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Symphosius The Aenigmata: An Introduction, Text and Commentary

The post-classical compilation recognized to trendy scholarship because the Latin Anthology features a selection of 100 riddles, each one which includes 3 hexameters and preceded by way of a lemma. it can look from the preface to this assortment that they have been composed extempore at a dinner to have a good time the Roman Saturnalia. The paintings was once to have a defining impact on later collections of riddles; but its name (probably the Aenigmata) has been debated, and nearly not anything is understood approximately its writer: questions have even been requested approximately his identify (Symphosius?) and date (4th-5th centuruy Ad?).

In this version of the riddles, the Introducion discusses the work's name and its author's identification: in addition to his identify and date, it considers his nationwide starting place (North African?) and highbrow historical past (a specialist grammarian?), and argues that he used to be now not Christian, as has been prompt. It examines the Saturnalian historical past to the paintings, atmosphere it in its sociological context, and discusses the author's literary money owed – in particular to Martial. The advent additionally explores the author's ordering and association of the riddles, discusses his literary variety, Latinity and metre, and reviews in brief on his Nachleben. It concludes with a survey of the textual culture. The remark on every one riddle incorporates a translation, basic notes at the item it describes (with reference, as helpful, to museums and artefacts), and dialogue of the way it suits into the ordering of the gathering, of version readings and, with appropriate representation, of literary, stylistic and metrical issues. different parts, similar to heritage and mythology, also are coated the place correct.

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Parvi balances and contrasts with the alliterative plena. plena domus spinis: cf. Aug. in psalm. 70. 1. five ‘spinis plenus tamquam ericius’ and the wording at Juv. three. 187: ‘plena domus libis’. distinction Aenig. 18. 1 the place domus is used now not of the snail’s physique yet its shell: ‘porto domum mecum’. S. in different places makes use of domus of a mouse gap (Aenig. 25. 1) and the habitat of a fish: Aenig. 12. 2. The be aware survives because the 120 Symphosius The Aenigmata domestic 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. sixty one ff. s. v. domus [Hofmann]. Spina, actually a thorn, is usually used of the spines of animals: see OLD2 s. v. spina §3. it's used in different places of echinus spines at Pliny Nat. eight. 133 and 28. sixty seven. Its juxtaposition with domus is telling: houses often have cozy institutions. parvi . . . corporis hospes: cf. FPL Hadrian three. 1–2 ‘animula vagula . . . hospes comesque corporis’ of the emperor’s soul. Corpus is used in other places of the soul’s corporeal living position at Verg. A. 6. 713–4 ‘animae, quibus altera fato/ corpora debentur’ and Cic. Tusc. 1. fifty two ‘corpus . . . quasi vas est aut aliquod animi receptaculum’. even supposing the hedgehog is simply a visitor in its physique, any transience this could recommend (cf. vagula within the Hadrian passage above) is emphatically countered in traces 2 and three, the place it's transparent that its occupancy is long-standing. 2 incolumi dorso telis confixus acutis: the second one 1/2 the road recollects ‘plena domus spinis’, the first 1/2 line 1. The participial confixus supplies varietas to the adjectival ablative absolute within the first hemistich, thereby pointing the ambiguity that the hedgehog is concurrently pierced and unhurt. For the dorsum of small animals, cf. Curt. nine. eight. 2 ‘dorsa testudinum’ of a tortoise shell. With ‘telis . . . acutis’, cf. Aenig. forty five. 2 ‘telis defendor acutis’ of the thorns of a rose. even supposing the hedgehog offers the looks of being pierced by way of enemy darts, its spines are in truth protecting guns of its personal, just like the rose’s thorns: it's not truly inermis (line three) and S. is rare in portraying it as such; distinction Isid. Orig. 12. three. 7 ‘[sc. spinis] . . . quibus undique protectus est’, Claud. Carm. Min. nine. 10 ff. , forty three. an evidence of this departure from common perform may perhaps probably be present in Dale Scott’s identification, a hundred and twenty, during this line and the subsequent of an satirically trivializing allusion to Verg. A. three. 45–6 ‘hic confixum ferrea texit/ telorum seges et iaculis increvit acutis’ of the murdered Polydorus; cf. creation (3)(e). whereas ironic debunking is feasible, the appliance of epic language to a hedgehog is unquestionably funny. confixus ABgh: conplectus d(complector E): conpletus D(praeter dE)γ. Configo is typical of piercing with guns: OLD2 s. v. configo §4a; cf. Verg. A. three. 45–6 stated above, nine. 543 ‘confixi . . . suis telis’, Tac. Ann. 14. 37 ‘confixa . . . telis . . . iumenta’, Ovid Pont. 2. 7. 15 ‘fortunae telis confixus iniquis’. The editions most likely arose via palaeographical corruption (CONFIXUS → CONPLXUS → CONPLEXUS → CONPLE(C)TUS; for confusion of I and L, see Reynolds and Wilson 223), even if conpletus could have been influenced by means of plena in line 1.

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