Boniface Riddle 13: Crapula gulae


Date: Mon 26 Jul 2021
Original text:
Clara fui quondam, Sodomae dum farra manebant,
Regmina foeda tenens, donec pius ultor ab alto
Ardentes flammas multans et sulphura misit.
Praevia sum luxus petulantis foetore carnis,
5  Viribus aequalis bibulae perfecta soroti.
Lurida nam dudum frangebam moenia sancta,
Aurea dum Solymae famosae templa ruebant;
Grandia nam populus mordax quondam idola fecit.
Vivere iam docui mediocres mente superba,
10  Lectos et proceres iustos quoque spernere victus.
Arte mea plures submersi faucibus orci;
Externi ut superis miscentur civibus ignis.
I was once renowned, when the grit of Sodom was alive,
retaining their loathsome kingdom, until a holy avenger from heaven
punished me, sending out burning flames and sulphur.
I am the bringer of debauchery in the stench of wanton flesh,
5  and I am made equal in strength to my thirsty sister.
For, ghastly, I once smashed down the sacred walls
when the golden temples of famous Solyma fell;
for, at one time, the snarling nation made great idols.
After that, I taught the mediocre to live with a proud mind,
10  and I also taught the best and noblest to spurn righteous living.
I have cunningly sunk many into the jaws of Orcus;
as exiles from heaven, they are joined with the citizens of Hell.
Click to show riddle solution?
Overindulgence (of the gullet)


This edition is based on Ernst Dümmler, (ed.). Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, Volume 1. Berlin, MGH/Weidmann, 1881. Pages 1-15. Available online here.

Note that this riddle appears as No. 5 (De vitiis) in Glorie’s edition and 15 in Orchard’s edition.

Line 4, foenore > foetore, following Fr. Glorie (ed.), Variae collectiones aenigmatum Merovingicae aetatis. Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina 133A. Turnhout: Brepols, 1968. Page 329.