Latin Palindromes

One of my students asked me the other day if there were any Latin palindromes. I said I didn’t know any, but I knew where to look. I went straight to the wonderful book of Latin word games, Bella Bulla: Lateinische Sprachspielereien, by Hans Weis (Bonn: Ferd. Dümmlers Verlag, 1985). Below are my personal favorites:

Aziz Inan / Univ. of Portland

AURES SERUA (“safeguard your ears”), good advice for all aspiring rock musicians

SOL ATTIGIT TALOS (“the sun touched your ankles”), perhaps a compliment for a lady in a very long dress?

SIGNA TE! SIGNA! TEMERE ME TANGIS ET ANGIS. (“Signify yourself! Signify! You are rashly touching and distressing me”) All sorts of applications for this one in everyday life.

MITIS ERO, RETINE LENITER ORE SITIM (“I will be kindly, gently restrain the thirst in my mouth”). Perhaps best spoken to a bottle of beer.

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5 thoughts on “Latin Palindromes

  1. Tertius versus retrogradus abs te laudatus, cuius verba prima sunt, “Signa te,” sumptus est e fragmentis insoliti carminis elegiaci et Mexicani a Iohannes (sive Juan) de Valencia saeculo septimo decimo scripti, cui titulus “Theressiad.” Hoc carmen novi orbis (sive Novae Hispaniae) praeter quosdam versus a grammaticis excerptos iam diu deperditum constitisse dicitur e trecentis et quinquaginta distichis, quorum solum hoc integrum nobis superest:
    Signa te signa temere me tangis et angis
    Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor.
    His in versibus, quamvis intellectu difficilibus et variis modis interpretatis, illa “signa te signa” nonnulli volunt ad stigmata spectare quae in Theresae corpore apparuerunt. Duo porro versus alii exstant,
    Asseret e Roma nisi lis in amore Teresa,
    quod fertur totius carminis fuisse primus, et hoc:
    Roma sit era rogo, cogor aretis amore.

  2. maximas tibi gratias ago! ede, si vis, ubi omnia frusta huius carminis invenire possimus? Collegam habeo quae studia Hispanistica colit, et volo ei certiorem facere. Maximias iterum gratias pro hac optima adnotatione.

    • Apud Iohannem (Juan, iterum) de Paraeja versus omnes qui supersunt inveniuntur, nisi fallor, sed inter recentiora scripta inspiciendae sunt et pagina decima quinta et septuagesima octava illius Andreae (Andrew) Laird Stanfordensis libri, qui inscribitur “The Epic of America” sive Carmen Epicum et Americanum, et in lucem editus est anno bismillesimo sexto apud Duckworth: nam inter alios commentarios historiam scripsit carminum Americanorum quae a Mexicanis a saeculo sexto decimo usque ad Iesuitas expulsos pangebantur.

  3. Petrus Australianus Christophero Francese S.P.D.
    Fortasse usui tibi esse possum. Ecce duo hexametri palindromici (vel retrogradi vel cancrini):

    Otto tenet mappam, madidam mappam tenet Otto.

    Sumitis a vetitis; sitis is, sitit Eva, sitimus.

    Cura ut palindromice valeas!

    (P.S. Te conveni apud Conventiculum Dickinsonianum.)

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