Eusebius Riddle 59: De psittaco


Date: Mon 27 Dec 2021
Original text:

India litoribus propriis me gignit amoenam,
Collum nam torques ruber emicat, ala colore
Tam viridi decorata est, et mea latior instat
Lingua loquax reliquis avibus. Hinc verba sonabo,
Nomina et humanae reddam de more loquelae,
Nam natura mihi “Ave!” est vel iam dicere “Care!”
Cetera per studiam depromam nomina rerum.


India begets lovely me (1) within her own shores,
For a red torc shines on my neck, and my wing is
Highly decorated with a green color, and my chattering tongue
Goes on more extensively than that of other birds. Hence I speak words,
And I give names in the manner of human speech,
For it is my nature to say “Hail!” or now “Greetings!” (2)
I declare other names through the study of things.

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On the parrot


(1) Or, it could be “lovely India.” The grammar does not work perfectly in either instance.
(2) This is a Latin transcription of the Greek Χαίρε.

Tags: riddles  latin  Eusebius