Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Appetitive/Spirited: More Horace on Wine

I always enjoy picking wines for Christmas dinner. Since I am going to put up a new edition of "Wine Snob" very soon on my cooking/personal blog, I thought I would continue the tradition of translating Horace 1.38 and translate the last stanza of 2.14 (also about wine):
Absumet heres Caecuba dignior
     servata centum clavibus et mero
tinguet pavimentum superbo,
     pontificum potiore cenis.
The worthier heir will quaff the Caecuba [1]
     protected by one hundred keys and glorious
unmixed [wine] dyes the floor [2],
     more potent than the dinner of the priests.
The rest of the Horace poem (2.14) was about death and it was not particularly interesting [3]. The last stanza amused me, so I thought I would post it.

Some holiday wines.

  1. Caecuba is a type of Roman wine.
  2. I cannot decide whether the wine dies the floors from spillage or vomit. Either way, it shows the excess of the heir.
  3. I mentioned to Propertius II that "anyone can write 28 lines about death" and he quipped "but can anyone write 28 lines about death in Alcaeic strophs?"

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