Symphosius Riddle 83: Vinum in acetum conversum


Date: Sat 10 Sep 2022
Original text:

Sublatum nihil est, nihil est extrinsecus auctum;
Nec tamen invenio, quicquid prius ipse reliqui.
Quod fueram, non sum; coepi, quod non eram.


Nothing was taken away, nothing extrinsic was added;
And yet I do not find what I left before;
What I had been, I am not; I begin to be what I was not.

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Wine turned to vinegar


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: in the third- rather than first-person, drawing on a manuscript family that smoothes out grammatical issues and perhaps addresses the confusion here over whether the speaker is the wine itself or someone who left the wine

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