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Serboʹnian Bog or Serboʹnis

.

A mess from which there is no way of extricating oneself. The Serbonian bog was between Egypt and Palestine. Strabo calls it a lake, and says it was 200 stadia long, and 50 broad; Pliny makes it 150 miles in length. Hume says that whole armies have been lost therein. Typhon lay at the bottom of this bog, which was therefore called Typhon’s Breathing Hole. It received its name from Sebaket-Bardoil, a king of Jerusalem, who died there on his return from an expedition into Egypt.

“Now, sir, I must say I know of no Serbonian bog deeper than a £5 rating would prove to be.”—B. Disraeli (Chance. of the Exch.), Times, March 19, 1867


“A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog,

Betwixt Damiata and Mount Cassius old,

Where armies whole have sunk.”


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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Sentinel
Sepoy
Sept
September Massacres
Septuagesima Sunday
Septuagint
Seraglio
Seraphim
Serapis
Serat (Al)
Serbonian Bog or Serbonis
Seremenes
Serenade
Serene
Serif and Sanserif
Sèrjeants-at-Law
Sermon Lane (Doctors Commons, London)
Serpent
Serpentine Verses
Serrapurda
Servant (Faithful)