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a.1.Relating to the lake of Serbonis in Egypt, which by reason of the sand blowing into it had a deceptive appearance of being solid land, but was a bog.
A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog . . .
Where armies whole have sunk.
- Milton.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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He climbed and descended precipices on which vulgar mortals tremble to look; he passed marshes like the Serbonian bog,* where armies whole have sunk; he forded rivers where the current roared like the Egre or the Severn; or ventured himself on bridges that trembled under him, from which he looked down on foaming whirlpools, or dreadful abysses; he wandered over houseless heaths, amidst all the rage of the elements, with the snow driving in his face, and the tempest howling in his ears.
Beyond this flood a frozen Continent Lies dark and wilde, beat with perpetual storms Of Whirlwind and dire Hail, which on firm land Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice, A gulf profound as that SERBONIAN Bog Betwixt DAMIATA and mount CASIUS old, Where Armies whole have sunk: the parching Air Burns frore, and cold performs th' effect of Fire.
Whitman, III, Draining the Serbonian Bog: A New Approach to Corporate Separations under the 1954 Code, 81 Harv.
Scales, Man, God and the Serbonian Bog: The Evolution of Accidental Death Insurance, 86 IOWA L.
"The Serbonian Bog: The Legal Relations of the United States and China." In Toward a Humanistic Science of Politics: Essays in Honor of Francis Dunham Wormuth, eds.
(210) Cases arising out of oil and gas operations on the Continental Shelf can be removed even though the pleading in state court does not refer to the OCSLA, because the well-pleaded complaint rule does not apply in the situation of the express grant of jurisdiction in the OCSLA: "In determining federal court jurisdiction, we need not traverse the Serbonian Bog of the well pleaded complaint rule because [section] 23 of OCSLA expressly invests jurisdiction in the United States District Courts." (211)
Richmond, Drunk in the Serbonian Bog: Intoxicated Drivers' Deaths as Insurance Accidents, 32 SEATTLE U.
As a result, more than four decades later, the law has become what Judge Bruce Selya has described as a "Serbonian bog." (141) The legal land looks solid but is, in fact, a quagmire, into which "plaintiffs and defendants, pundits and policymakers, judges and justices" have sunk.
"What was once academic community," he sadly concludes, "had become academic collectivism." American education is mired in the "Serbonian Bog."
As one federal judge has remarked, the Voting Rights Act has become a "Serbonian bog."
O'Donnell, Wading into the "Serbonian Bog" of Vote Dilution Claims Under Amended Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act: Making the Way Towards a Principled Approach to "Racially Polarized Voting", 65 MISS L.J.