Saturday, January 21, 2006


Cena Dubia

Terence, Phormio 342-343 (tr. H.T. Riley):
PHORMIO: A banquet full of doubts is placed before you--
GETA: What is the meaning of that expression?
PHORMIO: When you are in doubt which in especial to partake of.

PH. cena dubia apponitur. GE. quid istuc verbi est?
PH. ubi tu dubites quid sumas potissimum.
Horace, Satires 2.2.76-77 (tr. Christopher Smart) borrows the phrase:
Do not you see, how pale each guest rises from a perplexing variety of dishes at an entertainment?

vides, ut pallidus omnis / cena desurgat dubia?
The closest equivalent in English seems to be embarrassment of riches, itself from French embarras de richesses.

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