Italian Idioms starting with Q
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Questione bizantina (= Byzantine question)
The saying is used to indicate a sterile and useless debate, which can also be dangerous in a situation when decisions need to be made promptly. The phrase refers to the siege of Constantinople in 674 AD. While the city was besieged by the Arabs, the main theme of which in the palaces of the Roman Empire discussion were entertained was not the war, but trivial liturgy matters, for example, if Jesus was sitting or standing at the right of God.
Questione di lana caprina (= a problem of goat's wool)
The phrase is used when people are talking about something unnecessary, unimportant or of no relevance to the main subject. This was a Latin phrase "de lana caprina" that appears in Horace (Epistles, 1, 18, 15), and already at that time used to define a dispute without foundation, such as the question whether to classify what covers goats as wool or hair.