Symphosius Riddle 78: Scalae


Date: Sat 10 Sep 2022
Original text:

Nos sumus, ad caelum quae scandimus, alta petentes,
Concordi fabrica quas unus continet ordo,
Ut simul haerentes per nos comitentur  ad auras.


We are they who ascend to heaven, seeking the heights,
Which one row contains in a harmonious structure,
Such that they, clinging together, are advanced to the sky.

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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 3: comitentur > comitemur
  • Translation is different (see also the long note in his commentary): “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.”

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