuring rod. In consequence he suggests emending the MSS’s quod/quos to bis. This solution is probably right in so far as it refers to a centurion; cf. on copia, line 3, a word which is inappropriate of the ordinary foot-soldier. Nevertheless, he is wrong to think of measuring rods. First, checking measurements when setting up a camp was not the centurion’s principal job, and he would not have followed his boasted military prowess by alluding to it (cf. Sebo op. cit. 316–17). Secondly, the emendation disrupts the flow of the line. In particular, reading bis means that the third-foot caesura no longer coincides with a sense pause, as is usual in S.: see Introduction (3)(d). And thirdly (cf. Sebo op. cit. 319), if the centurion were alluding to a ten-foot measuring pole, he would lay claim to twelve feet in total, that is to his own two (then fully serviceable) as well as those of the pole. Instead, I suggest that the line alludes to the centurion’s vine staff or vitis, the symbol of his authority and one of the means of enforcing it; cf. Tac. Ann. 1.23, describing the centurion Lucilius ‘cui militaribus facetiis vocabulum “cedo alteram” indiderant, quia fracta vite in tergo militis alteram clara voce ac rursus aliam poscebat’, Pliny Nat. 14.19. The vitis was some three feet in length (waist-high, on the evidence of funerary reliefs: Bishop and Coulston 120), and this combined with the centurion’s own two feet to give him his total of five. While he was at the height of his powers, no one would have questioned him, but after he had retired and succumbed to gout, his authority deserted him and all he had left were the two feet he could scarcely use. This explanation is more satisfactory than that of Sebo, op. cit. 317–18, who envisages an ordinary soldier and suggests, citing Polybius 18.30.6–8, that ‘quinque pedes’ refers to the soldier’s own two feet and the three feet he would take up when fully armed and in the battle-line. Not only does Sebo’s interpretation gloss over copia, but the force of the line is considerably weakened if it merely reiterates the battle prowess claimed in line 1, rather than introducing a new element. Quod is preferable to quos, referring to pedes, since the latter requires the reader to understand ‘me habere’ and S. does not normally expect his readers to supply words; cf. Aenig. 48.2 n. The relative pronoun quos may have been prompted by the verbal similarities between this line and line 2 of the previous riddle: ‘tres animas habui, quas omnes . . .’. 3 nunc mihi vix duo sunt: Ohl and Glorie cite Petr. Sat. 132.14 ‘podagrici pedibus suis male dicunt’, but, in the face of his disability, S.’s soldier is more rueful than abusive.



inopem me copia fecit: fecit (facit R) D: reddit AβKwa. Editors are divided. Riese, Ohl, Migne and Bergamin print fecit; cf. Narcissus’ lament at Ovid Met. 3.466 ‘inopem me copia fecit’. However, reddit, printed by Shackleton Bailey, Baehrens and Glorie, makes good sense: see OLD2 s.v. reddo §17 ‘To render, cause to turn out (such and such or in such and such a state)’. It is likely, however, that S. is here deliberately and ironically deflating Ovid (cf. Introduction (3)(e)), and an exact allusion is therefore probable. Like Ovid, the scholastic S. (cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C) would have been fully conscious of playing etymologically on inopem and copia; cf. Cassiod. in Psalm. 87.10 ‘inopia . . . dicitur e contrario, ubi nulla est copia’, Var. L. 5.92 ‘ab eadem [i.e. ope] inops, qui eius indiget, et ab eodem fonte copis ac copiosus’. In a military context copia can refer to troops or forces (see OLD2 s.v. copia §3) or, in the plural, supplies (OLD2 s.v. copia §4b). By virtue of his rank, the centurion would have had command of both while serving, but, more importantly, this rank would also have secured him the ‘abundance’ of a high wage and a good pension on leaving the army.21 He would therefore have been able to indulge himself on his retirement. Gout was traditionally associated with wealthy and luxurious living (cf. Juv. 3.96–7 ‘pauper locupletam optare podagram/ nec dubitet Ladas’ with Mayor, Henriksén at Mart. 9.92.9; see Jackson ibid. 178), and, paradoxically, the copia made possible by the centurion’s former position has rendered him inops in later life. For inops of physical inability, cf. Cic. Att. 7.8.5 ‘infirmus et inops’. Sil. 9.333–4 ‘cupiti/ Martis inops’ describes the soldier who, having been excluded from the lines, is limited to shouting at the enemy from behind his comrades.

94 A one-eyed garlic seller Now might you see what you might scarcely believe: he has one eye but many thousands of heads. From where will he, who sells what he has, procure what he has not? MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPQRS ghVwawb le. luscus alium vendens: this riddle on a pedlar continues the series on ‘travelling’ people starting with Aenig. 92: see the le. n. Like Aenig. 93 it would be difficult to guess without the lemma; cf. Introduction (3)(a) section C. Bergamin notes that, as with Aenig. 92 and 93, it might be a re-working of traditional riddle material. For other such riddles in S., see Aenig. 12 le. n. For participles in S.’s lemmata, see Aenig. 83 le. n. above. For riddles which are not in the first person, see the introductory n. to Aenig. 96. It is possible that, like the gouty miles in Aenig. 93, the garlic seller was also once a soldier, and that he lost his eye while fighting: for examples of such wounds, see P. A. Watson, ‘Martial’s fascination with lusci’, G&R 29 (1982), 73. However, whereas the former centurion can reflect on his elevated rank and has a ‘high-status’ disability, the 21

Cf. e.g. M. Alexander Speidel, ‘Roman Army Pay Scales’, JRS 82 (1992), 105 and Table 7. Although the figures given relate to the first three centuries AD, the differential of about 15:1 between the pay of a centurion and a legionary foot-soldier is suggestive.


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result of rich living, the luscus was commonly the subject of jokes; cf. Watson op cit. 71–2. His ‘low-status’ disability aside, the luscus would have been looked down on too for being a hawker (cf. the ‘Transtiberinus ambulator’ of Mart. 1.41.3 and see N-R on the door-to-door salesman or institor at Hor. Carm. 3.6.30); and he would have been despised the more for hawking garlic, since this was traditionally a poor man’s food: see Gowers 289–92, André 20; cf. Mart. 12.32.20. In keeping with the traditional mockery of lusci, the point of the riddle (see line 3 below) seems to be to express amazement that someone who has just one eye in his own head sells all the heads of garlic he possesses and so denies himself the only hope he has, scant though it is, since heads of garlic do not possess eyes, of procuring a second from one of them. The contrast between unus and ‘multa milia’ in line 2 recalls the number-play in Aenig. 92 and 93, for which see the lee. nn. Poking fun at physical disability was common practice amongst the Romans; cf. Franklin B. Krauss, ‘The Motive of Martial’s Satire’, CW 38 (1944), 19. On the cultivation and use of garlic, see Pliny Nat. 19.111–16, Col. 11.3.16, 20–3. 1 cernere iam fas est quod vix tibi credere fas est: S. may have been influenced by the wording at Manil. 4.922 ‘quis putet esse nefas nosci, quod cernere fas est?’ The balance of the two hemistichs is emphasized by the alliterative infinitives cernere and credere and the repetition of ‘fas est’, before the caesura and at the line-end. For other final monosyllabic endings, see Introduction (3)(d). The phrase ‘cernere . . . fas est’ is elsewhere used of viewing the gods or godlike beings; cf. Mart. 5.3.5–6 (of Domitian) and Auson. Ep. 13.62.3 Green ‘nec fas’ with Kay. Its use here of a humble pedlar is ironic, perhaps especially as he himself cannot see very well. Rather than ‘it is right’ or ‘it is allowed’, the first instance of ‘fas est’ must nonetheless mean principally something like ‘it is possible’, in accordance with the second; cf. OLD2 s.v. fas §3c. With the line-ending ‘credere fas est’, cf. Manil. 3.553, 4.896, Sil. 3.425. For the ‘seeing is believing’ motif, on which this line builds, cf. e.g. Pl. As. 202 ‘credunt quod vident’. Contrast Pliny Pan. 64.2 ‘nec . . . oculis meis . . . credo’. 2 unus inest oculus, capitum sed milia multa: as well as the contrast between unus and the emphatically alliterative ‘milia multa’, note that of oculus with the juxtaposed capitum. The two hemistichs are held together by the ἀπὸ κοινοῦ inest (≈ insunt). On inest, see below. capitum: for caput of the head of a garlic plant, cf. e.g. Col. 6.34, 8.5.12, Pliny Nat. 28.200; see L-S s.v. caput §2a. Compare its use of a poppy in Aenig. 40.1 above: see ad loc. multa codd.: vendit Shackleton Bailey. Shackleton Bailey argues (1979, 42) that ‘The heads of the garlic cannot “be in” the one-eyed man . . . and this needs stating so as to prepare for the question in line 3.’ But his emendation weakens the contrast of milia with unus and makes vendit in line 3 repetitive. Instead Watt (1987), 297 keeps multa but suggests replacing sed with sunt [sc. ei]. This is better, but, aside from S.’s unwillingness to make his readers supply or ‘understand’ words (cf. Aenig. 48.2 n.), it



too is unnecessary. Inest does not apply here to something which is literally ‘contained’. Instead, it signifies the hawker’s possession of one eye and also, before he sells them, of the many thousands of heads of garlic. See OLD2 s.v. insum §3; cf. Sall. Cat. 25.5 ‘multae facetiae multusque lepos inerat’ (describing Sempronia) and Livy 9.16.13 ‘praecipua pedum pernicitas inerat’, of Papirius Cursor. 3 qui quod habet vendit, quod non habet unde parabit?: interlocking word-order emphasizes the line’s play on (not) having, selling and procuring.

95 A tight-rope walker Between the light-bearing sky and the recumbent lands there passes through the midair a wayfarer with the skill he has learnt, for the path is narrow and not enough even for feet. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPRS ghIVwawb le. funambulus (funabulus αV: funambulum eI) αAng.deHPSIV: funeambulus Awb: fune ambulans Bwa: de funambulo OR: de fundimbalo gh: legi non potest d: om. M. (Bergamin reports two readings for d.) Funeambulus might be a variation of the form funiambulus, which is suggested by Souter, 243, but support for this word is weak; cf. ThLL VI(1).1546.20–3 s.v. funiambulus [Vollmer]. Hence perhaps Bwa’s unconvincing attempt at emendation. Against lemmata in de, see Aenig. 1 le. n. Funambulus is clearly best. This riddle concludes the series on people and ‘travelling’ beginning with Aenig. 92. Viator, line 2, supplies the link with the garlic-peddling luscus of the previous riddle. Pedibus, line 3, contrasts with pedes, Aenig. 93.2: the old soldier there can scarcely walk, while the funambulus does so with great skill. Regarding riddles which are not in the first person, see the introductory n. to Aenig. 96. The popular appeal of tight-rope walking is clearly demonstrated as early as 165 BC, when the first performance of Terence’s newly completed Hecyra lost its audience to competition from a nearby funambulist: see lines 1–5 of the first prologue. No doubt it extended before this. In general, see Kay 141–2, and also the numerous passages cited by Mayor at Juv. 14.272. The showmanship and suspense is well conveyed by Manilius, 5.653–6: ac tenuis ausus sine limite gressus certa per extentos ponet vestigia funes, et caeli meditatus iter vestigia perdet paene sua et pendens populum suspendet ab ipso.

With lines 2–3, cf. Prud. Hamart. 367–8: inde per aerium pendens audacia funem ardua securis scandit proscaenia plantis.


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With line 3, cf. AL 275 ShB: de funambulo vidi hominem pendere cum via, cui latior erat planta quam semita.

The feet of the elephant tight-rope walkers described at Suet Galba 6.1 would have been still wider than the ‘path’ they trod. 1 inter luciferum caelum terrasque iacentes: in describing a circus performer, S. possibly alludes ironically and debunkingly to Verg. A. 1.224 ‘despiciens mare velivolum terrasque iacentis’, words used of Jupiter; cf. Introduction (3)(e). The passages are nonetheless not similar enough for certainty. Inter is emphasized by its prominent position at the beginning of the line. Caelum is qualified by an adjective with an active sense, terras by a participle with a passive sense (despite its active form). The words’ juxtaposition stresses the contrast between them: they are actually opposite limits. inter luciferum caelum: luciferum AIV: lucificum BD(praeter S)wa: lucifluum Sghwb. The late Latin lucifluum is unmetrical here. Lucificum is rare but finds parallel at Cael. Acut. 2.45, applied directly to the sun. It cannot apply here, however, since the sky does not cause or ‘make’ the light, although it might convey it: for luciferum, see OLD2 s.v. lucifer §1; cf. Venant. Fort. Carm. 2.4.3 luciferax. It sounds an epic note which accords with the possibly Virgilian ‘terrasque iacentis’. 2 aera per medium docta meat arte viator: cf. AL 101.2–3 ShB, where the funambulus, a ‘docta iuventa’, is described as an ‘aerius . . . viator’, and Aenig. 65.2 ‘aera per medium volucri contendo meatu’. Aera picks up line 1; cf. Non. 241.21–2 M ‘aer est medium spatium quod inter caelum est et terram’, Ovid Met. 5.644 ‘et medium caeli terraeque per aera vecta est [sc. Ceres]’. It contrasts pointedly with viator, last word in the line, to emphasize that the funambulist’s ability, the result of acquired skill, is counter to nature (cf. OLD2 s.v. ars §2) and therefore the more remarkable. Indeed, although a terrestrial being, he has an almost stellar quality, since meo is often used of heavenly bodies: see ThLL VIII.786.14 ff. s.v. meo [R.], OLD2 s.v. meo §1b; cf. Ovid Met. 15.71 (sidera) and Quint. Inst. 11.2.22 (sol). docta (docte cwb) BD(praeter Ang.)ghwb: doctus Ang.IVwa: doctam A. Although transferred epithets are rare in S. (cf. the n. on Aenig. 33.1 ‘dentibus insanis’), here editors rightly prefer the more forceful docta (cf. A’s ‘doctam m-’) to doctus. 3 semita sed brevis est, pedibus nec sufficit ipsis: cf. AL 275 ShB, cited above. As there, where there is possibly word-play on semita and via, so too perhaps there is here on semita and viator in line 2; cf. Servius at Verg. A. 4.405 ‘semita est semis via, unde et semita dicta est’. Other derivations survive, however: see Maltby s.v. semita. For S.’s interest in etymology and other scholastic associations, see Introduction (3)(a) section C.



semita sed brevis est: sed has the force of enim, a predominantly late meaning or usage which accounts for the need for ‘docta . . . arte’ in line 2; cf. possibly Pers. 1.11–12 ‘quid faciam? sed sum petulanti splene’ (but see Kissel ad loc.) and see L-H-Sz II. 488. For other ‘late’ usages in S., see Introduction (2) and n. 32. Semita can be used of the trail of heavenly bodies (cf. Sen. Tro. 356 ‘stella longa semitam flamma trahens’) and so accords with the tight-rope walker’s heavenly associations. For brevis meaning ‘narrow’ (contrast latior in AL 275 ShB), see OLD2 s.v. brevis §1d. pedibus nec sufficit ipsis repeats the sense of the first line-half. The path is not enough to support just feet and so its supporting a tight-rope walker is all the more miraculous; cf. AL 275.2 ShB.

96 Words22 Now indeed believe me that what is said to be unable to happen does. You hold eight in your hands but with me guiding you as teacher, if seven have been taken away, six will be left to you. MSS: αAng.deHMOPRS ghIVwb Aenig. 96 is transmitted only by the D family and the contaminated tradition and it is considered spurious by most modern editors (not Bergamin), who regard it as the medieval replacement of a lost original; cf. Introduction (3)(b) and n. 98. There are indeed grounds for suspecting the received lemma (see the le. n. below), but the body of the riddle appears genuine. Although it might at first glance appear out of character with the collection, being more ‘mathematical’ than the other ‘number’ Aenigmata (listed in Aenig. 39 le. n.), there is only slight comparison between it and, for example, the mathematical problems at AP 14.116–46 (on which see Forster) and it can be interpreted in a manner consistent with S.: again, see the le. n. In addition, there are strong compositional indications in its favour. First, in accordance with the principles by which S. arranges the Aenigmata (see Introduction (3)(b)), Aenig. 96 contains links with Aenig. 95 and 97. Thus line 2 manibus recalls Aenig. 95.3 pedibus. (Hands and feet go together in S. again at Aenig. 17.3 ‘manus . . . pedibus’ and 39.1 ‘pedibus manibusque’, where they are followed by 40.2 ‘pes . . . pes’ and 41.1 pedes.) Also, ‘monstrante magistro’, line 2, recalls Aenig. 95.2 ‘docta . . . arte’. Both Aenig. 96 and 97 contain the idea of ‘taking away’: note sublatis, Aenig. 96.3, which is picked up by Aenig. 97.1 ‘insidias . . . latenti’ with its suggestions of robbery. A further link with Aenig. 95 and also 94 is that the riddle is not in the first person – something relatively rare in S. (see Introduction (3)(c) and n. 116) but here concluding a short


Much of my thinking on this riddle has been shaped by the ideas of others and especially Dr Michael Apthorp, to whose enthusiasm and detailed correspondence, especially on textual and stylistic matters, I am greatly indebted. I am also grateful to Mr Dennis Blandford.


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sequence – and Aenig. 96.1 ‘nunc mihi iam credas fieri quod posse negatur’ recalls Aenig. 94.1 ‘cernere iam fas est quod vix tibi credere fas est’. Secondly, the riddle agrees stylistically with others in the collection, as the following list of similarities demonstrates: 96.1 nunc mihi at the start of a line

93.3 nunc mihi; cf. 49.2 nunc ego

96.1 negatur at the end of a line

41.1 negare; 93.2 negavit

96.2 magistro at the end of a line

2.3 magistris

96.3 sublatis at the start of a line

83.1 sublatum

Note also: 96.1 posse negatur

S. often negates possum: 15.1 non possum, 71.2 non . . . possum; cf. 10.3 nec [sc. possum]

96.3 reliqui . . . remanebunt, i.e. the repetition of re-

12.1–2 resultat . . . resonat, 31(30).2–3 recuses . . . reportes, 73.2 redit . . . recedit, 80.3 resono . . . resulto

Further, the alliteration within the riddle, especially that of m in line 2, is easily paralleled elsewhere in the collection (cf. e.g. Aenig. 68.2). Also the placing of sed after the third-foot caesura, again in line 2, is very much in keeping with S.’s practice: note e.g. Praef. 10, Aenig. 1.1, 4.3, 5.2, 7.1, 7.2, 8.1, 15.2, 22.3, 24.3, 25.1, 32.1, 32.2, 34.1, 40.2, 41.2, 42.1, 48.2, 49.3, 63.3, 66.3, 68.3, 74.2, 76.1, 76.2, 98.3, 100.2, and in all but three instances where it is placed thus (Aenig. 46.1, 47.3, 63.1) the word is lengthened by position, as here, to complete a spondee. le. verba Apthorp: de VIII tollas VII et remanet VI vel sim. codd. praeter M: om. M. Instead of supplying its ‘solution’, the transmitted lemma and its variations (all trivial) merely summarize the riddle’s content, thus differing from the other lemmata in the Aenigmata in function as well as appearance. The tradition is therefore suspect. The riddle was known to Alcuin of York, who cites a prose version of it in his disputatio Pippini regalis et nobilissimi iuvenis cum Albino scholastico (Patr. Lat. 101.979). Albinus says ‘vidi hominem octo in manu tenentem, et de octonis rapuit septem, et remanserunt sex.’ Pippin considered the solution easy: ‘pueri in scholis hoc sciunt’; but, while perhaps another ‘traditional riddle’ (cf. Aenig. 12 le. n.), its solution has occasioned much debate in recent times. A selection of the attempts at solving it are given below; cf. T. J. Leary, ‘Six Fingers to Symphosius’, Classical Association News 35 (2006), 10, an article which led eventually to Apthorp’s conjecture.23 Most of the solutions so far suggested depend on ‘finger-play’ (cf. manibus, line 2), two of which are reported by Ohl ad loc. The first of these was proposed in 1720: ‘Hold up one hand, spreading thumb and forefinger so as to form a V; this plus the three


Those who contributed ideas for this article are thanked in its first footnote.



remaining digits can be read as VIII. Depress the V and two digits; one is left, which, plus the five on the other hand, makes six.’ It is deemed the more likely by Ohl, since it involves two hands, but, despite the plural of manus, it is precisely the last-minute getout-of-trouble recruitment of the second hand that fails to convince. The second solution reported by Ohl is very contrived: ‘Depress the thumb and forefinger only [sc. with the upheld hand designating VIII as before] and count this as seven, i.e. you have taken away two [viz. one finger + one thumb] and the V [sc. formed by the ‘v’ shape of the finger and thumb together]. Then spread the remaining three fingers so as to read VI.’ For a more scientific ‘finger’ solution, see J. Hilton Turner, ‘Roman Elementary Mathematics: the Operations’, CJ 47.2 (1951), 63–74 and 106–8. To aid mental arithmetic in the ancient world, there developed an elaborate system of finger notation by which any number up to 9,999 could be represented. Turner explains the current riddle by reference to the finger positions for 8 (left-hand palm up; thumb, index and middle finger up; other two down), 7 (left-hand palm up; little finger down; everything else up), and 6 (left-hand palm up; third finger down; everything else up), saying (106) ‘If a person with his last two fingers lowered for 8 raises the little finger, the one which by itself indicates 7, he now has his hand in the proper position for 6.’ Again this solution is contrived: the little finger denoting 7 only does so when the other fingers, including the third one, are up – which is not the case here. Most other finger solutions follow the type described in Leary, op. cit.: if you stretch out your hands in front of you, you see eight fingers (i.e digiti, agreeing with reliqui in the last line?) and two thumbs. Subtract seven of these fingers (by folding them under your hands) so that you are left with the index finger and thumb of your left hand and the thumb of the right. Together they form a V and an I, i.e. VI. A close variant is this: if you press your palms together as if praying, but keep the two thumbs separated from the index fingers so as to make a V shape, your fingers and thumbs will together form VIII when seen from the side. Then if you remove your right hand (five fingers) and fold down the last two fingers of your left hand, the remaining thumb and two fingers form VI. A difficulty with this sort of solution is that, while the fingers in line 2 are distinguished from the thumbs (hence ‘octo tenes’), thumbs are included as fingers in line 3. Although he does not print any lemma and obelizes the riddle, Riese adopts L. Mueller’s ‘quinque manebunt’ in line 3, which assumes emending the transmitted lemma to de VIII tollas VII et remanet V, and supplies in his apparatus the explanation of Klapp. This takes the Roman numeral X to be made up of the letter v, the right way up, placed above another letter v, this time upside down. If one takes IIʌ (i.e. vII rotated through 180°) from IIX (i.e. two from ten, or VIII), v remains. Ohl rejects Klapp’s explanation because it depends on a visual interpretation and takes no account of manibus, but, as he suggests, its foundation on a dubious emendation is unconvincing anyway. The most productive solutions reported in Leary, op. cit., are those of Dr Rhona Beare. She suggests firstly that in the lemma’s numbers, ‘V’ stands for versus: one starts off with III in the riddle and on having read II there is I remaining. This is similar to the explanation of L. Bieber, Lustrum 2 (1957), 290–1; cf Courtney (1989), 208: ‘VIII minus


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VII equals VI’ is to be interpreted algebraically as 3V minus 2V equals 1V, but it assumes that the lemma is genuine. Dr Beare continues, however, that in the riddle itself the first line contains eight words which you would ‘hold in your hands’, i.e. possess, when you had read them (on ‘manu tenere’, see line 2 n. below); the second contains seven, which you would subtract by reading them; and the third six, which is what you are then left with. No other riddle in S. contains successive lines of 8, 7 and 6 words and the correlation seems therefore unlikely to be coincidental. Prompted by Beare’s second explanation, which I accept, Dr Apthorp suggests that the original lemma was verba, which was omitted through haplography with umbra (Aenig. 97 le.), a word which also contains five letters, four of them the same. A substitute lemma was then inserted by a medieval scribe. Apthorp’s suggestion, which I again accept, has much to commend it. First, while haplography would account for the omission and substitution of lemmata in the D family, it would account for the omission of the whole riddle in AB; cf. the omission by D of Aenig. 51 mola after Aenig. 50.3 mole. Secondly, if verba is accepted, Aenig. 96 then joins the series of ‘intangible’ subjects treated in Aenig. 97–9, its lemma pairing naturally with Aenig. 98 Echo. Thirdly, it might be observed, in the context of S.’s probable scholastic background (see Introduction (3)(a) section C), that many of the Aenigmata deal with words in one way or another: note the stylus and reed pen in Aenig. 1 and 2, the bookworm of Aenig. 16, Aenig. 42 beta, 70 clepsydra (i.e. public speaking; note verba at Aenig. 70.3). Similarly, the Bern riddles (AL 481 Riese) include parchment (24), letters (25) and papyrus (27); cf 56 ‘de verbo’. It is true that many of Martial’s Apophoreta treat similar items and S. might be reflecting this (cf. Introduction (3)(a) Proem.), but this is an additional possibility rather than the only one. 1 nunc mihi iam credas fieri quod posse negatur: credas dHMPSV: credes eghIwb: credis αAng.OR. The jussive subjunctive accords with the apparent incredibility of what the riddle goes on to state. Coming at the end of the first hemistich, credas is balanced by the contrasting negatur at the end of the line. Nunc, prominently placed and emphasized by iam, further stresses the unbelievable nature of what the riddle will demonstrate. Mihi is picked up by the alliterative ‘me monstrante magistro’ in line 2. (For the use of the singular, despite the plural lemma, see on ‘me . . . magistro’ below.) The riddle’s mathematical appearance is owed principally to its focus on numbers, but it also contains mathematical vocabulary. For fio in calculations, see OLD2 s.v. fio §§4, 9b; cf. Macer. dig. ‘quod quinquaginta et viginti quinque fieri centum putaverit . . . error computationis est’ and Cic. Off. 1.59, cited below. For other mathematical words, see on sublatis, reliqui and remanebunt in line 3 below. 2 octo tenes manibus, sed me monstrante magistro: tenes dM: tenens codd. reliqui. Tenes accords with tibi, line 3, whereas tenens does not. Octo, first word, refers to the eight words in the previous line, just as ‘sublatis septem’ at the start of line 3 refers to the number of words in line 2. The phrase ‘tenes manibus’ recalls the use of manus in the handling or reading of books; cf. Cic. Att. 7.8.5 ‘habebamus . . . in manibus Antoni contionem’; see OLD2 s.v. manus §12.



sed me monstrante magistro: monstro is regular of teaching: see OLD2 s.v. monstro §2; cf. Apul. Met. 10.17 ‘nullo . . . monstrante’. Arithmetic and tables were part of the elementary curriculum (Bonner 80) and the riddle (i.e. the words within it acting as a single entity) is therefore cast in the role of ‘ludi magister’. 3 sublatis septem: it seems best to take this as a conditional ablative absolute: ‘If seven . . .’. With sublatis, which can have a mathematical sense, cf. the use of ἀπαίρειν ἀπό at Eucl. Book 1 κοιναὶ ἔννοιαι 3. Note also sublatum at Aenig. 83.1 and the formulation ‘sublatus e numero’ of removal from a group: Cic. Flac. 11, Brut. 311.4. reliqui tibi sex remanebunt: quinque manebunt L. Mueller; but emendation is unnecessary: see the le. n. above. Remanebunt continues the mathematical language; cf. AP 14.116.8 περιλείπεται and Euclid loc. cit. τὰ καταλειπόμενα; see L-S-J s.v. λείπω §§A.I.4, B.II.3. So too perhaps does reliqui: cf. Cic. Off. 1.59 ‘ut possimus . . . addendo deducendoque videre, quae reliqui summa fiat’ although the word reliqui in Cicero is a genitive substantive rather than a nominative adjective.

97 A shadow I fear no trap from hidden treachery for god has bestowed on me these particular physical gifts, with the result that no one moves me unless he himself is first moved. MSS: A βcK αAng.deEHMOPQRS ghIVwawb le. umbra: the context of this difficult riddle, the second in the series of insubstantial phenomena, seems to be nocturnal travel. This would generally have been avoided (cf. Tönnes Kleberg, Hôtels, Restaurants et Cabarets dans L’Antiquité romaine, Uppsala 1957, 62) but was sometimes necessary and, although travelling was relatively safe under the later Empire (cf. Lionel Casson, Travel in the Ancient World, London 1974, 122), night-time travellers were understandably nervous at being waylaid. This nervousness and their consequent reaction to the slightest movement increased if they were carrying anything worth stealing; cf. Juv. 10.19–21 ‘pauca licet portes argenti vascula puri/ nocte iter ingressus, gladium contumque timebis/ et motae ad lunam trepidabis harundinis umbram’. The shadow in S. is, however, not that of the Juvenalian reed moving in the moonlight. Instead it seems to be that cast by the traveller himself, whose fears of an ambush are thereby aroused; cf. Otto s.v. umbra §1 on the proverbial use of fearing one’s own shadow. In contrast to the traveller, however (cf. on line 3 below), his shadow is unconcerned since it knows that, thanks to its composition, its movements are no more than a reflection of the traveller’s own. As is observed above (see the introductory note to Aenig. 96), this riddle is linked to the previous one by ‘insidias . . . latenti’ in line 2: both riddles involve ‘taking away’, Aenig. 96 by mathematical-sounding subtraction, this riddle by its suggestion of robbery. Latenti possibly recalls the sound of sublatis, Aenig. 96.3. The travelling theme recalls viator in Aenig. 95.2.


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For footpads and brigands in the Roman world, see generally Ramsay MacMullen, Enemies of the Roman Order. Treason, Unrest and Alienation in the Empire, London 1992, 255–68. 1 insidias nullas vereor de fraude latenti: latenti BD(praeter Ang.EMQ)γ: latentis AIV: latentes Ang.EQ: latente M. The noun-adjective pair ‘insidias nullas’ is balanced by ‘fraude latenti’. Latentis, the lectio facilior, disrupts this line-structure. So does latentes, which leaves fraude unqualified, while insidias is qualified twice. M’s reading arose under the influence of fraude. 2 nam deus attribuit nobis haec munera formae: the lowly shadow’s claim to godgiven gifts is humorous; cf. Manil. 3.71–2 ‘munera . . . attribuit’ of Nature’s gifts. The poetic plural nobis is unparalleled in S., and contrasts with the use of me in line 3. It can possibly be explained on metrical grounds, but it also accords with the grandiosity of divine beneficence. With munera, cf. Cic. Sen. 40 ‘divino muneri’, Sen. Ben. 4.28 ‘deus . . . quaedam munera . . . humano generi dedit’. formae codd.: firma (i.e. mansura) Shackleton Bailey. In justifying his emendation Shackleton Bailey comments in his apparatus that ‘feminae, non umbrae, formae munere laudantur’ and compares Stat. Silv. 5.1.51, but he does not appreciate the humour of the line: as part of his personification of the shadow (humorous in itself, since shadows lack bodily substance), S. applies vocabulary elsewhere used of a woman’s beauty (note that both femina and umbra are feminine nouns) to the advantages to be had from the shadow’s appearance or aspect. 3 quod me nemo movet, nisi qui prius ipse movetur: cf. Aenig. 69.3 ‘qui nihil ostendit nisi si quid viderit ante’ of a speculum (umbra can be used of the reflection in a mirror: see D. R. Shackleton Bailey, ‘Maniliana’, CQ 6 (1956), 86) and 99.3 ‘sed me nemo videt, nisi qui sua lumina claudit’. The active movet, before the caesura, is balanced by the passive movetur at the line-end, while me is balanced by ‘qui . . . ipse’. M and n alliteration binds the line together. For similar content, cf. Ovid. Met. 3.434–6, addressing Narcissus as he admires his reflection: ista repercussae, quam cernis, imaginis umbra est. nihil habet ista sui, tecum venitque, manetque; tecum discedit, si tu discedere possis.

quod me nemo movet: for quod meaning ‘so that’ see L-H-Sz II.581–2. Usually it would be followed by a subjunctive, and the indicative is a further suggestion of a late date for the Aenigmata; cf. Introduction (2) and n. 32. As well as referring to movement, moveo can mean ‘frighten’: see OLD2 s.v. moveo §15b; cf. Bell. Afr. 39.1 ‘adversariorum copiis moveri’ and Mart. 7.54.2 ‘quae moveant animum sollicitentque meum’ with Galán Vioque. Thus movet here recalls vereor in line 1: the shadow fears no insidiae because nobody scares it unless he is first scared himself



– and its fear (or movement) amounts to no more than a reflection of his terrified quiverings at having seen his own shadow.

98 Echo A demure girl, I observe too well the law of chastity. I am not forward in speaking nor am I bold of tongue. I will not speak of my own accord, but I give answers to a speaker. MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPRS ghIVwawb le. Echo: various versions of the Echo story survive: see Kl.P. II.195.15 ff. s.v. Echo [M. von Albrecht], March s.v. Echo. In Ovid Met. 3.356–401 she is condemned by Juno – whom she distracted by talk so that Jupiter could pursue his love affairs – never to be able to initiate conversation, but always to answer or repeat the words of others. Thus she is unable to pursue her own love affairs successfully. This riddle continues the series of insubstantial things which begins at Aenig. 96. It is generically linked with Aenig. 97 umbra and the third line in each riddle is similar in sense: neither Echo nor the shadow initiates action (whether speech or movement) but responds to that of another. Since Aenig. 97.3 is similar to Ovid’s description of Narcissus at Met. 3.434–6 (quoted at Aenig 97.3 above) and ‘prius ipse/ipsa’ occurs in both this line and Ovid Met. 3.357–8 (cited at line 3 below), the two riddles together may allude deliberately to the Echo-Narcissus story in the Metamorphoses. There is perhaps a contrast between the words indicating modesty in Aenig. 98 (‘virgo modesta’ and pudoris in line 1, ‘procax non sum’ in line 2) and forma, in the sense ‘feminine beauty’, in Aenig. 97.2. 1 virgo modesta nimis legem bene servo pudoris: virginal modesty and pudor are also associated e.g. at Cic. Planc. 27 ‘ut . . . adulescentis modestissimi pudor postulabat’. Cf. too Enn. Alex. 33 Jocelyn (= Scen. 55 Vahlen; cf. Cic. Div. 1.66): ‘†virginali† modestia’. Echo was not naturally modest, but the vocal restriction imposed on her by Juno meant that she was very much so in practice. Bergamin takes nimis with modesta, observing that this accords with S.’s usual practice of dividing the line into two hemistichs at the central caesura (cf. Introduction (3)(d)), but taking it with bene gives better emphasis. For nimis with an adverb, cf. e.g. Pl. Men. 1019 ‘nimis bene’, Epid. 376 ‘nimis longum’, Cic. Leg. 3.1.7 ‘nimis saepe’. For lex here, see ThLL VII(2).1247.14–15 s.v. lex [Hübner]: the usage is not common, but cf. e.g. Calp. Decl. 3 ‘suam legem habet [sc. pudicitia]’. 2 ore procax non sum, nec sum temeraria linguae: temeraria with the genitive balances procax with the ablative. Further balance is provided by ‘non sum’ and ‘nec sum’ on either side of the caesura. By emphasizing what she is not, Echo reinforces her claim in line 1 to excessively chaste behaviour. With procax, cf. Sal. Cat. 25.5, remarking Sempronia’s ability ‘sermone uti . . . procaci’, and Cic. Cael. 49 ‘proterva meretrix procaxque’, describing Clodia. With ‘temeraria linguae’ cf. Livy 22.44.7 ‘quibus lingua prompta ac temeraria’ and Tac. Dial. 40.2 ‘eloquentia . . . temeraria’.


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3 ultro nolo loqui, sed do responsa loquenti: cf. Ov. Met. 3.357–8 ‘nec reticere loquenti/ nec prius ipsa loqui didicit’, 368–9, 380 ‘responderat Echo’, 387 responsura. The second half of the line ‘echoes’ the first in that both end with a form of loquor. Responsa, which was derived from sponte (see Var. L. 6.69), contrasts with ultro, and connects with sponte at the start of Aenig. 99.1. Such etymologizing accords with S.’s probable scholastic background: see Introduction (3)(a) section C. ultro nolo loqui: in fact Echo could not, but her stated refusal accords with the modesty imposed upon her: chaste maidens would not initiate conversation, which is why Sempronia’s behaviour, described at Sal. Cat. 25.3, was so shocking: ‘lubido sic accensa, ut saepius peteret viros quam peteretur’. R. O. A. M. Lyne comments (The Latin Love Poets, Oxford 1980, 14) that few professional courtesans would commit this blunder.

99 Sleep Coming of my own accord, I display differing shapes. I fashion empty fears without distinguishing the truth; but no one sees me unless he closes his eyes. MSS: A βcK αAng.deEFHMOPRS ghIVwawb le. somnus ABD(praeter OR)γ: somnium L. Mueller: de somno OR. Against lemmata in de, see Aenig. 1 le. n. Somnium is very attractive, cohering well with the riddle’s content and especially lines 1 ‘varias ostendo figuras’, 2 ‘fingo metus vanus’ and 3, while being in accordance with the theme of insubstantial phenomena starting at Aenig. 96, in a series which this riddle concludes; cf. below. There is, however, no need to emend somnus, which is closer than somnium to death and therefore links more strongly with Aenig. 100 monumentum. For the sleep of death see N-H at Hor. Carm. 1.24.5 and Pease on Cic. Div. 1.63; cf. Ovid Am. 2.9b.41 ‘quid est somnus gelidae nisi mortis imago?’, Verg. A. 10.745–6, cited below. This riddle is linked verbally via sponte (line 1) with Aenig. 98.3 ultro. See also on responsa, Aenig. 98.3 n. above. Metus (line 2) recalls Aenig 97.1 vereor, while line 3 ‘sed me nemo videt, nisi qui sua lumina claudit’ echoes Aenig. 97.3 ‘quod me nemo movet, nisi qui prius ipse movetur’. Line 3 also recalls the riddle on Sleep at AP 14.110: οὐδεὶς βλέπων βλέπει με, μὴ βλέπων δ’ ὁρᾷ·. ὁ μὴ λαλῶν λαλεῖ, ὁ μὴ τρέχων τρέχει. ψευδὴς δ’ ὑπάρχω, πάντα τἀληθῆ λέγων. No one sees me when seeing, but he sees when not seeing; he speaks when he is not speaking and he runs when he is not running. I am false while telling the whole truth.

1 sponte mea veniens: ‘sponte mea’ presumably refers to the arbitrariness of sleep, which comes when it is not necessarily wanted, or does not come when it is. With veniens, cf. Mart. 1.71 ‘tu mihi, Somne, veni’, Tib. 2.1.89–90 ‘venit . . . Somnus’, Stat. Silv.



5.4.15–16 ‘Somne . . . inde veni’, spoken by the unwilling insomniac with reference to the eager lover, who spurns sleep when lying in the arms of his girl. varias ostendo figuras: similar language is used of dreams; cf. Claud. Rapt. Pros. 3.124 ‘somnia quin etiam variis infausta figuris/ saepe monent’, Ovid Met. 11.613–14 ‘varias imitantia formas/ somnia vana’, Lucr. 4.34–5 ‘in somnis, cum saepe figuras/ contuimur’, Auson. Cupidus Cruciatus 19.99 Green ‘nocturnis . . . figuris’. At Ovid Met. 11.634–5 Morpheus is described as ‘simulatorem . . . figurae.’ This influenced Mueller in emending the lemma to somnium (cf. above), but it is sleep which makes dreaming possible. 2 fingo metus vanos nullo discrimine veri: fingo, which picks up the etymologically related figuras in line 1, contrasts with veri at the end of the line and accords with vanus; cf. Ter. Eun. 104 ‘falsum aut vanum aut finctum’, Cic. Fam. 9.16.2 ‘non facile diiudicatur amor verus et fictus’. The combination of metus and vanus is common: cf. Hor. Carm. 1.23.3–4, Ovid Her. 16.344, Sen. Oed. 700. These words could apply to dreams as well as sleep; cf. Verg. A. 7.438 ‘ne tantos mihi finge metus’ (words spoken by Turnus to a nocturnal vision), [Tib.] 3.4.7–8 ‘somnia fallaci ludunt temeraria nocte/ et pavidas mentes falsa timere iubent’. This influenced Mueller further. The line’s suggestion that all dreams are false is not generally representative: most in the ancient world drew a distinction between those which were significant and those which were not, and ‘significant’ dreams were accorded an important place, for example, in the art of divination; cf. OCD4 s.v. dreams [S. R. F. Price]. nullo discrimine veri: see OLD2 s.v. discrimen §3, which cites Cic. Fam. 2.44 ‘discrimen summi boni’, Quint. Inst. 12.3.7 ‘in recti pravique discrimine’ and Luc. 10.91. 3 sed me nemo videt, nisi qui sua lumina claudit: for ‘seeing’ sleep, cf. e.g. Ter. Hau. 491 ‘somnum hercle ego hac nocte oculis non vidi meis’, Ovid Her. 18.27 ‘si vidi mulcentem pectora somnum’, Cic. Fam. 7.30.1 ‘qui suo toto consulatu somnum non viderit’. In fact some people do sleep with their eyes open, but this is rare enough for S. to exploit the paradox here of ‘seeing’ with eyes shut. lumina claudit: closing eyes prepares the way for death and the tombstone of Aenig. 100, although one would not close one’s own eyes when dying; cf. Mart. 10.63.5–6 (from a tombstone inscription): ‘quinque dedit pueros, totidem mihi Iuno puellas,/ cluserunt omnes lumina nostra manus’, Luc. 3.740 ‘invitat . . . patris claudenda ad lumina dextram’, Ovid Her. 1.113–14 ‘ut tu lumina condas’. Note too Verg. A. 10.745–6 ‘olli dura quies oculos et ferreus urget/ somnus, in aeternam clauduntur lumina noctem’.

100 A memorial Bearing the name of a man, I am left after his final destiny. The empty name remains, but sweet life has fled. Yet life survives death after the time of life.


Symphosius The Aenigmata

MSS: A βcK αAng.deHMOPRS ghIVwawb le. monumentum: superficially this riddle describes a sepulchral monument, but the word monumentum was not confined to tombs; cf. Porph. at Hor. Carm. 1.2.15 ‘monumentum non sepulchrum tantum dicitur, sed omnia, quidquid memoria testatur’. It was commonly used also of the works of literature that will preserve their author’s memory after his death: cf. e.g AL 68.1–2 ShB epitaphion: ‘nil mihi mors faciet: pro me monumenta relinquo./ tu modo vive, liber: nil mihi mors faciet’ and note especially Hor. Carm. 3.30.1 ‘exegi monumentum’, on which see N-R in detail. S. recalls this usage here, but also, by recalling in particular the concluding poem of Hor. Carm. Book 3, he brings the Aenigmata to a definite close.24 Thus the bounds of the collection are clearly marked, since the Aenigmata open with a riddle on the writing implement without which S.’s literary monument would be impossible (Aenig. 1 graphium); cf. Introduction (3)(b). The suggestion that the Aenigmata are his lasting literary monument is amply borne out by their Nachleben (see Introduction (4)). Sleep and death were commonly associated as versions of the same thing (see Aenig. 99 le. n.) and the tombstone of this riddle therefore follows Aenig. 99 very naturally. (Sebo observes, 190, that the paired sleep and death here balance the paired pens of Aenig. 1–2.) The riddle possibly also recalls Echo in Aenig. 98: with line 2 below, cf. Ovid’s words on Echo at Met. 3.398–9 ‘corporis omnis abit; vox tantum atque ossa supersunt:/ vox manet; ossa ferunt lapidis traxisse figuram’. 1 nomen habens hominis: nomen survives elsewhere of a tombstone inscription at Prop. 2.1.72 ‘et breve in exiguo marmore nomen ero’ and 3.16.30 ‘non iuvat in media nomen habere via’, on which see Heyworth and Morwood. (With habens cf. Ovid Met. 12.2 ‘[sc. inferias dederat] tumulo quoque nomen [sc. of Aesacus] habenti’.) In addition, however, it refers here to the Aenigmata, S.’s lasting monumentum, since literary works were commonly designated by the name of their authors. Note e.g. Mart. 14.184 Homerus in pugillaribus membraneis, 186 Vergilius in membranis, 190–1, 193–5. relinquor: reli(n)quor AAng.IV: remansi BMγ: remansit αeORS: remanens dHP. Cf. AL 68.1 ShB cited above. Relinquere is common of leaving people as well as things behind at death (see OLD2 s.v. relinquo §8b; cf. Ter. Hau. 602 ‘ea mortua est: reliquit filiam adulescentulam’, Livy 1.53.6), and the passive relinquor accords with the personification of the monument here. Remansi also personifies, but it would make manet in line 2 repetitive. Remansit was possibly influenced by the third-person verbs in lines 2–3. Remanens, perhaps influenced by habens, deprives the line of a subject. 2 nomen inane manet, sed dulcis vita profugit: contrasting verbs balance one another at the end of each hemistich while, in chiastic arrangement, the first adjective follows its noun and the second precedes it.

24 On the ‘closure’ of literary works, see D. P. Fowler, ‘Martial and the book’, Ramus 24 (1995), 31–58. See also D. H. Roberts et al., Classical Closure, Princeton 1997.



nomen inane manet: cf. CLE 611.5 ‘corpus habet tellus et saxum nomen inane’. Anaphora and the repeated m and n sounds here stress the emptiness of the name that remains after the life that gave it substance has departed. This is not to suggest that the Aenigmata are ‘lifeless’, if nomen refers to them rather than a deceased person (see on line 1 above), but they lack the life-spirit once possessed by their creator. Maneo is usual of things remaining after death: see OLD2 s.v. maneo §7b; cf. Cic. Tusc. 1.25 ‘hoc dasne aut manere animos post mortem aut morte ipsa interire?’ dulcis vita profugit: vita is often dulcis (cf. e.g. Lucr. 2.997 ‘dulcem ducunt vitam’, Verg. A. 6.428). Profugit possibly alludes to the common theme of life’s shortness; cf. Hor. Carm. 2.14.1–2 ‘fugaces . . . anni’. 3 vita tamen superest morti post tempora vitae: the line starts and ends with polyptoton of vita, contrasting with morti in the middle, while the second and penultimate words combine alliteration and half-rhyme: tam- and tem-. morti cβDγ: mortis A: meritis Baehrens: multis Heumann: om. Kwa. Ohl suggests that Baehrens and Heumann suspected the interpellation (sic) of a Christian scribe and so emended. The line does not refer to the Christian afterlife, however, remarking instead on the perpetuation of a man’s name, whether through his tombstone inscription or the literary monument he has left; cf. Hor. Carm. 3.30.6–7 ‘non omnis moriar, multaque pars mei/ vitabit Libitinam’ with N-R, Ovid Am. 1.15.42 ‘parsque mei multa superstes erit’ with McKeown and see the le. n. above. Meritis is in any case unpersuasive, since the undeserving also had tombstones, multis is lame in context, and both deny the line its paradoxical contrast between life and death. The genitive mortis is ungrammatical. For superesse with the dative, cf. e.g. Mart. 7.44.7–8 ‘si victura meis mandantur nomina chartis/ et fas est cineri me superesse meo.’ post tempora vitae: this locution is common, but, given the idea of a ‘literary monument’, cf. Ovid Pont. 3.2.29, which describes the poet’s gratitude to Cotta Maximus: ‘illa [sc. gratia] meae superabit tempora vitae,/ si tamen a memori posteritate legar.’


Appendix: Attributions to Symphosius In addition to the genuine corpus of the Aenigmata, several ascriptions were made to S. Since they attest to his popularity and the esteem accorded to him (cf. Introduction (4)), brief mention of these is justified: (a) The Anecdota Helvetica records (GLK Suppl. 272.37 ff.): ‘in aenigmatibus Symphosii hoc legitur de glacie: mater me genuit, eadem mox gignitur ex me.’

Since Pompeius also cites this line, without reference to its author (GLK V.311.9; cf. Riese’s apparatus to Aenig. 100: ‘Donatus tamen aliique sine Symphosii nomine afferunt’), the ascription to S. was probably prompted by his reputation as a riddler or an inaccurate memory of Aenig. 10 glacies. The line might in fact pre-date S. by a considerable margin; cf. Bergamin, Aenig. 10 le. n. (b) As well as Aenig. 11 nix (which it places after Aenig. 12), α preserves the following, unmetrical riddle after Aenig. 100: nix candida supernis dilabor nubibus atris, paulatim adcrescens acervos congero magnos, tacens terris cado ullo nec murmure reddo.

I follow Ohl’s text. For the variant tradition of Aenig. 76 silex, see the le. n. above. (c) The following does not survive in any of the Aenigmata MSS but was printed as Aenig. 100 in the second edition of Perionius, which, like the first, omits Aenig. 96. See Bergamin lx, and cf. Wernsdorf, PLM VI.1.577: cuculus frigore digredior, redeunte calore revertor. desero quod peperi; hoc tamen educat altera mater. quid tibi vis aliud dicam? me vox mea prodit.

I have again followed Ohl’s text.



General Index Acestes: 180, 181 Achilles: 208 Acontius: 214–15 Actium: 87 adynata: 168 Aeneas: 109, 138, 150 Aenigmata: passim; closure: 14–15, 246; composition: vii, 2, 5, 6, 9, 13–15, 30, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 62, 63, 65, 237–8; difficulty to solve without the lemma: 13, 85, 163, 175, 212, 230, 233; humour: 27, 30, 60, 63, 66, 68, 76, 77, 80, 89, 113, 114, 120, 122, 126, 141, 164, 169, 184, 192, 198, 205, 208, 224, 230, 242, cf. 14; irony: 27, 30, 60, 74, 77, 109, 110, 111, 120, 122, 138, 141, 161–2, 172, 193, 233, 234, 236; Latinity and metre: 27–8; literary context: 5–6, 6–13, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 62, 63, 64; Nachleben: 31–2; obscenity: 9; order: 13–26 and passim; Praefatio: 2, 3, 14, 53–64, 65, 68; structure of individual riddles: 54, 60, 61, 74, 92, 123, 142–3, 154, 155, 158, 163, 171, 179, 186, 190, 191, 201, 211, 217, 219–20, 227, 228, 240; subject matter: 12, 13, 123 (mythological content: 12, 13, 123, 134, 214); surreality: 136; title: 1–4, 5, 12; ‘traditional riddles’: 85, 101–2, 121, 228, 231, 233, 238, cf. 5; ‘triviality’: 59, 62. See also figures of speech, language, ‘late’ forms or words, lemmata, literary allusions and debts, literary style, monsters and monstrosity, number-play, Saturnalia, Symphosius: influence, text and transmission, varietas, word-order, word-play and etymologizing.

Aenigmata Tullii: see Bern Riddles Aeolus: 174, 179, 195 Africa: 1, 3, 27, 28, 95, 125, 153, 158, 191; North Africa: vii, viii, 3, 28, 83, 85, 125, 127, 151, 191, 204. See also Carthage, Cyrene, Egypt, Mauretania, rivers: Nile, Sabratha, Thuburbo Maius, Thugga, Tunisia. air: 75, 76, 77, 79, 83, 113, 134, 169, 177, 180, 181, 195, 197, 204, 235. See also Four Elements. Alcuin of York: 31, 238 Aldhelm: 1, 10, 30, 31, 34 alphabet: 93, 112, 139 Amaltheia: 128 amber: 149 Anchises: 150 anchor: 173–4, 178, 179 Anecdota Helvetica: 1, 249 animals and insects: 71, 85, 89, 91, 92, 96, 98, 103, 105, 109, 111, 115, 119–34 passim, 145, 152, 154, 164, 165, 172, 182, 183, 214, 216, 221; ant: 104–6, 107, 108, 110, 122, 127; ass: 131–2, 154, 170; bee: 30, 105, 197, 202; blind rat: 103; bookworm: 92–3, 240; bull: 122–4, 135, cf. 134; cattle: 22, 181–2, 183; cicada: 105; cow: 107, 228; cricket: 115; dog: 209; draft animals: 182; elephant: 236; fly: 106; fox: 125, 127–8; frog: 99–101, 107, 115; giraffe: 132; goat: 128–9, 213, 214; grub: 92, 103; hedgehog: 119–20, 145; horse: 131, 134, 156, 180, 231, cf. 94, 135, 176; lamb: 124, 125; lice: 121–2; livestock: 125, 182; maggot: 92; mole: 103–4, 108, 194; mosquito: 107; mouse: 85, 108, 109, 110–11, 112, 119, 127, 216; mule: 57, 131–2, 135, 152; oxen: 71, 181, 182; pack



General Index

animals: 131; pests: 103, 105, 110; pig: 8, 107, 129–31, 160; rabbits: 119; ‘riding’ animals: 135; scorpion: 107; sea urchin: 119; sheep: 125, 129, 182, 213, 214; snail: 85, 95–9, 102, 119; spider: 93–5; tiger: 133–4, 180; tortoise: 95, 101–2, cf. 96, 120; traction animals: 182; viper: 90–1, 103; weevil: 14, 108–10; wolf: 124–6, 127, 172; worm: 93. See also birds. Anopius: 211 Antigenidas: 68 Antioch: 183 Antiphanes: 10 Aphrodite: see Venus Apicius: 95, 137, 139, 142, 160, 210, 211 Apollo: 208 Aquileia: 195 Arachne: 93, 94, 95 Archilochus: 127 Aristophanes (comic poet): 10; (of Byzantium) 11 arithmetic: 239, 241 army: 180, 233; archers: 180; auxiliaries: 180; camps: 62, 232; cavalry: 180, 230; centurions: 164, 232, 233 (vine staffs: 232); infantry 231, 232, 233; legionaries: 180, 230; military service: 109, 164; pay and pensions: 233; recruits: 233; soldiers: 121, 156, 164, 166, 167, 180, 230–3, 235; wounds: 233. See also battle, military equipment, war and warfare. art: 112, 121, 123, 133, 214 Artemis: 214 ashes: 117, 201 Asia Minor: 67, 124. See also Antioch, Chalybes, Cilicia, Ephesus, mountains: Taurus, Pergamon, Pontus, rivers: Pactolus, Troy. Assyria: 151 astrology: 13, 122–3, 125 astronomy: 12, 123, 128. See also heavenly bodies. Atalanta: 214–15 Athena: 94, 214 Athenaeus: 10

athletes and athletics: 109; footrace: 134, 202, 215 atom: 168 Augustus: 8, 70, 87, 100, 133, 222 Ausonius: 1, 5–6, 12, 14, 28, 53, 56, 139; Epigrams: 5; Griphus Ternarii Numeri: 1, 5–6, 12, 14, 53, 211; Technopaegnion: 5; and riddle-like features: 5 Bacchus: 63, 115, 152 balls and ball games: 167, 169–71; bladder ball: 194; trigon: 170 banquets and banqueting: 12, 20, 53, 64, 142, 143, 147, 149. See also symposium. barbers: 168 baths: 70, 86, 141, 185, 200, 206, 221, 222–4; oil and flasks: 141, 221, 223; sandals: 223; strigils: 25, 222, 223 battle: 61, 63, 87, 112, 174, 214, 218, 232; spoils: 106, 122. See also war and warfare. bellows: 194–6 bells: 205–7, 208 Bern Riddles: 31, 229, 240 birds: 57, 89, 98, 110, 111–12, 113, 115, 116, 117, 119, 134, 138, 151, 180, 182; bat: 115–16; crane: 111–13, 115, 131; crow: 113–15, 117; eggs: 88, 89, 90; goose: 137, 138; magpies: 115; mimics: 115; phoenix: 4, 115, 117, 118, 119, 134; poultry: 88–90, 91 birth and rebirth: 76, 77, 78, 89, 90, 91, 92, 102, 107, 117, 118, 128, 130, 132, 133, 150, 151, 228–30 blindness: 103, 104; lusci: 233–5 boardgames: 224, 225 bone: 162, 220, 224 books: 9, 92, 93, 240; book cases: 92. See also papyrus rolls. bricks: 75 bridges: 175–6, 194; Sublician 176 Britain: 13, 75, 171 Bronze Age: 226 brooms: 203, 204–5, 208 Brutus: 111

General Index building: 175, 189, 197, 200; building material: 197, 198. See also cement, stone, quicklime. burial: 104, 158, 159, 164, 165, 192, 194. See also tombs and tombstones. Byblis: 157 Byzantium: 11, 183 Caligula: 8, 164 Calvus, C. Licinius: 54 Campania: 111 canvas: 183 Capri: 193 carriages: 131, 201 Carthage: 3 Cato, M. Porcius Censorius: 111, 216–17; Uticensis: 216–17 Catullus: 3, 54, 136 Catulus: 111 cement: 198 cena: vii, 7, 9–13, 56, 57, 62, 64, 85, 89, 99, 106, 147; commemorated by poets: 62; commissatio: 57; contributions by guests: 62; guests: 11–13, 57, 62, 138, 140; gustatio: 89, 95, 142; lotteries: 9–10, cf. 12; table talk: 10–13, 53, 55, 59–62. See also banquets and banqueting, guests, verse composition. centaur: 134–6, 138 Ceres: 108, 109, 112, 236 chains: 73–4, 81, 82. See also fetters. Chalybes: 153 children: 53, 57, 58, 115, 134, 182, 190, 206, 210, 229; infanticide: 148; swaddling clothes: 163; twins: 228–30. See also women, Saturnalia: and children. Chiron: 135, 136, 138 Christianity: vii, 4, 10, 83, 97, 117, 118, 148, 191, 211, 213, 247; the Afterlife: 247; Christian writers: vii, 4, 83, 117, 118, 213; dogma: 211; exegesis: 191; heresy: 211; the Incarnation: 213; the Resurrection: 4, 117; the Trinity: 4, 211; the Virgin Mary: 205. See also Symphosius. Christmas: 56, 105 Cicero: 101, 111, 137, 190, 228, 241


Cilicia: 124 Cinna, C. Helvius: 149 Claudius: 134 Claudius Etruscus: 222 clay: 75, 76, 207, 208 Clearchus of Soli: 10 clepsydra: 189–91, 240 clientela: 73 Clodia: 243 cloud: 75, 77, 78–9, 80, 134, 184 cobblers: 164, 165 Codex Salmasianus: see text and transmission coins: 71, 117, 173, 224, 228 colours and colouring: 66, 78, 114, 136, 144, 146, 167, 169, 185, 217, 220, 221–2 commerce: see trade cosmetic implements: 162, 168, 171 costume: caliga: 163–5, 166, 167; hobnails: 164, 166–7, 168 Crete: 128; Cretans: 114 crime: arson: 148; highway robbery: 241–2; parricide: 91; theft: 241, cf. 111, 215; treachery: 148 Cronus: 128 cult: see religion Cupid: 66, 188 Cybele: 59 Cyclops: 172 Cydippe: 214 Cynthia: see Diana Cyrene: 191 Daedalus: 123, 171 day and night: 78, 79, 103, 104, 183, 184 death: 62, 85, 90, 91, 92, 98, 101–5 passim, 111, 117, 118, 119, 121, 131, 142, 143, 148, 149, 150, 158, 159, 160, 161, 163, 164, 168, 169, 192–6 passim, 198, 199, 201, 213, 218, 229, 230, 244, 245, 246, 247. See also burial, Manes, monuments, mourning, sleep. Decius Mus: 111 defixiones: 83 Deucalion: 196, 197, 198


General Index

Diana: 79 dicing: 224–6. See also boardgames, knucklebones, Saturnalia. Dido: 29, 87, 109, 145 divination: 245 Domitian: 157, 205, 234 dye: 144, 221; hair dye: 169 earth/the earth: 74, 75, 81, 84, 85, 98, 103, 104, 122, 124, 138, 143, 144, 152, 157, 163, 164, 173, 174, 175, 191, 192, 193, 196–7, 207, 218, 226, 227, 228. See also Four Elements. Earth Mother: 76, 208, cf. 207, 210. See also Cybele. Eastern commodities: 136, 147, 149, 151, 157 Echo: 243–4, 246 Egypt: 67, 117, 187 Empedocles: 75 emperors: see under the names of individual emperors and imperial period England and English: 2, 31–2, 101, 168, 182 entertainments: charioteers: 182; funambulism: 235–7; shows/ spectacles: 122, 133, 173, 178; theatre: 235 Ephesus: 183 epic: 54, 89. See also language: epic. Epicurus: 70 epigram: 5, 10, 31, 60, 79, 83, 119; formulaic expressions in: 28, 82, 126, 153,164, 227, 231; mathematical epigrams: 10, 237, cf. 14. See also Latin Anthology, Martial, Palatine Anthology. epitaphs: 164, 245, 246, 247 Eris: 214 Euripides: 101 Eusebius: 32 Exeter Book: 32, 101 exile: 96, 98 eye sight: 184, 188, 233, 234. See also blindness. fable: 105, 115, 127

farm equipment: mills 154–5, 156; presses 156; scythes: 152, 153, 154; water wheels: 156 farming: agriculture: 8, 103, 105, 109, 110, 112, 153, 156, 157, 182, 218; apiculture: 211; cereals: 109, 136, 153, 154, 156, 157, 160, 162; crops: 109, 112, 121, 136, 150, 152, 154, 157, 160; farm buildings: 108, 109, 152, 154; fodder: 152, 160, cf. 109, 130, 132. See also animals and insects, farm equipment, fruit, vines and viticulture. Faunus: 228 felt: 128, 169 fetters: 72, 73–4 figures of speech: ambiguity: 158; anaphora: 27, 108, 158, 247; ἀπροσδόκητον: 209; asyndeton: 27, 87, 101; figura etymologica: 113; generalization: 71; hyperbole: 27, 61, 205; hysteron proteron: 188; kennings: 96, 100, 116, 130, 197; litotes: 61, 105, 184; locus amoenus: 153; macarismos: 145; metaphor: 1, 15, 74, 92, 93, 144, 145, 160; metonymy: 27, 57, 74, 79, 92, 109, 144, 153, 158, 176, 197, 229; onomatopoiea: 113, 214; oxymoron: 77, 223; parataxis: 159, 199; periphrasis: 116; personification: 27 and passim, cf. 9, 14 (absence of personification, or first-person address: 85, 119, 175, 193, 200, 202, 222, 233, 235, 237); pleonasm: 130, 150, 219; polyptoton: 247; repetition: 57, 71, 79, 86, 90, 92, 100, 105, 122, 132, 133, 134, 142, 167, 186, 216, 227, 229, 234, 238; rhetorical figures: 26; sound effects: 63, 141, 143, 155, 169, 172, 176, 182, 192, 208, 231, 241, 247 (assonance: 27; alliteration: 14, 27, 147 and passim); synecdoche: 27, 101, 201; tautology: 186, cf. 118; topoi: 92, 175. See also rhetoric: sententiae. fire: 74, 77, 147, 148, 177, 195, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 208, 222, 223, 224; fire-fighting: 198; firewood: 77, 172.

General Index See also Four Elements, house and household. fish: 84–6, 87, 88, 98, 119, 160, 178; sea-bass: 125; shell fish: 97. See also food and drink. fishing: bait: 159, 160, 161, 162; baskets: 1, 160; fishermen: 85, 121, 174, 178; hooks: 159–62; line: 160, 162; net: 85, 160; net needles: 162; traps: 160. See also ludi, trident. flowers: 136, 137, 138, 141, 144, 146, 147; poppy: 136–7, 219, 234; rose: 68, 120, 136, 143–5, 146, 181; violet: 136, 145–6 fly-swatter: 106, 108 food and drink: beet: 137, 138–41; bread: 156, 177; cheese: 217; chicken: 89; egg: 89; fish: 85, 160; flour: 106, 156; garlic: 234; ham: 111, 216–18; honey: 106, 211; legumes: 160; libum: 156; lowly food: 137, 139, 140, 141, 142, 144, 234; mallow: 137, 139; milk: 177; oil: 138, 139; onion: 14, 142–3; pepper: 106, 212; poppy: 136; pork: 8, 130; salt: 216, 217, 218; sausages: 130; smoked food: 216, 217; snails: 95; storage: 106; vinegar: 212–13. See also fruit, vegetables, wine. food preparation: fish: 160; salting: 216, 217; smoking: 216, 217. See also Apicius. Four Elements: 75, 189, 191, 193, 195, 197, 198, 200 frankincense: see incense fruit: apples: 213–16; grapes: 137, 156; nuts: 176, cf. 169; olives: 137, 156, 157 furniture: couch: 154, 158; table: 87, 106, 151, 177; tortoise shell inlay: 102 Gaius: see Caligula Gellius: 11–12, 55, 62, 93 geography/geographical learning: 12, 13, 123, 124, 133 geranomachy: 112 German and Germans: 82, 123 Germanicus: 164 gladiators: 178


glass: 183, 185, 186, 187, 207; glasshouses: 186; glass working: 185 gloves: 82–3 gods: 76, 93, 131, 147, 148, 192–3, 205, 225, 234, 241, 242; divine epiphany: 80; divine favour: 148, 242; divine gratitude: 149; divine power: 131, 179, 188; divine will: 97; immortality: 76. See under the names of the different gods and religion. Golden Age: 8, 55, 152–3, 226 Gorgon: 170 Greece: 127. See also Actium, Crete, mountains: Pelion. Greek and the Greeks: 1, 2, 5, 10, 11, 28, 57, 88, 92, 94, 112, 113, 114, 119, 123, 138, 139, 140, 160, 164, 213, 219, 224. See also Crete: Cretans. Gregory of Tours: 195 guests: 12, 13, 57, 62, 84, 86, 98, 109, 119, 120, 138, 140, 222 Hades: 131 Hadrian: 70, 117, 120 hair: 129, 167–9, 170, 188, 202, 209, 227; hair oil: 149; hairpins: 162. See also barbers, dye. handwriting: 69 hardware: 160, 162, 164, 166, 167, 169, 171, 173. See also tools and implements. heaven: 76, 77, 79, 80, 95, 97, 98, 111, 122, 124, 128, 129, 180, 203, 208, 237. See also heavenly bodies, sky. heavenly bodies: 124, 184, 236, 237; moon: 79, 163, cf. 241; stars: 78, 79, 122–3, 124, 125, 128, 135, 167, 180, 202, cf. 236; sun: 83, 103, 104, 117, 149, 184, 186, 187, 236 Hera: 112, 134, 214. See also Juno. Heraclitus: 75, 76, 121 Herculaneum: 65, 185 Hercules (Heracles): 56, 62, 214, 215 Hermaphroditus: 132 Hermes: 101, 102 Herodotus: 91, 117 Hesiod: 96, 114, 121, 215 Hesperides: 214, 215 Hippomanes: 214–15


General Index

Hiram, King of Tyre: 11 Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri: 5, 31, 34, 85, 169, 171, 173, 176, 189, 203, 224 Homer: 62, 112, 121, 139, 180 Horace: ix, 29, 30, 65; Odes: 29; Satires: 29 horn: 183, 184, 220 house and household: 71, 73, 74, 77, 84, 85, 86, 110, 151, 219, 224; domestic fires/hearth: 72, 77 hunting: 121, 122,180. See also fishing. husbands: 86, 109, 133, 157, 158 hypocaust: 195, 223 ice: 74, 75, 81–3 imperial period: 58, 88, 164, 168, 183, 187, 193, 241 imports: 133, 143, 147, 149, 151, 152, 153, 157, 212 incense: 147, 149 India: 102, 151, 212 inns and taverns: 138, 140 inscriptions: 1, 4, 195, 196. See also epitaphs. insects: see animals and insects Isidore: 91, 133, 146, 173, 184, 187 Italy: 33, 125, 127, 153, 160, 204, cf. 102, 158. See also Aquileia, Campania, Capri, Herculaneum, Oplontis, Pompeii, Rome, Sicily. ivory: 151–2, 153, 220 Jason: 152 Jerome: 2 Judaism and Jews: 55, 131 Juno: 78, 179, 243. See also Hera. Jupiter: 11, 128, 129, 205, 208, 236, 240. See also Zeus. Juvenal: 29, 241 keys: 69, 71, 72, 73; locks: 72 King Solomon: 11 kitchens: 107 knucklebones: 151, 225, 226 Lactantius: 2, 3, 54, 117 ladders: 203–4 language: archaic: 130, 172; botanical: 136, 137; Christian: 83, cf. 118; epic: 60, 61, 120, 130, 138, 174, 236; funerary:

104, 165, 192, 194; grand: 87, 89, 99–100, 128, 130, 138, 172, 208, 242; legal: 90, cf. 98, 218; military: 61, 109, 119, 145, 233; philosophical: 61, 75, 76, 168; poetic: 27, 82, 83, 89, 104, 108, 118, 144, 176, 192, 198, 242; religious: 8, 147, 176, 205 Laocoon: 172 ‘late’ forms or words: 4, 27, 54, 55, 63, 79, 84, 118, 119, 123, 155, 159, 187, 192, 195, 199, 203, 204, 205, 228, 236, 237, 242. See also verse composition: Leonine verse/rhyme. Latin Anthology: vii, 2, 28, 33 Latinitas: 140. See also Aenigmata: Latinity and metre. latrines: 107 Lavinia: 144 law: 12; law courts: 8, 189, 190. See also crime, language: legal, Romans: magistrates, punishment. leather: 160, 164, 166, 167, 169, 170, 187, 193; animal bladder: 183; animal hide: 164, 165, 183; leather working: 165 legacy hunting: 160 lemmata: passim; lemmata with de: 64, 69, 162, 166, 167, 173, 185, 193, 195, 203, 212, 219, 220, 228, 231, 235, 244; lemmata containing participles: 212, 233; multi-word lemmata: 193, 228; one-word lemmata:166, 193; plural lemmata: 75, 164, 201, 203, 204, 240 Lentulus Sura: 70 life: 88, 91, 105, 111, 117, 118, 119, 143, 144, 145, 158, 160, 161, 163, 164, 165, 193, 230, 233, 245, 247; everyday life: 121, 123, 125, 134, 211, 216; life-breath/soul: 119, 195, 196, 229, 247 light and lighting: 78, 79, 115, 116, 183–7 passim, 235, 236; candle: 183, cf. 233; lamp: 79, 183, 184, 186; lantern: 183–4; street lighting: 183; torches: 183 lime: see quicklime

General Index linguistic usage: ablative without preposition: 109, 158–9, 227; accusative and infinitive as a ‘subject noun phrase’: 158; adjectival use of nouns: 69; adverbial use of adjectives: 55, 198; complex-simplex pairing: 81, 86, 106, 152, 165, 171; dative ‘des Zieles’: 163; dative of ‘the person judging’: 109; de + ablative: 54, 129; delayed relative pronouns: 178; genitive + gratia: 148; imperfect with aorist sense: 228; in + ablative: 78–9, 84; in + accusative: 166; inest + dative: 111; necesse est + accusative: 63; paratactic conditional construction: 199; poetic plurals: 89, 192, 242; postponement of tamen: 79; sed . . . tamen after a clause with concessive force: 188; ‘understood’ words: 81, 127, 150, 159, 165, 230, 227, 232, 234; use of tenses: 91, 107, 152, 211, 213, 229. See also ‘late’ forms or words. literary allusions and debts: v, ix, 3, 6, 9, 12, 14, 15, 28–30, 64, 65, 70, 77, 87, 94, 112, 120, 138, 141, 162, 164, 168, 172, 177, 179, 202, 226, 231, 233, 236, 243. See also Ausonius, Horace, Juvenal, Lucretius, Manilius, Martial, Ovid, Silius Italicus, Virgil. literary style: bathos: 30, 89, 126, 172; enjambement: 27, 60, 140; formulaic expressions: 28, 82, 126, 139, 153, 164, 227, 231; hyperbole: 27, 61, 205; paradox: 26 and passim; parenthesis: 140, cf. 71; pathos: 154; poeticism: 27, 82, 83, 89, 104, 144, 176, 192, 198, 242; sense units corresponding to line endings: 60, 126; symbolism (or absence of): 4, 10, 31, 88, 117, 118, 144, 145; transferred epithets: 27, 126, 153, 182, 231, 236; Umklammerungstechnik: 79, 86, 172, 210. See also Aenigmata, figures of speech, language, metre: three-part lines, verse composition: Leonine


verse/rhyme, vocabulary, word usage. literature: 8, 92, 93, 143, 168, 214, 222; Classical: 11, 117, cf. 210; Greek: 10; Latin: 10, 67, 125, 131, 225, 228, 246; sympotic: 12. See also Saturnalia, verse composition. lovers: 68, 86, 122, 144, 160, 245 Lucan: 3 Lucretius: 29, 60, 97, 168 ludi: archery: 180; piscatorii: 160 luxury: 85, 151, 157, 160, 233, cf. 150 Macedo, Larcius: 223 Macrobius: 5, 12, 59 Manes: 118, 119, cf. 98, 159 Manilius: 29, 118, 235 marriage: 157, 158, 214 Mars: 111, 112, 231 Martial: v, vii, 6–9, 12, 13–14, 28, 31, 62, 64, 66, 70, 83, 89, 99, 106, 112, 119, 121, 125, 128, 134, 139, 160, 162, 168, 170, 171, 177, 179, 182, 183, 186, 190, 194, 200, 202, 208, 210, 212, 216, 224, 226, 229; Apophoreta: ix, 6–9, 13–14, 53, 57, 58, 64, 70, 106, 121, 130, 152, 161, 168, 169, 171, 182, 183, 186, 220, 240, cf. 194; Xenia: ix, 6–9, 13–14, 53, 57, 106, 130, 156, 161, 186, 212, 216, 226, cf. 194 Martianus Capella: 5, 12 Masada: 180 Matronalia: 57 Mauretania: 3 measurement units: 232 Medea: 152 medicine and medical conditions: 12, 136, 137–8, 139, 141, 151, 137, 177; gout: 230–3; hydropsy: 177; laxatives: 137–8, 139, 233. See also plants: medical properties and uses, narcotic properties. Mercury: see Hermes metal: 152, 162, 173, 183, 187, 221, 227; bronze: 162, 183, 187, 205, 206, 220, 221; gold: 187, 214, 215, 220, 221, 222; iron: 65, 73, 153, 161, 162, 163, 166, 173, 180, 206, 219, 220; lead:


General Index

193, 220; silver: 187, 207, 220; steel: 153 metalworking: 163, 195, 218, 227. See also money. metamorphosis: 30, 67–8, 94, 95, 112, 115, 149, 150, 152, 213 metre: 14; caesura in third foot: 27, 28, 56, 60, 61, 66, 72, 73, 83, 86, 102, 104, 106, 120, 121, 137, 143, 153, 158, 161, 169, 179, 181, 191, 209, 227, 232, 238; choliambics: 14; dactylic rhythm: 76, 155; diaeresis: 81, 172, 229 (bucolic diaeresis: 28); elision: 28, 56, 63, 66, 116–17, 168 (prodelision: 28, 158, 188, 196, 230); hendecasyllables: 14; hexameters: vii, 5, 7, 31, 93, 210 (dactylic lines: 95; monosyllabic hexameter endings: 28, 132, 133, 165, 186, 234; three-part lines: 28, 83–4, 140, 154, 179, 191); hiatus: 28, 200, 213; metrical convenience: 60, 92, cf. 242; quantities: 27, 218, 221 (lengthening of -or: 28, 168–9, 208); spondaic metre: 137, 142, 145, 155. See also Aenigmata: Latinity and metre, verse composition: Leonine verse/ rhyme. Milanion: see Hippomanes military equipment: arms: 120, 121, 122, 134, 173, 178, 180, 181, 182, 230, 231, 232, cf. 71, 119, 143, 146; arrows: 121, 133, 134, 135, 180–1, 182; barriers: 119; helmets: 206; siege engines: 113; spears: 121. See also army. Minerva: see Athena mining: 226, 227 Minotaur: 134 Minyas: 115 mirrors: 187–9, 242 money: 224, 226, 228; coining: 228; money boxes: 226 monsters and monstrosity: 135, 136, 137, 139, 172. See also Gorgon. monuments: 14, 246; literary monuments: 14, 15, 29, 67, 246, 247. See also epitaphs, tombs and tombstones. mosaics: 85, 173, 178, 205, 223

mountains: 124; Atlas: 83; Pelion: 134; Taurus: 122, 124, 133 mourning: 77, 114, 117, 149 Muses, the: 53, 64, 66, 92, 93 musical instruments: 206; lyre: 101–2, 103; pipes: 66, 67, 68, 206 myrrh: see unguent Myrrha: 149, 150 nails: 166, 218. See also costume. names: 5, 8, 108, 110, 111, 115, 122, 123–4, 128, 129, 133, 138, 139, 140, 147, 172, 184, 196, 201, 210, 213, 216, 222, 226, 227; gods’ names: 8, 129, 130–1, 208, 210; personal names: 1, 2, 3, 4, 54, 110, 111, 164, 197, 198, 216, 225, 227, 245, 246, 247. See also Symphosius. Narcissus: 152, 188, 233, 242, 243 Nature: 148, 175, 176, 183, 185, 191, 193, 205, 222, 236, 242 navy: 87, 88 needles: 162–3, 164. See also fishing. neoterics: 3 Neptune: 178, 179, 180 Nero: 148 Nestor: 209 night: see day and night Nisus: 134 Numa: 228 number-play: 5, 135, 136, 155, 173, 178, 211, 229, 231, 234 Odysseus: 195 oil and oil flasks: see baths omens: see portents Oplontis: 107 oracles: 10, 75, 121 oratory: 59, 172, 189, 190. See also rhetoric. Orcus: see Hades orthography: 1, 2, 37, 54, 173 Ovid: 29, 79, 98, 112, 114, 152, 180, 198, 202, 225, 228, 233, 243, 247; Metamorphoses: 30, 243 Pacuvius: 101 Palamedes: 112 Palatine Anthology: 10, 28, 82, 135, 170 Pallas: see Athena

General Index Pan: 67, 68 papyrus rolls: 65, 92 parentage and parturition: 76, 78, 87, 91, 102, 117, 118, 128, 132, 133, 159, 205, 208, 209, 228. See also birth and rebirth. Paris: 87, 214, 215 Parthians: 180 Pasiphae: 123, 134–5 Paulinus of Nola: 4 Peleus: 208, 214 Pepin the Short: 31, 238 Perdix: 171 perfume: 136, 146, 147, 149; cf. unguent Pergamon: 205, cf. 225 Perionius: 2, 28, 32, 54, 148, 209, 231, 249 Persian: 133, 134, 135, 180 Petronius: 9, 10–11, 12. See also Trimalchio. Phaethon: 149 philosophy and philosophers: 4, 11, 12, 59, 61, 75, 76, 115, 118, 168; Stoicism: 91; traditional wisdom: 225. See also Empedocles, Four Elements, Heraclitus. Phoenicia: 193 Pholus: 135 physical appearance: 152, 144. See also women: beauty. Pithoeus: 2, 231 plants: 67, 136, 138, 141, 142, 144, 145, 149, 150, 156, 157, 169, 234; medical properties and uses: 135, 136, 138, 139, 141, 142; narcotic properties: 136, 137. See also flowers, vegetables, vines and viticulture. Plato: 10, 12, 115 Plautus: 58 Pliny the Elder: 70, 75, 86, 95, 157, 166, 168, 171, 173, 193, 212 Pliny the Younger: 56, 160, 190, 228 poets and poetry: 6, 10, 13, 14, 31, 60, 62, 63, 68, 82, 89, 104, 108, 109, 118, 144, 176, 190, 195, 198, 212, 227; addresses to reader: 5, 6, 53, 54, 64; drunkenness: 63; insanity: 63. See also language: poetic. Polemius Silvius: 8


Pompeii: 65, 121, 154, 160, 162, 171, 193, 206, cf. 202. Pompey: 95 Pontus: 153 poor, the: 85, 138, 140, 141, 142, 152, 160, 183, 234. Cf. food and drink: lowly food. portents: 104, 131, 180, 223 potters and pottery: 76, 85, 208, 209. See also bricks, tiles. Procris: 195 Prometheus: 76, 207, 208, 210 proverbs and the proverbial: 58, 61, 63, 64, 77, 88, 89, 91, 95, 99, 102, 103, 105, 114, 121, 125, 126, 132–3, 197, 201, 223, 241 Prudentius: 4, 213 Pseudo-Bede: 32, 168 punctuation: 37, 61, 71, 150, 200, 227 punishment: 91, 94, 96, 112, 114, 147, 148; beating: 73, 182, 207; execution: 148, 198; talio: 148. See also torture. puns: 9, 10, 113, 131, 137, 186, 210. See also word-play and etymologizing. Pygmies: 112, 113 Pyrrha: 196, 197, 198 quaestiones: 5, 11–12, 61 Queen of Sheba: 11 quicklime: 198–9 rain: 68, 75, 76, 79–81, 83, 84, 98, 99 recreation: 12, 218, 221, 222, 224, 226. See also baths, boardgames, dicing, knucklebones. reed(s): 66, 67, 68, 180, 206, 241 religion: 59, 123; cult: 56, 123, 159; prayers: 67, 224, 225, 229; religious calendar: 156; ritual: 126; worship: 8, 56, 147, 148, 149. See also divination, Matronalia, oracles, portents, sacrifice, Saturnalia. rhetoric: vii, 3, 12, 26, 31, 55, 62, cf. 213; extempore composition: 62; sententiae: 63. See also figures of speech. rhyme: see verse composition rich, the: 140, 183, cf. 85, 160, 234


General Index

riddles: vii, 1, 2, 5, 9, 10–13, 14, 28, 31, 53, 57, 59, 60, 61, 63, 96, 115, 170, 211; contests: 10–12; format: 5, 9, 10, 11, 20, 27, 65, 108, 129, 184, 196; prizes and forfeits: 10–11; Riddle of the Sphinx: 11, 61, 231; subject matter: 5, 9, 28, 29, 78, 81, 88, 115, 187; vocabulary and expression: 77, 96, 100, 130, 161, 167, 197 (see also figures of speech: oxymoron and personification, literary style: paradox, number–play, word–play and etymologizing); as entertainment: 10–12; as intelligence tests: 10–12. See also Aenigmata: traditional riddles, Aenigmata Tullii, Alcuin of York, Aldhelm, Bern Riddles, Eusebius, Exeter Book, lemmata, literary style, quaestiones, Saturnalia: riddles, Tatwine. rings: 70, 72; ring keys: 69, 72; signet rings: 69–71, 72; ungulus: 70. See also seal stones. rivers: 68, 83, 84–6, 87, 88, 100, 193, 194; Clitorius: 86; Ladon: 67; Moselle: 160; Nile: 135; Pactolus: 221; Rhine: 175; Tiber: 68, 99; Tigris: 133 roads: 200, 201 Romans: 11, 57, 98, 105, 107, 109, 110, 111, 123, 133, 136, 175, 201, 211, 216, 224 and passim; attitude to physical disability: 234; citizenship: 96, 111, 148; class prejudice: 140, 228; educated Romans: 140; lifestyle: 191; magistrates: 8, 85, 108, 110, 111, 164, 190, 216; patricians: 111; politics: 157; society: 8, 11, 219, 98. See also army, ludi, literature, names, navy, technology. Rome: 83, 110, 111, 114, 125, 130, 133, 160, 189, 223 Sabratha: 223 sacrifice: 8, 56, 218, 228, cf. 81 St Paul: 174 Saturn: 8, 53, 156, 226 Saturnalia: vii, 2, 5, 6, 8–12, 13, 53–60 passim, 64, 65, 70, 73, 74, 95, 99, 104,

105, 107, 130, 143, 147, 149, 152–3, 156, 161, 166, 175, 185, 224–5, 226; agricultural origins: 8, 156; banter: 53; celebration: vii, 2, 8, 9, 11, 54, 55, 56, 59, 226; dinners and entertainment: vii, 8, 9, 10–12, 13, 54, 56, 57, 64, 99, 143, 147; drinking: 2, 8, 56, 58, 60, 64, cf.12; fare: 8, 105, 130; gambling: 8, 224, 226; gifts: 7, 9, 95, 161, 226; licence: 5, 8, 12, 55, 58, 59; literature: 5, 6, 8, 9, 53, 54, 55, 58, 59, 64, 105, 130 ; lotteries: 9–12; materialism at: 226; obscenity: 8, 9; reversal of normal order: 8, 13, 59, 61, 65, 104, 166, 175; riddles: vii, 9, 10–12, 13, 53, 57, 59, 61, 62, 63; school holidays: 8, 11; Sigillaria: 58; winter date: 8, 74, 78, 105, 107, 143, 185; and children: 57; and women: 57–8. See also Golden Age, Saturn, verse composition. Saumaise, Claude de: 33 schools: vii, 3; curriculum: 29, 241; discipline: 207; holidays: 8, 11; teachers: vii, 3, 11–12, 53, 55, 123, 207, 237, 241. See also arithmetic. Scipio, P. Cornelius Nasica Corculum: 189 sculpture: 218. See also statuary. sea: 80, 85, 88, 160, 173, 174, 176, 178, 179, 196, 216, 217, 226; Baltic: cf. 149; Black: 82; ‘Indian’: 151; Mediterranean: 160 sea salt: 217–18 seal stones: 70, 71, cf. 72. See also rings. seasons: 84; autumn: 84; spring: 84, 143, 146; summer: 83, 84, 106, 107, 143; winter: 8, 72, 77, 83, 84, 85, 104, 105, 106, 107, 143, 144, 184, 185, 186, cf. 78 Sempronia: 235, 243, 244 Seneca the Younger: 164, 223 sex: 56, 62, 123, 134, 145, 158, 229; bestiality: 123, 134, 135; incest: 149, cf. 134; rape: 67, 135, 145 shadows: 103, 117, 188, 241–3 ships: 81, 85, 87, 88, 133, 153, 174; helmsmen: 174; shipwrecks: 88, 174. See also navy. shorthand: 190

General Index Sicily: 204 Silius Italicus: 29 Simonides: 10 sky: 74, 79, 80, 81, 82, 97, 98, 174, 203, 235, 236. See also heaven. slaves: 73, 148, 154, 182, 210, 223, 229, cf. 72; slave attacks: 223 sleep: 100, 136, 137, 244–5; dreams: 228, 244, 245; sleep of death: 244, 246, cf. 26 smoke: 72, 76–8, 147, 216, 217 snow: 75, 80, 82, 83–4 Sol: 184, cf. 149 Spain: 33 sponges: 176–8 stairs: 203 Statius: 62, 231 statuary: 62, 151, 197 stone: 154, 155, 156, 164, 193, 196–7, 198, 200, 201, 207, 209, 245–7; amethyst: 186–7; basalt: 200, 201; flint: 177, 184, 188, 189, 199–200, 201; granite: 201; limestone: 198; marble: 75, 150, 193, 195; porphyry: 201; sardonyx: 70; silex: 198, 200–1 strigils: see baths Symmachus: 12 Symphosius: passim; African origins: vii, 1, 3, 27, 28, 83, 85, 95, 125, 153, 158, 191; apologetics and self-depreciation: 13, 14, 30, 53, 54, 63, 65, 67, 68, 92; date: vii, 1, 4–6, 27, 68, 83, 118, 119, 133, 159, 185, 192, 193, 195, 204, 205, 213, 242; influence: vii, 31–2, 67, 101–2, 246, cf. 33, 249; literary intentions: 6–8, 13–14, 30; name: vii, 1–4, 12, cf. 246; scholastic background: 3, 12, 28, 54, 62, 72, 90, 96, 99, 103, 108, 112, 113, 116, 125, 130, 133, 139, 169, 170, 201, 203, 214, 218, 231, 233, 236, 240, 244; and Christianity: vii, 4, 10, 97, 117, 191, 211, 213. See also Aenigmata, figures of speech, ‘late’ forms or words, literary allusions and debts, literary style, monuments, number-play, verse composition, word-order, word-play and etymologizing.


symposium: 2, 10, 11, 12, 13, 57 Syrinx: 67–8 Tatwine: 32 Taurus: see mountains tears: 76, 77, 149, 150, 178 technology: 189, 191, 192, 193, 195, 197, 198, 200; man’s technological triumph over Nature: 175, 176, 183, 185, 191, 193, 222. See also architecture, building, glass, leather, mining, metalworking, potters and pottery, water, wood. teeth/‘teeth’: 124, 125–6, 142, 143, 144, 165, 171, 172, 173, 174, 178, 179, 203, cf. 138; tooth powder: 83 Terence: 235 text and transmission: vii, 3, 32–7, 173, 199–200, 237–8; Codex Salmasianus: 3, 4, 33 (duplicate recension: 34, 71, 72, 103, 114, 148, 157); contamination: 34, 35, 99, 237; copying errors: 60, 66, 74, 185, 204, 231; dittography: 58, 124, 141; Ersatzfassungen: 33; glosses: 3, 64, 100, 103, 109, 139, 193, 210, 212, 215, 220; haplography: 189, 240; homoeoteleuton: 59, 81, 122; lectio difficilior: 56, 69, 89, 99, 195, cf. 242; obelizing: 60, 63, 99, 116, 124, 129, 197, 230, 231–2, 239; palaeographical errors and variants: 3, 55, 65, 72, 97, 98, 100, 116, 120, 124, 139, 159, 161, 220, 221, 227; ‘polar’ errors: 70, 199; scribal activity: 3–4, 6, 54, 55, 82, 94, 104, 167, 189, 193, 197, 205, 208, 209, 217, 220, 240, 247; transposition: 15, 37, 99, 100, 115, 117, 212–13 Themis: 196 Thetis: 214 thorns: 120, 144, 145, 146, 181 Three Graces: 215 Thuburbo Maius: 224 Thugga: 1, 4, 173 Thyestes: 104 tiles: 72, 74–6; kilns: 75 tombs and tombstones: 157, 159, 163, 164, 195, 245–7


General Index

tools and implements: hammers: 218–19, 221; measuring rods: 232; pestles: 218, 219–20, 221; saws: 125, 171–2, 173 torture: 147, 148, 198 toys: 57, 182, 206 trade: 147, 153, 226, 228; hawkers: 234, 235 tragedy: 54, 89 Trajan: 117 transport: see carriages, ships travel and travellers: 95, 97, 167, 175, 183, 226, 229, 231, 233, 235, 241 trees: 102, 141, 142, 146, 147, 149, 150, 153, 158, 172, 175, 176, 215, cf. 193, 194; ash: 158; elm: 157–8, 204; holly: 204; myrtle: 204; oak: 175, 176; palm: 204; poplar: 149, 158 trident: 139, 173, 178–80, 203; fishing: 160, 178; and gladiators: 178 Trimalchio: 170, cf. 12 Troy: 94, 111; Trojan War: 214, 215 Tunisia: 178, 224 Turnus: 176, 245 Tyre: 11, cf. 144. See also Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri. Underworld: 192, 194, 227; Styx: 68, 85 unguent: 136, 149; cf. perfume Valentinus: 3 Vandals: viii, 28 varietas: 14, 65, 69, 72, 79, 88, 94, 105, 108, 120, 122, 124, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 150, 155, 161, 171, 174, 176, 179, 180, 181, 194, 208, 214 Varro: 131, 154, 168, 187, 203, 214 vegetables: 111, 136, 137, 138, 141, 142, 144, 146, 169; beet: 137, 138–41; garlic: 233, 234, 235; gourd: 141–2, 209; lettuce: 139; mallow: 136, 137–8, 139, 141; mushroom: 137; onion: 14, 142–3 Vegetius: 232 Venus: 188 Verres: 73, 111, 224 verse composition: 5, 6, 13, 14, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 62, 63, 66, 93; extempore: vii, 13, 53, 54, 59, 62; Leonine verse/ rhyme: 4, 27, 66, 122, 190, 222, 229,

247, cf. 112; ‘numerical composition’: 14; occasional verse: 62; Saturnalian verse: 9, 53, 54, 130, cf. 6 vessels: 85, 207, 209; lagena: 207, 209, 210; matella: 208 vines and viticulture: 141, 152, 157–9 Virgil: ix, 12, 29, 30, 79, 103, 108, 150, 164, 168, cf. 236; Aeneid: 29; Georgics: 29 Vitruvius: 198 vocabulary: 27, 55, 73, 95, 101, 125, 145, 154, 157, 174, 190, 221; derivations: 3, 8, 72, 90, 98, 99, 103, 111, 113, 125, 131, 133, 135, 182, 201, 216, 217, 236, 244; homonyms: 123; mathematical: 240, 241; religious: 59, 80, 147, 176, cf. 205; sexual: 123, 134, 145, 158; applied to women: 58, 169, 229, 242; for vehicles: 242. See also ‘late’ forms or words, and the Index Verborum. war and warfare: 73, 95, 111, 153, 180, 182, 214, 215, 230; prisoners of war: 73 water: 75, 173, 174, 175, 176, 178, 180 and passim; courses: 68, 176, 191, 192, 193, 194; engineering: 191, 192; pipes: 14, 193; supply: 191. See also Four Elements, rivers, wells and springs, sea. water clocks: see clepsydra weapons: 71, 119, 120, 121, 122, 134, 143, 146, 173, 178, 180, 181, 182. See also hunting, military equipment, trident, whips. weather: 72, 74, 77, 78, 79, 81, 85, 97, 186 weaving: 93, 94, 95; loom weights: 95 wells and springs: 191–3; wellheads: 193 wheels: 30, 83, 201–2 whips: 181–2 wind: 106, 108, 131, 133–4, 141, 173, 174; Zephyr: 134. windows: 85, 160, 184–7 wine: 10, 53, 56, 57, 63, 64, 69, 157, 207–8, 210–12; acetum: 210, 212–13; conditum: 210, 211; Falernian: 57 women: 57–8, 59, 93, 94, 196; beauty: 144, 145, 215, 242, 243; chastity: 243,

General Index 244; childbirth and motherhood: 105, 128, 229, 230, cf. 88–91, 103, 129, 131, 207–8, 210; courtesans: 57, 244; old women: 53, 58; vetulae amicae: 58; young girls: 144, 169, 244. See also Saturnalia: and women. wood: 67, 77, 94, 117, 122, 123, 135, 146, 147, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 180, 185, 193, 199, 219 woodworking: 218, 219. See also trees. wool: 221 word-order: 14, 26–7 and passim; ἀπὸ κοινοῦ construction: 75, 76, 94, 105, 163, 168, 188, 196, 201, 217, 234; chiasmus: 57, 75, 88, 118, 126, 195, 217, 246; emphatic word-order: 59, 63, 77, 87, 88, 102, 104, 116, 118, 133, 135, 140, 142, 153, 158, 160, 165, 166, 167, 182, 186, 191, 196, 201, 211, 218, 220, 223, 231, 235, 236, 240; hyperbaton: 63; interlocking word-order: 27, 65, 71, 72, 74, 89, 95, 103, 107, 113, 133, 163, 176, 181, 198, 235; juxtaposition: 27, 57, 59, 62, 72, 79, 83, 84, 86, 88, 90, 100, 105, 107, 111, 114, 120, 132, 135, 142, 143, 153, 155, 158, 163, 165, 166, 167, 170, 174, 190, 192, 194, 198, 206, 207, 217, 220, 223, 231, 234, 236; tmesis: 118. See also varietas.


word-play and etymologizing: 12, 13, 14, 15, 26, 28, 63, 65, 70, 72, 77, 81, 90, 91, 92, 96, 99, 102, 103, 108, 112, 113, 116, 122, 123, 125–30 passim, 132, 133, 138–43 passim, 154, 157, 163, 167, 169, 170, 177, 178, 186, 190, 192, 194, 196, 201, 203, 205, 210, 213, 214, 216, 217, 218, 231, 232, 233, 235, 236, 244, 245; bilingual: 28, 113, 122, 123, 139, 214. See also figures of speech: figura etymologica, puns. word usage: see figures of speech: metonymy and onomatopoeia, language, ‘late’ forms or words, word-order, word-play and etymologizing, and the Index Verborum work: 56, 63, 82, 93, 94, 102, 104, 131, 182, 191, 200, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 224, 226, cf. 171 writing equipment: 14, 64, 66, 67, 70, 246; graphium: 14, 64–6; ink: 66, 68–9; ink well: 67; papyrus: 67, 92, 240; parchment: 240; quill pen: 112; reed pen: 66–9, 82, 240; stylus: 64–6, 67, 92, 179, 240, 247; stylus or pen case: 64, 67; writing tablet: 64–7, 151, 177 Zephyr: see wind Zeus: 128, 134, 196. See also Jupiter. zodiac: see astrology

Index Verborum (These words are uncommon or used unusually. References are to the text of the Aenigmata.) auriculae: 81.2 caput: 86.2 comitum: 13.2 dedita: 90.1 emicat: 68.3 ferro … uno: 61.1 frondicomam: 60.2 graphium: 1 le. in + accusative: 57.1 inest intus: 69.2, 76.1 iungimur: 82.1 lex: 98.1


ligare: 56.2 natus: 36.1 praemitto: 54.3 quam saepe: 80.3 raucisonans: 19.1 saeptus: 65.1 scopa: 79 le. specular: 68 le. summo … imo: 1.1 terra: 71.1 utrimque: 1.2