Out of Breath and Trembling: A Hard Night Leads to a Hard Morning

Apuleius, Metamorphoses 1.18

“We had already made it a certain distance when the sun rose and everything was in the light. I was examining my friend’s neck with a intense curiosity in the place where I had seen the sword end up. And I thought to myself, ‘You are mad, ‘You were covered in your cups and wine and dreamed the worst. Look, Socrates is whole, healthy, and untouched. Where is the wound, or the sponge? Where is a scar so new and recent?’

And then I said to him, ‘It is not without reason that trustworthy doctors say that people overstuffed with food and drink have evil, savage dreams. In my case, because I was excessive in my drinking last night, the evening brought me terrible and torturous visions, that I even believed I was covered and polluted with human blood!”

But he was smirking at me when he said, ‘You are not covered in blood, but piss! Indeed, I myself dreamed that my throat was cut. I imagined pain on this neck and I even believed that my heart was ripped out. Even now I remain out of breath: my knees are trembling and I am stumbling. I need some food for strengthening my breath.”

“Aliquantum processeramus et iam iubaris exortu cuncta collustrantur. Et ego curiose sedulo arbitrabar iugulum comitis, qua parte gladium delapsum videram; et mecum ‘Vesane,’ aio ‘qui poculis et vino sepultus extrema somniasti. Ecce Socrates integer, sanus, incolumis. Ubi vulnus, spongia? Ubi postremum cicatrix tam alta, tam recens?’ Et ad illum ‘Non’ inquam ‘immerito medici fidi cibo et crapula distentos saeva et gravia somniare autumant. Mihi denique, quod poculis vesperi minus temperavi, nox acerba diras et truces imagines obtulit, ut adhuc me credam cruore humano aspersum atque impiatum.’

“Ad haec ille surridens ‘At tu’ inquit ‘non sanguine sed lotio perfusus es. Verum tamen et ipse per somnium iugulari visus sum mihi. Nam et iugulum istum dolui et cor ipsum mihi avelli putavi; et nunc etiam spiritu deficior et genua quatior et gradu titubo et aliquid cibatus refovendo spiritu desidero.’

If you need it, Greek and Latin words for hangovers.

Image result for roman banquet mosaic
Roman Mosaic displayed at the Chateau de Boudry Museum

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