Symphosius Riddle 20: Testudo


Date: Fri 01 Jul 2022
Original text:

Tarda, gradu lento, specioso praedita dorso;
Docta quidem studio, sed saevo prodita fato
Viva nihil dixit, quae sic modo mortua canto.


Tardy, with a slow step, and endowed with a brilliant back;
Certainly learned in my zeal, but by cruel fate betrayed,
Alive, I said nothing; recently dead, I sing thus.

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This edition is based on Raymond T. Ohl, ed. The Enigmas of Symphosius. PhD dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1928.

If you're researching/studying this collection, you should also consult this excellent new edition: T. J. Leary, ed. Symphosius: The Aenigmata, An Introduction, Text and Commentary. London: Bloomsbury, 2014. Textual differences in that edition include:

  • line 2: Docta quidem studio > Tecta quidem, subito

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