Symphosius The Aenigmata: An Introduction, Text and Commentary
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The post-classical compilation known to modern scholarship as the Latin Anthology contains a collection of a hundred riddles, each consisting of three hexameters and preceded by a lemma. It would seem from the preface to this collection that they were composed extempore at a dinner to celebrate the Roman Saturnalia. The work was to have a defining influence on later collections of riddles; yet its title (probably the Aenigmata) has been debated, and almost nothing is known about its author: questions have even been asked about his name (Symphosius?) and date (4th-5th centuruy Ad?).
In this edition of the riddles, the Introducion discusses the work's title and its author's identity: as well as his name and date, it considers his national origin (North African?) and intellectual background (a professional grammarian?), and argues that he was not Christian, as has been suggested. It examines the Saturnalian background to the work, setting it in its sociological context, and discusses the author's literary debts – especially to Martial. The Introduction also explores the author's ordering and arrangement of the riddles, discusses his literary style, Latinity and metre, and comments briefly on his Nachleben. It concludes with a survey of the textual tradition. The commentary on each riddle includes a translation, general notes on the object it describes (with reference, as necessary, to museums and artefacts), and discussion of how it fits into the ordering of the collection, of variant readings and, with suitable illustration, of literary, stylistic and metrical considerations. Other areas, such as history and mythology, are also covered where relevant.
century, Hadrumetum), 337 (second century, Caput Vada). For Neptune generally, see Kl.P. IV.64.28 ﬀ. s.v. Neptunus [K. Sallman], Roscher III.201.65–207.23 s.v. Neptunus [Wissowa]. For tridents, see D-S V.440–2 s.v tridens [Ad. Reinach]. 1 tres mihi sunt dentes, quos unus continet ordo: quos unus B(praeter c)GIwa: unus quos cDγ: unus A. The cDγ reading has both half-lines begin with a number; cf. the unmetrical A. While this is attractive, delayed relatives are rare in S. Note just Aenig. 12.1
similes mihi nolo negare; nec duo sunt tantum, sed plures ordine cernis; et tamen hos ipsos omnes ego porto supinos. 42 beta tota vocor Graece sed non sum tota Latine. pauperibus semper proponor †namque† tabernis. in terra nascor, lympha lavor, unguor olivo. 43 cucurbita pendeo dum nascor; rursus, dum pendeo, cresco. pendens commoveor ventis et nutrior undis. pendula si non sim, non sum iam iamque futura. Latin Text 44 cepa mordeo mordentes, ultro non mordeo quemquam; sed sunt mordentem multi
[i.e. Peiper’s 1886 Teubner, 22.3.2, = Loeb Appendix III.2] ‘dulciloquis calamos Euterpe ﬂatibus urget’ and Cato Disticha 1.27 ‘ﬁstula dulce canit’. Note also PLM V.63.1 de Philomela ‘sum noctis socia, sum cantus dulcis amica’, although here amica means just ‘friend’. ripae vicina profundae vel sim. codd. D(praeter e)gh: semper vicina profundis ABγ. The e reading is a combination of both traditions. Most editors omit ripae after ‘dulcis amica dei’, printing ‘semper vicina profundis’. This is
2. 23 A ﬂy I am shameless, I confess; for what disgusting thing does my throat fear? I avoided the cold, who now return in summer, but I am soon moved on, frightened by a false wind. MSS: A βcα Ang.deEHMNOQRSZ gGhIVwbX le. musca: this riddle continues the main sequence of small creatures introduced by Aenig. 14, the sub-sequence beginning at Aenig. 21 and the interlocking arrangement beginning at Aenig. 22: see le. n. above. Points of contrast and connection between it and the previous riddle
a connective rather than an adversative. See OLD2 s.v. sed §2c, L-S s.v. §IIA1, L-H-Sz II.487. albus quandoque futurus: albus is regular of grey hair (cf. e.g. Tib. 1.8.45 ‘albos . . . capillos’, Verg. A. 9.651), being often contrasted in this context with niger; note line 2 below and cf. e.g. Prop. 3.5.24 and Ovid Trist. 4.8.2. 3 malo manere niger: minus ultima fata verebor: the hair’s personiﬁcation here introduces a wryly humorous note. It too is worried about dying, a worry that is possibly