3. Publilius Optatianus Porfyrius, "Mirum opus est cunctos et tales edere versus [Carmen XXII]," c. 325 C.E. (A.D.)
Published here in: Giovanni Polara, editor. Publilii Optatiani Porfyrii Carmina. Torino: G.B. Paravia, 1973. First edition.
Davis Library.

This poem is one of the most complex of the Latin carmina cancellata. The diagonal lines can be read strictly from left to right, sloping either downwards or upwards, spelling out various lines of various lengths concealed within the overall poem-grid. However, at many of the intersections, it is possible to switch the vertical direction of reading and still emerge with a sensible line — zigzagging up and down — leading to thousands of possible permutations. It is because of complex wordplay like this that some scholars refer to all grid-based pattern poetry as "technopaegnia" — Greek for "games of skill."

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