Ennius [Quintus Ennius]

Edward Courtney (ed.), The Fragmentary Latin Poets

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Editor’s Note5 = var. 26 V

Paul. Fest. 59:

  • 1Cyprio boui merendam

Ennius Sotadico uersu cum dixit, significauit id quod solet fieri in insula Cypro, in qua boues humano stercore pascuntur.

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Editor’s Note
. This line might belong to the Satires, in which Ennius also used sotadeans (18), but in that case Festus would have no reason to draw attention to the metre. This alleged habit of Cypriot oxen was proverbial; see Paroemiogr. Gr. i. 224, ii. 100, where the notes adduce other occurrences (including Antiphanes 126 Kock ap. Athen. 3. 95 f); Pliny, NH 28. 266 says that the coprophagy was to cure infestation by pests. Merenda is an afternoon snack, a meal which has to be earned (from mereor) as part-payment for labour; it is a substantivalized adjective (sc. cena; see General Index s.v. Adjectives). See further Kessissoglou, Rh. Mus.2 133 (1990), 73.
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