Aldhelm Riddle 18: Myrmicoleon


Date: Sat 12 Mar 2022
Original text:

Dudum compositis ego nomen gesto figuris:
Ut leo, sic formica vocor sermone Pelasgo
Tropica nominibus signans praesagia duplis,
Cum rostris avium nequeam resistere rostro.
Scrutetur sapiens, gemino cur nomine fungar!


Long have I had a name of composed form:
As “lion,” so “ant” am I called in the Greek language,
Signifying figurative indications with my two names,
Though I am unable to defend against birds’ beaks with a beak.
May a wise man seek why I am called this twin-name!

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This edition is based on Rudolf Ehwald, ed. Aldhelmi Opera Omnia. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi, 15. Berlin: Weidmann, 1919, pages 59-150. Available online here.

Tags: riddles  latin  Aldhelm