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Dissertation for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Latin presented at Uppsala

University in 1998

Henriksn, C., 1998. Martial, Book IX. A Commentary. Vol. 1. Acta. Univ. Ups., Studia
Latina Upsaliensia 24:1. 223 pp. Uppsala. ISBN 91-554-4293-5.
This dissertation consists of a commentary on Book 9 of the Epigrams of M. Valerius
Martialis (ca. 40104 AD). The book, with its 105 epigrams one of the longer in Martials
production, was published in late 94 or early 95 and presents the reader with Martials
characteristic variety of subjects drawn from contemporary Roman society and everyday
life. Notable is that Book 9 contains a markedly higher frequency of poems focusing on the
emperor Domitian than any other of Martials books. The tendency towards a greater
attention to Domitian is obvious already in Book 8 (published in early 94) and is likely to
have been continued also in the last book published under his reign, the now lost first
edition of Book 10 (published in 95). In Book 9, this tendency is also reflected in the
increase of references to Domitian simply as Iuppiter or as Tonans, of the application to
the emperor of epithets originally belonging to divinities, and of comparisons of Domitian
with gods, particularly with Jupiter, the Sun, and Hercules. The book as a whole is set
within an imperial framework, marked at the beginning by poems 1, 3, 5 and 7, and by
poem 101 at the end.
The present commentary consists of an introduction discussing the date, general characteristics, structure and themes of Book 9 (with special regard to matters concerning the
emperor), followed by a detailed commentary on each of the 105 poems, placing them in
their social, historical and literary context.
Key-words: Martial, epigram, Domitian, Silver Latin, panegyric, Statius, Ovid, Greek
C. Henriksn, Department of Classical Philology, Uppsala University, Box 527, SE-751
20 Uppsala, Sweden.

Christer Henriksn 1998

ISSN 0562-2859
ISBN 91-554-4292-7 (vols. 24:124:2)
ISBN 91-554-4293-5 (vol. 24:1)
ISBN 91-554-4294-3 (vol. 24:2)
Printed in Sweden by Textgruppen i Uppsala AB 1998
Distributor: Uppsala University Library, Box 510, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

longi laboris consciae

Preface and Acknowledgements

A new commentary on Martial needs little justification. Since the publication of
Friedlnders commentary on the complete works of Martial in 1886, our ability
to understand the Epigrams has greatly improved, thanks to the increasing
amount of modern scholarly work. Silver Latin poetry, long considered to be baroque in comparison with its Augustan precursors, has been re-assessed. The
emperor Domitian, who for a very long time was looked upon as a ruthless tyrant,
has obtained some redress, which is bound to be reflected on the poets who put
their talents to his service. For all that, there will always be some lines or poems
in the text of Martial which will remain enigmatic, single distichs that are obviously witty jokes or savage satire but which will elude our understanding. No
matter how much progress is made in the field of classical studies, we shall never
be able to fully attain the frames of reference of a late-first-century Roman. In
such cases, we can but suggest an explanation and argue in favour of it, but
probably never conclusively demonstrate its correctness.
The first modern commentary, by Mario Citroni on Book 1, appeared in 1975.
Since then, commentaries have been published on Book 1 (1980) and Book 5
(1995) by Peter Howell, on Book 11 by Nigel Kay (1985), on Book 14 by Tim
Leary (1996), and on Book 6 by Farouk Grewing (1997). To all of these, I freely
acknowledge my debts. Besides, commentaries on some of the books exist in the
form of unpublished Ph.D. theses in Britain. For the current state of research into
Martial, I refer the reader to the surveys by Grewing in the introduction to his
commentary (pp. 1116) and in his preface to F. Grewing (ed.), Toto notus in
orbe. Perspektiven der Martial-Interpretation, Stuttgart 1998, pp. 713.
I would here like to express my cordial thanks to Professor Hans Helander,
who has firmly guided me through the writing of this commentary, scrutinized my
text and purged it from many an error, while always sharing generously his profound knowledge of Greek and Latin literature. Docent Monica Hedlund has followed my work with great interest and often put stray reasoning back on the path
of common sense. Professor Sten Eklund has, as always, not only advised me on
philological matters, but also assisted me with financial and technical concerns.
To all of these, I offer my sincere gratitude, not least for believing that this work
was possible in the first place. My thanks are also due to Henrik Vitalis, M.A.,
who patiently read the manuscript from cover to cover, and to Dimitrios Iordanoglou, B.A., who kindly undertook the task of proof-reading the Greek. My English
has been corrected by Neil Tomkinson, B.A., and has also benefited from the
valuable advice of Denis Searby, Ph.D.

Uppsala, 24 September 1998



Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1. The date of Book 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2. General characteristics and metres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3. The structure of Book 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.1. The general pattern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3.2. Cycles and pairs of epigrams in Book 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
4. Themes and motifs in Book 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4.1. General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4.2. Domitian the commander . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4.2.1. Domitianus Germanicus: The war against the Chatti . . . . 23
4.2.2. The Second Pannonian War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.3. Domitian the god . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.3.1. Comparisons with Jupiter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
4.3.2. Comparisons with other divinities and Domitian as deus . . 32
5. Some notes on the tradition of the manuscripts and on the text
of Book 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
6. A note on the use of this commentary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
7. Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
7.1. Editions of Martial: A selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
7.2. Modern commentaries on Martial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
7.3. Commentaries on other Greek and Latin authors . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
7.4. Works referred to by abbreviation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
7.5. Secondary literature referred to in this commentary . . . . . . . . . . 41

Text and Commentary: Praefatio and poems 147 . . . . . . . . . 45

1. The date of Book 9
We know, with a reasonable degree of certainty, that Book 8 appeared at the beginning of the year 94 and that the first edition of Book 10 appeared in (the December of ?) 95.1 These dates, obviously, are the definitive termini post quem and
ante quem for the publishing of Book 9. From the mid-eighties, Martials books of
epigrams had appeared at fairly regular intervals (usually about a year, never
more than two), so there is reason to suppose that the publication of Book 9 fell
midway between these two termini. Similarly, it must be assumed that the majority of the poems in the book were written in 94 or else would have appeared in
Book 8. This is, however, not conclusive, as will be demonstrated below.
Friedlnder (pp. 61 f.) placed the publishing of Book 9 in the late summer or
early autumn of 94. As evidence for this dating, he produced two poems in particular, 9, 84 and 9, 40. In the former, Martial states that the addressee of the
epigram, Norbanus, had been absent from Rome (viz. in the office of equestrian
procurator of Rhaetia) for six years when it was written. The opening lines of the
poem (Cum tua sacrilegos contra, Norbane, furores | staret pro domino Caesare
sancta fides) mention the revolt of Saturninus, which broke out about the turn of
the year 8889. Friedlnder, who was not aware that Norbanus was stationed in
Rhaetia as procurator, connected his departure from Rome with the outbreak of
the revolt and concluded that 9, 84 was written in the autumn of 94 (ohne
Zweifel konnte M. von einem Zeitraum von 6 Jahren sprechen, wenn auch noch
einige Monate daran fehlte). However, Norbanus did not likely leave Rome in
order to suppress the revolt but to enter upon his office as procurator. The problem
is, though, that it is not known precisely when he arrived in Rhaetia, only that he
was there by the time of Saturninus revolt. If he entered upon his office in 87 (as
did Lappius Maximus, the governor of Germania inferior, who led the suppression of the revolt), this would place 9, 84 in 93 instead of 94. The only objection
that can be made to such an assumption is that 9, 84, had it been written in 93,
would probably have appeared in Book 8. However, such an argument is far from
cogent, as is sufficiently demonstrated by 9, 31. In this poem, Martial commemo1
I follow here the dating of Books 8 and 10 given by Citroni in his article Marziale e la Letteratura per i
Saturnali (poetica dellintrattenimento e cronologia della pubblicazione dei libri), ICS 14 (1989), pp.
201226. Sullivan (Martial, p. 40) erroneously sets the date for the publication of Book 8 in December 94
on the basis of 8, 66, in which Martial congratulates Silius Italicus elder son L. Silius Decianus on his
consulship. It is true that Silius Decianus was suffect consul from the 1st of September 94, but 8, 66 was in
all likelihood not written to congratulate him on his entrance upon office but on his designation, probably in
early January 94 (see R. Hainslink, Die neuen Fastenfragmente von Ostia in ihrer Beziehung zu
gleichzeitigem epigraphischem und literarischem Material, WS 63 [1948], pp. 117135 [here p. 127];
Citroni, op. cit, p. 224, n. 40). As a consequence of his dating of Book 8 to December 94, Sullivan puts the
publishing of Book 9 in the spring of 95. Hainslink (op. cit., pp. 126129) also argued in favour of the
publication of Book 9 in early 95, but his argument was partly based on the dating of 9, 84 to late 94,
which cannot be ascertained with the requisite certainty (see below). Hainslinks dating of the Second
Pannonian War to 9394 instead of 9293 is, while of no consequence for the dating of Book 9, obviously
mistaken, since this war is alluded to also in Book 7, which was published in 92.


rates a vow performed by a certain Velius, in all probability C. Velius Rufus, on

the return of Domitian from the Second Pannonian War. The emperor returned
from this war in January 93; the vow is likely to have been performed and 9, 31
written shortly afterwards (cf. 9, 31, 9 f. quae litat argento pro te, non sanguine,
Caesar, | victima, iam ferro non opus esse docet). Yet it did not appear in Book 8,
perhaps because Martial wanted the imperial theme of Book 8 to focus entirely on
the celebration of the emperors return, while saving the aspect of Domitian as a
Prince of Peace for Book 9 (see section 4.2.2 below).
More useful is 9, 40, which relates to the Capitoline games, instituted by
Domitian in 86 and held in the summer every fourth year (see note on 9, 3, 8).
The poem tells of the Alexandrine poet Diodorus, who left Alexandria for Rome
to participate in the games but was shipwrecked and forced to return. It must
reasonably have been written in connection with (probably after) the games of the
summer of 94. 9, 35 would have been written slightly before these games, when
the question of who was going to win the oak-wreath was still a matter of gossip
(see 9, 35, 10).
A handful of poems can be assigned to a certain time of the year, i.e. 39
(written for the birthday of Caesonia on the 24th of October), 52 and 53 (written
for the birthday of Q. Ovidius on his birthday on the 1st of April), 54 and 55 (for
the Caristia on the 22nd of February), 60 in the early summer (in der Rosenzeit,
Friedlnder, p. 62), and perhaps also 90 (ibid.). Poem 98, finally, alluding to the
wine harvest, would have been written in the autumn. Of these poems,
Friedlnder attributes nos. 39 and 98 to the year 93, the rest to 94. However, there
is really nothing in the poems to support such a division, and it is just as likely
that all of them were written in 94.
Of great importance for dating the publishing of Book 9 are poems 43 and 44,
on the Hercules statuette in the possession of Novius Vindex. This statuette is
made the subject also of Statius silv. 4, 6, and it is most likely that all three poems were written for one and the same dinner party (see 9, 43 intro.), which,
according to Statius, took place on a winters night; see silv. 4, 6, 1216 nobis
verus amor medioque Helicone petitus | sermo hilaresque ioci brumalem absumere noctem | suaserunt mollemque oculis expellere somnum, | donec ab
Elysiis prospexit sedibus alter | Castor et hesternas risit Tithonia mensas. H.-J.
van Dam (Notes on Statius Silvae IV, Mnemosyne 45 [1992], p. 216) has suggested that Statius, in mentioning alter Castor, hints at the date of Vindex dinner-party (or rather the morning after the day before), viz. January 27, the date
of the dedication of the temple of Castor and Pollux. But is this the January of 94
or of 95, or even of 93? In her commentary on Silvae 4, Coleman (p. xxii) states
that silv. 4, 6 can be dated after the publication of Books 13;1 the terminus ante
quem is obviously the publishing of Silvae 4 in the summer of 95 (Coleman, pp.
xix ff.). Hardie (p. 65) goes one step further, saying that the nine poems which
now make up the fourth book all seem to have been written between the end of 94
and mid-95. Silvae 3 is traditionally dated to the late summer or the autumn of

Coleman supports the hypothesis that Silvae 13 were published together and not separately (see her
commentary, pp. xvi ff.). In his commentary on Silvae 2 (p. 3), van Dam took the opposite view, viz. that
the books were published separately. This complicated and, it would seem, indeterminable issue is luckily
of no importance to the dating of silv. 4, 6.


94; see Wissowa in Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 4, p. 296, and H. Frre, Stace,

Silves, Paris 1961, p. xxi. Hardie (p. 64) puts it in 9394, and van Dam, while
commending Frres chronology, cautiously places it after the summer of 93
(commentary, p. 3). However, I think it is safe to assume a date in 94 for the publication of Silvae 3, because silv. 3, 4, written to commemorate the hair-offering
of Earinus, must be contemporaneous with the Earinus cycle in Book 9, which is
likely to have been written in that year.
There is always the danger of begging the question when using poems in the
Silvae to date poems in the Epigrams and vice versa. If, however, as it seems
reasonable to assume, Silvae 3 was published in 94, and all the poems in Silvae 4
were written after the publishing of Book 3, silv. 4, 6, and consequently Martials
9, 43 and 44, must have been written for a dinner-party given at Vindex house in
the winter of 9495. In such a case, Book 9 cannot have been published earlier
than, say, December 94. Furthermore, if van Dams theory, that the dinner was
given on the 26th of January, is correct, then Book 9 cannot have been published
in 94, but must have appeared in early 95.
Accordingly, there may be reason to advance Friedlnders dating of the publishing of Book 9 by half a year or so to December 94 or even to early 95. One or
two poems may be dated to the year 93, but the book as a whole should be considered a product of the year 94, in which the majority of the poems would have been

2. General characteristics and metres

Book 9 consists of a preface (containing an introductory epigram), followed by
104 epigrams (no. 95 being divided into 95 and 95 b). These 105 epigrams contain altogether 855 lines, giving an average length of 8.14 lines per epigram. Ten
epigrams consist of only two lines (nos. 10, 15, 33, 63, 69, 78, 80, 89, 95 and 96;
apart from no. 33, these are exclusively written in elegiacs). Nine poems have
more than 12 lines (no. 57 [13 lines]; 2, 3, 27, 43, 65 [14 lines each]; 22 [16]; 11
[17]; 90 [18]), three have more than 20 lines (59 and 61 [22 lines each]; 101
With regard to the number of epigrams, Book 9 is the third longest of Books
112; only Books 1 (119 epigrams, including the one in the preface) and 11 (108
epigrams) contain more poems.1 As regards the number of lines, Book 9 is only
surpassed by Book 10 (second edition, published in the year 98), which contains
878 lines.2

The average number of epigrams in Books 112 (including the epigrams found in the prefaces of Books 1
and 9) is 97.9. Grewing (p. 24) sets the average number at 97.7, not counting, I suppose, the epigrams
found in the prefaces. The figures for the other books are as follows: Book 2, 93 epigrams; Book 3, 100;
Book 4, 89; Book 5, 84; Book 6, 94; Book 7, 99; Book 8, 82; Book 10, 104; Book 11, 108; Book 12, 98.
Not included in these statistics are the fragmentary Liber de spectaculis (37 poems in Shackleton Baileys
edition) and Books 13 and 14. Book 13, the Xenia, consists of 127 poems, apart from nos. 13 exclusively
single elegiac couplets, Book 14, the Apophoreta, of 223 poems, of which all except nos. 1 and 2 are single
elegiac couplets. These books were published prior to Book 1, probably in 8384 and 8485 respectively.
See Grewing, p. 24, n. 32, for the lengths of Books 18 and 1112.


The metres used in Book 9 are roughly representative of Martials metres in

general. The elegiacs are distinctly predominant (87 poems 82.8%); 11 poems
( 10.5%) are written in hendecasyllables (9, 11, 19, 40, 42, 44, 52, 57, 62, 87
and 90) and 6 ( 5.7%) in choliambics (1, 5, 27, 33, 75 and 98).1 Metrical peculiarities are few. Note, however, the versus spondiacus in 9, 59, 9 and the diaeresis
following the third foot of the hexameter in 9, 60, 3, which splits the verse into
two equivalent halves (see notes ad locc.).
The only metrical experiment is to be found in 9, 77, which is in iambic epode, a metre which Martial uses also in 1, 49; 3, 14; and 11, 59; see further 9, 77
intro. Metres used elsewhere by Martial but missing in Book 9 are hexameters
(found in 1, 53; 2, 73; 6, 64; and 7, 93), iambic trimeters (11, 77, possibly also 6,
12, see Grewings note on 6, 12, 2); choliambics with alternating dimeters (1, 61),
and sotadics (3, 29).2 For Martials use of metres see also the excellent survey in
Friedlnder, pp. 2650; C. Giarratano, De M. Val. Martialis re metrica, Naples
1908; Siedschlag, Form, pp. 127133.
A notable feature of Martials elegiacs is their obvious dependence on the
verse of Ovid. Martial frequently uses verse-endings and turns of phrase (usually
with the same metrical position) directly borrowed from Ovid.3 These are, naturally, for the greater part quite conscious borrowings, even though the possibility
should not be excluded that some, and lesser similarities in particular, are simply
unconscious echoes of the Latin metrical artist par excellence. I think, though,
that Martials dependence on Ovid on the purely metrical level is greater than has
been previously recognized, and to illustrate this, I give here a selective list of
instances in which a phrase or verse-ending of Ovids surfaces again in Martials
Book 9 without intermediaries; for details, the reader is referred to the commentary on the respective line.
9, praef., 2 sed, puto
9, 12, 1 Nomen habes
9, 18, 1 Est mihi sitque precor
9, 20, 7 crepitantibus armis
9, 23, 1 contigit auro
9, 23, 3 Aspicis en
9, 24, 2 imagine vultus
9, 29, 11 mollique harena
9, 38, 2 non tamen efficies
9, 38, 6 celeres vela negata Noti

Ov. am. 2, 15, 25; 3, 7, 55; 3, 11b, 34; rem.

556; Nux 57
Ov. am. 3, 6, 91; ars 3, 536; met. 5, 461; 9,
665; 13, 570; fast. 2, 132
Ov. epist. 1, 111; fast. 6, 219; trist. 1, 10, 1
Ov. met. 1, 143; 15, 783.
Ov. epist. 3, 59; met. 15, 416; 15, 497
Ov. met. 13, 264; Pont. 4, 7, 3
Ov. trist. 1, 7, 1; Pont. 2, 8, 21
Ov. am. 2, 11, 47, cf. met. 2, 577; Ib. 422
Ov. Pont. 2, 2, 24; cf. met. 13, 64
Ov. fast. 5, 686; Ov. epist. 2, 100; am. 2, 16,

The figures for the entire corpus of Martial are as follows: elegiac distichs: 79%; hendecasyllables: 15%;
choliambics: 5% (see Sullivan, Martial, p. 227, n. 22).
Sullivan, loc. cit.
For Martials dependence on Ovid, see A. Zingerle, Martials Ovid-Studien, Innsbruck 1877; E.
Siedschlag, Ovidisches bei Martial, RFIC 100 (1972), pp. 156161; Sullivan, Martial, pp. 105107; R.
A. Pitcher, Martials Debt to Ovid in F. Grewing (ed.), Toto notus in orbe. Perspektiven der MartialInterpretation, Stuttgart 1998, pp. 5976.


9, 38, 8 ventus et unda

9, 41, 2 amica manus
9, 55, 6 and 68, 10 grave est
9, 56, 10 bona fata manent
9, 58, 6 Pegasis unda
9, 65, 12 Tartareumque canem
9, 79, 3 Auguste tuorum
9, 84, 7 non infitiatus amicum
9, 86, 5 quae stabat proxima fratri
9, 86, 6 Tu quoque vulnus habes
9, 90, 17 candidas ... aras
9, 101, 8 cum cane
9, 102, 3 Quaere alium

Ov. epist. 7, 44; am. 2, 16, 46


Ov. am. 2, 4, 6; trist. 4, 8, 4

Ov. fast. 4, 156
Ov. trist. 3, 7, 15
Ov. ars 3, 322
Ov. met. 1, 204; trist. 2, 1, 509
Ov. Pont. 1, 7, 27
Ov. met. 8, 367; 12, 14
Ov. epist. 4, 20; ars 1, 166; met. 13, 497;
Pont. 1, 7, 50; Ib. 344
Ov. fast. 6, 394; Pont. 3, 2, 53
Ov. ars 2, 484; Nux 118
Ov. met. 5, 181; am. 3, 11a, 28

Apart from these instances, there is a large number of Ovidian phrases which
appear in other poets before finding their way into the epigrams of Martial. In
such cases, the immediate influence of Ovid on Martial, while very likely, cannot
be demonstrated with certainty. Such instances, of course, are noted in the commentary.

3. The structure of Book 9

3.1. The general pattern
No book of Martials Epigrams is the product of arbitrary compilation. The poet
took care in arranging the poems in the book, perfectly aware that excellent epigrams can very well be put together to make up a bad book; in 7, 85, 3 f., he states
that facile est epigrammata belle | scribere, sed librum scribere difficile est. This
does not mean that every single poem has its given place within the book that
cannot be altered without disturbing the whole (cf. Grewing, p. 26); such an arrangement in a book which contains well over a hundred poems, many of them
not exceeding a single distich, would presumably be neither effective nor perceptible to the reader. Rather, Martial aims at variatio, by distributing his themes
over the book and also by varying the metres.
Within this main principle of variation in motif and metre, there are usually
some features designed to hold the book together. As regards Book 9, there is a
clearly defined beginning, consisting of poems 1, 3, 5, and 7. These poems have a
common basic theme (the emperor Domitian), they are arranged at an interval of
one poem and also correspond metrically to one another (choliambicselegiacs
choliambicselegiacs). It is quite obvious, I think, that their purpose is to inaugurate the Emperor theme of Book 9 and to lay down its most prominent motifs: first
and foremost, the newly finished Templum gentis Flaviae (poem 1), then
Domitian as builder and restorer of temples (poem 3, varying the otherwise solemn tone by its humorous approach) and finally Domitian as the guardian of mor-


als (poems 5 and 7). While it may perhaps be an exaggeration to speak of Book 9
as programmatic, there can be little doubt that the book as a whole was composed,
as it were, ad maiorem Caesaris gloriam. The imperial theme of Book 9 is more
extensive than in any other book in the whole of Martials production (see section
4.1 below), and all motifs found in the introductory poems surface again at various points of the book. The end of the book is equally clearly marked in this respect by 9, 101, a grand comparison of the deeds of Domitian to the Labours of
Hercules. Representing a miniature Res Gestae of the emperor, this poem, the
longest of the book, summarizes the imperial theme and provides, together with
the opening poems, a frame for the book as a whole. Within these bounds, the
panegyrics of the emperor are distributed at fairly regular intervals throughout the
Apart from this general structure a variation of subjects framed by an overarching main theme the book is held together by linking epigrams into pairs or

3.2. Cycles and pairs of epigrams in Book 9

There are in Book 9 several poems which are connected by a common theme.
Depending on the number of poems in each of these groups, I refer to them either
as pairs of epigrams or as cycles.1 Following essentially the definition formulated by Grewing (pp. 30 f.), I regard as cycles such groups (1) as consist of at
least three poems with a common theme, (2) as develop the common theme either
linearly (focusing on the end of the group) or concentrically (the last poem of the
cycle looking back to the first) and (3) in which each poem has a distinctive position which cannot be arbitrarily altered.
Before examining the poems of Book 9 on the basis of these criteria, it is necessary to discuss in some detail the views expressed on this matter by Karl Barwick and John Garthwaite, who both discerned an imperial cycle throughout
Book 9. In his paper Zyklen bei Martial und in den kleinen Gedichten des Catull, Philologus 102 [1958], pp. 284318, Barwick suggested a cycle consisting
of epigrams 1; 3; 5; 7; 18; 20; 34; 36; 39; 64; 65; 79; 83; 91; 93; and 101.2
Among these poems, he makes out three subdivisions, thus: 1; 3; 5; 7 20; 34;
36; 39 79; 83; 91; 93. Each of these subdivisions is united primarily by the internal arrangement of the respective poems, as follows: in the first group, a poem
in choliambics (nos. 1 and 5) is followed by one in elegiacs (nos. 3 and 7). In the
second, a longer poem alternately follows a shorter. In the third group, two shorter
poems are enclosed by two longer. In this division, the contents of the respective

Such an arrangement of the poems in a book is likely to have been found in Hellenistic collections of
epigrams, which suggested its use to Catullus. In arranging his epigrams in pairs or in cycles, Martial was
probably influenced by Catullus and certainly by his Hellenistic precursor. This method of arrangement was
obviously also applied in such collections of Greek and Latin epigrams as appeared after Catullus; thus,
Burnikel (Struktur, pp. 93 f.) has shown that Lucilius was an important pattern to Martial in this respect.
See also Barwick, Zykeln, p. 318 (full title below).
For reasons not given, Barwick omits nos. 2324, 28, 31 and 71. He also includes no. 36, while leaving
out the rest of the Earinus cycle.


poems are obviously of minor importance. Within the first group, though, poems 1
and 3 are connected by references to the building of temples, while 5 and 7 deal
with Domitians moral legislation. In the second group, nos. 20 and 34 concentrate on the Flavian temple, 36 and 39, being, according to Barwick, connected by
the fact that both poems flatter also a second person apart from the emperor
(Earinus and Caesonia respectively). In the third group, an internal division with
regard to the contents of the poems is not possible.
This highly technical method of discerning cycles within a book has been
justly criticized by Citroni, saying that Le corrispondenze individuate dal Barwick sono per lo pi molto incerte e spesso del tutto inconsistenti ... Talvolta poi il
Barwick estende questo tipo di analisi a gruppi di epigr. di carattere assai diverso
tra loro, e che hanno in commune, ad es., solo lidentit del destinatario, il che me
pare senzaltro illegitimo (pp. xxvii f.; see also Burnikel, Struktur, pp. 87 f.).
In an article (The Panegyrics of Domitian in Martial Book 9, Ramus 22
[1993], pp. 78102) based upon the corresponding section of his dissertation
(Court Poets, pp. 43 ff.), John Garthwaite has attempted to distinguish a general
imperial cycle in Book 9, using criteria different from Barwicks. Garthwaite
understands a cycle as a series of epigrams written as elaborations on a
particular theme and spread intermittently throughout the volume. This is essentially a correct approach. However, Garthwaite holds that by considering all the
panegyrics of Domitian in Book 9 as one large cycle, it becomes apparent that
these epigrams not only interact subtly with several other poems in the book but
also assume ... an altogether different significance when sewn into the larger context of the volume than they would have had as a self-contained booklet. Garthwaites theory needs to be discussed here at some length.
Garthwaite considers poems 1, 3, 5 and 7 to be programmatic, containing references to the imperial motifs subsequently found in the book. The last poem of
the series, 9, 101, he calls a concluding synopsis with an index of the imperial
themes of Book 9 in lines 21 f. So far I agree, but in my opinion, the first four of
these poems inaugurate the imperial theme of Book 9 (see above), not the imperial
cycle. The programmatic character which Garthwaite sees in 9, 1 is as follows:
the reference to the month of October in line 1 introduces Domitians birthday,
recurring in 9, 39; the Rhine and the title Germanicus mentioned in lines 3 f.
point to his military victories (a very general statement which applies regardless
of whether or not one chooses to consider the poems as introducing a vast cycle);1
the Capitol, mentioned in line 5, entails a reference to Domitians restoration of
Iuppiter Optimus Maximus, explicitly celebrated in 9, 3; the motif of the Templum
gentis Flaviae in line 7 is echoed in 9, 20 and 9, 34.2 Garthwaite concludes his
analysis by stating the the reference in the last line to the celestial nature (caeli
est) of Domitians building programme provides the bridge for the continuation of
On p. 81, Garthwaite suggests that it recalls the emperors return in only the previous year from his latest
Northern campaigns, which seems highly unlikely and surely cannot have been Martials primary
intention. The title Germanicus was connected with the triumph over the Chatti in 83, not with the Second
Pannonian War.
As will be obvious from the commentary on this poem, I do not subscribe to such a division. It is quite
clear from the structure of 9, 1 that the motifs mentioned do not have the same status; the series of dumclauses leads up to what is the prime object of glorification, viz. the Templum gentis Flaviae.


the imperial theme in 9, 3. The programmatic nature of this latter poem must
needs be of much less significance; Garthwaite actually only manages to gather a
link with 9, 23 and 24 (on Domitians Alban games in honour of Minerva) from
such a line as 9, 3, 10 Pallada praetereo: res agit illa tuas (which would rather
refer to the temples of Minerva restored or erected by the emperor; he actually
adduces lines 810 as evidence, but line 8 refers to the Capitoline games and line
9 to Juno, and thus has no connection whatsoever with 9, 23 and 24). 9, 3, 11 quid
loquar Alciden is obviously prompted by Domitians temple to Hercules on the
Appian Way (which is the theme of 9, 6465 and provides the frame of 9, 101).
9, 5 and 9, 7 introduce the motif of Domitian as a guardian of morals, which
surfaces briefly also in 9, 28 and 9, 79. Now the principal reason why Martial took
up this motif in Book 9 was probably the prohibition of the prostitution of children, which is likely to have been passed in or shortly before 94 (see 9, 7 intro.);
in this context, it is only natural to mention also Domitians previous achievements in this field, viz. the edict against castration passed perhaps in 8687 (see
9, 5 intro.) and his renewal of the Lex Iulia de adulteriis. However, the juxtaposition of 9, 28 (which touches upon the topic of morality) and 9, 27, a poem attacking the hypocritical moral philosopher Chrestus, suggests to Garthwaite that the
theme of moral hypocrisy (appearing also in nos. 41 and 47; I would not add no.
70 to this group, as does Garthwaite) is consciously linked with the poems on
Domitians moral leadership, meaning, I suppose, that Martial is hinting that
Domitian himself is a moral hypocrite. Moreover, the fact that there are only a
few poems separating 9, 7 from the Earinus cycle leads Garthwaite to even more
astounding conclusions. Here indeed, Garthwaite says, the topics of child prostitution and castration are echoed most strongly, for ... Martial stresses two features about Earinus: first, that he was Domitians catamite and, second, that he
had also suffered castration. But Martial does not stress the fact that Earinus
was a eunuch (see note on 9, 11, 6) and the almost certain existence of a sexual
relation between Domitian and Earinus has got nothing to do with the street prostitution of children; on the contrary, this was quite the normal relation between
the cupbearer and his master. Consequently, Garthwaites suggestion that the
inclusion of the topic of moral legislation in Book 9 was actually prompted by its
relevance to the figure of Earinus is preposterous. As suggested below, the drastic increase of imperial panegyrics in Book 9 may have been due to a desire on
Martials part to appear as mainly a court poet, perhaps in competition with Statius. Needless to say, a person who takes pains to win the attention and approval
of the emperor does not do so by suggesting that he was as a moral hypocrite.
Furthermore, if there was an element of irony in these poems, it must have been
conceivable to the readers. If conceivable to the readers, it was naturally conceivable to the emperor.1 And while Domitian certainly could take a good joke
(compare section 4.3.1 below), he would not have appreciated a poet who made

Domitian was sensitive to such innuendoes, as is emphatically demonstrated by the fact that he had
Helvidius the Younger put to death for having written a mythological farce in which the emperor suspected
allusions to his own divorce, and by the execution of Hermogenes of Tarsus propter quasdam figuras in
his history (Suet. Dom. 10, 4); see K. M. Coleman, The Emperor Domitian and Literature, ANRW 32:5,
pp. 3111 ff.


fun of his moral legislation.1 Martial himself was certainly aware of the danger of
criticising Domitian; this kind of awareness made Juvenal keep his mouth shut
until his detested emperor had been assassinated. Ovid had been exiled under
Augustus because of his carmen et error (trist. 2, 207). Under Domitian, a carmen
alone would probably have done the trick.
As is obvious, neither Barwicks nor Garthwaites attempts to detect a general
imperial cycle in Book 9 conform with the definition of the term cycle given at
the beginning of this chapter. The fact that the poems in question concentrate on
Domitian is in itself not enough for them to make up a cycle. Barwicks suggestion focuses too much on metrical and positional technicalities and takes too little
heed of the contents of the poems, while that of Garthwaite is, in my opinion,
based too much on an overinterpretation of several of the poems under discussion.
It is also important to consider whether or not the reader would be able to perceive
such subtle allusions, often placed far apart from each other (cf. Burnikel, Struktur, p. 87). Instead, I would argue that Book 9 contains not one vast imperial cycle, but an imperial theme, in which two cycles may be discerned, viz. the Templum gentis Flaviae cycle and the Earinus cycle.
The cycle on the Templum gentis Flaviae consists of three linearly arranged
poems, nos. 1, 20, and 34. The temple, a dynastic mausoleum of the Flavian family, had in all probability been finished in or shortly before 94; it must obviously
have suggested itself as one of the major motifs of Book 9, and Martial was naturally ready to comply. The first poem of the cycle, an elevated glorification of the
temple, is given a prominent position at the very beginning of the book. Poem 20
is concerned with the location of the temple, on the site of Vespasians house on
the Quirinal. The concluding poem, no. 34, is one of the easy and humorous
pieces which will be discussed below (section 4.3.1).
The Earinus cycle, also linear in its structure, is longer and more elaborate, being divisible into two subsections, which I refer to as the name series (poems
1113, celebrating the name Earinus) and the offering series (1617, hymning
the offering of Earinus newly shorn locks to Aesculapius). Like the temple cycle,
it is concluded by a humorous epigram comparing Domitian and Earinus to Jupiter and Ganymede. This cycle will be discussed in greater detail in the commentary.
It is not possible to form poems 5, 7, 28 and 79 into a cycle on Domitian as the
guardian of morals, because the latter two do not focus on this theme, nor is the
order of the poems of such significance as is required in a cycle; instead, poems 5
and 7 should be considered a pair of epigrams. Poem 31 I would refer to the
huge cycle suggested below, extending over Books 7 to 9, on the Second Pannonian War. The juxtaposition of nos. 64 and 65 also suggests them as a pair of
epigrams (see below) and not as a cycle including also no. 101, the position,
length and contents of which indicate that it was intended as a concluding summary of the imperial theme in Book 9.

For the related topic of the cycle in Book 6 on the reinforcement of the Lex Iulia and the various ways in
which people bypassed it, see Grewing pp. 31 ff. (characterizing it as Gesellschaftskritik and not criticism
of Domitian).


It remains now to have a closer look at the pairs of epigrams in Book 9. The
basic examination of the works of Martial is here Karl Barwicks article Zur
Kompositionstechnik und Erklrungen Martials, Philologus 87 (1932), pp. 63
79; an elucidative survey is also given in Burnikel, Struktur, pp. 8895.1
The poems in Book 9 concerned are nos. 57; 2324; 4344; 5253; 5455;
6465; 7476; 9496; and 9595b. As is evident, Martial in such pairs uses particularly juxtaposition but also separation; in the latter case, the poems are, as a
rule, not placed very far apart, so as not to obscure the connection between the
epigrams in question (there are, however, exceptions to this rule; thus, there is a
slight possibility that 9, 91 forms a pair with 8, 39; see 9, 91 intro.). In some
cases, there is no perceptible line running through the pair; the latter epigram
simply provides a variation of the motif of the former (which is sometimes also
needed for the understanding of the latter); thus, the pair on Domitians moral
legislation (poems 5 and 7), on doctors (94 and 96), and on the picture of Camonius (nos. 74 and 76, the former acting as an introduction to the latter). Other
pairs seem to postulate some kind of imaginary reaction to the first poem, causing
Martial to write a second epigram in reply to this reaction; instances in Book 9 are
poems 52 and 53 (where Ovidius [feigned] unwillingness to be properly celebrated provokes the second piece, which is contrasted with the heartily sincere
tone of the former by its joking sullenness), 54 and 55, and 95 and 95 b.2 Burnikel
(loc. cit.) sorts poems 43 and 44 (on the Hercules statuette of Novius Vindex)
under the heading Steigerung oder berbietung. I would rather suggest that no.
44 is written as a humorous counterbalance to the more serious 9, 43 (see 9, 44
intro.). A similar relation is that between poems 64 and 65, on the statue of
Hercules (bearing the features of the emperor) in the temple on the Appian Way.
While 64 treats the motif on a serious basis, its sequel adopts an easier approach,
playing with the myth and adjusting it to the new guise of the hero. As intensifying in relation to its predecessor, I would regard poem 24, which, like no. 23,
deals with the olive wreath won by a certain Carus in the Alban games and the
effect which Carus bust of Domitian had on it. In the former poem, we are told
that the olive wreath (symbolizing Minerva) has of its own accord placed itself on
the bust of the emperor (her protg). In the latter, it is revealed that not only the
wreath but also the bust itself has been given by Minerva.

In the classification of the pairs of epigrams given below, I often differ from that of Burnikel, loc. cit.
Notable are couples in which the former epigram stands out by its exceptional length or coarse language,
while in the latter, Martial defends himself against the criticism aroused by the former; cf. 1, 34 and 35;
109 and 110; 3, 82 and 83; 6, 64 and 65.


4. Themes and motifs in Book 9

4.1. General
The themes and motifs found in Book 9 are representative of Martials works as a
whole. What are not representative are the proportions of these motifs in relation
to one another: no less than twenty-six epigrams are devoted to the emperor
(below), which is about as many as are bestowed on patrons and friends (26, 30,
42, 43, 44, 45, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, 60, 72, 74, 76, 77, 84, 89, 90, 98,
99, and 103). This number of imperial poems is matched only by Book 8. As a
consequence, obscenity and sexual allusiveness are kept at a comparatively low
level (4, 21, 33, 40, 63, 66, 67, 69), although obscenity is an important element
also of the vetula scoptics (29, 37, 62) and of the epigrams on moral hypocrisy
(27, 41, 47, 57; poem 70 falls into this group but does not allude to sexual morality). Closely related to the vetula scoptics are such poems as deal with marriage to
wealthy hags (10 and 80, perhaps also 95).
Various kinds of stinginess and meanness, often involving criticism of the client system, are treated in a number of epigrams (2, 6, 8, 9, 25, 46, 48, 75, 82, 85,
88, 100, 102). Particularly notable are those on legacy-hunting or captatio (8, 48,
and 88) and on dinner-hunting (14, 19, and 35). More drastic ways of getting hold
of a legacy appear in poems 15 and 78 (on murdering spouses); the manipulation
of a will is the motif of 87. The greed and insolence of Greco-Roman doctors are
mocked in 94 and 96.
A slightly philosophical criticism of excessive luxury is found in poems 22 and
92; pretended wealth and frustration at not being able to live in luxury are combined in the character of Mamurra in poem 59. In 73 the poet airs his grudge
against a shoemaker who has inherited the entire estate of his patron, while envy
of Martials own success is scorned in 97. In poems 50 and 81, he defends himself
against attacks from another poet probably writing in the epic genre. These poems
are important arguments for a possible dispute between Martial and Statius in the
Separate poems treat Martials preferences in his mistress (32), the marvellous
art of a skilled juggler (38), a plane-tree in Cordoba planted by Julius Caesar (61),
and the vociferous schoolmaster (68).
Twenty-six epigrams, or 25% of Book 9, focus in various ways on the emperor
Domitian; among these poems are also one major and one minor cycle, the former
being made up of the poems in celebration of the hair-offering of Domitians
eunuch Earinus and the latter of those on the newly finished Flavian Temple on
the Quirinal (see above). In addition, the emperor figures in another handful of
poems without being the addressee or without the epigram primarily having been
written in his praise1 (see 42, 6; 70, 7 f.; 84, 1 f.; 86, 8; 97, 5; these poems are not
included in the statistics below).

I have made the following distinction for the relevant poems in Book 9: poems focusing on the emperor:
nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 1113, 1617, 18, 20, 2324, 28, 31, 34, 36, 39, 6465, 71, 79, 83, 91, 93, and 101;


With these twenty-six epigrams, Book 9 contains relatively more Domitianic

poetry than any of its predecessors. The figures for Books 18 are approximately
as follows: Book 1: 7.6%; Book 2: 4.3%; Book 4: 6.7%; Book 5: 10.7%; Book 6:
7.5%; Book 7: 10.1%; Book 8: 24.4%.1 This may be expressed in a diagram, thus:
Book 1 Book 2 Book 3 Book 4 Book 5 Book 6 Book 7 Book 8 Book 9

As there is a substantial difference between Book 8 and 9, on the one hand,

and Books 1 to 7, on the other, as regards the relative number of poems devoted to
the emperor, there is also a difference in the motifs of the poems in question. Now
the poems on the emperor in Books 1 through 7 are mostly of a general nature;
there is praise of his shows, his laws and his building activity, as well as petitions
for the ius trium liberorum and wishes that Domitian may read Martials poetry
with a benignant attitude. With Book 8, the situation is very different; here, the
all-pervading motif is the return of Domitian from the Second Pannonian War.
Some of this still lingers in Book 9, but here, the exultation at the triumphant
return of the emperor is turned into a rendering of Domitian as a Prince of
Peace (see further section 4.2.2 below). But in Book 9, there is also a slight increase of references to Domitians warlike achievements in general, as compared
with Books 1 through 8. The Chatti, over whom Domitian celebrated a triumph in
83, and the honorary title Germanicus, which he adopted in connection with the
triumph, are alluded to in 9, 1, 1 f. (dum grande famuli nomen adseret Rheni |
Germanicarum magna lux Kalendarum); 9, 5, 1 (Domitian is referred to as Rheni
domitor); 9, 93, 8 (nomen, ab Odrysio quod deus orbe tulit); 9, 101, 20 (victor
Hyperboreo nomen ab orbe tulit); the campaigns against Dacians and the Sarmatians are mentioned in 9, 101, 17 f. (cornua Sarmatici ter perfida contudit Histri,
| sudantem Getica ter nive lavit equum), and his triumphs (three in all) in line 19
of the same poem (saepe recusatos parcus duxisse triumphos). Other poems deal
with Domitians moral legislation (9, 5; 9, 7), some with his building activity (9,
3); among the latter may be counted the small cycle on the Templum gentis
Flaviae on the Quirinal (9, 1; 9, 20; 9, 34; the temple is alluded to also in 9, 93, 6
and 9, 101, 22). The new temple of Hercules on the Appian Way (see 9, 64 intro.),
poems mentioning or alluding to the emperor but not included in the present statistics: nos. 42 (line 6), 70
(lines 7 f.), 84 (lines 1 f.), 86 (line 8), 97 (line 5).
It is notable that Book 3, which was published from Forum Cornelii in modern Lombardy, does not
mention Domitian at all (except for a mention of Caesar uterque in 3, 95, 5; see note on 9, 97, 5 f.). Note
also that Book 5 contains a cycle of poems based on the motif of Domitians regulations concerning the
seats in the theatre, some of which have not been taken into account in the figures presented above as not
having been written in praise of the emperor nor mentioning him explicitly.


which contained a statue of the hero with the features of the emperor, provides the
motif of 9, 64 and 65, and also forms the basis of the monumental comparison of
Hercules and Domitian in 9, 101. A bust of Domitian in the house of Carus, winner of the Alban games perhaps of 94, is credited with two poems (9, 2324).
Members of the imperial household appear in a number of poems, particularly
the eunuch Earinus, whose hair-offering to Aesculapius forms the theme of the
Earinus cycle (9, 1113; 1617; 36). 9, 28 is an epitaph on the mimic actor
Latinus, who was employed at the court, while 9, 79 holds up Domitians influence on the members of the familia Caesaris in general. Among separate poems
are found Martials petition for water for his city house (9, 18), the poem on the
birthday of Rufus wife Caesonia, which coincided with that of the emperor (9,
39), the humorous 9, 83, which states that the foremost merit of Domitians
games is that they keep the reciting poets off the streets, the hypothetical dinner
invitation in 9, 91, and the pledge to Caesar Domitianus Germanicus in 9, 93.
Apart from these poems, the emperor figures also in 9, 42, 7; 9, 84, 2; 9, 86, 7 f.;
and 9, 97, 5.
Given this emphasis on Domitian throughout the book, it is justifiable here to
give a short account of the historical background to some of the recurring motifs.
This will concern the wars mentioned in Book 9, notably the campaigns against
the Chatti and the Second Pannonian War, and the all-pervading presentation of
Domitian as a living god. Any modern scholar occupying him- or herself with the
reign of Domitian is necessarily much indebted to two recently published biographies, each of them excellent in its own right: Brian W. Jones The Emperor
Domitian (London 1993) and Pat Southerns Domitian. Tragic Tyrant (London
1997). Much of what is said about Domitian below, particularly in sections 4.2.1
and 4.2.2, owes its origin to these books.

4.2. Domitian the commander

4.2.1. Domitianus Germanicus: The war against the Chatti
The Chatti were a German tribe whose homelands lay around Kassel in modern
Hesse (which probably derives its name from the tribe), north-east of the Taunus
Mountains by the Rhine (Southern, p. 82). They were a formidable and warlike
people, even like the Romans in manners and conduct. Tacitus wrote about them
in his Germania (30, 2 f.): Multum, ut inter Germanos, rationis ac sollertiae:
praeponere electos, audire praepositos, nosse ordines, intellegere occasiones,
differre impetus, disponere diem, vallare noctem, fortunam inter dubia, virtutem
inter certa numerare, quodque rarissimum nec nisi Romanae disciplinae concessum, plus reponere in duce quam in exercitu. Omne robur in pedite, quem super
arma ferramentis quoque et copiis onerant: alios ad proelium ire videas, Chattos
ad bellum. Rari excursus et fortuita pugna. Equestrium sane virium id proprium,
cito parare victoriam, cito cedere: <peditum> velocitas iuxta formidinem, cunctatio propior constantiae est. This people had been matched against Roman forces
and defeated a couple of times before Domitian, first during the German expedi-


tion of Drusus in 119 BC, and again by Germanicus, who celebrated a triumph
de Cheruscis Chattisque (Tac. ann. 2, 41) in 17 AD. In the reign of Claudius, a
campaign against them was conducted by Sulpicius Galba (the future emperor) in
41, and in 50 an attack on Mainz was repelled by the legate Pomponius Secundus.
After a second, unsuccessful attack by the Chatti on Mainz in 69, Vespasian
strengthened the Roman defences by building a line of forts from Mainz-Kastel
north-eastward to Friedberg.
An account of Domitians campaign against the Chatti meets with a number of
difficulties; indeed, owing to the almost complete lack of substantial evidence, it is
impossible to say for certain when it began, why it was conducted, when it was
ended and what it achieved. The range of possible datings for the commencement
of hostilities stretches from late 81 to mid 83; Southern (p. 79) suggests a date in
the spring or early summer of 82 as likely for the first moves towards armed conflict. From an important passage in Frontinus Strategemata, we know that
Domitian himself was present on the Rhine and gathered troops, all under the
pretext of conducting a census in Gaul; see Frontin. strat. 1, 1, 8: Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus Germanicus, cum Germanos, qui in armis erant, vellet
opprimere nec ignoraret maiore bellum molitione inituros, si adventum tanti
ducis praesensissent, profectioni[s] suae census obtexuit Galliarum: sub quibus
inopinato bello affusus contusa immanium ferocia nationum provinciis consuluit.
According to this passage, the Chatti were already in armis and, while they had
not yet begun any hostile actions, they would have posed a threat to Roman interests in the area. Domitians census was thus a stratagem designed to forestall the
Chatti and get the advantage of a surprise attack, a scenario very different from
Suetonius description of the expedition as having been undertaken by Domitian
sponte rather than necessario (Dom. 6, 1).
It is not known when the initial attack on the Chatti was launched, nor is there
a record of the course of the war. What is known is that Domitian celebrated a
triumph as early as 83, a decision which incurred much scorn and derision from
Tacitus, who spoke of Domitians conscientia derisui fuisse nuper falsum e Germania triumphum, emptis per commercia, quorum habitus et crinis in captivorum
speciem formarentur (Agr. 39, 2) and made remarks like proximis temporibus
triumphati magis quam victi sunt (sc. Germani; Germ. 37, 6). It is true that a
triumph at such an early date may convey the impression of having been premature. But it is important to bear in mind that this triumph need not have been
meant to indicate the completion of the campaign. Rather, it may have been celebrated at a time when the outcome of the war was inevitable even though final
victory was not yet achieved; in the very same manner, Vespasian and Titus had
celebrated a triumph over Judaea in 71, after the fall of Jerusalem, although several fortresses still remained to be taken. The Chattan war, then, may well have
been a lengthy process which lasted another couple of years before final victory
was brought about in Domitians absence by his subordinates.1

Southern (pp. 80 f.) suggests that the war up to Domitians triumph may have been conducted as a winter
campaign in 8283. She points out that the Chattan territory was very suitable for guerrilla warfare and
that a winter campaign, while arduous also for the aggressor, would nonetheless provide certain advantages;
systematic and constant destruction of food supplies and refuges would be enough to wear the enemy down.


Contemporary coinage suggests that the war against the Chatti was concluded
in late 8485. At the end of 84, there appeared coins with the impression of a
woman with bowed head, representing the subdued German people; in 85, there
are legends like Germania capta, Victoria Augusti and De Ger(manis). This goes
well with Martials reference to the pax ... certa ducis in 14, 34, 1, published in
(December) 8485 (see Learys discussion of the date of Book 14, pp. 9 ff.). The
main achievement of the war was that a line of defence systems could now be
established from the Rhine by the Taunus Mountains southeastward towards the
Neckar. Perhaps the creation of the two German provinces of Germania superior
and Germania inferior was immediately connected with the victory over the
Chatti and the remodeling of the frontier, but since these areas are not recorded as
provinces earlier than the year 90, this cannot be definitively asserted.
Like everything else connected with the Chattan war, it is not known exactly
when Domitian adopted the honorary title of Germanicus. Braunert (Zum Chattenkriege Domitians, BJ 153 [1953], pp. 98 f.) maintained that is was first recorded at some time between 9 June and 28 August 83, basing this theory on the
evidence of one coin, an inscription and two papyri. Even though this evidence
has been questioned, and in spite of the titles not regularly appearing in inscriptions before 86 (see P. Kneissl, Die Siegestitulatur der Rmischen Kaiser, Gttingen 1969, pp. 4 ff.), Martials first mention of the title (13, 4, 1) strongly supports
a date in 83. Thenceforth, Martial regularly mentions Domitian as Germanicus or
otherwise alludes to the title; cf. 14, 170, 1 f. (nomina Rhenus | vera dedit); 2, 2, 3
(nobilius [sc. nomen] domito tribuit Germania Rheno); Germanicus: 5, 2, 7; 5, 3,
1; 5, 19, 17; 7, 61, 3; 8, praef. (Imperatori Domitiano Caesari Augusto Germanico Dacico, where Dacicus is not an official title but merely a mark of flattery); 8, 4, 3; 8, 26, 3; 8, 39, 3; 8, 53, 15; 8, 65, 11; for references in Book 9, see
above. In like manner, Statius uses the title on eleven occasions in his Silvae
(except in the lemmae of silv. 4, 1 Septimus decimus consulatus imp. Aug. Germanici and 4, 2 Eucharisticon ad imp. Aug. Germ. Domitianum);1 the only other
poet to mention it is Silius (3, 607 tu transcendes, Germanice, facta tuorum; cf.
the introduction to 9, 101).2 As a victory title, Germanicus was a novelty; previous
emperors (viz. Caligula, Claudius and Nero) had adopted the title not because of
their military achievements, but to indicate descent from Germanicus Caesar.
However, Domitian soon found followers in this respect; his successor Nerva
adopted the title Germanicus, and by his death in 117, Trajan was not only Germanicus but also Dacicus and Parthicus. Such epithets were to multiply in the
titles of the emperors of the second century.
The Chatti were defeated in 8485, but by no means conquered. Domitian was
to deal with them also in 89, when they teamed up with the governor of Germania
Southern argues that It is comparable to taking a city block by block; if external help can be eliminated,
there comes a point at which the outcome is inevitable but the final capitulation takes time to bring about.
See silv. 1, 1, 5; 1, 4, 4; 3, praef. (Germanici nostri libertus referring to Earinus); 3, 3, 165; 3, 4, 49; 4,
praef. (septimum decimum Germanici nostri consulatum); 4, 1, 2; 4, 2, 52; 4, 9, 17; 5, 1, 105; 5, 2, 177.
The readiness of the poets to emphasize his new title would presumably have appealed very much to
Domitian, who obviously was very fond of titles, whether this, as Southern thinks possible, reflected a
deep inner insecurity that required constant reassurance or simply because titles ought to have conferred
on him a certain gravitas and created a respectful distance between him and his subordinates (Southern, p.


superior, L. Antonius Saturninus, in his revolt against the emperor (the sacrilegi
furores mentioned in 9, 84, 1; see note ad loc.). The rebellion having been suppressed, Domitian again sent his legions against the Chatti, who were now defeated and made to sign a peace treaty (Jones, Domitian, p. 150). In November 89,
the emperor celebrated a double triumph over the Chatti and the Dacians.
For the Chattan war, see further Jones, Domitian, pp. 128131, and Southern,
pp. 7991.

4.2.2. The Second Pannonian War

The Indo-European Sarmatians roamed, during the greater part of antiquity, over
the area from Hungary to the lower Volga. As their western branch, the Iazyges
and Roxolani, gradually moved westwards, they came to pose a real threat to
Rome on the Danube (cf. Ovids references to these tribes and their crossing of the
Danube in trist. 3, 10, 33 f.; 3, 12, 29 f.; Pont. 4, 7, 9 f.), and various measures
were taken to control them. Vespasian made great efforts to strengthen the defences on the Danube, a policy which was continued by Domitian right from the
beginning of his reign (see Jones, Domitian, pp. 135 ff.). However, in 92,
Domitian was forced into military conflict with the Sarmatians, as the Iazyges
joined the German Suebi in the Second Pannonian War.
According to Dio (67, 5, 2), the discontent among the Sarmatians and the
Suebi was due to the fact that Domitian had sent a troop of a hundred cavalrymen
to Moesia to assist the Lugii in a war against some of the Suebi. Sarmatian-German forces were preparing to cross the Danube. Domitian sent a force consisting
of vexillations from nine legions (which was allowed to march through the kingdom of the Dacian king Decebalus so as to attack the Iazyges from the rear, cf.
note on 9, 35, 5), but the initial onslaught ended in disaster and an entire legion,
probably the XXI Rapax, was annihilated. In May 92, the emperor himself appeared on the Danube and apparently managed to repel the attacks, but it is not
known how this was done, nor to what degree the campaign was a success. He
returned to Rome in January 93; for the dates, see 9, 31 intro.
Domitian celebrated no triumph after the Second Pannonian War, only an ovatio, dedicating a laurel wreath to Iuppiter Capitolinus (Suet. Dom. 6, 1), a ceremony that was part of a regular (iustus) triumph; this may perhaps indicate that
he was not completely satisfied with the outcome. It is all the more remarkable
that this war attracted far more of Martials attention than any other war, even
those that resulted in regular triumphs. The way was paved by some epigrams in
Book 7, published in December 92, which opens with a couple of generally warlike poems on Domitians cuirass, impenetrable by Sarmatian arrows (7, 12),
followed by a handful marked by eager expectation of the emperors return from
the war (7, 58) and referring to the Danube as captivus Hister (7, 80, 11) and
Hister iacens (7, 84, 3). In Book 8, published in early 94 and as a whole dedicated
to Domitian, there is a series of exultant poems on his return from the war, the
games and the banquet given on the occasion (see in particular 8, 2; 4; 8; 11; 15;
21; 26; 30; 50; 55; 65; 78). The ovation is passed off as secreti triumphi (8, 15, 5)
and Stella, who arranged games on the occasion (see 9, 42 intro.), is referred to as

Hyperborei celebrator ... triumphi (8, 78, 3) and Domitian as Victor Histri (8, 2,
2). Domitians refusal of a triumph made Martial speak of saepe recusatos ...
triumphos (9, 101, 19); Statius ascribed it to the emperors clemency, quae modo
Marcomanos post horrida bella vagosque | Sauromatas Latio non est dignata
triumpho (silv. 3, 3, 170 f.), later urging Domitian not to decline further triumphs:
mille tropaea feres, tantum permitte triumphos (silv. 4, 1, 39). In Book 9, the
exultation at the triumphant return of the emperor is turned into a rendering of
Domitian as a Prince of Peace; willing sacrificial animals reveal that there is no
more need for bloodshed (9, 31), insania ferri no longer prevails and there is a
pax certa (9, 70, 7 f.), since Domitian has given otia ferro (9, 101, 21); perhaps
also 9, 71, on the miraculous concord of a lion and a ram, should be read as an
allegory and counted among these poems.
It is tempting to speak of a vast cycle in Martial on the Second Pannonian
War, beginning with the expectant poems of Book 7, continuing with the celebration of the emperors return in Book 8, and concluding with the motif of Domitian
as Prince of Peace in Book 9.1 Indeed, it may seem curious that a war which was
not among Domitians most glorious nor most important military achievements
should generate such a number of verses from a poet who was being even more
enthusiastic than usual. Considering the drastic increase of imperial poetry in
Books 8 and 9, as compared with previous Books, perhaps Martial had now seriously set his heart upon being a court poet, ready to celebrate whatever deeds
the emperor accomplished without too much consideration of the level of success
they had actually achieved. Clearly, Martials picture of Domitian was now that of
a hero returning after having pacified the horrid north once and for all.
There was at least some of truth in this; from the end of the Second Pannonian
War to the murder of Domitian in 96, the empire in fact enjoyed a period of peace
(see Southern, pp. 111 ff., for a summary). Towards the end of his reign, though,
there are signs of preparations for yet another campaign on the Danube, presumably as the Sarmatians had again teamed up with neighbouring German tribes to
confront Rome. There is epigraphic evidence for a concentration of troops in Upper Moesia in the first half of 96, which, regardless of whether or not Domitian
entered into an armed conflict, shows that he did not feel that his affair with the
Sarmatians had been settled (Jones, Domitian, pp. 153 ff.). However, the inclusion
in Book 9 of a poem like no. 70 (which in lines 7 f. speaks of nulla insania ferri
and pax certa) shows that, at the time when it was written, and in all likelihood
by the publication of the book, a third campaign in the north could not yet have
begun. Whether or not Roman forces resumed hostilities with these tribes in the
reign of Domitian, he never managed to finish a Third Pannonian War; hostilities
on the Danube were to continue through the reign of Nerva and were not concluded until Trajan. See further Jones, Domitian, pp. 152 ff.; Southern, pp. 111 ff.

In such a case, there may be reason to speak not merely of a theme but of a linearly arranged cycle. On
the other hand, it may be doubtful whether all the poems in Book 8 on the Second Pannonian War really
occupy a given position which cannot be altered without disturbing the whole (see the definition of cycle
given in section 3.2 above).


4.3. Domitian the god

When evaluating the religious respect shown to Domitian and the poets acknowledgement of him as deus and Iuppiter noster, it is important to bear in mind that
this was essentially nothing new. It is the proportions of this kind of flattery of
Domitian, particularly in connection with his alleged insistence on being addressed as dominus et deus, that has given offence.
The conception of the emperor as a god had its origin in the ruler cult, which
had developed from the heroization of prominent men, who were considered an
intermediate stage between gods and human beings. As the heir of the Pharaohs,
Alexander the Great was recognized by the Egyptians as son of Ammon and acknowledged as a god also by the Greeks (albeit not without a certain resistance; cf.
Kaerst in RE 1, s.v. Alexandros 10, 1433). In the Hellenistic kingdoms formed
after his death, the cult of the sovereign became a cult of the state, in which the
ruling monarch was worshipped together with his ancestors and provided with
cultic epithets such as
, and
. The first Roman citizen
to be made the object of such veneration was T. Quinctius Flamininus, whose
philhellenic politics earned him the name of
in Greece; similar marks of
honour were given to, for example, Sulla, Pompey, and Caesar.1
At Rome, formal worship was originally given only to those rulers who had
been deified after their deaths, beginning with Julius Caesar (deified in 42 BC).
While emperors in the first century wisely declined to be venerated as gods in
their lifetimes, they could not break the tradition in the Hellenistic world of worshipping the monarch; thus, temples were erected already to Augustus (together
with Roma) in, for example, Pergamum and Epidaurus. But this concerns the
East; in Rome, living emperors were not worshipped during the first century, and
no temples were erected for them; this applies also to Domitian. However, what
has been standing in his way in this respect is the unfortunate dominus et deus, a
formula with which he was supposed to have begun an official letter which he was
dictating in the name of his procurators (dominus et deus hoc noster fieri iubet;
Suet. Dom. 13, 2). This formula will be discussed on 9, 66, 3; here, it may suffice
to note that there is no evidence whatsoever that Domitian actually demanded to
be addressed as dominus et deus, no matter what later, highly anti-Domitianic
writers (like Aurelius Victor and Orosius) have had to say on the subject. Suetonius states that it afterwards became the custom not to address the emperor otherwise in speech or in writing. But this may just as well, or perhaps even rather, be
due to the zeal of unscrupulous flatterers as to imperial instructions. Domitian
himself must surely have been well aware that it would have been most unwise to
order such an address. Furthermore, one might ask to whom the letter mentioned
by Suetonius was addressed; if to the eastern provinces, an opening such as dominus et deus hoc noster fieri iubet could very well have been the rule rather than an
exception. What is most remarkable is that contemporary antagonists, such as
Tacitus, Pliny and Juvenal, did not take advantage of what would have been a
considerable lack of discernment on Domitians part. This indicates, perhaps, that




For a brief summary of the cult of the sovereign, see H. Volkmann in KP 2, s.v. Herrscherkult, 1110 ff.,
with further references.


there was in fact much less to Domitians use of dominus et deus than would appear from Suetonius and later writers.
If the ruler cult is the foundation on which Martials celebration of Domitian
as deus ultimately rests, there is a more immediate source to be found in the panegyrical tradition. In first-century Rome, the comparison of the ruling emperor to
divinities and the acknowledgement of him as a god were restricted to various
works within this genre. Here, the emperor, regardless of his nature, obviously
emerges as an optimus princeps who enjoys the favour of the gods and on the
whole is in close contact with the divine sphere; for panegyrical authors, it was
natural to compare him to the gods themselves (see here the summary in M.
Mause, Die Darstellung des Kaisers in der lateinischen Panegyrik, Stuttgart
1994, pp. 219 ff.). Plutarch makes an amusing remark on the panegyrical comparison of the monarch to divinities (de adul. 56 F):















In this respect, Martial had great precursors in the field of poetry, who were
scarcely passed over by the epigrammatist. Horace offers concrete examples; see,
for instance, carm. 1, 2, 45 serus in caelum redeas; 1, 12, 49 ff. gentis humanae
pater atque custos, | orte Saturno, tibi cura magni | Caesaris fatis data: tu secundo | Caesare regnes; 3, 5, 1 ff. (quoted below). There are extensive comparisons between Augustus and Jupiter in Ov. met. 15, 858 ff. (Bmer notes ad loc.:
Die Parallel- oder gar Gleichsetzung Iuppiter und Augustus ist fr Ovid und
auch fr viele seiner Zeitgenossen beinahe selbstverstndlich; see his commentary with further references).2 This kind of flattery, it is true, is commoner in Martial than in the Augustan poets, and he sometimes goes further then they did in
this respect (see, for example, the elaborate comparison of Domitian and Hercules
in 9, 101). One wonders, though, whether at least some of the scorn of Martial for
excessive cringing actually sprang from the fact that Domitian was for a very long
time considered a bad emperor, whereas Augustus always has been a good

4.3.1. Comparisons with Jupiter

The comparison, or even equation, of Domitian with certain deities appears
throughout Books 1 to 9. Most notably the emperor is compared to Jupiter:
Domitian is Palatinus Tonans, just as Jupiter is Tarpeius Tonans (9, 86, 7); this is
the very same idea that is found, for example, in Hor. carm. 3, 5, 1 ff. Caelo tonantem credidimus Iovem | regnare: praesens divus habebitur | Augustus. It is in
such instances, in which the emperor himself is referred to as Iuppiter etc., that
And is not almost any king called an Apollo if he can hum a tune, and a Dionysus if he gets drunk, and a
Heracles if he can wrestle? And is he not delighted, and thus led into all kinds of disgrace by the flattery?
(translation by C. Babbit, Loeb).
For a survey of the ruler cult in Roman poetry, see K. Thraede, Die Poesie und der Kaiserkult, in: E.
Bickerman (ed.), Le culte des souverains dans lEmpire romain (Entretiens sur lantiquit classique 19),
Geneva 1973, pp. 273303.


this comparison finds its most marked expression. In Book 9, there are five epigrams in which Domitian appears as Iuppiter or Tonans; see 9, 28, 10 suus (i.e.
Romae) Iuppiter; 9, 39, 1 and 9, 86, 7 Palatinus Tonans (and cf. line 8 uterque
Iuppiter of Jupiter and Domitian); and 9, 65, 1 Latius Tonans; 9, 91, 6 meus Iuppiter. This is a decidedly higher frequency than in any other book; the first occurrence is to be found in 4, 8, 12 (matutinus Iuppiter), then 5, 6, 9 (Iuppiter serenus), 6, 10, 9 and 7, 56, 4 (noster Tonans), and 7, 99, 1 (Tonans). Thus, of eleven
references in the works of Martial to Domitian as Iuppiter or Tonans, five are to
be found in Book 9. There is a similar tendency in Martials application to
Domitian of epithets and attributes normally belonging to Jupiter: the epithet
summus first appears in 6, 83, 2 (summe ducum, obviously modelled on summe
deum found, for example, in Verg. Aen. 11, 785), then in 7, 7, 5 (summe mundi
rector; compare Ov. met. 13, 599 summe deum rector) and in 9, 5, 1 (summe
Rheni domitor); Domitian is hailed as parens orbis in 7, 7, 5 and 9, 5, 1 (cf.
Lucan 4, 110 summe parens mundi of Jupiter), and called Ausonius pater in 9, 7,
6 (with which compare aetherius pater in 9, 35, 10 and 9, 36, 7). The epithet
invictus balances on the verge between victorious commander (for example, Hor.
sat. 2, 1, 11; Ov. trist. 4, 2, 44) and god (for example, invictus Iuppiter Ov. fast. 5,
126); Martial applies it to Domitian in 7, 6, 8 (in connection with his eagerly
awaited return from the Second Pannonian War) and twice in Book 9, both times
in poems which do not focus on Domitian as commander and therefore suggest a
stronger implication of divinity (9, 1, 10 invicta manus and 9, 23, 6 invictum
caput). The emphasis on the emperors manus in 9, 1, 10, recurring also in 9, 20,
3 f. felix o, ... quas | vidit reptantis sustinuitque manus (of the house in which
Domitian was born), also implies divinity; the hands of Domitian are the earthly
counterpart of fulminantis magna manus Iovis (Hor. carm. 3, 3, 6); compare here
also 4, 1, 6; 4, 8, 10; 4, 30, 5; and 6, 1, 5.
Further comparisons between Domitian and Jupiter are to be found in the following poems: 9, 18, 8, in which Martial says that the water supplied by the emperor will be as dear to him as Iovis imber (see note ad loc. for the meaning of the
expression). 9, 20, 5 f. compare the house in which Domitian was born to Crete,
birthplace of Jupiter: hic steterat veneranda domus, quae praestitit orbi | quod
Rhodos astrifero, quod pia Creta polo, and in 9, 24 a bust of Domitian is said to
recall Iovis ora sereni: | sic tonat ille deus, cum sine nube tonat (lines 2 f.). In 9,
91, Martial states that he would prefer an invitation to dine with the emperor to an
invitation to dine with Jupiter himself (9, 91, 6 me meus in terris Iuppiter ...
tenet). The comparisons in the Earinus cycle between Earinus, cupbearer of
Domitian, and Ganymede, cupbearer of Jupiter, naturally also imply a comparison
of their respective masters; see 9, 11, 7; 9, 16, 6; 9, 36.
The poem 9, 36 brings a related matter to the fore, viz. the question whether
Martial in some poems depicts Domitian not only as the equal of, but even as
superior to Jupiter. Apart from 9, 36, this concerns 9, 3, and in principle also 9,
34. However, in the latter poem the object of comparison is not Jupiter himself but
his divine children (viz. Mars, Apollo, Diana, Hercules and Mercury); in it, the
supreme god, tipsy with nectar, looks down from Olympus on the Templum gentis
Flaviae and compares it with his own alleged humble tomb in Crete, which naturally cannot rival the splendid marble and gold of the Flavian mausoleum. Saying


to his assembled children Gnosia vos nobis monumenta dedistis: cernite, quam
plus sit, Caesaris esse patrem, he suggests that they have been outdone by the
emperor and, accordingly, that he is superior to them. In 9, 3, a handful of gods,
and in particular Jupiter, are presented as being indebted to Domitian for the temples built by him in their honour, a debt so large that they could have no hopes of
ever settling it. In 9, 36, written after the hair-offering and manumission of
Earinus, Ganymede is complaining to Jupiter that he too should be released from
his office as cupbearer, being now rather a young man than a handsome boy. Jupiter finds this impossible and explains why to Ganymede: Domitian has a thousand
starry-eyed ministri, and his palace, however big, can scarcely hold them. Jupiter,
on the other hand, has only Ganymede; if he was to allow him to cut his hair and
receive his freedom, who would then mix the nectar for him?
Now there are several points which are crucial for a correct understanding of
these poems. Most importantly, these are humorous pieces; the situations depicted
are paradoxically absurd and the poet did not expect anyone to take them seriously. In spite of the flattery of ingratiating poets, Domitian, being deeply religious, obviously knew that he was not a god himself (see Jones, Domitian, p. 109);
serious attempts at depicting him as the superior of Jupiter may very well not have
met with his approval. Martial, for his part, was naturally aware of the fact that
Jupiter was the supreme deity; it is sufficient to refer to 9, 20, 19 f. te protexit
superum pater, et tibi, Caesar, | pro iaculo et parma fulmen et aegis erat (the
infant Jupiter was under the protection of the Curetes, whereas the infant
Domitian was protected by Jupiter himself). Also in 9, 36 there are signs of Jupiters supremacy: Ganymede talks to Jupiter of Domitian as tuus Caesar (line 3),
and Jupiter himself mentions him as Caesar noster in line 9. These were matters
obvious to everyone and therefore also the basic conditions which made it safe to
write such poems as 9, 3 and 9, 36. These poems should not be understood as
attempts to make Domitian stand out as Jupiters superior. Rather, they seize upon
the rigidity of ancient Greco-Roman mythology, which was not an inviolable
matter in Martials day. The reason why Jupiter cannot release Ganymede and
pick another cupbearer is not that he would be inferior to Domitian, but that mythology hinders him. Domitian is not obstructed by mythology and is free to act as
he chooses; Jupiters freedom of action is blocked by the res ipsa (9, 36, 8); he is
forever married to Juno, and Ganymede is forever his cupbearer (see further the
introduction to 9, 36).
Nevertheless, it may perhaps seem hazardous to adopt such a tone in a poem
on the achievements of a sovereign who has been described as both superstitious
and suspicious, completely lacking a sense of humour (Jones, Domitian, p. 198),
but this description is not altogether true; that Domitian had in fact a sense of
humour is suggested, apart from 9, 34 and 36, also by 9, 83 (see the introduction
ad loc.), 1, 5 (with Howells introduction) and 5, 19, 17 f. As 9, 3; 34; and 36 all
deal with Domitian and the gods and with Jupiter and his envy of Domitian in
particular, the humorous air in these poems may perhaps be regarded as Martials
way of playing down a matter which he felt not to be really serious, viz. his own
and his fellow poets rendering of Domitian as the earthly Jupiter. Such jokes
involving the emperor (but naturally not made at his expense) could not have been
made unless Martial was sure about Domitians reaction. Apparently they had his


consent, a fact which, if anything, demonstrates that he knew that he was not in
fact a god himself. In this context, it may therefore not be inappropriate to speak
of Martial not as a court poet, but as a court jester.

4.3.2. Comparisons with other divinities and Domitian as deus

Book 9 also contains some epigrams comparing Domitian to gods other than Jupiter, in particular to the Sun and to Hercules. Martials comparison of Domitian to
the Sun has previously been little heeded; most of the instances given by Sauter
(pp. 137 ff.) refer not to the Sun, but to stars. The comparison of the ruler to the
Sun, the supreme star which illuminates the world with its life-giving rays, was
naturally at home in the oriental ruler cult; applied to Alexander, it lived on in the
Hellenistic cult and was thence adopted into Roman panegyrical literature and
applied, for example, by Horace to Augustus (see E. Doblhofer, Die Augustuspanegyrik des Horaz in formalhistorischer Sicht, Heidelberg 1966, pp. 86 ff.;
H. Halfmann, Itinera principum. Geschichte und Typologie der Kaiserreisen im
Rmischen Reich, Stuttgart 1986, pp. 148 ff.; for further instances from Latin
poetry, see note on 9, 20, 6).
Comparisons between Domitian and the Sun are completely lacking in Books
1 through 7. The first sign appears in 8, 21, 11 f. Iam, Caesar, vel nocte veni:
stent astra licebit, | non deerit populo te veniente dies, which presumably alludes
to the emperor as a second Sun. Still, there are more evident instances to be found
in Book 9, most obviously in 9, 20, 5 f. (quoted above), in which the house in
which Domitian was born is compared not only to Crete as the birthplace of Jupiter, but also to Rhodes, birthplace of the Sun-god. In 9, 24, 3, Martial, marvelling
at the beauty of a bust of Domitian, compares it to mundi facies (the face of
heaven) and to Iovis ora sereni; this recalls 9, 20, 6, in which Jupiter and the
Sun are mentioned as objects of comparison. In 9, 34, 5, finally, there is a possible
comparison, one of the few in Martial, between the emperor and Apollo; the god
is here mentioned as Phoebus (the name proper to Apollo as sun-god), and I have
assumed that he appears in this context partly as representing Domitian as connoisseur and patron of literature and partly as the Sun; see further note ad loc.
and cf. also note on 9, 1, 9.
Like Jupiter and the Sun, the comparison of the ruler with Hercules, the model
of the victorious hero, has Hellenistic origins (see the introduction to 9, 64). Comparisons between Domitian and Hercules, however, are surprisingly few, not only
in Martial but also in Statius. But, in this respect, Book 9 occupies a place apart.
Previous to this book, Hercules appears only in 5, 65, a poem comparing his deeds
unfavourably with Domitians games in the arena, for which the emperor, like
Hercules before him, will receive heaven as a reward. In Book 9, though, there are
three poems occasioned by the newly finished temple to Hercules on the Appian
Way, in which there was a statue of the hero bearing the features of Domitian.
The epigrams in question are 9, 64, which concentrates on the statue and may not
be much of a comparison, and 9, 65, which proclaims that, had these been his
features in his lifetime, Hercules would not have had to serve under Eurystheus
nor under Omphale, nor would he have had to be purified of his mortal elements

in the fire of Oeta, but safely would have entered into the Heavens without having
to suffer those ordeals. But all of this appears as rather modest as compared with
9, 101, the longest poem of the book and the height of Martials eulogies of
Domitian. In this poem, the deeds of Hercules, called minor Alcides, are almost
systematically compared with the acta of Domitian, maior Alcides. This leaves no
doubt about the order of precedence; Domitian is the greater of the two. Consequently, also his deeds surpass those of the Argive hero; Herculeum tantis numen
non sufficit actis, Martial says in the concluding distich; Tarpeio deus hic commodet ora patri. The only god who may be compared to Domitian is Jupiter. Hercules also appears among the children of Jupiter mentioned in 9, 34 (line 6; see
note ad loc.).
Domitian is seldom brought into connection with other gods than Jupiter, the
Sun and Hercules. In Book 9, further deities are introduced only in 9, 34; Apollo
has been mentioned above (on the Sun); see also 9, 34, 4 mentioning Mars (a god
elsewhere connected with Domitian in 7, 2, 1 f. and 8, 65, 11, both poems dealing
with the Second Pannonian War), and 9, 34, 6, introducing Mercury who probably represents the emperor as
(see note ad loc.).
An even more obvious manifestation of the divinity ascribed to Domitian is
provided by instances in which the emperor is not compared to any deity but is
simply mentioned as deus. The first instance appears in 4, 1, 10 (pro tanto quae
sunt inproba vota deo?) and is followed by a couple in Book 5 (5, 3, 6 and 5, 5,
2). The frequency increases in Book 7 (see 7, 2, 6 nostri ... dei; 7, 5, 3 deum; 7, 8,
2 victor ... deus, all with reference to the Second Pannonian War; also 7, 40, 2
utrumque deum [our God in either mood]), and falls again in Book 8 (two instances, 8, 8, 6 reducem ... deum and 8, 82, 3 deum), but reaches its peak in Book
9, which offers in all six instances; see 9, 28, 8; 9, 65, 2; 9, 66, 3; 9, 93, 3; 9, 93,
8; and 9, 101, 24.
To sum up, in no other book of Martials is there, expressed in percentages,
such a large number of poems on Domitian as in Book 9. As we have only the
second edition of Book 10 (published in 98), Book 9 now represents the climax of
a development towards a greater degree of attention to the emperor which was
begun in Book 8 and which was probably continued in the first edition of Book 10
(published in 95). This does not only imply that there are more Emperor poems
in Book 9 as compared with its predecessors; Martial here also pays more attention to the divine aspect of the emperor. Much effort is made to present the emperor as the earthly counterpart to Jupiter, by means of comparison and by referring to him as Tonans or Iuppiter and providing him with epithets appropriately
belonging to the supreme god. While nothing of this is new, there are generally
more instances in Book 9 than in any of Books 1 through 8; for example, in the
entire corpus of Martial, Domitian is referred to as Tonans or Iuppiter in ten epigrams;
five of these appear in Book 9. Particularly notable is the comparison between the
emperor and the Sun, which first appears in 8, 11 and is exploited in four poems
in Book 9. Significantly more room is also provided for the comparison of
Domitian with Hercules; this device, used by Martial only once prior to Book 9,
here provides the frame for the climax, as it were, of Martials imperial eulogies
on the whole (9, 101).


One can but speculate on the reason for this drastic increase in Martials attention to Domitian. It seems clear that it was connected with the emperors return
from the Second Pannonian War but, given the course and outcome of this war, it
cannot in itself have been the reason. Rather, the small success of the war suggests
that the reason was really something else. Of course, it is possible that Martial had
simply decided that he now wanted to appear mainly as a court poet. But it is
interesting to note that the increase roughly coincides with Statius beginning
publication of the Silvae. I have elsewhere argued that Martial, as the Silvae began to appear, may have felt that Statius was encroaching on a genre which hitherto had been his own domain, viz. that of occasional verse. As Statius in these
poems often addresses the very same men whose friendship Martial had been
cultivating for years, the result was very likely a hardened competition between
the two poets; there are signs of such a development in the Epigrams as well as in
the Silvae.1 Perhaps Statius publishing of his occasional verses would account
also for Martials increasing flattery of Domitian; he now had to keep pace with a
poet who celebrated the emperor in such poems as silv. 1, 1 (Equus maximus
Domitiani imp.), 1, 6 (Domitians games on the Kalendae Decembres), 3, 4
(Capilli Flavi Earini), 4, 1 (Septimus decimus consulatus imp. Aug. Germanici),
4, 2 (Eucharisticon ad imp. Aug. Germ. Domitianum), and 4, 3 (Via Domitiana).

5. Some notes on the tradition of the manuscripts and on the text of

Book 9
The text of the Epigrams of Martial owes its current state primarily to the efforts
of two distinguished philologists: F. G. Schneidewin, who divided the manuscripts
into three groups, and W. Lindsay, who, guided by L. Friedlnder, showed that
these three groups derive from three ancient editions, the archetypes of which he
designated AA, BA and CA (W. M. Lindsay, Ancient Editions of Martial, Oxford
1903). In his Teubner edition of 1925, Heraeus adopted the designations , , and
for these same archetypes; in the following, as in the commentary below, I use
Heraeus designations.
Since Lindsays Ancient Editions, the tradition of the manuscripts has been
discussed in several editions, commentaries and articles (most recently by Grewing in his commentary on Book 6, pp. 5155; a minute description of the manuscripts is given in Citronis edition of and commentary on Book 1, pp. xlvlxxiii;
see also Friedlnder, pp. 6796; M. D. Reeve in L. D. Reynolds, Texts and
Transmission, Oxford 1983, pp. 239244). It may therefore be sufficient to give
only a brief survey here.

represented by the three florilegia H (Hauptii florilegium Vindobonense 277,

early 9th century), R (Vossianum florilegium Leidense Q 86, 9th10th century), and T (Thuaneum florilegium Parisinum 8071, 9th10th century). The
archetype was probably a two-volume MS belonging to a French monastery
and containing the complete works of Martial; thus, these MSS are the only

See here Henriksn, Martial und Statius, pp. 111 ff.


ones to contain the Liber de spectaculis. H is without relevance for Book 9,

though, as it contains only epigr. 1930; 1, 3; and 1, 4. Lindsay (Ancient
Editions, pp. 8 ff.) characterized this group as an edition in usum elegantiorum, because it uses euphemisms for the grosser words, like monstrum
for cunnus, salire for futuere.

represented by L (Lucensis bibl. reg. Berolinensis fol. 612, 12th century;

optimus testis stirpis), P (Palatinus Vaticanus 1696, 15th century), Q
(Arondellianus Musei Britannici 136, 15th century), and f (Florentinus
chartaceus bibl. Laur. XXXV 39, 15th century). The L MSS did not appear
until the year 1900 (see W. M. Lindsay, The new codex optimus of Martial, CR 15 [1901], pp. 413420), and was first used by Lindsay in his Oxford edition (1903). The archetype of the -group, probably a 9th- or 10thcentury MS written in Beneventan script, contained the Epigrams (except for
the Liber de spectaculis) in a recension completed in 401 by Torquatus
Gennadius, as appears from the subscriptions found at the beginning of
each of Books 214 in the L and Q MSS (for example, at the beginning of
CLARISSIMORUM FELICITER; a complete list of the subscriptions will be
found in Lindsay, Ancient Editions, pp. 3 f.).

represented by E (Edinburgensis bibl. Facultatis Advocatorum, early 10th

century; optimus testis), A (Vossianus Leidensis primus Q 56, 11th century),
X (Putaneus Parisinus lat. 8067, 10th century), and V (Vaticanus 3294, 9th
or 10th century). The archetype of this group (labelled the vulgate edition by Lindsay) was probably found in a French MSS written in the 8th
9th centuries in early Carolingian minuscule (Lindsay, Ancient Editions, p.
7). Less important text witnesses belonging to this group are B, C, F, G, and
N (all written between the 12th and the 15th centuries).

There was no contamination between these groups before the 12th century, when
contamination between and can be seen in France, spreading thence to Renaissance Italy (see Reeve, pp. 241 f.).

The text of Book 9 given in the following commentary is essentially that found in
I. Borovskijs editio correctior of Heraeus Teubner edition (Leipzig 1976).
Shackleton Baileys Teubneriana (Stuttgart 1990) is not based upon a new collation of the MSS1 and thus makes no claim to contribute anything to the establishment of the text in this respect. However, Shackleton Bailey has inserted a number
of emendations, both his own and those of others, which obviously makes his text
different from, though not necessarily better than, that of Heraeus. Here, I have
chosen to adopt a more conservative attitude, generally following the principle of

For his edition of and commentary on Book 1, Citroni made new collations of all the important
manuscripts. This, however, did not lead to any significant improvements of the text; it did, though, enable
Citroni to give a much fuller apparatus than the one in Heraeus edition (see J. Delzs review in MH 34
[1977], p. 259).


allowing emendations into the text only when the evidence of the MSS cannot be
defended with reason or when the emendation provides a decidedly better meaning. In most cases, this means that, if the transmitted text is grammatically correct
but does not seem to convey an immediately acceptable meaning, before having
recourse to emendations, every effort within the limits of reason should be made
to uncover a meaning in the text as it has been transmitted.
In my opinion, many of the emendations admitted by Shackleton Bailey into
the text of Book 9 are unnecessary. In some cases, he has chosen another reading
in the MSS where I prefer to keep the text of Heraeus. I give here a list of the
more significant instances in which I have kept the text as printed by Heraeus
rather than accepted that of Shackleton Bailey:
9, 3, 14

quod Heraeus following the MSS : quo Shackleton Bailey following

9, 25, 6 petat Heraeus T : tegam Shackleton Bailey
9, 42, 11 nata Heraeus MSS : lecta Shackleton Bailey
9, 44, 1 Alciden Vindicis Heraeus : Alcides Vindicem Shackleton Bailey
following Gilbert
9, 45, 3 Promethei Heraeus : Prometheae Shackleton Bailey
9, 47, 5 serum Heraeus T : carum Shackleton Bailey
9, 48, 8 callida Heraeus MSS: pallida Shackleton Bailey following Dousa (this
emendation was adopted also by Borovskij in his editio correctior)
9, 61, 17 deiecta Heraeus PQ : delecta L f : delecta Shackleton Bailey
9, 70, 6 Caeciliane Heraeus T : M(a)eciliane Shackleton Bailey
9, 73, 3 decepti regna Heraeus : defuncti rura
: decepti rura Shackleton
Bailey, following Schneidewin (and Friedlnder)


Divergences in the text presented in this commentary from that printed by

Heraeus are fewer and less radical, as follows:
9, praef. Heraeus put lines 58 of the prefatory poem in italics; like Shackleton
Bailey, I put these lines within inverted commas. In line 6 of the same
poem, I follow Shackleton Baileys punctuation sed, puto, rather than
Heraeus sed puto,.
9, 21, 4 I accept here Gaselees emendation arat for the amat found in the MSS.
9, 44, 6 Like Shackleton Bailey (following Housman), I print here the reading
Lysippum of the MSS, instead of
, which was introduced in
the editio Aldina and has been kept by most modern editors.
9, 48, 8 In his editio correctior of Heraeus, Borovskij printed Dousas emendation callida for pallida. I keep pallida in the text.
9, 57, 12 I follow Shackleton Baileys punctuation res una est tamen ipse non
negabit instead of Heraeus res una est tamen: ipse non negabit,.
9, 59, 19 I agree here with Shackleton Bailey in printing the emendation veros of
the editio Aldina for vero of
9, 89, 2 I take the words Licet scribere nempe malos as an utterance not of
Stella but of Martial, and thus do not put it within inverted commas.



9, 95, 1

I print, with the MSS, Alphius and Olphius for Heraeus Alfius and

6. A note on the use of this commentary

In the following pages, the commentary follows immediately on the poem upon
which it comments. I believe that this will reduce the turning of leaves to a minimum. The commentary on each poem consists of (1) a short introduction, meant
to provide the social, political and literary context in view of which the poem
should be read, and (2) a line-by-line commentary, explaining the poem on a more
detailed level. No critical apparatus is appended to the text. Instead, textual variants are discussed in the commentary as they occur.
References to Latin authors are made according to the system of the Thesaurus
Linguae Latinae. For references to Greek authors and their works, I have not used
the system of abbreviations of LSJ, which tends to give up instant comprehensibility for the sake of brevity. Instead, I have used a system of my own, which I hope
will be self-explanatory.
The Real-Encyclopdie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft is referred to by
volume, entry and column (for example, RE 16, s.v. Molorchos 13). RE 2:8 denotes Reihe 2, Band 8, and RE Suppl. 3 supplementary volume 3. References to
the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae are made to entry, column and line (for example,
TLL, s.v. leo 1169, 41 ff.). Similar systems are used for other major encyclopaedias and lexica. Titles of periodicals are abbreviated according to the system of
LAnne philologique.

7. Bibliography
The following bibliography lists only such works as are referred to on several
occasions in the commentary. Editions of Martials works are presented in a selective list. Of the editions published before Schneidewin, I have included only such
as are mentioned in the commentary.

7.1. Editions of Martial: A selection




D. Calderini (Domizio Calderini), Domitii Calderini Veronensis

Commentarii in M. Valerium Martialem, Venetiis 1482.
Editio Aldina, Venetiis 1501.
I. Gruterus (Jan Gruytere), Epigrammaton libri XV. M. Val.
Martialis. Mille amplius locis serio correcti atque emendati a Iano
Grutero, Francofurti 1602.
P. Scriverius (Peter Schryver), M. Val. Martialis. Nova editio. Ex
Museo Petri Scriverii, Lugduni Batavorum 1619.
F. G. Schneidewin, M. Val. Martialis libri, 2 vols., Grimae 1842 (ed.


F. G. Schneidewin, M. Val. Martialis libri. Ex recensione sua denuo

recognita edidit, Lipsiae 1853 (ed. minor).
W. Gilbert, M. Valerii Martialis epigrammaton libri, Lipsiae 1886;
editio stereotypa emendatior 1896.
L. Friedlnder, M. Valerii Martialis epigrammaton libri. Mit erklrenden Anmerkungen, 2 vols., Leipzig 1886 (reprinted Amsterdam
W. M. Lindsay, M. Val. Martialis epigrammata, Oxonii 1903; 2nd
ed. 1929.
J. D. Duff, M. Valerii Martialis epigrammata (Corpus poetarum
Latinorum a J. P. Postgate aliisque editum, vol. 2, pp. 431531),
London 1905.
W. C. A. Ker, Martial, Epigrams. With an English Translation, 2
vols., London & Cambridge Mass. 19191920 (Loeb).
C. Giarratano, M. Valerii Martialis epigrammaton libri IXIV,
Augusta Taurinorum 19191921; 3rd ed., ibid. 1951.
W. Heraeus, M. Valerii Martialis epigrammaton libri, Lipsiae 1925.
H. J. Izaac, Martial, pigrammes. Texte tabli et traduit, Paris 1930
1933 (Bud).
M. Dol, M. Valeri Marcial. Epigrames, vol. 1, Barcelona 1949.
HeraeusBorovskij W. Heraeus, M. Valerii Martialis epigrammaton libri. Editionem
correctiorem curavit I. Borovskij, Lepizig 1976.
Shackleton-Bailey D. R. Shackleton-Bailey, M. Valerii Martialis epigrammata post W.
Heraeum edidit D. R. S.-B., Stutgardiae 1991.

D. R. Shackleton-Bailey, Martial, Epigrams. Edited and translated, 3

vols., Cambridge Mass. & London 1993 (Loeb).

7.2. Modern commentaries on Martial




M. Citroni, M. Valerii Martialis Epigrammaton Liber Primus, Florence 1975.

L. Friedlnder, M. Valerii Martialis epigrammaton libri. Mit erklrenden Anmerkungen, 2 vols., Leipzig 1886 (reprinted Amsterdam
F. Grewing, Martial, Buch VI. Ein Kommentar, Gttingen 1997.
P. Howell, A Commentary on Book One of the Epigrams of Martial,
London 1980.
P. Howell, Martial, The Epigrams Book V, Warminster 1995.
N. M. Kay, Martial Book XI. A Commentary, London 1985.
T. J. Leary, Martial Book XIV. The Apophoreta, London 1996.

7.3. Commentaries on other Greek and Latin authors



R. G. Austin, P. Vergili Maronis Aeneidos liber primus. With a

Commentary, Oxford 1971.
R. G. Austin, P. Vergili Maronis Aeneidos liber secundus. With a
Commentary, Oxford 1964.
R. G. Austin, P. Vergili Maronis Aeneidos liber sextus. With a Commentary, Oxford 1977.

C. Bailey, Titi Lucreti Cari De rerum natura libri sex. Edited with
Prolegomena, Critical Apparatus, Translation and Commentary, 13,
Oxford 1947.
J. Booth, Ovid, The Second Book of Amores, Warminster 1991.
P. Brandt, P. Ovidi Nasonis Amorum libri tres, Leipzig 1911
(reprinted Hildesheim 1963).

P. Brandt, P. Ovidi Nasonis De arte amatoria libri tres, Leipzig

C. O. Brink, Horace on Poetry. The Ars poetica, Cambridge 1971
(abbreviated Brink, Hor. ars).

C. O. Brink, Horace on Poetry. Epistles Book II: The letters to

Augustus and Florus, Cambridge 1982 (abbreviated Hor. epist. II).
F. Bmer, P. Ovidius Naso, Metamorphosen, Heidelberg 196986.

F. Bmer, P. Ovidius Naso, Die Fasten, Heidelberg 195758.

K. M. Coleman, Statius, Silvae IV. Edited with an English translation
and commentary, Oxford 1988.
E. Courtney, A Commentary on the Satires of Juvenal, London 1980.
van Dam
H.J. van Dam, P. Papinius Statius, Silvae Book II. A Commentary,
Leiden 1984.
C. J. Fordyce, Catullus. A Commentary, Oxford 1961.

C. J. Fordyce, P. Vergili Maronis Aeneidos Libri VIIVIII. With a

Commentary, Oxford 1977.
L. Friedlnder, D. Junii Juvenalis Saturarum libri V. Mit erklrenden
Anmerkungen, Leipzig 1895.
F. R. D. Goodyear, The Annals of Tacitus, Books 16. Edited with a
commentary, Cambridge 1972.
A. S. F. Gow, Theocritus. Edited with a translation and commentary,
2 vols., Cambridge 1950.
A. S. Hollis, Ovid , Ars Amatoria, Book I. Edited with an introduction and commentary, Oxford 1977.
Kiessling & Heinze Q. Horatius Flaccus, Oden und Epoden. Erklrt von Adolf Kiessling.
Achte Auflage von Richard Heinze, Berlin 1955.
Q. Horatius Flaccus, Satiren. Erklrt von Adolf Kiessling. Sechste

Auflage von Richard Heinze, Berlin 1957.

Q. Horatius Flaccus, Briefe. Erklrt von Adolf Kiessling. Fuenfte

Auflage von Richard Heinze, Berlin 1957.

W. Kiel, Aules Persius Flaccus, Satiren. Herausgegeben, bersetzt
und kommentiert, Heidelberg 1990.
E. Koestermann, Cornelius Tacitus, Annales. Erlutert und mit einer
Einleitung versehen, 14, Heidelberg 19631968.
F. Plessis & P. Lejay, Oeuvres dHorace. Satires par Paul Lejay,
Hildesheim 1964.
G. Luck, P. Ovidius Naso, Tristia. Herausgegeben, bersetzt und
erklrt, Heidelberg 196777.
C. Lucke, P. Ovidius Naso, Remedia amoris, Kommentar zu Vers
397814, Bonn 1982.
J. E. B. Mayor, Thirteen satires of Juvenal, 4th ed., London 1889.
J. C. McKeown, Ovid: Amores. Text, prolegomena and commentary
in four volumes, Liverpool 1987.
G. W. Mooney, C. Suetoni Tranquilli de vita Caesarum, libri VII
VIII, repr. New York 1979.


Nisbet & Hubbard



R. A. B Mynors, Virgil, Georgics. Edited with a commentary, Oxford

R. G. M. Nisbet & M. Hubbard, A Commentary on Horace: Odes
Book I, Oxford 1970.
R. G. M. Nisbet & M. Hubbard, A Commentary on Horace: Odes
Book II, Oxford 1978.
E. Norden, P. Vergilius Maro, Aeneis Buch VI, 2nd ed., Leipzig and
Berlin 1916.
A. S. Pease, M. Tulli Ciceronis De natura deorum, Darmstadt 1968.
A. S. Pease, Publi Vergili Maronis Aeneidos liber quartus, 2nd ed.,
Darmstadt 1967.
K. Quinn, Catullus, The Poems. Edited with introduction, revised text
and commentary, Hampshire & London 1973.
A. N. Sherwin-White, The Letters of Pliny. A historical and social
commentary, Oxford 1966.
J. J. L. Smolenaars, Statius, Thebaid VII. A Commentary, Leiden etc.
K. Tchterle, Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Oedipus. Kommentar mit
Einleitung, Text und bersetzung, Heidelberg 1994.
B. H. Warmington, Suetonius, Nero, Bristol 1977.
P. Venini, P. Papini Stati Thebaidos liber XI, Florence 1970.
R. D. Williams, Publi Papini Stati Thebaidos liber decimus. Edited
with a commentary, Leiden 1972.
F. Vollmer, P. Papinii Statii Silvarum libri, Leipzig 1898.

7.4. Works referred to by abbreviation




Archiv fr lateinische Lexikographie und Grammatik, 115, Leipzig 18841908.

Aufstieg und Niedergang der rmischen Welt. Geschichte und Kultur Roms im
Spiegel der neueren Forschung, Berlin 1972.
Anthologia Palatina
Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, Berlin 1863.
Carmina Latina epigraphica, ed. F. Buecheler, Leipzig 189597 (reprinted
Stuttgart 1982).
Inscriptiones Graecae, Berlin 1873.
Inscriptiones Latinae selectae, ed. H. Dessau, Berlin 18921916 (reprinted
Berlin 195455).
Der kleine Pauly. Lexikon der Antike auf der Grundlage von Paulys Realencyclopdie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, Munich 19641975.
H. G. Liddell & R. Scott, A GreekEnglish Lexicon, 9th ed., revised by H. Stuart
Jones with the assistance of R. McKenzie, with a revised supplement, Oxford
Der neue Pauly. Enzyklopdie der Antike, Stuttgart 1996.
Oxford Latin Dictionary, ed. P. G. W. Glare, Oxford 1982.
Prosopographia imperii Romani saec. I.II.III, 3 vols., Berlin 189798.
Prosopographia imperii Romani saec. I.II.III, 2nd ed., Berlin & Leipzig 1933.
Reallexikon fr Antike und Christentum. Sachwrterbuch zur Auseinandersetzung des Christentums mit der antiken Welt, Stuttgart 1950.
Paulys Real-Encyclopdie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, neue Bearbeitung, ed. G. Wissowa, Stuttgart 18941978.
Thesaurus Graecae linguae ab Henrico Stephano constructus, Paris 18311865.


Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, Lepizig 1900.

7.5. Secondary literature referred to in this commentary

J. N. Adams, The Latin sexual vocabulary, London 1982.
R. Bauman, The Resum of Legislation in Suetonius,
ZRG 99 (1982), pp. 81127.
Blake, Construction
M. E. Blake, Roman Construction in Italy from Tiberius
through the Flavians, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Publication 616, Washington 1959.
Blmner, Privataltertmer
H. Blmner, Die rmischen Privataltertmer, Munich 1911.
Blmner, Technologie
H. Blmner, Technologie und Terminologie der Gewerbe
und Knste bei Griechen und Rmern, vol. 1, 2nd. ed.,
Leipzig 1912, vols. 24, Leipzig 18751887.
Brecht, Spottepigramm
F. J. Brecht, Motiv- und Typengeschichte des griechischen
Spottepigramms, Philologus suppl. 22:2, Leipzig 1930.
Bruchmann, Epitheta
C. F. H. Bruchmann, Epitheta deorum quae apud poetas
Graecos leguntur, Leipzig 1893.
Burnikel, Struktur
W. Burnikel, Untersuchungen zur Struktur des Witzepigramms bei Lukillios und Martial, Wiesbaden 1980.
Carter, Epitheta
I. B. Carter, Epitheta deorum quae apud poetas Latinos
leguntur, Leipzig 1902.
M. Citroni, Marziale e la Letteratura per i Saturnali (poetiLetteratura per i Saturnali ca dellintrattenimento e cronologia della pubblicazione dei
libri), ICS 14 (1989), pp. 201226.
Cook, Zeus
A. B. Cook, Zeus. A Study in Ancient Religion, 3 vols.,
Cambridge 19141940.
F. Crusius, Rmische Metrik, 2nd ed., Munich 1955.
E. R. Curtius, Europische Literatur und lateinisches
Mittelalter, Berne 1948.
R. Duncan-Jones, Economy of the Roman Empire, Cambridge 1974.
Emanuele, Aes Corinthum
D. Emanuele, Aes Corinthum, fact, fiction and fake,
Phoenix 43 (1989), pp. 347358.
A. Ernout & A. Meillet, Dictionnaire tymologique de la
langue Latine. Histoire de mots, 4th ed., Paris 1959
(reprinted with additions and corrections Paris 1994).
Forbes, Studies
R. J. Forbes, Studies in ancient technology, 9 vols., Leiden
Totius Latinitatis Lexicon opera et studio Aegidii Forcellini
Forcellini, Lex.
lucubratum ... amplissime auctum atque emendatum cura et
studio Vincentii De-Vit, 6 vols., Prato 18581875.
Totius Latinitatis Lexicon opera et studio Aegidii Forcellini
Forcellini, Onomast.
lucubratum ... curantibus F. Carradini et I. Perin ... emendatius et auctius melioremque in formam redactum, vols. 5
6, Padua 1940.
L. Friedlnder, Darstellungen aus der Sittengeschichte
Roms, 4 vols., neunte neu bearbeitete und vermehrte Auflage besorgt von Georg Wissowa, Leipzig 191921.
Garthwaite, Court Poets
J. Garthwaite, Domitian and the Court Poets Martial and
Statius, diss. Cornell University, 1978.


Garthwaite, Censorship
Martial und Statius


Housman, Class. pap.

Housman, Corrections
Housman, Draucus
Housman, Heraeus
Housman, Notes
Jones, Domitian
Jones, Senatorial order
Kajanto, Cognomina
Kaser Privatrecht
Kaser, Zivilprozessrecht
Keller, Tierwelt

Lindsay, Ancient Editions
Lfstedt, Synt.


J. Garthwaite, Martial, Book 6, On Domitians Moral

Censorship, Prudentia 22 (1990), pp. 1322.
S. Gsell, Essai sur le rgne de lempereur Domitien, Paris
A. Hardie, Statius and the Silvae, Liverpool 1983.
J. Henderson, The Maculate Muse. Obscene Languange in
Attic Comedy, New York 1975.
C. Henriksn, Martial und Statius in F. Grewing (ed.),
Toto notus in orbe. Perspektiven der Martial-Interpretation,
Stuttgart 1998, pp. 77118.
H. Heuvel, De inimicitiarum, quae inter Martialem et
Statium fuisse dicuntur, indiciis, Mnemosyne 4 (193637),
pp. 299330.
J. B. Hofmann, Lateinische Umgangssprache, Heidelberg
W. Hofmann, Motivvariationen bei Martial. Die Mucius
Scaevola- und die Earinus-Gedichte, Philologus 134
(1990), pp. 3749.
Hofmann, J. B. & Szantyr, A., Lateinische Syntax und
Stilistik. Verbesserter Nachdruck der 1965 erschienenen ersten Auflage, Munich 1972.
The Classical Papers of A. E. Housman, collected and
edited by J. Diggle and F. R. D. Goodyear, 3 vols., Cambridge 1972.
A. E. Housman, Corrections and explanations of Martial,
JPh 30 (1907), pp. 22965.
A. E. Housman, Draucus and Martial XI 8 1, CR 44
(1930), pp. 114116.
A. E. Housman, W. Heraeus, M. Valerii Martialis
Epigrammaton libri, CR 39 (1925), pp. 199203.
A. E. Housman, Notes on Martial, CQ 13 (1919), pp. 68
B. W. Jones, The Emperor Domitian, London 1993.
B. W. Jones, Domitian and the senatorial order, Philadelphia 1979.
U. Joepgen, Wortspiele bei Martial, diss. Bonn 1967.
I. Kajanto, The Roman cognomina, Helsinki 1964.
M. Kaser, Das rmische Privatrecht, 2 vols., Munich 1955
M. Kaser, Das rmische Zivilprozessrecht, Munich 1966.
H. Keil, Grammatici Latini, 8 vols., Leipzig 18571878.
O. Keller, Die antike Tierwelt, 3 vols., Leipzig 19091920.
R. Khner & C. Stegmann, Ausfhrliche Grammatik der
lateinischen Sprache, zweiter Band: Satzlehre, Hannover
K. Latte, Rmische Religionsgeschichte, Munich 1960.
W. M. Lindsay, Ancient Editions of Martial, Oxford 1903.
E. Lfstedt, Syntactica. Studien und Beitrge zur historischen Syntax des Lateins, vol. 1, 2nd ed., Lund 1942, vol. 2,
Lund 1933.

Mommsen, Staatsrecht
Mommsen, Strafrecht
Norden, Kunstprosa
Platner & Ashby
Schmidt, Geburtstag
Shackleton Bailey,
Shackleton Bailey,
More Corrections
Siedschlag, Ovidisches
Siedschlag, Form
Sullivan, Martial
Sullivan, Nero
Sullivan, Satyricon
Syme, Tacitus
Toynbee, Animals

J. Marquardt, Das Privatleben der Rmer, 2 vols., Leipzig

J. Marquardt, Rmische Staatsverwaltung, 12, Leipzig
187376, 3, 2nd ed., Leipzig 1885.
Th. Mommsen, Rmisches Staatsrecht, 3 vols., 3rd ed.,
Leipzig, 18871888.
Th. Mommsen, Rmisches Strafrecht, Leipzig 1899.
E. Norden, Die antike Kunstprosa, Leipzig 1898.
A. Otto, Die Sprichwrter und sprichwrtlichen Redensarten der Rmer, Hildesheim 1962.
W. Pape, Wrterbuch der griechischen Eigennamen, 3rd
ed., Braunschweig 186370.
S. Platner & T. Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of
Ancient Rome, Oxford 1929 (reprinted Rome 1965).
L. Preller, Griechische Mythologie, vierte Auflage erneuert
von Carl Robert, 2 vols., Berlin 18871926.
A. Richlin, The Garden of Priapus. Sexuality and aggression in Roman humor, New Haven & London 1983.
P. Riewald, De imperatorum Romanorum cum certis dis et
comparatione et aequatione, diss. Halle 1912.
Ausfhrliches Lexicon der griechischen und rmischen
Mythologie, hrsg. von W. H. Roscher, Leipzig 18841937.
N. Rudd, The Satires of Horace, Cambridge 1966.
F. Sauter, Der rmische Kaiserkult bei Martial und Statius,
Stuttgart & Berlin 1934.
W. Schmidt, Geburtstag im Altertum, Gieen 1908.
R. Schmoock, De M. Valeri Martialis epigrammatis sepulcralibus et dedicatoriis, diss. Weida 1911.
G. Schneider, De M. Valerii Martialis sermone observationes, diss. Breslau 1909.
K. Scott, The Imperial Cult under the Flavians, Stuttgart &
Berlin 1936.
D. R. Shackleton Bailey, Corrections and explanations of
Martial, CPh 73 (1978), pp. 273297.
D. R. Shackleton Bailey, More corrections and explanations of Martial, AJPh 110 (1989), pp. 131150.
E. Siedschlag, Ovidisches bei Martial, RFIC 100 (1972),
pp. 156161.
E. Siedschlag, Zur Form von Martialis Epigrammen, Berlin
P. Southern, Domitian. Tragic Tyrant, London 1997.
J. P. Sullivan, Martial: The Unexpected Classic, Cambridge
J. P. Sullivan, Literature and Politics in the Age of Nero,
Cornell 1985.
J. P. Sullivan, The Satyricon of Petronius. A literary
study, London 1968.
R. Syme, Tacitus, 2 vols., Oxford 1958.
J. M. C. Toynbee, Animals in Roman Life and Art, London
& Southampton 1973.



Weinreich, Studien
White, Amicitia
White, Aspects
White, Dedication
White, Friends
Wissowa, Religion


A. Walde, Lateinisches etymologisches Wrterbuch, 3.,

neubearbeitete Auflage von J. B. Hofmann, 2 vols., Heidelberg 19381954.
P. R. C. Weaver, Familia Caesaris, Cambridge 1972.
O. Weinreich, Studien zu Martial. Literarhistorische und
religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen, Stuttgart 1928.
P. White, Amicitia and the profession of poetry in early
imperial Rome, JRS 68 (1978), pp. 7492.
P. White, Aspects of Non-Imperial Patronage in the Works
of Martial and Statius, diss. Harvard 1972.
P. White, The presentation and dedication of the Silvae
and the Epigrams, JRS 64 (1974), pp. 4061.
P. White, The Friends of Martial, Statius, and Pliny, and
the Dispersal of Patronage, HSPh 79 (1975), pp. 265300.
G. Wissowa, Religion und Kultus der Rmer, Munich 1902.

Text and Commentary

Praefatio and poems 147

Have, mi Torani, frater carissime. Epigramma, quod extra ordinem paginarum

est, ad Stertinium clarissimum virum scripsimus, qui imaginem meam ponere in
bibliotheca sua voluit. De quo scribendum tibi putavi, ne ignorares, Avitus iste
quis vocaretur. Vale et para hospitium.
Note, licet nolis, sublimi pectore vates,
cui referet serus praemia digna cinis,
hoc tibi sub nostra breve carmen imagine vivat,
quam non obscuris iungis, Avite, viris:
Ille ego sum nulli nugarum laude secundus,
quem non miraris, sed, puto, lector, amas.
Maiores maiora sonent: mihi parva locuto
sufficit in vestras saepe redire manus.

Martial opens the book with a short preface, in which he explains to his friend
Toranius the identity of the Avitus of the following epigram. This epigram, which
stands extra ordinem paginarum and thus does not belong to the actual book,
Martial wrote to be placed on his own bust or portrait, which the consular Stertinius Avitus had recently placed in his library. Stertinius had perhaps asked for a
poem suitable for the purpose.
In the second part of the first century AD, it became fashionable to head collections of poetry with a dedicatory prose preface in the form of a letter (epistula).
The idea, as such, was not new: epistolary prefaces were first used by Archimedes,
and the practice was continued by other Hellenistic scientific writers;1 in Latin,
the earliest instance preserved is the preface to Hirtius De Bello Gallico, Book 8,
followed by the preface to Senecas Controversiae.2 However, in the case of poetry, there are no examples of epistolary prefaces prior to Martial and Statius; epic
works, like the Punica of Silius Italicus and the Argonautica of Valerius Flaccus,
lacked a preface, and while it is possible that the tragedies of Seneca (cf. Mart. 2,
praef.; Quint. inst. 8, 3, 31) and even Statius Thebaid (cf. Stat. silv. 4, praef.) had
such prefaces attached to them,3 these are now lost, making the five epistolary
prefaces of Martial and the five of Statius, one for each book of the Silvae, the
earliest instances preserved.4
The prose prefaces of Martial, apart from the present one, are to be found in
Books 1, 2, 8 and 12 (the books lacking a preface open, in a more traditional way,
with an introductory or dedicatory poem). Of these prefaces, only those of Books 8
and 12 are proper (or serious) dedications, to Domitian and to Terentius Priscus
respectively.5 The preface to Book 1 is the only one to lack even an explicit addressee, being something of a literary manifesto, in which the poet expresses a
wish that he has been successful in writing a book which no one will find either

T. Janson, Latin Prose Prefaces, Stockholm 1964, pp. 19 ff.

Ibid. p. 106.
Ibid. p. 109.
Besides using the preface for the purpose of dedication, Statius also uses it as a kind of table of contents
of the book and as a brief commentary on the circumstances under which each of the poems in the book was
written (see van Dam, pp. 51 ff.; Coleman, pp. 53 ff.).
For a detailed discussion of the dedication of books at Rome, see White, Dedication.


personally or morally offensive, since he is merely writing in a genre; in this respect, this preface stands out against the other four. That of Book 2 is an amusing
parody of the dedicatory epistolary preface. It opens with a salutation of the addressee, Val. Martialis Deciano suo sal., but Martial is at once interrupted by
Decianus, saying that he fails to see the point in writing an epistula. The poet
admits that he meant to write quite a long preface, but Decianus has made him
change his mind; for this, thanks will be due to him on behalf of the readers, quod
ad primam paginam non lassi pervenient.
The prefaces of Books 1, 2, 8 and 12 have one thing in common: they are all
directed to one person1 and are followed by an epigram, either being no. 1 of the
book or lacking a number (i.e. standing extra ordinem paginarum, see below),
addressed to the same person as the preface2 or to the book itself;3 thus, there is no
doubt as to whom the book is directed.4 The present book, however, opens with a
prose part to Toranius, followed by an epigram extra ordinem paginarum to Stertinius Avitus, neither of which contains any hints that the book as a whole is directed to the person addressed. The prose preface of Book 9 is very much shorter
than any of the others; it does not say anything in defence of Martials choice of
genre, like that of Book 1, no information is given to elucidate the character of the
book, like those of Books 8 and 12, and it is not witty, like that of Book 2. Indeed,
it does not have the character of a preface at all, but rather of a brief note, a short
letter, simply to notify Toranius of the identity of Avitus. In this respect, it reminds us of the origin of such prefaces, i.e. the practice of sending a manuscript to
a friend to receive comments, along with a letter intended to be published as the
preface of the book.5 Martial may well have sent the manuscript of Book 9 to
Toranius to get his comments and friendly criticism, but presumably this does not
imply that he meant Toranius also to be the dedicatee. As for the epigramma extra
ordinem paginarum directed to Stertinius Avitus, it is clearly the central point of
the preface as a whole. Stertinius was an important figure, senator as well as consular, and Martial had further reason to dedicate a book to him, as this prominent
man had placed a bust or a portrait of the poet in his library; if Martial received a
request for a poem to go with his picture, he would have been likely also to have
taken the opportunity to court Stertinius as a possible patron. Yet there is nothing,
not even a mention of liber or libellus, to indicate that he is the dedicatee of the
book as a whole, only the mention of hoc carmen in line 3, indicating that he is
the recipient of this particular epigram. Thus, though it may seem probable that
the consular Stertinius was the one to whom the book was directed and Toranius
The preface to Book 1, while having no explicit addressee, is obviously directed to the reader, lector;
some MSS even have the heading Valerius Martialis lectori suo salutem added to this preface (see e.g.
Citroni, ad loc.).
So Books 1 (lector) and 12 (Terentius Priscus).
So Books 2 (preface to Decianus, epigr. 1 to liber) and 8 (preface to Domitian, epigr. 1 to liber).
For the books lacking a preface, the case is as follows: Book 3 is directed to Faustinus (3, 2), Book 5 to
Domitian (5, 1), and Book 6 to Iulius Martialis (6, 1); Book 10 lacks an addressee other than the lector
(10, 1; 2), and Book 11 opens with a poem mentioning Parthenius without being directly addressed to him;
the opening poem of Book 4 celebrates Domitians birthday but does not address the emperor, whereas 7, 1
invites Domitian to wear a cuirass resembling the aegis of Minerva for his campaign against the
Janson, op. cit, p. 109. This is the evident purpose, for example, of Statius preface to Silvae 2 and of
Martials dedicatory poem to Iulius Martialis (6, 1), but less so in his prefaces, except for that of Book 12.


was simply the recipient of a manuscript, this is not an irrefutable conclusion.

Perhaps it is safer to say that the preface pays honour both to Toranius and to
Stertinius but that there is no dedicatee, in the modern sense of the word, of Book
9 as a whole. To the Romans, the explicit dedication of a book may not have been
of such importance as it is to us; it was the mention in a literary work that brought
honour and to be named at the beginning of a book brought the greatest honour
of all.1
Another problem is posed by the interpretation of the phrase extra ordinem
paginarum, indicating that the epigram to Stertinius Avitus, and necessarily also
the prose part, are somehow separated from the rest of the book. The easiest way
to explain the expression is to claim that its only significance is that the epigram
to Stertinius is not to be counted among those which properly constitute the book,
but extra ordinem seems to be too definite an expression to be of such vague significance. Important in this case is the preface to Book 2, where Martial proclaims
that he is abstaining from writing a long preface, lest the reader should be exhausted when he arrives ad primam paginam. So, when Martial in two of his
prefaces applies terms which imply that they stand before the beginning of the
actual book (which began, then, on the pagina prima, being the beginning of the
ordo paginarum), we have reason to believe that this applied also to his other
prefaces and that the epigram attached to the preface of Book 1 is also an
epigramma extra ordinem paginarum. A further indication that prefaces generally
were placed before the pagina prima is to be found in Bass. Rufin. gramm. VI
555, 27 ff. est in Eunucho Terentii statim in prima pagina hic versus trimetrus,
exclusit, revocat, redeam? non, si me obsecret. The line quoted is the fourth of
the first act, thus standing at the very beginning of the actual play; as Bassus
denotes this as being statim in prima pagina, the prologue of the play must have
stood before the pagina prima, thus presumably extra ordinem paginarum.
What, then, was the difference between the ordo paginarum and that which
was extra ordinem? Since pagination was very rarely found in book-rolls,2 the
explanation cannot be as easy as that;3 it seems, that we must first grasp the mean1

White, Dedication, p. 50. Ambiguities concerning the person to whom a book is actually directed by its
author can be observed, for example, in Vergils Georgics (georg. 1, 2 addresses Maecenas but invokes
Augustus in lines 24 ff.) and Quintilians Institutio oratoria, in the preface of which he writes opus,
Marcelle Vitori, tibi dicamus, but which is headed by a letter to Trypho. White (Dedication, p. 55)
explains this by the fact that, whereas modern dedications are usually exclusive and a recognized place and
form is allocated to the dedication in a modern book, the ancient practise, being less formally conceived,
admitted of occasional ambiguities. Roman writers possessed several forms by which to signify their desire
to honour a given person, and sometimes, in different ways, they honoured more than one.
Th. Birt (Das antike Buchwesen in seinem Verhltniss zur Litteratur, Berlin 1882, p. 158) produces one
paginated book-roll, containing the Commentarium cottidianum municipi Caeritum of 114 BC. He adds
that the counting of pages never seems to have become common practice and that the page, as such, was
indeed of very little importance, since quotations were made with reference to verses or, in extreme cases, to
letters. That pagination was utterly rare in antiquity is also shown by the fact that there are no instances of
secunda pagina, tertia pagina, etc., but only of prima or extrema pagina; in addition to the above
examples, see also Mart. 4, 89, 6, Cic. orat. 41, and Ov. trist. 2, 304. Cic. fam. 16, 4, 1 mentions the
pagina prior and pagina altera of a letter.
There is no reason to assume that here Martial is referring to a codex (in which case, the pagina as a unit
would perhaps be of greater significance). Martial, it is true, elsewhere mentions the codex (1, 2; 14, 184;
188; 190; 192), obviously an innovation in his day, stressing its advantages as being lighter and smaller
than the liber (thus a sort of paperback easy to keep and suitable for travelling), but it seems most
unlikely that he would have chosen this medium for the publication of a new book. Moreover,


ing of the word pagina in this context. It must be noted, that the sheet of papyrus,
in connection with book-rolls, was of no importance to the Romans, other than
those who put the roll together. For it was only at this stage that the pagina as an
entity was of any significance. Once they were put together to form a roll, the
scribe who wrote on them totally neglected the joints between the papyrus sheets;
he wrote in columns, and his writing frequently ran over the junctions.1 While
there are instances in Martial in which pagina may have the sense of sheet of
papyrus,2 the word should in this case certainly be taken as meaning column,
which is the normal sense of the word at this time.3 A possible explanation would
be that the ordo paginarum was the running columns; the text extra ordinem
paginarum might have been written at the beginning of the roll in such a way
that, when the preface or prologue was inscribed, the rest of the column was left
blank. The proper text of the book was then begun in a new column, and the columns then ran uninterrupted throughout the roll.4
As has been shown by Havet and Gonzalez de la Calle,5 Martial writes a highly
metrical prose, with clausulae before almost every punctuation mark; even in this
short passage, at least five, probably seven (depending on whether or not one
chooses to read with elision or synaloephe), such metrical sentence endings can be
shown. Havet identified five clausulae in this passage, as follows:
DPRP APQQK (molossus with creticus), a subsection to acatalectic dicreticus
), in its turn a subsection to catalectic dicreticus (
which constitutes 25 per cent of the clausulae in the speeches of Cicero.6
AJ?PGQQGKK TPK QAPNQKSQ acatalectic dicreticus .
@G@JGMRFCA Q TJR, catalectic dicreticus, the trochee having been resolved.
OSQ TAPRSP catalectic dicreticus .






Quod (i.e. a careful arranging of the words) quidem Latina lin-

contemporary writers are silent about it, and it was only in the 3rd and 4th centuries that the codex came
into wider use as a means of literary publication (see C. H. Roberts & T. C. Skeat, The Birth of the Codex,
London 1983, pp. 24 ff., Howells introduction to 1, 2, and Leary on 14, 18396, p. 247).
See F. G. Kenyon, Books and readers in ancient Greece and Rome, Oxford 1951, p. 55.
For example, 4, 10, 1 f. Dum novus est nec adhuc rasa mihi fronte libellus, | pagina dum tangi non
bene sicca timet
Martial offers a number of instances of pagina in this sense, e.g. 2, 6, 2, f. Lectis vix tibi paginis duabus |
spectas eschatocollion, Severe, | et longas trahis oscitationes; 10, 59, 1 f. Consumpta est uno si lemmate
(i.e. epigram) pagina, transis, | et breviora tibi, non meliora placent.
It has also been suggested that the prefaces of Martial were written on the outside of the roll, as was
apparently the case with those of Polybius and Hieronymus (see Birt, op. cit., pp. 141 f.). But in silv. 4
praef., Statius says that his preface was written in libro, which may indicate that it was written inside the
roll (Janson, op. cit., p. 108, n. 7).
L. Havet, La prose mtrique de Martial, RPh 27 (1903), pp. 123-124; P. U. Gonzalez de la Calle,
Algunas observaciones acerca de la prosa de Marcial, Emerita 3 (1935), pp. 1-31.
See Crusius, 185 A, pp. 134 f.


gua sic observat, nemo ut tam rusticus sit quin vocalis nolit coniungere,1 and
Martial probably intended his prose to be read with elision; in the case of et


To the clausulae identified by Havet may be added NELPK QR, a so-called

hypodochmius (trochee followed by creticus). Gonzales de la Calle reads with
elision (paginarum (e)st), thus getting a creticus followed by a ditrochaeus, a
clausula more common in Cicero than the hypodochmius. He also adds RG@










The epigram extra ordinem paginarum falls into two parts. First, in lines 1-4,
Martial turns to Stertinius, whom he addresses as vates; presumably, Stertinius
was an amateur writer of epic poetry and consequently one of the maiores mentioned in verse 7. Apparently, he himself did not want to make any fuss about his
writings, but Martial assures him that it is no good trying to escape the fame
which will inevitably come to him; if not sooner, death will surely lend him the
laurel which he refused while living. Then, in lines 5-8, follows the epigram to be
placed on Martials picture in Stertinius library. It opens in an epigraphic manner (ille ego sum), and continues in the grandiose style with a kind of recusatio
(see 9, 50 intro.); letting those who have the ability speak of greater matters, Martial writes nugae, but in this art, he is second to none. He does not expect his
audience to admire his work as much as that of a Vergil yet is confident that they
will appreciate it for what it is, down-to-earth poetry on subjects close to everyday
life. His praemia are the readers honest appreciation and sincere love, not the
audiences admiration for profound learning and depth of thought. But, unlike
Catullus, who in the humble opening poem to his liber does not seem to understand why Nepos regards his nugae as something more than mere trifles, Martial
displays a firm self-confidence in his role as epigrammatic poet, which after all
had acquired him a place next to Vergil and Ovid and other viri non obscuri in
the library of Stertinius.
Have: Martial has exclusively the form with h,3 which also seems to be the etymologically correct form. The word, which is not to be regarded as the imperative
of avere but as probably derived from the Punic greeting

From this passage it is clear, however, that

the initial h had again established itself in the popular speech of Martials day,

Cf. Norden, Kunstprosa, p. 932, n. 6; H. Aili, The Prose Rhythm of Sallust and Livy, Stockholm 1979,
p. 48.
Th. Zielinski, Der constructive Rhythmus in Ciceros Reden. Der Oratorischen Rhythmik, vol. 2,
Leipzig 1914, p. 9.
Also 1, 55, 6; 1, 68, 6; 3, 95, 1 and 14; 4, 78, 4; 5, 51, 7; 7, 39, 2; 9, 6, 2; 14, 73, 2. The infinitive
havere, used only by Martial, Quintilian (inst. 1, 6, 21) and the grammarians (cf. Citroni on 1, 108, 10 and
Kay on 11, 106, 1) appears in 1, 108, 10; 3, 5, 10; 9, 6, 4 and 11, 106, 1.
TLL, s.v. ave 1300, 40 ff.


and probably it was never completely dispelled even from the conversational language of the educated; cf. Cic. fam. 8, 16, 4.
Torani: This person is mentioned also in 5, 78, five years earlier than this occurrence, in a dinner invitation. Apart from these two instances, he is completely
unknown, but he seems to have been a dear friend of Martials, as is indicated by
the intimate phrase frater carissime.1 Friedlnder suggested that Toranius was
living away from Rome, perhaps in Spain (und M. trug sich schon damals mit
dem Gedanken an die Heimkehr), when the book was published, as Martial asks
him to para hospitium and as otherwise he would have known who Avitus was
without Martial having to explain it to him; the latter reason may be refuted with
reference to Whites interpretation (below on Stertinium).
Stertinium: usually identified with L. Stertinius Avitus,2 consul suffectus with Ti.
Iulius Celsus Polemaeanus between the first of May and the last of August 92, and
perhaps the descendant of the L. Stertinius who successfully took part in Germanicus campaigns of 15 and 16 AD.
An Avitus appears in six other epigrams, ranging from Book 1 to Book 12,3
but the varying tones of these, especially the flippant tone of 6, 84, made White
suspect that they were not all directed to the same person;4 he thus concludes that
the phrase de quo ... putavi implies that Stertinius is new to the pages of the
Epigrams, and should be distinguished from anyone else bearing the same cognomen. This seems more plausible than Friedlnders interpretation of the
phrase, for even if Toranius did not live in Rome, he would still have been familiar with Avitus from the mentions of him in 1, 16 and 6, 84, and there would have
been no call for a further explanation in this particular case. However, the possibility of Stertinius also being the Avitus of 1, 16 cannot be ruled out on the basis
of the content (on the difficulty of composing a homogeneous book), which is the
case also with 12, 24 (on a chaise suitable for private conversation); the sexual
innuendo of 10, 102 and 12, 75 offers no argument in either direction, whereas
10, 96 must be directed to a fellow-client, making an identification impossible.
clarissimum virum: the attribute vir clarissimus had been used of senators as an
unofficial title since the end of the republic (for example, by Cicero of Brutus in
fam. 12, 15, 1), but it was not until the reign of Trajan that it became an official
title (extended to apply also to the senators wife, clarissima femina, and children,
c. iuvenis, puer, puella).5
imaginem meam: it was customary to place not only busts, but also paintings of
famous writers in private libraries. Thus, for example, Pliny the Younger was

Cf. TLL, s.v. carus 504, 74 ff.

PIR1 S 659; Groag in RE, 2:3, s.v. Stertinius 12, 2453; Syme, Tacitus, p. 597, n. 4 suggests that he might
have been from Africa.
1, 16; 6, 84; 10, 96; 102; 12, 24, 9; 75.
White, Aspects, pp. 56 f.
Thus, it is used as a title by Pliny (epist. 3, 8, 1; 9, 13, 19; 10, 56, 2; 10, 61, 5; 10, 77, 1; 10, 87, 3;
paneg. 50, 3; 90, 3); see M. Bang in Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 4, pp. 77 ff.


asked to order paintings of Cornelius Nepos and the Epicurean philosopher T.

Catius for the library of Herennius Severus (epist. 4, 28, 1); cf. also Iuv. 2, 4 ff.
referring to would-be philosophers filling their houses with busts of their famous
role-models. Whether Stertinius picture of Martial was a painting or a bust is
impossible to say, but we know that his portrait was painted for Caecilius Secundus, commander on the Danube (7, 84, 1 f.): Dum mea Caecilio formatur imago
Secundo | spirat et arguta picta tabella manu.1
scribendum putavi: a verbum putandi with the gerundive not only expressing the
will of the writer, but also being a circumlocution for the action desired as having
been carried out after careful consideration on behalf of the writer.2 Martial, in
writing scribendum putavi, says I have written this to you, because I thought it
necessary for your proper understanding of the epigram. The list of such instances, mainly found in letters, can be made quite long; of the in all forty-one
instances in Cicero, no less than twenty-five are found in his correspondence.
iste: the pronoun iste had in Martials day practically lost its connection with the
second person, a development which had begun quite early and was supported by
its use in vulgar language. Already Catullus was capable of writing iste meus
stupor (17, 21), but it was not until the Silver Latin epoch that the use became
more regular;3 Martial has two instances of iste coupled with meus, 9, 84, 8 and
11, 2, 8 iste liber meus est. That iste, once freed from the intimate connection
with the second person, is closer to hic than to ille, appears also from such instances, in which the classical hic ille (the latter the former) is replaced by
iste ille. Thus, for example, 4, 49, 10 laudant illa (the works of the Greek poets), sed ista (my epigrams) legunt; Quint. inst 8, 5, 34 veterem illum horrorem
dicendi malim quam istam (= hanc) novam licentiam.4
Avitus iste quis vocaretur: probably a colloquial contamination of two expressions such as Avitus iste quis esset and Avitus quis vocaretur. That expressions
involving vocari and esse were easily contaminated is indicated by Plaut. Mil. 436
quis igitur vocare?, a mixture of quis es and quid vocare.
1. sublimi pectore: For pectus as the source of higher poetic ability, cf. 9, 77, 4;
Ov. Pont. 4, 2, 25 f. Inpetus ille sacer qui vatum pectora nutrit; Lucan. 1, 63; 5,
208 (both with the same ending as here); Sil. 1, 686 f.; TLL, s.v. 915, 35 ff.
2. serus: often used of things that happen in vain, too late, etc.; cf. 1, 25, 8 cineri
gloria sera venit; OLD, s.v. serus 1, but in this case, it would rather convey a
sense of relief, at last, in the end; cf. Ov. met. 15, 384 on the bees that are born

See Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 3, pp. 55 ff.

See O. Hey, Aus dem kaiserlichen Kanzleistil, ALL 15, pp. 55 ff. According to Hey, a phrase like
edicendum putavi (Cic. Att. 6, 1, 15) is equal to edixi, quia necessarium (consentaneum) putavi.
Hofmann-Szantyr, 105 b, p. 183; Wlfflin-Meader, Zur Geschichte der Pronomina demonstrativa,
ALL 11, pp. 382 ff.
Wlfflin-Meader, op. cit., pp. 384 f.


without limbs and are said to seros pedes serasque adsumere pinnas; Tib. 1, 9, 4
Sera tamen tacitis Poena venit pedibus.
cinis: the usual metonymy for mors, cf. 5, 13, 4; 6, 85, 4; 7, 44, 8 (TLL, s.v.
cinis 1074, 11 ff.).
3. tibi vivat: vivere alicui usually takes a personal subject, as in Cic. Marcell.
25, and Sil. 17, 612. In 1, 88, 8 hic tibi perpetuo tempore vivet honor, the subject
is inanimate, but as the honor consists of a box and a vine, that instance is less
harsh than the present one.
5. Ille ego sum: also in 9, 28, 2; 10, 53, 1. The phrase, which occurs already in
Plaut. Aul. 704 (ego sum ille rex Philippus), is first used in dactylic verse by Tib.
1, 6, 31, followed by Prop. 4, 9, 38. It becomes especially popular with Ovid (ars
2, 451; met. 4, 226; fast. 3, 505; trist. 4, 5, 12; Pont. 1, 2, 33; 1, 2, 129; 4, 3, 11
17; Ib. 247). Silius has it three times (9, 128; 15, 5961), and Statius once (Theb.
11, 165). Of the phrase with only ille ego, there is one instance in Vergil, two in
Tibullus, seventeen in Ovid, four in Silius, two in Valerius Flaccus, five in Statius, and one in Juvenal. Cf. also the alternative, though probably false, opening of
the Aeneid (Ille ego, qui quondam gracili modulatus avena | carmen), which, it
has been suggested, was actually intended as an inscription beneath a portrait of
Vergil on the front page of a copy of the work.1
nugarum: on the model of Catullus (1, 3 f.), Martial frequently refers to his
epigrams as nugae, trifles (1, 113, 6; 2, 1, 6; 4, 10, 4; 4, 72, 3; 4, 82, 4; 5, 80, 3;
6, 64, 7 f.; 7, 11, 4; 7, 26, 7; 7, 51, 1; 8, 3, 11; 10, 18, 4; 12 praef.; 13, 2, 4; 14,
183, 2).2
6. quem non miraris, sed amas: a somewhat concise expression for whom
you do not exactly admire, but yet love. Martial means that he is not the kind of
poet that one admires for his gallant prosody or wide learning, like Vergil or Ovid
(the maiores of the following line); still, his readers love him for his easiness of
sed, puto: sed followed by paratactical puto (a colloquialism, Hofmann, pp.
105 ff.) only here and in Ov. am. 2, 15, 25; 3, 7, 55; 3, 11b, 34; rem. 556 (with
Luckes note); Nux 57 (always with iambic shortening: NR 
7. Maiores etc.: note the rhythm underlining the content, the heavy spondees of


See R. G. Austin, ille ego qui quondam ..., CQ 18 (1968), pp. 10715; cf. Mart. 14, 186 (Vergilius in
membranis) Quam brevis inmensum cepit membrana Maronem! | Ipsius vultus prima tabella gerit.
2, 86, 9 is a general reference to epigrammatic writing. For its frequency in other authors, see Citroni on
1, 113, 6.


maiores: referring to ability and talent, synonymous with sublimes (TLL s.v.
magnus 134, 72 ff.). The persons meant are those who are better able to produce
maiora, i.e. epic writers like Vergil, Ovid and Silius.
maiora: more lofty, elevated, important; cf. Horaces words of the tragic
genre, which is said to magnum ... loqui nitique cothurno (ars 280). He who talks
of maiora does so magno ore (cf. Ov. ars 1, 204 f. Auguror, en, vinces; votivaque
carmina reddam, | et magno nobis ore sonandus eris; TLL, s.v. magnus 135, 23).
sonent: for the solemn poetical use of sonare in the sense of dicere, canere, cf.
e.g. Hor. epod. 17, 39 f. sive mendaci lyra | voles sonare: tu pudica, tu proba
, and Ov. ars 1, 205 f. cited above.
mihi parva locuto etc.: for me, who have talked of small matters. Note the
contrast of maiores/mihi, maiora/parva and sonent/locuto: whereas the maiores
sonant maiora, Martial loquitur parva. The expression seems to be modelled on
Tib. 2, 6, 11 f. Magna loquor, sed magnifice mihi magna locuto | excutiunt clausae fortia verba fores (Tibullus has decided to become a soldier [the magna which
he has spoken of in the preceding lines], but the sound of a door being shut makes
him recall that his place is under the banner of Love, talking of parva).

Dum Ianus hiemes, Domitianus autumnos,
Augustus annis commodabit aestates,
dum grande famuli nomen adseret Rheni
Germanicarum magna lux Kalendarum,
Tarpeia summi saxa dum patris stabunt,
dum voce supplex dumque ture placabit
matrona divae dulce Iuliae numen:
manebit altum Flaviae decus gentis
cum sole et astris cumque luce Romana.
Invicta quidquid condidit manus, caeli est.


Book 9 opens with a celebration of Domitians newly finished Templum gentis

Flaviae, here referred to as altum Flaviae decus, which, according to the poet,
will stand forever and is compared to the standard Roman images of eternity,
given in a row of future dum-clauses: the constant return of the years, the supremacy of Rome, the Capitol, the cult of the gods, and the cosmos. The model is naturally Hor. carm. 3, 30, 8 f., though only the Capitol and the cult are mentioned;
for similar lists, usually less elaborate and with varying objects of comparison
(often motifs from nature), cf. Verg. ecl. 5, 76 f.; Aen. 1, 607 f.; 9, 448 f.; Tib. 1,
4, 65; Hor. epod. 15, 7 f.; Ov. am. 1, 15, 9 ff.; Ib. 135 ff.; Sil. 7, 476 ff.
These stock images Martial has adapted to the glory of the emperor Domitian.
He appears as god of the calendar, next to Janus and Augustus, and he is closely

related to the Capitol; such a notion is present also in Stat. silv. 1, 6, 102 f., in
which the poet prays that the festival given by Domitian on the Kalends of December will abide dum ... terris | quod reddis Capitolium manebit, referring to the
temples built and restored on the hill by Domitian (notes on 9, 3, 7 and 9; 9, 101,
21). He also seems to be involved in the comparison with the sun and the stars,
that is, if there is a reference to Domitian himself in sol in line 9 and the astra are
not only the stars, but the deified Flavians; such an interpretation would at least
not be inappropriate, considering the reference to the dynastic mausoleum in the
preceding line. If so, Martial, using the standard Roman images of eternity, has
managed to turn them all into an eulogy of Domitian.
Book 9 contains a small cycle on Domitians Templum gentis Flaviae (cf. the
introduction, p. 19); it forms the theme also of 9, 20 and 9, 34 and is mentioned in
9, 93, 6 as sacrae nobile gentis opus. These poems are the earliest references to
the temple, suggesting that it was completed in the year 94. Contrary to what
might be expected, Statius does not devote a whole poem to the newly finished
temple, but mentions it only twice and in passing: silv. 4, 3, 18 f. genti patriae
futura semper | sancit lumina Flaviumque caelum; 5, 1, 240 f. aeternae modo qui
sacraria genti | condidit inque alio posuit sua sidera caelo (both of Domitian).
Suetonius mentions it apropos of Domitians building activities (Dom. 5, 1 item
Flaviae templum gentis [sc. Domitianus excitavit]) but also provides more substantial information: the temple was located on the spot where stood the house in
which Domitian was born (Dom. 1, 1 Domitianus natus regione urbis sexta ad
Malum Punicum, domo quam postea in templum gentis Flaviae convertit), it was
struck by lightning in 96 (15, 2) and, after Domitians assassination, his ashes
were brought here by his nurse Phyllis and mingled with those of Julia (17, 3).
After Suetonius, there is no mention of the temple until the 4th century Chronogr.
a. 354 chron. I p. 146, 17, with similar entries in the Notitia regionum urbis XIV
and Curiosum urbis regionum XIV;1 apparently, by this time the temple was
known simply as gens Flavia. The last references are found in the Historia
Augusta, in which Trebellius Pollio, referring to the temple as gentes Flaviae,
states that it had once been the house of Titus (Hist. Aug. trig. tyr. 33, 6 [gentes
Flaviae] qu<a>e [sc. domus] quondam Titi principis fuisse perhibetur) and that it
was enlarged by Claudius Gothus (Hist. Aug. Claud. 3, 6).2
As appears from 9, 20 and from Suet. Dom. 1, 1, the Templum gentis Flaviae
stood on the plot where Domitian was born, reasonably in the house of Vespasian
(afterwards perhaps the house of Titus), on the street called ad Malum Punicum
(now the Via delle Quattro Fontane) on the Quirinal south of the Alta Semita.3
Although no certain traces of the temple have been found, it is probably located
under San Carlo alle Quatro Fontane.4 For want of archaeological evidence, the
outer features of the temple remain uncertain. Judging from 9, 20, 1, it seems to
have been a marble structure with gold ornaments, the same materials that were
used in Domitians magnificent restoration of the temple of Iuppiter Capitolinus

See H. Jordan, Topographie der Stadt Rom im Althertum, vol. 2, Berlin 1871, p. 549.
For the supposed reference to the temple in Val. Fl. 1, 15, see J. Strand, Notes on Valerius Flaccus
Argonautica, Gothenburg 1972, pp. 23 ff.
Jones, Domitian, p. 87.
Ibid., pp. 87 f.


(cf. 9, 3, 7 note). If Suetonius (and Pollio) are right in stating that the house of
Vespasian was actually converted into the temple, this would still imply that the
greater part of the domus would have had to be torn down, but perhaps it may
suggest that the temple preserved the square shape of a domus.1 There was probably no dome, as domes by this time were mostly found on tombs, villas, palaces
and thermae, although it is possible that Stat. silv. 4, 3, 19 Flavium caelum implies that the ceiling was decorated with stars (see Coleman, ad loc.; cf. 9, 101,
22), as was that of the triclinium in Domitians palace (see 9, 91, 1 note and intro.).
It is obvious that Domitian meant the Templum gentis Flaviae to be the dynastic mausoleum of the Flavian family, corresponding to the mausoleum Augusti of
the Julio-Claudians. From Suet. Dom. 17, 3 (above), it appears that the ashes of
Julia were kept in the temple, and that those of Domitian himself were brought
there after his death (as mentioned above). 9, 34, 7 f. presuppose that the temple
housed the ashes of Vespasian, and it is logical to assume that at least also Titus
rested there. The idea of a dynastic mausoleum appears also from Statius statement that Domitian placed his stars in a different heaven (silv. 5, 1, 241).
Domitian being the last of the Flavians, the temple was no longer used as an imperial burying-place after his death; his successor Nerva was buried in the Augustan mausoleum, the ashes of Trajan were placed in the base of his column in the
Forum Trajani, and subsequently the mausoleum of Hadrian became the great
sepulchre of its founder and of the Antonine emperors; see O. Hirschfeld, Die
kaiserlichen Grabsttten in Rom, in Kleine Schriften, Berlin 1913, pp. 463 ff.
1 f. Ianus ... Domitianus ... | Augustus: the months January, October and August.
Domitian had changed the name of the month of October to Domitianus, his
birthday being on the 24th, and also that of September to Germanicus (see below),
since he had ascended the throne on the 14th of September 81 (cf. Suet. Dom. 13,
3).2 By changing the names of the months, Domitian hoped to join his predecessors Divus Iulius and Divus Augustus as gods of the calendar, but his arrangements were not to last, and after his assassination in 96, the months regained their
previous names (cf. Plut. Num. 19, 4).3
2. commodabit: lend, cf. 4, 14, 10 nostris otia commoda Camenis; 7, 72, 14; 8,
52, 5; 9, 101, 24. Also in malam partem 5, 51, 4; TLL, s.v. 1919, 11.
3. famuli Rheni: cf. 5, 3, 1 2 famulis Histri ... aquis; Ov. fast 1, 286 famulas ...
Rhenus aquas. The reference is to Domitians campaign against the Chatti, see

Jordan, op. cit., vol. 1:3 (bearbeitet von Ch. Hlsen, Berlin 1907), p. 426, n. 91, and Platner & Ashby,
loc. cit., suggest that the temple was probably round in shape, with reference to 9, 3, 12; 9, 34, 2; Stat. silv.
4, 3, 19. There is, however, nothing in these lines to support such a view.
It is not certain when the months received their new names, but, judging from epigraphical evidence, the
change occurred in 88 or 89; Scott treats the matter at length on pp. 158-165.
In this respect, he rather joined such emperors as Nero, who named the month of April Neroneus (Suet.
Nero 55, 1), and Caligula, who called the month of September Germanicus in memory of his father (Suet.
Cal. 15, 2), neither of which names remained after the deaths of their inventors. Other emperors had acted
more wisely; thus, Tiberius had forbidden the month of September to be called Tiberius and the month of
October Livius (Suet. Tib. 26, 2).


the introduction, pp. 23 ff. For Romes everlasting sovereignty, see Verg. Aen. 1,
278 ff.; 9, 446 ff. nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo, | dum ... imperium
... pater Romanus habebit.
Famulus is adjectival (synonymous with serviens), the construction thus being
an example of the so-called ab urbe condita construction with adjectives: the main
sense of the expression is conveyed not by the substantive Rheni, but by the adjective famuli. Heick, who has treated the construction mainly with regard to participles, offers only one example from Martial with an adjective, 1, 35, 8 f. Quis
Floralia vestit et stolatum | permittit meretricibus pudorem?1 Helander, who
discerned five types of the ab urbe condita construction, has produced some instances of this construction with adjectives,2 from which it appears that the instances involving the genitive are often attached to fama or rumor,3 comparable to
the present instance with nomen. Other examples from Martial are 7, 32, 1 Attice,
facundae renovas qui nomina gentis; 9, 20, 2; 9, 26, 7; 11, 9, 1.
Mostly used with animate objects (cf. TLL, s.v. 269, 37 ff.), the adjectival famulus indicates that the Rhine here, as often, is regarded as a river-god, cf. 4, 11,
7; 5, 37, 7; 7, 7, 3; 8, 11, 1; 10, 7, 1; Stat. silv. 1, 4, 89 Rhenum ... rebellem. The
idea of the enslaved Rhine occurs also in Stat. silv. 1, 1, 50 f. vacuae pro cespite
terrae | aerea captivi crinem tegit ungula Rheni.
4. Germanicarum magna lux Kalendarum: the first of September (cf. note on
line 1 above). Domitian adopted the honorary title of Germanicus in connection
with the triumph over the Chatti in 83, see the introduction, p. 25.
5. Tarpeia saxa: the Tarpeian rock on the Capitol, called after the Vestal
virgin Tarpeia, who, according to legend, was killed there by the Sabinians. Prisoners sentenced to death were thrown from this rock.4 The plural may be considered poetical but may also be due to the fact that Martial does not allude to the
Tarpeian rock only, but to the whole of the Capitol (not one rock but several
rocks;5 cf., e.g., Sil. 2, 33 f.).
Martial uses the adjective Tarpeius exclusively of things connected with Jupiter; apart from the present instance, all other instances refer either to Jupiter himself or to the oak-wreath awarded the winner at the Capitoline games (note on 9,
3, 8). Of the in all eight occurrences, five appear in Book 9: of Jupiter in 7, 60, 1
Tarpeiae venerande rector aulae; 9, 86, 7 and 13, 74, 1 Tarpeius Tonans; 9, 101,
24 Tarpeius pater; of the oak-wreath in 4, 54, 1 Tarpeias quercus; 9, 3, 8 Tarpeiae frondis honore; 9, 40, 1 Tarpeias coronas.

O. W. Heick, The ab urbe condita construction in Latin, Lincoln, Nebraska 1936, p. 54. This instance he
places, unnecessarily, among those he considers dubious, because the accusative depends on verbs which
also allow the accusativus cum infinitivo construction (p. 52). Heicks few additional instances of the
construction with adjectives are to be found on pp. 68-69.
H. Helander, On the Function of Abstract Nouns in Latin, Uppsala 1977, p. 28. Examples on pp. 67, 89,
and 120.
Tac. hist. 2, 16, 1 fama victricis classis; ibid. 2, 93, 2 sinistrum lenti itineris rumorem; ann. 12, 29, 3
fama ditis regni.
Varro ling. 5, 41; see Hfer in Roscher, s.v. Tarpeia.
See Lfstedt, Synt. 1, p. 29.


As regards the Capitol as the symbol of everlasting stability, cf. Horaces famous lines crescam laude recens, dum Capitolium | scandet cum tacita virgine
pontifex (carm. 3, 30, 9 f.); Verg. Aen. 9, 447 f. dum domus Aeneae Capitoli
immobile saxum | accolet; Stat. silv. 1, 6, 102. The Capitol is in fact pignus imperii (Tac. hist. 3, 72). In addition to these obvious ideas, the association with
Domitians work of restoration (mentioned above) must have presented itself
summi patris: sc. Iovis, also 9, 65, 10 and 11, 4, 4; cf. Verg. Aen. 1, 665
nate patris summi qui tela Typhoea temnis; Stat. Theb. 9, 22.
6. voce supplex ... ture placabit: cf. Hor. carm. 1, 36, 1 f. Et ture et fidibus iuvat
| placare; voce supplice in Tib. 1, 2, 13 f.; Ov. met. 2, 396; 6, 33; Pont. 4, 6, 10;
4, 8, 22 (cf. Pont. 2, 9, 5 supplicis ... vocem).
Offerings to the gods are expected to continue while Rome stands; the idea is
to be found in Hor. carm. 3, 30, 9 f., quoted above, but whereas the religious act in
Horace concerns the Capitoline triad, the offering here is to Julia, daughter of
Titus and deified by Domitian (note on line 7 divae Iuliae below).
placabit: cf. Hor. carm. 1, 36, 1 ff. Et ture et fidibus iuvat | placare et vituli
sanguine debito | custodes Numidae Deos, with the note by Nisbet and Hubbard:
gods are potentially hostile, and need to be mollified, hence placare.
7. dulce numen: dulcis in the sense of beloved; TLL, s.v. 2194, 29. Julias
numen is dulce, yet it has to be propitiated for the reason just mentioned (cf. Ov.
Pont. 2, 2, 109 Mite, sed iratum merito mihi numen).
divae Iuliae: Julia Augusta, daughter of Titus and his wife Marcia Furnilla,
niece of Domitian.1 She had been offered to Domitian in matrimony by her father,
but as he declined, she was married to T. Flavius Sabinus, nephew of Vespasian.
After her marriage, Domitian was seized with passion for her, and after the death
of her father, he had her husband assassinated, got rid of his own wife Domitia on
the pretext of adultery, and openly entered into an extra-marital liaison with her.
In the end, he also caused her death by forcing her to have an abortion (cf. Suet.
Dom. 22, 1; Iuv. 2, 32 f.). Her ashes were later moved to the Templum gentis
Flaviae (see the introduction above). In the reign of her father, Julia had been
given the honorific name Augusta, and after her death, which probably occurred
in 89, she was deified, presumably in the year 90.2 She is mentioned yet twice in
the Epigrams, in 6, 3, 6 (Julia, and not the Fates, shall spin the life-threads of
Domitians expected child) and in 6, 13, 1, on a statue of her.
matrona: in art and on coins, Julia is occasionally depicted with a peacock,
the bird of Juno, an indication that she was assimilated to the goddess. Domitia
had been depicted in the same way and the reason for this is obvious; as Domitian

See Jones, Domitian, pp. 38 ff.

Scott, pp. 75-77.


is the earthly Jupiter, his consort must be the earthly Juno. When Domitia had left
the scene, her place having to some extent been taken by Julia, it was natural that
she also should be associated with Juno.1 Above all others, Juno was the goddess
of women, the ideal image of the Roman matrona (cf. 9, 3, 9 matrona Tonantis);
offerings to her were made by the matrons, who also celebrated the great feast of
the Matronalia on the first of March.2 Consequently, as the matrons made offerings to Juno, they would also make offerings to Julia.
8. altum Flaviae decus gentis: decus in the sense of honos, gloria (cf. TLL s.v.
238, 36 ff.; cf. also note on 9, 28, 1). The allusion is to the Templum gentis
Flaviae, the dynastic mausoleum of the Flavians built by Domitian and probably
completed in 94 (see above).
The expression altum decus may be used with reference to buildings as well as
to people, e.g. in Verg. Aen. 2, 448 auratasque trabes, veterum decora alta
parentum; Sen. Tro. 15 alta muri decora; Ag. 395 telluris altum ... Argolicae
decus (of Agamemnon; cf. Tarrant, ad loc.); Stat. Theb. 5, 424 magnorum decora
alta patrum (of the Argonauts), or abstractly (heights of glory, high renown),
so Sen. Herc. O. 391 Vides ut altum famula non perdat decus? (glorious charm,
Millers Loeb translation); Sil. 3, 144; 6, 124. Note that the singular altum decus
appears only in iambic verse (the only instances apart from the present one being
Sen. Ag. 395 and Herc. O. 391).
The Flaviae decus gentis is the glory of the Flavian family, as manifested in
the Templum gentis Flaviae. This interpretation is strongly suggested by the concluding line, which indicates that the reference is to something founded by
Domitian. If altum Flaviae decus gentis is taken to mean the glory of the Flavian
dynasty exclusively, the invicta manus would be that of Vespasian as conditor
gentis, which, while perhaps not impossible, is most unlikely, as both Martial and
Statius use invictus only of Domitian and (once) of Titus (see below). The context
also argues in favour of the reference being to the temple; it is preceded by a mention of Julia, one of the deified Flavians whose ashes were kept in the temple, and
followed by the astra, in which there is certainly at least a notion of the deified
Flavians (below).
9. cum sole et astris: the cosmos is for obvious reasons often produced as an
image of eternity, cf. Verg. Aen. 1, 608 polus dum sidera pascet; Tib. 1, 4, 66;
Sen. Oed. 503 ff. (with Tchterle); Sil. 7, 476 f.; Stat. silv. 1, 1, 93 f. stabit (sc.
Domitians equestrial statue), dum terra polusque. The sun, the moon and the
stars are also among the attributes of Aeternitas as a goddess (see Aust in RE 1,
s.v. 694 ff.; Graf in NP 1, s.v. 206 f.).
Given the reference to the Templum gentis Flaviae in the preceding line, it is
possible that there is an allusion here to Domitian as the Sun. This is obviously
the case in 9, 20, 6 (see note ad loc.), and the idea of the emperor as the Sun may
perhaps explain 8, 21, 11 f. Iam, Caesar, vel nocte veni: stent astra licebit, | non
deerit populo te veniente dies; cf. Stat. silv. 4, 1, 3 f. (on the inauguration of

Roscher in Roscher, s.v. Iuno 583 f.


Domitian as consul for the seventeenth time) oritur (sc. Domitianus) cum sole
novo, cum grandibus astris | clarius ipse nitens et primo maior Eoo (with Coleman); cf. Sauter, pp. 138 f. and see the introduction, p. 32. The astra are very
likely the deified Flavians (see 9, 101, 22, note); the ceiling of the temple was
probably also decorated with stars (see the introduction above).
luce Romana: the splendour, the glory of Rome (TLL, s.v. lux 1915, 46); cf.,
e.g., Cic. Catil. 4, 11 hanc urbem, lucem orbis terrarum; leg. agr. 2, 71 hac luce
rei publicae. Statius has a similar expression (though probably not with the same
significance) in silv. 1, 1, 94 (stabit) dum Romana dies.
10. invicta manus: invictus of Domitian also 7, 6, 8; 9, 23, 6; Stat. silv. 3, 1,
155; 4, 7, 49; 4, 8, 61. Martial uses it also once of Titus (epigr. 20, 4) and once of
Julius Caesar (9, 61, 7).1
Originally, invictus was used as an honorary title of victorious commanders
(cf., e.g., Cic. Verr. II 4, 82) and hence also of the Roman people as invictus
populus (Cic. Catil. 2, 19), but, more importantly, it was used as an epithet of
gods, above all, of Jupiter and Mars, but also of Hercules. Of the Roman rulers, it
is first applied by Cicero to Caesar the dictator (Marcell. 12), which was probably
due primarily to his military achievements; the case is the same in Hor. sat. 2, 1,
11 Caesaris invicti res dicere (referring to an epic on the deeds of Augustus); Ov.
trist. 4, 2, 44 (Germania) ducis invicti sub pede maesta sedet (of Tiberius). The
first instance in which invictus is used of the emperor as an adulatory epithet,
with reference to the emperor not only as commander but as majesty, is Ov. trist.
5, 1, 41 f. lenior invicti si sit mihi Caesaris ira, | carmina laetitiae iam tibi plena
dabo. The emperors from Tiberius to Vespasian are not mentioned as invicti.2
caeli est: originates from heaven,3 i.e. is divine; whatever the manus invicta of Domitian has created has a trace of divinity in it, its creator himself being
a god.

For a detailed account of invictus as an epithet of the emperor, see Sauter, pp. 153-159; on its use in
connection with gods and emperors, see M. Imhof, invictus, MH 14 (1957), pp. 197215.
Tiberius was offered the title invictus, having suppressed the rebellion in Pannonia; cf. Suet. Tib. 17, 2
censuerunt etiam quidam ut Pannonicus, alii ut Invictus, nonnulli ut Pius cognominaretur.
; KhnerStegmann 1, 86, 1, p. 452.
Cf. Gr.


Pauper amicitiae cum sis, Lupe, non es amicae,
et queritur de te mentula sola nihil.
Illa siligineis pinguescit adultera cunnis,
convivam pascit nigra farina tuum;
incensura nives dominae Setina liquantur,
nos bibimus Corsi pulla venena cadi;
empta tibi nox est fundis non tota paternis,
non sua desertus rura sodalis arat;
splendet Erythraeis perlucida moecha lapillis,
ducitur addictus, te futuente, cliens;
octo Syris suffulta datur lectica puellae,
nudum sandapilae pondus amicus erit.
I nunc et miseros, Cybele, praecide cinaedos:
haec erat, haec cultris mentula digna tuis.


Greedy and ignorant patrons and stingy friends, indeed every failure to show
appropriate respect and gratitude, are recurring targets of mockery in Martials
works; in the present book, cf. epigrams 6, 8, 9, 46, 48, 85, 88, and 100.1 The
voluptuous miser Lupus is even worse than most, being greedy to his clients but
lavish to his mistress.
The poem is throughout built on antithetic arrangements; through five distichs, Martial contrasts the way Lupus mistreats the former with his fawning on
the latter: she gets the finest foods and the most delicate wine; his guests dine
upon coarse bread and a wine no one has ever heard of. On her, he heaps expensive presents, and she gets estates as payment for not even a whole nights pleasure, while the tenant farmer ploughs land which is not even his own, and his
client, unable to pay his debts, is handed over to the creditor. She is carried
around in a luxurious sedan, whereas the one time his friend will not have to
walk is when he gets carried away on the bier. The epigram closes with a wish
that Lupus may be deprived of the cause of this discrimination, his mentula.
Note that Martial constantly refers to Lupus mistress by a different word: in
line 3, she is called adultera, in line 5 domina, in line 9 moecha, and in line 11
puella. Martial has certainly chosen the various designations with regard to the
context. Thus, in line 3, he writes adultera because of its obscene and negative
ring, which goes well with the following cunnis. The loftier style of line 5, with
the reference to the noble Setian wine, makes him choose the word domina,
whereas the word Erythraeis in line 9, being a Latin transcription of the Greek
, causes him to call the mistress moecha, derived from the Greek
Also the references to his clients vary: line 4 conviva, (6 nos,) 8 sodalis, 10
cliens, 12 amicus. Whereas the significance of cliens is unmistakable, also sodalis
and amicus may be used of a client; indeed, the Romans themselves preferred
such terms to the more outspoken cliens, and the relationship between the patron
and the client was generally referred to as amicitia (see White, Amicitia, pp. 81).

Cf. Sullivan, Martial, pp. 122 f.



A client dining at his patrons house would naturally be a conviva. Thus, there is
a further contrast in the euphemistic denomination (perhaps imagined as originating from Lupus himself) of the clients and the way Lupus actually treats them.
Finally, note the contrasts between line 3 pinguescit/4 pascit, 5 dominae liquantur/6 nos bibimus, 7 fundis/8 rura, 9 perlucida/10 addictus, and 11 lectica/12
1. Pauper: with the dative in the sense of greedy; cf. Stat. silv. 3, 1, 102 f. mihi
pauper et indigus uni | Pollius?; Iuv. 5, 113; TLL, s.v. 845, 30 ff.
amicitiae: metonymically for amicis, cf. 9, 99, 6; 10, 44, 10 teque tuas numeres inter amicitias; 11, 44, 1 f. The usage is found from Cicero onwards (e.g.
dom. 27; see Hofmann-Szantyr, 23, I b, p. 747; TLL, s.v. 1893, 51 ff.). The word
is used here with special reference to clients (see above).
Lupe: the name is commonly used by Martial of misers, for whom the name
was very suitable, because of the wolfs proverbial rapacity.1 Practically all eleven
instances of the name in Martial are pseudonyms,2 as is also the case here.
3. siligineis cunnis: a pastry in the shape of a cunnus, made of the very finest
wheat-flour, the siliginea farina (cf. Plin. nat. 18, 86; Blmner, Technologie, pp.
76 f.). The practice of forming the dough into obscene shapes apparently existed
already among the Greeks,3 but in Greek and Latin literature evidence is scarce.
Apart from the present instance of siliginei cunni, the sole mention of such bread
in the form of a cunnus, Martial has a distich in the Aphophoreta on a Priapus
siligineus (14, 70 [69 Leary]): Si vis esse satur, nostrum potes esse Priapum: |
Ipsa licet rodas inguina, purus eris (with Learys note), and Petronius mentions a
similar pastry (60, 4): iam illic repositorium cum placentis aliquot erat positum,
quod medium Priapus a pistore factus tenebat, gremioque satis amplo omnis
generis poma et uvas sustinebat more vulgato.
4. pascit nigra farina: coarse bread (TLL, s.v. farina 283, 17 ff. i. q. massa ex
aqua sim. subacta, depsta); cf. 11, 56, 8 stipula et nigro pane carere potes. Also
denoted as durus (Sen. epist. 18, 7), ater (Ter. Eun. 939), etc.; Blmner, Technologie, p. 79. The simple nourishment goes well with pascit in the sense of
feed (of animals, slaves, troops, etc., cf. OLD s.v. 1).

Cf. Kay on 11, 55, 1.

The name appears also in 1, 59, 3; 2, 14, 12; 5, 56, 1; 6, 79, 2; 7, 10, 7, 8; 10, 40, 3; 10, 48, 6; 11, 18, 1,
25; 11, 55, 1, 6; 11, 88, 1; 11, 108, 3. Kay thinks that the Lupus of 11, 88, is probably real, being the
addressee of an epigram, the target of which is a person other than the addressee, and suggests that he is the
same Lupus (perhaps an amateur poet) whom Martial invites to dinner in 10, 48.
Comica Adespota (Comicorum Atticorum Fragmenta, ed. Th. Kock, vol. 3, Leipzig 1888, p. 589)
, a loaf in the shape of a
(i.e. a leather penis quo improbae tribades
mentions an
prurientem libidinem fallunt, TGL, s.v.; cf. Suda 169).




5. incensura: alluding to the colour of the Setian wine, which would have been
dark yellow, fulvus, or light red, sanguineus.1 Cf. also 9, 22, 8, (Falerna) faciant
nigras nives.
Setina: The city of Setia, some 70 km south-east of Rome, which had earlier
played a certain political role as a Latin colony,2 was in Martials day exclusively
mentioned for its wine, which was rated among the very best and said to have
been the favourite of Augustus.3 On its character, cf. Plin. nat. 23, 36 virium plus
Surrentino, austeritatis Albano, vehementia minus Falerno.
dominae ... liquantur: to get rid of the dregs contained as a result of the relatively primitive method of production, even in better wines, the wine was strained
before drinking through a colander, colum, or a saccus. In this process, snow was
placed in the colander to cool the wine; cf. 9, 22, 8; 14, 103 colum nivarium and
14, 104 saccus nivarius.4
6. pulla venena: rot-gut. Pullus may signify simply that the wine is of poorer
quality, such as is drunk by ordinary people; cf., e.g., Varro ling. 9, 33 pullus
sermo, vulgar language, Quint. inst. 6, 4, 6 turba pullata, and pullati used as a
noun by Suetonius (Aug. 40, 5 and 44, 2). However, in this case there is certainly
a notion of dusky, dark-coloured: whereas expensive wines are strained for
Lupus mistress, his friends must be contented with wine of the worst sort, which
is not even strained but is still dusky from the dregs.
Corsi cadi: the cadus, originally a vessel for Greek wine but also used for
storing oil, figs, salted fish, etc., is, as regards Roman goods, usually identical
with the amphora.5
Editors have been at pains to try to see the point in this expression, which
would seem to have some negative implication; Friedlnder even felt compelled to
make the conjecture Tusci for Corsi (cf. 13, 118, 2 haec genuit Tuscis aemula
vina cadis), since the Tuscan wine in antiquity was considered of lesser quality.6
However, there is at least some negative ring to Corsus, since in the empire Corsica was still considered a less civilized place, suitable for deportations;7 its wine
is not mentioned anywhere else in the whole of classical literature, and perhaps
this is Martials point: Lupus friends get wine from an out-of-the-way spot, wine
such as nobody has ever heard of. Perhaps there is also an allusion to the fact that
tar was found in abundance on Corsica and was among the things which the
Etruscans demanded as tribute of the inhabitants during their domination of the
island (Diod. Sic. 5, 13, 4).

Cf. Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 201.

Philipp in RE 2:2, s.v. Setia 1, 1924 f.
Cf. Plin. nat. 14, 59 ff. Despite the judgement of Pliny, Martial has a preference for the Falernian, which
he mentions twenty-six times, whereas the Setian is mentioned only seven (cf. 9, 22, 8 faciant nigras
Falerna nives with note).
Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 402 f.
Marquardt, p. 628.
Marquardt, p. 436.
See Hlsen in RE 4, s.v. Corsica 1659.


7. empta tibi etc.: note the arrangement of the line, with the words non tota paternis effectively placed at the end; Lupus buys a single night, and the payment is
an estate, but it is not even a whole night, and the payment is not just any estate,
but the very estate which has been handed down from father to son.
Non totus in the sense of not even a whole also in 5, 80, 1 ff. Non totam
mihi, si vacabis, horam, | dones; and 9, 3, 5; cf. non unus in the same sense as
ne quidem (e.g. Prop. 2, 9, 19 f. at tu non una potuisti nocte vacare, | impia,
non unum sola manere diem).1
8. non sua desertus rura ... arat: chiastically placed in relation to non tota paternis. Non sua indicates that Lupus sodalis has to make a living as a tenant
farmer, colonus, renting a piece of land from a large landed proprietor. Such
coloni led a humble life (cf. Hor. carm. 1, 35, 5 f. te pauper ambit sollicita prece |
ruris colonus; ibid. 2, 14, 11 f. sive reges | sive inopes erimus coloni), which
could be rather troublesome, if he was unable to pay his rent. A colonus in debt
was tied to the estate like a slave, until he managed to pay off the debt with interest and compound interest, a fact which often led the jurists to equate the coloni
with vilici and actores.2
9. Erythraeis lapillis: the Erythraeum mare (
being the Greek word for red) originally signified the Red Sea3 but was extended to include the whole ocean surrounding the Arabian peninsula and washing the shores of India, i.e. the sea from Suez to Sri Lanka.4 This sea had several
localities important for pearl-fishing, both in India (especially the strait between
the Indian mainland and Sri Lanka) and in the Persian Gulf, and from the references in Martial to Erythraei lapilli (gemmae), it is clear that he means the Indian
pearls.5 Garthwaite claims that Martial most frequently mentions Indian pearls in
an amatory context,6 which is a qualified truth. What Martial really does is to use
these pearls as an example of redundant wealth and luxury, sometimes also of
pure beauty (cf. 1, 109, 4; 5, 37, 4; 8, 28, 14; 9, 12, 5; 10, 17, 5; 10, 38, 5). Of
these, perhaps two (5, 37, 4 and 9, 12, 5) may be said to occur in an amatory context, whereas it is clear that all of them can easily be interpreted as expressions for
something very expensive and dear to those who own them. This, at least, is the
prevalent notion in Ov. ars 3, 129 f. Vos quoque nec caris aures onerate lapillis, |
quos legit in viridi decolor Indus aqua; and Tib. 3, 3, 11 ff. Nam grave quid
prodest pondus mihi divitis auri, | quidve in Erythraeo legitur quae litore




Hofmann-Szantyr, 241 A, Zus. , p. 448.

Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 542 ff.
Berger in RE 6, s.v.
, 6, 592 ff.
Goodyear on Tac. ann. 2, 61, 2; also Forcellini, Onomast., s.v. Erythraeum.
1, 109, 4 Issa est carior Indicis lapillis; 5, 37, 4 cui (sc. puellae) nec lapillos praeferas Erythraeos; 8,
28, 14 Cedet (sc. Palatinae togae) Erythraeis eruta gemma vadis; 9, 12, 5; 10, 17, 5 Quidquid
Erythraea niger invenit Indus in alga; 10, 38, 5 f. O nox omnis et hora, quae notata est | Caris litoris
Indici lapillis. Cf. 8, 26, 5 Vincit Erythraeos tua, Caesar, harena triumphos, alluding to the Indian
triumph of Bacchus, and 13, 100 on a wild ass: Pulcher adest onager: mitti venatio debet | dentis
Erythraei: iam removete sinus.
Garthwaite, Court Poets, p. 77.



concha | et quae praeterea populus miratur? In illis | invidia est: falso plurima
volgus amat. Finally, the sole mention in Statius of Erythraei lapilli, very similar
to 10, 38, 5, lacks any kind of erotic allusion, as Statius is talking of a night spent
discussing art with his friend Vindex: nox et Erythraeis Thetidis signanda lapillis
| et memoranda diu geniumque habitura perennem (silv. 4, 6, 18 f.; see Coleman,
ad loc.).
perlucida: in the sense of splendens, like 12, 38, 3 Crine nitens, niger unguento, perlucidus ostro; Cic. div. 1, 57 inlustris et perlucida stella; Tib. 3, 12, 13
Adnue purpureaque veni perlucida palla.
10. ducitur addictus cliens: Lupus client is indebted and has not been able to
repay the debt at the prescribed time. He would then be brought before the praetor, who would grant the creditor addictio, if he could find no reason for a closer
investigation (which could occur, for example, if the debtor denied his debt). The
creditor was allowed to take away the debtor, now his addictus, if necessary by
force, and keep him locked up until the debt was fully paid; if after sixty days the
debt was still not paid, the addictus could be sold as a slave or even killed.1 In
such a case, a client could normally count on the aid of his patron, but not Lupus
11. octo Syris suffulta lectica: a sedan, carried by eight bearers, a so-called
octophoros; the person carried was lying instead of sitting. Syrian bearers were
common in Rome in Martials day; cf. 7, 53, 10 munera, quae grandes octo tulere
Syri and 9, 22, 9 with my note. As can be gathered from the mention in 7, 53,
they were sturdily built and thus apt for this service; cf. also Iuv. 6, 351 quae
longorum vehitur cervice Syrorum. For the same reason, we may presume, they
were womens favourites; Martial in 12, 58, 2 refers to a girl as lecticariola, and
Eros occurs twice in inscriptions (CIL 6, 9505 and 33368) as the name of such
12. nudum pondus: the corpse was normally dressed up in the toga; see note
on 9, 57, 8.
sandapilae: a simple, wooden, funeral bier, carried by four bearers (cf. 8, 75,
9), on which the poor, as well as gladiators and criminals, were cremated; cf. 2,
81 Laxior hexaphoris tua sit lectica licebit: | cum tamen haec tua sit, Zoile, sandapila est; 6, 77, 9 f. Invidiosa tibi quam sit lectica, requiris? | Non debes ferri
mortuus hexaphoro.
amicus erit: cf. 1, 78, 10; 1, 93, 6; 9, 14, 4; 11, 43, 10; 14, 87, 2; Prop. 1, 13,
12; 2, 4, 18; Ov. ars 1, 580.


See Leist in RE 1, s.v. addictus, 352 f.; Kaser, Zivilprozessrecht, pp. 101 f.
See Lamer in RE 12, s.v. lectica, 1056 ff.; on the lecticarii, ibid. 1095 ff.


13. I nunc et: the formula i nunc (et) followed by a second imperative is often
used by Martial; cf. epigr. 22, 12; 1, 42, 6; 2, 6, 1 and 17; 8, 63, 3; 11, 33, 3.
Further instances lack nunc, having only the imperative i followed by a second
imperative or by a hortative subjunctive, such as 1, 3, 12 I, fuge; sed poteras tutior esse domi; 4, 10, 3; 5, 82, 4; 7, 2, 7; 7, 89, 1; 10, 12, 7; 10, 20, 4; 10, 96, 13.
Originally a colloquialism,1 almost with the force of an interjection, it appears in
higher poetry for the first time in Verg. Aen. 7, 425 i nunc, ingratis offer te, inrise, periclis, emphasizing the imperative offer. In Aen. 4, 381, Didos words
clearly show the irony and indignation which were to make the construction so
popular with later satirists: i, sequere Italiam ventis, pete regna per undas. Thus,
the Aeneid already displays the two prevalent notions of the construction, the
emphasizing and the ironical/indignant, the latter being the commoner in Martial
(as in Juvenal, see 6, 103; 10, 310; 12, 57).2
miseros: miser in the sense of turpis, pravus; cf. 2, 83, 1 Foedasti miserum,
marite, moechum; TLL, s.v. 1104, 74 ff.
, literally a sodomite. Martial alludes to the galli, cascinaedos: Gr.
trated priests serving in the cult of Cybele, brought to Rome from Asia Minor,
where eunuch priests were an ancient phenomenon.3 In Rome, however, eunuchs
were very ill reputed,4 and the priests of Cybele were often derided, called cinaedi
and depicted as addicted to unnatural vices. They are ridiculed by Martial in quite
a number of passages, airing his contempt for them (e.g. 3, 81 Quid cum femineo
tibi, Baetice Galle, barathro? | Haec debet medios lambere lingua viros. | Abscisa est quare Samia tibi mentula testa, | si tibi tam gratus, Baetice, cunnus
erat? | Castrandum caput est: nam sis licet inguine Gallus, | sacra tamen Cybeles
decipis: ore vir es; 11, 72 Drauci Natta sui vocat pipinnam, | collatus cui Gallus
est Priapus).5 As Kay points out (on 11, 72, 2), the Galli had presumably been rid
not only of their testicles but also of their penises, since this seems necessary to
make the comparison effective in 11, 72, 2. Among the instances produced by
Kay in support of this view is the present epigram,6 and indeed it seems vital to
the point of this epigram that such was the case.

14. haec erat, haec: cf. Verg. Aen. 12, 259 hoc erat, hoc votis inquit quod
saepe petivi; Ov. met. 11, 694; Stat. Theb. 10, 812. As in the impersonal expres-

And thus frequent in Plautus and Terence; see Hofmann, p. 189.

See E. B. Lease, I nunc and i with another imperative, AJPh 19 (1898), pp. 5969, listing the
occurrences in a large number of authors; note, however, the misprint on p. 66 l. 2 concerning Martial,
which reads IX 21, 3 instead of IX 2, 13. Lease is also mistaken in listing 10, 104, 3 as an instance of i with
et, since that verse does not contain an imperative at all; perhaps he means 10, 104, 1 I nostro comes, i,
libelle, Flavo, which, however, would be equally erroneous, since that i is a real exhortation to the book to
go. See also Citroni on 1, 42, 6.
Latte, pp. 259 f.; Cumont in RE 7, s.v. Gallos 5, 674 ff.; Sanders in RAC 8, s.v. Gallos 984 ff.
Hug in RE Suppl. 3, s.v. Eunuchen 453 f.
Cf. also 1, 35, 15; 2, 45; 3, 24, 13; 3, 91; 5, 41, 3; 7, 95, 15; 9, 20, 8; and 13, 63 and 64, in which capons
are compared to Galli.
The others being Catull. 63, 5 f., Hor. sat. 1, 2, 45, and Mart. 2, 45. He also points to Hopfer, Das
Sexualleben der Griechen und Rmer, Prague 1938, pp. 421 f.


sions aequum, melius, satius erat, the indicative is due to the fact that the reality
of the opinion, however subjective, is stressed.1
cultris: culter with special reference to the cult of Cybele also in 3, 24, 8; 11,
84, 3; Prop. 2, 22, 15; Iuv. 2, 116; cf. 2, 45, 2; 3, 24, 10; 3, 47, 2; 3, 91, 8; Stat.
Theb. 10, 171; 12, 227. The Galli mostly performed the castration with a piece of
Samian pottery (which, according to Plin. nat. 35, 165, was the only way to perform it without other effects than those desired; cf. 3, 81, 3 quoted above; Iuv. 6,
514) or with a sharp stone (Catull. 63, 5; Ov. fast. 4, 237 [with Bmer]; Sanders,
op. cit. 1004).

Quantum iam superis, Caesar, caeloque dedisti
si repetas et si creditor esse velis,
grandis in aetherio licet auctio fiat Olympo
coganturque dei vendere quidquid habent,
conturbabit Atlans, et non erit uncia tota,
decidat tecum qua pater ipse deum:
pro Capitolinis quid enim tibi solvere templis,
quid pro Tarpeiae frondis honore potest?
Quid pro culminibus geminis matrona Tonantis?
Pallada praetereo: res agit illa tuas.
Quid loquar Alciden Phoebumque piosque Laconas?
Addita quid Latio Flavia templa polo?
Expectes et sustineas, Auguste, necesse est:
Nam tibi quod solvat non habet arca Iovis.
This epigram celebrates Domitians achievements as builder and restorer of temples but does so in a humorous way, depicting the gods, and especially Jupiter, as
being in debt to Domitian, a debt so large that it would be quite impossible for
them to settle it, even if they were to sell everything they own (lines 1-6). For a
similar humorous treatment of Domitians relation to the Olympic gods (and to
Jupiter in particular), compare 9, 34 and 9, 36 and see the introduction, pp. 30 ff.
It is noteworthy that Martial leaves Minerva out of the list of debtors. In the same
way, she does not appear among the gods mentioned in 9, 34. These omissions
indicate that there was in fact a limit to what a poet could allow himself in this
respect; the tutelary goddess of Domitian was no joking matter.
In lines 7-12, Martial lists almost every god whom Domitian had credited with
a temple. First, he refers to Jupiter and his temples on the Capitol, i.e. the great
temple of Iuppiter Optimus Maximus, the restoration of which also made Juno and
Minerva indebted to Domitian, the temple of Iuppiter Custos and perhaps also
that of Iuppiter Tonans; Jupiter also owes the emperor for the Capitoline games,

Hofmann-Szantyr, 183 b, p. 327.


the agon Capitolinus. Next comes Juno, who is in debt for also another temple,
apart from that to Iuppiter Optimus Maximus, presumably for a restoration of the
temple of Iuno Moneta on the Arx. The second goddess of the Capitoline Triad,
Minerva, would likewise be indebted for the temple to Iuppiter Optimus Maximus
and for a couple of other temples as well, but is passed over as being Domitians
patron deity. After a short reference to the temple of Hercules on the Appian Way,
that of Apollo on the Palatine and the temple of the Dioscuri on the Forum Romanum, Martial adds also the Templum gentis Flaviae to his list, which in fact
implies that he makes also Domitians father, brother and niece indebted to the
emperor, but it also means that he equates the gods created by Domitian with the
traditional gods. For Domitian as builder and restorer of temples, see also note on
9, 101, 21.
1. caeloque dedisti: for the prosody, cf. Ov. trist. 5, 2, 55; Stat. Theb. 12, 576;
silv. 1, 2, 66; 1, 4, 24; 3, 5, 30; 4, 2, 63; 5, 3, 213; Iuv. 14, 70. The word preceding the enclitic que in this phrase is usually disyllabic (exceptions in Statius
Thebais and Juvenal).
2. esse velis: frequent at the end of the pentameter, cf. 1, 8, 2; 2, 5, 2; 2, 64, 2; 13,
2, 6; Prop. 2, 17, 10; 2, 28, 48; 3, 8, 28; Tib. 3, 20, 2; Ov. am. 3, 14, 40; epist. 3,
74; 13, 96; 16, 82; rem. 274; 750; fast. 4, 226; trist. 5, 12, 42; 5, 14, 8; Pont. 1, 2,
6; 1, 2, 34; 3, 3, 108; 3, 6, 38; 4, 3, 2; Priap. 82, 4.
3. aetherio Olympo: a Vergilian expression, appearing four times in the
Aeneid (6, 579; 8, 319; 10, 620; 11, 867), but lacking in Hor., Ov., Sil., Val. Fl.,
Stat., etc. Apart from the obvious meaning of sky-high (as in Sil. 3, 480 f. montis | aetherii), there is also a notion of divine; cf. 3, 6, 3 aetherios ortus; 4, 8, 9
aetherio ... nectare; 9, 35, 10; 9, 36, 7; 13, 4, 1 Serus ut aetheriae Germanicus
imperet aulae.
5. conturbabit: go bankrupt. Absolute also in, for example, Petron. 38, 16 cum
timeret ne creditores illum conturbare existimarent; Iuv. 7, 129; TLL, s.v. 808, 6.
Atlans: metonymy for heaven as the abode of the gods,1 i.e. the Heaven would
go bankrupt, but certainly also with a notion of the myth according to which Mt.
Atlas in north-western Africa was formed when Perseus, with the head of Medusa,
turned the enormously rich king Atlas into stone.2 The notion of the wealthy king
thus improves the effect of conturbabit.
non uncia tota: not even a whole uncia, an extremely small amount of
money (uncia = 1/12 as). For non totus in the sense of not even a whole, see
note on 9, 2, 7.

Mt. Atlas was regarded as supporting the heaven and the stars; according to Herodotus, it was called
, the pillar of heaven (4, 184). For other metonymies in Martial involving names of gods,
see Friedlnder on epigr. 12, 1 Caesareae Dianae.
See Furtwngler in Roscher, s.v. Atlas 707, 34 ff. The story is told by Ovid in met. 4, 621-662 (influenced
by Verg. Aen. 4, 246 ff.; see Bmer ad. loc.); cf. Lucan. 9, 654 ff.


6. pater ipse deum: Ciris 269 (with different position in the verse).
7. Capitolinis templis: Domitian concerned himself with at least two, perhaps
three, temples of Jupiter on the Capitol.1 He had restored the great temple of Iuppiter Optimus Maximus (cf. Plut. Vit. Publicol. 15, 3),2 which burnt down for the
third time in 80,3 a work which was begun the same year and completed probably
in 82, when the dedication seems to have taken place. This temple greatly surpassed the earlier in magnificence, having columns of Pentelic marble, doors
plated with gold and a roof with gilt tiles.4 On the Capitol, Domitian had also
erected a temple to Iuppiter Custos.5 Built during the reign of Vespasian as a
sacellum to Iuppiter Conservator (the saviour), on the site of the porters house
in which he had hidden from Vitellius and his supporters in 69 (cf. note on 9, 101
13), Domitian enlarged it upon his accession into a proper temple to Iuppiter
Custos (the preserver; Tac. hist. 3, 74). It has been argued that the temple of
Iuppiter Tonans on the Capitol also suffered in the fire of 806 and that Domitian
restored it, but this is uncertain.7 For other references in Martial to Domitian and
his concern for the temples of Jupiter, see 6, 10, 2; 13, 74; cf. Sil. 3, 622 ff.; Stat.
silv. 1, 6, 102; 4, 3, 160 f.
8. Tarpeiae frondis honore: a wreath of oak-leaves8 was awarded the winner at
the Capitoline games, the agon Capitolinus (or Capitolia, Gr.
), a
Roman counterpart to the Olympic games.9 Instituted by Domitian in 86,10 in honour of Iuppiter Capitolinus, the agon was held during the summer every fourth
year and is described by Suetonius as triplex, i.e. contests were held in each of the
events usually found at Greek
: music (with Greek and Latin poetry),
horse-racing and athletics (Suet. Dom. 4, 4).11 Domitian himself acted as judge,
assisted by the flamen dialis and the Flavian college of priests, the sodales Flaviales. The emperor wore a Greek garment and sandals, and on his head rested a
golden crown with pictures of the Capitoline Triad, Jupiter, Juno and Minerva;
the priests were dressed in the same way, except for the crown, which in their case


Cf. Suet. Dom. 5, 1 Plurima et amplissima opera incendio absumpta restituit, in quis et Capitolium,
quod rursus arserat; sed omnia sub titulo tantum suo ac sine ulla pristini auctoris memoria. Novam
autem excitavit aedem in Capitolio Custodi Iovi.
Plut. Vit. Publicol. 15, 3:
(The fourth temple ... was both completed and consecrated by Domitian; transl. by B. Perrins, Loeb).
The temple had previously burned down in 83 BC and during the civil war of 69; cf. Jones, Domitian, p.
Platner & Ashby, pp. 300 f.; Jones, loc. cit..
Platner & Ashby, p. 292, Jones, Domitian, p. 88.
Dio Cass. 66, 24; the temple of Iuppiter Capitolinus with the surrounding temples was burned down
completely in this fire.
The suggestion is based on the interpretation of one of the temples shown in the Haterii Relief as the
temple of Iuppiter Tonans; see Blake, Construction, pp. 101 f.; Jones, Domitian, p. 92.
The sacred tree of Jupiter; see Olck in RE 5, s.v. Eiche 2051 f. For the epithet Tarpeius, see note on 9, 1,
Cf. Cens. 18, 4 quare agon et in Elide Iovi Olympio et Romae Capitolino quinto quoque anno redeunte
Cens. 18, 15 duodecimo eius et Servi Corneli Dolabellae consulatu.
Subsequently, more events were added; see Wissowa in Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 4, pp. 276 ff.










also carried the picture of Domitian. For the musical and poetical contests,
Domitian built the Odeum on the Campus Martius, an impressive construction
with a capacity of about 5,000 spectators, which in the fourth century was still
considered one of the most conspicuous monuments in Rome.1 Just north of the
Odeum was erected the Stadium (the modern Piazza Navona), meant for the athletic contests and holding a good 15,000 people; like the Odeum, it was in later
times still looked upon as one of Romes most excellent buildings.2 The agon
Capitolinus was probably still in existence in the fourth century, since Ausonius
almost certainly alludes to the contests in 4, 5, 5 ff. Prete Tu paene ab ipsis orsus
incunabilis Dei poeta nobilis, sertum coronae praeferens Olympiae puer celebrasti Iovem.3
The oak-wreath is commemorated by Martial also in 4, 1, 6; 4, 54, 1; 9, 23, 5;
9, 35, 10; 9, 40, 1; 11, 9, 1. Much coveted as it was, the oak-wreath of the Capitoline games was won neither by Martial nor by Statius, though at least the latter
participated in the contest.4
9. culminibus geminis: culmen as metonymy for templum,5 but presumably also in
the sense of mountain-top (of the Capitol, e.g., Sil. 3, 510; 6, 102 f.; Suet. Dom.
23, 2). The two temples would then be situated on the two summits of the Capitol;
on one summit, that of Iuppiter Optimus Maximus (above), dedicated also to Juno
and Minerva, and, on the other (the northern summit, the Arx), the temple of Iuno
Moneta. It is likely that also the latter was among those restored by Domitian after
the great fire of 80; even though there is no explicit indication that this was the
case, it is not contradicted by Suetonius vague reference to the Capitolium (Dom.
5, 1, quoted above), nor by Dio Cassius allusion to the temple of Iuppiter Capitolinus with surrounding temples (66, 24).
matrona Tonantis: see note on 9, 1, 7 matrona and cf. Ov. fast. 6, 33 dicor
matrona Tonantis; met. 2, 466 magni matrona Tonantis; Anth. 939, 1 Matronam
magni ... Tonantis. For the ending, cf. also Ov. met. 5, 508; 6, 581.
10. Pallada: apart from the restoration of the temple to Iuppiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitol (in which Minerva was also worshipped as part of the Capitoline Triad), there is some evidence which connects Domitian also with two other
temples of his patron goddess, the templum Minervae and Minerva Chalcidica.
The first is attributed by the Chronographus anni 354 to Domitian and described,
rather oddly, as templum Castorum et Minervae,6 a name which occurs also in the

Amm. 16, 10, 14, tells of Constantius arriving in Rome: quicquid viderat primum, id eminere inter alia
cuncta sperabat: Iovis Tarpei delubra et Pompei theatrum et Odeum et Stadium, aliaque inter haec
decora urbis aeternae; Jones, Domitian, p. 86; Platner & Ashby, p. 371.
Amm. loc. cit.; Jones, Domitian, pp. 86 f.; Platner & Ashby, pp. 495 f.
See Wissowa in RE 3, s.v. Capitolia 1527 ff.; Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 2, pp. 148 f.
Probably in 90, see Hardie, p. 62; van Dam, p. 14, n. 16; cf. Stat. silv. 3, 5, 31 ff.; 5, 3, 231 f.
For culmen in the sense of the summit of a building, a roof, cf. 7, 73, 1 f.; TLL, s.v. 1290, 56 ff.
Th. Mommsen, Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Chronica minora saec. IV. V. VI. VII, vol. 1, Berlin
1892, p. 146.


Curiosum urbis Romae.1 From the latter, it is clear that it was situated in the Forum Romanum, but the identification of the temple is one of the most vexed
problems in the list of the Chronographer.2 Earlier attempts to locate the temple
next to that of Divus Augustus in the Forum or in the Forum Transitorium have
now been rejected on the basis of archaeological investigations; the theory that the
Chronographers reference to the temple by so curious a name was due to the fact
that Domitian had restored the temple of the Dioscuri on the Forum (which apparently he did; see below) and then rededicated it both to the Dioscuri and to
Minerva has not met with any acceptance. Thus, the question is better left open.
To judge from the Chronographers reference, though, it would appear that it was
situated close to the temple of the Dioscuri in the Forum Romanum. The same
Chronographer includes among the buildings erected by Domitian the temple of
Minerva Chalcidica, situated in the Campus Martius. In the Severan Marble Plan,
there is a temple of Minerva next to the Porticus Divorum and apparently linked
to it by a flight of steps, and it seems plausible that Domitian had erected this
temple of Minerva, his patron goddess, near the Porticus, the sanctuary of his
divine father and brother.3
In honour of Minerva, Domitian also instituted the Alban games; see 9, 23 intro.
res agit tuas: minds your affairs. Domitian had chosen Minerva to be his
patron goddess, and, according to Suetonius, he worshipped her with a superstitious reverence (Dom. 15, 3; cf. Dio Cass. 67, 1, 2). In 8, 1, 4, Martial mentions
her as Pallas Caesariana, and Quintilian, speaking of Domitians poetical abilities, refers to the goddess as Domitians familiare numen (inst. 10, 1, 91); compare also Stat. silv. 1, 1, 5 f. and 4, 1, 2. It appears that Domitian even claimed to
be her son, for, according to Philostratus (vita Apoll. 7, 24), he had a man persecuted because he, in the prayers at a public sacrifice in Tarentum, had omitted to
mention that Domitian was the son of Minerva. In his bedroom in the Palatina
domus he kept a statue of the goddess (Dio Cass. 67, 16, 1) and, before his assasination, he dreamt that she departed from her shrine and declared that she could
no longer protect him, because she had been disarmed by Jupiter (Suet. loc. cit.);
in Dios version of the dream, Minerva had thrown away her weapons and
plunged into an abyss, mounted on a chariot drawn by black horses (Dio Cass.
loc. cit.).
Domitians choice of Minerva was perhaps inspired by the goddess warning to
Augustus on the eve of Philippi, by which the future emperor escaped a certain
death (see note on 9, 34, 5 Phoebum); he may also have chosen this particular
goddess because she, as the patron of the arts, naturally suggested herself as the
patron deity of a self-practising poet like Domitian (see Sauter, pp. 91 f.). It has
There is no mention of the temple in the somewhat earlier Notitia regionum urbis XIV, which only knows
of a templum Castorum; see H. Jordan, Topographie der Stadt Rom im Althertum, vol. 2, Berlin 1871, p.
J. C. Anderson, Jr., A Topographical Tradition in Fourth Century Chronicles: Domitians Building
Program, Historia 32 (1983), pp. 93105 (pp. 100 f.), which is also the best summary of the problem; cf.
Jones, Domitian, p. 91; Platner & Ashby, pp. 342 f.
Anderson, op. cit., p. 97; Platner & Ashby, p. 344; Jones, Domitian, p. 88.


been suggested, as a deeper cause for his intimate relation to Minerva, that this to
a certain extent may have compensated for the loss of his mother Flavia Domitilla,
who died when Domitian was still quite young (probably before 66; see Southern,
pp. 9 f.).
Domitian was clearly very serious about his devotion to Minerva, which is the
reason why Martial leaves her out when joking with the gods; see the introduction
above and cf. 9, 34 intro.
The phrase res agere may also have a legal sense (look after ones legal business); both senses are to be found in 5, 61, 7 and 13 f., see Howell ad. locc.
11. quid loquar: a common form of rhetorical praeteritio, very frequent in Cicero
but found also in poetry; cf. 8, 55, 21; Verg. ecl. 6, 74; Ov. trist. 2, 399; Manil. 2,
596; TLL, s.v. 1672, 68. Cf. also Verg. Aen. 6, 123 Quid memorem Alciden,
which occurs immediately after Aeneas words about the Dioscuri quoted below.
Alciden: Domitian built a temple to Hercules on the Appian Way; see 9, 64 intro.; 9, 65; 9, 101.
Phoebum: Martial may be alluding to the temple of Apollo on the Palatine
hill, in which there are traces of a restoration perhaps undertaken by Domitian;1
cf. note on 9, 42, 5 Palatia.
piosque Laconas: the reference here is to Domitians restoration of the temple
of Castor and Pollux in the Forum Romanum, a restoration for which the sole
evidence is that of the Chronographus anni 354, which mentions it as templum
Castorum et Minervae (see above on line 10 Pallada).2
Martial refers to Castor and Pollux by the adjective Lacones, the Spartans,
as they were the sons of the Spartan Leda, also in epigr. 26, 5 and 1, 36, 2. They
are called pii because of their proverbial brotherly love (cf., e.g., Ov. trist. 4, 5, 30
pius affectu Castora frater amat), and their pietas is manifested most clearly in
the myth. Castor, son of Tyndareus and mortal, has been killed by Idas, and Pollux, the immortal son of Zeus, is allowed by his father to choose between a life
among the gods and sharing life and death with his brother and living half his life
in heaven and half in the underworld. Pollux chooses without hesitation the latter
alternative.3 In Verg. Aen. 6, 121 f., Aeneas, himself the model of pietas (Verg.
Aen. 1, 220 et passim), mentions Pollux sacrifice for his brother: si fratrem Pollux alterna morte redemit | itque reditque viam totiens. Martial alludes to this
myth in two epigrams on the brothers Domitius Tullus and Domitius Lucanus,
whose brotherly pietas is praised in 5, 28, 3 and 9, 51.
12. Addita ... Latio polo: given to the Latin gods, i.e. to the deified Flavians. The expression is unparalleled, but cf. 9, 34, 2 Augusti Flavia templa poli.

Blake, Construction, p. 118; cf. Platner & Ashby, p. 18.

Platner & Ashby, pp. 102 ff.
See, for example, Bethe in RE 5, s.v. Dioskuren 1115.


The context requires polus not to be understood as the usual metonymy for the
abode of the gods (like, e.g., 5, 65, 1), but as metonymy for those abiding there.
Flavia templa: the templum gentis Flaviae; see 9, 1 intro.
13. sustineas: this absolute use of sustinere, unparalleled, is due to an ellipse of a
word meaning something like the circumstances, i.e. you must put up with the
situation as it is.1
14. quod: against the reading of the MSS, Shackleton Bailey has adopted Duffs
conjecture quo, supported also by Housman, Heraeus, p. 201 (= Class. pap., p.
1102). However, this conjecture seems unnecessary, as solvo frequently has the
accusative in the sense of to give something in payment (e.g., Cic. Verr. II 3,
165 permultis civitatibus pro frumento nihil solvit omnino; cf. OLD, s.v. solvo 19
b). If solvo is taken as meaning simply give in payment, instead of settle the
debt (with something), in which case the ablative would be necessary, the transmitted text may be accepted as correct.

Aureolis futui cum possit Galla duobus
et plus quam futui, si totidem addideris:
aureolos a te cur accipit, Aeschyle, denos?
Non fellat tanti Galla. Quid ergo? Tacet.
The contents of this epigram are slightly reminiscent of AP 5, 126 (Philodemus):













1. aureolis duobus: for the ablative of price denoting the price for sexual services, cf. 7, 10, 3 centenis futuit Matho milibus; 10, 29, 6 muneribus futuis ... meis;
CIL 4, 2193 Arphocras hic cum Drauca bene futuit denario; for the extended use
of this ablative, see HofmannSzantyr 80 a, p. 129.
The diminutive aureolus appears only in Martial (also 5, 19, 14; 10, 75, 8; 11,
27, 12; 12, 36, 3). Two aureoli, corresponding to 50 denarii or 200 IIS (800
asses), was an almost absurdly high price for a prostitute. In the brothels and inns,
the prostitutes services would cost her client anything from two asses (cf. 2, 53, 7

For the word sustinere in the sense of put up with, endure, cf. OLD, s.v. 7.
So-and-so gives so-and-so five talents for once, and possesses her in fear and trembling, and, by Heaven,
she is not even pretty. I give Lysianassa five drachmas for twelve times, and she is better-looking, and there
is no secret about it. Either I have lost my wits or his testicles ought to be chopped off and removed


si plebeia Venus gemino tibi vincitur asse),1 to sixteen asses (= 4 IIS; thus, CIL 4,
1751; 2193); the price of one as, mentioned by Martial in 1, 103, 10, is absurdly
low and presumably to be considered abusive (see Howell, ad loc.). Prostitutes
who were not attached to a brothel or an inn were usually more expensive. If
young and beautiful, fairly well educated and of good manners (boni mores are
often emphasized in the advertising graffiti), so as to be able to provide their customers with pleasant company in addition to their sexual favours, the prices were
high.2 If two aureoli were indeed Gallas normal charge, she would belong to the
cream of this category, but perhaps it is more reasonable to consider the two
aureoli a fancy price. Cf. also 2, 63, in which Milichus spends 100,000 IIS on the
purchase of Leda in the Via sacra.
Galla: Martial mentions a Galla in another fifteen epigrams, about half of
which may allude to one and the same person, presumably a concubine, who had
obviously won the poets affection, since he constantly complains that she does
not keep her promises and never gives him that for which he is begging. The
poems, rarely exceeding a single distich, are found in Books 24 (5); cf. 2, 25
numquam, semper promittis, Galla, roganti. | Si semper fallis, iam rogo, Galla,
nega; 3, 51; 3, 54; 3, 90; 4, 38; probably also 5, 84.
The present Galla is, however, one of those who are for the most part clearly
prostitutes; cf. 2, 34; 4, 58; 7, 18, 4; 7, 58; 9, 37; 9, 78 (a poisoner); 10, 75; 10,
95; 11, 19 (with Kays note).
3. Aeschyle: the name is used also in 9, 67 in connection with oral sex.
Friedlnder (p. 21, n. 1) suspected that this name was of particular significance in
these two epigrams, a thought which was elaborated by Killeen (p. 234). Thus, if
the diphthong ae was pronounced as e, aes- would be heard as es (of edo); in the
second half, the h was not pronounced at all, while the y differed little from an u,
giving a pronunciation similar to culus. This would generate esculos, you eat
denos: in the full sense of the word, i. e. ten aureoli each time.
4. Non fellat tanti Galla: Martial, seemingly failing to understand the reason
for the high price, intentionally ruins Aeschylus strategy of silence by noising the
fellatio abroad. For the genitive, cf. 2, 63, 3 Miliche, luxuria est, si tanti dives
amares (HofmannSzantyr, 57, p. 73).
Tacet: Galla is being silent about her doings with Aeschylus, and that is what
she is being paid for. For Martials disgust at oral sex, which was obviously
widely practised in his day,3 see 9, 27 intro.; 63; 67; 92, 11.

The price of two asses for sexual services is often mentioned in Pompeian graffiti (cf. CIL 4, 1969; 3999;
4023; 4150; 4592; 5105; 5372); Duncan-Jones, p. 246, notes that this is no more than the cost of a loaf of
bread, but it is possible that some of the graffiti represent abuse rather than advertisement.
Schneider in RE 15, s.v. meretrix 1025; Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 367 ff
Cf. Sullivan, Martial, p. 189.


5 (6)
Tibi, summe Rheni domitor et parens orbis,
pudice princeps, gratias agunt urbes:
populos habebunt; parere iam scelus non est.
Non puer avari sectus arte mangonis
virilitatis damna maeret ereptae,
nec quam superbus conputet stipem leno,
dat prostituto misera mater infanti.
Qui nec cubili fuerat ante te quondam,
pudor esse per te coepit et lupanari.

From very early in his reign, Domitian showed great interest for the moral conduct of his subjects, striving, it seems, to set a limit to the moral decay, taking
measures above all against sexual license and depravity. Apparently, he wanted to
bring Rome back to the moral standards of the Augustan days, not, however, as a
mere display of his absolute power, but because he seems to have been sincerely
concerned to make Rome an empire unblemished instead of a state addicted to
moral corruption.1 To this end he took various legal measures, of which the present epigram mentions three: the edict against castration, a prohibition of the prostitution of children, and the revival of the lex Iulia de adulteriis coercendis. See
further Suet. Dom. 8 and note on 9, 101, 21 mores populis.
Castration was in Martials day obviously practised exclusively on slave boys;
cf. note on line 4 below; 9, 7, 7; and the case of Earinus (9, 11 intro.). Domitian
prohibited it by edict,2 the first reference to which is in 2, 60 (in a context hardly
ingratiating), published in 8687 and providing a terminus ante quem for its
promulgation. As Domitian became censor in the April of 85, and towards the end
of the same year, censor perpetuus, censor for life, it would seem plausible that he
issued the ban on castration by virtue of his censorship; this seems to be the implication also of Stat. silv. 4, 3, 13 ff. fortem vetat (sc. Domitianus) interire sexum |
et censor prohibet mares adultos | pulchrae supplicium timere formae. Against
the dating of the edict to 8587 argue the accounts in two later chronicles, that of
Jeromes Latin translation of the Chronicon of Eusebius (3rd4th century), placing it in the year of Abraham 2096, i.e. between October 81 and September 82,
and that of the 7th century Chronicon Pascale, placing it in 83.3 Garthwaite, who,
following the chronicles, advocates a date in the early eighties, argues that, since
Statius wrote silv. 4, 3 about a decade after the events referred to in lines 13 ff.,
his memory of the edict may not have been the clearest,4 but the combined evidence of Martial and Statius, however vague, would nevertheless be as reliable as
the precise evidence of chronicles written several hundred years later, all the more
so as the chronicles do not agree between themselves. A dating to 8687 is perhaps also suggested by Martials reference to the edict in 9, 7, 7 as having been

Jones, Domitian, p. 99.

So Bauman, p. 117 n. 171.
R. Helm, Die Chronik des Hieronymus, 2nd ed., Berlin 1956, p. 190; L. Dindorff (ed.), Chronicon
Pascale, vol. 2, Bonn 1832, p. 465; cf. Jones, Domitian, p. 107.
Garthwaite, Court Poets, p. 23; cf. id., Censorship, p. 14.


passed nuper. Suetonius references to the edict are of little value as regards its
dating. The fact that it is mentioned in Dom. 7, 1, among the things which
Domitian in communi rerum usu novavit, and not in Dom. 8, 3, dealing with his
censorial acts, does not exclude the possibility of the edict against castration being
censorial; the account immediately preceding the mention of the edict concerns
the prohibition of actors appearing on stage, which presumably was promulgated
by Domitian as censor.1 The edict is also mentioned by Dio Cassius (67, 2, 3),
Philostratus (Vita Apoll. 6, 42) and Ammianus Marcellinus (18, 4, 5), none of
which mentions is of relevance to the dating. It was renewed by Nerva and
Hadrian and further tightened up by Constantine and Justinian (see Hitzig in RE
3, s.v. Castratio 1772 f.).
Martials next mention of the edict against castration is to be found in Book 6,
which comprises a proper cycle of epigrams on Domitians moral legislation.2
While mainly focusing on his renewal of the Julian law against adultery, the edict
is mentioned once, in 6, 2, a poem of much the same tone as the present. Finally,
the reference in 9, 7, 7 f. is the last mention in Martial of the edict. Apart from 4,
3, 13 ff., quoted above, Statius only mention of the edict appears in silv. 3, 4, 74
ff. (excusing the castration of Earinus).
In lines 6 f., Martial alludes to a prohibition of Domitians against child prostitution, on which see 9, 7 intro. Here, it may be sufficient to note that the prohibition of the prostitution of children was probably the foremost reason for Martial to
take up the subject of Domitians moral legislation in Book 9; since the present
epigram is the first (and, together with 9, 7, the only) one to mention the prohibition, it must have been passed in or shortly before 94.
The poem closes with a reference to the Lex Iulia de adulteriis coercendis.
Passed by Augustus in 18 BC,3 it was renewed by Domitian, probably in 89, since
Martial in 6, 7, 1 ff. states that the renewal took place thirty days ago, at the most:
Iulia lex populis ex quo, Faustine, renata est | atque intrare domos iussa Pudicitia est, | aut minus aut certe non plus tricesima lux est, | et nubit decimo iam
Telesilla viro. As mentioned above, the law against adultery is the subject of a
cycle of epigrams in Book 6, apart from 6, 7, also 2; 22; 45 and 91. To these may
be added 6, 4, which does not explicitly mention the Lex Iulia but concerns
Domitians moral legislation in general; the emperor is addressed as censor
maximus, and Martial claims that Rome, while being indebted to Domitian for his
triumphs, his building activity, his shows and so on, is now even more so, since he
has made her pudica.4 The law against adultery is also mentioned once by Statius
(silv. 5, 2, 102).
1. summe etc.: Domitian is addressed with the epithet summus also in 6, 83, 2
summe ducum (likewise Stat. silv. 3, 3, 155; cf. Sil. 7, 16 [of Fabius]), clearly
modelled on the summe deum (of Jupiter) in Verg. Aen. 11, 785 (also Ov. met. 2,

Jones, Domitian, p. 107.

See Garthwaite, Censorship; Grewing, pp. 31 ff.
See, for example, The Cambridge Ancient History 10, Cambridge 1934, pp. 443 ff.
For Martials cycle in Book 6 on Domitians moral legislation, see Garthwaite, Censorship, arguing that
6, 2 and 4 are probably ironic, since the remaining poems deal with the ways in which people tried to avoid
following the law, thus pointing to the vanity of trying to force morality upon people by legal means.


280; 13, 599; Sil. 15, 362; Stat. Theb. 11, 210; cf. Lucan. 1, 632 f.), and in 7, 7, 5
Te, summe mundi rector et parens orbis, influenced by Ov. met. 13, 599 summe
deum rector.
Rheni domitor: on Domitians achievements in Germany, see the introduction, pp. 23 ff. The word domitor had been used of victorious commanders since
Cicero (rep. 1, 5 Miltiadem, victorem domitoremque Persarum1), but was not so
used in poetry before Manil. 1, 793 Pompeius ... orbis domitor, then Lucan. 9,
1014 terrarum domitor, Romanae maxime gentis (of Caesar); Octavia 500 gentium domitor (Caesar); Sil. 15, 642 domitor telluris Hibernae (Hannibal). The
instances from poetry are thus few, and Martials applying it to Domitian was
probably suggested by the commoner usage of domitor as an epithet of gods and
major mythological figures; cf. Verg. Aen. 5, 799 domitor maris ... alti (Neptune);
Hor. epist. 1, 2, 19 domitor Troiae (Odysseus), Ov. trist. 2, 1, 397 domitore Chimaerae (Bellerophon); Sen. Herc. f. 619 domitor orbis (Hercules); 903 Lycurgi
domitor et rubri maris (Bacchus); Herc. O. 1989 domitor magne ferarum
(Hercules); Sil. 9, 291 domitor tumidi ... maris (Neptune). A similar development
can be observed concerning invictus (see 9, 1, 10, note). Domitor would perhaps
also have a ring of Fate in it, emanating from the idea of Rome itself and the
Roman soldier as domitor mundi (Plin. nat. 36, 118; Lucan. 7, 250; 8, 553).
parens orbis: cf. 7, 7, 5 quoted above; Stat. silv. 4, 2, 14 f. regnator terrarum
orbisque subacti | magne parens. Parens and pater are applied to the emperor
partly as a paraphrase of the title pater patriae and partly to compare him to Jupiter as parens mundi.2 This may be illustrated by Ov. fast. 2, 127132 (of Augustus): Sancte pater patriae, tibi plebs, tibi curia nomen | hoc dedit, hoc dedimus
nos tibi nomen, eques. | Res tamen ante dedit: sero quoque vera tulisti | nomina,
iam pridem tu pater orbis eras. | Hoc tu per terras, quod in aethere Iuppiter alto,
| nomen habes: hominum tu pater, ille deum.
Apart from the present instance and 7, 7, 5, Martial mentions Domitian as pater/parens also in 9, 7, 6, probably with reference primarily to the emperor as the
earthly Jupiter, here perhaps also, as the context actually suggests, as a father of
the world, to whom the cities owe their populations.
4. avari mangonis: cf. Anth. 1, 109 incertum ex certo sexum fert pube recisa,
| quem tenerum secuit mercis avara manus. The mangones were merchants who
falsified their merchandise or made it look better than it actually was; from Pliny
we know of mangones who dealt in perfumes, wine, and gems.3 There were also
mangones dealing in slaves, for example, Sen. epist. 80, 9, and Quint. inst. 2, 15,
25. Particularly high prices were paid for eunuchs, which was reason enough for

Then frequently in prose, cf., for example, Liv. 21, 43, 15 domitor Hispaniae Galliaeque (Hannibal); 38,
53, 1 domitor ille Africae Scipio; 45, 39, 8 L. Paulum ... domitorem Graeciae; Val. Max. 6, 7, 1
domitorem orbis Africanum (Scipio); Mela 2, 34 Philippus Graeciae domitor; Curt. 3, 12, 19 gentium ...
domitores (of Alexanders companions); Sen. contr. 7, 2, 6 Cn. Pompeius terrarum marisque domitor; 9,
1, 6 orientis ... domitor (Alexander); Hygin. grom. p. 141, 12 divus Iulius, vir acerrimus et multarum
gentium domitor.
Cf. Sauter, pp. 28 ff.
Nat. 12, 98; 23, 40 and 37, 200 respectively.


the mangones to produce eunuchs themselves by means of castration1 and for

Domitian both to forbid castration and also to moderate the prices (Suet. Dom. 7,
sectus: of a castrate, also 5, 41, 3 sectus Gallus.
arte: tricks (TLL, s.v. 658, 46 ff.).
5. virilitatis: of the male genitals, cf. Plin. nat. 7, 36; Bell. Alex. 70 neque interfectis amissam vitam, neque exsectis virilitatem restituere posse; Dig. 48, 8, 4,
2 qui (sc. spadones) virilitatem amiserunt; OLD, s.v. 1 b.
damna: cf. Phaedr. 3, 11, 3 damnum amissi corporis eunuchi.
6. Nec quam superbus etc.: various interpretations have been given of this and
the following line. Housman, dissatisfied with the transmitted text, suggested that
it be altered to nec, quam superbus, conputat, stipem leno | det prostituto, misera
mater, infanti; the mother, says Housman, would reckon how much the child
would earn, which is what Domitian has now forbidden.3 Housmans suggestion,
making the mother a consenting party, was rightly rejected by Shackleton Bailey,4
who explains: Before the new edict, a child, presumably of a slave mother, might
be snatched from the breast and sold to a leno against the mothers will The
mother keeps track of him and gives him money, so that he does not have to beg
for it or be punished by his master for not getting it. This explanation may be
accepted, though with one small correction: Shackleton Baileys suggestion, based
on his interpretation of vagitu posceret in 9, 7, 4 (see note ad loc.), that the children were merely put out to beg, not prostituted in the ordinary sense, seems less
plausible. The mother may keep track of her child and give him money, so that he
will not have to beg for it or be punished for not getting it, but above all so that he
will not have to gain it by means of prostitution in the ordinary sense.
stipem: originally, stips in the cult was an offering of money, a development
of which was the collection of money gifts for religious purposes. In these cases,
the word stips alludes to a small amount of money, and in the same sense it is also
used of the small gifts given to beggars,5 for example, Sen. clem. 2, 6, 2 dabit
egenti stipem; benef. 4, 29, 2. However, this does not support Shackleton Baileys
theory of the child begging in the street (see note on 9, 7, 4 vagitu posceret), since
stips is also used of the payment to a prostitute; cf. Sen. contr. 1, 2, 3 (on a vestal
charged with unchastity) castam te putas quia invita meretrix es? Inpensius
stipem rogasti quam sacerdotium rogas.

Cf. Anth. 1, 108 and 109.

Cf. Hug in RE 14, s.v. mango 1107 and in RE Suppl. 3, s.v. Eunuchen 449 ff.
Housman, Corrections, p. 246 (= Class. pap., p. 724).
Shackleton Bailey, Corrections, p. 284.
Cf. Hug in RE 2:3, s.v. stips 2538 ff.


8 f. cubili ... lupanari: cubile marriage bed (cf. Iuv. 6, 118); the allusion is to
Domitians reinforcement of the Lex Iulia de adulteriis (see above). For a similar
line of thought in the concluding lines, cf. 9, 7, 910.

6 (7)
Dicere de Libycis reduci tibi gentibus, Afer,
continuis volui quinque diebus Have:
non vacat aut dormit dictum est bis terque reverso.
Iam satis est: non vis, Afer, havere: vale.
Martial wants to pay his salutations to one of his patrons, Afer, who has recently
returned from a voyage to Africa, but is not admitted, even though he keeps trying
for several days. Finally, Martial has had enough and airs his disappointment in
the concluding line, the ambiguity of which is essential to the epigram.1 For Martials criticism of ignorant patrons, see 9, 2 intro.
1. Libycis: most probably simply in the sense of African; in antiquity, Libya
referred to northern Africa in general (see Forcellini, Onomast., s.v.; cf. also 9,
35, 8; 9, 43, 9; 9, 56, 1). For the opening of the line, cf. 2, 56, 1.
Afer: the name appears seven times in Martial (also 4, 37 and 78; 6, 77; 9, 25;
10, 84 and 12, 42), all applied to targets of Martials satirical wit. Perhaps Martial
has chosen it here because of the connection with Africa.
2. continuis quinque diebus: not to be taken literally, but as for several
days; five days was the set phrase for a short period; cf. Iuv. 11, 206 with
Courtneys note; Hor. sat. 1, 3, 16; epist. 1, 7, 1.
Have: the clients formal greeting to his patron at the salutatio; cf. 1, 55, 6
matutinum ... Have; 4, 78, 4; 7, 39, 2; see also note on 9, praef. Have.
3. bis terque: like quinque diebus used of an undetermined amount, i.e. again
and again; cf. 7, 92, 1 f. Si quid opus fuerit, scis me non esse rogandum | uno
bis dicis, Baccara, terque die; 5, 14, 3; 6, 64, 15; in the same place of the hexameter also in Ov. met. 4, 517; Sil. 2, 616; 15, 143; Stat. Ach. 1, 773. Similar
expressions are to be found in 4, 81, 3 semel rogata bisque terque neglexit; 6, 66,
7 et bis terque quaterque basiavit; cf. Brink, Hor. ars, pp. 366 f.; Coleman on
Stat. silv. 4, 2, 58; OLD, s.v. ter 1 b. This is a good example of the vagueness of
the expressions quinque diebus and bis terque, since, taken literally, they do not
match (bis terque would mean not five times, but two and even three times).

As is the case, for example, in 9, 9; 9, 15; 9, 21; see Siedschlag, Form, pp. 87 f.


4. Iam satis est: with the same placing as here, Hor. sat. 1, 1, 120; 1, 5, 13; epist.
1, 7, 16; with different meaning also Ov. fast. 2, 844 iam satis est virtus dissimulata diu; cf. Ov. epist. 21, 245; Lucan. 3, 388. Martial has it four times (also 4,
89, 1 and 9; 7, 51, 14), the present being the only one in which it occurs in this
metrical position.
non vis havere: vale: the infinitive havere, formed on have on the analogy
of salve/salvere and vale/valere, is found only in Martial,1 in Quint. inst. 1, 6, 21
and in Char. gramm. p. 333, 11,2 making the poet the only one to use it outside a
context of grammatical analysis. Its basic meaning would have been to be (fare)
well,3 from which emanated the secondary meaning to be greeted; thus, 11,
106, 1 si vacas havere, if you have time to be greeted. Compare also 3, 5, 10
Marcus havere iubet with the common phrase salvere iubeo.4
In the pun here, Martial plays on both meanings of havere, interacting with
the likewise ambiguous vale. This may be taken as an allusion to the threefold
vale presented as a last good bye to the deceased at the funeral,5 as in 5, 66 Saepe
salutatus numquam prior ipse salutas: | sic eris? Aeternum, Pontiliane, vale6
(Catull. 101, 10 atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale). This provides a
pretty contrast: you do not want to be well, Afer: good-bye forever (i.e. die).
But vale could also be used as an insult, cf. Serv. Aen. 11, 97 f. Varro in libris
logistoricis dicit, ideo mortuis salve et vale dici, non quod aut valere aut
salvi esse possunt, sed quod ab his recedimus, eos numquam visuri. Hinc ortum
est ut etiam maledicti significationem interdum vale obtineat, ut Terentius
valeant qui inter nos discidium volunt, hoc est ita a nobis discedant, ut numquam
ad nostrum revertantur aspectum. The quotation from Terence is Andria 696 f.,
on which Eugraphus says valeant est acyrologia (incorrect phraseology), id
est pereant (Eugraph. Ter. Andr. 696); for this sense of vale, cf. also Mart. 6, 78,
5. For the purpose of the present pun, this would be rendered as you do not want
to be greeted: go to hell.

Also 1, 108, 10; 3, 5, 10; 11, 106, 1.

Completely equating it with salve: Sunt quaedam verba in quibus tantum imperativo modo declinamus
in secunda persona singulariter et pluraliter, item infinito modo praesentis tantum temporis. Et haec
sunt duo, ave salve, et declinantur hoc modo: infinitivo modo praesentis temporis avere te volo et vos
et illos. See also Citroni on 1, 108, 10, who, however, takes no account of the occurrence in Quintilian,
probably because his etymology, explaining ave as the imperative of avere, is false (see note on 9, praef.
This is the meaning given by LS, s.v. 2. aveo, whereas OLD, s.v. ave, gives the, as it seems, secondary
meaning to be greeted.
OLD, s.v. salve1 2.
Cf. Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 509.
I follow here the punctuation of Housman, Notes, pp. 7071 (= Class. pap., p. 985).


7 (8)
Tamquam parva foret sexus iniuria nostri
foedandos populo prostituisse mares,
iam cunae lenonis erant, ut ab ubere raptus
sordida vagitu posceret aera puer:
inmatura dabant infandas corpora poenas.
Non tulit Ausonius talia monstra pater,
idem qui teneris nuper succurrit ephebis,
ne faceret steriles saeva libido viros.
Dilexere prius pueri iuvenesque senesque,
at nunc infantes te quoque, Caesar, amant.


Like 9, 5, this poem deals with the moral legislation of Domitian, focusing on an
edict (or law) against the prostitution of children, probably passed in or shortly
before 94, as it is not mentioned previous to Martials Book 9; it also mentions the
prohibition of castration (lines 78), on which see the introduction to 9, 5. The
edict against the prostitution of children is completely unattested in any other
author than Martial, who refers to it only here and in 9, 5, save for a possible
reference to it by Statius, who, in connection with the edict against castration, says
nec lege sinistra | ferre timent famulae natorum pondera matres (silv. 3, 4, 76 f.,
unless this also concerns castration). The situation before the prohibition had
obviously become totally precarious; procurers did not refrain from snatching
infants from the very cradle and prostituting them. Allowing for some poetical
exaggeration on Martials part, it is easy to understand that Domitian felt compelled to intervene.
A notable feature of the poem is the strong emphasis on males throughout. The
pattern is set already in the first line, where Martial speaks of the iniuria sexus
nostri, alluding to the prostitution of grown-up men; female prostitution would
not have upset any contemporary Roman.1 The reference only to ephebi in line 7
is quite natural, as the subject there is castration, but it is worth noticing that
Martial in line 3 f. speaks of the prostitution of children only as a contumely
against his own sex, mentioning only the raptus puer. While Domitians prohibition would probably have concerned children in general, it was obviously only the
prostitution of small boys (and not of girls, if it existed at all) which was a big
enough problem to attract notice; cf. also Quint. inst. 7, 1, 55, quoted below on
line 3.
1. iniuria nostri: for the ending, cf. Verg. Aen. 3, 604; Ov. epist. 20, 93; met. 3,
267; trist. 4, 4, 23.

Martials disapproval of male prostitution is to be seen in connection with his contempt for male
homosexuality (see Sullivan, Martial, pp. 188 f.). Female prostitution, on the other hand, does not in the
first place necessarily imply any sexual deviations on the part of the male; female prostitutes also had a
natural place in Roman society, Martial himself took advantage of their services, and the brothels played a
part in more or less every young Romans sexual education (see Kays introduction to 11, 45; Sullivan, op.
cit., pp. 168 f.).


2. foedandos populo prostituisse: prostitute for the people to desecrate; populo

should be taken with prostituisse; cf. Plaut. Pseud. 179 cras populo prostituam
vos. As in Plautus, the use of populus expresses contempt; the allusion is to the
vilest form of prostitution, like that of the public brothels; cf. also Sen. contr. 1, 2,
12 servavit te leno, quam prostituturus erat in libidinem populi?1
mares: of male prostitutes since Ov. met. 10, 83 f. ille etiam Thracum populis
fuit auctor amorem | in teneros transferre mares (see Bmer ad loc.), then Livy
(39, 15, 9; 39 15, 13), Phaedrus (4, 15, 1), and others; cf. 9, 36, 10 and TLL, s.v.
423, 18 ff.
3. ab ubere raptus: cf. here Verg. Aen. 6, 426 ff., a passage which obviously has
influenced also the following line: Continuo auditae voces vagitus et ingens |
infantumque animae flentes, in limine primo | quos dulcis vitae exsortis et ab
ubere raptos | abstulit atra dies; the reminiscence of Vergils description of the
deceased children in Hades is very effective in this context. The same ending as
here also in Aen. 7, 484; also Ov. fast. 4, 459; cf. Stat. Ach. 1, 858.
Shackleton Bailey comments: ... a child, presumably of a slave mother, might
be snatched from the breast and sold to a leno against the mothers will.2 That
this could befall slave mothers is confirmed by Stat. silv. 3, 4, 76 f. (cited in the
introduction above). Presumably, it did not usually happen among the free; Quint.
inst. 7, 1, 55 mentions such a case (all the more horrible, since it is the father who
sells his own child) as a subject for controversiae, which largely drew their material from the most horrifying and absurd stories: it is often a matter of issue, says
Quintilian, whether or not a son is to be disinherited, who fails to appear in court
for a neglectful father, in such controversies in quibus petuntur in vincula qui
parentis suos non alunt, ut eam quae testimonium in filium peregrinitatis reum
dixit, eum qui filium lenoni vendidit.
4. sordida vagitu posceret aera: crying asked for his sordid pay, the money
being called sordidus because it is given as payment for a sordid service. For aera
poscere of a prostitute who demands her pay, cf. Iuv. 6, 125 excepit blanda intrantis atque aera poposcit. Shackleton Bailey, however, takes the words vagitu
posceret as an indication that the children were merely put out to beg, not prostituted in the ordinary sense,3 thus, it seems, understanding aera as synonymous
with stips in the sense of alms. But whereas there seems to be no reason for the
alms of an unsuspecting giver to be called sordida, it is a fitting description of the
money given to the prostituted child by his client after the act. Shackleton Baileys
explanation is further contradicted by the infandas poenas of the following
5. infandas poenas: cf. Val. Fl. 2, 173, where infanda foedera = paelicatum;
Sen. Phaedr. 115 ff. infando malo | correpta pecoris efferum saevi ducem | audax
TLL, s.v. foedo 997, 78 f., erroneously explains foedandos as castrandos, whereas the correct
explanation (de scortis masculis) is given s.v. mas 423, 18.
Shackleton Bailey, Corrections, p. 284.


amasti; Ps. Quint. decl. 3, 9 infando nexui; further instances in TLL, s.v. infandus
1345, 27 ff. The phrase leaves little doubt that children were prostituted in the full
sense of the word and thus refutes Shackleton Baileys suggested explanation
mentioned in the preceding line.
6. Ausonius pater: cf. Stat. silv. 4, 8, 20 Ausoniae pater augustissimus urbis.
For Domitian as pater, see note on 9, 5, 1 parens orbis. The present expression is
probably meant to parallel aetherius pater as an epithet of Jupiter (cf. 9, 35, 10;
36, 7; Stat. Theb. 11, 207; silv. 3, 1, 108; 186) in the same way as Palatinus Tonans parallels Tarpeius Tonans in 9, 86, 7 (see note ad loc.).
The adjective Ausonius is used by the Latin poets, on the pattern of Hellenistic
writers (e.g. Apoll. Rhod. 4, 553
), as synonymous with Italicus.1 Martial has the adjective sixteen times
(whereof five in the present book), apart from this occurrence, yet three times with
direct reference to Domitian and his court; thus 8, 21, 10 Ausonius dux (of
Domitian also Stat. silv. 4, 4, 96; used of Tiberius by Ovid in trist 2, 171; of
Scipio in Sil. 17, 619; cf. Verg. Aen. 10, 267); 9, 36, 1 Ausonius minister (of
Earinus); 12, 5, 3 Ausonia aula (of the imperial palace).








monstra: of sexual perversions, like Ov. met. 9, 735 ff. ne non tamen omnia
Crete | monstra ferat, taurum dilexit filia Solis, | femina nempe marem; TLL, s.v.
1435, 30 ff.
7. nuper: the line refers to Domitians edict against castration, issued presumably
in the mid-eighties (see 9, 5 intro.). If any conclusions can be drawn from the
vague nuper concerning the uncertain dating of the edict, it would be placed in
8587 rather than in 8183.
teneris ephebis: the same juncture also Stat. Theb. 1, 423. As in 7, 80, 9
Mitylenaei roseus mangonis ephebus, the Greek word indicates that slave-boys are
meant (see 9, 5 intro.; cf. TLL, s.v. ephebus 655, 1 ff.). Note also the parallel
position to steriles viros in the following line.
8. saeva libido: with an obvious implication of disgust; cf. Cic. Phil. 2, 45 puer
emptus libidinis causa; 13, 45 eius pueritia pertulerat libidines eorum, here emphasized by saevus with reference to the mutilation implied.
9. iuvenesque senesque: with this position in the metre also 1, 3, 5; 7, 71, 5 (7,
35, 5 immediately following the penthemimeresis); cf. Verg. Aen. 9, 309; Ov.
met. 7, 612; 8, 526; 12, 464; 15, 210; Epiced. Drusi 203; Lucan. 7, 37; Stat. Theb.
5, 149. For a similar line of thought, cf. 9, 5, 89.

Ausones was the Greek term (

) for the Aurunci, a tribe living in southern Latium (Dion. Hal. 1,
22, 3); see TLL, s.v. 1537, 32 ff.; Hlsen in RE 2, s.v. 2561; Bmer on Ov. fast. 1, 55.



8 (9)
Nil tibi legavit Fabius, Bithynice, cui tu
annua, si memini, milia sena dabas.
Plus nulli dedit ille: queri, Bithynice, noli:
annua legavit milia sena tibi.
Legacy-hunting, captatio,1 was a favourite target of the satirists from Horace
onwards; Martial deals with it also in 1, 10; 2, 32, 6; 2, 40; 4, 56; 5, 39; 8, 27; 9,
48 (in which Martial himself acts as captator); 9, 88 (where he is the victim); 11,
44; 11, 55; 11, 83; 12, 40; 12, 90. The legacy-hunters (captatores or heredipetae;
cf. 9, 14, intro.) tried to make their way into the wills of, above all, the childless
rich by means of excessive obsequiousness and extraordinary generosity;2 cf. Sen.
benef. 4, 20, 3: faciat licet omnia, quae facere bonus amicus et memor officii
debet: si animo eius obversatur spes lucri, captator est et hamum iacit (for the
metaphor of the hook, cf. Mart. 4, 56, 5). The practice was widely spread; in
Petron. 116, 6, a farm-bailiff in the city of Croton complains that quoscumque
homines in hac urbe videritis, scitote in duas partes esse divisos. Nam aut captantur aut captant. Notable is a passage from Tacitus (ann. 13, 52), as it gives an
idea of the proportions which captatio could take on. Two proconsulars of the
province of Africa, Sulpicius Camerinus and Pompeius Silvanus, stood accused of
misconduct in their office but were acquitted by Nero: Camerinum (sc. absolvit
Caesar) adversus privatos et paucos, saevitiae magis quam captarum pecuniarum
crimina obicientis: Silvanum magna vis accusatorum circumsteterat poscebatque
tempus evocandorum testium; reus ilico defendi postulabat, valuitque pecuniosa
orbitate et senecta quam ultra vitam eorum produxit quorum ambitu evaserat.3
Eventually, the senate felt compelled to intervene: Captatorias institutiones non
eas senatus improbavit, quae mutuis affectionibus iudicia provocaverunt, sed
quarum condicio confertur ad secretum alienae voluntatis (Dig. 28, 5, 71).
However, among the targets of the captatores were also those who, like Fabius, took advantage of the eagerness of the legacy-hunters, encouraging their
gifts and attendance while having no intention of inserting them in their wills; cf.
2, 40; 5, 39; 9, 48; 12, 40. By Book 12, this has given Martial a certain wisdom:
Heredem tibi me, Catulle, dicis. | Non credam, nisi legero, Catulle (12, 73). Pliny
(epist. 2, 20) presents the captator par excellence, a certain Regulus, who had
tried to trap in turn Veronia, the widow of Piso, Velleius Blaesus, a rich consular,
On the captatio as a whole and its origin, see Rudd, pp. 224 ff.; V. A. Tracy, Aut Captantur and
Captant, Latomus 39 (1980), pp. 399402; Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 1, pp. 246 ff. Cf. Citroni and
Howell on 1, 10 and Kay on 11, 44.
The victims of the captatores were not necessarily the childless. The legacy-hunter could also pick a man
who had a son and try to be appointed second heir, a position which could be equally profitable should
anything happen to the son (see Rudd., p. 226). Also old and rich widows were attended by captatores; cf.,
e.g., 1, 10; 4, 56, 9, 100 and AP 11, 65. For advice to the would-be captator, see Hor sat. 2, 5. Suitable
gifts to the victims were, apart from money, for example, old and precious wines (Mart. 2, 40), cakes
flavoured with honey from Hybla (5, 39), a boar (9, 48), turtle-doves and the barbel of a mullet (Iuv. 6,
38), quails (Iuv. 12, 97) or sweet fruits (Hor. sat. 2, 5, 12).
Cf. here Hor. sat. 2, 5, 2831 Magna minorve foro si res certabitur olim, | vivet uter locuples sine
gnatis, inprobus, ultro | qui meliorem audax vocet in ius, illius esto | defensor; fama civem causaque
priorem | sperne, domi si gnatus erit fecundave coniux.


and the distinguished lady Aurelia. From Blaesus, though, he got ne tantulum
quidem. In epist. 8, 18, Pliny tells of the enormously wealthy Cn. Domitius Tullus,1 who, in spite of having encouraged legacy-hunters (cum se captandum praebuisset), nevertheless left his money to his adopted daughter, which gave rise to
varii tota civitate sermones; to leave someone who had paid you attention completely disinherited was certainly taken as an injury, even in the case of captatores.2
In the present epigram, Bithynicus has bestowed an annual gift of 6.000 IIS on
Fabius, and still he gets nothing in return. Martial tries to comfort him: Fabius did
not bequeath a larger amount on anyone. Obviously, Bithynicus has made a misjudgement: Fabius has simply run through his money and probably had no intention of ever leaving anything to anyone; there is a similar situation in 7, 66 (see
note on Fabius below). Nevertheless, Bithynicus will save 6.000 IIS each year, no
longer having to give it to Fabius, and thus has got off rather well.
1. Nil tibi ... Bithynice: note the parallel alteration of nil tibi to plus nulli in l. 3,
the repetition of the vocative Bithynice following the hephthemimeresis,3 and also
the almost identical pentameters (annua
| milia sena
. For the name
Bithynicus as a pseudonym in an unflattering context, see also 2, 26, 3; 6, 50, 5;
12, 78, 1.


Fabius: cf. 7, 66, in which the captator Labienus complains about his legacy
being too small, although Fabius has made him sole heir. Another Fabius, in 8,
43, uses up his wives in a suspicious way.
2. si memini: in dactylic verse, either at the beginning of the line (1, 19, 1; Hor.
sat. 2, 8, 21; Prop. 2, 1, 49) or, as here, immediately before the penthemimeresis
of the hexameter or the diaeresis of the pentameter. All three occurrences in Ovid
occupy this position (am. 3, 1, 33; fast. 3, 248; 5, 646).

9 (10)
Cenes, Canthare, cum foris libenter,
clamas et maledicis et minaris.
Deponas animos truces, monemus:
liber non potes et gulosus esse.
Anyone who wants to be invited to his patrons table has to adapt himself to his
demands. There is no room for socializing on equal terms, and certainly none for
independence; one cannot behave as if among equals, nor indulge in food and
drink. An occasional invitation to dine with his patron was among the few bene1

Cf. 9, 51; also 1, 36; 3, 20, 17; 5, 28, 3.

Cf. Rudd, p. 226.
According to Schneider, pp. 56 ff., this is the usual position of vocatives corresponding to Ionici a maiore
in Martial.



fits of the clientship (cf. 9, 85), and apparently one much appreciated; when Martial in 2, 53 tries to convince Maximus that being independent is not worthwhile
for the likes of him, the dinner out is his principal argument: Liber eris, cenare
foris si, Maxime, nolis, | Veientana tuam si domat uva sitim, | si ridere potes
miseri chrysendeta Cinnae (2, 53, 3 f.). This hope of a free dinner was shared, as
he reluctantly admits, also by Martial himself; cf. 2, 18; 11, 24 (with Kays introduction). From Iuv. sat. 5, it appears that the clients, if invited at all (Iuv. sat. 1,
132 ff.), were not always met with kind treatment nor provided with good food; cf.
also Mart. 3, 60, Plin. epist. 2, 6.
The epigrams on clients and their hopes of dinners are to be distinguished
from those on professional dinner-hunters, cenipetae, on whom see 9, 14 intro.
1. f. Cenes, Canthare ... minaris: Adamik suggested the the alliteration (Cenes,
Canthare, cum foris libenter, | clamas et maledicis et minaris) would serve to
illustrate das stndige Murren des hochtnenden Kritikers.1
Canthare: the name occurs also in 11, 45, 8, but nowhere else in Latin litera,a
ture,2 although fairly common in Greek.3 It is derived from the Greek
kind of a drinking-vessel with a long stem and ears,4 and the name may in this
case be translated as Drunkard.5 Furthermore, the cantharus was the characteristic cup of Bacchus or Liber, and the god is associated with such a vessel in art
(CIL 11, 3586) as well as in literature; cf. Plin. nat. 33, 150; Macr. Sat. 5, 21, 16
scyphus Herculis poculum est, ita ut Liberi patris cantharus. Obviously, there is a
play on the name Cantharus and the word liber (Liber) in l. 4 (see below).

2. clamas etc.: Cantharus behaviour is explained by the fact that he is drunk;

apparently, he is unable to hold his liquor. Such a guest was a nightmare to the
host Nasidienus in Hor. sat. 2, 8, who turned pale when he noticed that one of his
guests, Vibidius, called for larger cups, fearing nothing as much as heavy drinkers, vel quod male dicunt liberius, vel | fervida quod subtile exsurdant vina palatum (sat. 2, 8, 37 f.).
3. animos truces: your harsh ways, animus in this sense usually in the plural;
cf., e.g., Verg. Aen. 11, 366; Sen. Tro. 1158; epist. 4, 2; TLL, s.v. 104, 46 ff.

T. Adamik, Die Funktion der Alliteration bei Martial, ZAnt 25 (1975), pp. 6975.
Plautus (Epid. 567) and Terence (Ad. 353 and Andr. 769) have the feminine form Canthara. On Andria
769, G. P. Shipp (P. Terenti Afri Andria, Melbourne 1960) comments: The name is formed as a fem. to
cantharus, name of a kind of drinking-vessel, and suits the companion of Lesbia and Archylis. K. Schmidt,
Die griechischen Personennamen bei Plautus, Hermes 37 (1902), p. 181, points to the similarity with the
name Scapha in Plautus Mostellaria.
See Pape, s.v.
See Marquardt, p. 633.
Kay (on 11, 45, 8) offers a different interpretation of the name.
Marquardt, loc. cit.



monemus: Martial mostly uses moneo and monemus paratactically, followed

either by the imperative or by the subjunctive, which in most cases is bare.1 This
parataxis, essentially a colloquialism, is Proto-Italic, although there are no preserved instances of monere with the bare subjunctive earlier than Terence.2
4. liber etc.: you cannot be both independent and gluttonous. The point is twofold, depending on the two obvious senses of the word liber: (1) free as opposed
to being a client and (2) bold, because of Cantharus being constantly drunk (as
suggested by his name); for a similar play on the word liber, see 1, 67,3 and cf. 4,
42, 12. In the present case, there may be a third possibility of interpreting liber as
a Liber (a Bacchus, i.e. a drunkard), which likewise would interact with his
name Cantharus. On ambiguous conclusions, see 9, 6 intro.

10 (5)
Nubere vis Prisco: non miror, Paula: sapisti.
Ducere te non vult Priscus: et ille sapit.
Cf. 10, 8: Nubere Paula cupit nobis, ego ducere Paulam | nolo: anus est. Vellem,
si magis esset anus. Old women seeking marriage with younger men for their own
pleasure and presumably also as a kind of status symbol are among the targets of
the vetula-Skoptik (see 9, 37 intro.), appearing also in 3, 93; 10, 8; 11, 23. In
the Greek Anthology, cf. in particular 11, 71 (Nicharus):






















.4 For a young man, however, there was little reason to marry an old
woman, apart from the fact that such a marriage might provide a way out of poverty, if the woman was rich. But this was by no means the optimal solution to
financial problems; cf. AP 11, 65 (Parmenion):














The man entering into such a marriage also ran the risk of being subjected to his
wealthy wife, which, of course, made it impossible for Martial to consider such a
marriage: Uxorem quare locupletem ducere nolim, | quaeritis? Uxori nubere nolo
meae. | Inferior matrona suo sit, Prisce, marito: | non aliter fiunt femina virque









The imperative is found also in 4, 30, 1; 6, 73, 9; 8, 44, 1; 14, 103, 1 and 14, 178, 1; the subjunctive in 1,
116, 5; 5, 56, 3; 8, 40, 4; 9, 90, 10; 12, 14, 1; 13, 15, 2 and 14, 98,1. With conjunction in 1, 116, 5 and 4,
86, 2 (where the the influence of exhortor should be considered).
Hofmann-Szantyr, 289 i, pp. 529 ff.
Although the interpretation of this epigram is not completely obvious, see the commentaries by Citroni
and Howell.
Niconoe was once in her prime, I admit that, but her prime was when Deucalion looked on the vast
waters. Of those times we have no knowledge, but of her now we know that she should seek not a husband,
but a tomb; translated by W. R. Paton, Loeb
It is difficult to choose between famine and an old woman. To hunger is terrible, but her bed is still more
painful. Phillis when starving prayed to have an elderly wife; but when he slept with her he prayed for
famine. Lo the inconstancy of a portionless son; W. R. Patons translation, Loeb.


pares (8, 12).1 If the woman was not only rich but also of good family, the situation might become even worse for the husband,2 at least as long as the wife was
alive. Hence Martials sarcastic view of the grief of Saleianus, whose wife has
recently died and left him a million (2, 65), and of the alleged self-possession of
Paetus, whose late wife has left him twenty million (5, 37, 20 ff.).
1. Prisco: a pseudonym, like most occurrences of the name in Martial. In some
cases, though, it refers to Terentius Priscus,3 and once (7, 79) perhaps to Q. Peducaeus Priscinus, consul in 93.
Paula: apart from 10, 8 quoted above, Martial uses this name of an adulteress
in 1, 74; 6, 6; 11, 7.
sapisti: present perfect, you have made a wise decision, expressing the same
thought as novi;4 this use of sapisti is found in 3, 2, 6 and 11, 106, 4.

The Earinus cycle (1113, 1617, 36)

There are six epigrams in Book 9 occasioned by a hair-offering by the eunuch
Earinus, Domitians favourite. The epigrams principally fall into two subdivisions: nos. 11-13 celebrate the name Earinus and may be referred to as the name
series and nos. 16-17, the offering series, consider the actual offering; these
five epigrams were presumably written at the time of the event they celebrate. 9,
36, in which Jupiter and Ganymede are contrasted with their earthly counterparts,
Domitian and Earinus, is separated from the others not only in space, but presumably also in time; the differences in tone and approach to the subject indicate
that it was not among the poems written primarily to celebrate the event, but
rather as a humorous offset to the others when incorporated into Book 9. On the
same occasion, Statius wrote a poem in hexameters on the locks of Earinus, published as silv. 3, 4, which is the primary source of our knowledge of Earinus; the
sole mention of him outside the works of Martial and Statius, Dio Cassius 67, 2, 3
(mentioning Earinus apropos of Domitians legislation against castration), has no
value as a source of information.5
From Statius, it appears that Earinus was sent as a boy to Rome from his native Pergamum (silv. 3, 4, 12 ff.; cf. 81 f.) and that, because of his beauty, he
seems from the very beginning to have been destined for Domitian the emperor

For the discussion, whether Martial himself was married or not (which he most certainly was not), see L.
Ascher, Was Martial really unmarried?, CW 70 (1977), pp. 441-444; J. P. Sullivan, Was Martial really
married? A reply, CW 72 (1978-79), pp. 238-239; see also Kays introduction to 11, 23.
Cf. Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 1, p. 278.
See the index nominum in the editions of Heraeus and Shackleton Bailey, s.v. Priscus and Terentius
respectively; Lippold in RE 23:1, s.v. Priscus 11, 4 f.
Hofmann-Szantyr, 178 a, p. 318.
For a detailed discussion of Earinus on the basis of the evidence from Martial and Statius, see C.
Henriksn, Earinus: An Imperial Eunuch in the Light of the Poems of Martial and Statius, Mnemosyne
50 (1997), pp. 281294.


(silv. 3, 4, 26 ff.; 38). On his arrival, he was castrated, no doubt to make his
youthful beauty last as long as possible by eliminating the onset of puberty.1 Afterwards, he was installed as Domitians cupbearer and attendant, vini minister
(cf. 9, 36, 1), a duty that usually befell handsome youngsters, who sometimes also
had to serve as their masters concubine.2 Earinus relation to Domitian is guardedly given an erotic implication through the references to Ganymede in 9, 11, 7;
16, 6; nectar in 9, 11, 5; honey in 9, 11, 3; 12, 2; and amber in 9, 12, 6.
In the year 94 (as indicated by the inclusion of the Earinus cycle in Book 9), it
was decreed that Earinus was to be allowed to cut his hair. As a minister, he
would have worn it long, falling over his neck and on his shoulders (cf. 9, 17, 8),
which was also the normal hair style of free-born children, until they began to
wear the toga virilis;3 since cupbearers kept this haircut regardless of age, they
were considered to be caught in boyhood.4 The decision was obviously made
primarily on the basis of his age: from Statius, it is quite clear that Earinus, had
he not been a eunuch, would now have been a young man (silv. 3, 4, 79) and
would not have sent unum gaudens Phoebea ad limina munus (ibid. 80) but two,
his locks and his first beard. As it is, patrias nunc solus crinis ad oras naviget
(ibid. 81 f.); the hair-offering thus corresponds to the depositio barbae, which was
impossible in the case of a eunuch. He would now have been 1618 years old (cf.
note 1 above) and eagerly awaited the release from boyhood. The hair was placed
in a golden box decorated with jewels (Stat. silv. 3, 4, 91; silv. 3 praef.), which
obviously was the usual practice,5 and sent along with a mirror set in jewelled
gold (9, 17, 5; Stat. silv. 3, 4, 94) to the Asklepieion at Pergamum, where it was

In silv. 3, 4, 65 ff., Statius is at pains to explain how a castration could be performed in the house of
Domitian, who himself had legislated against it. To this end, he has Aesculapius himself perform the
operation tacita ... arte | leniter haud ullo concussum vulnere corpus (silv. 3, 4, 69 f.), thereby toning
down the cruelty of the act while also giving it divine sanction. Vollmers suggestion (ad loc.), that haud
ullo concussum vulnere corpus implies that Earinus was in fact a thlibias, i.e. that the castration was
performed without surgery by pressing the testicles until they evanesced (cf. Paul. Aeg. 6, 68), is not
unlikely but largely depends on the age at which the castration took place. According to Paul. Aeg. 6, 68,
, which, to have any significance in this context, must refer to
the method was practised on
infants, not above the age of four or five years. The termini post and ante quem for the castration itself is
Domitians ascension to the throne in 81 and the latest possible date for his edict against castration (8687;
see 9, 5 intro.); furthermore, it appears that Earinus hair-offering was a kind of substitute for the depositio
barbae, and he would therefore have been somewhere between sixteen and twenty years old at the hairoffering in 94 (see below). Assuming that Earinus was at least sixteen in 94 and that the castration took
place at the earliest possible date, i.e. in 81, he would have been three years old at the time of the castration,
a perfectly acceptable age for a
; perhaps he could have been made a thlibias even at the
age of four or five (in which case he would have been seventeen or eighteen at the time of the hair
offering). On the other hand, if he was castrated at the latest date possible, in 86 or 87, his having been
made a thlibias seems much less likely: assuming that he was and that this operation was not performed on
boys older than five, he would have been 1112 years old in 94, an age presumably too young for the
depositio barbae. Most likely, then, Earinus was castrated in 8183 at the age of 35, and 1618 years old
at the hair-offering in 94.
Cf. 12, 96; Sen. epist. 47, 7 (quoted below); 95, 24 (quoted on 9, 36, 5); Blmner, Privataltertmer, p.
Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 271
Sen epist. 47, 7 may be quoted here in full: Alius vini minister in muliebrem modum ornatus cum aetate
luctatur: non potest effugere pueritiam, retrahitur, iamque militari habitu glaber retritis pilis aut
penitus evulsis tota nocte pervigilat, quam inter ebrietatem domini ac libidinem dividit et in cubiculo
vir, in convivio puer est.
The use of such a precious box was naturally restricted to the imperial family and the very rich; cf. Suet.
Nero 12, 19; Dio Cass. 61, 19, 1; Petron. 29, 8.




consecrated to Aesculapius, presumably with some dedicatory verses accompanying it, like those found in AP 6, 198 (Antipater of Thessalonica), 278 (Rhianus)
and 279 (Euphorion).1 That either Statius or Martials poems were meant to
accompany Earinus offering as dedicatory poems, is, however, improbable, as
such poems would have been likely to have been written in Greek.
Subsequently, Earinus was also manumitted, and it is a curious fact that neither Statius nor Martial takes advantage of this opportunity to flatter the emperor
in their poems on the hair-offering. The explanation seems to be that, when the
poems were written, Earinus had not yet received his freedom: 9, 36 seems to
imply that Earinus is no longer in the service of Domitian, but the sole explicit
mention of Earinus as freedman is found in the preface to Silvae 3 (see below).
However, neither 9, 36 nor the preface to Silvae 3 was written on the event of the
hair-offering, but when the respective books were put together for publishing.2
Consequently, at that time, Earinus had been manumitted, but presumably he had
not been when the poems celebrating the hair-offering were written, which may
have been at any time between the beginning of 94 and the autumn of the same
Of the conception of the Earinus poems, we know only as much as Statius tells
us in the preface to Silvae 3, that Earinus had asked him to celebrate his dedication in verse: Earinus praeterea, Germanici nostri libertus scis quamdiu
desiderium eius moratus sim, cum petisset ut capillos suos quos cum gemmata
pyxide et speculo ad Pergamenum Asclepium mittebat, versibus dedicarem. Statius, then, has written his poem at the direct request of Earinus himself, that is,
indirectly at the request of the emperor.4 Hence, the question arises whether Mar1

Vollmer, p. 422, points out that the cult of the home town was usually preferred at such offerings (cf.
Hom. Il. 23, 144 ff.; Stat. Theb. 6, 610; Sil. 4, 200). Naturally, Earinus had also a specific reason to choose
Aesculapius as the recipient of his offering: through his castration, he had made closer contact with the god
of medicine, who had a major sanctuary in his home town of Pergamum, a sanctuary which, while still at
the beginning of its period of greatness, was already competing with the other gods of Pergamum, Zeus,
Athena and Dionysus. It may even be that Earinus had chosen Aesculapius as his patron deity, as Minerva
was that of Domitian (see note on 9, 3, 10 res agit tuas). See further Henriksn, op. cit., pp. 289 ff.
Practically at the same time, probably in the second half of the year 94; see the introduction, pp. 12 f.
The termini post and ante quem are set by the publication of Martials Book 8, probably at the beginning
of 94 (Citroni, Letteratura per i Saturnali, pp. 223 f.) and of Book 9 in the autumn of the same year. The
manumission need not be taken as a reason for letting Earinus cut his hair. It is true that slaves upon
manumission might cut their long hair, the insignia of slavery, and offer it to the gods (cf. Plaut. Amph.
462; Serv. Aen. 8, 564), as an old fisherman offers his tools to the seagods (as in AP 6, 27) or a wornout
soldier offers his arms to Ares (AP 6, 81). However, manumission was not a requirement, as is shown by
the case of Encolpos, the slaveboy of Martials friend the centurion Aulus Pudens: in 1, 31, the locks of
Encolpos are vowed to Apollo for Pudens promotion to primipilus; in 5, 48, at last, Encolpos is allowed to
cut his hair, presumably without Pudens having got his promotion. Probably, Encolpos was tired of waiting
and, eager to be recognized as an adult, had persuaded his master to permit the cutting of his locks; but
neither in 1, 31 nor in 5, 48 is there a word to indicate that Encolpos could look forward to manumission in
connection with the cutting of his tresses (cf. also 12, 24 f.).
Statius statement, that he had delayed the composition of the poem, indicates that, in one way or another,
he had problems in composing it. Garthwaite (Court Poets, pp. 94 ff.) ascribes this to the difficulties
presented by the subject, above all, the fact that Earinus was the eunuch of an emperor who had himself
forbidden castration, but the reason would rather be that Martial divulged his poems first and that this
caused Statius problems. As Heuvel (p. 324) has pointed out, Statius in the case of Earinus completely
abstains from facetious etymologies, of which he is otherwise very fond (cf. Vollmer on silv. 1, 1, 6) and
this abstinence is probably explained by the fact that Martial had already exhausted the possibilities of
etymological play on Earinus name. However, Garthwaite is, I think, right in rejecting Vesseys theory that
Statius delay does not imply any diffidence in executing it, but is merely an expression of affected


tial received a similar request or whether he composed the poems of the Earinus
cycle on his own initiative. It has mostly been agreed that Martial, like Statius,
wrote his poems at an imperial command1 or that he at least knew of Statius
commission and felt compelled to write something similar.2 But there is also a
third possibility to be considered: if the offering of Earinus was such a notable
event as we may suspect, then it seems likely that contemporary poets would have
come forward spontaneously to celebrate it, whether or not they knew of other
poets doing the same thing or having been commissioned to do so (cf. note on 9,
11, 13). Consequently, Martial, knowing or not knowing of Statius work, would
certainly not have missed such an opportunity to commemorate an important
happening within the palace, regardless of whether or not he had got an imperial
commission for his poems. His reason for writing them cannot, and need not, be
established with greater certainty than that. Statius was asked to compose a poem
which was not intended to accompany the locks of Earinus to Pergamum, but to
celebrate and commemorate the event. Martials aims, whether he had been commissioned to write the poems or not, would have been much the same, and so the
poets celebrated the offering each in his own significant way, Statius by composing a large poem in the epic style with quasi-mythological elements and Martial
by writing several smaller pieces and presenting them to the emperor and Earinus
as a libellus (see 9, 16 intro.).
Except for the note in Dio Cassius (above), Earinus is not mentioned either
before or after Martials Earinus cycle and Statius Silvae 3, 4. This fact, in addition to the absence of sentimental epithets (Earinus meus, carissimus, etc.) which
would argue for familiarity and friendship with him,3 suggests that he was not
one of the close acquaintances of either poet.

modesty, which stresses the fact that in composing verses for Domitians eye special care and preparation
were necessary (D. Vessey, Statius and the Thebaid, Cambridge 1973, pp. 28 f.; see Garthwaite, Court
Poets, pp. 91 ff.). Likewise, Garthwaite is right in defusing Vesseys stress on the fact that Domitians
baldness would have presented a problem in a poem about hair, for, as Garthwaite (Court Poets, p. 94)
says, if Domitian was as acutely sensitive on the subject of hair as Suetonius suggests, he would hardly
have commissioned the poem in the first place. It is also worth noting that Domitian himself had in fact
written and published a book on baldness (Jones, Domitian, p. 13).
So White, Friends, p. 290; Garthwaite, Court Poets, p. 64.
Hofmann, Motivvariationen, p. 45.
White, Friends, pp. 290 f.


Nomen cum violis rosisque natum,
quo pars optima nominatur anni,
Hyblam quod sapit Atticosque flores,
quod nidos olet alitis superbae;
nomen nectare dulcius beato,
quo mallet Cybeles puer vocari
et qui pocula temperat Tonanti,
quod si Parrhasia sones in aula,
respondent Veneres Cupidinesque;
nomen nobile, molle, delicatum
versu dicere non rudi volebam:
sed tu syllaba contumax rebellas.
Dicunt Eiarinon tamen poetae,
sed Graeci, quibus est nihil negatum
et quos
decet sonare:
nobis non licet esse tam disertis,
qui Musas colimus severiores.



The first poem of the Earinus cycle opens with a series of paraphrases of the name
Earinus (a Latin transcription of the Greek adjective
, of spring),1 successively providing the reader with more and more information, until the name is
finally revealed in line 13, not even then in its correct Latin form, but in Greek.
First, Martial lets us know that the name was born with violets and roses, suggesting a connection with spring. The notion of pleasure is further increased by
references to honey and fragrances, followed by a series of highly charged topics:
nectar, Attis and Ganymede, concluding with an allusion to the passer Catulli.
Through the reference to the imperial palace, the much discussed Veneres
Cupidinesque and a series of charged adjectives, the reader is brought to the turning-point of the poem: the rebellious syllable, which prevents Martial from fitting
the name Earinus into his verse. The second section forms a glaring contrast to
the former; the lyrical Martial has turned into a small-minded grumbler expressing his disdain for the lax prosody of the Greeks. Yet, by this device, he accomplishes something important: he reveals to the reader the identity of his object,
whose name he even manages to fit into his verse as an example of the licentious
practice of the detested Greeks, thereby avoiding any metrical errors on his own
part. Thus, he fulfils both of the wishes expressed in line 11: the name of the
emperors favourite appears in the poem, and yet his verse is non rudis.

1. violis: in Greece as in Rome, the violet was considered a messenger of spring.

According to Theophrastus hist. plant. 6, 8, 1, the gillyflower was the first to
appear, where the air is mild, even as soon as winter comes. A similar account is
given by Pliny (nat. 21, 64): Florum prima ver nuntiat viola alba, tepidioribus
vero locis etiam hieme emicat; cf. also Ov. trist. 3, 12, 1 ff. and AP 5, 144, 1 f.

Such paraphrases of a specific name can be observed also in Greek epigram (see Schmoock, p. 91).


(Meleager). The violet was also associated with Attis (see note on Cybeles puer
below): according to Arnobius 5, 7, Attis castrated himself beneath a spruce; out
of his blood, violets shot forth.1 Presumably, Martial had this story in mind, even
though Attis is not properly introduced until line 6.
rosisque: the rose was the last flower to bloom (Plin. nat. 21, 65).2 Mentioning
it together with violets, Martial marks off the spring, violets being its beginning
and roses its end, but the two would also convey a sense of pleasure; cf. Cic. Tusc.
5, 73: (A) Etiamne in cruciatu atque tormentis? (M) An tu me in viola putabas aut
in rosa dicere? where among violets and roses (used at banquets as stuffing for
pillows) is equal to amidst the highest pleasure. Roses are otherwise generally
mentioned with violets in connection with wreaths and garlands (see note on 9,
60, 1).
3. Hyblam quod sapit flores: conveying a sense of sweetness and pleasure, as
in 5, 37, 10, where Erotions breath is described as being as fragrant as the first
honey of Attica; cf. also AP 12, 133, 6 (Meleager), likening the kiss of the fair
Antiochus to a drink of
(the sweet honey of the soul). There
is some erotic implication in the word, though less than in nectar (below).
The very best and sweetest honey was that which was produced in Attica,3 especially on Mt. Hymettos, which also has its own distich in the Xenia (13, 104).
The second best was that of Mt. Hybla in Sicily; Martial mentions it side by side
with that of Attica also in 7, 88,8 and 11, 42, 3, and alone in 2, 46, 1; 5, 39, 3; 9,
26, 4 and 13, 105. The finest honey was that extracted from thyme (Plin. nat. 11,
38), but violets and roses also played a part in its production; cf. Colum. 9, 4, 4
Mille praeterea semina flores amicissimos apibus creant At in hortensi lira
consita nitent candida lilia, nec his sordidiora leucoia, tum puniceae rosae luteolaeque.


4. nidos ... alitis superbae: the Phoenix, superbus meaning grand or proud.
This epithet applied to the Phoenix is found only in Martial, who uses it also in 6,
55, 2, again with allusion to the Phoenix nest being full of fragrances. The idea
of the Phoenix building its nest of fragrant material first appears in an account by
the senator Manilius (beginning of 1st century BC4), from whom Pliny drew his
information in nat. 10, 4 f. It is elaborated by Ovid in met. 15, 392 ff.; see Bmer,
ad loc., pp. 357 ff.
The plural nidos may refer to the Phoenix building not one single nest, but one
nest every five hundred years; the name of Earinus smells of all the nests of the

The death of Attis as a consequence of his castration and the violets growing from his blood symbolize the
turn of the seasons, the violets symbolizing spring; cf. Rapp in Roscher, s.v. Attis 716 ff.
Cicero makes use of the late blooming of the rose to slander Verres (Verr. II 5, 27): Cum autem ver esse
coeperat (cuius initium iste [sc. Verres] non a Favonio neque ab aliquo astro notabat, sed cum rosam
viderat, tum incipere ver arbitrabatur) dabat se labori atque itineribus. See also Levens interpretation
of this passage (R. G. C. Levens, Cicero, The Fifth Verrine Oration, London 1944).
On honey in antiquity, see Schuster in RE 15, s.v. mel 367 ff.
See Mnzer in RE 14, s.v. Manilius 4, 1115. Pliny, nat. 10, 4, describes him as senator ille maximis
nobilis doctrinis doctore nullo.


5. nectare beato: this juncture only here and in Stat. silv. 3, 1, 26 f. The epithet alludes to its connection with the gods;1 cf. 8, 39, 3 sacrum nectar (also Stat.
silv. 4, 2, 54), 4, 8, 9 aetherium nectar (AP 9, 404, 8
), Ov.
met. 4, 252 caeleste nectar. Similar epithets are to be found in Greek, for example, AP 7, 31, 6
; Nonn. Dionys. 40, 421
Besides having a symbolic value as the drink of the gods, nectar is often used
in an erotic context and usually in connection with Ganymede (see below) as a
metaphor for kisses. Cf. AP 12, 133 (Meleager), where the poet says, that in
summer, when he was thirsty, he kissed the tender-fleshed boy (i.e. his darling
Antiochus) and was relieved of his thirst. He then calls to Zeus: Father Zeus, do
you drink the nectareous kiss of Ganymede, and is this the wine he tenders to your
lips?.2 See note on 9, 36, 12 with further instances.




6. Cybeles puer: The story of Attis occurs in different versions, the most common
being the one related by Ovid in fast. 4, 223 ff. (see Bmer ad loc.). Here, Attis is
a beautiful youth, with whom the goddess Cybele falls in love and has him make a
vow of chastity. Attis breaks the vow with the nymph Sagaritis, who is then killed
by Cybele, whereupon Attis goes mad, cuts off his genitals and dies beneath a
spruce.3 Some sources (e.g. Diod. 3, 5859) state that Attis rose from the dead, a
symbol of spring returning after the winter, symbolized by Attis death (on Attis
and violets, see note on violis above). This association of Attis with springtime
was very old in Phrygia, where a special feast was celebrated in springtime. Once
the cult of Attis was brought to Rome, the spring feast was magnificently celebrated from Claudius onwards, beginning on the 22nd of March and culminating
on the 24th with the dies sanguinis, when the galli castrated themselves.4
The introduction of Attis, associated with springtime as well as with castration, is thus ingenious, making it possible to allude not only to the notion of
spring in Earinus name, but also quite irreproachably to the fact that he, like
Earinus, was a eunuch. Probably Martial, like Statius, felt that such an allusion
had to be made but also that extreme caution had to be exercised, as Domitian
himself had legislated against castration; there could be no better solution than the
introduction of Attis, by which castration could be alluded to under the cloak of
springtime. Statius, who in silv. 3, 4 refrains from any mention of spring, had to
solve the problem in a more strained way (silv. 3, 4, 65 ff.).
7. qui pocula Tonanti: Ganymede is naturally the model for the cupbearer (cf.
7, 50, 3; 9, 103; 10, 66, 7), and his relation with Jupiter the model for the sexual
relationship between the cupbearer and his master in general (cf. Sen. epist. 47, 7;
Lucian. dial. deor. 10; the word catamite is etymologically derived from the
Beatus is thus in this case synonymous with divinus. The listing of the TLL, s.v. beatus 1915, 33 ff., of
this occurrence under the heading de rebus vel ipsis felicibus vel homines reddentibus felices can hardly
be correct.
Translation by W. R. Paton, Loeb.
Except for the emasculation, none of this is mentioned in the most famous single Latin poem on Attis,
Catull. 63.
See Cumont in RE 2, s.v. Attis 2247 ff.


name, via the Latin variant Catamitus, cf. OLD, s.v.), but the comparison is here
of special significance, as Ganymede, the cupbearer of the heavenly Tonans,
parallels Earinus, the cupbearer of the earthly. Erotic epigrams likening fair boys
to Ganymede or alluding to Jupiters relation with him are common in the Greek
Anthology,1 and Martial uses the theme or hints at it in several other epigrams,
for example, 2, 43; 3, 39, 1; 5, 55; 7, 47; 8, 46; 9, 22, 12; 10, 98; 11, 26; 11, 43;
11, 104, 19 ff.; cf. note on 9, 36, 12 qui nectar misceat.
8. Parrhasia: = Palatina. Originally, Parrhasia was used of the region in Arcadia
in which the town of Parrhasia lay; thus, for example, Callimachus Hymn 1, 10,
is equivalent to
. Subsequently, Parrhasius
came to be used of things or persons with any connection with Arcadia; thus, for
example, Ov. met. 8, 315 Parrhasius Ancaeus (of Ancaeus of Tegea, referred to
simply as Arcas in met. 8, 391); Lucan. 9, 660 Parrhasiae pinnae (of the wings of
Mercury); Val. Fl. 4, 138 Parrhasium galerum (of Mercurys hat). Callisto is
frequently referred to as Parrhasia or Parrhasis (the latter being a Grecism introduced by Ovid; cf. Bmer on met. 2, 460); Parrhasia ursa is hence the Great
Parrhasius may be substituted for Palatinus because of the Palatines connection with Evander, who came from Arcadia (Ov. fast. 1, 478 deserit Arcadiam
Parrhasiumque larem) to Italy and settled on the Palatine hill, which he named
Palatium after his home town Pallantium in Arcadia.2




aula: of the imperial palace also epigr. 2, 10; 5, 6, 8 (sanctior); 7, 40, 1

(Augusta); 9, 16, 3; 9, 36, 10; 12, 5, 3 (Ausonia); cf. Stat. silv. 3, 3, 67 (Tibereia)
and 4, 2, 23; cf. 9, 35, 3 Arsacia ... aula of the royal palace of the Parthians. Martial uses it with the epithet Parrhasia also in 7, 99, 3; 8, 36, 3; 12, 15, 1; cf. 7, 56,
2 Parrhasia domus.
sones: not sing the praises of, but synonymous with voces or clames; cf. 2,
72, 5 f. auctorem criminis huius | Caecilium tota rumor in urbe sonat; OLD, s.v.
9. Veneres Cupidinesque: cf. 11, 13, 5 f. omnes Veneres Cupidinesque | hoc sunt
condita, quo Paris, sepulchro. Venus and her suite are, of course, closely connected with springtime (see the introduction to 9, 12), but the reference to Catullus (3, 1 lugete o Veneres Cupidinesque, on the death of Lesbias sparrow; also
13, 12) is obvious, and intentionally so. Garthwaite writes: We are so strongly
reminded of Catullus grieving Venuses and Cupids that we sense a rather
mournful response. But why should Martial suggest that these deities weep for

For example, 12, 69 (anonymous)





















(Take thy delight, Zeus, with thy former Ganymede, and look from afar, O King,
on my Dexandrus. I grudge it not. But if thou carriest away the fair boy by force, no longer is thy tyranny
supportable. Let even life go if I must live under thy rule; transl. by W. R. Paton, Loeb). Other examples
are AP 5, 65; 12, 37; 12, 68; 12, 70; 12, 133; 12, 194; and 12, 221.
So Pliny nat. 4, 20; see Robert in RE 6, s.v. Evandros 839 ff.





Earinus when they hear his name? The answer, perhaps, lies in what Martial
thought they were weeping for in Catullus poems on the death of the sparrow.1
There is little doubt that this is a hint in the right direction, since the passer of
Catullus poem is nothing but an euphemism for his own penis.2 This was, of
course, evident to Martial, who himself frequently refers to the passer Catulli (1,
7, 3; 1, 109, 1; 4, 14, 14; 7, 14, 4; 11, 6, 16) with an obscene implication.3 Consequently, the Venuses and Cupids would let the name Earinus echo through the
Palatine halls as a sign of mourning for the boys lost virility, and the line is yet
another reference to Earinus being a eunuch, hidden behind the deities of love.
The word-for-word interpretation, that the genii of love respond when the name
Earinus is sounded in the halls of the imperial palace simply because Earinus is
dear to them, simply provides the cover.4
10. nobile: Martial would refer to the name Earinus as nobile because of its qualities listed above rather than because Earinus himself is the attendant of Domitian,
as suggested by Garthwaite.5 The epithet stands out against the other adjectives in
this line; the lofty word, effectively placed just before the caesura, is contrasted
with the following molle and delicatum, which may have a more charged meaning
(see below).
molle: sweet; cf. Cic. off. 1, 37 quid ad hunc mansuetudinem addi potest,
eum, quicum bellum geras, tam molli nomine appellare, but also effeminate; cf.
Ov. fast 4, 243 mollesque ministri (sc. Cybeles) and see note on 9, 25, 3 mollem.
delicatum: = elegans, almost synonymous with molle. Note, however, that
also this word is capable of bearing a meaning in malam partem, like 3, 58, 32 et
delicatus opere fruitur eunuchus; there are instances of its being used side by side
with mollis in the negative sense, for example, Cic. fin. 1, 37; 5, 12; Sen. epist.
66, 49; see TLL, s.v. 444, 80 ff.
11. versu dicere: also 10, 64, 5 lascivo dicere versu; cf. Hor. sat. 1, 5, 87 oppidulo, quod versu dicere non est (of a town the name of which cannot be accommodated in verse [Aequum Tuticum? Asculum Apulum?], see Lejay ad loc.).
non rudi: rudis means roughly fashioned, unpolished and alludes to the
quality of the verse. If Martial was to incorporate the name PLSQ GLRM FGQ TCPQC
volebam: with regard to the following rebellas, this could be considered imperfectum praesens of an action begun in the past but continuing in the present

Court Poets, p. 70.

As demonstrated by G. Giangrande, Catullus lyrics on the passer, MPhL 1 (1975), pp. 137-146. He is
joined by Y. Nadeau, O passer nequam (Catullus 2, 3), Latomus 39 (1980), pp. 879-880.
Garthwaite, op. cit., pp. 70 ff.; Y. Nadeau, Catullus Sparrow, Martial, Juvenal and Ovid, Latomus 43
(1984), pp. 861-868.
Hofmann, Motivvariationen, p. 46, takes account only of this interpretation.
Op. cit., p. 69.


time;1 the use is colloquial, as in Plaut. Asin. 392 quid quaeritas Demaenetum
12. syllaba contumax: the





s name, 3RALSQ, into his elegiacs. Such humorous problems can be said to form a small topos; cf. Hor. sat. 1, 5, 87 quoted above
(with Lejays note); Manil. 2, 897. Cf. also the name TBSQ which can only be
fitted into dactylic verse or hendecasyllabic in the vocative; hence Martials description of Ovid as Paelignus ... poeta in 2, 41, 2.

; the Greek poets from Homer on

13. Eiarinon: instead of the usual form
allow themselves to lengthen certain syllables in words which otherwise would not
fit the metre, so-called productio epica;2 cf., e.g., Hom. Il. 16, 643
. White suggested that the line indicates that also Greek poets took upon
themselves to celebrate Earinus.3 This is, of course, quite possible, and Martial,
considering his views of the Greeks (see 9, 40 intro.), would probably not have
welcomed such competition.




q$UHM s$UHM:

from Hom. Il. 5, 31 and 5, 455

(Ares, Ares, bane of men, blood-stained stormer of
walls). There is an echo of it in AP 11, 191, an epigram on a careless barber

), and Lucilius (fragm. 345 ff. Krenkel) mentions it in
discussing quantities: aa primum longa, a brevis syllaba: nos tamen unum | hoc
faciemus et uno eodemque ut dicimus pacto | scribemus pacem, placide,
Ianum; aridum, acetum, |
Graeci ut faciunt. For other examples of the Greek poets licence in changing the quantities of the vowels to fit
the metre, see Korzeniewski, loc. cit.














16. nobis disertis: cf. Ov. epist. 14, 64 quo mihi commisso non licet esse
piae?; 15, 134 et siccae non licet esse mihi. The dative of the adjective is in these
cases due to assimilation to the case of nobis etc., which since Plautus is the regular construction when licet stands with mihi, tibi, etc. (the accusative, which occurs from Cicero and Caesar onwards, is more rarely used).5 The wide extension
of this construction in Greek made Lfstedt suspect at least some Greek influence
on authors like Ovid and Horace (who has the dative also with active dare; cf.
epist. 1, 16, 61 da mihi fallere | da iusto sanctoque videri) in this respect.6

HofmannSzantyr, 176, Zus. a, p. 316.

Cf. Hjalmar Frisk, Griechisches etymologisches Wrterbuch, Heidelberg 1960, vol. I, p. 433. Of the
phenomenon in general, see D. Korzeniewski, Griechische Metrik, Darmstadt 1968, p. 23.
Friends, p. 291, n. 37.
Ares, Ares, destroyer of men, blood-fiend, cease, barber, from cutting me, for you have no place left in
which to cut me; translation by W. R. Paton, Loeb.
HofmannSzantyr, 191, II Zus. , p. 349.
Synt. 2, pp. 107 f.


12 (13)
Nomen habes teneri quod tempora nuncupat anni,
cum breve Cecropiae ver populantur apes;
nomen Acidalia meruit quod harundine pingi,
quod Cytherea sua scribere gaudet acu;
nomen Erythraeis quod littera facta lapillis,
gemma quod Heliadum pollice trita notet;
quod pinna scribente grues ad sidera tollant;
quod decet in sola Caesaris esse domo.

The second epigram of the cycle resembles the first section of 9, 11, inasmuch as
Martials concern is still the celebration of the sweet name of Earinus, a task to
which he can now devote himself entirely, having got rid in the previous poem of
the problem that it cannot be fitted into Latin verse. One obvious difference between this epigram and 9, 11 (as indeed the other Earinus poems as well) is that
Martial now, for the sake of variation, turns to address Earinus directly. Still, he
keeps a notable distance; there is no sign of familiarity, not even a vocative of the
elevated kind used by Statius (silv. 3, 4, 60 care puer); cf. the introduction to the
Earinus cycle.
The first lines of the poem, referring to Earinus connection with springtime,
recalls the opening of 9, 11, but Martial has now added a bitter-sweet notion of
the brevity of springtime: it explodes in cascades of beauty and flowers, and then
fades away, having been exploited to the point of bursting by bees, who know that
the spring is short and that the opportunity must be seized. This is probably an
allegory of the fate of a eunuch;1 for a short time, he is in the prime of his youth,
during which he is exploited by his master, just as the flowers of the short spring
are savaged by the bees in their search for nectar.2 As he gets older, he turns into a
fat and disgusting sexless being; cf. the complaints of Pythias in Ter. Eun. 687 ff.
ad nos deductus hodiest adulescentulus, | quem tu videre vero velles, Phaedria. |
hic est vietu vetu veternosus senex,| colore mustelino; Hor. epod. 9, 13 f. spadonibus rugosis; Lucian. Am. 21
.3 Claud. 18, 469 mixta duplex aetas (sc.
eunuchi); inter puerumque senemque nil medium.4
In line 3, Martial introduces a new approach to the name of Earinus by mentioning five different ways in which the name should be depicted: with a pen
made of a reed from the fountain of the Graces, with the embroidery needle of
Venus, with a figure of Indian pearls, with rubbed amber, and by the formation of
a flock of cranes in flight. The first two references, to the Acidalian pen and the
needle of Venus, are warranted by the connection of the goddess of love and the
Graces with springtime; cf., e.g., Hor. carm. 1, 4, 5-7 (see Nisbet & Hubbard, p.










Garthwaite, Court Poets, p. 76, suggests that the metaphor alludes to Earinus experience of his
Cf. the erotic notion of nectar in 9, 11, 5.
The bloom that has lingered with them in their youth makes them fade prematurely into old age;
translation by M. D. Macleod, Loeb.
Cf. Hug in RE Suppl. 3, s.v. Eunuchen 453.


59, and notes ad locc.) The significance of the following lines is less obvious.
Martial continues with the statement that the name is worthy of being represented
by a letter, made of the precious Indian pearls, which Martial often applies as an
example of redundant luxury as well as pure beauty.1 Amber is likewise used as a
symbol of luxury but carries a stronger amatory meaning (see below). As for the
cranes, there is no notion of love, beauty or luxury and, indeed, there is no need
for them. The fact that nature herself lets Earinus initial (however, in Latin) be
seen in the firmament, the domain of Jupiter, is in itself more than enough; suggesting that Earinus is also the favourite of the gods, it prepares the ground for the
conclusive verse: there is no place on earth for Earinus, except in the palace of the
earthly Tonans, Domitian.
1. Nomen habes: at the beginning of the hexameter also 13, 78, 1; Ov. am. 3, 6,
91; Ov. ars 3, 536; met. 5, 461; 9, 665; 13, 570; fast. 2, 132.
nuncupat: very rare in poetry, found only here and in Ov. met. 14, 608 (see
Bmer, ad loc.); fast. 1, 246.
2. cum breve etc.: cf. 2, 46, 2 cum breve Sicaniae ver populantur apes.
breve ver: also Ov. met. 1, 116; 10, 85. As in Ovid, the meaning is the all
too short springtime (cf. Bmer on met. 1, 116). In this case, ver is used metonymically, meaning not only the springtime as an abstraction, but, as indicated
by populantur, also the luxuriant flora it brings in its train.
Cecropiae apes: the bees of Attica produced what was considered the best
honey (cf. note on 9, 11, 3). They are mentioned also in 6, 34, 4 and 11, 42, 4 (cf.
Verg. georg. 4, 177).
3. Acidalia harundine: i.e. a calamus or reed-pen, like 1, 3, 10, neve notet
lusus tristis harundo tuos, and 14, 209, 2 inoffensa curret harundo via.
Acidalius, derived from the Fons Acidalius in Boeotia, the fountain of the
Graces, is found only four times in classical Latin literature. Whereas the present
instance is perhaps best taken as alluding to the Graces (with the following line
devoted to Venus), the other three occurrences all refer to the goddess; thus, 6, 13,
5 Acidalius nodus (the cestus); Verg. Aen. 1, 720 mater Acidalia; Laus Pis. 91
Acidalia ales (the dove).2 Austin (on Aen. 1, 720) presumes that Vergil borrowed

Garthwaite complicates the matter, saying that Martial appears to be thinking of a specific letter or shape
commonly associated with, or formed from, pearls and having some connection with Earinus name.
dicunt, vel certe
Cf. Serv. Aen. 1, 720 Acidalia Venus dicitur vel quia inicit curas, quas Graeci
a fonte Acidalio qui est in Orchomeno Boeotiae civitate, in quo se Gratiae lavant, quas Veneri esse
constat sacratas; it is, however, doubtful whether the Greeks actually used the word
in the sense of
curae; cf. TGL, s.v.
1208, 1 ff. (the word is missing in LSJ). Servius note appears to be the source
of similar information in [Mythogr.] 2, 36; Vib. Seq. geogr. 164; Gloss. V 615, 49.




the adjective from some Hellenistic source, even though there is no preserved
instance of
applied to Aphrodite.1
Acidalia harundo may signify either a pen made of reed from the Graces
fountain or one made of reed from Cnidus, a centre of the cult of Aphrodite in
south-western Asia Minor, both suppliers of high-quality reed to be used in pens
(Plin. nat. 16, 157). For the connection of Venus and the Graces with spring, see
the introduction above.


pingi: the usual word with harundo or calamus is naturally scribere. The use
of pingere here suggests that ornamental writing is meant.
4. scribere acu: embroider, also Sil. 14, 660 scribuntur acu. Whereas the
normal expression is pingere acu (e.g. 8, 28, 17 f.; cf. Verg. Aen. 11, 777; Ov.
met. 6, 23), the use of scribere in the present case may be due to the fact that the
reference is to the embroidering not of shapes, but of letters; note, however, that
Greek occasionally has
(e.g. Arist. Ran. 938). Martial associated the art
of embroidering with the Babylonians (8, 28, 17; 14, 150), and Pliny ascribes it to
the Phrygians (nat. 8, 196), even though it was much older than that, going back
to the earliest peoples of the East; see Hug in RE 2:3, s.v. Stickerei 2490 ff.;
Blmner, Technologie, pp. 218-222.

5. Erythraeis lapillis: on the costliness of Indian pearls, see note on 9, 2, 9.

The practice of marking happy days (or nights) on the calendar with a pearl (as an
expensive substitute for the ordinary chalk; cf. 10, 38, 5; Stat. silv. 4, 6, 18) seems
to be of no particular relevance here.
6. Gemma Heliadum pollice trita: according to the myth, the Heliades,
daughters of the sun-god Helios, were transformed into poplars mourning their
brother Phaeton. They continued to weep even after the metamorphosis, and from
their tears, amber arose; Ap. Rhod. 4, 595 ff.; Ov. met. 2, 340 ff.; Verg. Aen. 10,
189 (with Servius).
Like Indian pearls, amber was used as a model of costliness; in 4, 59, Martial
considers a viper, accidentally encapsulated in amber, to be buried in a nobler
tomb than Cleopatra, and in 6, 15, an ant which met with the same accident is
regarded as funeribus facta pretiosa suis. But amber also has a marked amatory
implication; cf. 3, 65, 5 ff. quod sucina trita ... hoc tua, saeve puer Diadumene,
basia fragrant; 5, 37, 9 ff. fragravit ore (sc. Erotion) quod sucinorum rapta de
manu glaeba; 11, 8, 6 ff. Sucina virginea quod regelata manu ... Hoc fragrant
pueri basia mane mei; cf. also Iuv. 6, 573. All mention the amber as rubbed with
the fingers or tepid from having been rubbed, the reason for which is that amber
from a special kind of pine, now extinct, was used as a perfume for the hands;

The word is equally rare in Greek; cf. Pind. fr. 244

mentioning the Graces as coming
magnum and Suda, s.v.





; Menophilus in Stob. 4, 21a, 7,

; cf. also Etymologicum


when rubbed with the fingers, it emitted a fragrance of pine and camphor.1 It was
also rare and expensive; see Kays note on 11, 8, 6.
notet: you have a name, which a letter made of pearls etc. may present; for
the expression, cf. Suet. Aug. 97, 2 centum quem numerum C littera notaret;
Quint. inst. 1, 7, 29 Subura cum tribus litteris notatur. The hortative subjunctive expresses the same thought as meruit in line 3.
7. pinna scribente grues: the letter v ( ), the first letter of the word ver, which,
according to the myth, got its form from the triangular formation of a flock of
cranes in flight. The mythological inventor Palamedes, who is credited with the
invention of the alphabet or at least of some of its letters,2 was considered to have
got the forms of the letters from the flight and behaviour of birds, especially of the
crane; cf. 13, 75 (Grues): Turbabis versus nec littera tota volabit, | unam perdideris si Palamedis avem; Auson. 16, 13, 25 Prete; Philostr. Her. 10, 3; 10, 1.

8. Caesaris esse domo: cf. Ov. Pont. 4, 9, 105 f. videt hospite terra | in nostra
sacrum Caesaris esse domo. The words Caesaris esse occur, with the same placing, also in 4, 3, 8; 9, 34, 8; Prop. 3, 18, 12.

13 (12)
Si daret autumnus mihi nomen, Oporinos essem,
horrida si brumae sidera, Chimerinos;
dictus ab aestivo Therinos tibi mense vocarer:
tempora cui nomen verna dedere, quis est?
This epigram, the last of the cycle to be devoted to the name Earinus, approaches
its subject in yet another way. It is a straight forward riddle, in which the answer
to the final question is made evident from the preceding examples, a series of
names, all of them derived in the same manner as Earinus from the Greek adjectives of the seasons. The epigram totally lacks the glorifying tone of the two
preceding poems. Still, its plainness and simplicity provide a sense of relief after
the elaborate innuendo of nos. 11 and 12, making a fitting conclusion to the
name series of the cycle.

When rubbed, it also behaved like a sort of magnet, attracting straw, dry leaves and linden bark (Plin. nat.
in Greek, from which word the phenomenon
37, 48). This was due to static electricity; amber is
of electricity got its name.
The first author to credit him with the whole alphabet was apparently Stesichoros (Anecdota Graeca, vol.
2, ed. Becker, Berlin 1816, p. 783, l. 16 f.); also Gorg. Pal. 30; Schol. Eur. Or. 432; Dio Chrys. 13, 21; et
al. According to others, he invented only certain letters, for example, Pliny (nat. 7, 192), who ascribes to
Palamedes the invention of the letters
and ; Serv. Aen. 2, 81 credits him with * F cum h




, of autumn (
1. Oporinos: Gr.
, is attested in an inscription.1


). A Greek version of the name,


2. horrida sidera: sidus is used metonymically in the sense of season; cf.,

e.g., Ov. Pont. 2, 4, 25 f. longa dies citius brumali sidere noxque | tardior hiberna
solstitialis erit; OLD, s.v. sidus 5 a. The winter is commonly referred to as horridus; cf. 7, 95, 1; TLL, s.v. horridus 2992, 11 ff.
brumae: bruma is actually the winter solstice2 but is more often used as a metonymy for winter; cf. Ov. Pont. 2, 4, 25 quoted above; TLL, s.v. bruma 2208,
23 ff. This use of bruma can be observed (although not yet fully developed) already in Lucr. 5, 746 f. tandem bruma nives adfert pigrumque rigorem | reddit,
where bruma signifies the early winter, as opposed to a following hiemps (see
Bailey, ad loc.).
that which is born
Chimerinos: modelled on the Greek adjective
or has taken place during the winter (
). There appears to be no similar
name in Greek.


, of summer (
3. Therinos: from
instances of Greek versions of the name (


). Pape, s.v.


, gives three


tibi: should probably be taken as an ethic dative, named after a summer

month, I would be Therinos to you, perhaps with a tinge of the dative of agent:
named after a summer-month, you would call me Therinos.3

Hunc, quem mensa tibi, quem cena paravit amicum,
esse putas fidae pectus amicitiae?
Aprum amat et mullos et sumen et ostrea, non te.
Tam bene si cenem, noster amicus erit.
A reproach to a victim of a dinner-hunter not to be so credulous as to think that
the dinner-hunter dines with him for the sake of friendship, since the only thing
he is interested in is the costly dishes on his table. The dinner-hunters (cenipetae4)

Pape s.v., also giving three instances of the womans name

TLL, s.v. bruma 2207, 1 ff.
Although the dative of agent is mostly used with a perfect participle or a gerundive (cf. HofmannSzantyr,
67 d, p. 96), there are instances of its being used with a finite verb, for example, Acc. trag. 284 ne cui
cognoscar noto; Cic. inv. 1, 86 illa nobis alio tempore explicabuntur; Verg. Aen. 1, 440 neque
cernitur ulli with Servius note.
The word is formed on the model of agripeta (cf. Cic. Att. 16, 1, 2), heredipeta (Petron. 124, 2),
lucripeta, etc. and is found only in a lemma on 2, 37; cf. TLL, s.v. 783, 17. There is also the humorous
word laudiceni, formed by Pliny as a play on Laodiceni (epist. 2, 14, 5; see Sherwin-White, ad loc., and
TLL, s.v. laudiceni 1041, 80 ff.).




were professional parasites who had made the quest for dinner invitations into an
art,1 spending whole days on the Campus Martius,2 watching for suitable victims,
whose tables they knew to be loaded with food and drink. Their distinctive feature
was greed: when Santra manages to get an invitation, he stuffs his napkin with
food and sells it the day after (7, 20), and Philo, if not invited, does not eat at all.
Their means was largely flattery: the notorious dinner-hunter Selius presents the
reciting Martial with an Effecte! Graviter! Cito! Nequiter! Euge! Beate! (2, 27, 3;
cf. 6, 84) to get a seat at his table,3 as the Sabellus of 9, 19 praises the baths of the
gourmet Ponticus; that they were quite unabashed liars is indicated by the Philomusus of 9, 35. Naturally, the friendship offered by the dinner-hunter was quite
worthless; cf. also 9, 35; 12, 19; 12, 82.
2. fidae pectus amicitiae: cf. Stat. silv. 4, 4, 102 f. almae | pectus amicitiae;4 for
pectus used per periphrasin for homo, see TLL, s.v. 916, 66 f. It is frequently
determined by fidus, for example, Hor. carm. 2, 12, 16; Ov. met. 9, 248; trist. 3, 3,
48; Stat. Theb. 2, 364; silv. 3, 2, 99.
3. Aprum ... ostrea: these delicacies are mentioned, by themselves or in different
combinations, throughout the epigrams as instances of exquisite dishes, for example, 2, 37; 3, 45; 3, 77; 7, 20, 7, 78; 10, 37; 12, 17; 12, 48. They all have their
own distich in Book 13 (boar 13, 93; mullet 79; udder 44; oysters 82).
Aprum: the Romans had a special liking for game, the boar being in a class of
its own; it is also the delicacy mentioned most often by Martial when referring to
dinner-parties, at which it was a must on the table; a skimpy dinner is that at
which a nudus aper, sed et hic minimus is placed before the guests (1, 43, 9), and
the poet is disappointed when, invited to dine on a boar, he is presented with a pig
(8, 22). Delicious boars, of different qualities due to the variation in their feeding,
came from the forests of Lucania (e.g. Hor. sat. 2, 8, 6), Umbria (ibid. 2, 4, 40),
Tuscany (Mart. 7, 27, 1 f.; 12, 14, 9; generosior Umbro Stat. silv. 4, 6, 10) and
from the region of Laurentum on the coast of Latium (9, 48, 5 with note; 10, 45,
mullos: the red mullet appears in literature from Cicero and Varro. It was
rather small, rarely weighing more than two librae (approx. 0.6 kg; cf. 11, 49, 9
mullus bilibris) but highly esteemed, the best kind having the flavour of an oyster
(Plin. nat. 9, 64). That a mullet of three librae ( 1 kg) was large enough to at1
, on which see O. Ribbeck, Kolax, Eine ethologische
They correspond to the Greek
Studie (Abhandlungen der philologisch-historischen Classe der kniglich Schsischen Gesellschaft der
Wissenschaften 9), Leipzig 1884. The Greek Anthology has a number of epigrams mentioning these
flatterers in the same contemptuous tone as Martial, for example, AP 9, 43, 3; 9, 119; 9, 394, 1; 10, 86; 11,
323; 11, 346.
The chief hunting-ground for the dinner-hunters (cf. 2, 14), but they also frequented the baths (12, 19),
and even the public toilets (11, 77).
Selius is Martials dinner-hunter par excellence, appearing also in 2, 11; 2, 14; 2, 69, 6.
In the passage from Statius, parcus has been suggested for pectus, an emendation which is unnecessary
and rightly rejected by Coleman (p. 157) with reference to this instance.
Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 175 f.


tract notice if thrown back into the sea appears from 10, 37, 6 f.1 (cf. Hor. sat. 2,
2, 33), and in 10, 31 Calliodorus sells a slave for 200.000 IIS, so that he may for
once be able to dine well on a mullet of 4 librae ( 1.3 kg). A giant mullet weighing 6 librae ( 2 kg) is mentioned by Juvenal (4, 15 f.) and there are even such
fantastic weights as the mullet of 80 librae ( 26 kg), which, according to Plin.
nat. 9, 68, was captured in the Red Sea.
A sign of the high esteem in which the fish was held is the high, even enormous sums paid for big specimens. Seneca (epist. 95, 42) mentions a mullet of
four and a half librae ( 1.5 kg) which was bought for 5000 IIS, the 6-pound
mullet in Iuv. 4, 15 is described as aequantem sane paribus sestertia libris, i.e. its
price was 6000 IIS, and during the reign of Caligula, the consular Asinius Celer is
said to have provoked all spendthrifts by paying 8000 IIS for a mullet (Plin. nat.
9, 67).2
sumen: together with the matrix, the liver and the glandula,3 the sows udder
was considered the most delicious part of the pig. The best udder was that of a
sow slaughtered the day after farrowing, whereas the worst was that of a sow
which had had a miscarriage (Plin. nat. 11, 211).
ostrea: the Romans had early developed a certain taste for oysters, the fishing
for which is mentioned already by Plautus (Rud. 297). In favourable locations,
like the Gulf of Baiae (whence came oysters of high quality; cf. 10, 37, 11; Iuv.
11, 49), certain ponds were constructed for their cultivation, as in the Lacus Lucrinus4 (cf. 3, 60, 3; 6, 11, 5; 12, 48, 4; 13, 82; Hor. epod. 2, 49) and in the Lacus
Avernus (Plin. nat. 32, 61).5
The quality and taste of oysters vary from place to place, but it was generally
agreed that the best were those which were spissa nec saliva sua lubrica, crassitudine potius spectanda quam latitudine, neque in lutosis capta neque in harenosis, sed solido vado, spondylo brevi atque non carnoso, nec fibris laciniosa ac
tota in alvo (Plin. nat. 32, 60). Like the mullet, oysters were a luxurious dish and
commanded high prices; cf. 13, 82, 2 luxuriosa (sc. concha), Lucil. fragm. 448 f.
Krenkel ostrea milibus nummum | empta.
4. amicus erit: see note on 9, 2, 12.

The point is that Maternus, the addressee of the epigram, is supposed to drag it up from the Spanish ocean;
Martial the patriot can see no reason to keep it in those waters there are much bigger specimens.
Marquardt, pp. 418 f., Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 182 f.
It is uncertain which part of the animal is to be understood by the word glandula; see Blmner,
Privataltertmer, p. 174, n. 7.
The first pond in this location was built aetate L. Crassi oratoris, ante Marsicum bellum (i.e. before 91
BC) by C. Sergius Orata (Plin. nat. 9, 168).
Marquardt, pp. 426 f., Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 188 f.


Inscripsit tumulis septem scelerata virorum
se fecisse Chloe. Quid pote simplicius?
Wife- and husband-murderers are recurring characters in Martial; cf. 4, 69
(Papylus has poisoned four wives); 8, 43 (Fabius and Chrestilla would make a
nice couple, both having murdered their former consorts); 9, 78; 10, 43 (Phileros
has murdered seven wives). Since divorce in Martials day was possible on the
part of both the man and the woman,1 resorting to murder would have been due to
an eagerness for the inheritance; a divorce was not lucrative for either party.2
Thus, the individual who made a habit of remarrying and poisoning the spouse
may be seen as a brutal form of the captator (9, 8 intro.). But marrying for the
purpose of murdering the spouse for the inheritance would have required great
care in the choice of the victim. Failure of the wife to become her husbands appointed heir would result in her getting nothing but her own dowry;3 for want of
appointed heirs, the legacy would go to the spouse (husband or wife) only if there
were no liberi, legitimi or cognati (all terms of a wide significance).4
1. scelerata: an ironical reference to the frequent use of sceleratus of the survivors in funerary inscriptions, for example, CIL 6, 9961 Annius Hilarus et Annia
Helpis mater scelerata ... filio dulcissimo fecerunt; 15160 filiis suis infelicissimis
fecit mater scelerata; 35769 Myseri posuimus hic immaturu parentes
scelerati; 35769; 10, 310; cf. 6, 13353. In these cases, the parents are called
guilty because they still remain among the living and do not follow their children in death; the same usage can be observed regarding impius, crudelis, iniquus,
etc.5 In applying it to Chloe, who is scelerata also in the usual sense of the word,
Martial achieves a brilliant ambiguity.
2. se fecisse: Chloes inscriptions might have read something like d. m. [the
husbands name in the dative] coniugi carissimo Chloe fecit. Naturally, what
Chloe means is that she has built the tombs for her husbands, but Martial, reading
between the lines, hints at a totally different interpretation (not theoretically contradicted by the inscription), viz. that Chloe has taken the lives of her seven hus1

See Kaser, Privatrecht 1, pp. 278 ff. The increase in divorces during the Principate offered a welcome
target for satirists to attack; their targets remarried and divorced indiscriminately; cf. 6, 7; 10, 41; Iuv. 6,
229; see Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 1, pp. 283 ff.; for the possibility of exaggeration on the part of the
sources, see S. Treggiari, Divorce Roman Style: How Easy and how Frequent was it? in B. Rawson (ed.),
Marriage, Divorce, and Children in Ancient Rome, Oxford 1991, pp. 3146. Dissatisfaction with the
marriage and the impossibility of getting a divorce may naturally account for earlier cases of poisoning
within the marriage, in a time when the divorce regulations were more rigorous; in 329 BC., 170 matrons
were found guilty of having poisoned their husbands (Liv. 8, 18; Val. Max. 2, 5, 3); the consul Piso was
poisoned by his wife Quarta Hostilia in 180 (Liv. 40, 37), and in 154 two noble ladies, Publilia and
Licinia, were convicted of having poisoned their husbands, who were both consulars (Liv. perioch. 48); cf.
Marquardt, pp. 66 ff.
Kaser, loc. cit., pp. 287 ff.
Ibid., p. 289.
Ibid., pp. 582 ff.
See H. Armini, Till de romerska gravskrifternas fraseologi, Eranos 19 (1920), pp. 50 ff.


bands (Chloe did it). A third possibility is that Martial also is alluding to the
signature of the type Apelles faciebat on the work of painters and sculptors;1
Chloe would then be a poisoner, hardened enough even to have signed her work.
Chloe: Martial has two more epigrams aimed at a woman of this name, 3, 53
and 4, 28. Whereas these may perhaps be aimed at the same woman,2 they clearly
have nothing to do with the present Chloe.
Quid pote simplicius: this is the sole occurrence in Martial of the archaic
pote, which is equally rare in contemporary authors; entirely lacking in Lucan,
Silius, Statius and Juvenal, it is found once in Persius and once in Valerius Flaccus. Among the poets of the late republic and the Augustan era, the situation is
much the same: pote is found five times in Catullus and twice in Propertius, while
there are no instances in Vergil, Horace, Tibullus and Ovid. The alternative form
potis (probably the masculine/feminine form corresponding to the neutral pote)
occurs four times in Catullus and three in Vergil, and, among Silver Latin poets,
once in Persius and once in Silius Italicus.
Martials use of the word should probably not be designated as an archaism,3
but regarded as a Catullianism, a direct borrowing from Catullus, in which
metrical considerations presumably also played a part. Probably it was not an
archaism for Catullus either but rather, as in the letters of Cicero,4 a colloquialism.

Or fecit, depending on whether or not the artist considered his work unfinished (as did the great ones) or
not (as did the lesser, cf. Plin. nat. praef. 26 f.); W. Stuart Messer, Martial IX, 15, CJ 36 (1940-41), pp.
226-229. E. Post suggested that there is also a reference to the legal term for condemnation, fecisse videtur
(Selected Epigrams of Martial, Boston 1909, joined by Stuart Messer, op. cit.), but I fail to see what this
would add to the point, Chloe is guilty being equal to the obvious translation of Chloe did it.
In 3, 53, Martial expresses his contempt for Chloes whole being: Et voltu poteram tuo carere | et collo
manibusque cruribusque | et mammis natibusque clunibusque, | et, ne singula persequi laborem, | tota
te poteram, Chloe, carere. This may indicate,that her face, neck, hands, legs, bosom, etc. were generally
appreciated by other men. In 4, 28, he reproaches her for giving loads of expensive presents to a young boy
named Lupercus; the combined information of these two epigrams would perhaps suggest a femme fatale
entangling young boys.
See Manu Leumanns valuable definition of the word archaism in Die lateinische Dichtersprache,
MH 4 (1947), pp. 116-139. On pp. 125 f., Leumann writes: Ein Wort, das zu Ennius Zeit bereits aus der
lebenden Sprache geschwunden ist, ist ein Archaismus des Ennius. In sptere Dichtung sind Archaismen
meist Ennianismen: Ein sonst verschollenes Wort, das Vergil aus Ennius bernimmt, ist fr Vergil ein
Archaismus oder Ennianismus, ohne fr Ennius schon ein Archaismus gewesen sein zu mssen Ein
Wort, das sptere Dichter aus Vergil bernehmen, ist fr diese nur ein poetisches Wort, ganz gleichgltig,
ob es fr Vergil oder gar fr Ennius ein Archaismus war.
For example, Att. 13, 38, 1 hoc quidquam pote inpurius; Hofmann-Szantyr, p. 769.


Consilium formae, speculum, dulcisque capillos
Pergameo posuit dona sacrata deo
Ille puer tota domino gratissimus aula,
nomine qui signat tempora verna suo.
Felix, quae tali censetur munere tellus!
Nec Ganymedeas mallet habere comas.

The second series of poems in the Earinus cycle deals with the actual offering of
Earinus tresses and may be referred to as the offering series. It comprises two
epigrams, 9, 16 and 17, both very different from those of the name series, not
only regarding the subject, but also in approach. The sexual implication is
strongly defused (present here only in the reference to Ganymede, in 17 totally
abolished) and replaced by a serious and almost religious tone.
In this poem, the reason for the poems on Earinus is at last revealed to the
reader: he has offered his locks and his mirror to the Pergamenic Aesculapius.
What could be inferred from 12, 8 is now explicitly said: of the servants in the
imperial palace, Earinus is the emperors particular favourite. The purpose of line
4, simply restating the idea of 12, 1 and 13, 4, can hardly be to bring etymological
play on Earinus name into this poem as well; the subject would by now seem
rather trite and require a drastically new turn to be taken any further. Nor is Martial driven by an urge to mention Earinus explicitly in each and every one of the
poems in the cycle, since there is no such mention in the following poem. Now it
is reasonable to presume that the Earinus cycle, before it was incorporated into
Book 9, was presented to the emperor and to Earinus as a libellus, containing only
the poems of the cycle (apart from 9, 36; see the introduction to that epigram);1 it
would naturally have been self-evident that all the poems in such a libellus were
written in celebration of the same event. In incorporating the present epigram into
Book 9, with two epigrams separating it from 9, 13, Martial may have felt it necessary to emphasize that this epigram is again about Earinus and, accordingly, he
may have substituted line 4 for a former line to connect the epigram with 9, 13.
Perhaps it is even possible that the entire poem was written only to appear in Book
9, as it provides the reader with some important information which otherwise
might have been unknown to him, thus paving the way for 9, 17, in which the
poet can then allow himself to be less precise and more poetic.

There is a handful of epigrams indicating that Martial presented patrons and friends and even the emperors
with small collections of poems (libelli) both prior to publication and as selections from his published
works. Thus, 12, 4 was written to introduce an abridgement of Books 10 and 11 presented to Nerva, and
the timidam brevemque chartam of 5, 6, 7 may allude to a libellus to Domitian. 1, 44 indicates that
Martial had sent two collections of poems, each containing an epigram from the harelion cycle, to Stella,
and the cycle itself was probably presented to Domitian in the form of a libellus (Weinreich, Studien, pp.
106 f.). In 2, 91, 3 f., the poet mentions festinati libelli sent to Domitian, and in 1, 101, 2, he refers to the
hand of his copyist Demetrius as nota Caesaribus, indicating that Titus also had received such collections
of poems; cf. also 4, 82; 7, 26; 11, 106; 12, praef.; White, Dedication, pp. 44 ff. However, the importance
of such libelli vis--vis the published books should not be overstated; see D. P. Fowler, Martial and the
Book, Ramus 24 (1995), pp. 3158.


In the concluding lines, Pergamum is praised as being lucky to receive the offering of Earinus (cf. 9, 20, 3 f.); indeed, it would not rather have the tresses of
Ganymede. But the comparison is not really between the two cupbearers; Pergamum prefers that which comes from Domitian to that which comes from Jupiter
1. Consilium formae: Earinus offers to Aesculapius his golden mirror, an insignia of his previous life as an imperial eunuch (see the Earinus cycle intro.). The
mirror is represented as Earinus advisor on his beauty (cf. 9, 17, 6); cf. Ov. ars 3,
135 f., where women are exhorted to ask their mirror for advice, speculum consulere, before deciding what ornamentation will suit them best. The TLL, s.v. 453,
19 ff., does not give any exact parallels to consilium used as abstractum pro concreto of a thing in the sense of conciliarius, but there are instances referring to
persons (e.g., Ov. fast. 3, 276 illa [sc. Egeria] Numae coniunx consiliumque fuit;
epist. 17, 267 f.; trist. 4, 2, 31 f. [with Lucks note]). Cf. also the cases in which
things are represented as giving consilium (e.g., Ov. am. 1, 4, 54).
speculum: the mirror dedicated by Earinus was of jewelled gold (cf. Stat. silv.
3, 4, 94). Hand-mirrors (by far the most usual mirror in antiquity) were otherwise
usually made of bronze, which was sometimes covered with silver;1 there were
also mirrors of solid silver.2 The mirror was almost exclusively a womans accessory, used when she made herself up or fixed her hair. It was often one of her
most precious belongings and sometimes was even given as an offering, especially
to Aphrodite,3 but there is also evidence of mirrors being given to Hera, Artemis
and others.4 Real men did not use mirrors, except at the barbers, and the effeminate who did make use of them supplied welcome material to the satirists; cf.
Iuv. 2, 99 f. speculum, pathici gestamen Othonis, | actoris Aurunci spolium.
As a eunuch, Earinus is likely to have adopted such female habits as the use of
the hand-mirror. There is no other evidence of a mirror dedicated to a god instead
of a goddess, and Earinus offering may perhaps be seen as a manifestation of the
eunuchs uncertainty of his sexual identity.5

Cf. Sen. nat. 1, 17, 6.

29 ff.
On the mirror in antiquity, see v. Netoliczka in RE 11, s.v.
AP 6, 1 (Plato); 18 and 19 (Iulianus) on the aged Lais, who dedicated her mirror to Aphrodite. Cf.
Philostr. imag. 1, 6, 304 on a shrine, established by the Nymphs for Aphrodite, in which hangs, among
other things, a silver mirror, a gift of the Nymphs.
According to Apul. flor. 15, the great temple of Hera on Samos had a donarium deae perquam
opulentum: plurima auri et argenti ratio in lancibus, speculis, poculis et huiuscemodi utensilibus. A
mirror dedicated to Artemis is mentioned in Corpus inscriptionum Atticarum II: 2, 754. In AP 6, 210
(Philetas of Samos) and 211 (Leonidas of Tarentum), two women offer bronze mirrors to Cypris. In both
cases, the mirrors are accompanied by other offerings, among which are womens accessories and locks of
their hair.
This uncertainty is apparent, for example, in the poets presentation of the emasculated Attis: in poem 63,
Catullus begins to refer to Attis as a woman immediately after the emasculation, although in 63, 27 he calls
him notha mulier; Kroll, ad loc., compares Ov. Ib. 455 deque viro fias nec femina nec vir, ut Attis; AP 6,
217, 9




2. Pergameo deo: the epithet Pergameus of Aesculapius does not occur nearly
as often as Epidaurius,1 the only literary instances being the present line and
Statius preface to silv. 3 (the variant Pergamenus); there are also some occurrences in inscriptions, for example, IG IV 1262 (from the Asklepieion of Epidaurus)
; ILS 3854 (from Sarmizegetusa)
Aescul. Pergam. | et Hygiae | sacrum | C. Spedius Hermias | flamen col. sarm. |

$UQM 0L>V  _

posuit: dedicated; cf. Sen. suas. 5, 2, haec ego tropaea dis posui; OLD, s.v.
pono 8 c.
3. tota gratissimus aula: strictly grammatically, the ablative RMR w ?SJ is an
ablativus loci in adnominal position to the superlative gratissimus; cf. 7, 64, 1
tota notissimus urbe. The construction is relatively unusual but occurs a number
of times in Ovid (am. 2, 11, 55 caelo nitidissimus alto; ars 2, 561 toto notissima
caelo; met. 4, 664 caelo clarissimus alto; 9, 47 toto nitidissima saltu; 14, 696 tota
notissima Cypro; trist. 1, 3, 71 caelo nitidissimus alto).3
Aula may signify the imperial palace (as in 9, 11, 8) but may also be taken as a
metonymy for the servants of the imperial household, as in Hor. carm. 1, 29, 7
puer ex aula; TLL, s.v. 1458, 13 f. Such an interpretation lends a strong partitive connotation to the ablative, approximating it to the equally rare construction
involving de with the ablative for the partitive genitive (thus, Ov. epist. 18, 37 de
rapidis inmansuetissime ventis; met. 3, 623 f.; 5, 431; 12, 586 [with Bmer]; 13,
4. nomine etc.: cf. 9, 11, 2; 12, 1; 13, 4.
5. censetur: is renowned; cf. 1, 61, 3 censetur Aponi Livio suo tellus; 8, 6, 9 Hi
duo longaevo censentur Nestore fundi; TLL, s.v. 789, 28 ff.
munere: of gifts to the gods, cf. TLL, s.v. 1666, 50 ff. Catullus (66, 38) applies
it to the lock vowed by Berenice for the safe return of her husband Ptolemy III
from the invasion of Syria.
6. Ganymedeas: for Earinus and Ganymede, see 9, 11, 7 note.

Cf. Cic. nat. 3, 83; Hor. sat. 1, 3, 27; Prop. 2, 1, 61; Ov. met. 15, 723; Pont. 1, 3, 21. This is due to the
earlier status of the shrine at Epidaurus as the centre of the cult of Aesculapius (Plin. nat. 29, 72). It was
from Epidaurus that the god was fetched to Rome to combat the plague in about 293 BC (cf. Ov. met. 15,
622 ff. with Bmer, pp. 417 ff.).
, Philologus 88 (1933), p. 98, n. 41.
See H. Hepding,
Bmer on met. 9, 47, Adnominale Stellung eines Abl. locat. (toto saltu) zu einem Superlativ (im ganzen
Walde der schnste) ist ungewhnlich; nur entfernt vergleichbar sind Stellen wie IV 89 niveis uberrima
pomis und adnominale Verwendungen praepositionaler Begriffe wie V 587 sine vertice aquae, is thus


Latonae venerande nepos, qui mitibus herbis
Parcarum exoras pensa brevesque colos,
hos tibi laudatos domino, rata vota, capillos
ille tuus Latia misit ab urbe puer;
addidit et nitidum sacratis crinibus orbem,
quo felix facies iudice tuta fuit.
Tu iuvenale decus serva, ne pulchrior ille
in longa fuerit quam breviore coma.

The concluding poem of the Earinus cycle is by far the most elevated and religious
in its tone and is completely lacking in any kind of sexual innuendo. Its opening
has the features of a hymn to Aesculapius, beginning with a vocative, clearly
resembling and probably influenced by the first line of Horaces hymn to Mercury
(carm. 1, 10) Mercuri, facunde nepos Atlantis. There is no mention of the gods
name; instead, Martial invokes Aesculapius by an allusion to his ancestry,1 followed by a relative clause relating the gods powers, corresponding to Horaces
carm. 1, 10, 2-4 qui feros cultus hominum recentum | voce formasti catus et
decorae | more palaestrae.2 The following four lines, opening with a demonstrative pronoun and describing the gifts of Earinus, break off the traditional form of
the hymn and suggest a dedicatory inscription; Martial uses the same device in 1,
31, 1 f. (on the hair-offering of Encolpos) hos tibi, Phoebe, vovet totos a vertice
crines | Encolpos, domini centurionis amor; see Citroni ad loc. The hymnal character is taken up again in line 7, a concluding prayer, missing in Horace but occurring, for example, in the conclusion of Catullus hymn to Diana (carm. 34,
21-24) sis quocumque tibi placet | sancta nomine, Romulique, | antique ut
solitas, bona | sospites ope gentem. The prayer in this poem does not necessarily
express a wish of Earinus, but is rather a stock prayer for continuing youth. The
same theme is to be found also in 1, 31 and 5, 48, where the poet asks Apollo to
retain Encolpos youthful beauty, although his locks have been newly shorn, and
in 7, 29, where Martial expresses the wish that Thestylus may remain positis
formosus capillis.3
The epigrams in AP 6 involving offerings of hair by youths, although usually
less elaborated than the present epigram, generally display the same arrangement
(invocation, dedication, prayer).4 Regarding the concluding prayer, though, there
is usually an acceptance of the fact that the donor is growing older, and the prayer
is not for eternal youth as much as for a long and happy life (cf., e.g., AP 6, 198;
278; 279), even though wishes for youth occur, for example, in AP 6, 76
(Agathias Scholasticus).
As in Horace, such mentions of ancestry usually stand in apposition to the gods name (cf., e.g., Catull.
34, 5 O Latonia maximi magna progenies Iovis). E. Norden, Agnostos theos, Leipzig and Berlin 1913, p.
148, gives instances from Greek as well as Latin.
Cf., e.g., Lucr. 1, 2 ff. alma Venus, caeli subter labentia signa | quae mare navigerum, quae terras
frugiferentis | concelebras; Norden, op. cit., pp. 168 ff.
Note that in Statius poem, the prayer at the end (silv. 3, 4, 99-106) is for eternal, youthful beauty and a
long life for Domitian.
See Schmoock, pp. 33 ff.


1. Latonae nepos: Aesculapius is called the descendant of Latona as the son

of the mortal Coronis and Apollo, son of Latona.1 The same reference is found in
Stat. Theb. 1, 577 sidereum Latonae nepotem, but is otherwise unusual;
Bruchmann (Epitheta s.v.
, p. 52) gives only one instance from Greek
(Hesiod fragm. 51
), to which add AP, app. 4, 29, 2 and 52, 2, where
Aesculapius is invoked as
, son of Letos child.




mitibus herbis: lenient herbs (cf. Ser. med. 633 sanguine mite columbae;
Paneg. 4, 9, 2 mitior medicina; TLL, s.v. mitis 1158, 56 ff.). The discovery of the
use of herbs in medicine was made by Apollo and Aesculapius (according to Pythagoras: Plin. nat. 25, 13); cf. Ov. Pont. 1, 3, 21.
The same ending is found in 9, 71, 5; cf. Ov. met. 14, 690.
2. Parcarum exoras pensa: as the god of healing, Aesculapius is said to be able
to avert death. Pensum is, strictly speaking, the quantity of wool which a slave
was supposed to spin in one day,2 but it is often used with reference to the term of
life allotted to each human by the Fates; cf. 4, 54, 9; 4, 73, 3; 7, 96, 4; 9, 76, 7;
TLL, s.v. pendo 1048, 43 ff.
brevesque colos: colus, literally distaff, is used here de ipso fato; cf. Sen.
Herc. f. 559 Parcarumque colos non revocabiles; TLL, s.v. 1744, 63 ff. Martial
also has the accusative plural of the 4th declination in 7, 47, 8 raptas colus.
3. laudatos: cf. Stat. silv. 3, 4, 6 Accipe laudatos, iuvenis Phoebeie, crines.
Laudatos may simply mean that the locks are generally praised for their beauty,
but perhaps there is a notion of their having been praised in verse, i.e. versibus
laudatos (cf. 9, 19, 1 Laudas balnea versibus trecentis; 11, 80, 3 f.; TLL, s.v.
1043, 53 ff.
domino: predicative attribute to be taken with tibi. Aesculapius is Earinus
dominus, as Earinus is his puer (line 4); perhaps the terms are used here because
Earinus may have considered Aesculapius his patron-god (see the Earinus cycle
rata vota: due offerings, cf. Ov. Ib. 97 nulla mora est in me: peragam rata
vota sacerdos. Friedlnder (1, 31 intro.) suggested that these words imply that
such boys often vowed their locks to a god.
4. Latia urbe: the circumlocution of Latia urbs for Rome is not found in the
poets of the late republic or the Augustan era but appears to be a Silver Latin
phenomenon; cf. 6, 58, 9; 10, 96, 2; 12, 60, 4; 12, 62, 8; Stat. silv. 1, 4, 95; Val.
Nisbet & Hubbard (on Hor. carm. 1, 10, 1) point out that nepos has none of the prosaic note of English
grandson and give Ov. fast. 5, 663 Clare nepos Atlantis and Claud. Rapt. Pros. 1, 89 Atlantis Tegeaee
nepos as comparable instances.
Blmner, Technologie, p. 122.


Fl. 1, 21. Cf. Ausonia urbs first used by Ovid Pont. 3, 2, 101; 4, 8, 86; then Lucan.
7, 33; Mart. epigr. 4, 5; Stat. silv. 4, 8, 20. The same two epithets are also used
alternately of the Appian Way (see 9, 64, 2 and 9, 101, 2 with notes).
5. nitidum orbem: Earinus mirror; cf. 9, 16, 1. For orbis as a metonymy of a
mirror (perhaps a Grecism1), see also Sen. nat. 1, 17, 6; epist. 86, 6; cf. TLL, s.v.
907, 75 ff.
Nitidum may perhaps suggest that the mirror was of high quality, plain and
highly polished, so as to avoid distortion and give as accurate a reflection as possible of the viewer (cf. note on tuta below). That mirrors in antiquity were often
deficient in this respect appears from the famous passage in the first letter of Paul
to the Corinthians (Cor. 1, 13, 12)
(videmus nunc per speculum in
aenigmate: tunc autem facie ad faciem), which seems to imply that antique mirrors often gave an unclear and distorted view of the objects reflected in them; cf.
AP 6, 210 (Philetas of Samos), where a certain Nicias is said to have offered to
Cypris, among other things, her bronze mirror, which did not lack accuracy
6, 210, 3 f.).













6. quo iudice: the only instance of a mirror being called the judge of someones beauty. Concrete objects are, on the whole, rarely referred to as iudices; for
abstract things, cf., e.g., Cic. Phil. 5, 50 res publica, Liv. 21, 10, 9 eventus belli,
Sen. dial. 6, 4, 4 fama; see TLL, s.v. 603, 11 ff. Note, however, that the mirror is
referred to as consilium formae in 9, 16, 1.
felix facies: for felix in the sense of beautiful of things which are a delight to
the eye, the ear, etc., cf. 9, 44, 2; Hor. carm. 4, 13, 21 f. felix post Cinaram notaque et artium | gratarum facies; Stat. silv. 5, 1, 54 et felix species multumque
optanda maritis. I find it difficult to join Garthwaite (Court Poets, pp. 79 f.) in his
assumption that the word felix includes an ironical notion of fertility, alluding to
the contrast between the significance of his name and his actual physical state.
tuta: safe from adverse judgement; cf. Prop. 2, 13, 14 nam domina iudice tutus ero; Ov. trist. 5, 11, 22 tuta suo iudice causa mea est. Earinus safety depends
on the high quality of his mirror (see note on nitidum orbem above).
7. iuvenale decus: juvenile beauty, which largely consisted in his intonsi
capilli; cf. Ov. met. 1, 564 meum intonsis caput est iuvenale capillis with
Bmers note. The juncture is found only here, but cf. Stat. silv. 2, 1, 155 puerile
decus; 2, 6, 38 femineum.

So Schmoock, p. 35, with reference to AP 6, 18, 6 (Iulianus), where there is a similar use of



Est mihi sitque precor longum te praeside, Caesar
rus minimum, parvi sunt et in urbe lares.
Sed de valle brevi, quas det sitientibus hortis,
curva laboratas antlia tollit aquas:
sicca domus queritur nullo se rore foveri,
cum mihi vicino Marcia fonte sonet.
Quam dederis nostris, Auguste, penatibus undam,
Castalis haec nobis aut Iovis imber erit.
At the time of the publication of Book 9, Martial possessed a small house on the
Quirinal in Rome (cf. 9, 97, 8; 10, 58, 10; 11, 1, 91) and had, at least since the
early eighties, a small farm at Nomentum (2, 38, 1; 6, 43; 7, 31; 93; 9, 54; 10, 44;
58; 92; 94; 12, 57; 13, 15; 42), 20 km north-west of Rome, at the modern Castali.
Seneca had an estate in the same location (see epist. 104, 1; 110, 1), and it seems
likely that Martial received his estate as a gift from Seneca himself or, more
probably, from his heirs.2 The location of his urban domus on the Quirinal appears
from 10, 58, 10 and 11, 1, 9, and it was further specified by C. H. Hlsen
(Jahresbericht ber neue Funde und Forschungen zur Topographie der Stadt
Rom 18891890, MDAI [R] 6 [1891], p. 121) as being between the Via Rasella
and the Via del Tritone, west of the Via delle Quattro Fontane. Previously, Martial had rented an apartment ad Pirum, likewise on the Quirinal (1, 108, 3), making it dubious whether 5, 22, 3 (Tiburtinae sum proximus accola pilae) and 6, 27,
1 f. (tu [sc. Nepos] quoque proxima Florae | incolis et veteres tu quoque Ficelias)
refer to the domus or to the cenacula. The lack of mention of a domus among
Martials possessions in 8, 61 may perhaps indicate that he had just moved in in
In this epigram, Martial makes a request to the emperor for a steady supply of
water, presumably not for both the estate and the domus, as suggested by
Friedlnder (on 9, 18, 7), but only for the latter.4 The arguments in favour of
Friedlnders suggestion are virtually non-existent (the plural penatibus in line 7
and the fact that Statius had recently received a supply of water to his estate at
Alba5), and there are, moreover, several objections to it: (1) Lines 34 clearly
show that there was a water-supply at Nomentum, if not from an aqueduct. (2) At

Perhaps there are earlier references to the domus; cf. Citroni, p. 330 and 357, and Howell, pp. 349 f.
See Sullivan, Martial, p. 4, n. 8. For Martials relations to the Annaean family, ibid., p. 3.
See Citroni on 1, 108, 3, and Howell on 1, 117, 6 and 5, 22, 4.
Cf. Forbes, Studies 1, p. 170: The emperor could grant any syndicate or person (even for life) the right to
tap the mains for his own use, but generally the aquarii who were in charge of each castellum delivered
water to customers and charged them according to the only standard known then, a nozzle or ajutage,
taking the maximum throughput per day of such a nozzle as a basis for their calculations. The nozzle
(calix) was inserted into a conduit or reservoir; service pipes were attached to it, which led the water to the
house of the receiver (Frontin. aq. 36, 3).
At Alba, some 20 km south of Rome on the Via Appia (cf. silv. 3, 1, 61 ff), Statius was the neighbour of
the emperor himself, who had his favourite villa in the same location. As the imperial villa comprised
aqueducts, reservoirs and baths (Jones, Domitian, pp. 96 ff.), it would have been natural for Statius to turn
to Domitian for water, and a small thing for the emperor to grant his request. The villa of Statius may
originally have belonged to his father (see Hardie, pp. 12 f.).


Nomentum, unlike Alba, there were no imperial holdings, only the villa of the
Senecas (if it was still in their possession at this time). If there was indeed a
shortage, it would have been more natural to turn to them for water than to the
emperor. (3) From the references in Book 13 (above), it appears that Martial possessed his Nomentan estate already in the December of 83 or 84. If there was no
water-supply at Nomentum, this would have been the situation for at least ten
years, before the thought of making a request for one crossed Martials mind. (4)
Martial frequently mentions the shortcomings of his estate: it lacked fire wood
(13, 15), the land was not fertile (10, 58, 9), it produced no livestock (7, 31, 8)
and the fruits were poor (10, 94, 4), but nowhere is there a mention of a water
shortage. Now these complaints need not be taken too seriously; in 7, 31, for example, the poet says that there are no chickens at Nomentum, whereas in 9, 54, he
sends Nomentan chickens to Flaccus (cf. note on 9, 54, 11), and in 7, 49 eggs and
apples to Severus. Thus, there would have been water at Nomentum, at least as
much as was needed to satisfy Martials needs; he obviously had no ambition as a
Still, the granting of water to Statius Alban estate may have acted as a stimulus to Martial to ask for water to be supplied to his city-house, a comparatively
small favour, especially since his house was situated near the Aqua Marcia. This
may also explain the sed at the beginning of line 3, and the epigram may be summarized thus: I have a small estate in the country and a tiny habitation in the
city. But, in the country, I have water (there is no need for Domitian to get upset;
Martials petition is not for the favour granted to Statius); my city-house, on the
other hand, is dry (a small thing as compared with a dry estate in the country).
1. Est mihi sitque precor: cf. 1, 108, 1 Est tibi sitque precor multos crescatque
per annos | pulchra quidem, verum transtiberina domus (sc. of Gallus). The
opening of the hexameter with a monosyllabic word followed by mihi or tibi is a
favourite especially of Propertius and Ovid; cf., e.g., Prop. 1, 20, 5; Ov. epist. 4,
163;1 with parenthetical sitque precor also Ov. epist. 1, 111; fast. 6, 219; trist. 1,
10, 1; Epiced. Drusi. 471. Citroni (on 1, 108, 1) suggests that it is derived from a
common augural formula, remodelled by Ovid into a poetic expression and then
adopted by Martial, who also made the emphatic addition multos crescatque per
annos. In this case, though the words are different, the content of Martials addition is exactly the same.
longum: as an adverb in the sense of diu, also 1, 31, 7; 8, 38, 15. Longum in
this sense first appears in Plautus (Epid. 376 nimis longum loquor; 665; Pers. 167;
Pseud. 687) and is taken up by Vergil (ecl. 3, 79; Aen. 10, 740); cf. Hor. ars 459,2
Ovid. met. 5, 65; particularly frequent in Statius (e.g., Theb. 2, 269; 707; silv. 1,
3, 13; 1, 4, 15; 2, 3, 72; 3, 2, 58); cf. TLL, s.v. 1643, 34 ff.

Cf. Hbner, Das Epicedion Drusi, Hermes 13 (1878), p. 180.

See Brink, Hor. ars, ad loc. Hofmann-Szantyr, 45 d, p. 40, take no account of the occurrences in


te praeside: thus of Titus epigr. 2, 11; of Domitian also 6, 2, 5; 8, 80, 5; of

Nerva 11, 2, 6.
4. curva antlia: an antlia was a mechanism used for raising water (cf. Gr.
, draw water) to be used in irrigation (Gr.
, for irrigation,
see LSJ, s.v.), apparently in the shape of a wheel with bailers attached to it. Its
function appears from Anth. 284 (De antlia): Fundit et haurit aquas, pendentes
evomit undas, | et fluvium vomitura bibit. Mirabile factum! | Portat aquas, portatur aquis. Sic unda per undas | volvitur et veteres haurit nova machina lymphas. From this epigram, it is obvious that the antlia was placed in a river and set
in motion by the current (that it was not driven by hand is indicated by lines 2 f.),
thus lifting up the water with shovel-like blades and presumably emptying the
shovels into some kind of furrow. The present epigram and Anth. 284 are the only
sources for the antlia and its use in agriculture; Suetonius mention of a man in
antliam condemnatus (Tib. 51) probably refers to a treadmill (cf. Mau in RE 1,



laboratas: used transitively in the sense of troubled, afflicted (perhaps put

to work), viz. by the wheel (cf. above Anth. 284, 3); note the spondees underlining the content. This use of laboratus is very rare and is presumably suggested by
labor in the sense of trouble, pain; cf. Stat. Theb. 1, 341 grata laboratae
referens (sc. Somnus) oblivia vitae; Val. Fl. 5, 224 f. Scythica senior iam Solis in
urbe | fata laborati Phrixus compleverat aevi.
A transitive use of laboro can be observed also in Verg. Aen. 1, 639 arte laboratae vestes (with Austin); 8, 181 dona laboratae Cereris; Hor. epod. 5, 59, f.
quale non perfectius | meae laborarint manus; Stat. Theb. 10, 579 laboratasque
premunt ad pectora ceras (with Williams); silv. 3, 2, 143 quaeve laboratas
claudat mihi pagina Thebas. However, such instances are not directly comparable
to the present, since they rather seem to convey a sense of carefully elaborate
(cf. elaboro) or laboriously obtain.
5. foveri: refresh; cf., e.g., Plin. epist. 5, 6, 20 aqua platanos et subiecta
platanis leni aspergine fovet; TLL, s.v. 1220, 33 ff.
6. mihi sonet: i.e. mihi obstrepat, rushes in my ears.
Marcia: the Aqua Marcia (also mentioned in 6, 42, 18; 11, 96, 1), built in
144140 BC by Q. Marcius Rex. It ran for about 90 km from the springs to the
city, supplying 194,635 m3 of water in twenty-four hours. The terminal castellum
was just inside the Porta Collina, north-east of the Quirinal, but, as indicated by
the present poem, it also ran to the Quirinal itself.1
fonte: used of flowing water also, for example, in Lucan. 3, 235; Stat. Ach. 1,
180; see TLL, s.v. 1024, 38 ff.

Platner & Ashby, pp. 24 ff.


7. nostris penatibus: simply my house; there is nothing in the plural to

indicate that Martial means both his Nomentan villa and his house in Rome; cf.,
e.g., Cic. Quinct. 83 at hic quidem iam de fundo expulsus, iam a suis dis penatibus praeceps eiectus; Ovid. Fast. 4, 531 illa soporiferum, parvos initura penates;
TLL, s.v. 1026, 73 ff.
8. Castalis: cf. 7, 22, 4 Castaliae aquae; 12, 2, 13 Fons Castalius. The form
Castalis (also 4, 14, 1; 7, 12, 10) for the usual Castalius is a Grecism formed on
(cf. Theocrit. 7, 148) and appears only in Martial.
Castalia is a (still extant) well at Delphi at the foot of Mt. Parnassus, sacred to
Apollo and the Muses; cf. 4, 14, 1 Castalidum sororum; 7, 12, 10 Castaliumque gregem; Theocrit. 7, 148
; Hor. carm. 3, 4, 61 f.
(Apollo) rore puro Castaliae lavit | crinis solutos; Ov. am. 1, 15, 35 f. mihi flavus
Apollo | pocula Castalia plena ministret aqua; Bmer on Ov. met. 3, 14. Its water
was sweet to drink and pleasant to bathe in (Pausan. 10, 8, 9), and was also used
for religious purification (e.g., Eur. Phoen. 220 ff.; Ov. met. 1, 369 ff.).
From the beginning of the Principate, the Latin poets use the adjective
Castalius not only of things directly related to the well, but of all things connected
with Delphi and Apollo (e.g. Prop. 3, 3, 13 C. arbore; Tibull. 3, 1, 16 C. umbram;
Sen. Oed. 709 C. nemus; Stat. Theb. 7, 96, C. altaribus) or even of poetical activity; thus, 8, 66, 5 Castaliam domum of the house of Silius Italicus.



Iovis imber: the water supplied by Domitian will be as dear as the rain of
Jupiter. Coupled with the Castalian well, Iovis imber must obviously signify something more than ordinary rain. Perhaps there is an allusion to
referring to the life-giving rain of Zeus (Hom. Od. 9, 111; 9, 358) or to the golden rain
in which Jupiter approached Dana. Otherwise, Iovis imber (as
; cf.
Hom. Il. 5, 91; 11, 493; 12, 286) is usually brought in connection with tempests;
cf., e.g., Hor. epod. 2, 29; Stat. silv. 1, 6, 25 ff. ducat nubila Iuppiter per orbem |
et latis pluvias minetur agris, | dum nostri Iovis hi ferantur imbres (where the rain
of sweets which Domitian let fall on the spectators in the amphitheatre is contrasted with the rain of Jupiter).




Laudas balnea versibus trecentis
cenantis bene Pontici, Sabelle.
Vis cenare, Sabelle, non lavari.
The cenipeta Sabellus celebrates the baths of the gourmet Ponticus in countless
verses; but he does not want to bathe, he wants to dine. For the cenipetae and
their methods, see 9, 14 intro. It may be noted, if only as a curiosity, that both
Martial himself and Statius, presumably in 90, had written poems on the baths of
the wealthy Claudius Etruscus (6, 42 and silv. 1, 5), the poem of Statius comprising 65 verses and written intra moram cenae (silv. 1 praef.), probably a party to

inaugurate the baths. Even though there may have been quarrels between Martial
and Statius in 94,1 it is unlikely that this epigram would have been aimed at Statius; an allusion to the baths of Etruscus would have had little effect four years
after the event, and Statius poem, being short even for a Silva, cannot really be
said to contain innumerable verses. Moreover, Martial is likely to have been
present at the same party himself, and 6, 42 (comprising 24 verses, long for an
epigram) would have been written under similar circumstances.2
1. trecentis: as an indeterminately large number, also 2, 1, 1; 3, 22, 1; 3, 93, 1; 4,
61, 11; 7, 48, 1; 11, 35, 1; 12, 70, 7. The expression is frequent in Catullus (9, 2;
11, 18; 12, 10; 48, 3) and occurs also in Tibullus (1, 4, 69), Vergil (e.g., Aen. 8,
716), Horace (carm. 2, 14, 5; 3, 4, 79; sat. 1, 5, 12; 2, 3, 116) and Silius (7, 56).3
2. cenantis bene: the bona cena is to Martial a mere display of the wealth of
mean patrons (3, 12; 4, 68; cf. 9, 2 intro.) and those dining well are presented as
dewy-eyed victims of shrewd captatores (9, 14). To make a show of being a
gourmet, Papylus, while dining himself on lizard-fish and beans, sends luxurious
dishes as presents (7, 78), and the Calliodorus of 10, 31 sells a slave in order to be
able to buy a large mullet (cf. 9, 14, 3), so as to be able for once to bene cenare.
But, to Martial, this it not to dine well, since Calliodorus in fact eats a man, not
a fish; a similar reflection on the meaning of bene cenare is made by Cicero fin.
2, 24 f., arguing that a gourmet may indeed dine pleasantly (libenter), but never
well (bene), as long as the principal dish is not a bonus sermo; cf. also Hor. epist.
1, 6, 56 ff.
Pontici: Martial mostly attaches this name to bad patrons (2, 32; 3, 60; 4, 85;
perhaps also 5, 63) or masters (2, 82); the Ponticus of 9, 41, 1 is the only one
criticized for sexual perversion.
Sabelle: used in 7, 85 of a poet who has problems in writing at length but is
witty and elegant in his short pieces. Also of a sodomite in 3, 98; 6, 33; of a lawyer in 4, 46; of a dandy in 12, 39; of a man with a predilection for obscene verse
in 12, 43; and of a severe patron in 12, 60, 7.

See Henriksn, Martial und Statius, pp. 111 ff.

Cf. White, Friends, p. 277; Henriksn, op. cit., pp. 94 ff.
See E. Wlfflin, Sescenti, mille, centum, trecenti als unbestimmte und runde Zahlen, ALL 9, pp. 188 ff.


Haec, quae tota patet tegiturque et marmore et auro,
infantis domini conscia terra fuit,
felix o, quantis sonuit vagitibus et quas
vidit reptantis sustinuitque manus:
hic steterat veneranda domus, quae praestitit orbi
quod Rhodos astrifero, quod pia Creta polo.
Curetes texere Iovem crepitantibus armis,
semiviri poterant qualia ferre Phryges:
at te protexit superum pater, et tibi, Caesar,
pro iaculo et parma fulmen et aegis erat.
In this epigram, the second of the Templum gentis Flaviae cycle, the ground on
which the Flavian temple stands is praised as being lucky in having witnessed the
infancy of the future emperor Domitian and seen and sustained as tender the
hands which were to become the magnae manus of a divine monarch. It is compared to Rhodes and Crete, the one probably as the birth place of the Sun, the
other certainly as that of Jupiter. But whereas the infant Jupiter was protected by
the Curetes beating their shields with their spears, Domitian was under the protection of the thunderbolt and aegis of Jupiter himself.
For the Templum gentis Flaviae, see the introduction to 9, 1.
1. patet: probably implies that the area surrounding the temple has been cleared
of buildings. The ground on which the house of Vespasian stood has become a
temple-court, a temenos.
tegiturque et marmore et auro: for gold and marble as the typical materials
for lavish temples, cf. Prop. 2, 31, 1 f. (on the inauguration of the temple of
Apollo on the Palatine) aurea Phoebi | porticus; ibid. 9 claro ... marmore templum; for the idea of the earth being concealed or hidden by the marble, cf. Ov.
medic. 7 f. Auro sublimia tecta linuntur, | nigra sub imposito marmore terra latet;
met. 8, 699 ff. illa vetus dominis etiam casa parva duobus | vertitur in templum:
furcas subiere columnae, | stramina flavescunt aurataque tecta videntur |
caelataeque fores adopertaque marmore tellus; 11, 359 f. (with Bmer); 15, 672.
2. infantis domini conscia: with verbal force, witnessed our lord as a child; the
construction is of the ab urbe condita type with an adjective (see 9, 1, 3 note),
infantis thus being equal to infantiae. This may account for the genitive of the
person, which is rare with conscius in this sense, mostly appearing with inanimate
attributes (cf. TLL, s.v. 371, 49 ff.).
domini: to the Romans of the republic, the word dominus had been odious,
like anything that reminded them of autocracy. But, during the early empire,
through oriental influence, dominus came to be used in daily life as a civil form of
address, not only by freedmen towards their former masters, but among the freeborn towards their official or social superiors. Seneca (epist. 3, 1) relates that

people used to address those whose names they had forgotten as dominus. Martial
himself used it so often that he would even return a slaves greeting with domine1
(cf. 5, 57). Thus, Martials single address of Domitian as domine in the preface of
Book 8 is not a sign of excessive flattery of a despot; even Pliny on no less than 70
occasions in Book 10 of his Epistulae addresses Trajan (who was careful about not
appearing as an absolute monarch) as domine. It seems clear that dominus in the
vocative had lost most of its semantic content.
More conspicuous are the many references in the third person to Domitian as
dominus, which may have played a part in paving the way for the more daring,
and more rarely used, dominus et deus (which appears a couple of years later; see
note on 9, 66, 3). Still, being on different levels, the two should not, I think, be
discussed in immediate connection with one another,2 dominus being to some
degree established in contemporary social language, while dominus et deus would
incontestably be the title of a divine autocrat. Suetonius himself obviously did not
find Domitians delight in being called dominus quite as repulsive as his use of
dominus et deus (Dom. 13, 12).
Even though the early empire shows sporadic instances of dominus in the third
person from the private sphere (Seneca, for example, refers to his brother as dominus meus Gallio in epist. 104, 1), the emperors generally avoided it (even
though Caligula demanded to be thus addressed; see Svennung, op. cit., p. 343).
But in Martial and Statius, it is quite frequently used as a kind of title of
Domitian. As Sauter (p. 34) pointed out, the instances of dominus with a genitive
attribute (like terrarum dominus in 7, 5, 5) should not be taken into account as
being equivalent to expressions like parens orbis etc. But this still leaves a number of instances in which dominus is used absolutely,3 as in Martial 2, 92, 4; 4, 67,
4; 5, 2, 6; 5, 5, 3; 6, 64, 14; 7, 12, 1; 8, 1, 1; 8, 31, 3; 8, 82, 2; 9, 20, 2; 9, 23, 3; 9,
24, 6;4 in Statius silv. 3, 3, 103; 3, 3, 110; 4 praef.; 5, 1, 42; 5, 1, 74; 5, 1, 94; 5,
1, 112; 5, 1, 261. Clearly, both Martial and Statius were initially more cautious in
referring to Domitian as dominus; they were, of course, aware of the negative
connotation of the word. Martial never used it of Nerva or Trajan and also had
second thoughts about his having applied it to Domitian; of Trajan, he says non
est hic dominus sed imperator (10, 72, 8).5 In Statius, the first instance appears in

This is usually taken as referring to the greeting as domine of someone whose name one had forgotten or
as an indication that the original notion of lord was completely lost; see M. Bang, ber den Gebrauch
der Anrede domine in Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 4, p. 86; J. Svennung, Anredeformen, Lund 1958, p.
342; Howells introduction to 5, 57. But if dominus was so faint as to retain nothing of its original
meaning, it would hardly have been very startling when used of the emperor. Perhaps in 5, 57 Martial
means to express his weariness of the clients constant greeting of the patron as dominus (a custom of which
he complains elsewhere; cf. 1, 112; 2, 68) , which for Martials part, as the everlasting client, had now
resulted in his unintentionally greeting everybody as dominus.
As done by Scott, pp. 102112; Sauter, pp. 3140, is more strict on this point, though not as much as
would be desired.
The instances in which a slavemaster relationship is apparent should not be taken into consideration here;
this is the case in the poems to Earinus (Mart. 9, 16, 3; Stat. silv. 3, 4, 35; 3, 4, 101) and Latinus (Mart. 9,
28, 7).
In some of these instances, Martial may be using dominus of the emperor as his patron, as would any
Martials statement in line 3 of that poem, dicturus dominum deumque non sum, refer to his having
called Domitian dominus et deus, which implies going much further than calling the emperor dominus and
is thus not immediately comparable.


silv. 3. Previously, he had been anxious to point out that Domitian forbade the
people to call him dominus when they saluted him thus in the amphitheatre (silv.
1, 6, 83 f.). Both poets use dominus contemptuously (= tyrant) of Nero; thus,
Mart. epigr. 2, 12; Stat. silv. 2, 7, 61 (cf. Plin. epist. 4, 11, 5 dominus tyrannus of
But even if Statius at the beginning was more restrained than Martial, in time
he gave way to this form of flattery. The reason for this was presumably that
Domitian, to begin with, wanted, like Augustus and Tiberius before him, to be
considered princeps and not dominus. Rather early, in 8687 (as indicated by
Mart. 2, 92), it became apparent that, though he did not encourage it, Domitian
still did not decline and even liked to be called dominus.1 The poets, Statius
somewhat more guardedly than Martial, naturally complied with his wish. But
there are no signs of Domitians prescribing that he should be addressed as dominus.
3 f. quas ... manus: of the hands of the emperor 4, 30, 5 (manus) qua nihil est in
orbe maius; 6, 1, 5 magnas Caesaris manus (with Grewing); cf. 4, 1, 6 manus
tantas; 4, 8, 10 ingenti ... manu. Sauter, p. 104, derives the usage from the
as the helping and healing hand of a god, but it rather seems to be an epithet
suggesting power and strength; cf. of Jupiter Hor. carm. 3, 3, 6 fulminantis magna
manus Iovis; Ov. met 1, 595 f. caelestia magna | sceptra manu teneo; of Mars Sil.
9, 488, etc. See also Ov. met. 14, 8 inde manu magna Tyrrhena per aequora vectus, in which manu magna is explained by Bmer as adverbial formelhaft und
terminologisch im Bereich bermenschlicher Wesen (cf. Verg. Aen. 3, 624; 5,


5. veneranda domus: the house is venerable as the birthplace of Domitian; cf.

1, 70, 5 veneranda Palatia (as the site of the imperial palace, cf. Citroni, ad
loc.); 9, 101, 1 venerandus Caesar of Domitian himself. The word naturally
belongs in the religious vocabulary; cf. 7, 60, 1, of Jupiter; 9, 17, 1, of Aesculapius; 12, 2, 7, of the temple of Divus Augustus on the Palatine (see Scott, pp. 99
6. Rhodos: mentioned here as the birthplace of the Sun; cf. Cic. nat. deor. 3, 54.
The suggestion was first made by Housman,2 rightly refusing Friedlnders suggestion (accepted by Sauter, p. 66) that the god alluded to would be Neptune, who
was brought up on Rhodes by the Telchines (Diod. 5, 55). To Housmans argument, that Neptune has no particular connection with astrifer polus, it may be
added that Domitian is in fact nowhere compared to Neptune; indeed, Martial
never mentions Neptune at all. On the other hand, previous emperors had been
likened to the Sun (Housman compares Manil. 4, 756 f.; Buc. Eins. 1, 27; AP 9,
178), and an important argument, though unknown to Housman, is that there is
further evidence that Domitian was also in fact compared to the Sun (see 9, 1, 9;

Cf. Suet. Dom. 13, 1 Adclamari etiam in amphitheatro epuli die libenter audiit: domino et dominae
feliciter!. Sauter (p. 32) over-interprets these lines when he states that Domitian den Titel dominus sowie
den Doppeltitel dominus et deus ausdrcklich fr sich beanspruchte.
Housman, Notes, p. 75 (= Class. pap., p. 989).


9, 24, 3; 9, 34, 5; and the introduction, p. 32). Presumably, the mention of Rhodes
would have made the reader think of the Sun also because of the celebrated colossus of the Sun-god, considered to be one of the wonders of the world. Toppled by
an earthquake in 224 BC, its enormous fragments still excited wonder in the time
of Pliny. In silv. 1, 1, 103 f., Statius implies that Rhodes would prefer the equestrian statue of Domitian to the colossus of Helios (Phoebus): tua sidereas imitantia
flammas | lumina contempto mallet Rhodos aspera Phoebo
Scott (p. 139) made the suggestion that the god meant would perhaps be Neptune but might also be Minerva, unfortunately without offering any evidence in
favour of the latter.1 A reference to Minerva, the patron goddess of Domitian,
obviously seems very attractive, but nevertheless has to be disregarded. While her
connection with Rhodes is guaranteed by the great temple at Lindos, there is nothing to suggest that she would actually have been considered to have been born or
brought up on the island, although Zeus let a golden snow-shower fall on the
Rhodians on her birth (see Pind. Ol. 7, 33 ff.; Philostr. imag. 2, 27; AP 8, 220, 1;
cf. PrellerRobert 1, pp. 190 f.).
astrifero polo: polus here in the proper sense of the word; the juncture is
pia Creta: Crete was considered the birthplace of Jupiter,2 and is commonly
referred to as such in poetry, for example, Verg. Aen. 3, 104 Creta Iovis magni;
Ov. am. 3, 10, 20 Crete nutrito terra superba Iove; epist. 4, 163 Iovis insula,
Crete; met. 8, 99 Iovis incunabula, Creten; cf. also note on 9, 34, 1.
7. Curetes crepitantibus armis: in order to save him from the fate of his
brothers and sisters, who had all been devoured by their father Kronos, Rhea took
the infant Jupiter away and placed him under the protection of the Curetes, Cretan
semi-deities or daemons. The divine child was hidden in a cave, and the Curetes
drowned his cries by clashing their lances against their shields; cf. Lucr. 2, 633
ff.; Verg. georg. 4, 151 f.; Ov. fast. 4, 207 f.3
The juncture crepitantia arma is Ovidian; cf. met. 1, 143; 15, 783.
8. semiviri Phryges: the Curetes were not castrates, nor had they any connection with Phrygia. However, from Phrygia originated the Corybantes, who, like
the Curetes, were semi-deities or daemons and were frequently confused with
them. The cult of the Corybantes was ecstatic, involving orgiastic dancing, shouting and also self-castration,4 features which at an early stage brought them into
connection with Cybele. Through this connection, they became known to the
Romans (cf., e.g., 1, 70, 9 f.), who also inherited their confusion with the Curetes.

Scott is joined by Garthwaite, Court Poets, p. 48, n. 56, who, while offering no other evidence than that
Minerva was supposed to have been born on Rhodes, states that the mention of the aegis in line 10 (see
below) makes a reference to the goddess almost certain.
See Ziegler in Roscher 6, s.v. Zeus 578 ff.
Schwenn in RE 11, s.v. Kureten 2206 f.; Immisch in Roscher 2, s.v. Kureten und Korybanten 1593 ff.
Schwenn in RE 11 Korybanten, 1442.


This confusion was very old, and the ancients themselves were not sure
whether the names Curetes and Corybantes (or, indeed, the Cabeires, Dactyli and
Telchines) in fact alluded to the same beings or whether they really designated
different semi-gods of similar character, brought into connection by a common
feature, such as the weapon-dance. I quote here the definition given by Immisch, op. cit., p. 1594: Kureten wie Korybanten sind von Haus aus halbgttlichdmonische Wesen, nicht nur menschliche Priester oder deren mytische Vertreter.
Die Kureten unterschieden sich von den Korybanten so, dass diese ursprnglich
nach Asien, jene nach Kreta, diese zu Kybele, jene zu Rhea und Zeus gehren, bei
diesen ndlich gemss ihrer barbarischen Herkunft das orchestisch-entusiastische,
zugleich aber auch mytische Element des Kultus von Anfang an mit weniger
Mass und Zurckhaltung vorwaltet als bei jenen.
When the Corybantes are not, as here, presented as wholly identical with the
Curetes, they are mentioned alongside them as the protectors of the infant Jupiter;
cf. Ov. fast. 4, 209 f. pars clipeos sudibus, galeas pars tundit inanes: | hoc Curetes habent, hoc Corybantes opus (see Bmer, ad loc.).
poterant qualia ferre: with a concessive sense, but it was such weapons as
half-men could bear to carry, as opposed to the fulmen and aegis of Jupiter. For
the prosody, cf. Prop. 3, 8, 30.
10. iaculo et parma: the weapons of the Curetes are unsophisticated and humble,
the light iaculum and the parma, a shield such as may be used by jugglers like
Agathinus in 9, 38 (cf. note on 9, 38, 2). The contrast with the mighty thunderbolt
and the aegis of Jupiter is sharp.
fulmen et aegis: the mention of the aegis does not indicate that Martial means
both Jupiter and Minerva; for Jupiter wielding the aegis, cf. Verg. Aen. 8, 352 ff.;
Val. Fl. 4, 520 f. fulmina ... aegidaque ... gerens; Sil. 12, 719 ff. Sed enim aspice,
quantus | aegida commoveat nimbos flammasque vomentem | Iuppiter et quantis
pascat ferus ignibus iras.
The contrast between the crepitantia arma and the real divine power of Jupiter
may remind the reader of Vergils description of Salmoneus attempt to initiate
thunder and lightning, as opposed to Jupiters bolt with all its force: demens, qui
nimbos et non imitabile fulmen | aere et cornipedum pulsu simularet equorum. |
At pater omnipotens densa inter nubila telum | contorsit, non ille faces nec fumea
taedis | lumina, praecipitemque immani turbine adegit (Aen. 6, 590 ff.).


Artemidorus habet puerum, sed vendidit agrum;
agrum pro puero Calliodorus habet.
Dic, uter ex istis melius rem gesserit, Aucte:
Artemidorus arat, Calliodorus arat.
There are two other epigrams in Martial on a person who has sold an estate and
bought catamites for the money; thus 12, 16 Addixti, Labiene, tres agellos; |
emisti, Labiene, tres cinaedos: | pedicas, Labiene, tres agellos; 12, 33 Ut pueros
emeret Labienus vendidit hortos. | Nil nisi ficetum nunc Labienus habet. A similar idea is found also in 10, 31: Calliodorus has sold a slave to buy a large mullet;
consequently, he eats a man.
1. Artemidorus: a common Greek name (see Pape, s.v.), appearing also in 5, 40,
of an unsuccessful painter, in 6, 77, 3, of an athlete, and in 8, 58, of a person
(perhaps the same as in 6, 77; see Howell on 5, 40, 1) who may be called Sagaris
because of his thick cloak (cf. sagum, thick military cloak). Here, the name is
naturally fictitious, and there is nothing to suggest a connection with any of the
is used only by
2. Calliodorus: the Latin transcription of the Greek
Martial, and in various satirical contexts; thus 5, 38; 6, 44; 10, 11 and 10, 31 (see
above).1 Howell (on 5, 38, 1) suggests that Martials fondness for the name is due
to its convenient scansion.

3. ex istis: almost exclusively (the one exception being 2, 28, 5) placed immediately before the penthemimeresis of the hexameter or the caesura of the pentameter; cf. 1, 76, 4; 9, 22, 15; Ciris 431; Ov. am. 3, 2, 35; epist. 11, 104; fast. 2, 386;
6, 215; Pont. 1, 3, 38; 4, 14, 6; Epiced. Drusi 244.
Aucte: an Auctus appears in three other epigrams, and there is no reason to
suppose that they do not all refer to the same person, viz. the Pomponius Auctus
of 7, 51. As appears from the latter, Auctus was an admirer of Martials who
apparently knew his poems by heart (cf. 7, 51, 6 Non lector meus hic, Urbice, sed
liber est); in 7, 52, the poet thanks him for reading his poems to a certain Celer.
In 12, 13, as here, Auctus is simply the addressee of the epigram, but it would
seem likely that the mention of him in these two poems was Martials way of
expressing his gratitude for Auctus unsolicited services to him.
4. arat1: Gaselees emendation of the amat of the MSS to arat should be accepted2
with reference to Martials predilection for ambiguous puns (see 9, 6 intro.). For
aro in the sense of futuo and ager etc. as a paraphrase for cunnus or culus, cf.
is equally rare in Greek; no instances are given in Pape, s.v. (his reference to its
The name
occurring in Plaut. Pseud. is erroneous). There are two instances in P. M. Fraser & E. Matthews (eds.), A
Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, vol. 1, Oxford 1987, s.v.
S. Gaselee, Martial IX. 21, CR 35 (1921), pp. 104 f.


Plaut. Asin. 874 fundum alienum arat, incultum familiarem deserit; Truc. 149 f.
Non arvos hic, sed pascuost ager: si arationes | habiturus, qui arari solent, ad
pueros ire meliust; Merc. 356 arare mavelim, quam sic amare; Anth. 712, 17
arentque sulcos molles arvo Venerio (see Adams, pp. 24 and 154). This also provides the epigram with the same kind of paradox as is found in 12, 16, 3 pedicas
agellos and 10, 31, 6 hominem comes (see the introduction above).

Credis ob haec me, Pastor, opes fortasse rogare,
propter quae vulgus crassaque turba rogat,
ut Setina meos consumat glaeba ligones
et sonet innumera compede Tuscus ager;
ut Mauri Libycis centum stent dentibus orbes
et crepet in nostris aurea lamna toris,
nec labris nisi magna meis crystalla terantur
et faciant nigras nostra Falerna nives;
ut canusinatus nostro Syrus assere sudet
et mea sit culto sella cliente frequens;
aestuet ut nostro madidus conviva ministro,
quem permutatum nec Ganymede velis;
ut lutulenta linat Tyrias mihi mula lacernas
et Massyla meum virga gubernet equum.
Est nihil ex istis: superos et sidera testor.
Ergo quid? Ut donem, Pastor, et aedificem.



Martial criticizes the greed of the people, the vulgus crassaque turba, who want
riches for no other purpose than to be able to live in the lap of luxury. The refusal
of extravagance is in line with Martials own Epicurean view of life, reflected in
some of his poems to Iulius Martialis (1, 15; 5, 20; 10, 47; see 9, 97, 1 note), in
which he extols convictus facilis, sine arte mensa; | nox non ebria, sed soluta
curis; (10, 47, 8 f.). He does not despise wealth but prefers that which is non parta
labore, sed relicta (ibid. 3) or, as here, given to him. In this poem, however, Martial states that he asks for money (as he does, for example, of Domitian in 6, 10),
not to enable him to lead a quiet life, but to act as the model of the good patron, to
be able both to build and to give; this should be considered in the light of 9, 46, in
which Gellius spends all his fortune on expensive building while giving nothing
to needy friends; see the introduction to that epigram. For greedy patrons, see 9, 2
1. Pastor: suggested by Giese (see Friedlnder, ad loc.) as being identical with the
Iunius Pastor, whom Pliny in his youth had defended in court contra potentissimos civitatis atque etiam Caesaris (sc. Domitiani) amicos (epist. 1, 18, 3). There
is no other mention of him by Martial; cf. also Stein in RE 10, s.v. Iunius 117,

2. vulgus crassaque turba: naturally to be taken in malam partem, accentuated by

crassus in the sense of stultus, rusticus, etc. (TLL, s.v. 1105, 46 ff.). Vulgus and
turba are used together in this sense also in Cic. fam. 7, 1, 3 Extremus elephantorum dies fuit. In quo admiratio magna vulgi atque turbae; and Sen. dial. 10, 1,
1 turba et inprudens vulgus. Shackleton Bailey prints the reading of populus
for the vulgus of .

3. Setina glaeba: for Setian wine, see 9, 2, 5 note.

ligones: The ligo, a mattock with a broad, inward-curving iron blade, served
various purposes in ancient agriculture. The reference here is to its use in hilly
regions, where it was used in place of the plough; cf. 4, 64, 32; 9, 57, 7; Iuv. 11,
89 erectum domito referens a monte ligonem.1
4. innumera compede: according to Columella, the slaves employed in vineyards (vinitores) should be cleverer than those working in the fields. However,
being smarter, they were also more unrestrained and inclined to escape, for which
reason they mostly worked in fetters (Colum. 1, 9, 4 f.). As qualified workers, the
vinitores easily got employment elsewhere, if they escaped; there were even professional slave-catchers, fugitivarii, who for a high price and under suspicious
circumstances transferred the vinitores from one master to another; see D. Flach,
Rmische Agrargeschichte, Munich 1990, p. 170.
Tuscus ager: the wine of Etruria was generally considered of poorer quality
(Marquardt, p. 436), but Martial does not seem to have had anything against it.
He mentions it again in 9, 57, 7 (without any hint as to its quality), and in 13,
118, he compares it to the wine of Tarraco, which, according to Pliny (nat. 14,
71), could compete with the very best Italian wines. In 1, 26, 5 ff., it is mentioned
as inferior to an Opimian vintage, but as the year of Opimius consulship (121
BC) produced the best vintage ever, the reference is not necessarily negative.
5. Mauri Libycis ... dentibus orbes: luxurious table-leaves of citrus-wood on feet
of ivory; cf. 2, 43, 9; 9, 59, 10; 10, 98, 6; 12, 66, 6; 14, 89; 14, 91, 2; Cic. Verr. II
4, 37; Lucan. 10, 144 f.; Stat. silv. 3, 3, 94; 4, 2, 38 f. (with Coleman); Apul. met.
2, 19. They are referred to as Mauri (Libyci 2, 43, 9; 14, 91, 2; Atlantica munera
14, 89, 1; Maurusiaci 12, 66, 6; Massyla robora Stat. silv. 3, 3, 94; robora
Maurorum Stat. silv. 4, 2, 39) because Mauritania had a particularly large supply
of citrus-trees, the most celebrated being those provided by Mt. Ancorarius in
Mauretania Citerior, although they were already exhausted in Plinys day (nat. 13,
95). Table-leaves were made from an excrescence on the root, and fetched enormous prices (cf. 14, 89, 2). Cicero possessed a table for which he had paid
500,000 IIS, and nearly three times as much, 1,300,000 IIS, had been paid for a

For the ligo and its various types, see K. D. White, Agricultural Implements of the Roman World,
Cambridge 1967, pp. 36 ff.


table belonging to the Cethegan family; see Plin. nat. 13, 91 ff.; Marquardt, p.
702; Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 124 ff.
Ivory is commonly referred to as the tooth of the elephant; thus 2, 43, 9 Indis
... dentibus; 5, 37, 5 pecudis Indicae dentem; 7, 13, 2 antiqui dentis ebur; 10,
98, 6 Indicos ... dentes; 13, 100 dentis Erythraei; 14, 3 Libyci ... dentis; 14, 91
lem. dentes eborei, although opinions varied as to whether it really was a tooth or
a horn; cf. epigr. 19, 3 cornuta mole (sc. elephante); 1, 72, 4 Indico ... cornu;
Plin. nat. 7, 7.
6. aurea lamna: the bed is covered with sheets of gold, probably on a wooden
frame; such covering could be thin enough to be scraped off with the nail; cf. 8,
33, 5 f. derasa ... ungue ministri | brattea, de fulcro quam reor esse tuo. Seneca
mentions beds of gold (aurei lecti) as an instance of superabundance in epist. 110,
12 and 17, 12, but it is uncertain whether this refers to beds covered with gold or
to beds of solid gold as a mere exaggeration for literary effect. Golden beds are
otherwise mentioned as elements of Eastern luxury; thus Plaut. Stich. 377; Cic.
Tusc. 5, 61; Curt. 9, 7, 15; Suet. Iul. 49, 3; Flor. epit. 1, 40, 28. For beds with
silver coverings, see Plin. nat. 33, 146; Suet. Cal. 32, 2; cf. Marquardt, p. 301;
Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 118.
7. labris meis terantur: wear out with my lips. For tero indicating constant use, cf. 8, 3, 4 teritur noster ubique liber; 11, 3, 4 a rigido teritur centurione
magna crystalla: Martial often mentions crystal vessels, crystalla or crystallina (cf. 1, 53, 6; 3, 82, 25; 8, 77, 5; 9, 73, 5; 10, 14, 5; 10, 66, 5; 14, 111), but
it is sometimes difficult to tell whether he is referring to genuine rock-crystal or to
crystal glass; the latter would be the case at least in 9, 59, 13 (see note ad loc.)
and 12, 74, 1, although it seems reasonable to assume that at least the fictitious
references are to rock-crystal, the prices of crystal glass in Martials day having
fallen, owing to mass production (Forbes, Studies 5, p. 171).
Vessels of genuine rock-crystal were much sought after, especially those with
no defects in the material, the so- called vasa acenteta (Plin. nat. 37, 28); cf.
Apul. met. 12, 19 crustallum inpunctum. They were very fragile, which was also
the reason for their costliness (Sen. benef. 7, 9, 3) Breaking such a vessel would
have been a slaves utmost fear; Seneca relates an episode which occurred when
Augustus was dining in the house of Vedius Pollio (dial. 5, 40, 2): Fregerat unus
ex servis eius crustallinum; rapi eum Vedius iussit ne vulgari quidem more periturum: murenis obici iubebatur, quas ingentis in piscina continebat (cf. 14, 111).
They also serve as stock examples of unnecessary luxury in epist. 119, 3 and 123,
7; see also Marquardt, p. 743; Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 408 f.
8. faciant nigras Falerna nives: because of its dark colour, Martial frequently
refers to the Falernian as nigrum; thus 8, 55, 14; 77, 5; 11, 8, 7; 49, 7; cf. 2, 40, 6
fusca Falerna. The wine frequently appears in the works of the poets and particularly often in Martial, who mentions it twenty-six times, whereas the Caecubum


and Setinum are mentioned seven times each, the Sabinum but once (see Heraeus
Index nominum).
On the Falernian wine, see, above all, Plin. nat. 14, 62 f. It was grown on the
Ager Falernus in Campania, the estate producing the finest wine being that of L.
Cornelius Sulla Faustus (son of the dictator), situated six miles east of Sinuessa,
north-east of Capua. However, Pliny reckoned the Falernian of his day a secondclass wine, culpa copiae potius quam bonitati studentium (but, as he himself
acknowledges, it is a matter of taste which wine each man considers the best; nat.
14, 59). There were three varieties of Falernian, one dry (austerum), one sweet
(dulce) and one light (tenue), whereas some discerned three vintages according to
the place of growth, Caucinian growing on the tops of the hills, Faustian half-way
up, and Falernian at the bottom.
For the practice of straining the wine through a colander containing snow, see
note on 9, 2, 5 dominae ... liquantur.
9. canusinatus ... Syrus: a Syrian dressed in Canusian wool; the adjective canusinatus is found only here and in Suet. Nero 30 canusinatis mulionibus. The
carriers of the sedan (lecticarii), commonly Syrians (see note on 9, 2, 11), wore a
livery, probably a paenula (cf. Sen. benef. 3, 28, 5), a heavy, water-repellent cloak
for outdoor use. In Book 14, Martial has two distichs on Canusinae (14, 127 C.
fuscae; 129 C. rufae), both probably referring to paenulae; see Leary ad locc.;
Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 448.
Canusium in Apulia was famous for working and dyeing the high-quality
Apulian wool, which was the best available (Plin. nat. 8, 190);1 cf. 8, 28, 1 ff.;
Varro ling. 9, 39; Iuv. 6, 150 (with Courtney); Mau in RE 3, s.v. Canusium 1501;
Marquardt, p. 459; Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 237.
assere: the pole used for carrying the sedan, here probably collective singular;
cf. Iuv. 7, 131 longo ... assere with Courtneys note. The poles were placed on the
carriers shoulders, and the sedan was hung on them with plaited straps (cf. 2, 57,
6), short enough to keep the person travelling in the sedan above those who
walked (Iuv. 1, 158 f. qui dedit ergo tribus patruis aconita, vehatur | pensilibus
plumis atque illinc despiciat nos?); Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 447.
10. culto sella cliente frequens: after the salutatio, at which the client was not
allowed to enter before his patron unless properly dressed in the toga (hence culto;
see 9, 49, intro.), he was expected to accompany his patron to the forum, clearing
his way through the crowd; thus, clients are sometimes referred to as anteambulones (a word found only in Martial and Suet. Vesp. 2, 2); cf. 2, 18, 5; 2, 74; 3, 7,
2; 3, 46, 4 f.; 10, 74, 3. The patron was carried in a sedan, here a sella, in which
the person carried sat upright; cf. 2, 57, 6; 3, 36, 4; 9, 100, 3; 10, 10, 7; Blmner,
Privataltertmer, p. 445.

See also Mau in RE 3, s.v. Canusium 1501; Marquardt, p. 459; Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 237.


11. conviva ministro: for dinner-guests lusting after the attending servants, see 9,
25 intro. (the same ending in 9, 25, 9). For vini ministri as concubines, see the
Earinus cycle, intro.
12. Ganymede: for the comparison of young boys to Ganymede, a notable feature
of the Earinus cycle, see 9, 11, 7 note.
13. lutulena linat mihi mula lacernas: note the alliteration, underlining the
contents; cf. HofmannSzantyr, p. 713.
Tyrias lacernas: the lacerna was an open cloak with fringes, thrown over
the shoulders, hanging down over the loins and held together with a clasp on the
chest or on the shoulder. It was probably brought to Rome from the Orient in the
first century BC and was worn at first exclusively by soldiers; the lacerna was,
however, soon adopted by civilians, which caused the conservative Augustus to
forbid its use in the Forum (Suet. Aug. 40). It nevertheless gained in popularity,
and, in Martials day, it appears to have been commonly worn over the toga as
protection (cf. 8, 28, 22; 12, 26, 11); see Lange in RE 12, s.v. Lacerna 327 ff.
Given its protective function, the lacerna was usually made of coarse material
(cf. 1, 96, 4; 7, 86, 8; 8, 58), but there were also more fashionable designs made of
less durable materials (6, 59, 5 f.), plain white (14, 135) or dyed with purple (14,
131), the former for use at spectacles, perhaps to match the toga made compulsory
by Domitian (see Leary on 14, 135, 2). Disregarding the decree, some still appeared in scarlet (5, 23, 5 f.) or even black lacernae (4, 2, 2). Apart from these,
there were natural-coloured lacernae (14, 1331), amethyst-coloured (2, 57, 2 f.),
greenish-yellow (5, 23, 1 with Howells note) and lacernae interwoven with gold
(Iuv. 10, 212), but the height of luxury were those dyed with Tyrian purple (see,
apart from the instances above, 2, 29, 3; 2, 43, 7; 5, 8, 5 and 11; 10, 87, 10; 13,
87; 14, 133, 2). Such a cloak would change hands for 10,000 IIS (4, 61, 4 f.; 8,
10). To Seneca, such cloaks were mere objects of display, worn by those who
would do nothing that might pass unnoticed (epist. 114, 21).
On Tyrian purple, see note on 9, 62, 4.
14. Massyla virga gubernet equum: alluding to Massylian outriders, employed by the rich when travelling, to make way for the company; they formed
part of a showy display which also included precursors (the so-called cursores),
and an often overburdened baggage train carrying costly services, sometimes
statues and even mosaic floors.2 The outriders seem in general to have been Africans dressed in magnificent garments; cf. 10, 6, 7 picti tunica Nilotide Mauri; 10,
14, 2 Libys ... eques; 12, 24, 6. Seneca was naturally upset by this luxurious and
ostentatious way of travelling (see epist. 87, 9; 123, 7).
Like the Numidians and other neighbouring nations, the Massylians were
skilled horsemen, who did not use reins or saddles when riding, but only riding1
The natural colour of the lacernae Baeticae mentioned in 14, 133 would be a reddish brown, owing to
the colour of the fleece of the Baetic sheep (see Leary, ad loc.).
See Blmner, p. 466, Marquardt, pp. 147 f.


whips (cf. Lucan. 4, 682 f.).1 Massylus, like Libycus (cf. 9, 1, 6), could denote
Africans in general (for example, Stat. Theb. 11, 27 Massyla per arva with Veninis note), but in this case, it may well be taken in its proper sense.
15. superos et sidera testor: a solemn oath and a reminiscence of Vergil, who is
the first Latin poet to let his characters swear by the gods and the stars or to take
them as witnesses; thus Aen. 3, 599 f. (Achaemenides) per sidera testor, | per
superos atque hoc caeli spirabile lumen; 4, 519 f. (Dido) testatur moritura deos et
conscia fati | sidera; 6, 458 f. (Aeneas) per sidera iuro, | per superos et si qua
fides tellure sub ima est; cf. 9, 429; 12, 197 ff.; then Lucan. 8, 728 ad superos
obscuraque sidera fatur; cf. 9, 522; Stat. silv. 1, 4, 117 f. ardua testor | sidera
teque, pater vatum Thymbraee; cf. Theb. 10, 360; 12, 393; Val. Fl. 7, 498 ff.

O cui virgineo flavescere contigit auro,
dic, ubi Palladium sit tibi, Care, decus.
Aspicis en domini fulgentes marmore vultus?
Venit ad has ultro nostra corona comas.
Albanae livere potest pia quercus olivae,
cinxerit invictum quod prior illa caput.

Like 9, 24, this epigram is addressed to Carus, the winner at one of Domitians
Alban games (in 94?), but the chief aim of both poems is really to flatter the emperor with the description of the miraculous behaviour of Carus prize, the golden
olive-wreath, when faced with a bust of Domitian. Carus had the bust on display
in his home, and Martial would presumably have seen it on a visit; on its head
rested the golden olive-wreath, inviting an aetiological poem on its choice of
resting-place: it has flown thither of its own accord, the olive of Minerva being
drawn to the head of her protg Domitian (cf. note on 9, 3, 10 res agit tuas).
Thus, the oak (as awarded the winner at the Capitoline contest) must envy the
olive, since the latter has been the first to encircle the head of Domitian. The oakwreath, of course, represents Jupiter, just as eager as Minerva to mark his favour
to Domitian; but, as Carus gained the victory at Alba, not yet having been victorious in the Capitoline games, he has given Minerva the advantage.
With the olive representing Minerva, the alleged behaviour of the wreath is
not immediately comparable to those instances in which, typically, animals are
affected by the numen of the divine emperor (like the goose of 9, 31, for example);
whereas the animals act directly under the influence of the emperors numen, the
olive-wreath of Carus would have been placed on Domitians bust by Minerva
herself or at least flown to the bust, not so much because it felt the divinity of the

See Schwabe in RE 14, s.v. Massyli 2166.


emperor as because her attributes, like the goddess herself, lovingly tend her
Domitians Alban games, the Quinquatria Minervae, are known primarily
from Suet. Dom. 4, 4: the games, consisting of hunting spectacles, scenic performances and contests in oratory and poetry, were held annually in honour of
Minerva at Domitians villa at Alba2 and were overseen by supervisors elected by
lot from the members of a college of priests formed by Domitian. Dio Cassius (67,
1, 2) says that the games were held almost every year (
suggesting that there may have been intermissions) at the
, i.e. the
Quinquatrus, the official feast in honour of Minerva celebrated between the 19th
and the 23rd of March.3
Martial mentions or alludes to the Alban games in five epigrams, twice outside
Book 9. The first reference is 4, 1, 5 f. Hic (sc. Domitianus) colat Albano
Tritonida multus in auro | perque manus tantas plurima quercus eat, where the
Alban gold certainly alludes to the golden olive-wreath; the epigram thus marks
the terminus ante quem for the institution of the games, which accordingly must
have occurred before the publication of Book 4 at the turn of the year 8889. In 5,
1, 1, Martial mentions Alba as Palladia, probably with reference to the festival
(but perhaps also to the Palladium brought by the Trojans to Alba Longa; see
Howell ad loc.). Apart from the present poem and the following, there is also a
mention of the wreath in 9, 35, 9. Statius, who had himself been victorious in the
Alban games of March 90,4 mentions the games four times with regard to his
victory (silv. 3, 5, 28 ff.; 4, 2, 63 ff.; 4, 5, 22 ff.; 5, 3, 227 ff.). Besides Suetonius
and Dio, the sole reference to the Alban games later than Martial and Statius is
Iuv. 4, 99 ff. mentioning the venationes; the games apparently came to an end
with the assassination of their founder.5




1. O cui: cf. 4, 54, 1 f. (of the winner at the Capitoline games Collinus) O cui
Tarpeias licuit contingere quercus | et meritas prima cingere fronde comas. The
address with o cui appears for the first time in Verg. georg. 1, 12 f. (of Neptune)
tuque o, cui ... frementem | fudit equum; then Ov. met. 7, 164; 15, 39; Sil. 13, 8;
Stat. Theb. 6, 180. O qui in Catull. 24, 1; o quicumque in Verg. Aen. 8, 122.6

Weinreich (Studien, p. 137) considers the wreath as acting under the influence of Minerva: Domitian,
der Verehrer Minervas, hatte ja den alljhrlichen Dichterwettstreit in seinem Albanum eingesetzt, und so
huldigt nun der dem siegreichen Dichter verliehene Kranz ultro dem Stifter des Agons, der ein Liebling der
Gttin ist. Scott (p. 123) seems exclusively to consider the influence of the imperial numen (the crown
felt the divine power of the monarch).
The building, which was probably designed by Rabirius, comprised a theatre as well as a circus (Jones,
Domitian, p. 97).
Jones, Domitian, p. 100; cf. Hentschel in RE 24, s.v. Quinquatrus 1149 ff.; Mooney on Suet. Dom. 4, 4,
p. 527.
See Coleman, pp. xvii f. The prize-winning poem was about Domitians actions against the Chatti in 89
and his campaign against the Dacians of the same year (the First Pannonian War); see Coleman on silv. 4,
2, 667.
So Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 2, p. 230.
O qui also in Verg. Aen. 1, 229; Hor. carm. 1, 26; 3, 26, 9; Ov. rem. 557; met. 8, 855; trist. 4, 4, 1; Val.
Fl. 1, 194; 5, 235; Stat. Theb. 10, 762; o quicumque also in Ov. met. 4, 114; Manil. 3, 36; Val. Fl. 4, 674;
Stat. Theb. 5, 20.


virgineo flavescere contigit auro: the golden olive-wreath; cf. 4, 1, 5 Albano

... auro; Stat. silv. 3, 5, 29 sancto ... Caesaris auro; 4, 2, 67 Palladio ... auro. The
colour of gold is flavus (cf. 9, 61, 3), because of which things with golden ornamentation are said to flavescere; cf. Ov. met. 8, 701 stramina flavescunt aurataque tecta videntur with Bmers note; TLL, s.v. flavesco 887, 20 ff.
Virgineus of things pertinent to Minerva appears, apart from this instance,
only in Verg. Aen. 2, 168 virgineas ... vittas (of the Palladium) and Val. Fl. 5,
646 virgineas Cecropis arces; OLD, s.v. 2 c. Later Claud. 8, 36 virgineum
For the ending contigit auro, cf. Ov. epist. 3, 59; met. 15, 416; 15, 497; Iuv. 5,
2. Dic, ubi: at the beginning of the hexameter also 4, 66, 17; 7, 73, 5; Ov. met. 8,
861; Lucan. 9, 123.
Palladium decus: again, the olive-wreath; cf. Stat. silv. 4, 2, 67 (cited
above); Ov. ars 1, 727 Palladiae coronae (of the prize at the Olympic games);
Palladius of the olive also Verg. georg. 2, 181; Moret. 113; Ov. met. 8, 275 (with
Bmer); Stat. Theb. 5, 417; 6, 575; Sil. 1, 238; 3, 405.
Cf. decus of laurel wreaths in Ov. trist. 3, 1, 46 aeternum ... decus; Pont. 2, 8,
25 decus indelebile; of the corona navalis Sen. benef. 3, 32, 4; decus of a diadem
Ov. met. 9, 690; Sen. Herc. f. 252; Ag. 8; Thy. 701; Stat. Theb. 11, 161 (with
Care: this Carus is otherwise unknown, nor is there anything to indicate in
what event he took part. Friedlnders identification of him with an alleged Carus
of 7, 74, 7 and 9, 54, 5 cannot be accepted; in 7, 74, Carpo should be read (with
; see Heraeus apparatus); for 9, 54, 5, see note ad loc.

3. Aspicis en: cf. Ov. met. 13, 264; Pont. 4, 7, 3.

domini: for Domitian as dominus, see note on 9, 20, 2 domini.
fulgentes marmore vultus: fulgere of the lustre of marble statues, cf. 1, 70, 6
plurima qua (sc. sacro clivo) summi fulget imago ducis; 6, 13, 4 placido fulget
vivus in ore decor; Octavia 795; TLL, s.v. fulgeo 1509, 72 ff. The ending is a
reminiscence (appearing also in 8, 24, 5) of the famous prophecy of Anchises in
Verg. Aen. 6, 847 f. excudent alii spirantia mollius aera | credo equidem, vivos
ducent de marmore vultus.
5. Albanae olivae: metonymy for the wreath, cf. 9, 35, 9; Verg. Aen. 5, 309
flava caput nectentur oliva; Hor. carm. 1, 7, 7 decerptam fronti praeponere
olivam; TLL, s.v. oliva 565, 55 ff.
pia quercus: the oak-wreath awarded the winner in the Capitoline games; see
note on 9, 3, 8.


livere: to envy (cf. TLL, s.v. 1544, 20 ff.), with the dative on the analogy of
invideo, cf. Khner-Stegmann 1, 76, p. 310. Perhaps there is also a play on the
basic meaning to be dark blue, alluding to the colour of an olive: the oak envies
the olive and turns dark blue, imitating the colour of its fruits in the hope of getting the same advantages.
6. invictum caput: for the epithet invictus, see note on 9, 1, 10 invicta ... manus.

Quis Palatinos imitatus imagine vultus
Phidiacum Latio marmore vicit ebur?
Haec mundi facies, haec sunt Iovis ora sereni:
sic tonat ille deus, cum sine nube tonat.
Non solam tribuit Pallas tibi, Care, coronam;
effigiem domini, quam colis, illa dedit.

Continuing the theme of 9, 23, this epigram praises Carus bust of Domitian, on
which he had placed the olive-wreath of Alba. Although made of simple Latin
marble, in the eyes of Martial the bust surpasses the noble ivory of Phidias Olympic Zeus. From its radiant beauty and majestic serenity, it appears that this is not
the image of a man, but that of the earthly Jupiter; indeed, it is such as cannot
have been made by mortal hands: it must be the work of Domitians patron-goddess Minerva (cf. Stat. silv. 1, 1, 5 f., of the equestrian statue of Domitian, an te
Palladiae talem, Germanice, nobis | effecere manus). Compare also 9, 64, on a
bust of Hercules with the features of Domitian.
1. Palatinos imitatus ... vultus: of the twelve instances of the adjective Palatinus
in Martial, three are directly applied to Domitian as the earthly Jupiter, making a
parallel to Tarpeius of the heavenly (see note on 9, 86, 7). Six instances are obviously synonymous with imperial; thus 4, 45, 2 (of Parthenius); 8, 28, 22 (of a
toga received from Parthenius); 8, 39, 1 and 13, 91, 1 (mensa, the imperial
kitchen); 9, 79, 2; 11, 8, 5 (of the clothes presses of Nervas wife); three instances
refer to gods, 5, 5, 1 (Minerva); 5, 19, 4 (Palatini dei; see Howell ad loc.); 8, 60,
1 (Palatinus colossus, of uncertain significance; see Friedlnder ad loc.).
It is noteworthy that prior to Martial Palatinus is used only in a neutral sense,
referring to the Palatine without further connotation (Verg. Aen. 9, 9 P. Evander;
Ov. met. 14, 622 P. gens; 15, 560 P. colles; fast. 6, 794 P. iugum; 5, 152 and
Prop. 4, 6, 44 P. aves) or to the famous temple of Apollo situated on the hill (P.
Apollo Hor. epist. 1, 3, 17; Prop. 4, 6, 11; P. arae Hor. carm. saec. 65; P. laurus
Ov. fast. 4, 953; P. Phoebus Calp. ecl. 4, 159). The sense of imperial is thus
introduced by Martial, as is the application of the word to Domitian; he is fol-


lowed in the former respect by Iuv. 6, 117 P. cubile, in the latter (or perhaps in
both respects) by Stat. silv. 3, 4, 38 Palatino ... amori (sc. Domitian).
Note the scansion /J?RGLMQ, which is the usual one in Martial; of twenty cases
(comprising also Palatia etc.), fifteen are scanned / , UFCPC?Q MLJW DGTC ?PC
QA?LLCB / .1 The long scansion was introduced, for metrical convenience, by
Silius (12, 516); see Citroni on 1, 70, 5.
For imitor of sculpturing, cf. Hor. ars 33 (faber) mollis imitabitur aere capillos; Ov. Ib. 437 aere Perilleo veros imitere iuvencos; TLL, s.v. imitor 435, 10 ff.
The ending imagine vultus also 6, 27, 3; 9, 74, 3; Ov. trist. 1, 7, 1; Pont. 2, 8,
2. Phidiacum ebur: Phidias great statue of Zeus in Olympia, made of ivory
and gold on a wooden frame and further decorated with ebony, gems, etc.2 The
works of Phidias were highly praised in antiquity; cf., for example, Cic. Brut. 228
Q. Hortensi admodum adulescentis ingenium ut Phidiae signum simul aspectum
et probatum est; orat. 8 Phidiae simulacris quibus nihil in illo genere perfectius
videmus. The statue of Zeus was the model of perfection: Plin. nat. 36, 18 Phidian
clarissimum esse per omnes gentes, quae Iovis Olympii famam intellegunt, nemo
dubitat; 34, 54. Martial has, in all, nine references to Phidias,3 although the statue
at Olympia is mentioned only here.
Latio marmore: as a material for sculpture, marble was inferior to ivory; cf.
Sen. epist. 85, 40 Non ex ebore tantum Phidias sciebat facere simulacra; faciebat
ex aere. Si marmor illi, si adhuc viliorem materiam obtulisses, fecisset quale ex
illa fieri optimum posset; Plin. nat. 36, 15. There is no reason to doubt, though,
that the marble used for the bust would have been the finest available in Italy;
thus, as there is no mention of marble from Latium in antiquity, Latius should
probably be taken in a wide sense (cf. 9, 64, 2 Latia via of the Appian way) as
referring to the Etruscan marble of Luna (Carrara), quarried on a larger scale
from the end of the republic and used for sculpture (for example, the Apollo di
Belvedere) as well as for buildings (for example, the temple of Apollo on the
Palatine); see Philipp in RE 2:3, s.v. Luna 1, 1804 f. But, in spite of the high
esteem in which it was held, it naturally yielded to ivory as material for sculpture,
and there is, of course, an effective contrast between Latium marmor and
Phidiacum ebur; although the artist has used a decidedly inferior material, his
work surpasses the splendour of Phidias Zeus, because the subject is Domitian.
3. mundi facies: the face of heaven, perhaps referring to the Sun, as in Lucr. 4,
134 mundi species ... serena; Sen. Oed. 250 sereni maximum mundi decus (with
Tchterle). The comparison of Domitian both to the Sun and to Jupiter would then
be of the same kind as in 9, 20, 6 (see note ad loc.). Mundi facies is otherwise
used by Manilius as a kind of terminus technicus for the aspect of the firma1

Long scansion: 1, 70, 5; 4, 5, 7; 4, 78, 7; 7, 28, 5; 8, 28, 22; 8, 39, 1; 9, 24, 1; 9, 42, 5; 9, 79, 2; 9, 86, 7;
9, 91, 3; 9, 101, 13; 11, 8, 5; 12, 21, 3; 13, 91, 1. Short scansion: 4, 45, 2; 5, 5, 1; 5, 19, 4; 8, 60, 1; 9, 39,
Pausan. 5, 11; cf. Sieveking in RE 19, s.v. Pheidias 1921.
Thus, 3, 35, 1; 4, 39, 4; 6, 13, 1; 6, 73, 8; 7, 56, 3; 9, 44, 6;10, 87, 16; and 10, 89, 2.


ment, the face of heaven; cf. Manil. 1, 33; 1, 111; 1, 811; 2, 923; 4, 267; also
Sen. epist. 89, 1. Thus, while it is possible to take this and the following Iovis ...
sereni as meaning the aspect of the firmament and the sky on a clear day, the
connection with Iovis ora sereni is effective only if taken to refer also to the actual
Sun and Jupiter himself. Cf. also patriae facies of Augustus in Ov. Pont. 2, 8, 20.
Iovis ora sereni: cf. 5, 6, 9 (to Parthenius) Nosti tempora tu Iovis sereni (you
know the time when Caesar is cheerful). Martial continues the metaphor of the
sky, cf. the expressions sub Iove, in the open, under the heavens and Iuppiter
= weather (for example, Hor. carm. 1, 1, 25 f. manet sub Iove frigido | venator;
1, 22, 19 f. malus ... Iuppiter; Ov. fast. 2, 138; Stat. Theb. 2, 404), on the analogy
of which Iuppiter serenus would be fair weather.1
4. sine nube: cf. Ov. fast. 3, 369 ter tonuit sine nube deus, tria fulgura misit.
Bmer, ad loc., points to Greek models, like Hom. Od. 20, 103 f.
;2 and 20,
113 f.
.3 Thunder from a clear sky was regarded as an omen; cf. Serv. Aen. 7, 141 f.
(hic pater omnipotens ter caelo clarus ab alto | intonuit) in serenitate, quod est
augurii; nam in nubibus causa est; cf. also Verg. Aen. 8, 523 ff.; 9, 630. When
Jupiter thundered from a clear sky, a caelum serenum, he was propitious; the bust
of Domitian carries the features of a friendly Thunderer.












5. Care: see note on 9, 23, 2.

coronam: the olive-wreath awarded to the winner at the Alban games (see 9,
23 intro.).
6. domini: Domitian as dominus (see note on 9, 20, 2 domini).
illa dedit: as shown by the opening questions, Minerva has not only given the
bust to Carus, but sculptured it herself, being the patron deity of painters and
sculptors.4 The situation is the same in 6, 13, 1 f. (on a statue of Julia) Quis te
Phidiaco formatam, Iulia, caelo, | vel quis Palladiae non putet artis opus? Minerva is also mentioned, for the same reason as in the present epigram, at the beginning of Stat. silv. 1, 1 (on the equestrian statue of Domitian) Quae superinposito moles geminata colosso | stat Latium complexa forum? Caelone peractum |
fluxit opus? Siculis an conformata caminis | effigies lassum Steropem Brontemque
reliquit? | An te Palladiae talem, Germanice, nobis | effecere manus (silv. 1, 1, 16).

The expression has been treated at some length by Sauter, p. 62 f. It would ultimately go back to the
ancient Indo-European concept of the supreme god as the brightness of heaven; see Wachsmuth in KP 5,
s.v. Zeus 1516 ff.
At once he (sc. Zeus) thundered from gleaming Olympus from on high from out the clouds.
How loudly you have thundered from the starry sky, yet nowhere is there any cloud. Translations by A.
T. Murray & G. E. Dimock, Loeb.
See, for example, Furtwngler in Roscher, s.v. Athene 681 f.


Dantem vina tuum quotiens aspeximus Hyllum,
lumine nos, Afer, turbidiore notas.
Quod, rogo, quod scelus est, mollem spectare ministrum?
Aspicimus solem, sidera, templa, deos.
Avertam vultus, tamquam mihi pocula Gorgon
porrigat atque oculos oraque nostra petat?
Trux erat Alcides, et Hylan spectare licebat;
ludere Mercurio cum Ganymede licet.
Si non vis teneros spectet conviva ministros,
Phineas invites, Afer, et Oedipodas.
The theme of tipsy guests looking eagerly at the hosts young and beautiful servants is found elsewhere in Martial; cf. 9, 22, 11, and in particular 10, 98, in
which the poet expresses the same indignation at the hosts jealousy: should Martial rather look at his lamps and citrus-tables than at the minister Idaeo resolutior
cinaedo? Moreover, the servants were not totally discouraging, as might be gathered from line 6 (see note below), and cf. 11, 23, 9 f. dabit nobis lasciva minister
basia. On the sexual abuse of the ministri, see the Earinus cycle, intro.
The present epigram is clearly influenced by AP 12, 175 (Strato):































) appears three times more in Martial,

1. Hyllum: the name Hyllus (Gr.
always in an obscene context; thus of a lascivious boy in 2, 60 and 4, 7, and in 2,
51 of a depraved miser.

2. lumine turbidiore notas: you mark me with a yet gloomier glance; for noto
in the sense of to look askance at, see Forcellini, Lex., s.v. 8, 296.
3. Quod, rogo, quod: Martial often puts such affectionate questions, opened by a
monosyllabic interrogative pronoun followed by parenthetical rogo, at the beginning of the verse; thus 2, 80, 2; 3, 76, 3; 5, 25, 7; 10, 41, 3; 10, 66, 1. The parenthetical rogo in questions is a distinctive feature of Martials language (eleven
instances more,2 always with iambic shortening; cf. 9, praef., 6 puto); the usage is
colloquial and first appears in Petronius, who uses it frequently (for example, 7, 1;
20, 1; 39, 1; see Hofmann, p. 130). There are no other instances from the poets of
Either be not jealous with your friends about your slave boys, or do not provide girlish-looking cupbearers. For who is of adamant against love, or who succumbs not to wine, and who does not look curiously
at pretty boys? This is the way of living men, but if you like, Diophon, go away to some place where there
is no love and no drunkenness, and there induce Tiresias or Tantalus to drink with you, the one to see
nothing and the other only to see (W. R. Patons translation, Loeb). The first distich of this epigram would
be the model also of 10, 98, 11 f. habere, Publi, | mores non potes hos et hos ministros.
3, 44, 9; 3, 52, 3; 3, 73, 3; 4, 84, 4; 5, 44, 1; 5, 82, 3; 6, 17, 2; 7, 86, 3; 10, 15, 2; 10, 21, 2; 13, 58, 2.


the parenthetical rogo in questions, except for Stat. silv. 4, 9, 42 ff. ollares, rogo,
non licebat uvas, | Cumano patinas in orbe tortas | aut unam dare synthesin quid
horres?, whereas the corresponding quaeso, which is not found in Martial, appears once each in Horace, Propertius and the Priapea, six times in Phaedrus and
four times in Silius.
Similarly, Martial has six instances of the paratactic rogo followed by either
an imperative or subjunctive (cf. 9, 9, 3 monemus),1 which otherwise appears only
in Ov. epist. 11, 127; trist. 3, 6, 22; compare the much commoner, paratactic
quaeso, found twice each in Catullus, Vergil, Valerius Flaccus and Juvenal, six
times each in Tibullus and Propertius, nine in Ovid, eleven in Silius and ten in
Emphatic gemination like quod ... quod is originally colloquial, adopted into
rhetoric and higher poetry as a means of significant ornamentation and emphasis;
the latter is particularly obvious in cases in which the repeated words are separated by, as here, rogo, inquam (so 6, 64, 8), precor, etc. Compare 9, 84, 8 and see
HofmannSzantyr, 45 b, pp. 809 f.
mollem: girlish, dainty; cf. 9, 11, 10; 9, 59, 3; Hor. epod. 11, 4 mollibus
in pueris aut in puellis urere; mollis is often used of catamites in this sense; cf. 3,
73, 4; Catull. 25,1; TLL, s.v. 1379, 26 f. It may also signify compliance in love
(TLL, s.v. 1377, 71 ff.), cf. Prop. 2, 22, 13 quaeris, Demophoon, cur sim tam
mollis in omnis?; Ov. am. 2, 3, 5, which may strengthen Martials argumentation:
the boy is even inviting.
4. templa, deos: deos is metonymy for statues of the gods, TLL, s.v. deus 889, 7
ff. For the prosody, cf. Ov. trist. 3, 1, 60.
5 f. Avertam ... petat: Should I turn away, as if it were a Gorgon (and not the
boy) who poured the wine for me and tried to catch my eye (cf. Friedlnder ad
loc.); the one who looked upon the face of a Gorgon was immediately turned to
stone. Against the reading of T petat, Shackleton Bailey has adopted the reading
of tegam, altering the punctuation of the whole sentence thus: avertam vultus,
tamquam mihi pocula Gorgon | porrigat, atque oculos oraque nostra tegam?
Whereas both readings give acceptable meanings, petat seems nonetheless preferable, as it implies that it is not only Martial who looks at the boy, but also that the
boy gives him inviting glances.
The introduction of the Gorgon may perhaps be influenced by AP 6, 126
(Dioscorides), on the Cretan warrior Hyllus, who wore a picture of a Gorgon on
his shield.2

Paratactic with imperative: 2, 14, 18; 2, 25, 2; 6, 20, 4; with subjunctive: 3, 95, 3; 6, 5, 2; 7, 95, 18.
AP 6, 126, 14
(Not idly did Hyllus
the son of Polyttus, the stout Cretan warrior, blazon on his shield the Gorgon, that turns men to stone, and
the three legs; translation by W. R. Paton, Loeb). This Hyllus is otherwise unknown (see A. S. F. Gow &
D. L. Page, The Greek Anthology, vol . 2, Cambridge 1965, p. 245).

















7. Trux Alcides: Hercules is mentioned as trux also in Sen. Troad. 720 and
Stat. Theb. 11, 46 f.; cf., for example, Ov. epist. 16, 267 ferus Alcides; Val. Fl. 6,
462 durus Tirynthius; Petron. 123, 1, 205 f. arduus Amphitryoniades; Sen. Herc.
O. 495 Hercules horridus; see Carter, Epitheta, s.v. Hercules 42 ff.
Hylan: the earliest transmitted accounts of the story of Hylas (originally a
Cian hero) are those of the contemporaneous Theocrit. 13 and Apollon. 1, 1207 ff.
(it is possible that Theocritus wrote his account with his eyes on that of Apollonius; see A. J. F. Gow, Theocritus. Edited with a Translation and Commentary,
Cambridge 1950, vol. 2, pp. 231 f.). According to Apollonius, Hylas was the son
of king Theiodamas, killed by Hercules, who fell in love with the young Hylas and
brought him along on the journey of the Argonauts. When Hylas in Mysia was
seeking for a spring to get water, the Naiads of the spring were struck by his
beauty and pulled him into the water, where he disappeared. Hercules, suspecting
that the Mysians had kidnapped Hylas, seized hostages and ordered them never to
rest until Hylas was recovered (see Sittig in RE 9, s.v. Hylas 110 ff.). The comprehensive accounts in Latin poetry of Hylas are Prop. 1, 20 and Val. Fl. 3, 521
ff.; cf. Verg. ecl. 6, 43; georg. 3, 6; Ov. ars 2, 110; trist. 2, 406; Stat. Theb. 5,
443; silv. 1, 2, 199; 2, 1, 113; Iuv. 1, 164.
There are seven mentions more of Hylas in Martial, mostly (like Ganymede) as
the pattern of fair boys; thus 5, 48, 5; 6, 68, 8; 7, 15, 2; 7, 50, 8; 11, 43, 5. There
is a humorous allusion to his abduction in 9, 65, 14, and he represents the Argonauts as epic stock-subject in 10, 4, 3. Three times the poet mentions a real boy by
the name of Hylas; thus 3, 19; 8, 9; 11, 28 (with Kay on 11, 28, 2).
8. Ludere Mercurio cum Ganymede licet: cf. 7, 74, 3 sic tibi (sc. Mercurio)
lascivi non desit copia furti, | sive cupis Paphien, seu Ganymede cales, but these
are the only instances in Latin literature to present Mercury as smitten with love
for Ganymede. Now the mentions of both Venus and Ganymede in 7, 74 are important, because Hermes was considered to have abducted Aphrodite from the
party of Artemis; thus Hymn. Hom. Ven. 116 f. (Aphrodite to Anchises)








.1 Some one hundred verses further below in the same poem (202
204), the abduction of Ganymede is mentioned:



















,2 and in lines 207 f., it is said:













.3 The verb used of Hermes abduction of Aphrodite (

, snatch
up) is elsewhere used of the abduction of people by a gale of wind;4 the uncompounded
is used in the passage mentioning Ganymedes abduction,
where it is also explicitly said that he was snatched away by a





And now the Slayer of Argus with the golden wand has caught me up from the dance of huntress
Artemis, her with the golden arrows.
Verily wise Zeus carried off golden-haired Ganymedes because of his beauty, to be among the Deathless
Ones and pour drink for the gods in the house of Zeus.
But grief that could not be soothed filled the heart of Tros; for he knew not whither the heaven-sent
whirlwind had caught up his dear son (translations by H. G. Evelyn-White, Loeb).
Roscher in Roscher, s.v. Hermes 2372.


Given Hermes function as god of the wind,1 it seems likely that he was considered, along with Jupiter himself, the eagle, Minos and Tantalos, as one of Ganymedes abductors. Perhaps Martial mentions Ganymede together with Venus in 7,
74 because Mercury had been involved in the abduction of both.
9. teneros ministros: tender, but also amorous (cf. 4, 14, 13) and
effeminate; see OLD, s.v., and cf. mollem above. For the ending of the line, cf.
9, 22, 11.
10. Phineas et Oedipodas: Phineus was a seer in the story of the Argonauts,
and, like Oedipus, he was blind, not from birth, but as a result either of his being
thus punished by the gods or because he had traded the sight of his eyes for a long
life (see Ziegler in RE 20, s.v. Phineus 225 ff.). Such tragic figures would be quite
safe guests at a banquet attended by beautiful young slaves; on the other hand, in
the company of such guests, the banquet would be equally entertaining.
The parallel to AP 12, 175 (quoted above), where Strato suggested that his
host should invite Tiresias and Tantalus, is very close.

Audet facundo qui carmina mittere Nervae,
pallida donabit glaucina, Cosme, tibi,
Paestano violas et cana ligustra colono,
Hyblaeis apibus Corsica mella dabit:
sed tamen et parvae nonnulla est gratia Musae;
appetitur posito vilis oliva lupo.
Nec tibi sit mirum, modici quod conscia vatis
iudicium metuit nostra Thalia tuum:
ipse tuas etiam veritus Nero dicitur aures,
lascivum iuvenis cum tibi lusit opus.


This poem was certainly originally intended to head a collection of poems (a libellus; cf. 9, 16 intro.) which Martial sent to Nerva. There are a number of poems
throughout the Epigrams which have obviously served the same purpose before
being incorporated into a published book; in Book 9, cf. nos. 58, 84, and 99.2
M. Cocceius Nerva, who was to succeed Domitian as emperor, is mentioned in
six epigrams of Martials, the present one and 8, 70 being the only ones to appear
before his accession to the throne and, as such, of greater interest; the references
made to Nerva the emperor (11, 2, 5; 11, 4, 5; 11, 7, 5; 12, 5, 3) tend to be mere
flattery. First and foremost a politician (praetor in 66, consul in 71 with Vespasian
Ibid. 2360 Die Bedeutung, welche H. als Diener der Gtter, namentlich des Zeus hatte, erklrt sich sehr
einfach aus der das ganze Altertum, vor allem aber Homer und die brigen Dichter beherrschenden
Anschauung, dass der Wind das Werkzeug der Gtter, namentlich des Zeus sei und von diesem gesendet
See White, Dedication, pp. 56 f.


and in 90 with Domitian), Nerva was renowned for his oratorical abilities, which
were, however, restrained to some degree by his modesty (cf. 8, 70, 1 cited below).
Pliny mentions an oratio pulcherrima of his in a letter to Trajan (epist. 10, 8, 1).
Somewhat better attested than his eloquence is his poetry, although none of it
has survived. Nerva was one of the literary circle formed by Nero in 59 and comprising, among others, Lucan and Petronius, perhaps also Silius Italicus.1 Martial
states that he could have risen to considerable heights as a poet, had not his
modestia stood in his way;2 cf. the characterisation of Nerva the poet in 8, 70:
Quanta quies placidi, tantast facundia Nervae, | sed cohibet vires ingeniumque
pudor | cum siccare sacram largo Permessida posset | ore, verecundam maluit
esse sitim, | Pieriam tenui frontem redimire corona | contentus, famae nec dare
vela suae. | Sed tamen hunc nostri scit temporis esse Tibullum, | carmina qui
docti nota Neronis habet. As appears from the concluding line of this poem, Nero
referred to Nerva as the Tibullus of his time, which may suggest that he, like
Tibullus, wrote in the genre of tender elegy. What is quite obvious is that he wrote
epigrams or erotic poems, for he is among the doctissimos gravissimos sanctissimos homines, whom Pliny produces in defence of his own versiculos severos
parum (epist. 5, 3, 2 ff.).3
Lines 9-10 state that ipse Nero recited his poems to Nerva with the utmost respect for his judgement and express some esteem of the poetry of the otherwise
despised emperor. Neros poetic ambitions, probably encouraged by his teachers,
the Alexandrian Chaeremon and the younger Seneca,4 are well known from various authors; apparently, he was not completely devoid of talent (cf. 8, 70, 8
[quoted above], and Suet. Nero 52, 1).5 Like Nerva, Nero wrote in different genres; the present epigram refers to his opus lascivum, his epigrams, which are
mentioned only here and perhaps also in Plin. nat. 37, 50, but he also wrote epic
and hymns, perhaps also satire.6 Of his works, nothing has come down to us,
except for thirteen lines from the Troica.

Nerva was in great repute with Nero, not only as a poet, but above all as a counsellor; he began his
political career under Nero and also played a significant role in the suppression of Pisos conspiracy. Their
mutual interest in poetry may well have played an important part, at least initially, in Nervas popularity
with the emperor (see Sullivan, Nero, pp. 31 ff.).
Modesty was obviously an inherited feature among the Nervae; cf. 5, 28, 3 f. Pietate fratres Curvios licet
vincas, | quiete Nervas, comitate Rusones.
The list given by Pliny comprises such names as Cicero, Sulla, Hortensius, Julius Caesar, Augustus and
Tiberius. The greatest poet in the circle of Nero, Lucan, also wrote obscene epigrams, as appears from 10,
64, 5 Non tamen erubuit (sc. Lucanus) lascivo dicere versu | Si nec pedicor, Cotta, quid hic facio? (=
Lucan. frg. 10).
Sullivan, op. cit., pp. 28 f.
Itaque ad poeticam pronus carmina libenter ac sine labore composuit nec, ut quidam putant, aliena
pro suis edidit. Venere in manus meas pugillares libellique cum quibusdam notissimis versibus ipsius
chirographo scriptis, ut facile appareret non tralatos aut dictante aliquo exceptos, sed plane quasi a
cogitante atque generante exaratos. Tacitus admits that Nero as a boy aliquando carminibus pangendis
inesse sibi elementa doctrinae ostendebat (ann. 13, 3), but his judgement of the poetry of the emperor is
far less complimentary (see ann. 14, 6).
His epic work is represented by the Troica, but he also had plans to write an enormous epic on the history
of Rome (Dio Cass. 62, 29); his other works are less well attested (see B. H. Warmington, Suetonius, Nero,
Bristol 1977, pp. 116 f.).


1. facundo carmina mittere Nervae: Ovid has the same doubts about sending
one of his Letters from Pontus to Severus: Quis mel Aristaeo, quis Baccho vina
Falerna, | Triptolemo fruges, poma det Alcinoo? | ... | Mittere ad hunc carmen
frondes erat addere silvis (Pont. 4, 2, 913). For the expression carry coals to
Newcastle in Latin, cf. also 7, 42, 6 Alcinoo nullum poma dedisse putas? (as in
Ov. Pont. 4, 2, 10; Alcinous, king of Phaeacia, had famous orchards); 11, 42, 4
thyma Cecropiae Corsica ponis api (cf. line 4 below); Hor. sat. 1, 10, 34 in silvam
non ligna feras insanius; Ov. am. 2, 10, 13 f. quid folia arboribus, quid pleno
sidera caelo, | in freta collectas alta quid addis aquas?; cf. Otto, s.v. Alcinous, p.
12; s.v. silva 1, p. 323.
2. pallida glaucina: glaucina (plur.), mentioned only here and in dig. 34, 2,
21, 1 (TLL, s.v. glaucina 2036, 40 ff.), was a salve made of the herb glaucium
), the seeds and leaves of which were crushed and used for curing
inflammations in the eyes; see Plin. nat. 27, 83, who refers to the salve made from
it as dia glauciu (Gr.
). The health-giving juice of the glaucium is
mentioned also in Colum. 10, 103 f., and Scrib. Larg. 22 proscribes the use of
diaglaucium at an early stage of the inflammation.
The word glaucina, intentionally or not, would perhaps remind the reader of
the Greek coals to Newcastle, viz.
, owls to Athens.




Cosme: the cosmetics of Cosmus were in Martials day the most famous beyond comparison, first appearing in Book 14 and still mentioned in Book 12.
Apart from perfumes, oils and salves (cf. 3, 82, 26 Cosmianis ampullis; 11, 8, 9
Cosmi alabastra; 11, 15, 6 pingui Cosmiano; 11, 49, 6 Cosmi onyx; 12, 55,
7 libram [sc. of unguent] Cosmiani; 12, 65, 4 Cosmi libram; 14, 59, 2 delicias Cosmi) and aromatic herbs (11, 18, 9 Cosmi folium; 14, 146, 1 Cosmi folio),
Cosmus also supplied pastilles against bad breath (such as Fescennina in 1, 87,
devours to rid herself of the smell of hesterno vino); cf. also 3, 55, 1; 14, 110, 1;
perhaps also 7, 41, 1 (the quintessence of Cosmus perfumes?).
Kay on 11, 8, 9 (cf. Courtney on Iuv. 8, 86) suggested that Cosmus may actually have been a trade name (Gr.
, ornament etc., although there were
other Cosmi), and Bowie (on 12, 55, 7) that there were several generations of
Cosmi in the trade, just as there may have been several gourmets called Apicius
(Leary on 14, 59, 2). It has even been suggested that Martials many references to
Cosmus were part of an advertising campaign and that Cosmus in some way paid
Martial for making them, i.e. a case of ancient sponsorship (see A. P. Ball, CJ 2
[1906], pp. 168 f.).

3. Paestano colono: Paestum in north-western Lucania, a colony since 273 BC,

was famous for its floral splendour (cf. 6, 80, 6; Riemann in RE 22, s.v. Poseidonia 1233). Martial refers particularly to its beautiful roses, thus 4, 42, 10; 5, 37, 9;
9, 60, 1; 12, 31, 3; also Verg. georg. 4, 119; Prop. 4, 5, 61; Ov. met. 15, 708;
Pont. 2, 4, 28; Anth. 646, 11 f. Of its violets and privets, there is no mention other
than the present one.


cana ligustra: the image of pale (or white) beauty in 1, 115, 3; 8, 28, 11; thus
first Verg. ecl. 2, 17 f. o formose puer, nimium ne crede colori: | alba ligustra
cadunt, vaccinia nigra leguntur; then only Ov. met. 13, 789 (with Bmers note).
4. Hyblaeis apibus Corsica mella: the honey of Mt. Hybla in Sicily was counted
among the very best, second only to that of Attica (see note on 9, 11, 3). On the
other hand, the Corsican honey, like that of Sardinia, was among the worst
(Porph. Hor. epist. 2, 3, 375 Corsicum et Sardum mel pessimi saporis est), and its
acridity is well attested. According to Pliny, it was good for removing stains on
the face (nat. 30, 28) and was also, on account of its acidity, the best honey for
boiling gems to make them more colourful (nat. 37, 195); as food, it was obviously quite useless, and Ovid even refers to it as mel infame (am. 1, 12, 10). Various reasons were given for its acidity. Pliny (nat. 16, 71), like Theophrastus (hist.
plant. 3, 15, 5), ascribes it to the box, while Vergil (ecl. 9, 30) considered the yewtree as causing the bitterness (cf. Colum. 9, 4, 3); see also Schuster in RE 15, s.v.
mel 369.
5. parvae Musae: the genre of short poems, cf. TLL, s.v. Musa 1692, 18 ff.
But parvus may also express a sense of humbleness, more apparent in this case
than in 7, 29, 6 and 8, 82, 2 (carmina parva) and 10, 1, 3 (carmine parvo), where
the interpretation of parvus simply as short is perhaps more likely.1 This is also
true of the parvum carmen in Hor. epist. 2, 1, 258 (see Brink, Hor. epist. II, ad
6. posito lupo: even though a bass is put on the table. A fish highly esteemed
in Greece as well as in Rome, Martial mentions the bass alongside the red mullet
in 2, 37, 4; 2, 40, 4; 11, 49, 9. The most appreciated variety was the lupus lanatus
(so-called from the whiteness of its flesh), which was at its best when caught in
rivers (cf. 13, 89; Plin. nat. 9, 61), especially in the Tiber between the two
bridges (Hor. sat. 2, 2, 31 ff.; Plin. nat. 9, 169; Macr. Sat. 3, 16, 11 ff.), but it
was also bred in ponds (cf. 10, 30, 21 Piscina rhombum pascit et lupos vernas; see
Wellmann in RE 3, s.v. Barsch 27 f.).
The bass was most cunning and had certain ways of avoiding the fishermans
net. Ovid tells how the fish, when surrounded by the net, used its tail to dig itself
into the sand and lay thus concealed, until the net had passed (hal. 23 ff.; cf. Plin.
nat. 32, 11). It was also rapacious, which earned it its Latin name (like its Greek
, derived from
, greedy).
When posito vilis lupo was scanned, perhaps the listener would perceive the
last part as ovilis lupo, which in that case might be a playful hint at such lines
as Ov. ars 2, 364 Plenum montano credis ovile lupo?; 3, 7 f. quid virus in angues
| adicis, et rabidae tradis ovile lupae?; trist. 1, 6, 10 incustoditum captat ovile


Cf. TLL, s.v. parvus 556, 45 ff. (55).


vilis oliva: cf. 1, 103, 7; cf. Hor. sat. 2, 2, 44 ff. necdum omnis abacta
pauperies epulis regum: nam vilibus ovis nigrisque est oleis hodie locus. Olives
were served at almost every meal (see Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 168).
7 f. modici conscia vatis | nostra Thalia: my Thalia, well aware of the fact
that I am a minor poet; modici conscia vatis would be an instance of the ab urbe
condita construction with adjectives (cf. note on 9, 1, 3).
Thalia was the Muse of comedy as well as of light verse and, as such, Martials confidante (cf. 9, 73, 9; 10, 20, 1 ff.). He often refers to his poetry as nostra
(mea) Thalia (cf. 4, 8, 12; 8, 73, 3; 12, 94, 3, with the epithet lasciva in 7, 17, 4,
cf. Stat. silv. 2, 1, 116; 5, 3, 98); cf. also 7, 46, 4 tua ... Thalia of the hopeless
verses of Priscus, and see Hfer in Roscher, s.v. Thaleia 450 f.
9. dicitur aures: the same ending in Prop. 2, 20, 13.
10. lascivum: lascivia was the main feature of the epigram (cf. 1, praef. lascivam
verborum veritatem, id est epigrammaton linguam), and consequently Martial
often refers to his own works with the epithet lascivus; cf. 1, 4, 8; 3, 86, 1; 4, 14,
12; 5, 2, 5; 7, 14, 7; 7, 68, 3; TLL, s.v. lascivus 985, 73 ff. For Neros poetry, see
the introduction above.
lusit: here perhaps of recitation, like Ov. ars 3, 317 f. et modo marmoreis
referant audita theatris, | et modo Niliacis carmina lusa modis; otherwise frequently of the composition of light verse; thus 9, 84, 3; TLL, s.v. 1781, 84 ff.

Cum depilatos, Chreste, coleos portes
et vulturino mentulam parem collo
et prostitutis levius caput culis,
nec vivat ullus in tuo pilus crure,
purgentque saevae cana labra volsellae:
Curios, Camillos, Quintios, Numas, Ancos,
et quidquid umquam legimus pilosorum
loqueris sonasque grandibus minax verbis,
et cum theatris saeculoque rixaris.
Occurrit aliquis inter ista si draucus,
iam paedagogo liberatus et cuius
refibulavit turgidum faber penem:
nutu vocatum ducis, et pudet fari
Catoniana, Chreste, quod facis lingua.


Attacks on sham philosophers occur throughout Books 1 to 12, the targets being
principally Stoics and Cynics, although Martial generally does not explicitly refer
to them as philosophers or mention what doctrine they profess (except for 4, 53,

which is openly aimed at a Cynic). From his descriptions of their conduct and the
attributes he gives them, it nonetheless becomes quite clear that they are men who
are bald or have short haircuts (significant of Stoics as well as Cynics; cf. Kiel
on Pers. 3, 54), appearing as stern moralizers, a principal Stoic feature, finding
fault with the ways of the world and holding up the ancient Roman exempla virtutis as models for the unimpeachable life, neglecting their appearance, an essential
mark of the Cynics, who took pride in an ascetic life of absolute poverty, with the
ragged cloak, staff and beggars wallet as their badge with a complete disregard of
appearances 1 (cf. 4, 53, 3 ff. and see note on 9, 47, 2). But when no one sees,
the would-be Stoic indulges in vices well below human dignity, and under the
worn-out cloak of the filthy Cynic are found the tokens of effeminate vanity. See
1, 24; 1, 96; 2, 36; 6, 56; 7, 58, 7; 9, 47; 12, 42.
Philosophers who fail to live up to their doctrine are known already to Cicero;
cf. Tusc. 2, 11 f. Quotus enim quisque philosophorum invenitur, qui sit ita moratus, ita animo ac vita constitutus, ut ratio postulat? Qui disciplinam suam non
ostentationem scientiae, sed legem vitae putet? Qui obtemperet ipse sibi et decretis suis pareat? Videre licet alios tanta levitate et iactatione, ut iis fuerit non
didicisse melius, alios pecuniae cupidos, gloriae non nullos, multos libidinum
servos, ut cum eorum vita mirabiliter pugnet oratio. Later, they are a source of
irritation to Seneca (epist. 108, 5 f.) and Quintilian (inst. 1, praef.; 12, 3, 122), but
these instances are not directly comparable with those in Martial, as they rather
deal with failure to adopt a given teaching; Martials characters are mere hypocrites, some of whom appear not to have received any education at all, only to
have grown a beard, put on tattered clothes and gone out to complain about others. The principal attack on these would-be philosophers is, however, the opening
of Juvenals Second Satire (135), in which he lets fly at those qui Curios simulant et Bacchanalia vivunt (2, 3). His targets are the same as Martials, as is the
gist of his argumentation: Castigas turpia, cum sis | inter Socraticos notissima
fossa cinaedos? | Hispida membra quidem et durae per bracchia saetae | promittunt atrocem animum, sed podice levi | caeduntur tumidae medico ridente mariscae (2, 913). Compare also the vetula of Hor. epod. 8, who keeps libelli Stoici
among her satin pillows (8, 15 f.), yet is unable to keep her unchecked sexuality
within bounds.
It has been suggested that the invectives against philosophers in Quintilian
and Martial may to some extent be directed against a Stoic opposition to
Domitian, which for the opponents resulted in several exiles and death sentences
and which would have made philosophers fair game for satirical scorn (cf.
Courtney, p. 120). However, Austin (op. cit., p. xvi) denies this on the part of
Quintilian, and there is in fact little to indicate that there ever was an opposition
united by a common Stoic ideal (see Jones, Domitian, pp. 119 ff.). Moreover,
Martial in his epigrams on philosophers adopts and elaborates a theme found in
Greek epigram; thus the present epigram is clearly modelled on AP 11, 155

W. K. C. Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. 2, Cambridge 1969, p. 490; see further note on 9,
47, 2.
Quintilians hostility may have emanated from the feud between rhetoricians and philosophers concerning
which educational method should be preferred (see R. G. Austin, Quintiliani Institutionis Oratoriae Liber
XII, Oxford 1948, pp. xvii ff. and notes ad loc.).












(see Burnikel, Struktur, pp. 22
ff.). For the theme in later Greek authors, cf. Athenaeus 13, 563 d ff.; Lucian.
symp. 34 f. See also Courtneys introduction to Iuv. 2 and Richlin 138 f.




1. Chreste: Gr.





, used also of a miser in 7, 55.

coleos: testicles; cf. Petron. 44, 14 si nos coleos haberemus, if we were virile men. The word was apparently less obscene than mentula; its tone is commented on even by Cicero (fam. 9, 22, 4) Testes verbum honestissimum in
iudicio, alio loco non nimis. Et honesti colei Lanuvini, Cliternini non honesti,
although the significance of this remark is uncertain. Martial uses it metonymically of libidinous men in 12, 83, 2; see Adams, pp. 66 f.
portes: usually not of parts of the body, but in this case perhaps because
Chrestus carries his depilated testicles as a kind of adornment; cf. TLL, s.v. porto
51, 54 ff. (cf. ibid. 50, 40 ff.).
3. caput levius: a head more hairless; for levis in the sense of bald, cf. Iuv.
10, 199 leve caput; TLL, s.v. levis 2, 1222, 44 ff. Short hair was characteristic of
Stoics and Cynics; cf. Pers. 3, 35 (with Kiel); Iuv. 2, 15.
prostitutis culis: male prostitutes and effeminates depilated the culus, just
as a female prostitute or courtesan would depilate the cunnus (see Henderson, p.
220), cf. 2, 62 Quod pectus, quod crura tibi, quod bracchia vellis, | quod cincta
est brevibus mentula tonsa pilis: | hoc praestas, Labiene, tuae (quis nescit?) amicae. | cui praestas, culum quod, Labiene, pilas?; 6, 56, 4; Iuv. 2, 12.
4. nec ullus pilus: to remove the hair from the legs was a sign of exaggerated vanity and detestable effeminacy; cf. 2, 62 quoted above; 5, 61, 6; 6, 56; 10,
65, 8; 12, 38, 4; compare the pun in 2, 36, 5 f. Male depilation was obviously
practised in Rome already in the second century BC, as it is castigated, along with
other signs of effeminacy, in a speech by Scipio Aemilianus (referred in Gell. 6,
12); see Richlin, pp. 92 f.
5. saevae volsellae: tweezers, called saevae, because the treatment naturally
hurt. The tearing out of the hairs was used alongside cutting and shaving, though
such scrupulous care of the body was not regarded as quite becoming in a man (cf.
8, 47). According to Suetonius, the method was used by Julius Caesar, who was
circa corporis curam morosior (Suet. Iul. 45, 2); cf. Sen. nat. 1, 17, 2; epist. 114,
21; Bmer, Privataltertmer, p. 269.

This solid adamant of virtue, this rebuker of everyone, this fighter with the cold, with his long beard, has
been caught. At what? It is not proper to say at what, but he was caught doing things that foul-mouthed
people do. (Translation by W. R. Paton, Loeb.)


cana labra: in a wider sense of the parts around the actual lips (and thus hypallage), cf. 10, 42, 6; TLL, s.v. 1. labrum 811, 27 ff. There may, however, also be
an allusion to Martials idea, that those who practised oral sex attracted a sickly
pallor (cf. 1, 77 and see 9, 95 intro.).
6. Curios, Camillos: generalizing plurals (typisiert, Hofmann-Szantyr 28, p.
19), as the names serve as representatives of a certain character; cf., for example,
Cic. Sest. 143; Sen. dial. 9, 7, 5; epist. 22, 11; Gell. 14, 1, 29; and instances from
Martial below.
The present is Martials longest continuous list of exempla virtutis, models of
ancient Roman virtue.1 Although the prime model was naturally Cato (see below
on line 14), the Curii are those most often used by Martial in such contexts; cf. 1,
24, 3; 6, 64, 2; 7, 58, 7; 7, 68, 4; 9, 28, 4; 11, 16, 6; 11, 104, 2. Behind the name
stands M. Curius Dentatus, consul 290, 284 (suffectus), 275 and 274, who ended
the Samnite War and conquered, among other peoples, the Sabines. The Camilli
(also 1, 24, 3 and 11, 5, 7) owe their fame to M. Furius Camillus, who captured
Veii about 396, defeated the Gauls who invaded Rome in 3876 and was considered parens patriae conditorque alter urbis (Liv. 5, 49, 7). For similar mentions
of the Curii and Camilli, cf. Cic. Sest. 143; Cael. 39; Pis. 58; Hor. carm. 1, 12, 41
f.; epist. 1, 1, 64; Lucan. 1, 169 f.; 6, 787 f.; 7, 358; Sil. 13, 723 f.; Iuv. 2, 153 f.;
see also Otto, s.v. Camillus, p. 68 and s.v. Curius, p. 102; Citroni and Howell on
1, 24, 3 respectively.
Quintios: mentioned because of the achievements of T. Quinctius Capitolinus
Barbatus, consul six times between 471 and 439, and L. Quinctius Cincinnatus
(perhaps the formers elder brother), who was consul suffectus in 460 and was
summoned directly from the plough to the dictatorship in 458; cf. Cic. Cato 56;
Hanslik in RE 24, s.v. Quinctius 24, 1012 ff., and Quinctius 27, 1020 ff. For the
spelling Quint- for Quinct-, cf. Plin. paneg. 57, 5 Tantone Papiriis etiam et Quintiis moderatior Augustus et Caesar et pater patriae?
Numas: Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, presented as a model of
integrity and irreproachability also in 11, 5, 2; 11, 15, 10; 11, 104, 2; 12, 3, 8;
perhaps also 10, 52, 2.
Numa is mentioned only twice before the present instance (3, 62, 2 sub rege
Numa condita vina; 6, 47, 3 Numae coniunx), and it is interesting to note that, in
Books 10 and 11, Numa is mentioned in no less than eleven poems; apart from as
an exemplum in the instances given above, also in expressions like plebs Numae
(10, 10, 4; 10, 76, 4), Numae colles (10, 44, 3), denoting old age (10, 39, 2; 10,
97, 4), and as Egerias husband (10, 35, 14). In Book 12, the frequency again
drops to two instances, apart from 12, 3, 8 (above) also 12, 62, 8 urbs Numae.
It is thus quite obvious that the frequency of references to Numa in Books 10
and 11 is somehow connected with the emperor Nerva. Perhaps they reflect Mar1
For Martials use of such exempla, see A. Nordh, Historical exempla in Martial, Eranos 52 (1954), pp.
224-238. Nordh observes that the selection of names is very similar to that of Juvenal, Statius (in the
Silvae), Pliny the Younger and Quintilian, indicating that the uniform selection of types in these authors
reflects the exempla and the favourite subjects for suasoriae in the rhetorical schools (p. 225).


tials solution to the problem that the emperor would not have himself compared
to divinities; Martial then introduces expressions like plebs Numae to compare
Rome under Nerva with the reign of Numa, who to the Romans represented peace,
piety and morality, whom Livy describes as consultissimus vir ... omnis divini
atque humani iuris (1, 18, 1), whose mind would have been suopte ... ingenio
temperatum ... virtutibus, ... instructumque non tam peregrinis artibus quam disciplina tetrica ac tristi veterum Sabinorum (ibid. 4), and who on his accession set
out to build a new Rome: urbem novam, conditam vi et armis, iure eam legibusque ac moribus de integro condere parat (ibid. 19, 1). This would have been a
flattering comparison, and presumably also one to which Nerva could consent. It
would also have been quite in line with contemporary efforts to present the reign
of Nerva as a new age of peace and freedom; a temple was erected to Libertas ab
imp. Nerva Caesare Aug. restituta (CIL 6, 472), and the coins were inscribed with
libertas, libertas publica, and Roma renascens (see Stein in RE 4, s.v. Cocceius
16, 153).1 There are, it is true, still a couple of epigrams in Book 10 of satirical
content, in which Numa is used merely as the image of antiquity or old age, but,
in Books 11 and 12, he appears only as an exemplum virtutis and in the phrase
urbs Numae. These less reverent instances may perhaps be a remnant from the
first edition of Book 10, which appeared Domitian was still emperor.
Ancos: the only allusion in Martial to Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of Rome
and grandson of Numa; cf. Cic. rep. 2, 33; Liv. 1, 32 ff.; Philipp in RE 14, s.v.
Marcius 9, 1543. He is mentioned alongside his grandfather in Hor. epist. 1, 6,
27; cf. 4, 7, 15; Iuv. 5, 57.
7. pilosorum: a play on the similar sound of pilosorum and philosophorum, to
whom Martial alludes here; the philosophers (and, we may add, the would-be
philosophers) were hairy and wore long beards like their Greek models; cf. 2, 36,
5 f. Nunc sunt crura pilis et sunt tibi pectora saetis | horrida, sed mens est, Pannyche, volsa tibi; 6, 56; 9, 47 (with commentary); Iuv. 2, 11 f.; AP 11, 156.
In this line, Shackleton Bailey prints usquam of for the umquam of .

8. minax: threatening but also severe; cf. TLL, s.v. minax 995, 77.
grandibus verbis: grandiose, in malam partem; cf. 2, 69, 7 f. En rogat
ad cenam Melior te, Classice, rectam. | Grandia verba ubi sunt? Si vir es, ecce,
nega; 9, 32, 5; cf. TLL, s.v. grandis 2186, 37 ff.
9. theatris: Chrestus problem with the theatre would have been due to two genres, the mime and the pantomime. The mime was a burlesque farce, largely drawing on mythological subjects, but also involving a good many love and adultery
scenes, which were also the chief reason for its popularity; it probably also took up
many of the features of comedy, which it gradually superseded. The language of
the mime was coarse and vulgar (cf. 8, praef. mimicam verborum licentiam), and

For the comparison of Hadrian with Numa, see R. Zoepfel, Hadrian und Numa, Chiron 8 (1978), pp.


the character of the play often obscene, sometimes involving actresses performing
in the nude; such immoral plays, enjoyed by men, women and children alike, were
held out by Ovid to show that his Ars really was quite innocent (trist. 2, 497 ff.),
and Martial claims that, if chaste matrons watch mimes, they ought to be able to
read his epigrams without blushing (3, 86). However, the license of the mimes
was to some degree excused by the nature of the feast of Flora, at which they were
mainly performed (cf. Ov. fast. 5, 329 ff.). It was on one such occasion that Cato
Uticensis had to leave the theatre, ne praesentia sua spectaculi consuetudinem
impediret; the anecdote is related by Val. Max. 2, 10, 8 (cf. Sen. epist. 97, 8), and
Martial alludes to it in 1, praef. (see Citroni ad loc.). On the mime in general, see
R. C. Beacham, The Roman Theatre and its Audience, London 1991, pp. 129
140; Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 2, pp. 113 ff.
The pantomime, which enjoyed the same popularity as the mime, was likewise
a source of moral degeneration. While the range of its themes was quite large, the
commoner and also the most appreciated were love stories, often derived from
mythology, such as Apollo and Daphne, Aphrodite and Ares, and the amorous
adventures of Zeus. Like the mime, the pantomime often involved a substantial
amount of obscenity, and the actors (the so-called histriones; there were no female
actors in pantomime) developed an elasticity in their bodies, which enabled them
to dance the parts of women in such a scabrous way that even real women, however voluptuous they might be, could learn something from them (cf. Iuv. 6, 63
f.). In spite of, or perhaps rather because of, the popularity of the pantomimes,
Domitian forbade the histriones to appear on stage,1 while it was still permitted
for them to perform in peoples homes. On the pantomime, see Beacham op. cit.,
pp. 140153; O. Weinreich, Epigramm und Pantomimus, Heidelberg 1948.
10. draucus: the word, perhaps of Gallic origin (cf. TLL, s.v. draucus 2067, 47
ff.), may simply denote an athlete who performs in public (thus 7, 67, 5 and 14,
48), but in some cases, the emphasis lies not on their athletic abilities, but on the
fact that they were considered to be of extraordinary sexual ability; thus 1, 96, 12
f. spectat (sc. Maternus) oculis devorantibus draucos | nec otiosis mentulas videt
labris; 11, 72 Drauci Natta sui vocat pipinnam, | collatus cui Gallus est Priapus.
This view was partly due to the alleged connection between bodily strength and
sexual ability, but above all to the fact that the drauci wore a fibula on the penis to
prevent them from having intercourse, which would diminish their strength.2
Once the fibula had been removed, they might be expected to be more sexually
vigorous than usual.3 It should be noted that fibula in this context does not refer to
the usual safety-pin, but to a ring, which was pulled through the prepuce and
joined together at the ends by a craftsman (the faber of line 12), cf. Schol. Iuv. 6,
Suet. Dom. 7, 1; Plin. paneg. 46, 1. The pantomimi had previously been banished from Italy by Tiberius,
restored by Caligula and banished again by Nero, during whose reign, though, they reappeared. Domitians
prohibition was abolished by Nerva, but renewed by Trajan, who, however, removed it in 107 (see Mooney,
p. 539).
Such fibulae were worn also by actors (cf. 7, 82; 14, 215; Iuv. 6, 73 with the note of the scholia: nam
omnes pueri vocales fibulas in naturis habent, ne coeant) and by citharoedi and choraules (11, 75, 3;
14, 215; cf. Iuv. 6, 379 with the scholia cited below), as the voice was supposed to be maintained in good
shape if one abstained from intercourse.
See Housman, Draucus (= Class. pap., pp. 1166 f.).


379 fibulam dicit circellos, quos tragoedi sive comoedi in penem habent, ut coitum non faciant, ne vocem perdant; on the operation necessary to apply the fibula,
described by Cels. 7, 25, 2, see Jthner in RE 9, s.v. Infibulatio 2543 ff.
Rather strange is Martials mention in 11, 75, 1 of a fibula in the shape of a
theca ahenea, a case of bronze, which obviously covered the penis and would
hardly have been fastened by a faber, since it might fall off during exercise (cf. 7,
82). There is no other evidence of the fibula in the shape of a case, and so it is
difficult to form any further idea of it, but cf. Kay on 11, 75, 1.
11. iam paedagogo liberatus: just released from the paedagogus, indicating
that the draucus is a youngster. The paedagogus, often a Greek slave, was the
permanent companion of the boy until he adopted the toga virilis around the age
of seventeen (Marquardt, p. 111).
12. refibulavit: freed from the fibula, the only instance of this word, the opposite of which is infibulare.
turgidum penem: not swollen, but swelling because of the long abstinence.
13. ducis: perhaps related to the expression scortum sim. ducere, attested mainly
in Plautus; cf. TLL, s.v. duco 2143, 53 ff.
fari: the only occurrence in Martial of this somewhat archaic word, certainly
ironical with reference to the Catoniana lingua.
14. Catoniana lingua: Cato, the stock example of Roman virtue,1 sums up the
exempla virtutis above. He is often mentioned by Martial, sometimes with a certain amount of irony, as the model of severe morality (see Citroni, p. 11). The
Cato family possessed two such exempla, Cato Censorius and his great-grandson
Cato Uticensis, and it is sometimes difficult to say to which one Martial alludes.
Some references are clearly to Cato Uticensis (thus 1 praef. [twice]; 1, 8, 1; 1, 78,
9; 5, 51, 5 [on his eloquence, see Howell ad loc.]; 6, 32, 5; 9, 28, 3; 11, 5, 14),
while at least one certainly alludes to Cato Censorius (2, 89, 1 f. Quod nimio
gaudes noctem producere vino, | ignosco: vitium, Gaure, Catonis habes; cf. Hor.
carm. 3, 21, 11 f. narratur et prisci Catonis | saepe mero caluisse virtus). Cato
Censorius is perhaps referred to also in 12, 3, 8, but, in some cases, no clear distinction can be made (10, 20, 21; 11, 2, 1; 11, 15, 1; 11, 39, 15). As, some lines
above, Martial has Chrestus attacking the theatre, Cato Uticensis was probably
chiefly in his mind in this case (cf. note on line 9 above), which also contains
Martials only instance of the adjective Catonianus.
Martial consistently expresses the utmost disgust at acts of oral sex; worse
than fellatio was perhaps only cunnilinctio. For instances in the present book, cf.
63; 67, 5; 92, 11; perhaps also 95; see Sullivan, p. 189.

For example, Verg. Aen. 6, 841; Hor. carm. 2, 1, 24; Stat. silv. 2, 7, 68; Iuv. 2, 40; cf. Otto, s.v. Cato, p.


Dulce decus scaenae, ludorum fama, Latinus
ille ego sum, plausus deliciaeque tuae,
qui spectatorem potui fecisse Catonem,
solvere qui Curios Fabriciosque graves.
Sed nihil a nostro sumpsit mea vita theatro,
et sola tantum scaenicus arte feror:
nec poteram gratus domino sine moribus esse;
interius mentes inspicit ille deus.
Vos me laurigeri parasitum dicite Phoebi,
Roma sui famulum dum sciat esse Iovis.


An epigram on the mimic actor Latinus, employed at Domitians court, probably

meant as an epitaph or, as suggested by Friedlnder, written on the occasion of
Latinus retirement from the stage and intended to form the legend on a picture of
him. The potui in line 3 shows only that he is no longer active, and the fact that
this is Martials last mention of Latinus (see below) suggests that the poem is not
merely honorary, but sepulchral; cf. also the similarity to 10, 53, the epitaph of the
charioteer Scorpus. For Martials sepulchral poetry, see S. Johnson, The Obituary Epigrams of Martial, CJ 49 (195354), pp. 264272.
The latter part of the poem is devoted to explaining how an actor in the genre
of mime, characterized by obscenity and licence, may be employed at the court of
Domitian, the restorer of morals (9, 5 intro.). The reason must be that Latinus
employment could obviously be regarded as paradoxical and thus perhaps seem to
malignant people to indicate that Domitian was not as serious about morals as he
seemed; consequently, it forms a parallel to Statius eagerness to provide divine
sanction for the castration of Earinus, which likewise was felt to need some explanation, having been performed under the auspices of an emperor who himself
prohibited castration (silv. 3, 4, 65 ff.; see the Earinus cycle intro.). Martial
therefore felt it necessary to point out that Latinus personal life was unpolluted by
the licence of the stage; otherwise, he could not have been in favour with the emperor, who as a god had the power to look into peoples minds and see their true
selves. The poem turns rather into an eulogy of Domitian, which culminates in the
concluding lines, making a handsome contrast to each other; the people might
well call Latinus a parasitus Phoebi, which is what he is as a professional, as long
as Rome knows that, at heart, he is a servant of her Jove.
Martial mentions Latinus five times more, only here and in 1, 4, 5 in connection with Domitian; the other instances (as also 1, 4, 5) mostly refer to what
would have been Latinus preferred character, the derisor, which apparently he
often played against another famous actor, Panniculus (see 2, 72, 1; 3, 86, 3; 5,
61, 11; 13, 2, 3). An idea of Latinus role at Domitians court is given by the only
mention of him in Suetonius, where Latinus tells Domitian at dinner inter ceteras
diei fabulas that he had accidentally passed the funeral pyre of the astrologer
Ascletarion (whom the emperor had sentenced to death but had given a dignified
funeral to frustrate his prophecy that his body was to be torn apart by dogs), that a
sudden breeze had scattered the pyre and that he had seen that his body had been


devoured by dogs after all (Suet. Dom. 15, 3). Juvenal mentions Latinus twice, in
1, 36 and 6, 44; the latter instance simply refers to his acting, but the former appears in a context which has made some think that he actually acted as an informer, although Juvenal does not expressly state that he did; he simply mentions
a magni delator amici | ... | ... quem Massa timet, quem munere palpat | Carus et
a trepido Thymele summissa Latino (1, 33 ff., see Courtney ad loc. and cf. Mart.
1, 4, 5). This anonymous informer is said to have been feared and bribed by two
other known informers, Baebius Massa and Mettius Carus (cf. Jones, Domitian, p.
181); it is true that the third person mentioned as smearing him is Latinus, but
this does not necessarily imply that he too was an informer. However, the scholia
ad loc. states that he was a nequissimus delator, a freedman of Nero, who had him
put to death for having been involved in the adultery of Messalina. Unless there
were two Latinuses, this is naturally quite impossible; if anything, the author
seems to have confused Latinus with Paris, Nero with Domitian, and Messalina
with Domitian (see below). Another note in the scholia (Schol. Iuv. 4, 53) says
that the most influential informers at the court of Domitian were Armillatus,
Demost<h>enes et Latinus archimimus, but then adds sicut Marius Maximus
scribit, which does not increase its credibility.1 On the whole, the only reasonable
information on Latinus is that of Suetonius; but from Latinus acquainting
Domitian at dinner with the gossip of the day, it is rather a long way to the
nequissimus delator.
Actors enjoying considerable imperial favour and exercising substantial influence are known also from the courts of earlier emperors, for example, the pantomimic Mnester (Suet. Cal. 55, 1) and the tragic actor Apelles (Dio Cass. 59, 5, 2)
at the court of Caligula and the mimic actor Halityrus at Neros (Joseph. vit. 16;
see Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 1, pp. 61 ff. and 2, pp. 141 f.). At the early court
of Domitian, the pantomimic dancer Paris was a force to be counted with, until he
was put to death by the emperor, according to Dio Cass. 67, 3, because he had
been involved in an affair with Domitia (cf. Suet. Dom. 3, 1), whom Domitian
would have divorced, but much of this is probably nothing more than antiDomitianic propaganda (see Jones, Domitian, pp. 34 ff.). Still, it is clear that Paris
was not to be mentioned while Domitian was emperor, for the epitaph which
Martial wrote for him was not published until Book 11 (11, 13, on which see
Kays introductory note).
1. dulce decus: an echo of Hor, carm. 1, 1, 2 dulce decus meum (of Maecenas).
The combination is otherwise unusual, the only other instances being Ciris 246
and Stat. silv. 3, 1, 161 (cf. TLL, s.v. decus 244, 70 f.). The epigraphic character
of the poem is emphasized by the adjective dulcis, which is very frequently used of
the dead in funerary inscriptions (see TLL, s.v. 2194, 43 ff.).
fama: fama of the object of fame (TLL s. v. 217, 24 ff.), often used with decus;
thus 8, 28, 2 fama decusque gregis; 10, 103, 4 decus et nomen famaque vestra.
Marius Maximus, who wrote a continuation of the Lives of Suetonius, from Nerva to Elagabalus, and was
a source to the authors of the Historia Augusta, is characterised as an uncritical collector of material rather
than a historian; see Miltner in RE 14, s.v. Marius 48, 1828 ff.


Fama in this sense is relatively common in Martial, slightly more often with reference to persons and animals (thus also 7, 27, 2; 9, 71, 1; 10, 103, 4; 11, 9, 1)
than to things (8, 28, 2; 9, 43, 5; 9, 101, 2). Elsewhere, the word is used of a person only in Prop. 1, 15, 22 and Ov. am. 3, 9, 5.
2. ille ego sum: see note on 9, praef., 5. The phrase has an epigraphic ring to it.
plausus: metonymy for the one receiving the applause, cf. 10, 53, 2, (of Scorpus) plausus, Roma, tui deliciaeque breves (cf. OLD, s.v. 2).
3. spectatorem Catonem: Cato Uticensis was said to have left the theatre at
the ludi Florales, in order that the licentious mimes would not be restrained by his
presence (see note on 9, 27, 9). Latinus would have made him stay.
4. solvere: make them soften, cf. 14, 183 (Homeri Batrachomachia) Perlege
Maeonio cantatas carmine ranas | et frontem nugis solvere disce meis and see
OLD, s.v. 9.
Curios Fabriciosque graves: on Martials use of exempla virtutis and on the
Curii, see note on 9, 27, 6.
C. Fabricius Luscinus, consul in 282 and 278, censor in 275, was a leading
figure in the war against Pyrrhus, whom he defeated at Beneventum. Martial
refers to him as a model of austerity and frugality in 7, 68, 4; 10, 73, 3; 11, 2, 2
(not himself, but his daughter, whom Martial assumes to have inherited her fathers morality; see Kays note); 11, 5, 8; 11, 16, 6 (Curio Fabricioque); cf. also
Hor. carm. 1, 12, 40 and Otto, s.v. Fabricius, p. 129.
Persons renowned for their auctoritas are often described as graves; cf. Lucan.
10, 152 Fabricios Curiosque graves; Stat. silv. 2, 7, 68 gravem Catonem; see
TLL, s.v. gravis 2278, 67 ff. and J. Hellegouarch, Le vocabulaire Latin des relations et des partis politiques sous la rpublique, Paris 1972, pp. 287 ff.
5. Sed nihil ... theatro: a necessary reservation in an epigram in which the presence of Domitian is so clearly felt. Latinus defence of his personal morality (mea
vita) against the immorality of his art (nostro theatro, cf. 9, 27, 9, note) is similar
to Martials own defence of himself in 1, 4, 8 lasciva est nobis pagina, vita proba,
which has its prototype in Catull. 16; cf. Ov. trist. 2, 353 f., and see commentaries
by Citroni and Howell ad loc. For sumere in the sense adopt a habit, see OLD,
s.v. 12. For the ending, cf. Prop. 2, 3, 23; 2, 20, 11; 2, 26a, 1; Ov. am. 2, 15, 21.
6. scaenicus: Latinus would be eager to emphasize that he is a scaenicus only by
virtue of his ars; being a scaenicus also in private life was equal to being a hypocrite (see Forcellini, Lex., s.v. scenicus 5, 368).
7. moribus: used pregnantly in the sense of bonis moribus; cf. 9, 101, 21 mores
populis dedit (sc. Domitianus); Verg. Aen. 6, 852 paci ... imponere morem (with
Austins note); TLL, s.v. 1, 1525, 6 ff.


7 f. domino ... deus: perhaps an allusion to the formula dominus et deus (on
which see note on 9, 66, 3). However, dominus is justified by Latinus relation to
Domitian being that of a servant to his dominus (cf. famulus in line 10), and the
two words are thus not synonymous, as is the case, for example, in 5, 5, 1 ff.
Sexte, Palatinae cultor facunde Minervae, | ingenio frueris qui propiore dei |
nam tibi nascentes domini cognoscere curas | et secreta ducis pectora nosse licet.
The presentation of Domitian as a god is discussed in the introduction, pp. 32 f.
For the ending of line 8, cf. epigr. 17, 4; 5, 3, 6; 8, 62, 2; 13, 39, 2; 13, 74, 2;
Ov. epist. 4, 12.
9. laurigeri parasitum Phoebi: Latinus was a member of the guild of mimes
called parasiti Apollinis. The only other literary mention of the parasiti Apollinis
is Fest. p. 326, but there are twelve known inscriptions mentioning the guild, six
involving pantomimi, two archimimi, one a mimus and three lacking specific
reference to the professions of the parasiti in question; the absence of mention of
any actors other than the mimi and pantomimi as members of the guild would
indicate that it comprised no dramatic actors.1 The name of the parasiti Apollinis
may derive from Delos, a centre of the cult of Apollo, which, with its pilgrimage
and many festivals, made the city prosperous; the 2nd-century comedy-writer
Crito called the very citizens of Delos parasites of the god:
(frg. 3, 8, CAF 3, p. 354). Performing at these festivals
were not only such artists as were organised in the worldwide guild of Dionysiac
artists, but also incidental performers who were not admitted to that guild; these
would be the
, parasites, as they earned their livings
from performances in honour of Apollo. These actors would correspond to the
performers who became popular in Rome from the beginning of the second century BC, like the mimi at the Floralia (which became an annual festival in 173),
and which probably named their guild after their equivalents on Delos; see E. J.
Jory, Associations of Actors in Rome, Hermes 98 (1970), pp. 224-253 (the
parasiti are discussed on pp. 237-242).
Together with Ov. ars 3, 389, the present is the only instance in Latin of
lauriger being used with direct reference to Apollo (see TLL, s.v. lauriger 1059,
32 ff.). Similarly,
is applied to Apollo but once, in Anacreont. 12, 6
(Bruchmann, Epitheta, p. 22).









10. sui Iovis: for Domitian as the Jupiter of Rome, see the introduction, pp. 29

Contrary to what was previously assumed, cf. Ziehen in RE 18, s.v. Parasiti Apollinis 1376 f.


Saecula Nestoreae permensa, Philaeni, senectae,
rapta es ad infernas tam cito Ditis aquas?
Euboicae nondum numerabas longa Sibyllae
tempora: maior erat mensibus illa tribus.
Heu quae lingua silet! Non illam mille catastae
vincebant, nec quae turba Sarapin amat,
nec matutini cirrata caterva magistri,
nec quae Strymonio de grege ripa sonat.
Quae nunc Thessalico lunam deducere rhombo,
quae sciet hos illos vendere lena toros?
Sit tibi terra levis mollique tegaris harena,
ne tua non possint eruere ossa canes.


An obituary epigram on the old procuress and practician of love magic, Philaenis,
based throughout on ironical paradoxes of expressions and mythological commonplaces, such as would be found in a serious obituary or epitaph but which
become patently absurd when applied to Philaenis. Thus, the opening reference to
Nestor, the stock example of old age, is followed by an expression with an epigraphic ring (rapta tam cito), which would be used of those carried off by a premature death (but then, again, Philaenis had not yet reached the age of the Sibylla). The affectued exclamation in line 5 is such as might be found in the epitaph
of a great orator; that this is not Martials reason for introducing it here is at once
made apparent. The rhetorical questions of lines 9 and 10 are also such as may be
found in a serious epitaph, if the dead had been in possession of such abilities as
would be hard to replace; Martial surely does not mourn the loss of a witch and
procuress. The epigram is closed by an inside out parody of the common funerary formula sit tibi terra levis: what Martial wishes is not that the earth may not
lie heavily on Philaenis, but that she may be covered by a thin layer of earth, so
that the dogs may easily dig out her bones.
The theme is related to the vetula-Skoptik, represented in the present book,
for example, by 9, 37, but the points of emphasis are not totally representative of
that genre, the preferred subjects of which are the physical repulsiveness of older
women, particularly courtesans, who deny their age and make up themselves to
appear younger than they are (see 9, 37, intro.), and the scorn directed at them.
Here, the scorn is not so much at the physical as at the psychological repulsiveness of an old, chattering and hypocritical procuress. The epigram shows some
debt to Greek predecessors, especially for the concluding pun, which has its model
in AP 11, 226 (Ammianus)
;1 cf. also 11, 72 (Bassus of Smyrna)
, |

































May the dust lie light on thee when under earth, wretched Nearchus, so that the dogs may easily drag
thee out.


note on line 12 below.





;1 and 7, 345 (anonymous); cf.

1. Saecula Nestoreae senectae: the generations of the aged Nestor; Nestorea

senecta would be abstractum pro concreto for Nestor senex (cf. HofmannSzantyr, p. 748). The expression would thus be equivalent to Eleg. in Maecen. 1, 139
Nestoris annosi ... saecula. For Nestorea ... senecta with the same placing
(though of different significance), see also 13, 117, 1; Stat. silv. 1, 3, 110.
Nestor was considered to have lived through three generations (approximately
three hundred years), as stated already by Homer Il. 1, 250 f.:
; cf.
Cic. Cato 31; Hor. carm. 2, 9, 13 ter aevo functus (with Porph.); Ov. met. 12, 187
f. vixi | annos bis centum; nunc tertia vivitur aetas (see Bmer ad loc.); Hygin.
fab. 10, 3 Nestor ... qui tria saecula vixisse dicitur beneficio Apollinis. In Greek
as in Latin, he is used as the model of old age, see Otto, s.v. Nestor, p. 242;
Schmidt in RE 17, s.v. Nestor 119. Martial uses him as such (often together with
Priam) also in 2, 64, 3; 5, 58, 5; 6, 70, 12; 7, 96, 7; 8, 6, 9; 8, 64, 14; 10, 24, 11;
10, 67, 1; 11, 56, 13; 13, 117, 1.






Philaeni: the name Philaenis is used by Martial only of the vilest possible
women; three epigrams (2, 33; 4, 65; 12, 22) are aimed at a one-eyed courtesan,
whom Martial finds utterly disgusting (perhaps this is the same Philaenis as in 9,
62 and 10, 22), while 7, 67; 7, 70; and 9, 40 refer to women addicted to what in
Martials eyes were the worst kinds of sexual vice.
2. rapta tam cito: cf. 1, 116, 3 Hoc tegitur cito rapta suis Antulla sepulchro;
11, 69, 11 Nec queror (sc. Lydia) infernas quamvis cito rapta sub umbras. Variants of this expression are very common in the funeral inscriptions of those carried off by a premature death (see Citroni on 1, 116, 3 with instances), thus making a paradoxical irony when used of someone who has filled the whole life-span
of Nestor.
infernas Ditis aquas: with the same position also 1, 101, 10; Prop. 2, 34,
92; Ov. trist. 1, 5, 20. Apart from this instance and 1, 101, 10, Martial has the
adjective infernus four times (1, 36, 5; 4, 16, 5; 11, 5, 13; 11, 69, 11, all of which
define umbra), always immediately before the penthemimeresis, a position which
is also prevalent in Vergil, Ovid, Lucan, etc.3 Note also, that infernus is a word
Cytotaris with her grey temples, the garrulous old woman, who makes Nestor no longer the oldest of
men, she who has looked on the light longer than a stag and has begun to reckon her second old age on her
left hand, is alive and sharp-sighted and firm on her legs like a bride, so that I wonder if something has not
befallen death. Translations by. W. R. Paton, Loeb. For emphasis on old age, cf. also AP 11, 67; 11, 69.
Two generations of mortal men had he ere now seen pass away and he was king among the third; cf.
also Od. 3, 245.
See Citroni on 1, 36, 5. Note, however, that he is wrong in stating that infernus without exception stands
immediately before the penthemimeresis; of the nine instances of the word in Ovid, eight occupy this
position, whereas one, Met. 3, 504 tum quoque se, postquam est inferna sede receptus, stands before the
bucolic diaeresis. Moreover, Verg. Aen. 12, 199 vimque deum infernam et duri sacraria Ditis displays
essentially the same placing of the adjective, but Citroni disregards it as not standing directly before the


typical of dactylic verse,1 where it replaces inferus, which in some forms cannot be
fitted into the verse.
Martial mentions Dis twice more, in 11, 5, 13 infernis ... Ditis ab umbris; and
in 12, 32, 6 nocte Ditis. Together with Tibullus (who has a similar ending of the
pentameter in 3, 1, 28 Auferet extincto pallida Ditis aqua), he is alone in Latin
literature in referring to the waters of the nether regions as Ditis aqua.
3 f. Euboicae Sibyllae: the Sibyl of Cumae. She is called Euboica, since Cumae was founded from the cities of Chalcis and Cyme on Euboea. The adjective is
applied to the Sibyl herself only here and in Stat. silv. 1, 2, 177 Euboicae carmen
Sibyllae and 4, 3, 24 Euboicae domum Sibyllae, but it is elsewhere used with
reference to the region of Cumae (for example, Aen. 6, 2; 6, 42; Ov. met. 14, 155)
or to the oracles of the Sibyl (Ov. fast. 6, 210, cf. Stat. silv. 5, 3, 182); see Rzach
in RE 2:2, s.v. Sibyllen 2091 ff.
A common feature of all the Sibyls of the ancient world is that they were proverbially old,2 and the great age of the Sibyl of Cumae is frequently emphasized;
Vergil calls her longaeva sacerdos (Aen. 6, 321 and 628), Propertius speaks of
the Cumaeae saecula vatis (2, 2, 16), Ovid calls her vivax (met. 14, 104; fast 4,
875), and Silius refers to her as vetus Sibylla (13, 411). In the story of Aeneas at
Cumae (met. 14, 101-157), Ovid ascribes the age of 1,000 years to the Sibyl (14,
144 ff. nam iam mihi saecula septem | acta, tamen superest, numeros ut pulveris
aequem, | ter centum messes, ter centum musta videre; see Bmer ad loc.).
The Sibyl is used as the archetype of old age also in Prop. 2, 2, 16; 2, 24, 33 f.;
Ov. fast. 3, 534 (see Bmer ad loc.); 4, 875; Pont. 2, 8, 41; Priap. 12, 1 ff.; Stat.
silv. 1, 4, 125 ff. Petronius makes a joke of it in 48, 8: nam Sibyllam quidem
Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent:
respondebat illa:
; cf. Otto, s.v. Sibylla, p.





numerabas longa tempora: normally, longa tempora would mean long

lifetime, as in 14, 84 Ne toga barbatos faciat vel paenula libros, | haec abies
chartis tempora longa dabit (cf. Ov. trist. 3, 3, 80; Iuv. 14, 157 f.; OLD, s.v. tempus1 5 c), but this is somewhat awkward when coupled with numerabas, suggesting something that may be counted (like 7, 14, 9 bis denos puerum numerantem
perdidit annos). Perhaps this is an early instance of the use of tempora for anni,
which otherwise is attested only in considerably later sources;3 there may be a
parallel in the use of saecula in the sense of tempora in Ov. met. 4, 67 nulli per
saecula longa notatum (with Bmers note), where also longus, as probably in the

penthemimeresis because of the elision. To the information given by Citroni, it may be added that 10 out of
11 occurrences of infernus in Propertius stand immediately before the penthemimeresis, as is also the case
with all three instances in Tibullus.
Appearing for the first time in Varro and Cicero (only in his translation of Aratos); see Leo, Superne,
supernus, ALL 10 (1898), pp. 436 f.
Rzach, op. cit., 2078 f.
For example, CE 186, 7 sic fortis centum nummerabat (sic) tempora vitae; see E. Lfstedt, Zu den
neuen Carmina Latina Epigraphica, RhM 67 (1912), pp. 207-225 (particularly p. 216); cf. id.,
Philologischer Kommentar zur Peregrinatio Aetheriae, Uppsala 1911, p. 194 n. 2.


present case, tends towards the meaning numerosus; cf. Mart. 8, 8, 2 (of Ianus)
renoves voltu saecula longa tuo; TLL, s.v. longus 1638, 26 ff.
4. maior erat etc.: a humorous hair-splitting; when talking of such enormous
periods of time, three months more or less do not really make any difference.
5. heu quae: similar affected exclamations are to be found at the beginning also of
1, 12, 6; Verg. Aen. 3, 317; Ov. am. 2, 4, 6; met. 2, 447; trist. 3, 4b, 52. In the
following references to Philaenis loquacity, one may sense a contrast with the
pleasant eloquence of Nestor, cf. Cic. Cato 31 ut ait Homerus ex eius lingua
melle dulcior fluebat oratio.
catasta: a platform on which slaves were displayed in the market; see Mau in
RE 3, s.v. catasta 1785 f. Martial must be thinking of the noise caused by the
slave-dealers when offering their goods for sale, not, as suggested in TLL, s.v.
catasta 597, 61 ff., of a turba vilium hominum, servorum, barbarorumve.
6. quae turba Sarapin amat: the worshippers of Sarapis, the Egyptian, Hellenistic and syncretistic god, whose cult was introduced into Italy in the second century
BC. Ignored by Augustus and suppressed by Tiberius, it was not until the reign of
Caligula that the first temple of Isis and Sarapis was built on the Campus Martius.
The temple was burned down in the fire of 80, and Domitian, who, like his father
and brother, encouraged the cult, had it restored (see Jones, Domitian, pp. 91 f.).
The cult of Isis and Sarapis flourished particularly in the second and third centuries, supported by emperors like Trajan, Hadrian and Caracalla; the last mentioned built a splendid temple on the Quirinal (see Roeder in RE 2:1, s.v. Sarapis
2416 f.).
The reference here is probably to flute-players or musicians of some kind; cf.
Apuleius description of the procession at the festival of the dedication of a ship to
Isis in met. 11, 9: Ibant et dicati magno Sarapi tibicines, qui per oblicum calamum, ad aurem porrectum dexteram, familiarem templi deique modulum frequentabant. The musicians in question probably played the bombyx flute or tibia obliqua. Flute-playing was a feature of Egyptian ceremonies in honour of Osiris,
elements of which were inherited by the rites of Sarapis; musical activity in connection with Sarapis is recorded in an early-first-century BC inscription at Tanagra in Boeotia, mentioning the gathering of Sarapis worshippers for competitions
in playing the trumpet, flute and lyre; see J. G. Griffiths, Apuleius of Madauros,
The Isis Book (Metamorphoses, Book XI), Leiden 1975, pp. 188 f.
Amat suggests a more intimate relationship to the deity than does colo (cf. 9,
42, 5).
7. matutini magistri: for Martials complaints about the noise of the schools,
which began early in the morning, see the introduction to 9, 68. Matutinus also of
the client in 12, 68, 1; cf. TLL, s.v. matutinus 506, 67 ff.
cirrata caterva: curly-headed; freeborn boys wore their hair long until the
adoption of the toga virilis (see the Earinus cycle intro.). The adjective is not

normally used with direct reference to persons, cf. TLL, s.v. cirratus 1188, 53 ff.,
but cf. Pers. 1, 29 cirratorum centum, in which Kiel perceives a sense of affection, whereas in the present case, there is rather a notion of annoyance. The
schoolboys are called capillati in 10, 62, 2.
8. Strymonio de grege: the river Strymon in Thracia, falling into the Aegean Sea
just north of the peninsula of Chalcidice, was reputed to be the habitat of numerous cranes;1 from thence, they moved south to the Nile in winter (cf. Lucan. 5, 711
f.; 3, 199; Sen. Oed. 604). Vergil alludes to the screaming of the cranes in Aen.
10, 264 ff. tela manu iaciunt, quales sub nubibus atris | Strymoniae dant signa
grues atque aethera tranant | cum sonitu; Servius comments: Haec autem comparatio non ad telorum pertinet iactum, sed ad Troianorum clamorem. Cf. also
Verg. georg. 1, 120 Strymoniaeque grues (with Servius); Aen. 11, 580; Iuv. 13,
9. quae nunc: the despairing questions recall Catull. 8, 16 ff. (at Lesbias loss
of Catullus) Quis nunc te adibit? Cui videberis bella? | Quem nunc amabis?
Cuius esse diceris? | Quem basiabis? Cui labella mordebis? Cf. Verg. Aen. 2, 69
f.; 9, 490 f.; Iuv. 3, 49 f.; 7, 54 f.; 12, 48 f.
Thessalico lunam deducere rhombo: Thessaly was traditionally the home of
witchcraft (see in particular Apul. met. 2, 1), perhaps as it was a centre of the cult
of Hecate and is often mentioned in connection with magic herbs (for example,
Plaut. Amph. 1043) and even more often with the rite of pulling down the moon,
a characteristic feat of the Thessalian witches. The earliest extant mention of this
rite is in Arist. nub. 74955

































;2 cf. Plato, Georgias 513 with note in E. R. Dodds, Plato,

Georgias, Oxford 1959. The rite is frequently alluded to in Latin poetry, particularly because it was an important element of love magic; thus, for example, Verg.
ecl. 8, 68 ff. ducite ab urbe domum, mea carmina, ducite Daphnin. | Carmina vel
caelo possunt deducere lunam; Hor. ep. 5, 45; id. carm. 1, 27, 21 (with Nisbet and
Hubbard ad loc); Prop. 1, 1, 19; 2, 28, 35; Tib. 1, 8, 21; Ov. epist. 6, 85; am. 2, 1,
23; met. 12, 263; Lucan. 6, 500. Lunam deducere is a magical terminus technicus;
see S. Ingallina, Orazio e la magia, Palermo 1974, pp. 135 ff.; id., I giambi
opera prima di Orazio, Latomus 39 (1980), p. 362.
The question whether the witches were believed to be able to actually pull
down the moon or only to cause an eclipse has been the subject of debate; D. E.

Presumably in the lake of Tachino in the basin of Seres, which was passed by the river on its way to the
sea; see Oberhummer in RE 2:4 s.v. Strymon 392; cf. also Gossen-Steiner in RE 11 s.v. Kranich 1573.
Strepsiades: Suppose I hire some grand Thessalian witch to conjure down the Moon, and then I take it
and clap it into some round helmet-box, and keep it fast there, like a looking glass. Socrates: But whats the
use of that? Strepsiades: The use, quotha: why, if the moon should never rise again, Id never pay one
farthing (translation by B. Bickley Rogers, Loeb). Strepsiades wants to hide away the moon, so that his
creditors will not know the beginning of each new month.


Hill has a good collection of literary instances,1 but his arguments in favour of the
thesis that ancient references to the trick always suggest the physical removal of
the moon are not altogether convincing; he does not mention, for example, AP
14, 140, 1 ff.
where the verb
(to put out, quench, etc.) suggests an eclipse, and he
finds an argument for his opinion in Lactantius note on Stat. Theb. 1, 105 Talis
erat lux illi, qualis est luna, cum laborat magica arte. Nam pagani magicis artibus credebant lunam posse mutari, unde Vergilius carmina vel lunam caelo
deducere possunt (sic), translating posse mutari as could be moved, whereas
could be changed would presumably be a more correct translation. Certainly,
neither Pliny (nat. 30, 6 f.) nor Ovid (medic. 41 f.) believed in their powers. The
effect which the witches rites allegedly had on the moon could be neutralized by
the clashing of cymbals, the noise of which annoyed Martial just as much as that
of the matutini magistri; cf. 12, 57, 15; Tib. 1, 8, 21; Tac. ann. 1, 28; Theocrit. 2,
There have been various opinions also about the nature of the rhombus (Gr.
), a magical instrument used particularly in love magic (cf. Prop. 2, 28, 35
ff. deficiunt magico torti sub carmine rhombi, | et iacet exstincto laurus adusta
foco; | et iam Luna negat totiens descendere caelo, | nigraque funestum concinit
omen avis; 3, 6, 25; Ov. am. 1, 8, 7), but it would seem that it was similar to the
, a magic wheel used for the same purpose; thus Theocrit. 2, 17
.3 Gow ad loc. has a description of the
though without connecting it with the rhombus; it had two holes, one on each side
of the centre, and a thread was run through the one hole and back through the
other, and its ends were tied together. The ends of the loop thus created were
alternatively pulled and relaxed, thus making the wheel revolve. See A. M. Tupet,
La magie dans la posie latine. 1: Des origines la fin du rgne dAuguste, Paris
1976, pp. 50 ff.; McKeown on Ov. am. 1, 7, 8.
























10. hos illos toros: Philaenis procured sexual favours (cf. OLD, s.v. torus 5 b)
right and left without misgivings. The indefinite hic and ille are usually linked by
a copula, but the same asyndeton as here is found in 12, 60, 11 Excipere hos illos
(sc. amicos), et tota surgere cena; cf. TLL, s.v. hic 2736, 54 ff; A. Sonny,
Demonstrativa als Indefinita, Glotta 6 (1915), pp. 61-70.
11. Sit tibi terra levis: a very frequent formula in funerary inscription; the dead
man usually asks the person who passes by to wish that the earth may lie lightly
on him; cf., for example, CE 1452 dic rogo qui transis: sit tibi terra levis; see R.
Lattimore, Themes in Greek and Latin Epitaphs, Urbana, Illinois 1942, pp. 65 ff.;
TLL, s.v. levis 1, 1203, 8 ff. Martial paraphrases the formula also in 5, 34, 9 f. (on
Erotion) Mollia non rigidus caespes tegat ossa, nec illi, | terra, gravis fueris: non
fuit illa tibi; 6, 52, 5 f. (on the barber Pantagathus) Sis licet, ut debes, tellus, pla1

D. E. Hill, The Thessalian Trick, RhM 116 (1973), pp. 211-238.

Blessed Zeus, are these deeds pleasing in thy sight that the Thessalian women do in play? The eye of the
moon is blighted by mortals; I saw it myself. Translation by W. R. Paton, Loeb.
My magic wheel, draw to the house the man I love; cf. Verg. ecl. 8, 68 f. quoted above.


cata levisque, | artificis levior non potes esse manu; 11, 14 Heredes, nolite
brevem sepelire colonum: | nam terra est illi quantulacumque gravis; cf. also Tib.
2, 4, 50; Ov. ars 3, 740.
mollique harena: mollis in the sense of soft, yielding to the touch; cf.
TLL, s.v. mollis 1372, 4 ff. The combination mollis harena occurs for the first
time in Ov. am. 2, 11, 47 (cf. met. 2, 577; Ib. 422).
12. ne tua non possint etc.: normally a simple ne possint would be expected, but
Martial turns it the other way round, on the pattern of AP 11, 226 (Ammianus);
see the introduction above. For other humorous paraphrases of the formula, cf. AP
7, 204, 7 f. (Agathias Scholiasticus); 7, 583, 7 f. (by the same).
To be left unburied and to be devoured by animals was to the Roman the utmost horror; as such, it was imposed as a severe punishment upon those convicted
for perduellio, high treason; see Mommsen, Strafrecht, pp. 987 ff. This view is
occasionally reflected in literature; thus, for example, Cic. Mil. 33; Catull. 108, 3
ff. non equidem dubito quin primum inimica bonorum | lingua exsecta avido sit
data vulturio, | effossos oculos voret atro gutture corvus, | intestina canes, cetera
membra lupi. For more instances involving dogs, who were considered to be keen
on human flesh (cf. Phaedr. 1, 27, 3 effodiens ossa thesaurum canis), see TLL, s.v.
canis 254, 18 ff.

Cappadocum saevis Antistius occidit oris
Rusticus. O tristi crimine terra nocens!
Rettulit ossa sinu cari Nigrina mariti
et questa est longas non satis esse vias;
cumque daret sanctam tumulis, quibus invidet, urnam,
visa sibi est rapto bis viduata viro.

A sincere and touching epigram on the death of L. Antistius Rusticus and his
loving wife Mummia Nigrinas recovery of his ashes from Cappadocia. Once
bereft of her husband, she carries his urn in her bosom, complaining that the way
is not long enough before she, then twice bereft, must entrust his ashes to the
tomb, which she envies. The moving picture of Nigrina reminds us in its sympathetic tone of Tacitus pitiful picture of the once illustrious Agrippina, defessa
luctu et corpore aegro, boarding the ship for Rome with her children, carrying the
urn with Germanicus ashes in the fold of her gown (Tac. ann. 2, 75).
L. Antistius Rusticus and Mummia Nigrina are mentioned in only two epigrams of Martial in the whole of the transmitted literature, the other being 4, 75,
praising Nigrina for her generosity in sharing her fathers wealth with her husband. Yet they are quite well known, thanks to two inscriptions. One (from Rome,
CIL 6, 27881) is the epitaph of their slave-girl Tyche, who died at the age of
twenty, set up by her husband and fellow-slave Celtiber: Dis Manibus | Tyche | vix

ann XX | Antisti Rustic | et Mummiae | Nigrinae | fec Celtiber | conservus |

coniugi carissi | h(ic) s(ita) e(st) s(it) t(ibi) t(erra) l(evis) | d(ecessit) V I(dus)
Mar(tias) i(mperatore) D(omitiano) XIII cos. From this inscription, dating from
87,1 we know that Nigrinas nomen gentilicium was Mummia (see PIR2 M
714)..The other inscription concerns Antistius doings in Cappadocia and is thus
of greater relevance to the present epigram.2 Found in Psidian Antioch, it proclaims the measures taken, apparently on his own authority without the intervention of Domitian,3 by Antistius, who served as legate of Galatia-Cappadocia in
91-93 or 94, against a famine following an unusually harsh winter. The rough
dating of the inscription to 93 confirms that Antistius was in Cappadocia and
would have died there in 93 or 94, shortly before the publication of Martials
Book 9. It also gives Lucius as his praenomen and lists, in reverse order, every
office he had held, including a suffect consulship, probably in the eighties, and a
proconsulship of the province of Hispania ulterior Baetica, along with numerous
military distinctions. His connection with Martial is perhaps explained by the fact
that they were apparently compatriots (the inscription opens with L. Antistio [L.]
f. | Gal. Rustico, where Gal. probably indicates that he was a Spaniard from the
tribus Galeria4).
As Mummia Nigrina, for obvious reasons, is not mentioned in the Cappadocian inscription, our knowledge of her depends entirely on Martial and on CIL 6,
27881. Her affection for and submission to her husband secured a place for her
among the (comparatively few) virtuous women recognized by Martial, and she
would probably have complied fully with Martials formula for equality given in
8, 12, 3 f. Inferior matrona suo sit, Prisce, marito: | non aliter fiunt femina virque
pares. Other ideal wives mentioned by Martial are Claudia Rufina (11, 53; she
was British by birth and is thus perhaps the same person as the Claudia Peregrina
of 4, 13; see Kay on 11, 53, 1), Argentaria Polla, Lucans widow (7, 21 and 23;
10, 64; cf. Stat. silv. 2, 7), and Sulpicia, wife of Calenus (10, 35 and 38). Among
historical exempla of female virtue are Porcia, the wife of Brutus (1, 42) and Caecina Paetus wife Arria Paeta (1, 13); see further Sullivan, Martial, pp. 191 f.
1. Cappadocum saevis oris: saevis would refer both to the climate of Cappadocia being very rigorous in winter (cf. Forcellini, Onomast., s.v. Cappadocia
330) and to its savage inhabitants, elsewhere described as feroces Cappadoces
(Lucan. 3, 243 f.), and their land as regno ... feroci Cappadocum (Manil. 4, 760
2. tristi crimine terra nocens: the land is made guilty of Antistius death (OLD,
s.v. nocens 2), like of that of Camonius Rufus in 6, 85, 3 f. impia Cappadocum
tellus (cf. Sil. 2, 29; Stat. Theb. 10, 850; TLL, s.v. impius 624, 41 ff.). Similarly,

Domitian began his thirteenth consulship that year but laid it down on the thirteenth of January, and thus
was in fact not consul in March.
M. McCrum & A. G. Woodhead, Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors
including the Year of the Revolution A.D. 68-96, Cambridge 1961, no. 464, pp. 139 f.
See B. Levick, Domitian and the Provinces, Latomus 41 (1982), pp. 50-73 (pp. 57 f.).
See S. E. Stout, L. Antistius Rusticus, CPh 21 (1926), p. 47. There is nothing to support Groags
opinion in RE 16, s.v. Mummius 27, 534, that Mummia Nigrina was a rich patroness of Martial.


the fields of Pharsalus are called terra nocens in Lucan. 7, 768 and 869; cf. also
Stat. Theb. 5, 592.
3. Rettulit ossa sinu: the bones of the cremated corpse were collected by the nearest relations and put in the sinus, a hanging fold of the dress used as a pocket,
before they were put in the urn; Nigrina carries the urn containing the ashes of
her beloved husband in this fold, as Agrippina did when she brought back the
ashes of Germanicus from Antioch (Tac. ann. 2, 75 feralis reliquias sinu ferret);
cf. Tib. 1, 3, 5 f.; Prop. 1, 17, 11 f.; Sen. dial. 12, 2, 5; Mau in RE 3, s.v. Bestattung 356 ff.
4. esse vias: this ending also in Tib. 1, 1, 26; 1, 9, 36; Prop. 3, 5, 10; Ov. epist.
17, 146; 18, 154; fast. 2, 8; Ib. 24.
5. sanctam urnam: this is the only instance of this juncture, but cf. Stat. Theb.
7, 697 f. sanctum et venerabile ... funus; Cic. Phil. 9, 14 sepulcra sanctiora; Sen.
Tro. 509 f. sanctas parentis conditi sedes. It is used more frequently of the spirits
of the dead (thus 6, 18, 1; 7, 40, 3) and of deceased persons, for example, Verg.
Aen. 11, 158; see OLD, s.v. sanctus 3 c.
tumulis: when the plural is used of one single grave, it is usually in order to
avoid elision; thus Prop. 4, 7, 53 f. si fallo, vipera nostris | sibilet in tumulis et
super ossa cubet; Sil. 9, 133 fratris tumulis arma; Stat. Theb. 5, 679 tumulis
etiamnum; silv. 3, 1, 24 mersum tumulis Eurysthea; 4, 4, 55 magni tumulis adcanto magistri; CIL 11, 911, 15 te pi[e] possessor, sive, colone, precor | ne patiare meis tumulis [i]ncrescere silvas. In the present case, there are no metrical
reasons for the plural, nor can it be maintained that Martial preferred a dactyl (-is
quibus) to a spondee (-o cui) before the bucolic diaeresis; of 188 instances of such
diaeresis in Book 9, 86 are preceded by a dactyl, whereas 102 are preceded by a
6. rapto bis viduata viro: twice deprived through the snatching away of her
husband (bis is used
), recalling Vergils words of Orpheus in georg.
4, 504 quo se rapta bis coniuge ferret? Probably Martial wants to draw a parallel
with the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, in which Orpheus, having lost his wife
for the second time, would have felt the same bitter grief as Nigrina.


Cum comes Arctois haereret Caesaris armis
Velius, hanc Marti pro duce vovit avem;
luna quater binos non tota peregerat orbes,
debita poscebat iam sibi vota deus:
ipse suas anser properavit laetus ad aras
et cecidit sanctis hostia parva focis.
Octo vides patulo pendere nomismata rostro
alitis? Haec extis condita nuper erant:
quae litat argento pro te, non sanguine, Caesar,
victima, iam ferro non opus esse docet.


This epigram is concerned with a picture of a goose, which had been vowed and
sacrificed to Mars by C. Velius Rufus (?; see below on line 2) for the safe return of
Domitian from the campaign against the Sarmatians on the Danube, the Second
Pannonian War (see the introduction, pp. 26 f.). Miraculously, hidden in the entrails of the bird were found eight silver coins, each of them obviously representing one month of the emperors absence in the war. In this way, the goose had
showed, by silver instead of blood, that the offering was pleasing to Mars, but
above all that there was no more need of bloodshed; Domitian appears as a Prince
of Peace, a role which Martial ascribes to him also in 9, 70, 7 f. and 9, 101, 21,
obviously inspired by the war in question, although it actually was not a success;
see further note on 9, 70, 7 f. The image of the goose may perhaps have been
placed next to a statue of Mars,1 since the opening lines are such as may be found
on a votive tablet (cf. below on line 2), and since lines 78, which speak of the
silver coins as hanging from the gooses open beak, make little sense unless we
take them as referring to something like a mittelalterliches Spruchband, emerging, in the picture, from the beak and showing the coins (so Weinreich, Studien,
p. 133).2
The present epigram is of some importance for the dating of Domitians Second Pannonian War. From other epigrams of Martial, it appears that Domitian
returned from this war in January 933 and, assuming that Velius made the vow at
the departure of the emperor and performed it on his return, Domitian would have
left for the Danube little less than eight months before, that is, in May 92 (line 3;
cf. Gsell, pp. 225 ff.). The poem is also, as Friedlnder observed (pp. 61 f.),
among the earliest of Book 9, as the two concluding lines, stating that there is no
longer any call for armed conflict, indicate that the vow was performed and the
poem written immediately upon the return of the emperor, in January 93.

See F. Mller, Die Gans auf Denkmlern des Mars, Westdeutsche Zeitschrift fr Geschichte und
Kunst 5 (1886), pp. 321331. Mller points to an image of a she-goat standing next to the statue of
Vediovis, to whom that animal was sacrificed (cf. Gell. 5, 12, 12). As such an image, he also explains the
goose standing next to the enthroned Mars on a bronze tablet found in Bonn (see note on line 2 below).
Schmook, p. 54, thinks that the goose was stuffed and placed on view in a temple, the coins being put in
its mouth.
Probably on the 1st or the 2nd, if 8, 4 was written on the day of the votorum nuncupatio, January 3rd,
when vows were offered for the emperor (see Friedlnder, p. 60). Cf. also 7, 58 (Friedlnder, p. 58); 8, 2;
8, 8; 8, 11; 8, 21 (Friedlnder, pp. 59 f.).


That the goose did not resist being sacrificed was, of course, technically
important to the offering; the resistance of the sacrificial animal was a sign that
the offering was not pleasing to the gods, making litatio (see below on line 9)
impossible.1 But the gooses going to the altar even of its own accord and volunteering to be sacrificed are due to its perception of Domitians divine numen. The
ability of animals to feel the sacra potestas of the emperor is frequently stressed
by Martial, as their incapability of lying (epigr. 29, 8 mentiri non didicere ferae)
furnishes an irrefutable proof of his divine power. Many instances are provided by
the animals in the arena: in epigr. 17, an elephant kneels to Titus non iussus,
nulloque docente magistro, but because nostrum sentit et ille deum; similarly, a
hind hunted by Molossian hounds flees to the feet of Titus, where the hounds dare
not follow; Martial exclaims Numen habet Caesar, sacra est haec, sacra potestas
(epigr. 29, 7). The hares of the harelioncycle in Book 1 (poems 6; 14; 22; 48; 51;
60; 104; cf. 44; 45) may safely leap unharmed in and out of the mouth of
Domitians lions because of the lions consciousness of their divine master (1,
104, 22 norunt cui serviant leones).2 Domitians sacred fish in Lacus Baianus has
a similar awareness of the emperor (4, 30), as has the parrot of 14, 73, which by
its own accord has learned to speak the words Caesar have. Cf. also poems 61 and
79 of the present book.
The idea of the willing sacrificial animal goes back to the theme of animals
voluntarily sacrificing themselves to gods (like the ox to Demeter in Aelian. nat.
anim. 11, 4) and later to Hellenistic rulers.3 However, Weinreich points to a passage from Plutarch (Lucull. 24), indicating that the theme appeared in Roman
tradition already during the republic (then in connection with military commanders).4 Plutarch tells how Lucullus, after crossing the Euphrates, ran across the
sacred heifers of Artemis, which were grazing freely and could only with difficulty be caught and dragged to the sacrificial altar; but presently, one of these
heifers came to a certain rock which is deemed sacred to the goddess, and
stood upon it, and lowering its head without any compulsion from the usual rope,
offered itself to Lucullus for sacrifice.5 In Latin, the volunteering sacrificial animal perhaps appears in Tib. 2, 1, 15 and Petron. 133, 13 f., but, if so, its willingness is in these cases due to the influence of the god in question (Bacchus/Ceres
and Priapus respectively). The first certain instance of the application of the
theme to a Roman emperor would be AP 9, 352, 3 f. (Leonidas of Alexandria), on
a sacrifice following Neros deliverance from the Pisonian conspiracy, stating that










;6 otherwise, evidence is scarce before Martial. On the theme of

Wissowa, Religion, p. 351.

See Citronis introduction to 1, 6.
See Weinreich, Studien, pp. 156 ff.
Weinreich, op. cit., pp. 137 ff.
Plut. Lucull. 24, 7; translation by Bernadotte Perrin, Loeb.
A hundred axes made the willing necks of as many bulls bleed at the altars of Heavenly Zeus (W. R.
Patons translation, Loeb). However, Weinreich (p. 140) must be mistaken in assuming that
refers to Nero, da Leonidas IX 355, 3 die Poppa anredet als
The epithet
(used of Zeus also in AP 12, 230, 4 [Callimachus], and 16, 293, 3 [Anonymous])
would rather emphasize that the Zeus in question is the heavenly, and not Nero; cf. Martials use of
different attributes (Ausonius pater [9, 7, 6], as opposed to pater deum [9, 3, 6], Palatinus Tonans, as
opposed to Tarpeius Tonans [9, 86, 7], etc.) to distinguish Domitian from Jupiter.









animals and the emperors numen as a whole, see Weinreich, Studien, pp. 74 ff.;
cf. Scott, pp. 119 ff. For its influence on plants, see note on 9, 61, 9 Auctorem
sentire videtur.
) was introduced into Latin poetry
1. Arctois: the adjective Arctous (Gr.
by Seneca (for example, Oed. 606 Arctoas nives with Tchterles note; TLL, s.v.
Arctous 472, 58 ff.). Martial has it six times, twice as a general reference to the
North (epigr. 15, 4; 5, 68, 1), twice with reference to the Rhine (4, 11, 8; 10, 6, 2),
and twice referring to the war against the Sarmatians (8, 65, 3 Arctoi belli and
the present occurrence). Note also that, of in all thirty-two occurrences of this
adjective in Silver Latin dactylic verse, twenty-four stand, as here, immediately
before the penthemimeresis.1

haereret Caesaris armis: haereret may be taken in the sense of adhaereret

(cf. Ov. met. 8, 144 Cnosiacaeque haeret comes invidiosa carinae; Lucan. 3, 24
haereat illa tuis per bella per aequora signis; TLL, s.v. haereo 2496, 8 ff.), in
which case armis must be taken as metonymy for exercitui (TLL, s.v. arma 600,
44 ff.). It would also be possible to understand haereret as occupatus esset (TLL,
s.v. haereo 2499, 23 ff.); armis should then be taken abstractly as synonymous
with bellis; cf. Ov. met. 4, 34 f. aut ducunt lanas aut stamina pollice versant | aut
haerent telae famulasque laboribus urguent, see Bmer ad loc.; TLL, s.v. arma
599, 11.
The ending Caesaris armis, found once in Ovid (am. 1, 2, 51), appears no less
than ten times in Lucan.
2. Velius: most probably C. Velius Rufus, whose distinguished military career
spanned all three Flavian emperors and was crowned with a procurate of Pannonia and Dalmatia between c. 90 and the beginning of 93, followed by a governorship of Raetia between 9394 and 9596.2 His military career is recorded in an
inscription from Baalbek (ILS 9200), from which it appears that he was decorated
in bello Marcomannorum Quadorum (both Suebic tribes) Sarmatum (viz. the
branch of the Iazyges), adversus quos expeditionem fecit per regnum Decebali,
regis Dacorum (lines 14 ff.); this might have been in 89 at the earliest, in the First
Pannonian War,3 since the words per regnum Decebali imply that Domitian had
come to terms with the Dacian king.4 Jones assumes that the expedition took place
in 92, during the Second Pannonian War,5 but this is not important for the identi1

Lucan. 10 before the penthemimeresis, 2 at the beginning of the verse; Sil. 2 before the penthemimeresis;
Stat. 7 before the penthemimeresis, 1 at the beginning of the verse; Mart. 4 before the penthemimeresis, 1
one preceding the diaeresis of the pentameter, 1 at the beginning of the verse; most divergent is Val. Fl., in
having 1 instance before the penthemimeresis, 1 following the penthemimeresis, and 2 before the
See K. Strobel, Zur Rekonstruktion der Laufbahn des C. Velius Rufus, ZPE 64 (1986), pp. 265286.
Friedlnder (following Mommsen) identified Velius as Velius Paulus, governor of Pontus-Bithynia (see
Dihle in RE 2:8, s.v. Velius Longus 628 f., where Longus is a mistake for Paulus, see Eck in RE Suppl. 14,
827 [to the article Velius 5]). There is no evidence that Velius Paulus participated in any of the Pannonian
So Strobel, op. cit., p. 277.
Jones, Domitian, pp. 150 ff.
Jones, op. cit., p. 152.


fication of the Velius of this epigram with Velius Rufus, who in any case was
procurator of Pannonia at the time of the latter war.
hanc Marti avem: the formula suggests a dedicatory inscription, cf. 1, 31,
1 Hos tibi, Phoebe, vovet totos a vertice crines (sc. Encolpos) with Citronis note.
This is the only literary evidence that geese were sacrificed to Mars, but there
is a handful of different monuments and utensils from Roman Britain and Germany (see Mller, op. cit.), depicting Mars with a goose, presumably while the
watchfulness of the bird was such as would be expected of the Roman soldier,
above all, of those at the frontier, who had to live with the constant threat of barbaric tribes. The connection of the goose with Mars is certainly also due to the god
of war being the vigilant guardian of soldiers and generals; before going to war,
the commander would betake himself to the Sacrarium Martis and shake the ancilia and the lance of the god, while calling to Mars Mars vigila (Serv. Aen. 8,
3); see Roscher in Roscher, s.v. Mars 2422 f.
pro duce vovit: similar prosody in 8, 4, 2 suspicit et solvit pro duce vota suo;
Ov. epist. 10, 72.
3. Luna quater binos peregerat orbes: the moon is frequently used by the
poets to denote a series of months, according to the principle Luna dabit menses,
peragit quod menstrua cursum (Manil. 3, 517). Such expressions are mostly of
similar structure, luna being the subject of a verb (impleo, retego, compleo, etc.)
governing orbem or orbes. The amount of time is denoted by a numeric adverb
when the singular orbem is used (for example, Ov. met. 2, 344 luna quater iunctis
inplerat cornibus orbem [with Bmers note]; 7, 531 Luna, quater plenum tenuata
retexuit orbem; 11, 453; Lucan. 2, 577) or, with the plural orbes, either by a numeric adverb with a distributive (for example, Sil. 3, 67 bissenos Lunae nondum
compleverat orbes; Stat. Theb. 1, 576 bis quinos plena cum fronte resumeret
orbes; cf. silv. 5, 2, 12) or by a cardinal number (Ov. fast. 3, 517 sex ubi
sustulerit, totidem demerserit orbes). The verb perago appears also in Val. Fl. 1,
283 f. septem Aurora vias totidemque peregerat umbras | luna polo.
4. debita ... iam sibi vota: Domitian has returned, and Mars has fulfilled his part
of the vow. Poscebat, since the demand remains until the vow is performed. Note
also the frequency of pentameters ending with vota deus sim. (4, 1, 4; 4, 73, 6;
Tib. 3, 3, 10; Prop. 3, 3, 10; Ov. epist. 16, 282; Pont. 2, 8, 28; 4, 4, 30; Epiced.
Drusi 22; 194).
5. ipse: in the sense of sua sponte; cf. Serv. georg. 1, 34.
6. cecidit sacris focis: the focus was the portable seat of fire which stood at the
altar to receive the offering of wine and incense that began the sacrifice (see Wissowa, Religion, pp. 351 f.).
The juncture sacris focis sim., in the pentameter always with the same position as here, is first found in Tibull. 1, 2, 83 f. Num feror incestus sedes adiisse
deorum | sertaque de sanctis deripuisse focis? (also 1, 8, 69; 3, 10, 23), followed

by Ovid (fast. 3, 734; 4, 297; Pont. 2, 1, 32; cf. also fast. 3, 30 sacros focos;
Mart. 1, 21, 2 sacris focis). The dative focis with cecidit indicates that the
firepan is regarded as a kind of manifestation of the god, replacing the dative of
expressions like Verg. Aen. 1, 334 multa tibi ante aras nostra cadet hostia dextra.
Although cado focis is elsewhere unattested, the same idea may be observed in
Sen. Thy. 1057 ff. ferro vulnera impresso dedi, | cecidi ad aras, caede votiva
focos | placavi.
hostia parva: cf. Tib. 1, 22 nunc agna exigui est hostia parva soli.
, a very rare word in classical Latin, occurring once in
7. nomismata: Gr.
Horace (epist. 2, 1, 234) and five times in Martial, where it usually signifies a
coupon of some kind, probably in the shape of a coin; thus 1, 11, 1; 1, 26, 3; 8, 78,
9; in 12, 62, 11, the word signifies tokens bearing a text and a picture of different
kinds of apophoreta, which should be exchanged for the gift itself (see Citroni on
1, 11, 1). In later Latin, the word mostly alludes to strange or rare coins, such as
collectors items or coins for ornamental use;1 there is something of this notion
here it is not just any coins that hang from the beak of the goose, but sacred
coins, formed as an omen in the entrails of the bird.

8. nuper erat: the same ending in 8, 65, 2; 14, 128, 2; Ov. trist. 2, 1, 158.
9. litat: give favourable omens; of the sacrificial animal also in 10, 73, 6; cf. 8,
15, 2. Expressions of the victima litat kind are considered by Bmer to be Ovidian
coinages (Ov. met. 15, 794 victima nulla litat, with Bmers note; also Plin. nat.
8, 183; 207), but cf. the phrase hostiae litationem inspexerunt in the Acts of the
Arval brethren, which may have preserved an ancient usage (see Wissowa in RE
13, s.v. litatio 740 ff.). The word is more commonly used with the person offering,
in the sense of to sacrifice successfully; thus 10, 92, 16; TLL, s.v. lito 1511, 4
ff.; cf. Serv. Aen. 4, 50 inter litare et sacrificare hoc interest, quod
sacrificare veniam petere, litare propitiare et votum impetrare; 2, 119.
The litatio was the conclusion of the sacrifice, when the entrails of the animals
were inspected. If abnormalities or malformations were found, then the sacrifice
remained sine litatione and had to be repeated usque ad litationem (see Wissowa
in RE, loc. cit., and Religion, p. 253).
9 f. sanguine ... | ... ferro: note the resemblance to Sen. epist. 77, 9 on the suicide
of Marcellinus: Non fuit illi (sc. Marcellino) opus ferro, non sanguine.

Cf. Dig. 7, 1, 28 pr. Pomponius libro quinto ad Sabinum. Nomismatum aureorum vel argenteorum
veterum, quibus pro gemmis uti solent, usus fructus legari potest; 10, 4, 9, 4; 34, 2, 27, 4; Ser. med. 520.


Hanc volo, quae facilis, quae palliolata vagatur,
hanc volo, quae puero iam dedit ante meo,
hanc volo, quam redimit totam denarius alter,
hanc volo, quae pariter sufficit una tribus.
Poscentem nummos et grandia verba sonantem
possideat crassae mentula Burdigalae.

This epigram presents a variation of a common theme in the tradition of erotic

poetry, the poets preferences regarding his mistress (or lover).1 The theme is
found several times in the Greek Anthology, it has been variously treated by,
among others, Horace, Propertius and Ovid, and Martial varies it in a number of
epigrams. In 1, 57, he advocates a golden mean: the girl should not be too easy
to catch and not too repugnant (cf. AP 5, 42 [Rufinus]; 12, 200 [Strato]); 5, 83
treats a classical dilemma: Insequeris, fugio; fugis, insequor; haec mihi mens est:
| velle tuum nolo, Dindyme, nolle volo (cf. Hor. sat 1, 2, 107 f.; Ov. am. 2, 19, 36;
AP 12, 102, 5 f. [Callimachus]; 12, 203 [Strato]); in 11, 100, Martial proclaims
that the girl should be neither too skinny nor too fat (cf. AP 5, 37 [Rufinus]). 4, 42
is a longer piece on the poets preferences in a boy; cf. 2, 36; 11, 60; 11, 102.
The present epigram explicitly contradicts 1, 57 and 5, 83, as Martial proclaims that he wants a girl who is facilis, who is not vain, who will do anything
you say for a couple of denarii and yet is able to satisfy three men at the same
time. What he wishes for is thus an ordinary meretrix, as the counterpart of which
he poses those poscentes nummos et grandia verba sonantes. Strange as it may
seem, what Martial understands by the latter phrase is not luxurious concubines,
but most surely married women of leisure from the upper social classes, as may be
concluded from some verses in Horaces sat. 1, 2, which, as shown by Prinz,2
more or less form a key to the understanding of the second part of this epigram.
The lines in question are sat. 1, 2, 116 ff. Tument tibi cum inguina, num, si | ancilla aut verna est praesto puer, impetus in quem | continuo fiat. Malis tentigine
rumpi? | Non ego; namque parabilem amo venerem facilemque. | Illam post
paulo sed pluris si exierit vir | Gallis, hanc Philodemus ait sibi, quae neque magno | stet pretio neque cunctetur cum est iussa venire. The passage obviously goes back to a (now lost) epigram of Philodemus but shows so many similarities to the present epigram that Prinz is surely right in assuming that the epigram of Philodemus was the source of both Martials and Horaces verses. Prinz
also draws attention to a passage from Propertius containing the same similarities
and probably also modelled on the same epigram of Philodemus, which thus
seems to have been well known; cf. Prop. 2, 23, 12 ff. Ah pereant, si quos ianua
clausa iuvat! | Contra, reiecto quae libera vadit amictu, | custodum et nullo
saepta timore, placet. | Cui saepe immundo Sacra conteritur Via socco, | nec sinit
esse moram, si quis adire velit; | differet haec numquam, nec poscet garrula,
The matter has been fully treated by K. Prinz in his paper Zu Horaz Sat. I 2, 121 und Martial Epigr. IX
32, WS 34 (1912), pp. 227-236.
Op. cit., pp. 232 ff.


quod te | astrictus ploret saepe dedisse pater, | nec dicet timeo, propera iam
surgere, quaeso: | infelix, hodie vir mihi rure venit. | Et quas Euphrates et quas
mihi misit Orontes, | me iuerint: nolim furta pudica tori.
The same desire for love without demands as here can be observed in 3, 33, in
which Martial sets out by saying that he most of all wants a free-born girl, but, on
second thoughts, comes to the conclusion that what he really wants is a slave girl
with the looks of a free-born (cf. AP 5, 18, 7 f. [Rufinus]). In the Greek Anthology, there are also a couple of epigrams making fun of Zeus for taking such pains
to get at his mistresses, when one can get what one wants with such ease for two
obols or a drachma; thus AP 5, 125 (Bassus)











109 (Antipater)




















;1 5,



1. Hanc volo, quae: Friedlnder compares Auson. 26, 56, 1 Prete Hanc volo,
quae non vult; illam, quae vult ego nolo (cf. 5, 83, 1); cf. also 1, 8, 6 Hunc volo,
laudari qui sine morte potest; 10, 59, 6 Hunc volo, non fiat qui sine pane satur; 6,
60, 4.
facilis: easy to come to terms with, as in 1, 57, 2 Nolo nimis facilem difficilemque nimis; 3, 69, 5 facilesque puellae; 12, 46, 1 Difficilis facilis, iucundus
acerbus es idem; cf. TLL, s.v. facilis 62, 28 ff. This is the parabilem venerem
facilemque of Hor. sat. 1, 2, 119 quoted above.
palliolata: a very rare adjective; apart from the present, there are only three
instances, Suet. Claud. 2, 2; Act. lud. saec. Sept Sev. 5a, 59; and Hist. Aug. quatt.
tyr. 15, 8; TLL s.v. palliolatus 132, 47 ff.; compare the adverb palliolatim in
Plaut. Pseud. 1275; Caecil. com. 133; Fronto p. 150, 16 van den Hout.
The pallium, the outer garment corresponding to the
of the Greeks,
was worn by men and women alike, by respectable matrons (11, 104, 7) as well as
by concubines (Ov. am. 1, 4, 49; 3, 2, 25; ars 1, 153 with Hollis note; ars 1, 733
refers to a head-dress; see also McKeown on am. 1, 4, 41); cf. also Martials complaints of his fictitious wife in 11, 104, 7 fascia te tunicaeque obscuraque pallia
celant. The adjective palliolatus is derived from the diminutive palliolum, the
precise meaning of which is somewhat obscure; probably, the diminutive would
convey a sense of plain, simple, etc., to distinguish the palliolum from the pallium of the matrons, which was usually purple-coloured; cf. 11, 27, 8, where the
unstylish mistress of Flaccus asks for five untreated fleeces for a palliolum, and
Prop. 2, 23, 13 reiecto quae libera vadit amictu (see above); see also Kreis & von
Schaewen in RE 18 s. v. pallium 250, and Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 235, the

I am never going to turn into gold, and let someone else become a bull or the melodious swan of the
shore. Such tricks I leave to Zeus, and instead of becoming a bird I will give Corinna my two obols.
You can have the Attic Europa for a drachma with none to fear and no opposition on her part, and she
has perfectly clean sheets and a fire in winter. It was quite superfluous for you, dear Zeus, to turn into a
bull; W. R. Patons translations, Loeb.


latter making a distinction between the pallium and the palliolum, though with no
further explanation.
2. dedit: sc. se, like in 10, 81, 3 promisit pariter se Phyllis utrique daturam; cf. 7,
75, 2 (addressed to a deformis anus) vis dare (sc. te) nec dare vis (sc. pecuniam);
TLL s.v. do 1697, 80 ff. With dedo, cf. Trabea com. 3 ff. De inproviso Chrysis ubi
me aspexerit, | alacris obviam mihi veniet complexum exoptans meum, | mihi se
dedet (TLL, s.v. dedo 267, 72 ff.).
The ellipse suggests that se dare alicui was a common phrase of prostitutes
and concubines.
3. redimit denarius alter: a metaphor from the legal language, to buy up (in
order to acquire control), cf. OLD, s.v. redimo 2. One denarius (= ten asses)
would be quite an ordinary price for a prostitute, and two denarii still not too
expensive; see note on 9, 4, 1. Perhaps the denarius alter should not be taken too
literally, since the point is to distinguish Martials girl from those who poscent
nummos (line 5) for each additional service: add another denarius, and shell do
whatever you want.
4. una tribus: una in the sense of sola. The number three is not chosen at random
but is an echo of Prop. 1, 13, 29 f. nec mirum, cum sit Iove dignae proxima Ledae
| et Ledae partu gratior, una tribus (with the same sense of una); Ov. Pont. 2, 8,
56; Nux 76.
5. grandia verba sonantem: grandia, i.e. tumida, superba (cf. note on 9, 27, 8);
the lofty verb sono is aptly chosen to go with the adjective (cf. note on 9, praef. 7).
The haughty words of arrogant ladies are spelled out by Hor. sat. 1, 2, 120: post
paulo sed pluris si exierit vir. Cf. also Prop. 2, 23, 17 f. quoted above.
6. crassae: Heraeus in his apparatus explains crassus as pinguis, dives et luxuriosus, but Shackleton Bailey is surely right in rejecting this and pointing to 9, 22, 2
vulgus crassaque turba, i.e. crassae in the sense of stultae or rusticae (see note ad
Burdigalae: metonymy for the inhabitants of Burdigala (now Bordeaux),1 corresponding to the Galli in Hor. sat. 1, 2, 221 (quoted above), which, in its turn, is
dependent on Martial to be correctly understood (cf. Prinz, op. cit., pp. 233 ff.). It
must be assumed that both Martial and Horace had a common source in Philodemus, but, judging only from Horaces Galli, it would be impossible to say whether
Philodemus wrote
, i.e. the Gauls, or
, the castrate priests of
Cybele; in writing Burdigalae, Martial shows that his Greek model most certainly
. Porphyrio (Hor. sat. 1, 2, 120-121) explains the passage in Horace
thus: Gallis autem has (such women mentioned in Hor. sat. 1, 2, 120, corresponding to the nummos poscentes etc. of Martial) ait aptiores esse, quia Filodamus



A collection of the instances mentioning Burdigala will be found in A. Holder, Alt-celtischer

Sprachschatz, 1-3, Leipzig 1891-1913, s.v. Burdigala; cf. Ihm in RE 3, s.v. Burdigala 1061.


Epicurius, cuius sensum transtulit, relegat tales ad Gallos, qui magno adulteria
mercantur vel propter divitias, vel quod incensioris libidinis sint. The incensior
libido may perhaps point rather to eunuchs than to Gauls,1 but Prinz produces a
couple of instances describing the Gauls in a way comparable to Porphyrio, in
particular with reference to their wealth; thus Tac. ann. 3, 46, who describes the
Aedui as quanto pecunia dites et voluptatibus opulentos tanto magis imbellis; the
wealth of the Gauls is emphasized in Ioseph. Bell. Iud. 2, 364
; and Poseidonius in Strabo 7, 2, 2 calls the Helvetii
. Thus, Prinz assumes that the Gauls
had become the model for rich provincials (cf. Manil. 4, 793 Gallia dives). But
they were also regarded as notoriously credulous,2 and the crassa Burdigala would
then probably be metonymy for well-to-do country bumpkins, who, when in the
big city, want to show off by going only for that which is most thrilling and most
expensive the pampered wife of a well-to-do Roman.







Audieris in quo, Flacce, balneo plausum,
Maronis illic esse mentulam scito.
The contents of this epigram closely resemble an event that occurred at a bath in
the Satyricon of Petronius (92, 8 f.), involving a young man who had lost his
clothes: illum autem frequentia ingens circumvenit cum plausu et admiratione
timidissima. Habebat enim inguinum pondus tam grande, ut ipsum hominem
laciniam fascini crederes. O iuvenem laboriosum: puto illum pridie incipere,
postero die finire. Itaque statim invenit auxilium; nescio quis enim, eques Romanus ut aiebant infamis, sua veste errantem circumdedit ac domum abduxit, credo,
ut tam magna fortuna solus uteretur. Other epigrams making fun of an excessively large penis are 6, 36 (a big nose and a big penis; see Grewings introduction, ad loc.); 11, 51; 11, 72; Kay (on 11, 51) compares AP 11, 224 (Antipater);
Iuv. 9, 92; Suet. Vesp. 23, 1; Hist. Aug. Comm. 10, 9. The theme is, of course,
ultimately at home in poetry devoted to Priapus, the foremost attribute of whom is
a very conspicuous penis; in the Priapea, compare, in particular, poems 1, 6, 8,
18, 30, and 36 (cf. W. H . Parker, Priapea: Poems for a Phallic God, London &
Sydney 1988, p. 41).
Given the exposure of naked bodies in the public baths, those who in fact came
there to find a lover did not run the risk of buying a pig in a poke; the inpudici
balneum Tigillini (3, 20, 15) is perhaps an instance of a bath known to be preferred by homosexuals; cf. also 1, 23 (with commentaries by Citroni and Howell).
The nakedness could also lead to various embarrassing situations; in 12, 83, Fabianus goes about making fun of others haemorrhoids, until, on a visit to Neros
baths, he discovers that he has them himself (cf. Iuv. 6, 374 ff.; 11, 156 ff.).

On the lewdness of eunuchs, see Hug in RE Suppl. 3, s.v. Eunuchen 454.

Cf. 5, 1, 10 tumidus Galla credulitate fruar; Otto, s.v. Gallus, p. 152.


1. Flacce: there are twenty-two epigrams in Martial that mention a Flaccus (in
Book 9 also nos. 55 and 901), and it is most likely that all of these refer to one and
the same Flaccus, perhaps identical with the Calpurnius Flaccus, to whom Pliny
addressed epist. 5, 2 (see note on 9, 90, 10, and, in particular, White, Aspects, pp.
113-118; cf. Howell on 1, 57, 1, and Kay on 11, 27, 1).
Flaccus came from Patavium (1, 61, 3 f.; 1, 76, 2), and wrote poetry in his
youth, which may explain his acquaintance with Martial; in 1, 76, Martial dissuades him from writing poetry and advises him to commit himself to rhetoric
instead, since this is what brings in the money. Flaccus seems to have taken his
advice, for there is no mention later on of his poetry. Instead, he devoted himself
to a political career, for his stay on Cyprus was most likely as a proconsul, legate
or quaestor (8, 45; 9, 90, 10, note). Consequently, he must have been of senatorial
rank, which, along with their interest in poetry and their common origin from
Patavium, would have recommended him to another of Martials close friends, L.
Arruntius Stella (see note on 9, 55, 2). Like he was with Stella (see 9, 42 intro.),
Martial appears to have been quite intimate with Flaccus, in spite of his (probable)
senatorial rank; he is one of the persons mentioned most frequently in the Epigrams, being the recipient also of epigrams with obscene contents, which, when
addressed to a senator, argue for close acquaintance.
2. Maronis: the same name appears in 4, 80 (the variant Maron); 11, 34; 11, 67
and 12, 90, of which this is the only instance with a sexual implication. The
Greek variant of the name,
, has been derived from (
, to flash,
sparkle, gleam (see Pape, s.v.
, which is perhaps what Martial alludes to
here; Maro, then, would be a flashy, exhibitionistic dandy. There is also an erotic
undertone in Homers description of the eyes of Aphrodite as
(Il. 3, 397).





Iuppiter Idaei risit mendacia busti,
dum videt Augusti Flavia templa poli,
atque inter mensas largo iam nectare fusus,
pocula cum Marti traderet ipse suo,
respiciens Phoebum pariter Phoebique sororem,
cum quibus Alcides et pius Arcas erat:
Gnosia vos inquit nobis monumenta dedistis:
cernite, quam plus sit, Caesaris esse patrem.

The last epigram on the templum gentis Flaviae (on which see 9, 1 intro.) is a
somewhat absurd piece, in tone and function not unlike 9, 3 and 9, 36 (see 9, 3

Also 1, 57; 1, 59; 1, 61; 1, 76; 1, 98; 4, 42; 4, 49; 7, 82; 7, 87; 8, 45; 8, 55; 10, 48; 11, 27; 11, 80; 11,
95; 11, 98; 11, 100; 11, 101; 12, 74.


intro.). The framework is Homeric: the gods are assembled at the table of Jupiter,
drinking nectar and looking down upon the earth (cf., for example, Hom. Il. 4, 1
4). But here, Jupiter, fuddled with nectar, seeing the magnificent splendour of the
newly built Flavian temple, the dynastic mausoleum and the resting-place of Vespasian, laughs scornfully at his own alleged grave in Crete and makes a bizarre
joke to his assembled children: when one compares Jupiters humble grave on Mt.
Ida with the Flavian temple in Rome, it is quite obvious how much better it is to
be the father of Domitian than the father of Olympic gods.
The last two lines of the poem are important. First, the reference to Caesaris
pater clearly shows that Domitian intended the temple to be a dynastic mausoleum and that the ashes of Vespasian rested there. Secondly, Jupiter states that it
is his present children, Mars, Apollo, Diana, Hercules, and Mercury, who have
built the tomb on Crete. This feature, which naturally lacks any support in mythology,1 is obviously introduced by Martial to make an exact parallel between
Jupiter and his children, on the one hand, and Vespasian and Domitian, on the
other; the children of Jupiter had built the tomb on Crete, just as Domitian had
built the templum gentis Flaviae as a resting-place for Vespasian.
The group of Jupiters children here mentioned consists partly of deities elsewhere brought into connection with Domitian (Mars, Hercules, Apollo) and partly
of those who had been compared or identified with earlier emperors, particularly
with Augustus (i.e. Apollo and Mercury); Diana stands out as not having been
previously included in such comparisons. But the choice of Mars, Apollo, Diana,
Hercules and Mercury as corresponding to Domitian in this context is certainly
not arbitrary; rather, each divinity is selected as being comparable to or identifiable with Domitian or as representing an aspect of the emperor. Thus, Mars represents the emperor as victorious commander, Apollo alludes to his literary interests
and also implies a comparison to the Sun, Diana is presumably an image of his
interest in and legislation on matters of morality, Hercules, as usual, is the prime
model of the victorious hero, and finally, the comparison with Mercury is a transfer, on the model of Horace, of the Hellenistic
bringing laws
and culture to men, perhaps also representing an interest in trade and economic
matters (see further the commentary below). It is notable that Minerva is left out
of the group; in all likelihood, she is excluded here for reasons similar to those
that account for her not being mentioned as indebted to Domitian in 9, 3, 10: it
would not be proper to add Domitians protecting goddess to a band which had
failed to equal the Flavian temple; again, the emperors relation to Minerva was
no joking matter (cf. 9, 3 intro.).


The grave of Zeus was naturally exploited in the polemics of Christian authors. For instance, Lactantius
(inst. 1, 11, 46 f.) quotes some lines of Euemeros (whom he refers to as Ennius) about the death of Zeus
and his funeral, which would have been taken care of by the Curetes (cf. note on 9, 20, 8): aetate pessum
acta in Creta vitam commutavit et ad deos abiit eumque Curetes filii sui curaverunt decoraveruntque
eum. Lactantius is eager to pass this off as historical facts: hoc certe non poetae tradunt, sed antiquarum
rerum scriptores. Quae adeo vera sunt, ut ea Sibyllinis versibus confirmentur, qui sunt tales:
(= Oracula
Sibyllina 8, 47 f.).











1. Idaei mendacia busti: mendacia of the figments of poets and fables; cf.,
for example, Ov. am. 3, 6, 17 prodigiosa veterum mendacia vatum; TLL, s.v.
mendacium 700, 65 ff.
The Cretans claim to possess the grave of Zeus gave rise, if nothing else, to
the rumour of the Cretans being notorious liars, cf. Callimach. Iov. 8 f.

.1 The reason for this claim is to be sought in the religion of

the pre-Greek inhabitants of the island, a community of peasants with the God of
the year as principal deity, personified in a child, born in spring and dying in
autumn, symbolizing the growing power of nature, rising in spring, bearing fruit
in summer, and wilting away in autumn. On the immigration into Crete of the
Greek tribes from the north, this deity came to be identified with the main divinity
of the immigrants, Zeus, and with this identification followed a mingling of the
myths; Zeus, like the God of the year, came to be considered not only as having
been born on the island, but also all the more offensive in the eyes of later
generations (save the Christians, who naturally benefited largely from it) to
have died there (see Ziegler in Roscher, s.v. Zeus 578 ff.).
According to Varro (as stated by Solin. 11, 6) and Porphyrius (vita Pyth. 17),
the tomb itself was shown on Mt. Ida, while others placed it at Cnossus or on Mt.
Dicte (see Cook, Zeus 1, pp. 157 ff.). Of the nature of the tomb, the sources, for
obvious reasons, are reticent. It was said, though, to have had an inscription,
reading something like











=$1 .52128

728 ',26 7$)26

2. Augusti Flavia templa poli: cf. 9, 3, 12 with note. Here, Martial has changed
the epithet from Latius to Augustus, emphasizing the connection with the deified
3. inter mensas: metonymically, during dinner (equivalent to, for example, Cic.
ad Q. fr. 3, 1, 19 inter cenam); thus, first Verg. Aen. 1, 686 regalis inter mensas;
then Hor. ars 374 (different meaning in sat. 2, 2, 4); Sil. 11, 243; Stat. silv. 4, 2,
17 vina inter mensasque; TLL, s.v. mensa 742, 12 ff.
4. Marti: Mars represents Domitian as victorious commander; compare in particular 6, 76, 1, the epitaph of the Praetorian prefect Cornelius Fuscus, who is
referred to as sacri lateris custos Martisque togati, guardian of a sacred life and
of Mars clad in toga (the Praetorian cohorts furnished the guards for the imperial
palace; cf. Friedlnder, ad loc.). Mars is mentioned in connection with
Domitians Second Pannonian War in 7, 2, 1 f. (on Domitians cuirass) lorica ...
Martis Getico tergore fida magis; 8, 65, 11 f. (on the temple of Fortuna Redux
and the triumphal arch built on the emperors return) Haec est digna tuis, Germanice, porta triumphis; | hos aditus urbem Martis habere decet. Statius com1

Cretans are always liars. Yea, a tomb, O Lord, for thee the Cretans builded; but thou didst not die, for
thou art for ever (translation by. A. W. Mair, Loeb). Note, however, that also the tombs of Apollo, Uranus
and Dionysus were exhibited in antiquity (see F. Pfister, Der Reliquienkult im Altertum, Gieen 1909, pp.
385 ff.).
The former according to Euemeros (Ennius) in Lact. inst. 1, 11, 46, the latter according to the Schol. in
Lucian. Iup. trag. 45; further instances in Pfister, op. cit., p. 386.


pares the equestrian statue of Domitian to Mars returning on his steed from
Thrace (silv. 1, 1, 18 f. exhaustis Martem non altius armis | Bistonius portat
sonipes), and Domitian reclining at dinner to Mars resting after his Thracians
exploits (silv. 4, 2, 46 f. non aliter gelida Rhodopes in valle recumbit | dimissis
Gradivus equis). With the same reference to Domitian as successful general, Mars
also appears on Domitianic coins (see Scott, p. 93). Cf. also epigr. 6, where Mars
appears as the military assistant of Titus.
5. Phoebum: The comparison with Apollo is presumably twofold, alluding partly
to Domitian as connoisseur and patron of literature and a poet himself (cf. 5, 5, 7,
with Howells note) and partly to Domitian as the Sun (see note on 9, 20, 6 Rhodos). The former notion is apparent in 5, 6, 18 f., where Martial expresses his
certainty that Domitian will, without being pressed, want to read the book he
sends him, because he, being the dominus novem sororum, knows good literature.
The latter may be observed in Stat. silv. 1, 1, 103 f., stating that Rhodes would
prefer the equestrian statue of Domitian to the colossus of Helios (Phoebus): tua
sidereas imitantia flammas | lumina contempto mallet Rhodos aspera Phoebo
(where, as in the present case, the identification with the Sun is suggested by the
use of Phoebus, properly used of Apollo as sun-god [cf. OLD, s.v.; Wernicke in
RE 2, s.v. Apollon 19 ff.]).
There is another possible comparison of Domitian with Apollo in Mart. 5, 1, 3
f., presenting him as inspiring the responses of the oracle at Antium (where the
emperor himself had a villa), an idea which may be based on a desire to compare
Domitian to the Delphic Apollo.1 Compare also Stat. silv. 5, 1, 13 ff. temptamus
dare iusta lyra, modo dexter Apollo | quique venit iuncto mihi semper Apolline
Caesar | annuat, where Domitian and Apollo are invoked side by side, as are
Apollo and Vespasian in Val. Fl. 1, 5 ff.
In connection with Apollo, it should be noted that previously Nero and
particularly Augustus had been compared to this god, the former because of his
literary and dramatic ambitions2 and the latter for more complex reasons. His
mother Atia claimed to have conceived him by Apollo while sleeping in his temple; likewise, his father Octavius maintained that he had seen the sun rise from
the womb of his pregnant wife in a dream (Suet. Aug. 94, 4; Dio Cass. 45, 1, 2).3
Subsequently, Augustus unabashedly emphasized his connection with Apollo; in a
kind of masquerade (referred to as
), he appeared dressed up as
Apollo (Suet. Aug. 70, 1), and in his library, he had a statue on display showing
himself habitu ac statu Apollinis (Schol. Hor. epist. 1, 3, 17). According to
Servius (ecl. 4, 10), Augustus cult of Apollo had perhaps awakened a literary
echo in Verg. ecl. 4, 10: quidam hoc loco casta fave Lucina, tuus iam regnat

Cf. Sauter, p. 89, n. 9. Sauter (p. 88) suggests that the mention of the Castalian well in 9, 18, 8 likewise
implies a comparison with Apollo, which, however, seems both unnecessary and too far-fetched to be taken
into consideration.
When he appeared on stage, Nero was hailed by the spectators in such terms as
(Glorious Caesar! Our Apollo, our Augustus, another
Pythian!; Dio Cass. 61, 20, 5) and was greeted as an Apollo on returning from Greece in 68 (ibid. 63, 20,
5). Calpurnius Siculus also referred to him as Palatinus Phoebus (ecl. 4, 159; see Riewald, pp. 278 f.).
Similar tales were told of Alexander the Great and Scipio Africanus (see Riewald, pp. 269 f.).








Apollo Octaviam sororem Augusti significari adfirmant ipsumque Augustum

Given Domitians striving towards Augustan standards in moral, religious and
economic matters (cf. Jones, Domitian, pp. 13 and 99), it would probably have
been natural for the poets to flatter him by attempting to set up a connection between Domitian and the god most revered by Augustus. Whether or not Domitian
actually considered himself a second Augustus, the account in Suet. Dom. 15, 3,
of Minerva appearing to Domitian before his assassination in a dream and warning him that she could not protect him any more, having been disarmed by Jupiter, is something in that line; for, in the same manner, on the eve of Philippi, she
had appeared to Augustus physician Artorius, warning him that Augustus, however ill, should not remain in the camp during the battle; the future emperor left
the camp and thus saved his life when it was captured by Brutus (Val. Max. 1, 7,
Phoebique sororem: a common antonomasia in Latin poetry, particularly
promoted by Ovid and Seneca. Carter (Epitheta, s.v. Diana 31) records nine instances of Phoebi soror (Verg. 1, 329; Ov. met. 5, 330; 15, 550; Priap. 1, 3; Sen.
Herc. fur. 136; 905; Oed. 44; Stat. Theb. 2, 237; 8, 271) and two of soror alone
(Mart. 4, 45, 6; Sen. Herc. fur. 906), to which add Prop. 2, 15, 15; Ov. epist. 11,
45; rem. 200; and fast. 6, 111. Bruchmann (Epitheta, s.v.
44) produces
only one Greek parallel, Eur. Hipp. 15
The inclusion of Diana, it must be admitted, poses a problem, as a man would
not be directly compared to a goddess and there is no apparent connection between Domitian and Diana, except in the imperial cult at Ephesus, which is not of
relevance in this epigram.2 But unless Phoebum ... Phoebique sororem is to be
considered as a kind of formula (echoing, for example, fast. 5, 699 abstulerant
raptas Phoeben Phoebesque sororem), in which Phoebique sororem has no particular relevance, Diana, considering her function as goddess of chastity, may
perhaps appear in this context as representing Domitians moral reforms. These
would have pleased her in more than one way, obviously through the reinforcement of the Lex Iulia (see 9, 5 intro.), but certainly also through the edict against
castration and the prohibition of the prostitution of children (see the introductions
to 9, 5 and 9, 7).3


Sauter (pp. 91 f.) considers Minervas saving of Augustus a reason why Domitian should choose her as
his patron goddess, which is perhaps correct; if nothing else, it certainly was a reason for Domitians own
dream, as told by Suetonius; cf. also note on 9, 3, 10 res agit tuas.
Domitian was honoured particularly through the institution of the Ephesian Olympic games, which were
probably held for the first time in the October of 89 and discontinued with Domitians assassination (see S.
J. Friesen, Twice Neokoros. Ephesus, Asia and the Cult of the Flavian Imperial Family, Leiden 1993, pp.
137 ff.). The Ephesian mint produced a coin, showing the head of Domitian on the obverse and, on the
reverse, an image of Olympian Zeus, a symbol which was previously unknown on Ephesian coinage. The
sitting Zeus holds the sceptre in his left hand, and his outstretched right hand holds, not a Nike, but the
temple statue of the Ephesian Artemis. This implies two innovations as regards Ephesian coinage: the coin
assimilated the emperor to Zeus, and it placed the emperor in a direct relationship to Ephesian Artemis
(ibid., p. 119).
Dianas special connection with untouched children is apparent in the famous hymns of Catullus (34, 1 f.
Dianae sumus in fide | puellae et pueri integri) and Horace (letting, however, the boys praise Apollo,


6. Alcides: the comparison of the monarch with Hercules as the victorious hero
had Hellenistic roots and is frequently applied by Martial to Domitian (see 9, 64
intro. and cf. 9, 65 and 9, 101).
pius Arcas: on HellenisticAugustan pattern, Mercury (called Arcas because
of his birth on Mt. Cyllene in Arcadia) represents the emperor probably as a Hellenistic
, identified with the Egyptian Hermes (Toth) who
brought leges et litteras to men (cf. Cic. nat. deor. 3, 56) and who presumably
also, as the Latin Mercury, was the god of trading and of welfare in general (see
K. Scott, Mercur-Augustus und Horaz C. I 2, Hermes 63 [1928], pp. 15-33).
Hellenistic rulers had long been identified with Hermes, and there is epigraphic
evidence from the East that Augustus was too; this would have inspired Horace to
identify Augustus with Mercury in carm. 1, 2, 41 ff. sive mutata iuvenem figura |
ales in terris imitaris almae | filius Maiae patiens vocari | Caesaris ultor; see
Nisbet & Hubbard on Hor. carm. 1, 2, 43, for a valuable discussion of Hellenistic
models (for example, Alexander, Ptolemy III and Ptolemy V) and epigraphic
evidence. There is also a bilingual inscription from Cos explicitly mentioning
Augustus as Hermes (Scott, op. cit.): Imp. Caesari Divi f. Aug. | Mercurio scrutarei. |
(To the emperor
Caesar Augustus Hermes, son of the god, by the sellers of small wares led by
Diogenes, son of Polychares, loyal to Caesar); the guild of
probably have set up the inscription to honour Augustus-Mercury, god of trading.
As with Apollo above, it seems reasonable to assume that Martial would have
been inspired by Augustan ideas and notably by Horace when he included Mercury in the present group of Jupiters children, as there is no further certain evidence of a comparison of Domitian with Mercury; the suggestion that two bronze
statuettes of Mercury carry the features of Domitian is doubtful (see Scott, Imperial cult, p. 148).
Mercury is referred to as pius probably because he accompanied the dead to
Hades (cf. Hor. carm. 1, 10, 17 ff.), perhaps also because he was the rescuer of
divine children (for example, Dionysus, Aesculapius and the Dioscuri) and
brought them to safety, and because he was the follower of heroes under divine
protection (Perseus, Hercules and Priam); see Drexler in Roscher, s.v. Hermes
2363 f. and 2373 ff.













7. Gnosia monumenta: Gnosius, lit. of Cnossus, is frequently used, in the

sense of Cretensis, of the whole of Crete; cf. 13, 106, 1 Gnosia Minoae genuit
vindemia Cretae; Forcellini, Onomast., s.v. Gnosos 679.
8. Caesaris esse patrem: the pater referred to is, of course, Vespasian; for the
prosody, cf. note on 9, 12, 8.

carm. 1, 21, 1 f. Dianam tenerae dicite virgines, | intonsum pueri dicite Cynthium); cf. also carm. saec.
70 ff. quindecim Diana preces virorum | curat et votis puerorum amicas | adplicat auris.


Artibus his semper cenam, Philomuse, mereris,
plurima dum fingis, sed quasi vera refers.
Scis, quid in Arsacia Pacorus deliberet aula,
Rhenanam numeras Sarmaticamque manum,
verba ducis Daci chartis mandata resignas,
victricem laurum quam venit ante vides,
scis, quotiens Phario madeat Iove fusca Syene,
scis, quota de Libyco litore puppis eat,
cuius Iuleae capiti nascantur olivae,
destinet aetherius cui sua serta pater.
Tolle tuas artes; hodie cenabis apud me
hac lege, ut narres nil, Philomuse, novi.


Philomusus tries to get dinner invitations by always being able to give details of
the latest news in matters of lesser or greater importance to the Roman public. He
knows the current situation on the unsettled frontiers of the empire, where Parthians, Chatti, Sarmatians and Dacians pose a constant threat; he knows the quality
of the African harvests, of vital importance to the corn supply of Rome herself; but
he is also capable of more down-to-earth gossip, such as which lucky poet is going
to win the golden olive-wreath at the Alban games and whom Jupiter is going to
crown with the oak of the agon Capitolinus. There is only one snag in it: Philomusus is making it all up. So, when the wily Martial invites him, it is on one
condition that he will not tell any news.
On the phenomenon of dinner-hunting, see 9, 14 intro.
; the name appears also in 3, 10; 7, 76; and 11, 63,
1. Philomuse: Gr.
but there is nothing to connect the epigrams. Kay (on 11, 63, 1) points out that
Philomusus was common as a slave name and as cognomen (of liberti).

mereris: not deserve, but get together, receive (as ones wage), cf. 10, 74,
4 centum merebor plumbeos die toto; TLL, s.v. mereo 802, 55 ff.; OLD, s.v. 1.
2. vera refers: the same ending in 9, 99, 2.
3. Pacorus:, successor, together with Vologaeses II, of Vologaeses I, king of the
Parthians, who may have been Pacorus father (see Miller in RE 18, s.v. Pakoros
3, 2438). Domitian did not make contact with him in terms of regular warfare,
but, as king, Pacorus played a prominent part in the Parthians support of the
third false Nero, who appeared in the East about 88, when the main efforts of the
Romans were directed against the Dacians. Pacorus was thus able to support the
pretender at little or no risk, before unwillingly giving him up to Rome; cf. Suet.
Nero 57, 2 and see Jones, Domitian, pp. 157 f.
Arsacia aula: in the Parthian palace; cf. note on 9, 11, 8. The adjective
Arsacius (
), derived from the founder of the Parthian kingdom Arsaces



), does not appear in Latin prior to the present instance (which is also
the only occurrence in Martial); the TLL, s.v. Arsacius 674, 30, records three
more instances, but from the fifth century (Claud. 8, 216; 18, 415; Sidon. carm. 2,
Note the parallel arrangement of aula and the qualifying adjective in 7, 99, 3
Carmina Parrhasia si nostra legentur in aula; 8, 36, 3 Pars quota Parrhasiae
labor est Mareoticus aulae?; 12, 5, 3 Contigit Ausoniae procerum mitissimus
aulae; 13, 4, 1 Serus ut aetheriae Germanicus imperet aulae.


4. Rhenanam manum: the Chatti, on whom see the introduction, pp. 23 ff.
The adjective Rhenanus is
; cf., however, transrhenanus, which
is found in Caesar and Pliny and which is particularly frequent in Tacitus, with
nine instances in the Histories and one in the Annals. Caesar also has one instance of cisrhenanus (Gall. 6, 2, 3).


Sarmaticamque: the Indo-European Sarmatians roamed, during the greater

part of antiquity, over the region from Hungary to the lower Volga. As their western branch, the Iazyges and Roxolani, gradually moved westwards, they came to
pose a real threat to Rome on the Danube (cf. Ovids references to these tribes and
their crossing of the Danube in trist. 3, 10, 33 f.; 3, 12, 29 f.; Pont. 4, 7, 9 f.), and
various steps were taken to control them. Vespasian put much effort into strengthening the defences on the Danube, a policy which was continued by Domitian
right from the beginning of his reign.1 However, in 92, Domitian was forced into
military conflict with the Sarmatians, when they joined the German Suebi in the
Second Pannonian War; the campaign was far from successful for the Romans, as
the Sarmatians managed to destroy an entire legion. There is also evidence of
substantial concentrations of troops in Pannonia and Upper Moesia towards the
end of Domitian reign, presumably as the Sarmatians had again teamed up with
the Germans to confront Rome; see further the introduction, pp. 26 f.
5. ducis Daci: the Dacian king Decebalus, with whom the Romans made contact
during Domitians First Dacian War, launched because of the Dacians crossing
of the Danube under Decebalus predecessor Diurpaneus in the winter of 8485
and their attack on the Romans in Moesia, in which the governor Oppius Sabinus
was killed. Accompanied by his praetorian prefect Cornelius Fuscus, Domitian
moved to the area, but the repulse of the Dacians was complicated by the appearance of the new king Decebalus, who, like his predecessor Burbista in the time of
Sulla and Caesar, had apparently succeeded in uniting under one ruler the
Dacians, who normally lived scattered through several principalities. However,
Fuscus managed to force the Dacians back across the Danube, but then, in the first
half of 86, decided to avenge Sabinus death by invading Dacia, with disastrous
results. In the late summer, Domitian again left Rome for the Danube, but returned only a couple of months later, having strengthened the defences of Moesia
with three additional legions; the real revenge for the destruction of Fuscus was
not to come until the defeat of the Dacians at Tapae by Tettius Iulianus in late 88.

Jones, Domitian, pp. 135 ff.


Domitian came to terms with Decebalus at the beginning of the First Pannonian
War in 89, and, after that, he was to cause him no more trouble (see Jones,
Domitian, pp. 138 f., pp. 141 ff. and p. 150; Brandis in RE 4, s.v. Dacia 1960;
ibid., s.v. Decebalus 2250; cf. 9, 101, 17 note).
6. victricem laurum: the message of victory (lauratae litterae or tabellae), which
was sent by the commander to the emperor, was wrapped in a branch of laurel; cf.
7, 5, 3 f. Invidet hosti | Roma suo, veniat laurea multa licet (with Friedlnders
note); Ov. am. 1, 11, 25 f. non ego victrices lauro redimire tabellas | nec Veneris
media ponere in aede morer. The messenger with such litterae was distinguished
by carrying a laurel on the head of his spear; cf. 7, 6, 5 f. Publica victrices testantur gaudia chartae, | Martia laurigera cuspide pila virent; Plin. nat. 15, 133;
Pers. 6, 43 f.; Sen. Ag. 410 hasta summo lauream ferro gerit (with Tarrant); Stat.
Theb. 12, 520; silv. 5, 1, 92; Iuv. 10, 65; cf. Iuv. 4, 149 with the scholia; von
Premerstein in RE 12, s.v. Lauratae litterae 1014.
quam venit ante vides: ante postpositive to quam is found in only four instances, apart from the present also Lucr. 3, 973; 4, 884; Tib. 3, 13, 8; cf. TLL,
s.v. ante quam 154, 54 ff. Compare the same position of quam and ante (although
not in the same sense as here) in a number of Ovidian pentameters; thus fast. 1,
94 quam fuit ante domus; trist. 5, 12, 22 quam fuit ante minus; Pont. 2, 1, 4 quam
fuit ante locus; 3, 1, 50 quam fuit ante dedit; 3, 1, 98 quam fuit ante minus.
7. Phario Iove: Pharius used in a general sense of the whole of Egypt; cf. 3,
66, 1 Phariis armis; 4, 11, 4 Phariae coniugis (= Cleopatrae); 5, 69, 1 Phario
Pothino; 6, 80, 3 Pharios hortos; 7, 30, 3 de Pharia Memphiticus urbe; 10,
48, 1 Phariae iuvencae (= Isidis); cf. Pharus metonymically for Egypt in 9, 40,
2; Forcellini, Onomast., s.v. Pharus 2, 469. For Iuppiter as metonymy for imber,
cf. 7, 36, 1 Cum pluvias madidumque Iovem perferre negaret and Friedlnder on
epigr. 12, 1; cf. Cook, Zeus 2, pp. 1 ff., for Zeus the sky-god as god of the
fusca Syene: Syene, the modern Aswan, situated in the far south of Egypt,
represents the southern extremity of the Empire (as in 1, 86, 6; see Citroni ad
loc.), contrasted with the northern provinces mentioned above; cf. 5, 13, 7 f.
Magnaque Niliacae servit tibi glaeba Syenes, | tondet et innumeros Gallica
Parma greges (with Howells note). The epithet fusca is hypallage alluding to the
colour of the skin of the inhabitants (cf. TLL, s.v. fuscus 1654, 7 ff.). There are no
comparable parallels, but the similarity of expression may perhaps support Watts
emendation of the corrupted line in Stat. silv. 4, 2, 27 mons Libys Iliacusque nitet,
multa Syene (on different kinds of marble) to simul atra Syene (alluding in that
case to the colour of the stone; see Coleman ad loc.). Note also that Syene etc. is
always placed at the end of the verse (hexameter or hendecasyllabus); thus 1, 86,
7; 5, 13, 7; Ov. Pont. 1, 5, 79; Lucan. 2, 587; 8, 851; 10, 234; Val. Fl. 6, 74; 6,
703; Stat. Theb. 4, 745; silv. 2, 2, 86; 4, 2, 27; Iuv. 11, 124.
The corn harvest of Egypt and Africa, like the weather on which its quality
depended, was of vital interest to the city of Rome, as it was from there that the

annona civica, the corn supply of the city itself, came (cf. Plin. paneg. 30 f.). If
the crops failed there, the result would be serious problems in Rome (see Marquardt, Staatsverwaltung 2, p. 233).
8. Libyco litore: Libycus in the sense of DPALSQ



quota puppis eat: quotus in the sense of how many? (interdum ponitur
pro quot, Forcellini, Lex., s.v. 2, 68); cf. 14, 218, 1 Dic quotus et quanti cupias
cenare; Hor. epist. 1, 5, 30 tu quotus esse velis rescribe. Note the resemblance to
Ov. trist. 3, 12, 32 hospitaque in Ponti litore puppis erit.
9. Iuleae olivae: the golden olive-wreath awarded the winner at Domitians
Alban games; see 9, 23 intro. and note on 9, 23, 5 Albanae olivae. It is called
Iulea, as Domitians villa, at which the games were held, was situated in the Ager
Albanus, the site of the ancient town of Alba Longa, founded by Iulus (Ascanius),
son of Aeneas.1 The adjective (scanned JSQ) was coined by Propertius (4, 6, 17)
and is subsequently used only by Ovid (fast. 4, 124; 5, 564; 6, 797; Pont. 1, 1, 46;
2, 5, 49), Lucan (1, 197; 9, 995) and Martial, with the same sense as here in 13,
109 (on Alban wine), in the sense of imperial in 9, 101, 15 (see note ad loc.).
The ending echoes Verg. georg. 2, 85 nec pingues unam in faciem nascuntur
10. aetherius pater: also 9, 36, 7; Stat. Theb. 11, 207; silv. 3, 1, 108 and 186;
cf. Lucan. 5, 96 aetherius Tonans; Stat. Theb. 1, 704 aetherius parens; Achill. 2,
53 aetherius rector. Before the Silver Latin epoch, the epithet seems to have been
restricted to things (although sometimes with a sense of divinity), for example,
Cic. nat. deor. 1, 103 a. ignes (cf. Lucr. 2, 1098); 2, 42 locus; 2, 54 cursus; Catull.
66, 55 umbrae; Hor. carm. 1, 3, 29 domus; Ov. am. 2, 14, 41 aurae; ars 3, 550
sedes. Cf. also note on 9, 3, 3.
sua serta: the wreath of oak-leaves which constituted the prize at the agon
Capitolinus (see note on 9, 3, 8). Which poet was going to win the prize would
reasonable only have been a subject of gossip before the games were held, and this
poem would therefore have been written in 94, before the summer.
11. hodie cenabis apud me: an echo of Catull. 13, 1, like 11, 52, 1 Cenabis belle,
Iuli Cerialis, apud me (see Kay, ad loc.). For the future of invitation, see and
Nisbet & Hubbard on Hor. carm. 1, 20, 1 (comparing, for example, Plaut. Curc.
728 tu, miles, apud me cenabis; Hor. epist. 1, 7, 71 post nonam venies; Prop. 3,
23, 15 venies hodie).

According to Vergil, Ascanius, cui nunc cognomen Iulo additur, was called Ilus, dum res stetit Ilia
(Aen. 1, 267 ff.). In the Aeneid, the frequencies of the two names are more or less equal, Ascanius
appearing 41 times and Iulus 35 (see Austin on Aen. 1, 267; Serv. Aen. 1, 267; Rossbach in RE 2, s.v.
Askanios 4, 1611 ff.).


Viderat Ausonium posito modo crine ministrum
Phryx puer, alterius gaudia nota Iovis:
quod tuus, ecce, suo Caesar permisit ephebo,
tu permitte tuo, maxime rector ait;
iam mihi prima latet longis lanugo capillis,
iam tua me ridet Iuno vocatque virum.
Cui pater aetherius Puer o dulcissime, dixit,
non ego, quod poscis, res negat ipsa tibi:
Caesar habet noster similis tibi mille ministros
tantaque sidereos vix capit aula mares;
at tibi si dederit vultus coma tonsa viriles,
quis mihi, qui nectar misceat, alter erit?


The last epigram of the Earinus cycle is very different from the five preceding
(nos. 11-13; 16-17). Whereas the first five poems form a two fold entity, a name
series and an offering series, this epigram stands apart as neither celebrating
the name Earinus nor the hair-offering. The five preceding epigrams are such as
would have been written to comply with an imperial request or spontaneously in
celebration of an important event within the palace. This is hardly the case with
the present epigram; its humorous character, light-hearted approach to its theme
and obvious choice of sexually allusive words (gaudia, ephebo, mares, nectar)
rather indicates that Martial does not take the subject seriously any more. The
poem was certainly not part of the libellus presented to Domitian and Earinus (see
9, 16 intro.), was but probably written to provide a humorous offset to the Earinus
cycle when incorporated into Book 9. It may thus be seen as a result of Martials
inability to be consistently serious in treating a matter in which he felt there was
room for a joking twist. Such jokes might be made also on matters concerning
(but naturally not at the expense of) Domitian himself (cf. 9, 3 and 9, 34) and
must consequently have had Domitians consent, leading one to think of Martial
as a kind of court jester (see the introduction, pp. 31 f.).
The poem describes the reaction on Mt. Olympus to the hair-offering of
Earinus (Ausonius minister), making a complete comparison of Domitian and
Earinus to Jupiter and Ganymede; cf. notes on 9, 11, 7 and on line 12 below.
Ganymede is growing up; the first signs of a beard are hidden under his long
curls, and Juno smiles scornfully at him and calls him a man, adding to his
frustration at being trapped in boyhood like the ministri in Sen. epist. 47, 7 and
95, 24 (see the Earinus cycle intro and note on line 5 below). Still, he cannot be
allowed to cut his hair but must remain the eternal cupbearer and perform his
office to the full; the notion of a grown-up Ganymede as lover of Jupiter is present
also in 11, 43, 3. Earinus had none of the features of a man, yet he was allowed,
by the grace of Domitian and to Ganymedes envy, to be treated as one. But it is
not Jupiter himself who opposes Ganymedes wishes, it is the actual circumstances, the res ipsa: although Jupiter is the supreme god, his freedom of action is
heavily obstructed by mythology; he cannot pick another cupbearer, no more than
he can remarry or do anything else that would disturb the mythological tradition.


Domitian, on the other hand, is a living god with no mythology other than that
which he creates himself through his actions; he can do what he pleases, and has
the means to do it. This paradoxical situation is a good illustration of the artificiality and rigidity which many of Martials contemporaries probably felt was inherent in Graeco-Roman religion; the growing desire for religious confidence and
a more personal relation to the gods was presumably a reason for people to choose
a certain deity as their own patron god or goddess, as Domitian chose Minerva. A
healing and helping god was naturally very suitable as a private deity, which
may account for the growing popularity of Aesculapius during this period and for
the rise of the Asklepieion at Pergamum, where the locks of Earinus were offered
(see C. Habicht, Die Inschriften des Asklepieions, in E. Boehringer (ed.), Altertmer von Pergamon, 3:3 (Berlin 1969), pp 6 ff.).
1. Ausonium ministrum: the usual designation for the slaves serving the wine
was vini ministri (see Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 396). For their task, often
involving sexual services and appearance in womens clothing, see the Earinus
cycle intro. On the adjective Ausonius, see note on 9, 7, 6.
posito crine: see note on 9, 16, 2 posuit. For the ending crine ministrum,
cf. Ov. fast. 6, 441 attonitae flebant demisso crine ministrae.
2. Phryx puer: Ganymede is called Phryx as the son of Tros, king and mythological founder of Troy; cf. 10, 20, 9 raptum Phryga; 12, 15, 7 Phrygium ministrum; Stat. Theb. 1, 548 Phrygius venator. For the same epithet of other Trojans, cf. Ov. epist. 16, 203 (of Anchises); fast. 4, 274 (of Aeneas); Verg. Aen. 7,
363 (of Paris).
alterius Iovis: alter does not imply (as Garthwaite, Court Poets, p. 82,
would have it) that Jupiter himself is the second Jupiter, inferior to Domitian; as
the words Ausonium ministrum in the preceding line have drawn attention to
Earinus and Domitian (the earthly Jupiter), Jupiter himself is quite naturally the
other Jupiter when introduced in line 2. It is true that alter may seemingly equate
Domitian and Jupiter, just as the one of the two consuls is referred to as alter
consul without any notion of inferiority (cf. TLL, s.v. alter 1731, 4 ff.). However,
the words tuus Caesar in line 3 and Caesar ... noster in line 9 still suggest
Jupiter as the greater deity and Domitian as being under his protection.
gaudia: the usual metonymy of the person who is the source of the joy (TLL,
s.v. 1712, 73 ff.), but cf. also the frequent use of gaudia with reference to erotic
pleasure (see note on 9, 41, 8 gaudia foeda).
3. tuus Caesar: indicating Jupiters supremacy over and protection of
Domitian, just as suo and tuo ephebo indicate the respective cupbearers standing
in relation to his master.
ephebo: often in the sense of puer amatus, concubinus; cf. TLL, s.v. ephebus
655, 73 ff.

4. maxime rector: of Jupiter also in Verg. Aen. 8, 572 f. divum ... maxime rector
5. prima lanugo: lanugo from lana, because of the similarity of the first beard
to wool; it is usually qualified by prima; cf., for example, Verg. Aen. 10, 323;
Stat. silv. 3, 4, 65; 5, 5, 20; Iuv. 13, 59. The first beard is among the features of
the pitiable catamites in Sen. epist. 95, 24: Transeo puerorum infelicium greges
quos post transacta convivia aliae cubiculi contumeliae expectant; transeo agmina exoletorum per nationes coloresque discripta ut eadem omnibus levitas sit,
eadem primae mensura lanuginis, eadem species capillorum, ne quis cui rectior
est coma crispulis misceatur.
6. me ridet Iuno vocatque virum: Juno is generally presented as envying Ganymede and disapproving of his relation to Jupiter; cf. 11, 43, 1 ff.; Verg. Aen. 1,
28; Ov. met. 10, 161 (with Bmer); fast. 6, 43; AP 9, 77 (Antipater of Thessalonica). The idea was to be made the theme of an amusing dialogue between Zeus
and Hera by Lucian (dial. deor. 8), and Statius contrasts Junos disapproval of
Ganymede with the love of both Domitian and Domitia for Earinus (silv. 3, 4, 14,
ff.). The point here is therefore Junos malicious pleasure in seeing Ganymede
growing up with no hope of ever being recognized as an adult; this will be her
revenge on her husbands cupbearer.
7. pater aetherius: see note on 9, 35, 10.
10. tantaque aula: tantus has a concessive implication: his palace, however
big; cf. Plaut. Bacc. 124 qui tantus natu deorum nescis nomina.
sidereos ... mares: sidereus of radiant, almost divine beauty; cf. 10, 66, 7
sidereos ... ministros; OLD, s.v. sidereus 2. For mas of an object of homosexual
affection, see note on 9, 7, 2.
12. qui nectar misceat: there is often a clearly felt sexual implication in the description of Ganymede as the one who blends and pours out the nectar for Jupiter,
indicating that Jupiters main concern is not the potential loss of a cupbearer, but
of a concubine; cf. AP 12, 68 (Meleager), in which the poet denies that he wants
the fair Charidemus, because the boy looks at Zeus, as if already serving the god
with nectar (12, 68, 2
), and then asks in resignation what gain there is in having the king of heaven as a competitor for victory in love (
); cf. also AP 12, 70, 1 f.
,1 and see note on 9, 11, 5. In
Lucian. dial. deor. 8, Heras principal complaint about Zeus and Ganymede is
Zeuss constant kissing of the cupbearer: And you cant take the cup from him,



















I will stand up even against Zeus if he would snatch you from me, Myiscus, to pour out the nectar for
him (W. R. Patons translation, Loeb).


without kissing him first before all our eyes, and you find his kiss sweeter than the
nectar, and so you keep on and on asking for a drink, even when youre not
thirsty (dial. deor. 8, 2; translation by M. D. Macleod, Loeb). Martial extends the
metaphor to anal intercourse in 11, 104, 17 ff. (Martial addresses his fictitious
wife) Pedicare negas: dabat hoc Cornelia Graccho, | Iulia Pompeio, Porcia,
Brute, tibi; | dulcia Dardanio nondum miscente ministro | pocula Iuno fuit pro
Ganymede Iovi.

Cum sis ipsa domi mediaque ornere Subura,
fiant absentes et tibi, Galla, comae,
nec dentes aliter quam Serica nocte reponas,
et iaceas centum condita pyxidibus,
nec tecum facies tua dormiat, innuis illo,
quod tibi prolatum est mane, supercilio,
et te nulla movet cani reverentia cunni,
quem potes inter avos iam numerare tuos.
Promittis sescenta tamen; sed mentula surda est,
et sit lusca licet, te tamen illa videt.


Attacks on elderly women (vetula-Skoptik) abound in Martial, deriding their

toothlessness, baldness, withering bodies, stench, blindness or one-eyedness1 and
their desperate attempts to conceal all this by means of wigs, false teeth and heavy
make-up. Especially repulsive to Martial is their unchecked sexual urge (furor
Venereus), manifesting itself in the sex-starved vetula who now is even willing to
pay and also in the old hag who continuously outlives her husbands and looks for
new ones. The present Galla is Martials foremost representative of the former
category (which may be observed also in 10, 90; 11, 29; perhaps also in 2, 33; 2,
41; 7, 75), as the Vetustilla of 3, 93 is that of the latter (cf. 9, 10 intro.); cf. also 1,
19; 1, 72, 36; 2, 41, 11; 3, 32; 4, 20; 5, 43; 6, 12; 6, 93; 8, 33, 17; 12, 7; 12, 23;
perhaps also 9, 62.
The vetula was already a feature of Attic comedy, but the character was greatly
promoted by Greek epigram; there is a number of epigrams in the Greek Anthology that largely scorn the same defects as does Martial. The aged prostitute and
the vetula keen on getting married appear in two epigrams of Nicharcus (AP 11,
73 [below] and 71 [see 9, 10 intro.] respectively), 11, 417 (Anonymous). Toothlessness is mocked at in AP 11, 310 (Lucilius) and 11, 374, 3 f. (Macedonius the
consul); baldness in 11, 68 (Lucilius);2 general corporal decay in AP 5, 21
(Rufinus); 5, 76 (Rufinus); 5, 204 (Meleager) and 5, 273 (Agathias Scholiasticus);

It may be noted that some of these features are mentioned also in the mockery of old men; cf. 2, 41, 10; 6,
57; 6, 74; 8, 57.
The epigrams of the Greek Anthology otherwise do not mock baldness, but grey or white hair; cf., for
example, AP 11, 66, 3 (Antiphilus of Byzantium); 11, 67, 4 (Myrinus); 11, 69 (Lucilius); and 11, 72, 1


and a heavy make-up to conceal it in AP 11, 66 (Antiphilus of Byzantium); 11,

310; 11, 374, 1 f.; and 11, 408 (Lucian).
The epigrams of Martial stressing the furor Venereus should be compared also
with Horaces Epodes 8 and 12; thus 3, 39, the opening twelve lines of which
were demonstrated by Grassman (see below) to have been written as an aemulatio
of epod. 8, 110; as in epod. 8, their sexual eagerness effects nothing but impotence; cf. 6, 23 and 11, 29 (the contents of which also resemble epod. 12). The
stench of the vetula in epod. 12, 4 ff. is an element not found in the Greek Anthology but continued by Martial. The silk gown in line 3 of the present epigram
also has its counterpart in epod. 12, 21 and Gallas forefathers perhaps in epod. 8,
11 ff., but cf. here in particular AP 11, 73 (Nicharcus), on the lusty old prostitute
who, like Galla, is now prepared to pay for sex (see Burnikel, Struktur, pp. 111
ff.).1 See further Brecht, Spottepigramm, pp. 62 ff.; V. Grassmann, Die erotischen
Epoden des Horaz, Munich 1966, pp. 18 ff., and his index, s.v. vetulaSkoptik;
Richlin, pp. 109 ff.
1. Cum sis: a common opening (although you are so and so, you still do so and
so) of satirical epigrams; cf. 2, 35; 3, 93; 4, 6; 6, 64; 6, 77; 13, 34.
mediaque ornere Subura: a Roman lady would have a staff of ornatrices at
her disposal, who made her toilet in the comfort of her own home;2 not so Galla,
who nevertheless is at home while her toilet is taken care of by the wigmakers and
cosmeticians of the Subura, the busy area south of the Viminal and west of the
Esquiline. It housed shops (7, 31, 9 ff.; 10, 94, 5) and also private houses (like
that of Stella; see 12, 2, 11 and cf. 9 42 intro.), but Martial mentions it primarily
with reference to prostitution (2, 17, 1; 6, 66, 1; 11, 61, 3; 11, 78, 11; cf. Prop. 4,
7, 15; Pers. 5, 32; Priap. 40, 1), describing it as noisy (clamosa 12, 18, 2; cf. Iuv.
11, 51), humid and filthy (5, 22, 5); see Platner & Ashby, pp. 500 ff.
2. fiant absentes comae: this being the only instance of the phrase comae fiunt
(cf. TLL, s.v. coma 1749, 64 f.), it is impossible to decide whether it refers to the
production of the wig or to a wig handed in for setting.
Wigs were worn by men and women alike under the influence of fashion, but
naturally also to conceal baldness; see Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 276 f. Martial mocks bald women also in 2, 33, 1; 3, 93, 2; 6, 12; 12, 7; 12, 23.
For the ending, cf. 4, 45, 8.






































(A handsome old woman (why deny it?) you know she was, when she was young; but then she asked for
money while now she is ready to pay her mount. You will find her an artist, and when she has had
something to drink then all the more you will have her submissive to whatever you want. For she drinks, if
you consent, three or four pints, and then things are all topsyturvy with her; she clings, she scratches, she
plays the pathic; and if one gives her anything, she accepts, if not, the pleasure is her payment; translation
by W. R. Paton, Loeb).
See Forbes, Studies 3, p. 41.


Galla: see note on 9, 4, 1; cf. here in particular the Galla of 10, 75.
3. dentes: a grotesque picture: at the same time as Galla takes off her luxurious
silk gown (see below), she also takes out her denture.
Martial makes fun of the toothless and of those with false teeth (exclusively
women, cf. note 1 above) in several epigrams (cf. 1, 19; 1, 72, 3 f.; 2, 41; 3, 93, 2;
5, 43; 12, 23) which may seem neither particularly attractive nor particularly
amusing to us but which is more understandable at a time when dentistry was
still primitive (Howell 1, 19 intro.). False teeth were made from bone and ivory
(cf. 1, 72, 4), pitch and boxwood (2, 41, 7), and fastened with gold (Cic. leg. 2,
60); see Marquardt, p. 756; Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 478.
) is real silk, so called from the inhabitants of conSerica: Serica (Gr.
temporary China, the Seres (Gr.
; see H. Frisk, Griechisches Etymologisches Wrterbuch, Heidelberg 196070, s.v.), which was the only habitat of the
silk worm (Bombyx mori) in antiquity. There was also an inferior but highly esteemed silk (such as the Assyrian and Coan; see below) produced by scraping the
cocoons of wild Bombyx (or similar) species native to the Mediterranean world.
Silk came into greater use in Rome from the beginning of the Empire and, being among the most expensive things brought forth by the earth (Plin. nat. 37,
204), silk clothes were much cherished by dainty women; in connection with
concubines, the thin and transparent Coa vestis is mentioned particularly often;
cf. Hor. sat. 1, 2, 101; Tib. 2, 3, 53; Prop. 1, 2, 2; Ov. ars 2, 298; Pers. 5, 135
(with Kiels note). Perhaps this corresponds to the bombycina in Martial (8, 68,
7; 11, 49, 5 with Kay; 14, 24, 1), who otherwise only mentions the Serica, such as
was worn by Nervas empress (11, 8, 5) and which could be bought of top quality
in the Vicus Tuscus (11, 28, 11 with Kay).
The extravagance of the silk gowns naturally upset Seneca, cf. benef. 7, 9, 5
Video sericas vestes, si vestes vocandae sunt, in quibus nihil est, quo defendi aut
corpus aut denique pudor possit, quibus sumptis parum liquido nudam se non esse
iurabit; hae ingenti summa ab ignotis etiam ad commercium gentibus accersuntur, ut matronae nostrae ne adulteris quidem plus sui in cubiculo, quam in publico ostendant. See further Forbes, Studies 4, pp. 49 ff.


4 f. centum condita pyxidibus | nec tecum facies tua dormiat: Galla is so heavily made up that it appears that her face is not really with her in bed but is scattered throughout a number of toilet-boxes (pyxides). Greek and Roman women as
a rule applied make-up that was heavy from the modern point of view; they powdered themselves preferably with white lead (which might melt away in sunshine,
2, 41, 12; cf. 1, 72, 5 f.; 7, 25, 2) but also with chalk (which could get washed
away by rain, 2, 41, 11), beanflour, earth of Chios or white crocodile droppings,
used rouge, nail-paint and eye-paint (see below), and even applied a blue colour to
accentuate the veins. This ars ornatrix also generated a literature that is now
mostly lost but was probably once large on the production and use of perfumes
and cosmetics. Hippocrates gives recipes for unguents, Galen mentions a work on
cosmetics by Heraclides (about 250 BC), and Cleopatra VII is said to have written
a book on beautification; in Latin, there is Ovids De medicamine faciei, but also

Apicius and Pliny give occasional recipes for perfumes and cosmetics; see further
Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 437 f.; Forbes, Studies 3, pp. 38 ff.
The awkward attempts of old hags to acquire a youthful appearance must, to
attract notice under these circumstances, have led them to such heavy application
of powder that their faces actually seemed like masks that could be taken off.
There is a similar line of thought in AP 11, 310 (Lucilius):
For the phrase centum condita pyxidibus, cf. Hor. carm. 2, 14, 26 (Caecuba)
centum servata clavibus.












5 f. innuis supercilio: Galla coquetishly raises the eyebrow which has been
brought in the morning from its pyxis; the same phrase supercilia proferre also in
Petron. 110, 2. Such patches came into use in Rome at the beginning of the first
century. Otherwise, the eyebrows were lengthened particularly by using soot; cf.
Ov. ars 3, 201; Petron. 126, 15; Iuv. 2, 93; Blmner, loc. cit.; Forbes, Studies 3, p.
7 f. nulla ... cani reverentia cunni | quem potes inter avos iam numerare: no
reverence towards your white-haired cunt, which you may now count among your
(venerable white-bearded) ancestors. The parallel between Gallas cunnus and
her ancestors is made on the basis of the white hair which they have in common;
but whereas the white hair in the case of the ancestors suggests that they are venerable on account of old age (cf. TLL, s.v. canus 297, 47 ff.), it would rather imply
something like faded with old age in the case of Gallas cunnus.
Furthermore, the reference to Gallas ancestors indicates that she was of a noble family and thus probably also rich; it recalls the mention of the ancestral
masks in Hor. epod. 8, 11 ff. (the poet having just vented his scorn at the physical
ugliness of the vetula) esto beata, funus atque imagines | ducant triumphales
tuum. Here, as in Horace, her wealth and high birth cannot compensate for her
general repulsiveness.
Gallas lack of reverence towards her white-haired cunnus probably implies
that she had depilated it; cf. 10, 90, in which Martial expresses his indignation at
this practice on the part of the exceedingly old Ligeia (10, 90, 1 f. Quid vellis
vetulum, Ligeia, cunnum? | Quid busti cineres tui lacessis?). Depilation of the
cunnus was otherwise considered quite appropriate in prostitutes and concubines
(cf. note on 9, 27, 3 prostitutis culis).
For the ending of line 7, cf. Ov. fast. 5, 57.
9. sescenta: innumerable pleasures or 600,000 IIS. In either case, sescenti
indicates an indefinitely large number; it is similarly used in 6, 59, 2; 11, 65, 1
(with Kay); see E. Wlfflin, Sescenti, mille, centum, trecenti als unbestimmte
und runde Zahlen, ALL 9, pp. 178 ff. Cf. the vain promises of the aged Phyllis in
11, 29, 5 and the use of trecenti in 9, 19, 1.

You bought hair, rouge, honey, wax, and teeth. For the same outlay you might have bought a face
(translation by W. R. Paton, Loeb).


9 f. surda ... lusca: but the dick cannot hear your promises and, one-eyed as it
may be, it still sees you; for impotence caused by the appearance and pushfulness
of the lovesick vetula, cf. 6, 23; 11, 29; Hor. epod. 12, 8 f.
The single eye of the penis is the orifice of the urethra; cf. 2, 33, in which the
aged Philaenis is found to have the same features as a penis: Cur non basio te,
Philaeni? Calva es. | Cur non basio te, Philaeni? Rufa es. | Cur non basio te,
Philaeni? Lusca es. | Haec qui basiat, o Philaeni, fellat; cf. TLL, s.v. luscus 1866,
8 ff.

te tamen illa videt: the same structure of the second half of the pentameter (
tamen ille
) also in 4, 71, 6; 7, 25, 4; Tib. 1, 6, 66; Ov. am. 1, 5, 14; 1, 11,
16; ars 1, 666; 2, 186; fast. 2, 602; 6, 414; trist. 2, 1, 466; Pont. 2, 11, 14; 3, 4, 4.

Summa licet velox, Agathine, pericula ludas,
non tamen efficies, ut tibi parma cadat.
Nolentem sequitur, tenuisque reversa per auras
vel pede vel tergo, crine vel ungue sedet;
lubrica Corycio quamvis sint pulpita nimbo
et rapiant celeres vela negata Noti,
securos pueri neglecta perambulat artus,
et nocet artifici ventus et unda nihil.
Ut peccare velis, cum feceris omnia, falli
non potes: arte opus est, ut tibi parma cadat.


The skill of Agathinus, the master juggler, is overwhelming. With swift limbs he
hurls the shield up in the air and catches it on his foot, on his back, on his head
and on his fingertips, although the stage is slippery from sprinkles of perfume and
the wind blows hard; it seems as though he is trying to avoid the shield, which is
seeking his body of its own accord. To keep the shield in constant motion is
childs play for Agathinus; to drop it would take practice. The present epigram
would seem to be the result of Martials having watched one of his performances.
The juggling with a shield appears only in this epigram, but cf. the pilarii juggling with balls, who arouse the same admiration as Agathinus. Quintilian refers
to their tricks as miracula illa in scaenis and describes their skill in a way very
similar to Martials account of Agathinus: ea quae emiserint ultro venire in manus credas et qua iubentur decurrere (inst. 10, 7, 11); cf. also Manilius description of a pilarius in 5, 168 ff. (on the dexterity of those born under the Twins) ille
potens turba perfundere membra pilarum | per totumque vagas corpus disponere
palmas, | ut teneat tantos orbes sibique ipse reludat | et velut edoctos iubeat
volitare per ipsum. There are pictures of pilarii preserved on gravestones, and
also occasional epitaphs, like that of the imperial freedman P. Aelius Secundus,


who was pilarius omnium eminentissimus (CIL 6, 8997); see Schneider in RE 20,
s.v. pilarius 1320 ff.
The poem is so full of Ovidian echoes as almost to seem like an Ovidian cento;
see the commentary on lines 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 below.
1. Summa pericula ludas: play with the utmost danger, viz. of the shield
falling on the ground (thus Friedlnder ad loc.); the accusative is internal (cf.
Khner-Stegmann 1, 71 c, p. 277). The expression has no exact parallels, but
similar expressions are listed in the TLL, s.v. ludo 1780, 59 ff.
. He was obviously a real person, perhaps, like the
Agathine: Gr.
mimic actor Latinus in 9, 28, a member of Domitians staff of entertainers (like
the Aelius Secundus above, who would also have been engaged at the court).


2. non tamen efficies: a direct borrowing from Ov. Pont. 2, 2, 24 non tamen efficies ut timeare mihi; cf. met. 13, 64.
parma: a small shield, round or oval, used by the lightly armed velites as well
as the cavalry and the Thracian gladiators (cf. note on 9, 68, 8 parmae). This is
the only instance of its being used by a juggler, but cf. Iuv. 5, 153 ff., which mentions a monkey, dressed up in helmet and parma and armed with a spear, riding
on a shegoat; see Lambertz in RE 18, s.v. Parma 1, 1539 ff.; cf. also 9, 20, 10.
3. Nolentem: Martial takes the rendering one step further than do Manilius and
Quintilian (above); whereas these two authors describe the balls as following the
pilarius of their own accord, the skill of Agathinus is so great that it seems as if
his hands are actually trying to avoid the chasing shield.
tenuisque reversa per auras: cf. Ov. ars 1, 43 haec tibi non tenues veniet delapsa per auras. The ending per auras is much favoured by Lucretius (14 instances), Vergil (17), Ovid (19), and Silius (31) but is found only five times in
Statius and seven in Valerius Flaccus. Martial has it also in 1, 3, 11 and 1, 6, 1.
4. ungue: metonymy for fingertip (cf. Iuv. 10, 53).
5. lubrica Corycio pulpita nimbo: the stage is slippery from having been
sprinkled with sweet wine mixed with saffron (Plin. nat. 21, 34), which, because
of its fragrance (considered equal to that of the rose), was used to freshen up the
air in diningrooms, baths and theatres. The epithet Corycius is used because the
best saffron was that which thrived in the caves of Mt. Corycus in Cilicia (Plin.
nat. 21, 31 ff.); cf. 3, 65, 2; Eleg. in Maecen. 1, 133; Ciris 317; Hor. sat. 2, 4, 68;
Lucan. 9, 809; Stat. silv. 5, 1, 214; Iuv. 14, 267; see Orth in RE 2:3, s.v. Safron
1730; Ruge in RE 11, s.v. Korkyros 4, 1452; TLL suppl., s.v. Corcyrus 660, 47 ff.
6. celeres Noti: this phrase also in Ov. fast. 5, 686 with the same position in
the metre as here. For celer as an attribute of winds, cf., for example, Hor. carm.
1, 12, 10 and see TLL, s.v. celer 751, 24 ff.

vela negata: in the theatre, as in the amphitheatre, awnings could be stretched

out over a system of poles and crossbeams to protect the spectators from the sun.
They were naturally a welcome arrangement (at Pompeii they were mentioned
even in the advertisements for gladiatorial games in the phrase vela erunt; cf., for
example, CIL 4, 1177; 1180), but their use was made impossible by strong wind;
cf. 11, 21, 6 Pompeiano vela negata Noto (with Kays note). In such cases, Martial recommends the use of sunshades (14, 28 with Leary) or a sun-hat; thus 14,
29 (Causea) In Pompeiano tecum spectabo theatro: | nam flatus populo vela
negare solet;1 see also Fensterbusch in RE 2:5, s.v. Theatron 1414; Friedlnder in
Marquardt, Staatsverwaltung 3, pp. 533 f.
For the prosody, cf. also Ov. epist. 2, 100 expectem pelago vela negata meo?;
am. 2, 16, 22 dare non aequis vela ferenda Notis.
7. securos neglecta perambulat artus: because of Agathinus skill, his limbs
are securi (sure, steady), as he is free from the fear of dropping the shield,
which moves about his limbs seemingly neglected by him. Securus is similarly
used in 11, 11, 2 et mihi secura pocula trade manu (cf. Kay ad loc.). For perambulo as conveying a sense of steadiness and ease, see TLL, s.v. perambulo 1185,
61 f.
There is an Ovidian echo also in this line; cf. Ov. epist. 9, 135 mens fugit admonitu, frigusque perambulat artus.
8. ventus et unda: the unda being the sprinklings of saffron of line 5. The juncture is Ovidian, appearing twice in his pentameters (am. 2, 16, 46; epist. 7, 44),
both with the same position as here.
9. cum feceris omnia: though you have done everything, cf. 6, 93, 11 f. Cum
bene se tutam per fraudes mille putavit, | omnia cum fecit, Thaida Thais olet
(where the indicative should probably be ascribed to the Verszwang; cf. HofmannSzantyr, 336, pp. 624 f.).
10. ut tibi parma cadat: Martial often ends an epigram by repeating one of the
opening lines, sometimes with a slight variation; in Book 9, see poems 46, 55, 57,
77, 78 and 100. Similar methods of embracing a poem can be observed also in
Greek epigram (for example, AP 11, 254; 11, 308; 11, 310 [Lucilius]; 11, 186
[Nicarchus]); see Friedlnder on 2, 6, 17; Siedschlag, Form, pp. 123 f.; cf. Joepgen, pp. 101 f.

Leary, like most editors, prints Pontanus conjecture nam flatus, whereas Heraeus, followed by Housman,
retained the reading of TE Mandatus, taking it as the name of a velarius amphitheatralis (see Leary on 14,
29, 2).


Prima Palatino lux est haec orta Tonanti,
optasset Cybele qua peperisse Iovem;
hac et sancta mei genita est Caesonia Rufi:
plus debet matri nulla puella suae.
Laetatur gemina votorum sorte maritus,
contigit hunc illi quod bis amare diem.

A birthday poem to Rufus wife Caesonia, who was lucky enough to have been
born on the same day as Domitian, the 24th of October. Accordingly, it is the
latter that is important; no girl is so much in debt to her mother as Caesonia,
because she was born on the same day as the emperor, and her husband Rufus
counts himself lucky, as he has a twofold reason to love this day, as the birthday
of his wife and that of Domitian. Thus, the epigram is more of an adulatory piece
to the emperor in the guise of a birthday poem for Caesonia; cf. the poems to
Carus (9, 2324) and Latinus (9, 28), which are just as much eulogies of
Domitian as of the persons they obviously celebrate. For Martials birthday poems,
see 9, 52 intro.
1. Palatino Tonanti: for Palatinus and its scansion in Martial, see note on 9,
24, 1. This is one of five instances in Martial of the scansion P NCPF?NQ GLDJS
CLACB @W .T fast. 5, 152 prima Palatinae signa dedistis aves). The epithet Tonans
of Domitian as the earthly Jupiter is discussed in my note on 9, 86, 7.
2. Cybele peperisse Iovem: the mention of Cybele, the mother of Jupiter,
draws attention to Domitians mother Flavia Domitilla (who died before his accession and is otherwise not mentioned in the epigrams).
The Phrygian Great Mother Cybele had since the 5th century BC been identified by the poets (for example, Soph. Phil 391; Aristoph. Av. 875; Eur. Ba. 126
ff.) with the Greek Rhea, wife of Kronos and mother of Zeus, presumably as both
were mothers of gods; see Rapp in Roscher, s.v. Kybele 1638 ff., and cf. AP 6, 217
(Simonides) and 218 (Alcaeus), in which
are used alternately
of the same goddess. The identification was continued by the Latin poets; cf., for
example, Verg. Aen. 9, 83; Sil. 17, 36; Ov. fast. 4, 194 (on which see Bmer with
further instances)


3. sancta: sanctitas morum was a prime virtue in a wife, of the wife of Apollinaris
in 10, 30, 5 and cf. Phaedr. 3, 10, 30 Sanctam ... uxorem; Cic. Phil. 3, 16 sanctissimae feminae atque optimae of Augustus mother Atia; Plin. epist. 9, 28, 1 Plotinam sanctissimam feminam and paneg. 83, 5 Quid enim illa sanctius, quid antiquius of the empress Pompeia Plotina; OLD, s.v. sanctus 4.
mei Caesonia Rufi: as this Rufus is known only by his cognomen, his identity cannot be determined with certainty, but meus suggests that he was closely
acquainted with Martial, and he seems also to have had some connection with the
emperor. Now some of the Rufi mentioned by Martial may be ruled out at once as

possible objects of identification, viz. Camonius Rufus, who was dead (cf. 9, 74
and 76), Canius Rufus (who was married to Theophila; see Howell on 1, 61, 9)
and the Rufus of 12, 52, 3, married to Sempronia; nor is there anything to argue
for an identification with Safronius Rufus (4, 71; perhaps 11, 103; see Kay ad
loc.) or the satirist Iulius Rufus (10, 99). Unless the present Rufus appears only in
this epigram, the most likely candidate would be Instantius Rufus (7, 68; 8, 50; 8,
73; 12, 95; 12, 98); he was married, as appears from 7, 68, 2 and 12, 95, 4 ff., and
the fact that Martial did not refrain from addressing a poem like the latter to him
indicates that they knew each other quite well. Even though there is no tangible
connection between Domitian and Instantius, from 12, 98 it appears that he was
proconsul of Baetica and thus at least made a political career, even though it was
probably not a distinguished one; see White, Aspects, pp. 89 ff.
4. nulla puella: common after the diaeresis of the pentameter. Martial has it seven
times more,1 and cf. Tib. 3, 8, 24; Prop. 2, 26b, 26; Ov. m. 2, 10, 26; ars 1, 714; 2,
688; 3, 552.
5. gemina votorum sorte: the twice happy outcome of his prayers; the expression is unparalleled.

Tarpeias Diodorus ad coronas
Romam cum peteret Pharo relicta,
vovit pro reditu viri Philaenis,
illam lingeret ut puella simplex,
quam castae quoque diligunt Sabinae.
Dispersa rate tristibus procellis
mersus fluctibus obrutusque ponto
ad votum Diodorus enatavit.
O tardus nimis et piger maritus!
Hoc in litore si puella votum
fecisset mea, protinus redissem.


The poet Diodorus has left Egypt for Rome to participate in the Capitoline games
(cf. note on 9, 3, 8), and his wife Philaenis, a simpleminded girl, makes a vow
that she, upon his safe return, will perform fellatio on him. Diodorus is shipwrecked (without ever getting to Rome, as nothing is mentioned of the contest)
and makes quite a silly figure as he swims ashore to his wifes vow, which the
shipwreck has brought to a premature fulfilment. Still, Martial makes fun of him
for not returning fast enough: had his girl made such a vow, he would have turned
around at once.

1, 76, 4; 2, 66, 6; 4, 71, 2 and 4; 7, 29, 4; 11, 64, 2; 14, 205, 2.


The aim of the epigram is presumably to poke fun at Greek professional poets, who travelled from festival to festival (of which there were over a hundred in
the Greek world under the early Empire) to advertise their talents and hopefully
gain prizes, viz. money in the minor festivals, in the major also crowns and honour (see Hardie, pp. 23 ff.). In the Capitoline games of the summer of 94, no less
than fifty-two competitors participated in the event of improvising Greek hexameters, as appears from the epitaph of Q. Sulpicius Maximus (CIL 6, 33976), a
young boy who himself took part in this event that year; many of these had certainly come from abroad. If this was an unusually large number (and its being
mentioned in the inscription points in that direction; cf. Wissowa in Friedlnder,
Sittengeschichte 4, p. 276), it might perhaps have annoyed Martial, who, in spite
of his apparent debt to Greek epigrammatists, would probably have joined Juvenal
in his negative view of the Greeks as unfair and unwelcome competitors for the
favour of rich patrons. In his third satire, Juvenal refers to the Greeks as a divitibus gens acceptissima nostris (3, 58), with whom one could not compete on equal
terms, since they also were an adulandi gens prudentissima (3, 86; cf. also 3, 92
and 104; see Courtney on Iuv. 3, p. 153). This negative view was shared also by
men like Pliny, otherwise pro-Greek, and by Tacitus (see A. N. Sherwin-White,
Racial Prejudice in Imperial Rome, Cambridge 1967, pp. 71 ff.).
It does not seem unlikely that also Martial would have felt provoked by the
Greek master flatterers, especially by those working in his own field of poetry.
The dig in 9, 11, 14, at Greek poets quibus est nihil negatum may be a sign in this
direction, as is also perhaps Martials reference to the effects of the fancy versus
echoici as Graecula echo (see Friedlnder ad loc.); cf. also 10, 76. Perhaps the
present epigram is a manifestation of an urge to ridicule the Graeculi flooding the
Capitoline games of 94.
Shipwreck and death at sea were common themes in Greek epigram; compare
in particular AP 7, 366 (Antistius) on Greek athletes who had perished while
travelling between games:

;1 cf. also AP 7,
665 (Leonidas of Tarentum); 7, 500 (Asclepiades); 7, 738 (Theoridas); 9, 85
(Philip); and see G. Williams, Change and Decline, Berkeley etc. 1978, p. 194.
















NDg Vy






1 f. Tarpeias ad coronas | Romam cum peteret: when Diodorus set out for
Rome for the Capitoline games; the construction with ad, to participate in, is
slightly brachylogical and may be labelled as concretum pro abstracto; cf., for
example, Prop. 3, 14, 9 nunc ligat ad caestum gaudentia bracchia loris; TLL, s.v.
ad 536, 5 ff.
The oak-wreath is metonymy for Domitians Agon Capitolinus, on which see
note on 9, 3, 8.

To thee, Menestratus, the mouth of the Aous was fatal; to thee, Menander, the tempest of the Carpathian
Sea; and thou, Dionysius, didst perish at sea in the Sicilian Strait. Alas, what grief to Hellas! the best of all
her winners in the games gone (W. R. Patons translation, Loeb).


Diodorus: obviously fictitious, as Martials epigrams always salva infimarum

quoque personarum reverentia ludant (1, praef.); see the principles for real and
fictitious characters in Martial formulated by Kay on 11, 7, 1, and cf. 5, 15, 2; 9,
95b; 10, 33, 9 f. Rather surprisingly, Diodorus is considered to have been a real
person by Frobben (in his index of names in Friedlnder), Heraeus and Shackleton
Bailey, and even by W. Schmid & O. Sthlin, Geschichte der griechischen Litteratur, vol. 2:1, 6th ed., Munich 1920, p. 326.
2. Pharo: metonymy for Egypt; see note on 9, 35, 7 Phario Iove. Even though
a reference particularly to Alexandria (cf. the indices of names in Friedlnder,
Heraeus and Shackleton Bailey) may be likely, it cannot be confirmed by Pharus
alone (cf. 7, 30, 3 de Pharia Memphiticus urbe fututor, where Pharia urbs is
3. Philaenis: on this name in Martial, see note on 9, 29, 1.
4. illam quam: this kind of periphrastic circumscription (a noun or pronoun
followed by a relative clause) for mentula is common in Latin; cf. 3, 68, 7 f. nominat illam, | quam recipit sexto mense superba Venus; 11, 15, 8 f. nec per circuitus
loquatur illam, | ex qua nascimur, omnium parentem (with Kay); cf. pars, quam
etc. (for example, Ov. ars 2, 707; Petron. 129, 1; Priap. 37, 8 f.; 48, 1 f.; Adams,
p. 45.
puella simplex: the simpleminded girl; the vow of Diodorus wife does not
consist of laboured artefacts or of ritual slaughter, but simply and plainly of fellatio.
5. castae Sabinae: the Sabines were of proverbial moral sternness and their
women equally virtuous and chaste; thus, in 1, 62, 1, the chaste Laevina is said
not to yield to the antiquis Sabinis (cf. Citroni ad loc.); cf. 11, 15, 1 f. Sunt
chartae mihi, quas Catonis uxor | et quas horribiles legant Sabinae; Ov. am. 2, 4,
15 rigidas ... Sabinas; 3, 8, 61 tetricas ... Sabinas. The epithet horribiles in 11,
15, 2 agrees with Ovids description of the Sabine women as immundae (am. 1, 8,
39), indicating that their rigidity also made their appearance suffer; Kay ad loc.
fittingly remarks that their morality derived from the fact that casta est quam
nemo rogavit (Ov. am. 1, 8, 43); see also Otto, s.v. Sabina, p. 304.
7. mersus fluctibus obrutusque ponto: dipped in the waves and overwhelmed by
the ocean; mersus and obrutus often appear side by side; cf. Ov. trist. 5, 11, 13
(with Lucks note); Liv. 6, 17, 2; Sen. nat. 4, 2, 6; Sil. 4, 79 f.; Tac. ann. 1, 64, cf.
TLL, s.v. mergo 832, 20 ff. and s.v. obruo 153, 3 ff. For obrutus ponto, cf. also
Sen. Tro. 1031 and Sil. 9, 541.
8. ad votum enatavit: an amusing ambiguity; ad votum can mean either Diodorus escaped according to (his wifes) wish (cf. Quint. decl. 332, 1; Ps. Quint.
decl. 1, 5; ibid. 3, 9; Sen. epist. 15, 3; Tac. dial. 41, 1; Porph. Hor. epist. 1, 11,


17) or Diodorus escaped to the vow (= to claim the vow); for enatare ad aliquod, cf. TLL, s.v. enato 554, 45 f.

Pontice, quod numquam futuis, sed paelice laeva
uteris et Veneri servit amica manus,
hoc nihil esse putas? Scelus est, mihi crede, sed ingens,
quantum vix animo concipis ipse tuo.
Nempe semel futuit, generaret Horatius ut tres,
Mars semel, ut geminos Ilia casta daret:
omnia perdiderat, si masturbatus uterque
mandasset manibus gaudia foeda suis.
Ipsam crede tibi naturam dicere rerum:
istud quod digitis, Pontice, perdis, homo est.
This epigram is aimed at a certain Ponticus, who is in the habit of masturbating
without ever having sexual intercourse, and he is bitterly reproached by Martial,
who delivers a virtual hellfire sermon, using parodic, quasi-philosophical arguments which are very remote from his own view of the matter, as it emerges elsewhere (see below). This moralizing outburst and Martials hypocritical argumentation in particular would be hard to explain unless Ponticus is taken to be a
would-be moral philosopher, like the Chrestus of 9, 27 and the Pannychus of 9,
47, preaching sexual abstinence but masturbating when no one sees. Lines 310
could then be seen as a mocking pastiche of the kind of lectures Ponticus himself
gives to those who listen to him in the streets. The would-be philosopher is thus,
as it were, paid back in his own coin: applying an excessively moralizing and
quasi-philosophical diction (notably in lines 3 f. and 9 f.), Martial holds up masturbation as the most dreadful crime, implying the wastage of a human being, and
quite possibly more than one: it took Horatius only one act of intercourse to beget
the three Horatii and it took Mars only one such act to beget Romulus and Remus.
Note the parodic inclusion of historical exempla, a feature very popular with
moral philosophers (see 9, 27 intro.), and the ridiculous use of futuit with the
father of the Horatii and Mars as subjects. On top of it all, in support of his fabricated argumentation, Martial produces Nature itself, the Stoics measure of good
and bad. But the arguments produced by the poet are presumably not meant to
recall the doctrines of any particular school; philosophers do not seem to have had
any problem with masturbation, and some even approved of it (thus Zeno the
Stoic; cf. Sext. Empir. pyrrhon. hypot. 3, 206) or practised it themselves (thus the
Cynic Diogenes; see Plut. de stoic. repugn. 21). Rather, such words as scelus est,
sed ingens and the plea to Nature itself are simply meant to give the outburst a
philosophical air.
Martial himself quite obviously did not consider every sexual activity not
aimed at child birth as unjustifiable; he even did what he could to secure the ius
trium liberorum for himself without actually having to produce a single child (2,


91; 2, 92). The point that the semen is actually a human being and is not to be
wasted by masturbation is naturally also inconsistent with his general view on
masturbation; elsewhere, he thinks it acceptable as a last resort (as such, he practised it himself; cf. 2, 43, 14; 11, 73, 4), even though it should be avoided if one
has the means (hence his advice in 12, 95, 5 ff. to Instantius Rufus not to read
Musaeus pathicissimi libelli without the company of his wife, ne talassionem |
indicas manibus libidinosis | et fias sine femina maritus).1 This is essentially in
line with the prevalent view of masturbation in antiquity, which generally did not
condemn it if practised for want of something better, although there were naturally those who chose to reject it, as there were those who advocated it
(particularly Cynic philosophers); see W. A. Krenkel, Masturbation in der Antike, WZRostock 28 (1979), pp. 159178; Henderson, p. 221.
1. Pontice: for Martials use of this name, see note on 9, 19, 2.
paelice laeva: your left hand as mistress; the left hand is associated with
masturbation also in 11, 73, 3 f. Cum frustra iacui longa prurigine tentus, | succurrit pro te saepe sinistra mihi and with heterosexual stimulation in, for example, Lucil. fragm. 308 Krenkel (quoted below); ars 2, 706; Anth. 742, 84 (for Ov.
am. 2, 15, 11, see Booths commentary). In all likelihood, this association emanates from the idea of the left hand as unclean (cf. Adams, p. 209), not necessarily in a moral sense but rather in a physical one.
Kay (on 11, 73, 4) denies the notion of uncleanness, because there is no reason why heterosexual acts should be stigmatised in this way, and there is little
evidence that Romans considered masturbation a bad practise. He suggests that
the left hand was originally associated only with masturbation because its movements were easier to conceal than those of the right when the man was clothed2
and that the association was then transferred to other erotic contexts. However,
the use of the left hand in masturbation was not an entirely Roman phenomenon
but is found also in Greek art (see Krenkel, op. cit., p. 161); furthermore, the fact
that the left hand is already associated with heterosexual stimulation by Lucilius,
whereas there appears to be no connection with masturbation in Latin literature
prior to Martial, would contradict Kays suggestion that the sexual connotation
linked to the left hand emanates from masturbation. The explanation of the left
hand as unclean would therefore be the more likely. Cf. also J. Rosenbaum,
Geschichte der Lustseuche im Altertume, 8th ed., Berlin 1921, p. 343, n. 7.
2. amica manus: cf. Priap. 33, 5 f. turpe quidem factu, sed ne tentigine rumpar, |
falce mihi posita fiet amica manus; Friedlnder suggests that both derive from
Lucil. fragm. 308 Krenkel at laeva lacrimas muttoni absterget amica (which can
Martials denunciation of the stimulation of boys genitals by men (11, 22; cf. 11, 46, 3) is based on the
view that the anus belongs to men, the penis to women (see Kays introduction to 11, 22) and thus has no
relevance here, nor has his defence of masturbation as part of the sexual act against the objections of his
fictitious wife (11, 104, 13 f.).
As a similar thought, Kay produces the idea of the left hand as given to theft, apparently because its
movements were less noticeable; cf. 12, 28, 3; Plaut. Pers. 226 furtifica laeva; Catull. 12, 1; Plin. nat. 24,
103; 33, 13; Ov. met. 13, 111 natae ... ad furta sinistrae is irrelevant here (see Bmer, ad loc.).


be understood both as J?CT ?KGA ?LB ?Q J?CT ?KGA  3FC Q?KC CLBGLE GQ DMSLB

3 f. Scelus est etc.: this sentence is a typical example of the threatening grandia
verba in which the would-be philosophers excelled (see 9, 27, 8).
mihi crede: Martial and Ovid offer far more instances of the colloquial, interposed mihi crede (or crede mihi) than any other Latin poet; Martial has 18 occurrences, Ovid 40. Next comes Propertius with seven, and then there are but a few
to be found in Lucilius, Tibullus, Horace, Calpurnius, the Priapea, Silius and
Statius. Statistical analysis, based on comedy and the works of Lucilius and
Petronius, has shown that crede mihi, which is the commoner formula in the
Latin poets, as opposed to mihi crede, was also the one preferably used in the
spoken language (see Citroni on 1, 3, 4).
sed: a colloquial and emphasizing use (= et quidem), found from Plautus onward, but more frequent in Silver and Late Latin. It is common in Martial
(sometimes intensified by an et), for example, 1, 43, 9; 1, 117, 7; 2, 6, 6; 5, 44, 9;
6, 68, 1; 7, 2, 8; 10, 87, 14; 12, 18, 22; cf. HofmannSzantyr, 260 b, p. 487, and
see Citroni on 1, 43, 9 with further instances. The ending sed ingens also in Ov.
met. 11, 15; Stat. Theb. 9, 103; silv. 3, 3, 44.
5 f. Horatius ... Mars: to parody the would-be philosophers manner of speaking,
Martial introduces two historical/mythological exempla from Romes distant past,
who would have given the history of Rome a different turn had they been incorrigible masturbators. The lines are clearly influenced by Ov. am. 2, 14, 918, in
which Ovid reminds Corinna, who has just terminated a pregnancy, that history
would have looked different had Thetis, Ilia and Venus (the mothers of Achilles,
Romulus and Remus, and Aeneas respectively) resorted to abortion. But in a context such as the present, the device naturally becomes completely absurd. To lend
further weight to his fake argumentation and to emphasize that each time Ponticus
masturbates, he wastes not only one human life but possibly two or three, Martial
chooses fathers of triplets and twins as exempla.
Horatius is the father of the Horatian triplets, who, in the days of Tullus Hostilius, saved Rome from Alban domination by defeating in single combat the Alban triplets matched against them. Two of the Horatii fell, whereas the third, by a
cunning move, killed the lot. The fathers role in the legend is limited to forgiving
his surviving son for killing also his own sister, who was engaged to one of the
Alban brothers and upset her brother by showing more grief for the death of her
betrothed than for that of her brothers (see Mnzer in RE 8, s.v. Horatius 2,
Mars is naturally mentioned as the father of Romulus and Remus (see below).
6. Ilia casta: Ilia is the original Latin name of the mother of Romulus and Remus,
found in the legend that made her the daughter of Aeneas (so Naevius and Ennius, according to Serv. Aen. 1, 273; 6, 778) and stressing her Trojan ancestry.
Owing to the chronological difficulties posed by this idea, the legend was remod198

elled during the 2nd century BC, using additional myths that introduced the Alban kings and made her the daughter of Numitor. The name Ilia now seemed
inappropriate and, instead, she was given the name of the Greek god mother
together with her nomen gentilicium as daughter of an Alban king, Silvia. However, the poets of the classical period, following Ennius, retained to a large extent
the name Ilia and emphasized her Trojan ancestry, for example, Hor. carm. 3, 3,
32 Troica sacerdos.
The epithet casta is probably due to the fact that Ilia or Silvia had been made a
Vestal virgin, an arrangement which the later legend ascribes to her uncle
Amulius, vainly trying to prevent her from getting any offspring to succeed her
father, Amulius brother Numitor, who had inherited the throne; see Rosenberg in
RE 2:1, s.v. Rea Silvia 341 ff.

7. omnia perdiderat: Mars and Horatius would have ruined the future of Rome,
had they exclusively masturbated. Omnia perdere is a common phrase, capable of
meaning both to lose everything and to destroy everything; cf. Cic. Att. 2, 21,
1; Catull. 29, 24; Liv. praef. 12; Ov. met. 13, 527 with Bmers note.
masturbatus: the verb masturbor (like its derivations masturbator and masturbio; see TLL, s.v. respectively) is found only in Martial (this instance and 11,
104, 13), except for one instance in Charisius and one in the Glossaria Latina; see
TLL, s.v. masturbor 434, 14 ff.
The etymology of the word is much disputed. ErnoutMeillet (s.v., p. 389)
suggest that it is a distortion of the Greek verb
(to prostitute), but
the most plausible suggestion is that it consists of KL- (of manus) and stupro,
where the -n- has dropped out with lengthening of the preceding -a- ( > m and
the second element has been remodelled on the analogy of turbo; see WaldeHofmann, s.v. masturbor 48; Adams, pp. 209 ff. (with conclusive refutation of the
theory proposed by J. P. Hallet, Masturbator, Mascarpio, Glotta 54 [1976], pp.
292 ff.). These phonetic changes indicate that the word was not a neologism in
Martials day, but it is surprising that the word is not found prior to Martial; the
fact that it is entirely absent in literature as well as in Pompeian graffiti, combined
with the fact that both examples in Martial appear in a historical/mythological
context, supports Adams suggestion that masturbor was not even a vulgarism,
but an obsolescent verb which Martial resuscitated.

8. mandasset etc.: put their shameful delight in their hands. There are no other
instances of mandare gaudium, but cf. Sen. Med. 150 f. questus ... secreto abditos
| manda dolori; Sil. 7, 655 f. totam pectoris iram | mandat atrox hastae; TLL, s.v.
1 mando 263, 19 ff.
gaudia foeda: a singular juncture, but cf. Lucr. 4, 1158 and Ov. met. 10, 319
foedo amori. Gaudia is commonly used in an erotic sense, cf. 11, 27, 5; Petron.
132, 15, 5 nam quis concubitus, Veneris quis gaudia nescit?; Prop. 1, 4, 14; Ov.
am. 3, 7, 63; ars 2, 459; 3, 88; 3, 805. See Adams, pp. 197 f.; TLL, s.v. gaudium
1712, 33 ff.; and cf. 9, 36, 2 with note.


9. Ipsam ... naturam ... rerum: a particularly Stoic-sounding line; the Stoics
declared that Nature was the perfect being and deemed things good or bad in so
far as they agreed with Nature (see, for example, A. A. Long, Hellenistic Philosophy. Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics, London 1974, pp. 179 ff.). In his philosophical
writings, Seneca uses similar expressions to lend emphasis to his thought; thus
dial. 6, 17, 6 Dicit omnibus nobis natura; epist. 91, 18 Hoc puta rerum naturam
dicere; 110, 20 Haec nobis Attalus dixit, natura omnibus dixit; cf. Ps. Quint. decl.
4, 10 finge tibi velut ipsam proclamare naturam.
For the prosody, cf. 3, 3, 3 Ipsam crede deam verbis tibi dicere nostris.
10. homo est: Martial crowns his annihilation of Ponticus by claiming that the
semen which he wastes by masturbation is a human being. What he has in mind
here is probably the doctrine formulated by Democritus and known as pangenesis,
according to which the seed (Democritus discerned a paternal and a [practically
identical] maternal seed, the conglomeration of which resulted in a foetus) consisted of small particles of atoms drawn from every part of the body, so that it
contained all the elements of the grown individual. While different from the view
proposed by Aristotle (according to whom, the semen of the male provided
movement and form, and the menstrual fluid of the female the matter), this doctrine was embraced by Lucretius (see 4, 12091232) as well by Seneca (cf., for
example, nat. 3, 29, 3 in semine omnis futuri hominis ratio comprehensa est et
legem barbae canorumque nondum natus infans habet); see J. Blayney, Theories
of conception in the ancient Roman world, in B. Rawson (ed.), The Family in
Ancient Rome. New Perspectives, Ithaca, New York 1986, pp. 230236.
For the ending, see note on 9, 53, 2.

Campis dives Apollo sic Myrinis,
sic semper senibus fruare cycnis,
doctae sic tibi serviant sorores,
nec Delphis tua mentiatur ulli,
sic Palatia te colant amentque:
bis senos cito te rogante fasces
det Stellae bonus adnuatque Caesar.
Felix tunc ego debitorque voti
casurum tibi rusticas ad aras
ducam cornibus aureis iuvencum.
Nata est hostia, Phoebe; quid moraris?


Martial prays Apollo that Domitian, at Apollos request, may not delay in granting the consulship to L. Arruntius Stella, Martials patron and close friend, presumably as Stellas year of office as praetor has recently come to an end (see below). For some reason, Martials petition had no effect; Stella had to wait until
101102 for the consulship (see below).

Mentioned in eighteen poems, Stella is one of the individuals to receive most

attention in the Epigrams; his wife Violentilla occurs in another three.1 Only
Flaccus, the mutual friend of Stella and Martial (see notes on 9, 33, 1 and 9, 55,
2), and Domitian are mentioned more frequently. Stella was of patrician origin
(Stat. silv. 1, 2, 71 patriciis maioribus ortum2), born in the neighbourhood of
Padua (Apona tellus 1, 61, 3) and destined to have a successful career in Roman
administration; yet Martial is almost completely reticent about it. The sole explicit
mention of an office is his reference to Stella as consul meus in 12, 2, 10, an office
which he would have entered in 101 or 102 (cf. Friedlnder, p. 66; according to
CIL 6, 1492, Stella was consul on the 19th of October, so the consulship would
have been suffect); thus, the present poem had no effect on Domitian, unless that
of 101102 was Stellas second consulship, which seems improbable, as an earlier
consulship would hardly have passed unnoticed by Martial. Stella was probably
praetor in 93, because 8, 78 mentions him as the arranger of games held in celebration of Domitians return from the Second Pannonian War in early 93 (cf. the
introduction, pp. 26 f.; PIR2 A 1151; White, Aspects, p. 109), although Martial
makes no mention of his title.
Some additional information on Stellas cursus may be gathered from the famous epithalamium (silv. 1, 2), which Statius composed on the occasion of
Stellas wedding to Violentilla in 8990.3 In lines 176 f., Statius presents him as a
quindecimvir sacris faciundis, and lines 178 ff. probably envisage the praetorship,
which would make Stella quaestorius at the time of the wedding, although the
interpretation of these lines in uncertain; see White, Aspects, pp. 107 ff., for a
discussion. A consulship ante diem is foretold in 174 ff.
In spite of Stellas senatorial standing and patrician origin, the great majority
of Martials epigrams in which he appears are rather unpretentious, sometimes
humorous (cf. 9, 55) or even somewhat daring in approach, arguing for considerable intimacy between the senator and the poet; perhaps this close friendship
originated from the fact that Stella himself (like Flaccus; see note on 9, 33, 1) was
an amateur poet (cf. 1, 7; 1, 61, 4; 4, 6; 6, 21, 1; 7, 14, 5; Stat. silv. 1, 2, 195 ff.).
This fact certainly accounts for Martials choice of Apollo, god of poetry, to make
the request to Domitian. On Stella, see further PIR2, loc. cit.; White, Aspects, pp.
105 ff.; Friends, pp. 267 ff.
The epigram is threefold. First, there is a wish that Apollo, having fulfilled
Martials prayer, may always take pleasure in his cult at Gryneion, the swans, the
Muses, and the Delphian oracle (15); it is followed by an expression of the actual
prayer (67) and by Martials promise to make a sacrifice, should Apollo grant his
prayer (811). For the promise of a sacrifice on the hearing of a prayer, cf. AP 6,
157 (Theodoridas); 6, 191 (Cornelius Longus); 6, 240 (Philippus); 6, 300
(Leonidas); Schmoock, p. 57.

Stella also in 1, 7; 44; 61; 4, 6; 5, 11; 12; 59; 6, 21; 47; 7, 14; 36; 8, 78; 9, 55; 89; 10, 48; 11, 52; 12, 2;
Violentilla in 6, 86; 7, 15; 50.
If Stellas equestrian namesake, who supervised the Neronian games of 55 (Tac. ann. 13, 22), was his
father or grandfather, Statius reference may be to Stellas maternal ancestry (see PIR2 A 1150 and 1151;
White, Aspects, pp. 105 f.).
Statius also dedicated his first book of Silvae to Stella but may not have been among his close
acquaintances; see White, Friends, pp. 267 ff. For Martials celebration of the wedding (6, 21) and its
relation to Statius epithalamium, see Henriksn, Martial und Statius, pp. 91 ff.


1. Campis dives Myrinis: to be taken as being governed by fruare in the following line, and dives probably as hypallage for campis divitibus, so may you
delight in the rich fields of Myrina. The reference is to the cult of Apollo at Gryneion (a town in southern Aeolis, some 7 km from the town of Myrina), where
there was an ancient oracle, a marble temple and a sacred grove (cf. Verg. ecl. 6,
72 with Servius; Aen. 4, 345; Orph. hymn. 34, 4; Strab. 13, 3, 5; Philostr. vita
Apoll. 4, 14; Pausan. 1, 21, 7; Aristid. or. 51, 7 Behr); see KrollBrchner in RE
7, s.v. Gryneion 1900 f., and Ruge in RE Suppl. 6, s.v. Myrina 615 ff; Jessen in
RE 7, s.v. Gryneios 1901 f.
Apart from Vergil and the present instance, there appears to be no other reference to Gryneion in Latin literature, and Martial would seem to be alluding to it
here in direct dependence on Vergil (cf. the reference to the Acidalian well in 9,
12, 3), though it is impossible to decide whether it is of any particular significance
in this context.
The adjective Myrinus (not found elsewhere) is modelled without a suffix directly on the name Myrina, a common practice in poetry; cf., for example, Verg.
Aen. 7, 710 Amiterna cohors (where Amiterna is a direct adjectivization of
Amiternum) and see W. Schulze, Zur Geschichte lateinischer Eigennamen, 2nd
ed., Berlin etc. 1966, pp. 535 ff.
sic: wishes with sic-clauses are common in the poets from Catullus (17, 5)
onwards, expressing a wish which is made conditional on the granting of a request (OLD, s.v. sic 8 d), commonly, as here, on the fulfilment of a prayer (may
you ever delight in the Myrinian fields ... should Caesar soon grant the consulship
to Stella). This condition is, however, not always expressed in a clause grammatically corresponding to the sic-clause (for example, an ut- or si-clause), but in
an imperative or subjunctive clause; see Blase in G. Landgraf, Historische Grammatik der lateinischen Sprache, vol. 3:1, Leipzig 1903, pp. 133 f.; cf., for example, Hor. carm. 1, 3, 1 ff. (with Kiessling & Heinze); Tib. 2, 5, 121 f. sic tibi sint
intonsi, Phoebe, capilli, | sic tua perpetuo sit tibi casta soror.
The construction is frequent in Martial in petitions to men as well as in prayers to the gods; thus again to Apollo in 4, 45, 5 ff.; to Vulcan in 5, 7, 7 f.; to Mercury in 7, 74, 3 ff.; to a nymph in 9, 58, 3 ff.; to Venus in 9, 90, 7 ff.; to the river
Rhine in 10, 7, 3 ff.; and to Saturn in 12, 62, 15 f.1
2. senibus cycnis: cf. 5, 37, 1 (of Erotion) Puella senibus dulcior mihi cycnis;
Stat. Theb. 5, 341 f. mitior senibus cycnis et pectine Phoebi | vox media de
puppe venit. The swan is already in Homer and Hesiod considered sacred to
Apollo (Hyperboreus), presumably as the whooper swan, like the god, came from
the north, from whence it migrated southward in winter.
The song of the dying swan, however, is not mentioned earlier than Aeschyl.
Ag. 1444, but thereafter becomes a commonplace. In Plat. Phaed. 85, Socrates
ascribes the singing to the swans prophetic ability (being the bird of Apollo):
because they (sc. the swans) have foreknowledge of the blessings in the other

For petitions to men, cf. 5, 6; 7, 28; 72; 99 ; 9, 90, 1 and 7; 10, 61, 5 f.; 12, 49, 5 ff.


world they sing and rejoice on that day (i.e. the day of their death) more than ever
before ;1 cf. Cic. Tusc. 1, 73. The song of the dying swan is mentioned by Martial
also in 13, 77; cf. Ov. met. 14, 430; Sen. Ag. 678; Phaedr. 301; Stat. silv. 2, 4, 10
(with van Dams note); see further R. Liver, Der singende Schwan, MH 39
(1982), pp. 148 ff.; Otto, s.v. cycnus 2 and 3, pp. 104 f.; TLL, s.v. cycnus 1585, 31
Pliny, who had apparently made some experiments on the matter, concluded
that the song of the dying swan was a misconception (nat. 10, 63), which naturally is essentially correct. The breathing of the dying swan, like that of most
other animals, tends to become violently uncontrolled just before the moment of
death; as the air passes the vocal cords, they produce cries, even though the swan
itself is no longer in control of either breathing or cry.2
3. doctae sorores: this juncture also in 1, 70, 15; Tib. 3, 4, 45; Ov. met. 5, 255
(with Bmers note); fast. 6, 811 (cf. 4, 191 with Bmers note); trist. 2, 13; Manil. 2, 49; Stat. Theb. 9, 317; see TLL, s.v. doceo 1757, 2 ff.; Nisbet & Hubbard on
Hor. carm. 1, 1, 29. The epithet (in the sense of learned, gifted, talented) was
first applied to the Muses in Latin by Catullus (65, 2 doctis virginibus); in the
same sense, it is commonly used as an epithet of poets (frequently so by Martial of
Catullus, see Citroni on 1, 61, 1); cf. also the interjection sophos (
) as a
bravo to reciting poets (for example, in 1, 3, 7).

5. Palatia: the lavish temple of marble and gold on the Palatine was by far the
most celebrated shrine of Apollo in Rome and among the most magnificent structures erected by Augustus. Vowed in 36 BC, it was dedicated on the 9th of October 28; cf. Hor. carm. 1, 31 and Prop. 2, 31 written on the occasion; further references in Hor. epist. 1, 3, 17; Prop. 4, 1a, 3; Ov. ars 3, 119; 3, 389; Calpurn. 4,
159; Lucan. 3, 103. The temple was probably restored by Domitian (see note on 9,
3, 11 Phoebum; Platner & Ashby, pp. 16 ff.).
Note that Palatia may also contain an allusion to the emperor and the imperial
family, cf. 7, 28, 5 (to the lawyer Fuscus) sic fora mirentur, sic te Palatia laudent
(where Lindsay and Shackleton Bailey print Palatia with a capital P, Friedlnder
and Heraeus palatia). For the scansion /J?RG? see note on 9, 24, 1.
amentque: cf. note on 9, 29, 6.
6. bis senos fasces: the twelve fasces to which the consuls were entitled; Statius uses the same paraphrase in connection with Stella in silv. 1, 2, 174 ff. The
phrase was coined by Ovid (Pont. 4, 9, 4 bis senos fascis; the paraphrase bis seni
for the metrically impossible duodecim appears after Verg. ecl. 1, 43; cf. also
Bmer on Ov. met. 2, 497) and is used by Martial also in 7, 63, 9 and 8, 66, 3; cf.
Sil. 8, 484 and compare also seni fasces of the six fasces of the praetor in Mart.
11, 98, 15.


Harold North Fowlers translation, Loeb.

I am grateful to David Stenstrm, BA, for advising me on this matter.


7. bonus: good-tempered; cf. 4, 8, 9 bonus aetherio laxatur nectare Caesar;

contrasted with iratus in Stat. Theb. 7, 161 f. an nobis pater iratusque bonusque |
fulmen habes?; TLL, s.v. bonus 2087, 128 ff.
adnuatque: like det, to be taken with fasces and Stellae; cf., for example, Stat.
silv. 4, 1, 46 f. longamque tibi rex, magne, iuventam | annuit; TLL, s.v. adnuo
791, 73 ff.
8. debitorque voti: when a prayer had been granted and the thing prayed for was
no longer in votis but in manibus (Serv. Aen. 10, 280), the person who had made
the vow became compos voti but was now also indebted to the god until the vow
was paid.
Voti debitor (found only here and in Servius; see below) appears here as a
synonym of the commoner voti reus, a metaphor from legal language to emphasize the seriousness of the debt; cf. Verg. Aen. 5, 237 constituam (sc. taurum) ante
aras voti reus (with Servius note: voti reus voti debitor: unde vota solventes
dicimus absolutos. Inde est damnabis tu quoque votis, quasi reos facies);
Petron. frg. 27 vers. 12; Stat. Theb. 6, 198; Macr. Sat. 2, 3, 6. For damnare votis,
cf. Serv. Verg. 4, 699 cuiuscumque debiti, id est reatus damnatio finem facit.
Damnare autem est damno adficere, id est debito liberare. Ideo et cum vota
suscipimus, rei voti dicimur, donec consequamur beneficium et donec condemnemur, id est promissa solvamus, ut damnabis tu quoque votis; Verg. ecl. 5, 80
(with Servius); Liv. 7, 28, 4; 10, 37, 16; Germ. 348; Hygin. astr. 2, 24, 1; cf. condemnare votis (CLE 4, 4); see further Latte, p. 46.
9. rusticas ad aras: a singular juncture; Martial would be thinking of an altar of
turf (Verg. Aen. 12, 118 f. aras gramineas; Ov. met. 7, 240 with Bmers note;
15, 573 f. viridique e caespite factas | placat odoratis herbosas ignibus aras; Sil.
4, 701; 15, 434), probably to be raised at his country estate at Nomentum. In ancient times, the turf altar was the normal form of an altar (cf. Serv. Aen. 12, 119
Romani moris fuerat caespitem arae superimponere et ita sacrificare). Later,
such altars were used in private sacrifices and are often mentioned with emphasis
on humbleness and simplicity; thus in 12, 60, 3; cf. Hor. carm. 1, 19, 13 (with
Nisbet & Hubbard); 3, 8, 4; Ov. trist. 5, 5, 9; see Latte, p. 386; Reisch in RE 2,
s.v. Ara 338 f.
10. cornibus aureis iuvencum: the practice of gilding the horns of cattle destined
for sacrifice was an ancient one, mentioned already in the Iliad (10, 294; cf. Od.
3, 385; 3, 426; 3, 437) and indispensable in the lavish Roman state sacrifices (see
Latte, pp. 385 f.). Mentions of the practice are mostly in official and mythological
contexts (see Bmer on Ov. met. 7, 162 for a collection of instances, to which add
Plin. nat. 33, 39); here, it makes a glaring contrast to the humble rustic altar in
the preceding line.
Sacrifices of iuvenci are often mentioned by the poets; cf. 14, 4, 1; Verg.
georg. 2, 537; 3, 23; 4, 283; Aen. 3, 247; 3, 369; 5, 101; 5, 329; 6, 38 grege de
intacto septem mactare iuvencos (sacrifice to Apollo; see Norden, ad loc.); 8, 719;
9, 627 (with gilded horns) statuam ante aras aurata fronte iuvencum; Ov. met.

10, 272; 15, 129; fast. 1, 83; 3, 375 f.; Lucan. 4, 132; Sil. 4, 796; 11, 251; 12,
445; Val. Fl. 2, 331; Stat. Theb. 4, 409; 8, 594; Ach. 1, 417; Iuv. 6, 48 (with
gilded horns); see Latte, p. 381; Keller in RE 2:3, s.v. Stier 2516.
For the prosody, cf. 10, 7, 6 (of the horns of the river Rhine).
11. Nata est hostia: nata stresses the age of the victim; the bull-calf has already
been born (viz. at Martials Nomentan farm, where the sacrifice will take place;
see note on line 9 above). It is growing to be a iuvencus (the second of the ages of
cattle; cf. Varro rust. 2, 5, 6) and Apollo must not wait too long, lest the steer
grow into a bull. The age of the sacrificial animal was of importance; cf. Serv.
Aen. 3, 21 in victimis etiam aetas est consideranda; Latte, p. 381; Krause in RE
Suppl. 5, s.v. Hostia 246 ff.
The MSS all agree in the transmission of nata, which is printed by Schneidewin, Friedlnder, Gilbert, Lindsay and Heraeus; yet it has seemed unsatisfactory
to many editors and provoked emendations, like Heinsius rather vapid vota and
recently the lecta of Shackleton Bailey, based, I imagine, on Verg. Aen. 4, 57
mactant lectas de more bidentis (with Serv.: moris enim fuerat ut ad sacrificia
eligerentur oves, quibus nihil deesset) and Aen. 6, 39 lectas ex more bidentis
(Serv. de more [sic] antiquo scilicet, quem praetermisit quasi tunc omnibus
notum, id est ne habeant caudam aculeatam, ne linguam nigram, ne aurem fissam: quod docet aliud esse intactum, aliud lectum); cf. Krause, op. cit., p. 242.
This obviously provides a good sense, but not necessarily a better one than does

Hic qui dura sedens porrecto saxa leone
mitigat, exiguo magnus in aere deus,
quaeque tulit, spectat resupino sidera vultu,
cuius laeva calet robore, dextra mero:
non est fama recens nec nostri gloria caeli;
nobile Lysippi munus opusque vides.
Hoc habuit numen Pellaei mensa tyranni,
qui cito perdomito victor in orbe iacet;
hunc puer ad Libycas iuraverat Hannibal aras;
iusserat hic Sullam ponere regna trucem.
Offensus variae tumidis terroribus aulae
privatos gaudet nunc habitare lares,
utque fuit quondam placidi conviva Molorchi,
sic voluit docti Vindicis esse deus.


Novius Vindex was an amateur poet and collector of works of art, who had acquired a statuette by Lysippus of the sitting Hercules with a quite fantastic history.
The statuette was celebrated by Martial in the present epigram and the following,
and by Statius in silv. 4, 6 (on the latter, see, apart from Colemans commentary,

also H. Canick-Lindemaier, Ein Mahl vor Hercules. Ein Versuch zu Statius,

Silve IV 6: Hercules Epitrapezios, AU 14:3 [1971], pp. 43 65).
Novius Vindex was probably not one of the close acquaintances of either Martial or Statius, as he is not mentioned prior to or later than the poems in question;
there is no reason to identify him with the Novii of 1, 86 and 7, 72, 7 (see Howell
on 1, 86, 1), and even though Martial may have known of him already in 88 (if
the Vestinus of 4, 73 is to be identified with his namesake and friend of Vindex
mentioned in silv. 4, 6, 94), he did not consider him important enough to be approached as a possible patron. He was presumably not a senator or, if he was, he
had probably retired; for in the cases of the seven senators mentioned by Statius in
the Silvae, the poet never neglects to specify the senatorial post most recently held
(the one exception being the retired Rutilius Gallicus); there is no such information to be found on Vindex. The only actual facts known of him are that he wrote
poetry (see note on line 14 below; Stat. silv. 4, 6, 30) and collected works of art
(silv. 4, 6, 20 ff.); cf. Coleman, p. 173, and see PIR2 N 194.
There is no explicit information on the reason why Martial and Statius should
celebrate a work of art belonging to a man whom they addressed on no other occasion. Statius, who otherwise usually gives the circumstances of each poem in the
preface of the respective book of Silvae, is reticent about silv. 4, 6; however, in the
poem itself, he says that he had been invited to dinner by Vindex and shown numerous works of fine art by Myron, Praxiteles, Phidias, Polyclitus and Apelles
(silv. 4, 6, 25 ff.). But, on the table, there was the statuette of Hercules, of which
Statius became particularly fond (multo mea cepit amore pectora, silv. 4, 6, 33 f.).
But why did he celebrate this particular statuette in 109 hexameters, and why did
Martial compose two epigrams on the same work of art?
A comparison of silv. 4, 6 with the present poem reveals obvious similarities.
First, there is the ecphrasis: Hercules sits on the lion skin, which has been
stretched out on a stone (line 1; silv. 4, 6, 57 f.), holding the club in one hand and
a cup in the other (4; silv. 4, 6, 56 f.); the statuette is attributed to Lysippus (6;
silv. 4, 6, 37; 108 f.). Then, there is the list of its previous possessors: Alexander
(7 Pellaeus tyrannus; silv. 4, 6, 5974 Pellaeus regnator), Hannibal (9; silv. 4, 6,
7584) and Sulla (10; silv. 4, 6, 8588); the quiet of Vindex home is now a welcome resting-place for the statuette, weary of the life in the great houses (9, 43,
1112; silv. 4, 6, 8898). Both poets use the antithesis a great god in small
shape (9, 43, 2; silv. 4, 6, 35 f.), and both liken the statuette of Vindex to Hercules when staying with Molorchus (13 f.; silv. 4, 6, 51), a subordinate mythological
character whose inclusion would be by no means obvious .
These major similarities, which essentially appear in the same order in both
poems, suggest that neither Martial nor Statius wrote spontaneously, but on some
kind of given directive. The most obvious and also the most attractive explanation
would be that Vindex had recently acquired the statuette and, excited about its
history, gave a dinner to celebrate his new acquisition. Martial and Statius
(probably like several other poets or would-be poets as well) would have been
among the guests; quite obviously, neither would have failed to bestow some
verses on the object of honour, which would also be Vindex reason for inviting


them.1 It may well be, as suggested by White (Friends, pp. 286 f.), that the host
proposed the statuette as the theme for their afterdinner improvisations; see
also Henriksn, Martial und Statius, pp. 108 ff.; White, loc. cit.; Heuvel, pp. 315
ff.; Vessey in ANRW 32, 5, pp. 2794 ff.
In the preface of Silvae 4, Statius mentions the statuette of Vindex as Hercules
Epitrapezios (cf. the titulus of silv. 4, 6 Hercules Epitrapezios Novi Vindicis; cf.
Coleman, pp. xxviii ff.). In modern times, a whole genre of statues of the seated
Hercules has come to be designated as epitrapezios, owing to their similarity to
Vindex statuette, although the term epitrapezios (Gr.
) in antiquity
was probably only applicable to statuettes meant to be placed on a table (see Coleman, p. 174). The basic features, from which several copies show individual deviations, are as follows: the hero sits on a rock, on which he has stretched out the
lion skin; his left leg is put forward, his right foot rests by the rock, the leg being
bent at a sharp angle; his arms are stretched forward, the left hand holding the
club, the upper end of which rests on the ground; the right hand holds the cup, a
cantharos; his head is raised to the right, his eyes gazing at the sky.2 These features correspond to what the poets tell us about Vindex Hercules, which they
assure us was sculpted by the hand of Lysippus himself. This was perhaps the
case, even though a copy would seem more likely (Coleman, loc. cit.). The possibility of its being the original, however, cannot be ruled out, as Floren wishes (op.
cit., p. 51), on the basis of the signature reading
and not
, since the Greek genitive is not found in the MSS (see further note on 9,
44, 6 Lysippum).
Epigrams describing works of art are common in Greek epigram and occupy a
large section of AP 16 (epigrams 32334, nos. 9099; 101104; and 124 being on
pictures of Hercules).




1. dura saxa: the statuette pictures Hercules sitting on the lion skin, which is
stretched out on a rock; cf. Stat. silv. 4, 6, 57 f. aspera sedis | sustinet et cultum
Nemeaeo tegmine saxum.
porrecto leone | mitigat: softens with the stretched-out lion skin. Leo is
metonymy for lion skin, cf., for example, Val. Fl. 1, 263; TLL, s.v. leo 1169, 41
ff.; mitigo in the sense of make soft (= make more comfortable to sit on);
ibid., s.v. mitigo 1148, 4 ff.
2. exiguo magnus in aere deus: the majesty of Hercules as a god is contrasted
with the smallness of the statuette (antithesis); Statius expresses the same idea
with emphasis on Hercules divinity in silv. 4, 6, 35 f. finisque inclusa per artos |
maiestas! Deus ille, deus! The same kind of antithesis is found also in Greek

Van Dam has suggested that the dinner was given on January 26; see the introduction, pp. 12 f.
See J. Floren, Zu Lysipps Statuen des sitzenden Herakles, Boreas 4 (1981), pp. 4760 (here pp. 48 f.);
F. de Visscher (Hrakls Epitrapezios, AC 30 [1961], pp. 67129) reproduces a number of pictures of
statues of the epitrapezios; mainly focusing on the then recently discovered colossus of Hercules at Alba
Fucens, he tends to overstress the connection between the colossus and the statuette of Vindex (see Floren,
pp. 50 f.; see also E. Berger, Antike Kunstwerke aus der Sammlung Ludwig, vol. 2, Terrakotten und
Bronzen, Basle 1982, pp. 306 ff.).


epigram; cf., for example, AP 9, 776 (Diodorus); 16, 120 (Archelaos); see also
Coleman on Stat. silv. 4, 6, 356.
The antonyms exiguus and magnus on both sides of the diaeresis of the pentameter are found also in Ov. fast. 6, 22 ause per exiguos magna referre modos,
and the words frequently appear as contrasts; Seneca is especially fond of the
juncture (for example, dial. 5, 34, 2; 10, 1, 3; 12, 10, 5; epist. 43, 3; 53, 11 At
mehercules magni artificis est clusisse totum in exiguo; 58, 34; 76, 28).
The statuette was made of bronze; cf. Stat. silv. 4, 6, 47 ff.
3. quaeque tulit sidera: Hercules carried the firmament while Atlas fetched
for him the golden apples of the Hesperides, the acquiring of which was one of the
Twelve Labours (see note on 9, 101, 4 aurea poma).
spectat resupino sidera vultu: the skyward gaze is one of the basic features of
the epitrapezios (see the introduction above).
Although this is the one instance in Martial, sidera vultu sim. is a common
verse-ending in hexameters; cf. Ov. met. 1, 731; Sil. 6, 101; 9, 168; 15, 84; Stat.
Theb. 9, 453; 11, 700; Val. Fl. 6, 622.
4. calet: the verb indicates a tension in the seated Hercules, suggesting a firm grip
of the club and the cup; one senses the force of the club and the ardour of the wine
running through his limbs. The statue seems to be alive; this is Vergils spirantia
aera (Aen. 6, 847).
laeva robore, dextra mero: this is the usual disposition of the club and the
cup (see the introduction above). Statius makes no distinction: tenet haec marcentia fratris | pocula, at haec clavae meminit manus (silv. 4, 6, 56 f.).
5. non est fama etc.: cf. 14, 93, 1 (on antique cups) Non est ista recens nec nostri
gloria caeli.
fama: fama of the object of fame; cf. TLL, s.v. 217, 24 ff. Fama in this sense is
relatively common in Martial, slightly more often with reference to beings (thus 7,
27, 2; 9, 28, 1 [see note ad loc.]; 9, 71, 1; 10, 103, 4) than to things, the latter
being the case also in 8, 28, 2 (toga) and 9, 101, 2 (the Appian Way).
nostri gloria caeli: gloria is used in a way similar to fama above, of the thing
which lends glory. For gloria of artefacts, cf. 10, 89, 1 Iuno labor, Polyclite, tuus
et gloria felix; Ov. Pont. 4, 1, 29; TLL, s.v. gloria 2080, 65 ff.
Caelum is here primarily the chisel, and nostri caeli would be of Roman
manufacture, but it may also refer to the sky, i.e. made under the Roman sky;
cf. Leary on 14, 93, 1.
6. nobile munus opusque: the synonyms munus and opus appear together
elsewhere, though with different meanings; cf., for example, Ov. ars. 1, 69 of
public buildings; met. 7, 436 of the deeds of Theseus; similarly in Pont. 4, 1, 36.


Nobile opus is a common juncture, cf. 6, 73, 2 and 8, 6, 8 (both with the same
meaning as here); epigr. 6b, 2; 9, 93, 6; Prop. 2, 31, 12 (cf. Mart. 14, 3, 2); Ov.
trist. 1, 10, 30; Sil. 2, 612; Stat. silv. 1, 2, 250 f. Nobile munus, however, is not,
and here the adjective would presumably have been chosen because of opus.
Lysippi: the Greek sculptor, active during the reign of Alexander the Great, of
whom he made several portraits (Plin. nat. 34, 63; cf. Cic. fam. 5, 12, 7; Hor.
epist. 2, 1, 140; Val. Max. 8, 11, 2). He was counted among the finest sculptors of
antiquity (cf., for example, Cic. de. orat. 3, 26; Prop. 3, 9, 9; Quint. inst. 12, 10,
9) and worked mostly in bronze; famous is his Apoxyomenos, a copy of which
is preserved in the Vatican. Heracles was, apart from Zeus, his favourite subject
among the gods, and his statues of the hero comprised the colossal Hercules of the
acropolis in Tarentum, which depicted him sitting on a basket, on which he, as in
this case, has stretched out the lion skin. A couple of epigrams in the Planudean
anthology, 4, 103 (= AP 16, 103 Geminus) and 4, 104 (= AP 16, 104, Philippus),
are about another statuette by Lysippus of a sitting Hercules, showing the god
without his club and lion skin, of which he had been deprived by Eros (see Lippold in RE 14, s.v. Lysippos 6, 48 ff.).
7. Pellaei tyranni: cf. Stat. silv. 4, 6, 59 f. Pellaeus habebat | regnator laetis
numen venerabile mensis. The reference is to Alexander the Great, called Pellaeus from his home town of Pella, the capital of Macedonia from about 400 BC
(Oberhummer in RE 19, s.v. Pella 3, 341 ff.).
The adjective Pellaeus (Gr.
) appears already in Plautus (Asin. 333
and 397 Pellaeus mercator), but it is mostly used with reference, in one way or
another, to Alexander; thus Verg. georg. 4, 287; Ov. met. 12, 254; see Forcellini,
Onomast., s.v. Pella 447. It frequently occurs in Silver Latin, particularly in Lucan (thirteen occurrences, some of which refer to Alexandria and Ptolemaic
Egypt; see Forcellini, loc. cit., c and d); also Sil. 11, 381; 13, 765; 17, 429 f.; Val.
Fl. 1, 365; Iuv. 10, 168. Martial has it also in 13, 85, 2 (with reference to the
Alexandrines); Statius also in silv. 1, 1, 86 (with direct reference to Alexander).

8. qui cito perdomito etc.: who rests a victor in the empire he swiftly subdued,
swiftly because it took him a little more than ten years to conquer his truly vast
empire. Alexanders corpse was moved from the scene of his death in Babylon to
Memphis and thence to Alexandria (Curt. 10, 10, 20), where it was buried in a
mausoleum, resting embalmed in honey in a glass coffin. It was one of the principal tourist attractions of Alexandria; cf. Stat. silv. 3, 4, 117 f.; Suet. Aug. 18, 1;
Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 1, p. 455.
The TLL (s.v. orbis 917, 1 ff.) knows but one instance of orbis being used of
the empire of Alexander (Sen. suas. 1, 5 orbis illum suus non capit) whereas it is
commonly used of the Roman empire.
9. hunc puer iuraverat Hannibal: when still a boy, Hannibal took an oath of
vengeance on Rome (see Liv. 35, 19, 3 f.); the scene is depicted on a shield in Sil.
2, 426 ff. parte alia supplex infernis Hannibal aris | arcanum Stygia libat cum
vate cruorem | et primo bella Aeneadum iurabat ab aevo; cf. Flor. epit. 1, 22, 2.

Statius also records that the statuette had belonged to Hannibal and that he poured
libations to it (silv. 4, 6, 76 ff.).
Iurare with the bare accusative is a common construction; see TLL, s.v. iuro
675, 46 ff. Servius Aen. 12, 197 calls it et ornatior elocutio et crebra apud
maiores, quam si velis addere praepositionem, ut dicas iuro per maria, per
terras. A Grecism, it found its way into Latin during the first century BC (see
Norden on Aen. 6, 324).
ad Libycas aras: see note on 9, 6, 1.
10. Sullam trucem: a singular epithet, but cf. 11, 5, 9 Sulla cruentus; Stat.
silv. 4, 6, 107 saevi Sullae; the cruelty of Sulla (particularly in the Civil War)
was almost proverbial (cf. Sall. Catil. 21, 4 Victoria Sullana and see Frhlich in
RE 4, s.v. Cornelius 392, 1548 ff.). His eastern campaigns gave much opportunity
for acquiring Greek and Hellenistic art, for example, he plundered the temple of
Zeus Eleutherios and stole a Hippocentaur by Zeuxis. His connection with Hercules consists in his offering a tenth of his property to the god, cf. Plut. Sull. 35, 1
and see Coleman on Stat. silv. 4, 6, 858 (Statius account of Sullas possession of
the statuette).
Martial makes an almost Statian move in having Hercules command Sulla to
lay down his power. Statius Silvae, unlike the epigrams of Martial, abound with
divine interventions in contemporary human life; cf., for example, the epithalamium of Stella and Violentilla (silv. 1, 2) and the poem on Earinus (silv. 3, 4). It
is perhaps more than a mere coincidence that a Statian feature otherwise foreign
to Martial appears in a poem on a theme common to both poets. See also 9, 44
11. offensus variae tumidis terroribus aulae: double hypallage for variis tumidae terroribus aulae, displeased with the numerous (and varied) terrors of the
haughty life in great houses; cf. HofmannSzantyr, 93, pp. 159 f.
The idea that the house of Vindex will lend Hercules a welcome life of peace
and quiet, as opposed to his turbulent life with his previous masters, appears in
Stat. silv. 4, 6, 89 ff., which in thought is very similar to the present line: Nunc
quoque, si mores humanaque pectora curae | nosse deis, non aula quidem,
Tirynthie, nec te | regius ambit honos, sed casta ignaraque culpae | mens domini,
cui prisca fides coeptaeque perenne | foedus amicitiae ... nec bella vides pugnasque feroces, | sed chelyn.
12. habitare: the transitive use of habitare appears more often with deities than
with humans beings; cf., for example, 10, 28, 3 (of Ianus) pervius exiguos habitabas ante penates; compare TLL, s.v. habito 2479, 47 ff. with 2478, 63 ff.
13. placidi Molorchi: Martial follows the legend as related by Apollodorus (2,
74 f.), according to whom Hercules came to Cleonae on his way to Nemea, and
was received as a guest by the day-labourer Molorchus (cf. 4, 64, 30). According
to Callimachus (to whom the character largely owes its fame; cf. Aitia frg. 103;
108; 142; 193; 250 Scm.; Probus on Verg. georg. 3, 19), Molorchus was a

goatherd with only one goat, which he would sacrifice to Hercules as a god if he
returned from Nemea victorious, otherwise to his manes; see Pley in RE 16, s.v.
Molorchos 13 f.; cf. note on 9, 101, 6 terga leonis.
Molorchus, the host of Hercules, is introduced here as a flattering parallel to
Vindex, at whose table the god is now a permanent conviva. He appears also in
Statius account (silv. 4, 6, 51 ff., quoted in the note on 9, 44 3), with the epithet
parcus; cf. Stat. silv. 3, 1, 29 pauper M.; Theb. 4, 160 Cleonaeus M.
14. voluit docti Vindicis esse deus: Martials only hint that Vindex was a poet
(for doctus as an epithet of poets, see the note on 9, 42, 3). Statius is more explicit, saying that art was Vindex pastime quotiens chelyn exuit (silv. 4, 6, 30)
and that Vindex will hymn the deeds of Hercules (ibid. 99 ff.); in the preface to
silv. 4, Statius also speaks of the honour, quem de me et de ipsis studiis meretur
(sc. Vindex).
The ending esse deus etc. is found also in 2, 91, 2; cf. Tib. 1, 8, 72; Prop. 2,
29a, 12; Epiced. Drusi 130; especially common in Ovid, who has no less than 16

Alciden modo Vindicis rogabam,
esset cuius opus laborque felix.
Risit, nam solet hoc, levique nutu
Graece numquid ait poeta nescis?
Inscripta est basis indicatque nomen.
Lysippum lego, Phidiae putavi.

The sequel to 9, 43 is an epigram completely different from its predecessor. Logically, it precedes no. 43 in time, telling how Martial first sees Vindex statuette of
Hercules and asks for the artist, and its relation to its predecessor is comparable to
that of 9, 36 (see intro. ad loc.) to the Earinus cycle and 9, 34 to the series of
epigrams on the Flavian temple; again, Martial cannot bear a thoroughly serious
treatment of the matter but has to give it a humorous turn. This is Martial the
jester and, as such, he may well have appeared at the presumed dinner at Vindex
house (see 9, 43 intro.), improvising an ex tempore piece as a counterpart to the
more elevated poem which he bestowed on the statuette at first.
It is notable that Martial in this epigram turns to the statuette itself and asks
for the artist and that the statue itself smiles and gives him a hint. A speaking
statue was, of course, fantastic enough (cf. 11, 102, 8 portentum est, quotiens
coepit imago loqui with Kays note) and would really be a feature foreign to Martials style. It could be avoided by accepting the reading of or Shackleton Baileys emendation (see below), but there is no reason to do so; the view that the

am. 3, 3, 46; 3, 12, 38; epist. 2, 126; 7, 132; rem. 784; fast. 2, 398; 3, 112; 3, 874; 6, 366; trist. 1, 1, 32;
1, 3, 40; 5, 3, 18; 5, 11, 26; Pont. 2, 1, 48; 3, 4, 80; 3, 5, 54.


statuette really is the subject of risit and ait in lines 3 f. has substantial grammatical and manuscript support and, furthermore, in a jocular epigram such as the
present, the speaking statuette rather adds to the humour. However, as Statius was
also present at the dinner and composed a poem on the statuette, one cannot help
wondering if Martials conversation with the statuette was meant, in one way or
another, to be a paraphrase of the style of Statius (cf. note on 9, 43, 10). In a recent paper (Martial 9.44 and Statius, CPh 92 [1997], pp. 269272), A. Kershaw
has suggested that the poem as a whole was written (or improvised, one may add)
in response to Silvae 4, 6. The points made by Kershaw are as follows: (1) The air
of informality characterizing the opening of silv. 4, 6 is the same as pervades
Mart. 9, 44 (if Statius is on such familiar terms with Vindex, then Martial is
equally intimate with the statue!). (2) The talking statue of Martial hints perhaps
at Statius description of Vindex collection of art (silv. 4, 6, 20 ff. mille ibi tunc
species aerisque eborisque vetusti | atque l oc ut uras mentito corpore ceras |
edidici). (3) Statius flattering remark about Vindex profound knowledge of art
(silv. 4, 6, 22 ff. quis namque oculis certaverit usquam | Vindicis, artificum
veteres agnoscere ductus | et non inscriptis auctorem reddere signis?) is patently
alluded to in Martials presentation of himself as incapable of identifying an
artist, even if the work of art is inscribed with his name. This all seems very attractive, putting 9, 44 and silv. 4, 6 in a relation similar to that between Martials
and Statius respective poems in celebration of the wedding of Stella and Violentilla (Mart. 6, 21 and Stat. silv. 1, 2). There, Martial uses the intervention of Venus, a significant feature of silv. 1, 2, to travesty the long epithalamium of his
fellow poet (see Henriksn, Martial und Statius, pp. 91 ff.; cf. also Grewings
introduction to 6, 21).
9, 4344 is one of those pairs of epigrams in which the former treats the subject on a serious basis, while the latter adopts a humorous approach of some sort;
cf. nos. 5253 and 5455 in the present book. The relation between these epigrams is not such that the latter needs the former for its mere understanding, but
the effect is very much increased when the epigrams are read as placed in the
book; cf. the introduction, p. 20.
1. Alciden Vindicis: this is the reading of the group, which was accepted by
Lindsay and Heraeus; others have preferred that of the group Alciden Vindicem (so Schneidewin and Friedlnder), meaning that Martial asks Vindex. A
third variant is found in the editio Romana of 1473 (cf. HeraeusBorovskij, p.
vii), which has Alcides Vindicem (printed by Gilbert, advocated by Housman
[see below] followed by Shackleton Bailey).
Now there is nothing to suggest that the reading of is not correct, while the
fact that the proleptic accusative is rarely found in Silver Latin argues against that
of (see HofmannSzantyr, 252 d, p. 471). Furthermore, as observed by Kershaw (op. cit., p. 269), Martial uses the double accusative with rogo only in the
sense of ask for, never ask about. Consequently, the reading of should be
kept in the text.


2. opus laborque: coupled also in epigr. 1, 7 f.; 8, 36, 2 f. For labor as metonymy
for works of art cf. 4, 39, 5; 8, 50, 1; 10, 89, 1 Iuno labor, Polyclite, tuus et gloria
felix; Ov. Pont. 4, 1, 29; TLL, s.v. 2. labor 794, 31 ff.
felix: of things pleasant to look at; cf. 10, 89, 1 cited above and see note on 9,
17, 6 felix facies.
3. risit, nam solet hoc: on this line, Housman bases his rejection of the reading
Alciden Vindicis of the group. Housman says: If the statuette had a fixed
smile on its face (which, by the way, solet is incapable of meaning), it could not
have smiled in answer to Martials question, non risit uerum ridebat; it must
therefore have been Vindex who smiled and was wont to smile .1 I fail to see
why this has to be the case; nam introduces the reason for the smile, which is not
that Martial has asked a silly question but that he solet hoc, which may well allude to a fixed smile on the statuettes face. Even though no smile is clearly discernible on the face of the hero in any of the pictures of Hercules Epitrapezios
reproduced by de Visscher (see 9, 43 intro.), there may be some support for this in
Statius description of the statuette in silv. 4, 6, 51 ff. Statius says that the statue
presented Hercules qualem parci domus admirata Molorchi | aut Aleae lucis vidit
Tegeaea sacerdos; | qualis et Oetaeis emissus in astra favillis | nectar adhuc
torva laetus Iunone bibebat: | sic mitis vultus, veluti de pectore gaudens, | hortatur mensas. This may well imply a smile on the statuettes face.
Note that Martial in 6, 82, 7 f. uses almost the same words to describe his own
reaction to the somewhat ludicrous, yet flattering question, is he not the Martial?: Subrisi modice, levique nutu | me quem dixerat esse non negavi.

4. Graece poeta nescis: Heraeus (and Borovskij) reintroduce the comma,

removed by Lindsay, after poeta, making it vocative. Housman (loc. cit.) argues
that it should be removed again, and, obviously, poeta taken as predicative attribute gives a stronger emphasis to the word and a better meaning: Do you, a poet,
not know Greek? Those who did not know Greek were rustici (cf. 14, 58, 1), and
such ignorance was especially embarrassing in the case of a poet.
and the -group. Rejected by all modern
6. Lysippum: the reading of both the
editors and replaced by
(as printed in the editio Aldina of 1501),
Housman (followed by Shackleton Bailey) argued that Lysippum should be kept,2
in the sense of the name of Lysippus, and produced some instances from Ovid
in which a name is obviously used by itself in the sense of the name of . The
best parallel to the present instance is fast. 5, 567 f. spectat et Augusto praetextum
nomine templum, | et visum lecto Caesare maius opus, where the ablative absolute
realized as an independent utterance would be lego Caesarem. The inscription
would have involved the words Caesar fecit, just as the inscription of Vindex
statuette would very likely have read
); the
of the Aldina would perhaps rather suggest that the statuette was a







Housman, Heraeus, p. 202 (= Class. pap., p. 1103).

Housman, Corrections, pp. 246 f. (= Class. pap., pp. 724 f.).


copy (see Floren, p. 51). Other instances produced by Housman are fast. 513 f.
da nunc bibat ordine dixit | Iuppiter. Audito palluit ille Iove; met. 10, 401 f.
vivunt genetrixque paterque. | Myrrha patre audito suspiria duxit; see
Bmer ad loc. To these, Heraeus, while maintaining that Lysippum should be
rejected, adds Mart. 5, 54 Extemporalis factus est meus rhetor: | Calpurnium non
scripsit, et salutavit (see his apparatus, ad loc.).
Consequently, there seems to be no reason to reject the reading Lysippum of
the MSS, and the line should be translated thus: I read the name of Lysippus; I
thought it was by Phidias.
Phidiae putavi: to Martial, Phidias represents the height of Greek art and, as
such, receives more attention in the Epigrams than any other Greek artist, being
mentioned nine times.1 This would indicate that the line is complimentary (cf. 6,
13, 1 f. on the wonderful statue of Julia by an anonymous artist: Quis te Phidiaco
formatam, Iulia, caelo [sc. non putet]) and suggests a paraphrase like: I thought
it was a work by Phidias, that is, a work by the very best (like everything else in
your collection). And I see I am not mistaken; it is a work by Lysippus, who,
while not as prominent as Phidias, is reckoned among the greatest. While this
may perhaps seem to be exaggerated flattery (Sullivan [Martial, p. 124] referred
to it as a hyperbolic compliment), it would not appear so to a man who, according to Statius (silv. 4, 6, 25 ff.), in fact possessed works not only by Phidias, but
also by Myron, Praxiteles, Polyclitus and Apelles. Although Martial would not
actually have thought that the statuette was an original by Phidias (neither the size
nor the subject argues in favour of Phidias, although the great master was known
to have worked not only in ivory and gold but also in bronze; see Plin. nat. 34, 54;
Sen. epist. 85, 40 [quoted on 9, 24, 2]; Lippold in RE 19, s.v. Pheidias 1934 f.),
by presenting himself as ignorant, he would also have emphasized Vindex superiority as a connoisseur of art.
It has been suggested that the line implies that Martial considered Vindex
statuette a forgery; see R. M. Henry, On Martial IX. 44., Hermathena 71
(1948), pp. 9394. However, Henrys line of argument cannot be maintained, as it
is based primarily on
being written in Greek and Phidiae in Roman
characters.2 But whether Martial rendered the name in Roman or in Greek characters need not be of any importance to the theory of a possible forgery. Important,
on the other hand, is the implication of such a theory. If Martial had decided that
the statuette was a forgery even before he had had a close look at it, he would have
displayed a considerable mistrust of Vindex knowledge of art, turning him into a
rather naive, second-rate collector (of the kind he attacks, for example, in 4, 39).
This not only fits ill with the praise for profound knowledge of art heaped upon

The second place is held by Mentor (see 9, 59, 16 note), appearing six times, then Polyclitus four, Myron
three, and Praxiteles and Scopas once each. Lysippus is only mentioned here and in 9, 43.
Henry poses the question, why only the name of Lysippus is in Greek and not the name of Phidias (but if
that had been the case, it would have been easily explained by the fact that the Greek genitive )HLGdRX
cannot be fitted into the verse) and suggests that Martial at once took the statuette for a forgery and
expected to read Phidiae in Latin on the base; to his surprise, he read /XVdSSRX in Greek. Henry
concludes: The forger had at least not given himself away, and betrayed the Roman atelier in which the
piece had been made by claiming it as the work of the great master and in his ignorance of forgetfulness
putting the name in Latin.


Vindex by Statius in silv. 4, 6, but there is also no apparent reason for Martials
wanting to degrade Vindex in such a way, unless he actually was under the impression that Vindex was a great hypocrite. If that had been the case, however, he
would probably not have written 9, 43 in the first place.

Miles Hyperboreos modo, Marcelline, triones
et Getici tuleras sidera pigra poli:
ecce Promethei rupes et fabula montis
quam prope sunt oculis nunc adeunda tuis!
Videris inmensis cum conclamata querellis
saxa senis, dices Durior ipse fuit.
Et licet haec addas: Potuit qui talia ferre,
humanum merito finxerat ille genus.

The epigram is addressed to Marcellinus, a soldier and a friend of Martials, who

had been fighting on the Danube and was now going to the Caucasus; he had thus
come to know the northern extremities of the empire and now he was going to the
legendary and forbidding regions of the far east. It can easily be imagined that this
was not the appointment of his dreams (see note on line 4 below); perhaps he had
hoped for something less arduous after his service on the Danube. The poem may
therefore be considered as a piece of encouragement or, perhaps, of consolation,
showing that there is always someone worse off and that even the hardest fate can
be endured. Here, the one worse off is Prometheus, who was chained to a rock in
the region to which Marcellinus is going. Although subjected to extreme and, as it
seemed, never-ending pain, he endured, harder than the rocks from which his
screams reverberated, and was eventually released through the intervention of
Hercules. Thus, he set an example to all men subjected to adverse fate, showing
them that even extreme pain can be endured and that, in the words of Horace,
non, si male nunc, et olim | sic erit (carm. 2, 10, 17 f.). Furthermore, as mankind
is always afflicted by hardships, Prometheus, the master of suffering, was worthy
to be its maker.
12. Hyperboreos triones | Getici poli: the lines closely resemble 6,
58, 1 f. Cernere Parrhasios dum te iuvat, Aule, triones | comminus et Getici
sidera ferre poli.
The use of the uncompounded triones (sc. the Great and the Little Bear; see
Forcellini, Lex., s.v. trio 2, p. 182) with an adjective (cf. 6, 58, 1 quoted above; 7,
80, 1 Odrysios ... triones; Verg. Aen. 1, 744 and 3, 516 geminos ... Triones) is
likely to be connected with such cases of tmesis of Septemtriones as Verg. georg.
3, 381 talis (sc. gens) Hyperboreo Septem subiecta trioni (cf. Ov. met. 2, 528) and
with triones used without attribute (for example, Ov. met. 2, 171); see Grewing on
6, 58, 1. Its significance here is further defined by Getici sidera poli; the
Getae (Gr.
) were the northern branch of the Thracian peoples, and the


Dacians in their turn the northwestern group of the Getae, so the reference here
(as in 6, 58) is probably to Dacia; cf. Weiss in RE 7, s.v. Getae 1330 ff.
The adjective Hyperboreus (Gr.
) was first used in prose by
Cicero (nat. deor. 3, 75, 12 tertius [sc. Apollo] Iove tertio natus et Latona, quem
ex Hyperboreis Delphos ferunt advenisse) and in poetry by Catullus (115, 6), but
never became very popular either with prose-writers or poets; among the latter,
Martial occupies a place apart, using the adjective five times (also 4, 3, 5 referring
to the Chatti and the Dacians; 7, 6, 1 and 8, 78, 3 to the Sarmatians; 9, 101, 20 to
the Chatti; see note ad loc.), compared with three each in Vergil and Statius and
one each in Catullus, Horace, Ovid, Lucan, Valerius Flaccus and Juvenal.
For locations given with similar reference to northern constellations, cf., for
example, Ov. trist. 3, 4b, 47 f. Proxima sideribus tellus Erymanthidos Ursae | me
tenet and see Luck, ad loc.

Marcellinus: a dear friend of Martials, the recipient of two more epigrams (3,
6; 6, 25) and mentioned in a third (7, 80). As appears from the first two, Martial
was also a close friend of his fathers. By the time 6, 25 was written, he was participating in Domitians First Pannonian War (as appears from 6, 25, 2 horrida
Parrhasio quem [sc. Marcellinum] tegit ursa iugo),1 which had ended when Martial wrote 7, 80 (see 7, 80, 1 f.). The first two lines of the present poem may also
allude to this war, but, if one is willing to take modo more literally, it is possible
that they indicate the participation of Marcellinus also in the Second Pannonian
War of 92 (on which see the introduction, pp. 26 f.).
Since little is known of Domitians doings in the far north-eastern part of the
empire, nothing can be said with certainty about Marcellinus doings in the Caucasus. There is no direct evidence of a campaign by Domitian in that area, but, as
it was of strategic importance, it attracted the emperors attention. Vespasian had
built fortifications on the land of the Iberi, who by then formed a client-kingdom,
controlling the Darial Pass. It is probable that Domitian managed to turn Albania,
the region east of Iberia towards the Caspian Sea, into a client-kingdom as well,
thereby gaining control of the important Derbend Pass (see further Jones,
Domitian, p. 156; A. B. Bosworth, Arrian and the Alani, HS Ph 81 (1977), pp.
226 f.). This he would already have achieved by 84, so Marcellinus task was
probably nothing more than control of the frontier, but cf. PIR2 M 183.
2. tuleras sidera pigra: sidus ferre, endure the climate, cf. Plin. paneg. 15,
diversam aquarum caelique temperiem ut patrios fontes patriumque sidus ferre
consuesti. Perhaps the construction is meant to parallel potuit qui talia ferre in
line 7.
Piger is the stock epithet for coldness; cf. Rhet. Her. 4, 43, frigus pigrum dicimus, quia pigros efficit; OLD, s.v. piger 1 c.
3. Promethei rupes: the Prometheae of the -group (printed by Scriverius) stands
against the Promethei of , which is retained by the editors. Shackleton Bailey,
however, accepts the reading of and compares it with Prop. 1, 12, 10 Prometheis

Jones, Domitian, pp. 150 f.; on Domitian and the Dacians, see note on 9, 35, 5 ducis Daci.


iugis. Still, Promethei may very well be retained in the text, as it provides a
good hendiadys with the following fabula (the legendary cliffs of the Promethean
Prometheus was punished for having brought men fire by being chained fast to
the Caucasus; every day, an eagle devoured his liver, which then grew again, only
to be devoured again the next day. The eagle was killed by Hercules, who also
liberated Prometheus (see Bapp in Roscher, s.v. Prometheus 3041 ff.). According
to Arrian Peripl. Pont. Euxin. 11, 5, a peak in the Caucasus called
shown as the mountain to which Prometheus was chained (cf. Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 1, p. 451). Propertius (2, 1, 69) is the first to speak of the Caucasus
as rupes Promethei; cf. Mart. epigr. 7, 1; 11, 84, 9.

fabula montis: fabula is metonymy for the things told in the fable (see TLL,
s.v. fabula 28, 1 ff.). In this case, it logically means the places mentioned in the
story of Prometheus. Presumably it does not allude to all the stories told of the
region (which could include, for example, the story of Medea); if that were the
case, we should expect the plural, as in 10, 5, 17 and Sen. nat. 3, 29, 7. The
singular rather indicates that a specific story or at least a circle of stories is meant,
as in Auson. 14, 28 f. Prete tota Minoia fabula Cretae ... tenui sub imagine
4. prope oculis adeunda tuis: a concise, and unparalleled, expression for
go and see at close quarters, oculis tuis serving as a substitute for videnda. In
spite of the marvellous things Marcellinus will see in the Caucasus, the gerundive
indicates that he is not going there of his own free will but is compelled to do so.
To have been on the Danube and be going to the Caucasus was something like
falling out of the fryingpan into the fire, as the Caucasus was proverbially horrid
(Verg. Aen. 4, 366 f.; Hor. carm. 1, 22, 6 f.; epod. 1, 12; Sen. Med. 43; Thy.
1048) and housed wild beasts (Sen. Herc. f. 1208 f.), especially tigers (Sil. 4, 331;
5, 148; 15, 81). Note also that adeundus, when appearing in the pentameter, always has the same placing as here.2
5. conclamata: conclamo here means call out to (= inclamo). To judge from the
TLL, s.v. conclamo 71, 15 ff., this sense of the word is rare and not found earlier
than Sen. Oed. 974 f. victor deos | conclamat omnis (cf. epist. 52,13 ); most instances are found in considerably later sources.
It may be noted, though, that an examination of the use of the genitive Promethei and the adjective
Prometheus in dactylic verse (based on all occurrences of the genitive of the noun and all cases of the
adjective in Enn., Lucil., Lucr., Catull., Verg., App. Verg., Hor., Prop., Tib., Ov., Albinov., Pers., Gaetul.,
Calp. Buc. Eins., Priap., Manil., Lucan., Sil., Val. Fl., Mart., Stat., Iuv.) argues for the reading
Prometheae. The adjective always appears either before the diaeresis of the pentameter (10, 39, 4; 14, 80,
2; Ov. am. 2, 16, 40) or, in hexameters, before the penthemimeresis (the present case; Stat. Theb. 8, 305;
Val. Fl. 7, 356) or in the second half of the fourth and the whole of the fifth foot (Mart. 11, 84, 9; Stat.
Theb. 11, 468). The one exception to this is Prop. 3, 6, 7 o prima infelix fingenti terra Prometheo, where
the final o is elided because of the ille beginning the following line. The genitive is otherwise exclusively
used in verseendings, where its final ei is always diphtongized (Verg. ecl. 6, 42 Caucasiasque refert
volucris furtumque Promethei; Prop. 2, 1, 69; Val. Fl. 5, 154).
1, 70, 12; 7, 93, 2; Tib. 1, 6, 22; 3, 5, 2; Ov. epist. 18, 8; fast. 4, 470; 4, 496; 5, 374; 6, 412; 6, 450; trist.
1, 4, 18; 1, 8, 38; 3, 1, 70; 3, 10, 76; Pont. 1, 8, 12; Ib. 478.


6. durior ipse fuit: sc. saxis, because Prometheus managed to endure the pains
when chained to the mountain. A trisyllabic comparative followed by ipse is fairly
common after the diaeresis of the pentameter, cf. 1, 114, 4 dignior ipse legi. It is
favoured by Ovid; thus am. 1, 6, 62 durior ipse tuis (sc. foribus); epist. 4, 166; 19,
188; Pont. 1, 3, 92; cf. also Ib. 22; Eleg. in Maecen. 1, 30; Priap. 68, 16. A monosyllabic word followed by a disyllabic comparative and ipse is less frequent; cf. 8,
18, 2; Ov. ars. 2, 218.
8. humanum finxerat genus: Prometheus was said to have created man out
of clay, cf. 10, 39, 4 ficta Prometheo diceris (sc. Lesbia) esse luto; 14, 182, 1;
Hor. carm. 1, 16, 13 (with Porph.); Phaedr. 14, 16, 3; Hyg. astr. 2, 15, 1; fab. 142,
1; see Bapp, op. cit., 3044 ff.

Gellius aedificat semper: modo limina ponit,
nunc foribus claves aptat emitque seras,
nunc has, nunc illas reficit mutatque fenestras;
dum tantum aedificet, quidlibet ille facit,
oranti nummos ut dicere possit amico
unum illud verbum Gellius Aedifico.

The grandeur of Roman private houses is a commonplace in literature. It is admired in Statius poems on the villa of Manilius Vopiscus at Tibur (silv. 1, 3) and
on that of Pollius Felix at Surrentum (silv. 2, 2); cf. the letters of Pliny on his
villas at Laurentum (2, 17 with Sherwin-Whites introduction) and at Tifernum
Tiberinum (5, 6); it is displayed as an example of unnecessary extravagance; thus
already by Cato (for example, orat. 185), and by Horace (for example, carm. 2, 18,
17 f., on which see the introduction by Nisbet & Hubbard) and, as such, it is attacked by satirists. An expressive example of this is Iuv. 14, 8695,1 on a certain
Cretonius who out-builded himself by erecting houses more splendid than the
temples of the gods, thus consuming the greater part of his fortune; what was left,
his son ran through in the same manner, following the example of his father.
Martials epigram on Gellius is a variation on the theme; it not only makes fun
of the morbid passion to build, but also emphasizes on one of the themes frequently used by Martial, viz. the greed of the rich and their unwillingness to share
with those of small means, neatly summarised in 11, 68, 1 Parva rogas magnos;
sed non dant haec quoque magni; cf. 9, 2 intro. It is clear that it is not because of
his constant building activities that Gellius cannot assist his begging friend but
because he realizes that, as long as he builds, he has a valid excuse and therefore
he does not dare to stop building. Of course, his greed entices him into a vicious

On this passage, see R. E. Colton, Juvenal 14 and Martial 9.46 on the Building Craze, CB 41 (1964),
pp. 2627. In spite of its title, the paper has little of value concerning Martial.


circle, and, in the end, he will meet with the same fate as did Juvenals Cretonius.
In 9, 22, Martial repudiates the character of Gellius and paves the way for this
epigram by stating that he himself wants riches to be able to build and to give.
Note also that Martial emphasizes Gellius fear of his begging friend in having
him build only doors and repair windows, by no means the most luxurious details
in a Roman house, but those which kept people out. Thus, Gellius builds himself
in, metaphorically as well as literally.
1. Gellius: Martial uses the name only here and in 9, 80, where Gellius is the very
opposite of the man in this epigram, a poor man who marries an rich old hag.
Previously, Martial had used only the feminine form Gellia in various satirical
epigrams; thus 1, 33; 3, 55; 4, 20; 5, 17; 5, 29; 6, 90; 8, 81.
limina ponit: the phrase is found only here and in Prop. 2, 6, 37 f. quos igitur
tibi custodes, quae limina ponam, | quae numquam supra pes inimicus eat?,
which alludes to the threshold. It may, however, also allude to the lintel (limen
superum; cf. Plin. nat. 36, 96 [limen] quod foribus inponebat) or perhaps to both.
The threshold, limen inferum was in the majority of cases made of stone, as was
usually the case also with the lintel (see Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 17).
2. foribus claves aptat: the TLL lists this passage s.v. apto 323, 81 ff., in the
sense of to fit into and compares it with, for example, 9, 68, 6 and 9, 93, 5. This
suggests a kind of slight metonymy with regard to claves, which logically would
allude not only to the key, but also to the actual lock; cf. Hor. carm. 2, 14, 26
servata centum clavibus. Note also Tib. 1, 6, 34 frustra clavis inest foribus and 2,
4, 31 hinc clavim ianua sensit, perhaps suggesting that the connection between
key and door was more important than the connection between key and lock.
Clavis is only mentioned together with the actual lock, claustrum, in two instances, both in connection with Egypt or North Africa and alluding to a kind of
lock common in these areas (see Apul. met. 4, 10 and Germ. 196 f.; Marquardt, p.
227; on Roman keys and locks, ibid., pp. 226 ff.; Blmner Privataltertmer, pp.
25 ff.).
seras: it was not uncommon for the front door of the house to have several
types of locking devices attached to it. Gellius combines his lock with a bar, of
which there were several different kinds, usually made of solid wood (Blmner
Privataltertmer, pp. 22 ff.).
3. nunc has, nunc illas: a very common pattern at the beginning of the hexameter, occurring already in Lucretius, who also has the most frequent recurrence of
this formula viz. nunc huc nunc illuc (2, 131, cf. Ov. epist. 10, 19; met. 4, 622;
Manil. 2, 904; 3, 167; 3, 268; Sil. 7, 574). Variants are nunc hinc nunc illinc
(Lucr. 2, 214; 6, 199); hic illic (Lucr. 2, 575); hunc illum (Lucan. 3,
276); hi illi (Verg. Aen. 10, 355); his illis (Manil. 1, 191; Stat. Theb.
11, 478); hos illos (Verg. Aen. 5, 441; Sil. 5, 150).


4. dum tantum: in the sense of dummodo, as noted by Friedlnder. The juncture

is extremely rare: the TLL, s.v. dum 2224, 14 f. knows no other instance than the
present, but note the occasional use of tantum in the sense of modo (see Hofmann
Szantyr, 330, IV a, p. 616). Here, it is probably used for the sake of metrical
6. unum ... Aedifico: see note on 9, 38, 10.

Democritos, Zenonas inexplicitosque Platonas
quidquid et hirsutis squalet imaginibus,
sic quasi Pythagorae loqueris successor et heres.
Praependet sane nec tibi barba minor:
sed quod et hircosis serum est et turpe pilosis,
in molli rigidam clune libenter habes.
Tu, qui sectarum causas et pondera nosti,
dic mihi, percidi, Pannyche, dogma quod est?

Pannychus is one of the false philosophers, recurring characters in Martial, who

wears a long beard and preaches a rigid morality and yet practises sodomy himself. This poem is particularly close in content and tone to the beginning of
Juvenals Second Satire (see the introduction to 9, 27). Its point is also very similar to that of Mart. 2, 89: Quod nimio gaudes noctem producere vino, | ignosco:
vitium, Gaure, Catonis habes. | Carmina quod scribis Musis et Apolline nullo, |
laudari debes: hoc Ciceronis habes: | quod vomis, Antoni: quod luxuriaris, Apici.
| Quod fellas, vitium dic mihi cuius habes?
1. Democritos etc.: for generalizing plurals, see note on 9, 27, 6 Curios, Camillos; cf. here in particular Sen. dial. 9, 7, 5 Vix tibi esset facultas dilectus felicioris, si inter Platonas et Xenophontas et illum Socratici fetus proventum bonos
inexplicitosque Platonas: the obscure thoughts of pseudo-Platos. The adjective inexplicitus is found only here and in Stat. Theb. 2, 511 dictis inexplicitis,
obscure words. In his commentary, Friedlnder took it as ungelesene to make
it fit with his theory that the following line referred to pictures in bookrolls; he
was followed by the TLL, s.v. 1329, 43 ff. (suggesting that the adjective is equal to
non evolutos [= unread] and that Platonas means libros Platonis) and by the
OLD, s.v. inexplicitus 1. However, in the Sittengeschichte (see below),
Friedlnder rightly does not maintain this theory; not only would the generalizing


plural Platonas be unparalleled in the sense of the books of Plato,1 but there is
no reason to take inexplicitus as meaning non evolutus (as does the TLL, loc. cit.,
with reference to explico in the sense of to unroll a bookroll, i.e. to read
[ibid., s.v. explico 1727, 69 ff.]); the adjective should in this case be derived from
explico in the sense of to understand, interpret (ibid., s.v. explico 1735, 3 ff.),
used of philosophical ideas, for example, in Cic. phil. frg. 5, 29 magna animi
contentio adhibenda est in explicando Aristotele, si legas.
2. quidquid ... hirsutis squalet imaginibus: whatever appears unkempt in
shaggy images, an unparalleled expression, which, however, may be compared
grammatically to Sen. Herc. f. 366 f. tum vastis ager | squalebit arvis.
The reference is to the busts of philosophers, with which those who wanted to
appear as such were wont to fill their homes; cf. Iuv. 2, 47 indocti primum,
quamquam plena omnia gypso | Chrysippi invenias; nam perfectissimus horum, |
si quis Aristotelen similem vel Pittacon emit | et iubet archetypos pluteum servare
Cleanthas (with Courtney); Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 3, 42 f.; cf. Iuv. 8, 17
squalentis ... avos; OLD, s.v. squaleo 2 b.
hirsutis: the long beard (cf. line 4 below) was typical of ancient philosophers,
especially of Stoics and Cynics (see Mau in RE 3, s.v. Bart 32; Kiel on Pers. 4,
1). Also, they are often charged with having a dishevelled appearance, which was
true particularly of the Cynics (see the introductions to 9, 27 and 9, 57).
3. Pythagorae successor et heres: cf. Ov. met. 3, 589 accipe, quas (sc. opes)
habeo, studii successor et heres with Bmers note.2 For heres in this sense, cf.
TLL, s.v. 2655, 4 ff.; for successor, see OLD, s.v. c, to which Cels. 3, 9, 3, Sen.
nat. 7, 32, 2, and Gell. 13, 5, pr. may be added.
5. hircosis serum: serum, the reading of T , was met with scepticism already by
Friedlnder, who suggested that hircosis turpe (found in C) was the original reading. Serum is printed by Gilbert, Lindsay and Heraeus, but Shackleton Bailey
breaks with this tradition, regarding serum as nonsense because it would lack a
connection with hircosis similar to turpe pilosis. Instead, he prints carum, a conjecture of his own, in defence of which he writes: Pannychus would have to pay
for his pleasure, like the unattractive ladies in 9. 37. 9 and elsewhere; cf. also 14.
Serum, however, may perhaps be advocated by determining the sense of hircosus. Derived from hircus, hegoat, it is found but six times in the surviving
literature, of which three are in Martial (also 10, 98, 10; 12, 59, 5); also Plaut.
Merc. 575; Pers. 3, 77; Gell. 12, 2, 11. The OLD, s.v. defines the adjective as

When an authors name is used as metonymy for his writings, it normally takes the singular, cf., for
example, 14, 190 (Titus Livius in membranis) Pellibus exiguis artatur Livius ingens, | quem mea non
totum bibliotheca capit.
Bmer points out that successor rarely occurs in poetry, but perhaps fast. 5, 77 (where Bmer prints
successit, whereas the Teubner edition of Alton, Wormell & Courtney [Leipzig 1978] has successor)
should be added to his list of instances from Ovid.
Shackleton Bailey, Corrections, p. 284.


referring exclusively to the smell of a goat (i.e. smelling like a goat), which is
the obvious meaning in Pers. 3, 77 gente hircosa centurionum; Gell. 12, 2, 11
(contrasted with unguentatus), and Mart. 10, 98, 10 (hircosi subulci). In 12,
59, 4 f. te pilosus | hircoso premit osculo colonus, the sense of bristly (alluding
to the beard of the goat, cf. 14, 141) should be added; the colonus is pilosus, and
his kiss is like that of a goat, stinking and prickly (on the unpleasantness of kissing bearded persons, cf. 10, 42, 5; 11, 39, 4). This would be transferable also to
Plaut. Merc. 575 senex hircosus tu osculere mulierem?; if, as suggested by this
latter instance, the adjective was especially appropriate to old men, it is quite
possible that serum is correct, and the explanation of Gilbert (as printed in his
apparatus) would be quite close to the truth: paedicari velle Pannycho dicitur et
serum esse et turpe, sero ut adulto et iam hircoso, quem nemo iam vult, turpe ut
piloso, qui veri (non effeminati) viri speciem affectat; Heraeus in his apparatus
also compares Plin. epist. 3, 1, 12 (senibus) industria sera turpis ambitio est.
Given these notions, hircosus is especially luckily used of a philosopher, who
both smells as a consequence of his neglecting himself and, like the goat, wears a
beard; cf. AP 11, 430 (Lucian)







pilosis: Martial jokingly uses this adjective instead of philosophi also in 9, 27,
6. molli clune: clunis, lit. buttock, is used as an euphemism for culus (see
Adams, pp. 115 f.). Whereas the present instance is quite clear, it is often difficult
to judge whether it alludes to the culus or the actual buttock(s); cf. 11, 100, 3; Iuv.
2, 21. Mollis perhaps implies that Pannychus depilated his culus; cf. 9, 27, 3 prostitutis culis with note.
rigidam: sc. mentulam. Rigidus is commonly used of the erect penis, cf. 6, 49,
2; 11, 16, 5; Catull. 56, 7; Priap. 4, 1; 45, 1; Adams, p. 103.
7. causas et pondera: obviously nature (character) and line of argument and
claim of belief; for causa in this sense, cf., for example, Cic. fat. 33 non eadem
sit illorum causa et Stoicorum; TLL, s.v. caussa 687, 14 ff. But there is probably
also a pun here on the sense of ponera as scrotum (cf. Catull. 63, 5; Forcellini,
Lex., s.v. pondus 2, 728), and one cannot help wondering whether causas, carelessly pronounced, could not be made to sound like caudas (in the sense of
penises; cf. OLD, s.v. 2). The juncture is singular.
8. dic mihi: a common verseopening, first found in Verg. ecl. 3, 1, then in Hor.
ars 141; Prop. 2, 32, 55; 3, 6, 1; 4, 3, 23; surprisingly few instances in Ovid (epist.
2, 27; fast. 3, 170) but a favourite of Martials, who has no less than 12 instances
(also 1, 20, 1; 3, 11, 4; 3, 30, 2; 5, 55, 1; 5, 58, 2; 8, 3, 12; 9, 82, 6; 12, 92, 4; 13,
14, 2; 14, 179, 1; 14, 215, 1); also Iuv. 6, 393; 8, 56.

If you think that to grow a beard is to acquire wisdom, a goat with a fine beard is at once a complete
Plato (transl. by W. R. Paton, Loeb).


percidi: percido is attested in the sense of pedico in several passages in Martials epigrams, cf. 4, 48, 1 and 4; 6, 39, 14; 7, 62, 1 and 2; 12, 35, 2. It is used in
the same way twice in the Priapea (13, 1; 15, 6), and there is also some epigraphic evidence for this use (see Adams, pp. 146 f.).
Pannyche: a humorous name, derived from Gr. SQ and Q[, he who does
something the whole night. 3QQXFRM is attested in Greek inscriptions, whereas
the feminine form 3DQQXFdM occurs as the name of concubines and also as the
title of comedies (see Pape, s.v.). While there is epigraphic evidence of the Latin
transcription of the name,1 Martial offers the only surviving literary instances,
using the name also in 2, 36 (of a character identical with the present); 6, 39, 9; 6,
67; 12, 72. Cf., however, Petron. 25, 2 (Pannychis) and Sidon. epist. 5, 13; 7, 9,
18 (Pannychius, a real person).

See Forcellini, Onomast., s.v. Pannychus.


Revised edition of dissertation for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Latin

presented at Uppsala University in 1998. Printed with the aid of a grant from the
Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSFR)

Henriksn, C., 1999. Martial, Book IX. A Commentary. Vol. 2. Acta. Univ. Ups., Studia
Latina Upsaliensia 24:2. 209 pp. Uppsala. ISBN 91-554-4294-3.
This dissertation consists of a commentary on Book 9 of the Epigrams of M. Valerius
Martialis (ca. 40104 AD). The book, with its 105 epigrams one of the longer in Martials
production, was published in late 94 or early 95 and presents the reader with Martials
characteristic variety of subjects drawn from contemporary Roman society and everyday
life. Notable is that Book 9 contains a markedly higher frequency of poems focusing on the
emperor Domitian than any other of Martials books. The tendency towards a greater
attention to Domitian is obvious already in Book 8 (published in early 94) and is likely to
have been continued also in the last book published under his reign, the now lost first
edition of Book 10 (published in 95). In Book 9, this tendency is also reflected in the
increase of references to Domitian simply as Iuppiter or as Tonans, of the application to
the emperor of epithets originally belonging to divinities, and of comparisons of Domitian
with gods, particularly with Jupiter, the Sun, and Hercules. The book as a whole is set
within an imperial framework, marked at the beginning by poems 1, 3, 5 and 7, and by
poem 101 at the end.
The present commentary consists of an introduction discussing the date, general characteristics, structure and themes of Book 9 (with special regard to matters concerning the
emperor), followed by a detailed commentary on each of the 105 poems, placing them in
their social, historical and literary context.
Key-words: Martial, epigram, Domitian, Silver Latin, panegyric, Statius, Ovid, Greek
C. Henriksn, Department of Classical Philology, Uppsala University, Box 527, SE-751
20 Uppsala, Sweden.

Christer Henriksn 1999

ISSN 0562-2859
ISBN 91-554-4292-7 (vols. 24:124:2)
ISBN 91-554-4293-5 (vol. 24:1)
ISBN 91-554-4294-3 (vol. 24:2)
Printed in Sweden by Textgruppen i Uppsala AB 1999
Distributor: Uppsala University Library, Box 510, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Preface and Acknowledgements

The manuscript of this volume was essentially in a finished state a year ago, and
originally intended to be published as one book together with volume 1. However,
as the commentary was nearing completion, it became apparent that it would have
to be divided into two volumes and the printing of the second postponed, until the
necessary funds could be raised. Now, almost a year later, I am happy to extend
my thanks to the Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social
Sciences for providing the funds needed.
Since the appearance of the first volume of this commentary, my attention has
been claimed by other projects, and I regret that I have had little opportunity to
consider those works on Martial in general and on Book 9 in particular which
have appeared shortly before and since the printing of volume 1. Still, the delay in
the publication of volume 2 has enabled me to incorporate much of the friendly
criticism offered by Mr. Peter Howell, of Royal Holloway College, University of
London. The commentary has benefited greatly from his perspicacious remarks,
and I would like to convey to him my sincere thanks.
In preparing the present volume for publication, I have enjoyed the generous
support of Professor Hans Helander to which I have grown accustomed. My debt
to him I acknowledge with pleasure. Otherwise, what I have said in the preface to
volume 1 applies also to the present.

Uppsala, 31 August 1999



Text and Commentary: Poems 48103 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Indices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
Addenda et corrigenda to volume 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209

Text and Commentary

Poems 48103

Heredem cum me partis tibi, Garrice, quartae
per tua iurares sacra caputque tuum,
credidimus, quis enim damnet sua vota libenter?
et spem muneribus fovimus usque datis.
Inter quae rari Laurentem ponderis aprum
misimus: Aetola de Calydone putes.
At tu continuo populumque patresque vocasti,
ructat adhuc aprum callida Roma meum:
ipse ego, quis credat? conviva nec ultimus haesi,
sed nec costa data est caudave missa mihi.
De quadrante tuo quid sperem, Garrice? Nulla
de nostro nobis uncia venit apro.


A certain Garricus, presumably a wealthy elder, has promised to bequeath to the

speaker a quarter of his fortune. The latter, acting like a second-rate captator,
does his best to add to the old mans goodwill by presenting him with various
gifts, among which is a huge Laurentine boar. Garricus instantly gives a dinnerparty, inviting everybody but the heir in spe, who realizes that his efforts have
been in vain. The wisdom gained from such experiences is summarized in 12, 73:
Heredem tibi me, Catulle, dicis. | Non credam, nisi legero, Catulle. For the phenomenon of captatio, see 9, 8 intro.
1. Heredem partis quartae: i.e. heres ex quadrante, heir of a fourth part
(or three-twelfths; see below on line 11) of his fortune; cf. Hor. sat. 2, 5, 100;
Manigk in RE 8, s.v. Hereditarium ius 639. The passage does not, like Plin. epist.
5, 1, 9 f., allude to the fourth part guaranteed to the heredes scripti by the lex
Falcidia of 40 BC (on which, see Kaser, Privatrecht 1, p. 630; Sherwin-White on
Plin. loc. cit.).
Garrice: the name appears also in 11, 105. In both instances, the more common name Car(r)ius appears in some of the MSS,1 but, as Garricus is attested in
inscriptions, it should no doubt be kept (see Heraeus apparatus, ad loc). In the
present case, Martial may have chosen the name because of its similarity to garrio; thus, it would imply something like he who is full of nonsense.
2. per tua iurares sacra etc.: Garricus swears a solemn oath by his family rites
(sacra, cf. 3, 6, 2; 12, 62, 6 & 14; OLD, s.v. sacrum 3 d) and by his head. Oaths
are commonly sworn by someones head, since the head was sacred; cf. Athen. 2,
72 Kaibel
.2 The first instances in Latin literature are in Vergil, for example, Aen. 9,
300; cf. Pease on Aen. 4, 357 and cf. also Ov. epist. 3, 107; trist. 5, 4, 45; Pont. 3,












In the present case, DE has Garrice but Carr- is found in a lemma in D; J has Gallice with Garr- in a
lemma; cf. Kay on 11, 105, 1.
That people regarded the head as sacred is clear from the fact that they swore by it (Gulickss translation, Loeb).


3, 68; Sil. 10, 437 f.; Iuv. 6, 16 f. with Courtneys note. Oaths sworn by anyones
family rites seem to be elsewhere unattested; cf., however, the oath sworn by the
penates in Cic. ac. 2, 65 iurarem per Iovem deosque penates me et ardere studio
veri reperiendi et ea sentire quae dicerem.
3. damnet vota: for who would renounce ones wishes? (cf., for example,
OLD, s.v. damno 3 c); perhaps there is also a play on the legal term damnas voti;
cf. note on 9, 42, 8.
5. rari Laurentum ponderis aprum: the boar of Laurentum was one of the best,
in spite of Horaces statement that it was malus, because it fed on grass and reeds
(sat. 2, 4, 42). Martial mentions it again in 10, 45, 4. Cf. also note on 9, 14, 3
Boars may weigh as much as 300 pounds (cf. Kay on 11, 69, 9); ancient
authors usually refer to large specimens simply as ingentes (14, 31, 2; Cic. Verr.
II 5, 7), ingentis magnitudinis (Val. Max. 1, 7 ext., 4) or primae magnitudinis
(Petron. 40, 3).
6. Aetola de Calydone: Martial compares the boar to that which ravaged the
region around the city of Calydon in Aetolia. Let loose by Artemis, who had been
left empty-handed at a sacrifice made by king Oeneus of Calydon, it was killed by
his son Meleager; see Ov. met. 8, 273546, with Bmer, pp. 94 ff. Martial mentions the boar also in 1, 104, 6 f.; 11, 18, 18; 11, 69, 10.
7. populumque patresque: everyone from high to low (van Dam on Stat. silv.
2, 5, 25; cf. senatus populusque and see OLD, s.v. populus 2 b). This is the only
instance of this phrase within the hexameter; it is commonly found at its end, as
in 7, 5, 1 and 8, 49, 7; thus already in Lucil. fragm. 1253 Krenkel; then Verg.
Aen. 4, 682; 9, 192; Ov. met. 15, 486; Sil. 10, 634; 11, 496; Stat. silv. 1, 4, 15; 2,
5, 25; Val. Fl. 8, 281.
8. callida Roma: partitive attribute, the shrewd part of Rome, because those
invited to dine on the boar would be such as Garricus wanted to encourage as
legacy-hunters, senators as well as ordinary people;1 just as before he had encouraged the narrator with the quadrans (which cost him nothing), he now uses the
boar which he got for nothing. They are all likely to become future fellows in
misfortune, and, though they naturally considered themselves callidi (a fitting
epithet of the legacy-hunter, cf. Petron. 125, 3 callidus captator), the adjective is
certainly used here ironically, as they in the end will surely find themselves left
with nothing, least of all a mention in Garricus will.
The MSS all have callida, which was printed by the editors up to and including Heraeus, while Dousas emendation pallida2 was advocated by Lieben3 and

As appears not least from Martials numerous epigrams on the subject, legacy-hunting was widespread in
Rome and was not practised only by the people of the lower classes; cf. Tac. ann. 13, 52 quoted in the
introduction to 9, 8.
Those indulging in exaggerated gluttony could become pale from bad digestion; cf. 1, 77, 3; TLL, s.v.
pallidus 130, 51 ff.


printed in Borovskijs editio correctior of Heraeus and by Shackleton Bailey.

However, Liebens argumentation in favour of pallida seems to be founded on a
misinterpretation of the situation; he writes: Was soll dieses callida bedeuten?
Etwa: schlau, weil es (sc. Rome) sich in den Handel der beiden nicht
eingemischt hat und aus ihm Vorteil zieht? Dazu ist callida ein viel zu starker
Ausdruck: es lag ja nicht in der Absicht von populusque patresque, einen solches
Vorteil zu erlangen. This is, of course, correct, but Lieben takes no account of
the possibility that those invited may be captatores themselves, nor does Nisbet
when proposing marcida with reference to Prud. psych. 316 (of Luxuria)
pervigilem ructabat marcida cenam.1
9. nec: = ne quidem. This use of nec, which is not recorded with certainty earlier than Cicero, can be observed also in Catull., Hor., Prop., Ov., Lucan., and
Pers. (see HofmannSzantyr, 241, B b, pp. 449 f.).
haesi: in the sense of particeps fui; cf. Liv. 5, 2, 10 ne in turba quidem haerere plebeium quemquam; Stat. silv. 3, 3, 64 ff.; TLL, s.v. haereo 2496, 31 ff.
10. sed: roughly and whats more; cf. 7, 71, 3 f. nec dispensator nec vilicus
ulcere turpi | nec rigidus fossor, sed nec arator eget; 10, 19, 2; see OLD, s.v. sed
9 b.
costa caudave: probably the scantiest part of the boar that Martial could
think of. Ribs occur as a joint of meat also in 10, 45, 3, (where rodere suggests its
meagreness); the only other mention of ribs as a dish is in Varr. rust. 2, 4, 11. The
boars tail is never mentioned as edible.
11 f. quadrante | uncia: Martial makes a play here on the division of the
inheritance (the as) into twelfths, unciae, which were distributed to the heirs (see
Manigk, loc. cit.). When the speaker does not even get the uncia of his own boar,
what can he hope for in the case of the quadrans of the inheritance?


E. Lieben, Zu Martial, Philologische Wochenschrift 50 (1930), p. 458.

R. G. M. Nisbet, A new Teubner of Martial, CR 52 (1992), pp. 5051.


Haec est illa meis multum cantata libellis,
quam meus edidicit lector amatque togam.
Partheniana fuit quondam, memorabile vatis
munus: in hac ibam conspiciendus eques,
dum nova, dum nitida fulgebat splendida lana,
dumque erat auctoris nomine digna sui:
nunc anus et tremulo vix accipienda tribuli,
quam possis niveam dicere iure tuo.
Quid non longa dies, quid non consumitis anni?
Haec toga iam non est Partheniana, mea est.


This lofty poem is the second and last in Martial on the toga given to the poet by
Domitians a cubiculo (i.e. chamberlain, cf. Rostowzew in RE 4, s.v. a Cubiculo)
Parthenius, the first being 8, 28, written a year or so earlier, apparently upon its
bestowal. Consequently, multum cantata libellis is hyperbole, unless Martial wrote
other epigrams on the toga as well, which for one reason or another were not
published in his books. The first epigram stresses the bright splendour of the toga,
which is said to shine whiter than lilies, privets, the ivory of Tibur, the Spartan
swan, etc. (8, 28, 11 ff.), but still, it is not whiter than Parthenius himself. The
present epigram offers the same play on the name of Parthenius (see below on line
3 Partheniana), but now the toga is so worn out as no longer to be Partheniana;
instead, it is now fully Martials.
The toga was made of white wool, and so it easily became dirty. But as it was
prescribed for the clients at the salutatio (see Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 1, pp.
226 f.), it was important to keep it clean, and therefore constant washings were
called for, which in their turn entailed that it quickly became threadbare (though a
toga which had been washed three or four times was considered as good as new;
see 10, 11, 6). The dilemma of the required whiteness of the toga and the easiness
with which it got soiled is a recurring theme in Martial (for example, 1, 103, 5; 3,
36, 9; 7, 33, 1; 9, 100, 5; Friedlnder, loc. cit.; Blmner, Privataltertmer, p.
Note the high-flown, somewhat sentimental style of the poem, manifest in the
contrast between past (lines 5 and 6) and present (line 7), and the reflection on the
omnivorous time (line 9), reminiscent of Ovid.
1. Haec est illa meis: a common opening of the hexameter; cf. 7, 21, 1; 7, 69, 1;
9, 76, 1; Enn. frg. var. 19; Ov. epist. 15, 193; fast. 6, 713; Lucan. 7, 254.
meis multum cantata libellis: compare Dirae 26 multum nostris cantata
pure, undefiled (or perhaps virgin-white),
3. Partheniana: of Gr.
a word-play alluding to its giver, (Ti. Claudius?) Parthenius; a similar play is
found in 8, 28, 15 f. Sed licet haec primis nivibus sint aemula dona (sc. the toga),
| non sunt Parthenio candidiora suo; cf. also line 6 below. Parthenius was a


freedman of Nero and Domitians a cubiculo and, like most chamberlains, he

exercised a considerable influence on his master and on his approachability (see
Weaver, p. 7; Jones, Domitian, pp. 61 ff.). As such, he was an important channel
for Martials access to the palace, as Flavius Abascantus, Domitians ab epistulis,
was for Statius; 1 see, for example, 5, 6, in which the poet asks Parthenius, who
knows tempora Iovis sereni, to give his book to Domitian.
Martial had made a careful approach to Parthenius already in 88 or 89, with a
petition to Apollo to make good Parthenius vow for his son Burrus (4, 45), and
he kept addressing him also after the assassination of Domitian, in which Parthenius played some part, if not as a murderer himself, at least as organiser of the
crime (see Jones, op. cit., pp. 193 ff.). He may also have been involved in the
nomination of Nerva, and Martials mention of Parthenius in 11, 1, only a few
months after the assassination, is likely to be seen as a political act to show his
support for the new regime (see Kay, pp. 52 f.). Parthenius also during the reign
of Nerva remained an important intermediary for Martials contact with the emperor; in the same way as he had asked him to give his writings to Domitian,
Martial in 12, 11 asks him to present them to Nerva.2
vatis: some other passages state that Parthenius wrote poetry himself; thus 5,
6, 1; 11, 1, 6; 12, 11, 1 ff., cf. 8, 28, 1.
4. conspiciendus eques: Martial alludes to his equestrian rank for the first time in
3, 95, 9 f., where, in connection with the rewards bestowed upon him by Caesar
uterque (i.e. Titus and Domitian), he speaks of himself as tribune. This would
have been a tribunatus semestris, an honorary title practically without duties, but
bringing in its train, like all tribunates, the knighthood (see Mommsen,
Staatsrecht 2, pp. 367 f.). Martial mentions his rank also in 5, 13, 2 and 12, 29, 2,
but it is not clear to which of the emperors he owed it; Howell (on 5, 13, 2) suggests that it may have been given by Titus.
The same ending appears in Tib. 1, 2, 72 and Ov. trist. 2, 114. Note that the
only dactylic poets to use the adjective conspiciendus (apart from Martial, who
has only this instance) are Tibullus, Ovid and Valerius Flaccus, of whom the lastmentioned has one instance (the only one found in a hexameter), Tibullus three
and Ovid 14; in Tibullus and Ovid, the word appears only in the pentameter,
always with the same placing as here, immediately following the diaeresis.
6. auctoris nomine digna: cf. above on line 3.
7. anus et ... vix accipienda: old and hardly acceptable to; for Martials frequent application of anus to things as a feminine adjective in the sense of aged,
cf. 1, 39, 2; 1, 105, 4; 6, 27, 8; 11, 46, 6; 12, 2, 4; 14, 127, 2 (see Howell on 1, 39,

It is noteworthy that Martial never mentions Abascantus, and Statius never Parthenius (cf. Sullivan, Nero,
p. 194).
The carmina mentioned in 12, 11, 6 would have been a book of selected epigrams from Books 10 and 11
(cf. 12, 4; Sullivan, Martial, pp. 50 f.), and not Book 12, as Nerva was forced to hand Parthenius over to
the revengeful Praetorians before its publication (see Kay, p. 53).


The gerundive vix accipienda expresses the same sense as would an adjective
ending with -bilis; cf. 9, 65, 1 and see P. Aalto, Untersuchungen ber das
lateinische Gerundium und Gerundivum, Helsinki 1949, p. 99.
tremulo ... tribuli: a pauper trembling (from the cold), who otherwise would
gladly accept a toga because of its high price. Tribulis is literally of the same
tribus but is used also in the sense of vir humilis (cf. OLD, s.v. b one registered
by his tribe, i.e. not capite census and therefore a landless man); cf. tribus in the
sense of the masses (8, 15, 4; OLD, s.v. tribus 2 b), as distinguished from those
with equestrian or senatorial rank. Martial has tribulis in this sense also at 9, 57,
8; the only other instance is Hor. epist. 1, 13, 15 ut cum pilleolo soleas conviva
tribulis (with Porph.).
8. niveam dicere iure tuo: again a play on words, niveus here meaning cold as
snow, as a consequence of the togas being so threadbare as not to keep its
wearer warm any more; Friedlnder (on 4, 34, 2) compares 3, 38, 9 and 12, 36, 2;
cf. also 2, 46, 7 f. Tu spectas hiemem succincti lentus amici | Pro scelus! et
lateris frigora trita times (the threadbare garment of your companion).
For iure tuo at the end of the pentameter, see also 14, 142, 2.
9. longa dies: long time, cf., for example, Verg. Aen. 5, 783 with Servius; for
the juncture longa dies, cf. 11, 69, 7 (where dies, however, rather means life)
and see TLL, s.v. dies 1053, 69 ff.
consumitis anni: as regards the metaphor (the tooth of time in Shakespeare), cf. Ovids famous lines in met. 15, 234 ff. tempus edax rerum, tuque,
invidiosa vetustas, | omnia destruitis vitiataque dentibus aevi | paulatim lenta
consumitis omnia morte! (with Bmer), and the, equally famous, section in Pont.
4, 10, 58; also Hor. carm. 3, 6, 45 damnosa quid non inminuit dies?
For the prosody, cf. Ov. Ib. 145 Sive ego, quod nolim, longis consumptus ab
annis; Manil. 4, 1 Quid tam sollicitis vitam consumimus annis.
10. non est Partheniana, mea est: the pun is based on the ambiguity of Partheniana, meaning of Parthenius as well as pure (see above on line 3). Because the
toga is not shining white any more, it would no longer suit Parthenius, only Martial.


Ingenium mihi, Gaure, probas sic esse pusillum,
carmina quod faciam, quae brevitate placent.
Confiteor. Sed tu bis senis grandia libris
qui scribis Priami proelia, magnus homo es?
Nos facimus Bruti puerum, nos Langona vivum:
tu magnus luteum, Gaure, Giganta facis.

Recusatio, the renouncing of mythological and heroic themes in favour of more

down-to-earth subjects treated on a smaller scale, goes back to Callimachus of
Alexandria (Aetia 1, 17 ff.).1 It was introduced by Parthenius of Nicaea to Rome,
where it was adopted by the poetae novi; cf., for example, Catull. 14; 22; 36, and
his welcoming of the Zmyrna of his friend Cinna (95). Vergil echoes Callimachus
in ecl. 6, 3, and Horace takes his ideas as an excuse for declining to hymn Agrippas military achievements (carm. 1, 6), on the same grounds handing over to
Maecenas the task of honouring Augustus conquests in verse (carm. 2, 12; see
the introductions by Nisbet & Hubbard to these poems); see also carm. 4, 15 and
Horaces manifesto in sat. 2, 1, 1 ff., which served as a model for Pers. 1 (cf. also
5, 1 ff.) and Iuv. 1; see Rudd, pp. 124 ff. Propertius declares that he has not the
ability to write epic, but, if that were his gift, he would not sing of mythological
themes, but of the deeds of Caesar (2, 1, 17 ff.). Traces of this conception are to be
found also in Ovid (am. 1, 1 ff.), and even Statius could consider the mythological
themes of epic rather trite, referring to Troys fall, the straying of Odysseus and
the journey of the Argonauts as trita vatibus orbita (silv. 2, 7, 48 ff.; wisely, he
omits mention of the Theban cycle and of Achilles).
Martial, like Juvenal later on, adopts a more aggressive attitude towards
higher poetry, not that which deals with historical themes (Martial praises the
works of Lucan as well as those of Silius2), but that which extends over an intolerable number of books, crowded with mythology and obscure allusions. His principal argument is not that he is unable to write in the loftier genre; he does not ask
the reader to overlook any inability on his part but straightforwardly attacks those
who write in the genre of mythological epic as well as tragedy. In more than one
epigram, he lists the subjects which he find most detestable: the stories of Tereus,
Polyphemus (4, 49), Daedalus and Icarus (4, 49; 10, 4), Medea (5, 53; 10, 35) and
Colchian witches in general (10, 4), Niobe, Andromache, Deucalion, Phaethon (5,
53), and, what appears to be his favourite target, Thyestes (4, 49; 5, 53; 10, 4; 10,
35). The subject of Troy he speaks of only in the present epigram (while it occurs
in similar contexts elsewhere, for example, Prop. 2, 1, 14), and that of the giants
and the Gigantomachy, alluded to in line 6, is otherwise mentioned only in 11, 52,
On the phenomenon, see W. Wimmel, Kallimachos in Rom, Hermes Einzelschriften 16, Wiesbaden
1960, mainly dealing with the Augustan poets.
For Martials relation to Silius Italicus, see H. Szelest, Martial und Silius Italicus, Aus der
altertumswissenschaftlichen Arbeit Volkspolens, hrgb. von J. Irmscher und K. Kumaniecki, Berlin 1959,
pp. 7380, and pp. 78 ff. in particular. On Martials relation to mythology, see also F. Corsaro, Il mondo
del mito negli Epigrammaton libri di Marziale, SicGymn 26 (1973), pp. 171205; H. Szelest, Die
Mythologie bei Martial, Eos 62 (1974), pp. 297310.


17, a line slightly criticizing the poets friend Iulius Cerealis, who wrote a Gigantomachy. The mythological motives were all too artificial and divorced from reality and also indicated a certain snobbery on the part of the writer as well as the
reader (cf. 4, 49, 9 f. Illa [sc. epic] tamen laudant omnes, mirantur, adorant. |
Confiteor: laudant illa, sed ista (sc. epigram) legunt). Instead, Martial advises his
reader to read that of which possit dicere vita Meum est (10, 4, 8). Cf. also 10,
21; 14, 1, 11 f., and see also Courtneys introduction to Iuv. 1, 1 and J. W. H.
Atkins, Literary Criticism in Antiquity; A Sketch of its Development, vol. 2,
Graeco-Roman, London 1952, pp. 300 ff.
The reason for this hostile attitude is partly the fact that the popularity of the
mythological epic increased greatly during the Silver Age. Martial and Juvenal
lived at a time when nearly everybody seems to have composed tragedy and
mythological epic and recited it on every street corner and when one ran the risk
of having to listen to a Gigantomachy if one invited a friend to dinner (11, 52, 16
f.; see Iuv. 1, 1 ff.). But it is quite possible, even very probable, that there also
were personal reasons for Martials spitefulness.
It has long been held that Martial was not on friendly terms with Statius, the
foremost representative of the Silver Latin mythological epic, although the evidence brought forward for such an enmity is by no means conclusive (see Henriksn, Martial und Statius, pp. 81 f.). However, there are some indications that, at
least in 94, there was some kind of quarrel between the two poets, as Martial also
in 9, 81 defends himself against a certain poet (quidam poeta), who finds fault
with him because his poems are less elaborate. Both 9, 81 and particularly the
present poem are very personal in tone, rancorously defensive, and aimed at a
specific person, not at mythological epic in general. It is therefore reasonable to
assume that Gaurus and the quidam poeta of 9, 81 are one and the same person.
Although there is no clue to the identity of Martials slanderer in 9, 81, it is nonetheless clear that his criticism of Martial is such as would have been brought up
by a representative of higher poetry. In the case of the present epigram, it appears that Martial did in fact provide a hint by choosing the name Gaurus; in his
commentary on line 3, Friedlnder suggested that this particular name was selected because there is a mountain ridge called Gaurus in Campania, the home
district of Statius (cf. also Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 2, pp. 247 f.), and that
accordingly the epic poet was the particular target of this epigram. The theory of a
quarrel in 94 is further supported by the fact that Statius in the preface of Silvae 4
(published in 95) defends himself against his own slanderers, qui reprehenderunt,
ut audio, quod hoc stili genus (sc. lighter poetry) edidissem; a couple of lines
below, he says: quisquis ex meis invitus aliquid legit, statim se profiteatur adversum. Ita quare consilio eius accedam? In summam, nempe ego sum qui traducor:
taceat et gaudeat. It is quite likely that this criticism came partly from Martial (cf.
D. W. T. C. Vessey, Statius and the Thebaid, Cambridge 1973, p. 40; Coleman, p.
The reason for the bitter feeling which surfaces in the passages mentioned is
certainly to be sought in the competition for literary patronage. This was of vital
importance both to Martial and to Statius, who, unlike Seneca, Lucan, Silius and
Valerius Flaccus, did not belong to the senatorial class and had no substantial
family fortune on which to fall back. But the Silver Age lacked a Maecenas, and


the generous climate enjoyed by the Augustan poets had changed (cf. 8, 55, 5; 1,
107), preparing the ground for fierce competition for the favour of those patrons
who could still be found. As long as Statius worked on the Thebaid (which was
published in 91 or 92), he may have competed with Martial for the favour of the
emperor and perhaps of certain wealthy patrons. But as, towards the end of the
eighties, he began to write occasional poems, the competition would have hardened drastically. Not only did Statius enter a field which Martial no doubt considered his own, but he also addressed patrons whom Martial had been courting for
several years. This competition may account for the rancorous attitude of the present poem and 9, 81 and of Statius defence of his Silvae in the preface to Book 4,
which were all written about the same time. See further Henriksn, Martial und
Statius, pp. 111 ff.
Note Martials contrasting of great and small throughout the epigram. Having
been charged with having an ingenium pusillum, he likens his poetry to small
works of art, whereas Gaurus, who wants to be considered a magnus homo, produces a luteus Gigas. Martial uses the same contrast elsewhere; cf., for example,
1, 9; 3, 62, 7 f.
1. Gaure: as suggested by Friedlnder, Martial probably chose this name as a
guarded allusion to Statius (see the introduction above). If Martial wanted to attack Statius, according to his principles (see note on 9, 40, 1 Diodorus), he could
naturally not do so openly and would probably not want to; it was a tradition not
to mention a rival or enemy by name, lest he should be remembered by posterity
(see Sullivan, Martial, p. 125).
Martial uses the name Gaurus also in 2, 89; 4, 67; 5, 82; and 8, 27, none of
which have anything in common with the present poem; the Gaurus of 2, 89 is
said, it is true, to write poems Musis et Apolline nullo, but since that is not the
main theme of the poem, it is not enough to connect that Gaurus with the present
probas: the word is perhaps best taken in a conative sense = probare studes,
you try to demonstrate (see Khner-Stegmann 1, 31, 8, pp. 120 f.).
pusillum: the word is rarely found in poetry in general (Catull. 37, 16; 54, 1;
Hor. sat. 1, 4, 17; 5, 69; Ov. rem. 730; Priap. 14, 6; Iuv. 10, 121; 14, 29; 15, 70)
but is rather frequent in Martial, who has 11 instances (also 1, 9, 2; 3, 42, 3; 3,
47, 4; 3, 62, 8; 4, 43, 9; 5, 82, 4; 7, 55, 6; 10, 98, 9; 12 praef.; 14, 10, 1). Its tone
is colloquial, and it is used with regard to intellectual capacities also in Sen.
benef. 2, 27, 1; Hor. sat. 1, 4, 17 f. animus pusillus (see Citroni and Howell respectively on 1, 9, 2).
2. brevitate: one of the chief aims of the epigrammatist was placere brevitate, as
opposed to the long works of the epic poets; cf., for example, 8, 29; AP 9, 342
(Parmenion); 9, 369 (Cyrillus) (see Howell [Commentary on Book 1], pp. 8 f.;
Atkins, loc. cit.). Martial thought brevity essential in composing books as well as
epigrams (4, 29, 7 f.), but it is worth noting that he himself was subject to contemporary criticism for making his epigrams too long, as appears from the poems

written to rebut such charges (1, 110; 2, 77; 3, 83; 6, 65; 10, 59; see H. Szelest,
Ut faciam breviora mones epigrammata, Corde Eine Martial-Studie, Philologus 124 [1980], pp. 99108).
3. bis senis libris: Friedlnders suggestion that the specific mention of twelve
books alludes to Statius Thebaid is not conclusive, as twelve books is the ideal
length of an epic work. The fact that Vergils Aeneid, the prime model of epic
works in Latin, is divided into twelve books (half of the twenty-four books each of
the Iliad and the Odyssey corresponding to the letters of the Greek alphabet) has
certainly played a part.
3 f. grandia ... Priami proelia: grandia is, of course, ironical. On Martials
criticism of the mythological subject-matter of epic, see the introduction above.
Apart from the Ilias Latina and Book 2 of Vergils Aeneis, the Trojan war was
treated in Latin by Lucan (Iliacon), Petronius (Troiae Halosis) and the emperor
Nero (Troica; cf. 9, 26 intro. and see Sullivan, Nero, pp. 88 ff.), none of which
has been preserved, except for a handful of lines from the works of Lucan and
magnus homo es: cf. 2, 32, 2 and see note on 9, 53, 2.
5 f. Bruti puerum Giganta: Martial adopts a metaphor from sculptural art,
likening his own poetry to art on the smaller scale, and introducing a giant in the
next line as a symbol of mythological epic.
Bruti puerum: the words allude to a statuette of a boy, famous as having been
a favourite with Brutus the Tyrannicide. It was quite small and is mentioned in
this capacity by Martial also in 2, 77, 4, in a context similar to the present. There
is also a distich on a clay copy of it in the Apophoreta (14, 171
fictile; see Leary, ad loc.).
Pliny (nat. 34, 82) ascribes the statuette to the sculptor Strongylion, active towards the end of the 5th and at the beginning of the 4th century BC. He was
probably an Athenian, as two of his works were put up on the Acropolis (a
wooden horse [in the temple of Artemis Brauronia] and a bull), and as he also
furnished the cult statue of Artemis Soteira for Megara, Athens ally. Together
with Cephisodotus and Olympiosthenes, he sculpted a group of Muses placed on
Mt. Helicon and is also known to have made a sculpture of an Amazon, which
was in the possession of Nero, presumably a statuette, as the emperor used to have
it carried in his suite (see Lippold in RE 2:4, s.v. Strongylion 372 ff.).


Langona: the allusion here is obscure, since there is no unquestionable mention of a statue called Langon anywhere; the word langon itself is equally unattested in Latin, and the sole passage which could offer an explanation involves
textual problems. In nat. 34, 79, Pliny gives a list of famous sculptors and their
works: Lycius fecit puerum sufflantem languidos ignes et Argonautas
Leochares aquilam Autolycum pancratii victorem Iovemque item Apollinem diadematum, Lyciscum mangonem, puerum subdolae ac fucatae vernilita20

tis, Lycius et ipse puerum suffitorem. This is the text printed in the Teubner edition by Iahn & Mayhoff (Leipzig 1897), which follows the reading of the B-manuscript, the 10th century Bamberg MS which is an authority for the later books of
Pliny. However, all other MSS offer Luciscus langonem (or Lyciscus lag-; see the
apparatus by Iahn & Mayhoff) for Lyciscum mangonem; the adoption of this
reading, along with a slight alteration of the punctuation, would give Lyciscus (sc.
fecit) Langonem, puerum subdolae ac fucatae vernilitatis, which (as recognized
by Iahn & Mayhoff) would fit in well with the present line.
Friedlnder found it less likely that the passage from Pliny is of any relevance
here, rejecting earlier attempts to recognize in Langon the name of the Bruti puer,
as the latter statuette is known to have been made by Strongylion, not by a Lyciscus (cf. Lippold in RE 13, s.v. Lykiskos 7, 2296). Heraeus joined him in this view,
but he also demonstrated that the significance of langon is layabout, the word
being a transcription of Gr.
; cf. Etymologicum magnum 554, 14
and see W. Heraeus, Varia, RhM
54 (1899), pp. 309 f. Now Plinys description of the statuette as puer subdolae ac
in the above sense,2
fucatae vernilitatis does not seem inappropriate of a
and it is tempting to adopt the reading of the inferior MSS and translate the passage from Pliny thus: Lyciscus made Langon, a boy of deceitful and deceiving
impudence. Moreover, the subdola ac fucata vernilitas would be fittingly applied
to Martials epigrams and, hence, the Langon would be an appropriate representative of his writing. This would also imply that Martial in the present line mentions two works of art, the Boy of Brutus and the Langon of Lyciscus.




6. Giganta: the giant is introduced here as a representative of the cumbrous epic.

Martials friend Iulius Cerealis wrote a Gigantomachy (see the introduction
above), and the young Ovid also had plans to write such a work; cf. Ov. am. 2, 1,
11 ff. (with Booths note); Waser in RE Suppl. 3, s.v. Giganten, 658.
The Gigas luteus is strangely reminiscent of the statues with feet of clay in
Daniel 14, 6.

ODJJQ: one who immediately hides away from struggle and things causing fear.
Cf. W. Klein, Studien zur griechischen Knstlergeschichte, ArchaeologischEpigraphische Mittheilungen aus Oesterreich 7 (1883), pp. 6084; see p. 73 for the Langon.


Quod semper superos invito fratre rogasti,
hoc, Lucane, tibi contigit, ante mori.
Invidet ille tibi; Stygias nam Tullus ad umbras
optabat, quamvis sit minor, ire prior.
Tu colis Elysios nemorisque habitator amoeni
esse tuo primum nunc sine fratre cupis;
et si iam nitidis alternus venit ab astris,
pro Polluce mones Castora ne redeat.

An epigram on the death of Cn. Domitius Lucanus, elder brother of Cn. Domitius
Tullus, adoptive sons of Domitius Afer the orator.1 They were enormously rich
and had notable political influence; from a plebeian family they became patricians
by 74, suffect consuls around 79 (Tullus perhaps for a second time about 98), and,
later on, proconsuls of Africa,2 and Martial did his best to draw their attention to
his poetry, approaching them with pieces flattering their mutual affection and
inseparability. That they exercised literary patronage is clear from 3, 20, where
Martials fellow Spaniard Canius Rufus, poet and historian, is described as being
in receipt of their support. It is, however, difficult to say whether Martial was as
successful as Rufus; perhaps the fact that he no longer addresses Tullus after the
present epigram is an indication that he was not or that his favour rested with
Lucanus. Anyhow, the Domitii were not likely to be easily captured by the flattery
of a poet; on the contrary, they were rather shrewd gentlemen, who did not refrain
from manipulating the will of Lucanus father-in-law for their own profit and, in
the case of Tullus, from encouraging legacy-hunters only to leave them completely
empty-handed.3 See further PIR2 D 167 and D 152 respectively; White, Aspects,
pp. 87 ff.; and the introductions to 1, 36 by Citroni and Howell.
The main theme in Martials poems mentioning the Domitii is their brotherly
pietas, which is the subject also of 1, 36 and 5, 28, 3 (in the latter, he talks of
them as the fratres Curvii, their full names being Cn. Domitius Afer Titus Marcellus Curvius Lucanus and Cn. Domitius Afer Titius Marcellus Curvius Tullus). 1,
36 is of special interest; in that epigram, Martial says that, if Lucanus and Tullus
were given the fate of Castor and Pollux, there would be a noble argument between them, as both would wish to be the first to die for his brother, so as to be
able, not to share life and death with the survivor but to say to him: Live on your
own time and live on mine too. When, some eight years later, Lucanus died,
Martial followed up 1, 36 with the present poem (which is the only source mentioning his death) as a natural sequel to the former. It is a poem not of compassion
and consolation, but of encouragement. Now, Lucanus has drawn the winning
ticket and died before his envious brother. But Lucanus is not treated as dead; he

Lucanus and Tullus were really the sons of Sex. Curvius, who was accused by Domitius Afer and condemned. Domitius then adopted them in 41 or 42 (18 years before his death [Plin. epist. 8, 18, 5], which
occurred in 59 [Tac. ann. 14, 19]).
See Syme, Tacitus, p. 4, n. 2; p. 69, n. 6.
When Tullus died in 1067, he left his entire fortune to his niece Domitia Lucilla; cf. the introduction to
9, 8 and see Howells introduction to 1, 36.


is mythologized, having become the counterpart of Castor, the one of the Dioscuri who was mortal (being the son of Tyndareus; cf. note on 9, 103, 2 alio ...
cycno). He dwells in the underworld and is now for the first time fully content
with being without his brother. And should he encounter Castor himself, stepping
down from heaven to change places with Pollux, he will exhort him not to return,
but to remain in the underworld, unselfishly granting his brother the privilege of
constantly being in heaven. The idea is the same as in 1, 36, 6; the will to sacrifice oneself for the other is greater with the Domitii than with the Dioscuri.
Martials emphasis on their mutual affection was not chosen at random; it was
certainly what the Domitii most wanted to hear. They apparently were anxious to
appear together; cf. the inscription from a road on their estate at Bomarzo, reading iter privatum duorum Domitiorum (CIL 11, 3042), and the stamps on the tiles
from their factory (ILS 86518651a). But even though Martial seems to have
pulled the right strings, he was probably not very successful in his flattery, at least
not after Lucanus death. As mentioned above, there are no subsequent epigrams
addressed to Tullus alone, in the same manner as Martial had addressed only
Lucanus in the humorous anecdote of 8, 75;1 perhaps Martial found Lucanus easier to get round than Tullus, which may be the reason why the death of the former
put an end to his poetic advances.
3. Stygias umbras: so ; undas O, It. vg., see Heraeus apparatus. The juncture Stygia unda is the commoner,2 hence the MSS often disagree as to which of
the variants should be read. Of the six instances of Stygiae undae/umbrae in Martial, two have been transmitted only with umbrae (1, 101, 5 and 1, 114, 5), one
with undae (6, 58, 3), and the rest (apart from the present also 11, 84, 1 and 12,
90, 3) with both variants. The confusion also extends to expressions like infernas
sub umbras (11, 69, 11; cf. Heraeus apparatus and Kay, ad loc.).
In the present case, undas was printed by the editors up to Lindsay, who introduced umbras in the text. The word has been kept by Heraeus and Shackleton
Bailey, although there are no means of judging between the two readings in Martial, except perhaps for the fact that there are two transmissions of umbrae without
variants and only one with undae. Heraeus in his apparatus compares the unanimously transmitted 1, 36, 5 infernas ad umbras (to which add 4, 16, 5), which,
however, is not a direct parallel, since infernus does not have the notion of water,
as Stygius has; moreover, the expression infernae umbrae has, as mentioned
above, also been transmitted with the variant undae in 11, 69, 11. Better support
is to be found in Ov. met. 1, 139 Stygiisque umbris; Sil. 5, 597 Stygiave sub
umbra; 9, 45 Stygia umbra; 13, 784 Stygia in umbra; Stat. Theb. 11, 85
Stygiis in umbris; silv. 3, 5, 37 Stygias ad umbras; Ach. 1, 630 Stygiasque

Groag (PIR2 D 152) is doubtful whether the Lucanus of 8, 75 is Domitius Lucanus, but his doubts have
not met with undivided approval either from White (op. cit., p. 88) or from Howell; in the index nominum
of Heraeus as well as of Shackleton Bailey, the Lucanus of 8, 75 is listed as identical with Domitius Lucanus.
Cf. Verg. Aen. 3, 215; 6, 385; 7, 773; 12, 91; Aetna 79; Hor. carm. 2, 20, 8; Prop. 2, 34, 53; 3, 18, 9;
Ov. epist. 16, 211; ars 2, 41; met. 2, 101; 3, 272; 10, 697; 11, 500; trist. 1, 2, 65; 5, 9, 19; Pont. 2, 3, 43;
Lucan. 6, 749; Sil. 2, 706; 15, 43.


ad umbras, all unanimously transmitted. It is noteworthy that all the instances,

with the exception of Ovid, are to be found in Silver Latin.
5. Elysios: sc. campos. Elysii elliptical also in Lucan. 6, 699, Stat. Theb. 4, 482;
perhaps also in Serv. georg. 1, 39 sequi curet Proserpina matrem ad admirationem Elysiorum posuit. Heraeus in his apparatus also produces a number of
instances of the elliptical Elysii from the CLE.
nemorisque habitator amoeni: the grove, like the brook and the grotto, is one
of the features of the locus amoenus; see Curtius, pp. 199 ff.; Bmer on Ov. fast.
2, 315; Nisbet & Hubbard on Hor. carm. 2, 3, pp. 52 f., with further references.
For the probable source of this expression, see Verg. Aen. 6, 673 ff. (Anchises is
speaking) nulli certa domus; lucis habitamus opacis, | riparumque toros et prata
recentia rivis | incolimus; for groves in Elysium in general, cf. Verg. Aen. 6, 639;
Ov. am. 2, 6, 49; Sen. Herc. f. 744; Tro. 158.
Nemoris habitator is a singular juncture.
7. nitidis astris: astra should perhaps be taken as referring to the actual stars
(viz. the constellation of Gemini; see Ov. fast. 5, 693720 with Bmer) rather
than to the heavens as the abode of the gods.
The juncture nitida astra is to be found only in Martial (also 8, 36, 7) and Statius (silv. 1, 2, 147; 2, 1, 94).
alternus: predicative, with the force of an adverb, in his turn. The adjective
is frequently used in connection with the Dioscuri in the role referred to here; cf.
10, 51, 2; Verg. Aen. 6, 121; Ciris 397; Ov. fast. 5, 719; Sil. 9, 295; 13, 805; cf.
TLL, s.v. 1754, 70 ff.
8. pro Polluce mones Castora: Friedlnder punctuates pro Polluce, mones ,
which makes no great difference to the meaning, since it is still Castor who comes
from the heavens to relieve Pollux. The present punctuation, preferred by Schneidewin, Gilbert, Lindsay, Heraeus and Shackleton Bailey, implies that Lucanus is
an example for Castor, thereby exhorting him not to return to heaven, but to let
Pollux take over also his share of days on Olympus. Thus, the love of Lucanus for
Tullus is even greater than that of Castor for Pollux.


Si credis mihi, Quinte, quod mereris,
natales, Ovidi, tuas Aprilis
ut nostras amo Martias Kalendas.
Felix utraque lux diesque nobis
signandi melioribus lapillis!
Hic vitam tribuit, sed hic amicum.
Plus dant, Quinte, mihi tuae Kalendae.

This epigram, like its humorous sequel 9, 53, is written to Martials close friend
Quintus Ovidius on his birthday, the 1st of April. In its humble plainness, it is
perhaps the most sincere declaration of friendship among the poems to Ovidius
(see note on lines 1 f. below), although the idea of the birthday of a friend or patron as equally or even more sacred than ones own appears to have been something of a commonplace; it is expressed, for reasons similar to Martials, by Horace on the birthday of Maecenas (carm. 4, 11, 17 f. iure sollemnis mihi sanctiorque | paene natali proprio) and later by Pliny (epist. 6, 30, 1) and Censorinus
(3, 5 f.); cf. also Marcus Aurelius letter on Frontos birthday (Fronto p. 43, 10 ff.
van den Hout 1954), and see K. Argetsinger, Birthday Rituals: Friends and Patrons in Roman Poetry and Cult, ClAnt 11 (1992), pp. 175193 (pp. 176179
particularly). For other birthday poems in Martial, cf. 3, 6; 4, 1; 9, 39; 12, 60; see
also the poems on Argentaria Pollas celebration of the birthday of her late husband Lucan (7, 2123). On the birthday in antiquity, see W. Schmidt, Geburtstag
im Altertum, Gieen 1908.
All the information supplied by Martial himself indicates that he was really
born on the first of March. In 12, 60, 1 f., he explicitly says so: Martis alumne
dies, roseam quo lampada primum | magnaque siderei vidimus ora dei; elsewhere, he mentions that day as his natales Kalendae (10, 24, 1) or as meae
Kalendae (10, 92, 10); the Kalends of March was also the day when Martial expected (the fictitious) Sextilianus to present him with a toga (10, 29, 3). However,
the fact that a couple of other birthdays are mentioned by Martial as being on the
Kalendsbesides that of Q. Ovidius also that of the lawyer Restitutus (10, 87, 1
f.)made H. Lucas suspect that it was customary to celebrate a persons birthday
not on the birthday itself, but on the Kalends of the month in which one was born
(H. Lucas, Martials Kalendae nataliciae, CQ 32 [1938], pp. 56). As Lucas
acknowledges, the evidence only of the present epigram and 10, 87 is not enough
to support such a thesis, as it may still be a matter of coincidence. But Lucas finds
support for his theory in 8, 64, in which a certain Clytus wants as many opportunities as possible to demand presents: Ut poscas, Clyte, munus exigasque, | uno
nasceris octiens in anno | et solas, puto, tresve quattuorve | non natalicias habes
Kalendas (8, 64, 14). The fact that Martial here mentions the Kalends proves,
according to Lucas, that birthdays were celebrated on that day;1 the reason would
be the religious and commercial significance of the Kalends, which was sacred to

There seems to be nothing to support Lucas statement that This was either on the first of the month in
which the birthday fell or else on the first of the month following.


Juno, the guardian of birth, and on which there was greater license in spending
money; for the latter reason, the celebration of ones birthday on the Kalends
might result in greater heaps of presents.
The first objection to this theory is self-evident, as it seems rather absurd that
the birthdaycelebrations of the whole of Rome would have been limited to twelve
days only; if that were the case, those with even a limited circle of acquaintances
would surely know some persons whose birthdays fell in the same month and had
to be celebrated on the same day. Moreover, Martial, on whose evidence Lucas
bases his thesis, mentions the birthday of Marcellinus father as falling on the
18th of May, the day on which it was apparently also celebrated: Lux tibi post Idus
numeratur tertia Maias, | Marcelline, tuis bis celebranda sacris (3, 6, 1 f.).
A further and perhaps more important counter-argument against Lucas thesis
is provided by inscriptions recording a persons donation of funds for the celebration of his or her birthday (even after his or her death): from these inscriptions, it
is apparent that the donor wanted the celebrations to take place on the actual
birthday, cf., for example, CIL 10, 5849 iussit XII K. Octobr. die natalis sui
sportulas item populo fieri; 10, 4736; 10, 5654. Other literary sources also argue
against Lucas theory, for example, Hor. carm. 4, 11, 1420, in which Maecenas
is said to reckon his years from the Idus ... | qui dies mensem Veneris marinae |
findit Aprilem, and Ov. ars 1, 405 ff., where the poet advises against making an
approach on days when one is expected to bring a present: Sive dies suberit natalis, sive Kalendae, | quas Venerem Marti continuasse iuvat, differ opus.
Here, the birthday in contrasted with the Kalends of April (on which women apparently received presents; see Hollis, ad loc.). Similar to this instance is Prop. 4,
5, 35 f., where slaves, in order that their mistress may receive presents, are told to
put it into the lovers head that it will soon be the Kalends of April or that the
mistress has her birthday on the Ides of May.
To sum up, the evidence of Roman birthday celebrations indicates that these
took place on the actual birthday, and the fact that Martials and Ovidius birthdays, as well as that of Restitutus, were on the Kalends should be considered a
coincidence; in the case of Ovidius, such a coincidence might perhaps have acted
as a stimulus to Martial to stress the Kalends in the present epigram. 8, 64, it is
true, calls for an explanation. In this case, it would seem to be most natural to
accept that of Lucas: Clytus chose to celebrate his fictitious birthdays on the
Kalends, as this, he hoped, would result in his getting more presents. But this was
a device solely of Clytus, and is not to be regarded as common practice; for the
trick of faking a birthday to get presents, cf., for example, Ov. ars 1, 430;
Schmidt, op. cit., p. 29.
1. Si credis mihi: a modest variant of the more straightforward (and commoner)
crede mihi (cf. note on 9, 41, 3), usually with the addition of quid sim., as in Ov.
trist. 3, 4, 3 usibus edocto si quicquam credis amico; 5, 4, 23; Pont. 1, 5, 9 (1, 6,
19); Iuv. 10, 67; Sen. epist. 64, 2; 96, 2; 119, 9; Plin. epist. 7, 17, 7; 10, 26, 2 (but
crede mihi only 7, 31, 7); Fronto p. 128, 12; p. 167, 17 van den Hout 1954.
1 f. Quinte | Ovidi: a very dear friend of Martial, who is the only source of
our knowledge of Ovidius. Appearing in another eight epigrams ranging from

Book 13 to Book 10, he was the poets neighbour at Nomentum, where apparently
he grew wine, cf. 1, 105 and 13, 119. 9, 98 is a humorous piece on a miserable
vintage. Martial much admired the decision of Ovidius to accompany his patron
Caesonius Maximus, who had been exiled by Nero in 65, to Sicily (see 7, 44 and
45). 7, 93 is a poem addressed to the city of Narnia in Umbria, reproaching it for
keeping Ovidius away from Nomentum (and Martial) all too often. Ovidius may
have had some special connection with the town; perhaps it was his home-town,
as it was Nervas. In 10, 44, Martial advises the ageing Ovidius against going on
a journey with a friend to Britain. Thereafter, nothing more is heard of him.
For a similar spreading of a name over the two opening lines, cf. 7, 97, 1 f.
Nosti si bene Caesium, libelle, | montanae decus Umbriae Sabinum.
3. nostras Martias Kalendas: see the introduction above.
5. melioribus lapillis: the well-known habit of marking a happy day with a white
mark was, according to Plin. nat. 7, 131, derived from the Thracian custom of
putting stones of different colours, corresponding to the experience of each day,
into an urn. As regards the Romans, however, it was probably originally nothing
more than a way of marking the calendar (see Nisbet & Hubbard on Hor. carm. 1,
36, 10). The day was marked with chalk (Hor. carm. 1, 36, 10) or a small white
stone (Catull. 68, 148; Mart. 12, 34, 5; Plin. epist. 6, 11, 3), even with a pearl
(Mart. 10, 38, 4; Stat. silv. 4, 6, 18) or a gem (Mart. 8, 45, 2; 11, 36, 1); cf. Otto,
s.v. calculus, pp. 64 f.
The expression melior lapillus is found only here and in Pers. 2, 1, from which
Martial has apparently taken it over (cf. Kiel, ad loc.).
6. hic hic: for the usual hic ille. This repetition of the same pronoun with
explicit reference to two different things is of colloquial origin and appears already in Plautus. It was introduced into higher poetry by Vergil (ecl. 4, 56), under
whose influence it was adopted also by Tacitus (see HofmannSzantyr, 105 a,
Zus. , p. 181). In Martial, cf. also 11, 81: Cum sene communem vexat spado
Dindymus Aeglen, | | viribus hic, operi non est hic utilis annis | | Supplex
illa rogat pro se miserisque duobus, | hunc iuvenem facias, hunc, Cytherea,


Natali tibi, Quinte, tuo dare parva volebam
munera; tu prohibes: inperiosus homo es.
Parendum est monitis, fiat quod uterque volemus
et quod utrumque iuvat: tu mihi, Quinte, dato.
Martial wanted to give Q. Ovidius some presents on his birthday, the Kalends of
April (see 9, 52), but Ovidius, in a fit of modesty, would not accept them. Ovidius
had probably expected to be pressed, but instead Martial takes the opportunity of
pulling his friends leg: he has to obey Ovidius wish, and thus it is better that
Ovidius should give presents to Martial, for the poet enjoys getting them just as
much as his friend enjoys giving them. Herein lies a small lesson in friendship: it
is unjust of Ovidius to prevent Martial from giving him presents, for to a friend it
is worth just as much to be able to give as to receive.
The epigram is placed immediately after 9, 52, the warmhearted poem on
Ovidius birthday, and although it may be read by itself, it loses much of its effect
if detached from its context. Such coupled epigrams are common in Martial, and
often, one must imagine that something has occurred between the composition of
the two epigrams (commonly some kind of reaction to the former), causing Martial to write a second epigram in reply to the reaction; see the introduction, vol. 1,
p. 20.
On birthday presents in Rome, see Schmidt, Geburtstag, p. 29 (where, apparently, he is wrong about Pers. 1, 16; see Kiel, ad loc.). In 10, 87, 8 ff., Martial
has a list of exclusive birthday presents which would become the lawyer Restitutus, such as Tyrian mantles, evening dresses, genuine sardonyxes, embossed work
by Phidias, hares, kids and fish. Mantles occur again in this context in 7, 86, 7 ff.,
together with Spanish silver and a toga.
2. inperiosus homo es: Martial is fond of this structure in the second hemiepes of
the pentameter; cf. in particular 1, 73, 4 ingeniosus homo es; 1, 107, 2 desidiosus
homo es; 5, 82, 4 Gaure: pusillus homo es; 10, 88, 2 officiosus homo es; 12, 64, 2
Cinna, gulosus homo es; cf. also 1, 9, 2; 1, 67, 2; 2, 32, 2; 4, 83, 4; 5, 61, 8; 9, 41,
10; 9, 50, 4; and 9, 63, 2.
4. tu mihi, Quinte, dato: for the structure, cf. 2, 61, 6; 3, 60, 2; 13, 126, 2; and
14, 25, 2.


Si mihi Picena turdus palleret oliva,
tenderet aut nostras silva Sabina plagas,
aut crescente levis traheretur harundine praeda
pinguis et inplicitas virga teneret aves:
cara daret sollemne tibi cognatio munus,
nec frater nobis nec prior esset avus.
Nunc sturnos inopes fringuillarumque querellas
audit et arguto passere vernat ager;
inde salutatus picae respondet arator,
hinc prope summa rapax miluus astra volat.
Mittimus ergo tibi parvae munuscula chortis:
qualia si recipis, saepe propinquus eris.


The Caristia or cara cognatio (see below on line 5) was a family celebration falling on the 22nd of February, on the day after the Feralia, the feast in memory of
the dead. On this day, which was not an official festival day but a feria privata
(Fest. p. 242), the members of each family got together for a feast, for which everyone brought a certain amount of food and drink. As indicated by the present
epigram, it was customary also to send food for this feast to friends. Cf. also Ov.
fast. 2, 617638 (with Bmers note on 617); Val. Max. 2, 1, 8; Wissova in RE 3,
s.v. Caristia.
In this epigram, Martial regrets that he cannot provide the unnamed addressee
(who is probably the same as in the following poem, viz. Flaccus; see note on line
5 below) with a munus solemne, i.e. a thrush, which obviously would be a suitable
gift on the Caristia (cf. 9, 55, 1). But Martial has no means of breeding thrushes,
nor are there any wildfowl for him to catch, as his farm is not in the Sabine
woodland, but at Nomentum, where there are no edible birds at all, except for
those of the poultry yard. Thus, he will be giving a chicken.
Note the chiastic structure of the epigram: Martial begins by talking of bred
birds, and then turns to wild fowl; when in line 7 he gets on to the conditions at
Nomentum, he first mentions wild birds and then ends by talking of bred birds,
those of his poultry yard.
1. Picena oliva: the olives of Picenum were, along with those of Sidicini, the
best in Italy; cf. Plin. nat. 15, 16. Martial mentions them often; thus in 1, 43, 8; 4,
46, 12; 4, 88, 7; 5, 78, 20; 7, 53, 5; 11, 52, 11 (with Kays note); and 13, 36, 1.
turdus: in Rome as in Greece, the thrush was reckoned to be one of the most
delicious birds; Martial considered the thrust a mattea prima (13, 92) and mentions it also in 2, 40, 3; 3, 47, 10; 3, 58, 26; 3, 77, 1; 4, 66, 6; 6, 11, 3; 6, 75, 1; 7,
20, 6; 9, 55, 1 and 8; 11, 21, 5; and 13, 51. Besides being caught in the wild (see
below), there were also special turdaria for their breeding. These could be found
in Rome as well as in the countryside, especially in the Sabine land, which by its
nature was particularly suitable for thrushes and where the bird was found in large
numbers (Varro rust. 3, 4, 2). It was also wise to locate breeding in the same area

as birds were caught, as thrushes often died during transport in small cages
(Colum. 8, 10, 1), so presumably Martial, in mentioning the bred thrush and, in
the following line, the catching of birds in the Sabine woods, wants to contrast his
own farm at Nomentum with one in the Sabine land (see further Keller, Tierwelt
2, pp. 76 ff.; Ihm in RE 5, s.v. Drossel 1721 ff.).
Thrushes were normally bred on a mixture of figs and spelt, but it appears that
olives were their preferred food, which perhaps also made the meat paler and
more delicate; cf. Calp. ecl. 3, 48 non sic destricta macrescit turdus oliva; Auson.
25, 16, 1 f. Prete (perhaps in dependence on this epigram) Qualis Picenae populator turdus olivae | clunes opimat cereas; Athen. 2, 68 Kaibel

.1 The Byzantine Geoponica (14, 24, 6) mentions olives as food for
thrushes. Difference in taste due to variation in food was presumed, for example,
in boars (see note on 9, 14, 3 Aprum).










palleret: Friedlnder assumed that this refers to the colour of the meat turning
paler when the bird was fed on olives, which would seem to be correct with reference to the quotation from Ausonius above.
2. tenderet silva Sabina plagas: thrushes, like other birds and prey, could
be caught by using nets (cf. 2, 40, 3; 3, 58, 26; 11, 21, 5) fastened to trees (or to
poles, see Blmner, Privataltertmer, pp. 517 ff.; 526); cf. Ov. ars 1, 47 Aucupibus noti frutices; met. 11, 73 (laqueos) quos callidus abdidit auceps (with
On the frequency of thrushes in the Sabine land, cf. note on line 2 above.
3 f. crescente harundine | pinguis virga: another way of catching birds
was by using reeds, harundines aucupatoriae (cf. TLL, s.v. harundo 2543, 37 ff.),
at the end of which was fastened a rod (viscum) smeared with birdlime prepared
from mistletoe, here referred to as the sticky rod. Two or more reeds could be
joined to increase the range of the device, hence crescente; cf. also 14, 216; Sil. 7,
677; Val. Fl. 6, 261 ff. The bird got stuck on the limed rod and could thus be
pulled in by the birdcatcher (as suggested by traho); see K. Linder, Beitrge zu
Vogelfang und Falknerei im Altertum, Berlin 1973, pp. 19 ff.
levis praeda: also of the nymph Pholoe hunted by Pan in Stat. silv. 2, 3,
5. cara: cara , Care T. The reading of T was preferred by earlier editors, and
Friedlnder identified the Carus thus obtained with the winner in the Alban
games of 9, 23, although there is nothing to argue for an identification between
the two (cf. note on 9, 23, 2 Carus). Lindsay introduced cara into the text, which
is obviously correct, as the Caristia is elsewhere referred to as cara cognatio (cf.
Pol. Silv. fast. Febr. 22; Tert. idol. 10; Menol. Colot. Febr. [CIL 12, p. 280]; Vall.

Syracusans call thrushes kichelae. Thus Epicharmus: kichelae, too, which like to eat the olives.
Translation by Gulick, Loeb.


Febr. [CIL, loc. cit]; CIL 6, 10234, 13; TLL, s.v. cognatio 1478, 50 ff.). This
leaves the epigram without an explicit addressee, but it seems safe to assume that
the poem is addressed to the same person as in 9, 55, viz. Martials friend and
patron Flaccus (see note on 9, 33, 1).1 Obviously, the two epigrams form a couple
of the kind serious epigram followed by humorous epigram on the same theme
and with the same addressee, which can be observed elsewhere in Martial (see 9,
53 intro.). Hence, the addressee is likely to have been the same person.
7. sturnos inopes: useless starlings. Even though the bird is mentioned as edible (its meat, however, being difficult to digest, see Anthim. 26), the Romans do
not seem to have cared for it as food; it was prescribed, though, for certain diseases (Philum. med. 2 p. 126, 8; Galen. 6, 435 K; see Steier in RE 2:3, s.v. Star
2150 f.). It is also possible that there is a notion of serving no good purpose,
inexpedient (for inops in this sense of things in nature, cf. TLL, s.v. 1755, 38 ff.),
because starlings in great numbers devastated the fields of corn and were a real
plague to farmers (cf. AP 7, 172 [Antipater of Sidon]; 9, 373 [Anonymous]). See
also F. Capponi, Ornithologia Latina, Genoa 1979, pp. 473 ff.
(for the differfringuillarumque querellas: fringuillarum ; fringillorum
ent forms, cf. Capponi, op. cit., p. 234; TLL, s.v. 1340, 21 ff.). The reading of
was introduced by Heraeus, who observed that the feminine form was preferred by
the authors (TLL, loc. cit.). The word is onomatopoetic (cf. fringultio, to twitter)
and probably refers to the chaffinch, which is seldom mentioned in literature (see
Capponi, op. cit., pp. 234 ff.; H. Gossen in RE Suppl. 8, s.v. Finken 12, 170; TLL,
loc. cit.). Querellae also of the croaking of the pica in 1, 53, 10.


8. arguto passere etc.: as observed by Siedschlag, Ovidisches, p. 160, the line is

presumably an adoption of Ov. trist. 3, 12, 8 indocilique loquax gutture vernat
avis. Like the starlings, sparrows in great numbers were a threat to the cornfields,
but, according to Anthim. 30, their meat was good and healthy to eat; cf. also
Athen. 2, 68 Kaibel. Mentioning them in this context, Martial (like the Romans in
general, perhaps, as there is no mention of the sparrow as food) would hardly
have shared this opinion (see Steier in RE 2:3, s.v. Sperling 1631 f.; Capponi, op.
cit., pp. 384 ff.).
The epithet argutus is not elsewhere applied to the sparrow, the song of which
is characterised by Catull. 3, 10 by the verb pipiare and by Suet. frg. 161 p. 254, 1
by the verb titiare; cf. TLL, s.v. passer 606, 32 ff.
9. salutatus picae respondet arator: the word pica was used by the Romans of
the magpie as well as of the jay, and it is often impossible to judge which bird is
meant. Both, again, are quite useless birds (cf. Martials disappointment at being
served a pica in 3, 60, 8), having the unpleasant call (1, 53, 10; Ov. met. 5, 678
rauca garrulitas) in common, but also the ability to imitate human speech (ibid.
299), which was much admired. Capponi (op. cit., p. 416) suggests, though, that

This suggestion was made by White, Dedication, p. 41, n. 4, although he also held open the possibility of
the addressee being the Ovidius of 9, 53 and, in fact, was doubtful about both.


the picae mentioned in Petronius and Martial (see below) are magpies, while
those appearing in Ovid (also met. 5, 299) are jays.
The pica seems to have been trained mostly to make salutations; cf. 7, 87, 6;
14, 76; Petron. 29, 1. The phenomenon was apparently common enough for Martial to talk jokingly of the pica here as being able to salute by nature, without any
training. Cf. also Plin. nat. 10, 118; Pers. pr. 9 (and see Kiels note); Stat. silv. 2,
4, 19; Keller, Tierwelt 2, pp. 112 f. Note also that the participle salutatus, like the
supine, always has this position in the hexameter.1
10. prope summa etc.: the line summarises two distinctive features of the kite,
which was proverbially greedy as well as an excellent flier; cf. Ov. am. 2, 6, 33 f.;
met. 2, 715 ff.; Pers. 4, 26; Plin. nat. 10, 28; Otto, s.v. milvus 1 and 4, pp. 222 f. It
was not hunted for food other than as a remedy for certain diseases (its liver was
considered effective against epilepsy [Plin. nat. 30, 92], ophthalmic diseases [ibid.
29, 125] and wryneck [ibid. 30, 110]), nor was its call a pleasure; Suet. loc. cit.
refers to it as lupire vel lugere. See also Capponi, op. cit., pp. 338 ff.; Steier in RE
2:3, s.v. Sperber 1619 ff.
The juncture summa astra is found only in Martial (only this occurrence) and
Statius (Theb. 10, 782; 12, 128; silv. 3, 4, 49).
miluus astra volat: milvus ad astra ; milvus in astra . Milvus was originally trisyllabic (for example, Plaut. Aul. 316) and retains this scansion in the
Augustan poets (for example, Hor. epod. 16, 32; epist. 1, 16, 51; always trisyllabic
in Ovid, except for hal. 95, at the verse-ending; cf. Bmer on met. 2, 716; see
TLL, s.v. 985, 44 ff.). The first instance in which the word is unquestionably disyllabic is Iuv. 9, 55; in late Latin, it reigns supreme (TLL, loc. cit.). The trisyllabic
scansion being prevalent in classical Latin, the prepositions ad and in have been
regarded as inserted by later interpolators, to whom the trisyllabic scansion was
unfamiliar; this is the case in Pers. 4, 26 dives arat Curibus quantum non miluus
errat, where later MSS offer the variant milvus oberrat (see Kiel, ad loc.).
The reading KGJQ U?Q DGPQR advocated in the present instance by A. Palmer
(Notes on Martial, Hermathena 21 [1895], p. 167), and printed by Heraeus and
Shackleton Bailey (referring to Housman, Versus Ovidi de piscibus et feris, CQ
1 [1907], pp. 275278 [= Class. pap., pp. 698701]). However, it has not been
universally accepted (see Kiel, loc. cit., and TLL, loc. cit.), and Martial, like
Juvenal, could presumably also have written milvus. In such a case, prope would
be an adverb and should be taken closely with hinc: at a close range from here,
the kite extends its flight up to the highest stars; cf. Ov. epist. 18, 50 Icarium
quamvis hinc prope litus abest!
If the reading milvus is accepted, we have also to judge between in astra and
ad astra. A prosodical investigation of the word astra in the same metrical position as here2 shows that, in all instances involving a verb of motion, astra is in the
majority of cases (12 instances) preceded by in, whereas ad appears in three inDJ

Cf. 1, 70, 1; 2, 18, 3 & 4; 5, 66, 1; Verg. Aen. 9, 288; Ov. fast. 4, 539; trist. 1, 3, 34; 3, 7, 1; Pont. 2, 7,
1; Stat. Theb. 4, 815; 7, 708; 12, 401; Achill. 1, 57; Iuv. 1, 116.
Based on all occurrences of the word in Bucolica Einsidlensia, Calpurnius Siculus, Catullus, Gaetulicus,
Martial, Ovid, Albinovanus Pedo, Persius, the Priapea, Propertius, and Tibullus.


stances (there is also one instance with sub).1 For want of other means of judging
between in and ad, in astra would be the safer reading here.
11. parvae munuscula chortis: Martial is referring to the poultry yard at his
Nomentan farm, and the munuscula would be chickens. Thus, his statement in 7,
31 that there were none at the farm should not be taken seriously, nor should his
constant complaints of its shortcomings in general (cf. 9, 18 intro.).
Note that Martial uses the form chors no less than six times, and always in the
sense of poultry yard (also 3, 58, 12; 7, 31, 1; 7, 54, 7; 11, 52, 14; 13, 54, 2);
the form cohors he has only once, in the sense of cohort (10, 48, 2). The contracted form is almost exclusively restricted to the sense of poultry yard (or
farmyard etc.), but it is extremely rare; see TLL, s.v. cohors 1549, 79 ff.
When Martial uses parvus and munusculum in the same context, the adjective
always, except here, accentuates the diminutive; see 5, 84, 7 munuscula parva; 7,
49, 1 parva suburbani munuscula ... horti; 7, 80, 5 parva tui munuscula ... amici .
12. saepe propinquus eris: you shall often be my relative, i.e., you will often
receive a present from me on the cara cognatio (cf. Friedlnder, ad loc.). For the
prosody, cf. Prop. 4, 1a, 14; Ov. trist. 3, 7, 24; 4, 4, 24; Pont. 2, 2, 104.

Luce propinquorum, qua plurima mittitur ales,
dum Stellae turdos, dum tibi, Flacce, paro,
succurrit nobis ingens onerosaque turba,
in qua se primum quisque meumque putat.
Demeruisse duos votum est; offendere plures
vix tutum; multis mittere dona grave est.
Qua possum sola veniam ratione merebor:
nec Stellae turdos nec tibi, Flacce, dabo.

The contents of this epigram are virtually the same as in the preceding poem
(which is presumably also addressed to Flaccus; cf. note on 9, 54, 5 cara), giving
the reason for Flaccus not getting any thrushes on the Caristia, although the reason here is quite different from that given in 9, 54: amidst Martials enthusiastic
preparations for sending thrushes to his patrons and close friends Stella and Flaccus, he comes to think of the huge and troublesome crowd of other patrons, each
and every one of whom believes himself to be Martials chief benefactor and most
appreciated supporter. Now, if Martial were to send thrushes only to Stella and
Flaccus, the others would take offence; sending thrushes to them all is out of the
question. Thus, his only way out of the difficulty is to send thrushes to no one.

in: Prop. 3, 18, 34; Mart. epigr. 1, 6; 16b, 2; 19, 2; 22, 6; 1, 3, 8; Ov. epist. 16, 72; fast. 2, 478; 3, 186; 3,
414; 3, 808; Pont. 2, 9, 62. ad: Mart. 11, 69, 6; Ov. fast. 3, 374; 4, 328. sub: Mart. 4, 75, 6. There are only
three instances in which astra is not preceded by a preposition, and none of these involves a verb of motion
(see Prop. 2, 32, 50; Epiced. Drusi. 256; Mart. 14, 124, 2).


Martial here refrains from mentioning the chicken which serves as a substitute
for the thrushes in 9, 54, 11, but it is doubtful whether this could be made into an
argument that 9, 54 is not addressed to Flaccus (see note on 9, 54, 5); the epigrams are too closely related in space and subject and, in a humorous and neatly
arranged piece such as this, the poet must allow himself a certain amount of artistic freedom to make it work. The epigram is just a joking excuse to Flaccus for not
giving him thrushes, and the addressee, being as close to the poet as Flaccus was,
would certainly take the epigram for what it was.
For similarly coupled epigrams in Martial, see the introductions to 9, 44 and
1. Luce propinquorum: i.e. the Caristia, see 9, 54 intro.
1 f. plurima ales | turdos: birds, and apparently thrushes in particular (see
note on 9, 54, 1 turdus), seem to have been customary gifts in the Caristia; cf. 9,
54 intro.
2. Stellae ... Flacce: Stella and Flaccus were two of Martials closest friends, and
apparently, they were also acquainted with each other. Both came from Patavium,
had the senatorial rank in common and both had some poetic interests and ambitions, though not above the amateur level; in public life, both made political careers. They are mentioned side by side also in 1, 61, 4 (as poets from the land of
Aponus) and 10, 48, 5, in a dinner invitation. For Flaccus, see further note on 9,
33, 1; on Stella, 9, 42 intro.
3. ingens onerosaque turba: the crowd of tiresome patrons, whom Martial cultivates out of necessity and not because he wants to. For the prosody, cf. 12, 28, 19;
Verg. Aen. 6, 325; 11, 34; 11, 372; Lucan. 4, 748; Stat. silv. 5, 1, 235.
4. primum ... meumque: the chief and my (particular) friend (cf. TLL, s.v.
meus 919, 31 f.). Shackleton Bailey, in his Loeb edition, takes this as a hendiadys,
translating my prime favourite and adding Lit. first and mine in a note. However, the word order rather suggests the former translation, which also was preferred by Ker in his Loeb.
6. grave est: the same verse-ending is found in 9, 68, 10; Ov. am. 2, 4, 6; trist. 4,
8, 4.
8. nec dabo: for the device of ending an epigram with a line similar to a line at
the beginning, see note on 9, 38, 10. Pentameters of the same structure as the
present are to be found in 3, 77, 2 and 4; 4, 83, 4.


Spendophoros Libycas domini petit armiger urbis:
quae puero dones tela, Cupido, para,
illa quibus iuvenes figis mollesque puellas:
sit tamen in tenera levis et hasta manu.
Loricam clipeumque tibi galeamque remitto;
tutus ut invadat proelia, nudus eat:
non iaculo, non ense fuit laesusve sagitta,
casside dum liber Parthenopaeus erat.
Quisquis ab hoc fuerit fixus, morietur amore.
O felix, si quem tam bona fata manent!
Dum puer es, redeas, dum vultu lubricus, et te
non Libye faciat, sed tua Roma virum.
Spendophoros, a young and beautiful slave, is following his master, presumably
an officer, to Africa as an armiger. But the service for which Spendophoros is
truly fitted is not that of conventional warfare; the arrows of Cupid are more apt
for him, and the less armour he wears, the better equipped he will be for the battle
ahead. Martial thus depicts Spendophoros as a soldier of love, even as a new
Cupid: whoever gets hit by his arrows will die of love. This is a variation of the
metaphor of love as a militia amoris, appearing already in Roman comedy but
largely developed by the Latin elegists; cf. particularly Ov. am. 1, 9, 1 Militat
omnis amans, et habet sua castra Cupido; ars 2, 233; also Tib. 1, 10, 53 ff. (cf.
Prop. 2, 5, 21 ff.); Hor. carm. 3, 26; see R. O. A. M. Lyne, The Latin Love Poets,
Oxford 1980, pp. 71 ff. But whereas the amator militans of the elegists does battle
to win the favour of a mistress, Spendophoros will inspire love for his own person
by means of his arrows and naked beauty, thus forcing others to fight about
In lines 7 ff., Martial compares Spendophoros to Parthenopaeus, the young
Arcadian hero at Thebes, giving a hint that his beauty when naked would probably have given him more success than did the armour he wore when he was slain.
This concept of Parthenopaeus as a
is in all likelihood derived from
Statius picture of the young hero as given in the Thebaid; there is an obvious,
homoerotic notion about the young hero in Statius epic,1 which has apparently
inspired Martial also with regard to Spendophoros equipment: Statius Parthenopaeus fought with divine arrows, viz. those of Artemis, the protectress of his
mother Atalante (Stat. Theb. 9, 726 ff.), but also, and more important, with a
spear (ibid. 708), which would account for the hasta mentioned in line 4. Statius
is the only source who mentions Parthenopaeus with the hasta and the arrows of
Artemis, and it seems probable that he has influenced Martial in this respect. But
it is also possible that in the present case, the levis hasta of Spendophoros should
be understood as referring to his mentula (Adams, pp. 19 f.; TLL, s.v. hasta 2552,


See S. W. Schetter, Untersuchungen zur epischen Kunst des Statius, Wiesbaden 1960, pp. 44 ff. Note
also that in silv. 2, 6, 42 f., Statius compares the puer delicatus of Flavius Ursus to Parthenopaeus.


77 ff.; ibid., s.v. levis 1222, 43 ff.). In such a case, armiger would also be sexually
allusive; see note below.
As published in Book 9, this poem would probably have left most readers
without a hint as to its addressee: obviously, it was written to flatter not Spendophoros, but his unnamed master. Even though the recipient himself would naturally have recognized himself as the addressee of a poem such as the present, it
would still have failed to live up to the expectations of most of Martials patrons,
viz. to be honoured by an explicit mention in his poetry. White argues that poems
lacking an obvious addressee must therefore have been presented to their actual
recipients prior to publication, either by extempore performance, by public recitation or by circulation in libelli; other instances are 2, 85; 4, 19; 5, 42; 6, 52; 8, 46;
9, 103; 11, 91; and 12, 67 (see White, Dedication, pp. 40 ff.).
, to pour a libation and
, thus presumably
1. Spendophoros: of Gr.
the carrier of libations. Martial uses it of a beautiful youth also in 10, 83, 7, but
there are no other instances in Latin literature. The Greek version of the name
) appears in AP app. 2, 306, 1.



Libycas ... urbis: see note on 9, 6, 1 Libycis.

domini armiger: the office of armiger, in the sense of squire, was, of
course, of no relevance in classical Roman circumstances. In Suet. Aug. 49, 1, the
word apparently relates to the emperors bodyguard of Calagurritans, and when
Cicero in dom. 13 refers to a certain Sergius as armiger Catilinae, stipator tui
corporis, signifer seditionis, etc., this is obviously rather an expression of contempt than a relation of fact.
However, Roman soldiers may take slaves with them on campaign, and as was
Spendophoros no doubt the slave of a master here unnamed, Martial may simply
refer to him by an old-fashioned term, suitable because of the nature of his masters mission; see D. J. Breeze & B. Dobson, Roman Officers and Frontiers, Stuttgart 1993, p. 583. But armiger is surely also chosen for the double entendre
compare the phrase inguinis arma gero of Priapus in 6, 73, 6 (where arma is used
as a metaphor for the penis; see Grewing, ad loc.); cf. also 11, 78, 6. For the sexual symbolism of weapons, see Adams, pp. 19 f. (suggesting that it was instantly
recognisable in ancient society).
2. tela: the arrows, standard equipment of Cupid, are topical; cf., for example,
Tib. 2, 5, 107; 2, 6, 15; Ov. epist. 20, 232; am. 2, 9b, 34; ars 1, 261; rem. 612;
met. 1, 468; 5, 366; 10, 311; and trist. 4, 10, 65 and see Bmer on Ov. met. 10,
311. For the prosody of the line, cf. 14, 21, 2.
4. tenera manu: this juncture is commonly used in the same position in the
pentameter as here, cf. 3, 19, 4; 14, 54, 2; 14, 177, 2; Tib. 2, 3, 10; 3, 9, 8; 3, 12;
2; Prop. 3, 3, 34; 3, 7, 48; Ov. am. 1, 13, 18; epist. 15, 216; fast. 4, 120; 4, 774;
Pont. 4, 12, 24.


4. levis hasta: Martial has Spendophoros carrying a spear, obviously to make

him resemble Parthenopaeus, but possibly also as a sexual allusion (see the introduction above).
5. loricam clipeumque tibi galeamque remitto: in his Loeb, Shackleton Bailey
translates I dont ask you for breastplate ..., paraphrasing remitto as a te non
postulo in the apparatus of his Teubner edition. This seems preferable to Kers
Cuirass and shield and helm I leave to thee.
For the prosody, cf. Verg. Aen. 10, 553; also Ov. epist. 13, 147; met. 12, 130;
Sil. 4, 432; Stat. Theb. 9, 560.
7. non iaculo, non ense: Sil. 5, 429 nunc iaculis, nunc ense, modo inter milia
consul. The line is also reminiscent of Ovids description of the peaceful conditions during the Golden Age in met. 1, 99 f. non galeae, non ensis erat: sine militis usu | mollia securae peragebant otia gentes.
fuit laesus: = est laesus. The passive perfect may be felt to be not strong
enough to convey the notion of the past, the participle being close to an adjective;
for this reason, the normal sum may be replaced by fui to accentuate the past
tense. While it appeared in archaic Latin, the classical language generally repudiated this accentuation (though it was used even by Caesar, civ. 3, 101, 4) but allowed it in passages set in the past tense, where the passive perfect with sum was
felt to need emphasis; this would be the case here, even though metrical convenience probably played a part; cf. also 1, 43 1 f.
The use of fui for sum where there is no need of emphasis is very rare and remains so throughout antiquity (as opposed to fuerat for erat); see further H. Blase
in G. Landgraf, Historische Grammatik der lateinischen Sprache, 3:1, Syntax des
einfachen Satzes, Leipzig 1903, pp. 173 ff.
8. Parthenopaeus: the Arcadian hero, one of the Seven against Thebes, renowned
for his youth and beauty (Statius refers to him as puer, for example, Theb. 9, 877);
see Lewy in Roscher, s.v. Parthenopaios 1651 ff. He is mentioned by Martial also
in 6, 77, 2 as the model of strong youth (cf. 10, 4, 3). In 11, 86, it is the name of a
fictitious glutton.
The point here is that Parthenopaeus met his doom while wearing his protective armour, getting killed by a piece of battlement coping thrown by Periclymenus (Eur. Phoen. 1153 ff.) or slain by Dryas, grandson of Orion, in an assault
on the Arcadians (thus Stat. Theb. 9, 841 ff.; for other versions, see M. Dewar,
Statius, Thebaid IX, Oxford 1991, ad loc.). Had he been naked, he would have
been able to capture everyone by his mere beauty and thus would have been quite
9. ab hoc: sc. a Spendophoro, using the arrows in the same way as Cupid.
fuerit fixus: the passive future perfect with fuero, originally a vulgar parallel
form (used also by Cicero), is preferred by the poets to that with ero as being


metrically more convenient. There seems to be no consistent difference in sense

between the two forms (see Landgraf, op. cit., pp. 188 f.).
10. bona fata manent: Ov. fast. 4, 156 bona fama manet.
11 f. puer | virum: Martial wishes that Spendophoros may grant the last of
his boyhood not to Africa, but to Rome. There is not only a physical contrast here,
but also a sexual: as long as Spendophoros is a puer, he is morally permissible as
a passive homosexual partner; having entered puberty and become a vir and thus a
part of the heterosexual world, this is no longer the case (see Kay on 11, 22, 6
virum). Other instances of this contrast in Martial are 11, 31, 8; 8, 46; and 11, 78,

Nil est tritius Hedyli lacernis:
non ansae veterum Corinthiorum,
nec crus compede lubricum decenni,
nec ruptae recutita colla mulae,
nec quae Flaminiam secant salebrae,
nec qui litoribus nitent lapilli,
nec Tusca ligo vinea politus,
nec pallens toga mortui tribulis,
nec pigri rota quassa mulionis,
nec rasum cavea latus visontis,
nec dens iam senior ferocis apri.
Res una est tamen ipse non negabit ,
culus tritior Hedyli lacernis.


Yet another epigram on an ostensible moralist who is really a pathic. Here, it is

not explicitly stated that the target, a certain Hedylus, is a would-be philosopher,
but this is quite obvious from his ragged appearance, represented by his threadbare cloak, the hallmark especially of Cynic philosophers. The requirement for
raggedness could lead to a kind of paradoxical vanity, which already Socrates saw
and rebuked in Antisthenes, who was anxious to wear his cloak so that the rents
could be clearly seen (Diog. Laert. 2, 36; cf. note on 9, 47, 2 hirsutis). In the same
manner, Hedylus would boast about and show off his worn-out cloak, and Martial
joins in the game, asserting that indeed nothing is as worn as the cloak of this
stern philosopher, only to pull him completely to pieces in the concluding lines,
for there is one thing more worn than his cloak: his anus.
For Martials attacks on moralizers who turn out to be pathics, see 9, 27 intro.
and cf. 9, 41 and 47. The hypocritical neglect of appearance forms the target of
his wit also in 1, 24; 2, 36; 4, 53, 3 f.; 6, 56; 7, 58, 7; 12, 42, 1; and 14, 81; in
Greek epigram, cf. AP 11, 139; 154; 156; 157; 410; and 430.


Repetition of subordinate clauses with anaphora of the conjunction is relatively

common in Martial; cf., for example, 1, 39; 1, 41; 2, 11; 2, 53; 2, 57; 3, 62; 3, 63;
3, 93; and 9, 97. This device, practically completely absent in Greek epigram, can
be observed in Catullus (for nec, compare in particular Catull. 43, 14); see
Siedschlag, Form, pp. 41 f.; cf. Howells introduction to 1, 39.
1. tritius lacernis: for the lacerna, see note on 9, 22, 13 Tyrias lacernas. In
1, 96, 4, one of Hedylus kindred spirits is referred to as amator ille tristium lacernarum.
, sweety), is
Hedyli: the name, formed on the diminutive
used of a passive homosexual also in 1, 46 and 4, 52. Although the name is a
perfectly normal one in Greek (see Pape, s.v.
), there are no other instances of it in Latin. However, it seems to have had sexual undertones, and Martial would not have chosen it at random; cf., with reference to women, Hedylium
of an amica in Plaut. Pseud. 188 (cf. AP 5, 133) and Hedyle in Petron. 113, 3 (see
Howells introduction to 1, 46).



2. ansae veterum Corinthiorum: the handles of old vessels of Corinthian

bronze. The formula of this highly praised bronze seems never to have been
known to the Romans, nor do the Greeks seem to have been agreed on its precise
content. It was thought to be a mixture of bronze, gold and silver accidentally
created when Corinth was captured and burnt in 146 BC (Plin. nat. 34, 6 ff.; Plut.
Delph. orac. 2, the latter also offering another myth of its invention, ascribing it to
a bronzeworker who mixed gold with bronze in order to hide it), but presumably,
the Corinthian bronze was a bronze with a particularly high content of tin (see
Emanuele, Aes Corinthum).
The Corinthian bronze was eagerly collected, among others, by Augustus
(Suet. Aug. 70, 2); cf. also Sen. dial. 9, 9, 6; 10, 12, 2; Plin. epist. 3, 1, 9; 3, 6, 4;
Trimalchio boasted about his being the only genuine collection of Corinthian ware
(Corinthian inasmuch as it was made by the smith Corinthus, Petron. 50, 2).
Martial mentions the bronze also in 9, 59, 11 (see note ad loc.); 14, 43; 14, 172;
14, 177.
3. crus compede lubricum decenni: Martial would be thinking of the shin of a
slave, kept in shackles for many years; cf. note on 9, 22, 4 innumera compede;
Tib. 1, 7, 42; 2, 6, 36; Ov. am. 2, 2, 47; Pont. 1, 6, 31.
4. ruptae mulae: the abraded [i.e. by the yoke or sim.] neck of a worn-out
mule. The mule was considered the animal most suitable for heavy work of different kinds; above all, it was used as a draught and pack animal (see Toynbee,
Animals, pp. 185 ff.). Martial, like other poets, prefers the feminine form mula to
the masculine mulus (of which there is only one instance in the Epigrams, 5, 22,
7, whereas there are eight instances of mula, 1, 79, 3; 3, 62, 6; 8, 61, 9; 9, 22, 13;
11, 79, 4; 14, 162, 1; 14, 197 lem.).


5. Flaminiam: sc. viam. The Flaminian Way, built in 220 BC by C. Flaminius,

was one of the three most important roads from Rome northwards (Cic. Phil. 12,
22). It was busy (Tac. hist. 2, 64, 1; cf. Iuv. 1, 61; Claudian carm. min. 40, 8
refers to it as pulverulenta) and also an important high way for armies (Tac. hist.
3, 79, 1; 82, 2; ann. 3, 9, 1) but was kept in good condition and restored by,
among others, Augustus (Suet. Aug. 30, 1). Its shortcomings, presumably not to
be taken too seriously, are mentioned only here. Like the other roads leading from
Rome, the via Flaminia was lined with sepulchral monuments (cf. 6, 28, 5; 11,
13, 1); see further Weiss in RE 6, s.v. Flaminia via, 2493 ff.
6. qui litoribus nitent lapilli: cf. in particular 8, 64, 5 f. Sit vultus tibi levior
licebit | tritis litoris aridi lapillis; the pebbles of the beach are in this case nothing
more than small stones (cf. Prop. 1, 2, 13; Ov. am. 2, 11, 13) abraded by the
waves and not, as in 10, 38, 5, pearls (cf. note on 9, 2, 9 Erythraeis lapillis).
7. Tusca ligo vinea politus: in hilly regions, the ligo (mattock) was used instead of the plough (and not to prune the vines themselves); see note on 9, 22, 3
ligones; thus, vinea here means vineyard. For Etrurian wine, see note on 9, 22,
4 Tuscus ager.
8. toga mortui tribulis: for the funeral, the dead person was dressed up in the
toga (see Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 484). In the case of the poor, the toga
would often be threadbare, as a consequence of constant washings to keep it clean
for the morning salutations, at which it was required. Because of its high price,
the poor would also be unable to replace it when worn out (cf. the introduction to
9, 49); indeed, according to Juvenal, there were even some who never put on the
toga at all, except on the bier (Iuv. 3, 171).
For tribulis in the sense of vir humilis, cf. note on 9, 49, 7 tremulo ... tribuli.
9. mulionis: there were different kinds of muliones, those who hired out draught
animals and carriages and who were for hire themselves, as well as those who
were slaves (Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 465). Of the muliones in general,
Martial did not have any high opinion; cf. 10, 76, 9, in which the poet complains
that even a mule-driver was better off than the likes of himself. Seneca (epist. 47,
15) reckoned that the task of the slave muleteers was among the dirtier kinds of
work (without taking any moral view of it).
10. visontis: the maned bison, found wild in Germania (Plin. nat. 8, 38), is mentioned by Martial in epigr. 22, 10 and 1, 104, 8 as occurring at spectacles; presumably, the one mentioned here was also destined for the arena, its side having
been rubbed against the cage during the long transport from Germania (see Toynbee, Animals, p. 148).
11. dens senior ferocis apri: the tusks are the boars only weapon, but a
dreadful one; cf. 11, 69, 9 (with Kay); 13, 94; TLL, s.v. aper 209, 47 ff. The boar
being ferocious (ferox as an epithet of the boar only here and in Ov. met. 4, 723;
cf., for example, trux aper Ov. met. 10, 715; torvus a. Prop. 2, 3, 6), and the one

mentioned here being an old one, its tusks would have been worn down not only
by chewing, but also in many a battle.
12. ipse non negabit: cf. 4, 43, 10, where the phrase occurs in the same place of
the hendecasyllabus and in a similar context. Here, I follow the punctuation of
Shackleton Bailey.
13. culus tritior etc.: for the idea of the anus of a passive homosexual being worn
by intercourse, cf. 2, 51, 2.
Martial often ends an epigram by repeating one of the opening lines, sometimes, as here, with a slight variation (see note on 9, 38, 10).

Nympha sacri regina lacus, cui grata Sabinus
et mansura pio munere templa dedit,
sic montana tuos semper colat Umbria fontes,
nec tua Baianas Sassina malit aquas:
excipe sollicitos placide, mea dona, libellos;
tu fueris Musis Pegasis unda meis.
Nympharum templis quisquis sua carmina donat,
quid fieri libris debeat, ipse monet.
C. Caesius Sabinus, a friend of Martials, has built a temple to the nymph of a
lake in his home town of Sassina in Umbria, and Martial offers some libelli of his
to the nymph, making a prayer that she will accept his offering. The prayer, which
occupies lines 16, is quite sincere and worded in the usual style with sic-clauses
followed by an imperative (the actual wish) and a vow on the poets part if the
prayer is heeded; the same structure can be observed in 9, 42, for example.
In lines 78, there follows, rather abruptly as an
, the answer of
the nymph; it is a snubbing and cruel one in glaring contrast to the preceding
lines: the man who offers his books to a temple of the nymphs has himself shown
what ought to be done with them (see below on lines 7 f.). In fact, the character of
this concluding distich is such that it might form an epigram of its own. As
pointed out by Barwick (Zur Kompositionstechnik und Erklrung Martials,
Philologus 87 (1932), p. 64), its relation to the rest of the poem is exactly paralleled by that of 1, 4 to 1, 5; in 1, 4, Martial asks Domitian to read his epigrams
(illa fronte) qua Thymelen spectas derisoremque Latinum (1, 4, 5), while 1, 5
gives Domitians reply (even alluding to the same idea that bad poems deserve to
be drenched in water): Do tibi naumachiam, tu das epigrammata nobis: | vis,
puto, cum libro, Marce, natare tuo. In the case of the present epigram there is
nothing in the MSS to support the separation of the concluding distich. But it is
worth noting that there is no manuscript support either for Scriverius obviously
correct and universally accepted separation of 9, 95 and 95 b. Barwick even refers
to the two sections as 9, 58 and 9, 58 b.


The poem (or the first six lines) would have been written to head the libelli
presented to Caesius Sabinus, just as 9, 26 introduced a collection of poems presented to Nerva (see 9, 26 intro.).
1. sacri lacus: the lake is sacred because of the presence of the nymph; cf. 4,
57, 7 f. and Verg. ecl. 1, 51 f. fortasse senex, hic inter flumina nota | et fontis
sacros frigus captabis opacum (compare Servius, ad loc.: fontes sacros quia omnibus aquis nymphae sunt praesidentes).
Sabinus: C. Caesius Sabinus, of Sassina in Umbria (thus the fellow townsman
of the centurion Aulus Pudens of 1, 31 etc.; cf. 7, 97), appears with certainty in
two more epigrams, 7, 97 (giving his nomen gentilicium; his praenomen is recorded in inscriptions; cf. below) and 9, 60, and possibly also in 11, 8 and 17 (see
Kay on 11, 8, 14, though the Sabini appearing in these instances were regarded as
fictitious by Groag in RE 3, s.v. Sabinus 29, 1316); the occurrence of a Sabinus in
4, 37, 3 is uncertain, as Sabinus in this case is the reading only of , while the MSS offer Sabellus (which is printed by Shackleton Bailey). If the Sabinus of 11,
8 and 17 is to be identified as Caesius Sabinus, then the erotic allusions of these
epigrams would argue for some intimacy between him and the poet, but the same
allusions may also suggest that the name is in fact fictitious, as the use of the
name Sabinus, which has a ring of moral sternness to it (cf. note on 9, 40, 5),
would be quite humorous in such a context.
Caesius Sabinus building activities at Sassina are recorded in five fragmentary inscriptions (CIL 11, 64896493; 6499), four of which concern dedications to
Jupiter, Apollo, Minerva and the Dei publici respectively.

2. pio munere templa dedit: the gift of a temple is naturally pium; the juncture
also in Sil. 17, 32 pia munera and Val. Fl. 2, 330 f. insuetis et iam pia munera
templis | reddit.
The ending templa dedit also 6, 10, 2.
3. sic: see note on 9, 42, 1 sic.
montana Umbria: cf. 7, 97, 2, mentioning Caesius Sabinus as montanae
decus Umbriae; Umbria is intersected by the Apennines.
4. Baianas aquas: probably a reference to the sulphurous hot springs at Baiae,
which are often mentioned for their healing powers; cf. Plin. nat. 31, 5. Martial
mentions or alludes to them also in 1, 62, 4; 3, 20, 19; 4, 57, 6; 6, 42, 7; 6, 43, 1
f.; 10, 14, 3; cf. Hlsen in RE 2, s.v. Baiae 2774 f. (however, the reference in Ov.
met. 15, 713 is not altogether certain; see Bmer, ad loc.).
Sassina: Martial elsewhere mentions Sabinus home town of Sassina (for the
spelling Sarsina found in Plautus and Servius, see Philipp in RE 2:2, s.v. Sarsina
51) in northern Umbria because of its famous cheese: 1, 43, 7 (with Howell); 3,
58, 35. It was also renowned for its milk; cf. Plin. nat. 11, 241; Sil. 8, 461 f.


5. sollicitos: anxious (about their reception), cf., for example, Ov. trist. 5, 2, 1 f.
Ecquid ubi e Ponto nova venit epistula, palles, | et tibi sollicita solvitur illa
manu?; Forcellini, Lex., s.v. sollicitus 3, 555.
6. fueris: future perfect in the main clause to denote that the result is sure to occur; see Khner-Stegmann, 37, 2, pp. 147 f.; HofmannSzantyr, 180 a, p. 323.
) on Mt. Helicon, which,
Pegasis unda: the spring Hippocrene (Gr.
according to Hellenistic tradition, sprang from the hoof mark of Pegasus (Nicand.
heter. 4 quoted by Anton. Lib. met. 9, 2; Ov. met. 5, 257; fast. 3, 456; Pont. 4, 8,
80; AP 9, 225 [Honestus]; see Sittig in RE 8, s.v. Hippokrene 1854 ff.); Martials
description of it as Pegasis unda is a direct borrowing from Ov. trist. 3, 7, 15.
The spring was sacred to the Muses and a source of poetical inspiration (for
example, AP 9, 230 [Honestus]). Hesiods story of how he was inspired at Mt.
Helicon (Hesiod. theog. 5 ff.) was later improved by his drinking from the spring,
a subject which became something of a topos; cf. AP 7, 55, 5 f. (Alkaios); 9, 64
(Asclepiades or Archias); 11, 24 (Antipater). Mt. Helicon is associated with poetical inspiration also in Callimachus, Ennius, Vergil (ecl. 6, 64 f.) and Propertius
(3, 3, 1 ff.); see Sittig, op. cit., 1853 f.

7 f. Nympharum templis | ipse monet: viz. that they deserve to be thrown

into the water. Friedlnder understood the lines as the reply of Caesius Sabinus
but was contradicted by Barwick (loc. cit.), who took it as the reply of the nymph,
to whom the preceding prayer is addressed; compare 1, 4, containing a petition to
the emperor, which is followed, as here, by a snubbing reply (1, 5 quoted above),
quite obviously from the emperor himself.
The idea that bad poems deserve to be drenched in water occurs also in 1, 5; 3,
100; 5, 53; 14, 196. It has been traced to an anecdote about Plato in Diog. Laert.
3, 5, and is relatively widespread in Latin literature; often, as in 5, 53, 4, it is
mentioned together with the burning-up of the poems; see Nisbet & Hubbard on
Hor. carm. 1, 16, 3. Perhaps there was some magical rite of purification behind it;
Citroni (on 1, 5, 2) refers to A. Ronconi Malum carmen e malus poeta,
Filologia e linguistica, Rome 1968, pp. 141 f.


In Saeptis Mamurra diu multumque vagatus,
hic ubi Roma suas aurea vexat opes,
inspexit molles pueros oculisque comedit,
non hos, quos primae prostituere casae,
sed quos arcanae servant tabulata catastae
et quos non populus nec mea turba videt.
Inde satur mensas et opertos exuit orbes
expositumque alte pingue poposcit ebur,
et testudineum mensus quater hexaclinon
ingemuit citro non satis esse suo.
Consuluit nares, an olerent aera Corinthon,
culpavit statuas et, Polyclite, tuas,
et turbata brevi questus crystallina vitro
murrina signavit seposuitque decem
expendit veteres calathos et si qua fuerunt
pocula Mentorea nobilitata manu,
et viridis picto gemmas numeravit in auro,
quidquid et a nivea grandius aure sonat.
Sardonychas veros mensa quaesivit in omni
et pretium magnis fecit iaspidibus.
Undecima lassus cum iam discederet hora,
asse duos calices emit et ipse tulit.




A vivid description of how Mamurra spends a whole day at the Saepta, the distinguished market-place of contemporary Rome, looking at the most beautiful slaveboys, exclusive furniture, expensive utensils and luxury jewellery. But his intention was never to buy anything, only to make it look as if he intended to, eager to
disguise his true poverty with a veil of alleged wealth. He satisfies his lusts by
devouring with his eyes such slave-boys as are not displayed to the mob but are
reserved for more wealthy customers; once back among the crowd, he scrutinizes
all the most expensive wares, but, in order not to have to buy anything, he finds
fault with every object: the dinner sofa is too small for his enormous citrus-table,
the bronzes are not real Corinthian, there are too few gems inlaid in the golden
cup. He even has complains about genuine statues of the Greek masters and varies
his trickery by having put aside ten vessels of murrine ware, which, of course, he
will never come back for. Having spent the day in this manner, he sneaks away at
closing-time, having bought nothing but two cups of the cheapest kind.
The woes of the poor man who cannot buy the whole of Saepta are neatly
summarized by Martial in 10, 80, in which a certain Eros goes about vainly sighing for much the same wares as Mamurramurrine vessels, slave boys, a citrus
tableand weeps at his inability to buy them all. Martial adds a moral at the end:
Quam multi faciunt, quod Eros, sed lumine sicco! | Pars maior lacrimas ridet et
intus habet.


1. Saeptis: the Saepta Iulia, usually referred to simply as Saepta. The structure
was a rectangular porticus, completed by Agrippa in 23 BC on the location of the
ovile, the voting precinct of the comitia centuriata, on the Campus Martius. As
popular elections were rarely held from the time of Tiberius onward the Saepta
was used for other purposes; already under Augustus, as later under Caligula and
Claudius, it was the scene of gladiatorial combats, and naumachiae were given
there. The building was damaged in the fire of 80 but was quickly restored by
Domitian and became, to judge from the references to it in Martial and Statius, a
distinguished market-place (10, 80), a popular place for strolling (Stat. silv. 4, 6,
2), apparently the place to be seen (2, 57) and consequently also a hunting-ground
for dinner-hunters (cf. 9, 14 intro.); see further L. Richardson, A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, Baltimore 1992, pp. 340 f.; Platner &
Ashby, pp. 460 ff.; Rosenberg in RE 2:1, s.v. Saepta 1724 ff.
Mamurra: Martial applies this name to unpleasant persons here and in 10, 4,
11, drawing, of course, on the Mamurra of Catullus (Catull. 29; 41; 43; 57; nicknamed in 94, 105, 114, 115). A native of Formiae in southern Latium, Mamurra
had served under Pompey in the war against Mithridates and thereafter as praefectus fabrum under Caesar in Spain, services during which he accumulated substantial wealth, which he treated as wastefully as he had his patrimony. His
behaviour upset people (cf. Cic. Att. 7, 7, 6), not least Catullus, who also seems to
have had private reasons for not liking Mamurra (cf. Catull. 29; 41; 43; see
Fordyces introduction to Catull. 29).
Although Martials debt to Catullus is apparent in this case, the connection between his Mamurra and the actual person is limited to the sharing of the name
and of the low morals; already Horace (sat. 1, 5, 37) had used the name as a generic plural for persons of the same kind as Mamurra (see also R. Paukstadt, De
Martiale Catulli imitatore, diss. Halle 1886, p. 8).
2. Roma aurea: the line is an obvious echo of Ov. ars 3, 113 f. Simplicitas
rudis ante fuit: nunc aurea Roma est, | et domiti magnas possidet orbis opes,
which is the first instance of the juncture aurea Roma; after this, it does not occur
until considerably later: Iuvenc. 2, praef. 2; Hist. Aug. Pesc. 12, 6; Auson. 21, 1, 1
Prete. Whereas the meaning in Ovid is Rome adorned with gold, Martial has
here metonymically transferred the expression to wealthy Romans, giving the
phrase a partitive notion, the wealthy part of Rome.
vexat opes: waste their wealth. The unparalleled phrase suggests a frenetic
activity at the market-place. Friedlnder compared it to flagellat opes found in 2,
30, 4 and 5, 13, 6, meaning that the money is kept in constant motion (whip up;
OLD, s.v. 3), but perhaps a comparison with Sall. Catil. 20, 12 omnibus modis
pecuniam trahunt vexant is more natural, where the meaning is, using a metaphor
from warfare, devastate their fortune.
3 ff. molles pueros nec mea turba videt: molles (often used of effeminates; cf.
9, 11, 10 molle), oculis comedit (cf. 1, 96, 12 oculis devorantibus; the expression
is colloquial; see Howell, ad loc.) and prostituere (apparently not used elsewhere

with reference to the mere displaying of slaves, but, of course, frequent in the
sense of to prostitute) add a sexual notion to the passage.
Young and beautiful slave-boys could be very expensive; the sum of 100,000
IIS is mentioned both in 1, 58, 1 (see Howell ad loc.) and in 11, 70, 1. However,
these prices would not be fetched by the boys in the front booths, the primae
casae, as the more valuable slaves, to judge from this passage, were displayed on
a platform (catasta) in a hidden back room (cf. Blmner, Privataltertmer, p.
279), open only to those likely to be able to pay for them (hence servant; OLD,
s.v. 8), and not to the mob or the likes of Martial. For the ending of line 6, cf. Ov.
trist. 1, 5, 34.
7. inde satur: corresponds to comedit in line 3. For inde depending on an adverb
(substantive, adjective), see TLL, s.v. 1116, 33 ff.
opertos orbes: in the shops as well as in homes, expensive table-leaves,
like those of citrus-wood (see note on 9, 22, 5), were often covered with a protective cloth, a mantele (cf. 12, 28, 12; 14, 139); cf. Blmner, Privataltertmer, p.
8. pingue ebur: exclusive table-leaves were usually put on an ivory leg (note
on 9, 22, 5), and it seems likely that Martial is referring to such a leg here, put
away on the top shelves to keep it out of reach of the customers.
To preserve it from decay, ivory was smeared with old olive-oil, hence pingue;
see Plin. nat. 15, 32; Blmner, Technologie 2, p. 374, n. 1.
9. testudineum hexaclinon: a dinner sofa for six (from Greek
with six couches) inlaid with tortoiseshell. It is of a kind called stibadia (Gr.
, dim. of
bed [of straw], cf. 14, 87), a semicircular sofa,
which, because of its shape, was also referred to as sigma (10, 48, 6). Apparently
Greek in origin, it came into use in the Principate and replaced the three lecti
tricliniares previously used.
Hexaclinon is a
in Latin, but there are instances of
in Greek (see Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 119). Tortoiseshell was a
popular decoration on couches (already mentioned by Varro ling. 9, 47), cf. 12,
66, 5; 14, 87; Blmner, op. cit., p. 117.
Note that the verse is a spondiacus; when such verses occur in Martial
(Friedlnder, p. 40, gives 13 instances), the poet generally follows the rule that the
fourth foot should be filled out with a dactyl and the fifth and sixth with a quadrisyllabic word; cf. Crusius, pp. 52 f.






9 f. mensus quater | ingemuit: to make it look like as if he really wants to buy

the luxury couch, Mamurra measures it time and time again to see if there is any
way to make it fit his huge (imaginary) table of citrus-wood (cf. note on line 7
opertos orbes above). Of course, he finds that there is not; otherwise, he would
have to buy the couch, for which he had no money. The costly table-leaves of
citrus-wood were usually small, made from a single piece of wood and resting on


a single leg (Blmner, op. cit., pp. 124 f.), so Mamurras exaggeration is almost
As regards ingemesco with the accusativus cum infinitivo, see Khner-Stegmann, 1 126 b, p. 691; TLL, s.v. 1516, 79 ff.
11. Consuluit nares, an olerent aera Corinthon: the idea that Corinthian bronze
(on which see note on 9, 57, 2) could be recognized by its distinctive smell seems
to have had a proverbial ring in Martials day, even though there is no evidence
for such a smell. An attempt at an explanation was made by Emanuele, Aes
Corinthum, p. 354, suggesting that the patina itself, produced by the chlorides in
Corinthian water, had a distinct odor. But Emanuele also acknowledges that here
Martial might want to satirize the idea of a possible olfactory authentication,
and indeed it seems more likely that Martial really ridicules Mamurra by having
him putting into practice something that was probably nothing more than a
popular saying.
A hint of a solution of the problem is given by Petronius in the famous passage
in which Trimalchio, while boasting that he is the only one to possess genuine
Corinthian bronzes (which is true, inasmuch as his bronzes are made by a smith
named Corinthus), still declares that he prefers glass vessels: ignoscetis mihi quod
dixero: ego malo mihi vitrea, certe non olunt (Petron. 50, 7). This obviously refers to the same idea as the present line, but it is important to keep in mind that
Trimalchio does not claim to be able to identify real Corinthian bronze by its
smell but simply states that he prefers glass to his fake Corinthian bronze, since
glass does not smell; see J. Linderski, Aes olet: Petronius 50.7 and Martial
9.59.11, HSPh 94 (1992), pp. 349353. Obviously, his fake bronze smelled, the
reason for which would have been the practice of greasing bronze as a protection
against rust (Linderski, op. cit., p. 351). Corinthian bronze, on the other hand,
does not seem to have been inclined to rust (Cic. Tusc. 4, 32), presumably because
it had a high content of tin (Emanuele, Aes Corinthum, p. 352), and therefore did
not need to be greased to the same extent as bronze of poorer quality. Consequently, genuine Corinthian bronze would actually not have smelled as much as
such bronzes.
It would seem that the idea of the smell of Corinthian bronze belonged to the
sphere of popular sayings (perhaps something like to be able to scent gold out)
and lacked support in reality. Petronius makes a joke about it by introducing Trimalchios paradoxical, smelly, Corinthian bronze, possibly in his case because
they were really not from Corinth but only made by the smith Corinthus, and
Martial makes a fool of Mamurra putting a proverb into practice.
12. Polyclite: Mamurra, in his zeal to find fault with every object so as not to have
to buy it, shows his lack of culture in complaining about the statues that really are
by the great masters as if they were nothing but copies.
Martial mentions Polyclitus (the sculptor of the famous Doryphoros and of the
Diadumenos) in two more epigrams (8, 50, 2; 10, 89), making him, together with
Myron, the third most often mentioned Greek artist in the poets works (see note
on 9, 44, 6 Phidiae putavi).


13. turbata crystallina vitro: the line obviously refers to vessels of crystal
glass, but its exact meaning has been variously understood, for example, as referring to an impure section in the crystal resembling ordinary glass, to crystal mixed
up with small pieces of glass to cheat the customer or, as Friedlnder suggested, to
crystal with an piece of ordinary glass inset so as to look like a contamination; cf.
Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 408, n. 18. However, turbata should be interpreted,
I think, not as an attribute but as the predicative part of an accusativus cum infinitivo pronouncement governed by questus. Martials aim being to poke fun of Mamurra, there was probably no fault in the crystal at all (just as there cannot have
been any fault in the work of Polyclitus); Roman glass-workers were quite capable
of producing perfect crystal, but Mamurra, having started to examine the vessel,
has to find at least some tiny fault in it, lest it should seem that it is his limited
purse and not the low quality of the vessel that keeps him from buying it. Thus,
the line is more effective if there was in fact no fault in the crystal than if there
really was.
On Roman crystal cups, which were made both of rock-crystal and of glass
imitating crystal, see note on 9, 22, 7 magna ... crystalla.
14. murrina: murrines, vessels of a kind of glass originally produced as a substitute for precious stones, were just as sought after as crystal (they are mentioned
together in 3, 82, 25; Plin. nat. 33, 5; 35, 158, 36, 1; Iuv. 6, 155 f. grandia tolluntur crystallina, maxima rursus | murrina; Hist. Aug. Aur. 17, 4; murrine alone in
Mart. 3, 26, 2; 10, 80, 1; 11, 70, 8; 13, 110, 1; 14, 113). The ware displayed a
variety of colours, and it has been plausibly suggested that it was made of fluorspar. Pliny has an account of it in nat. 37, 1822, stating that it was imported
from the Parthian kingdom and first came to Rome after Pompeys victory over
Mithridates in the late sixties BC. It soon became popular and fetched enormous
prices (owing to its fragility: Plin. nat. 33, 5); Nero, for instance, had paid
1,000,000 IIS for one single bowl. See Kay on 11, 70, 8 with further references.
signavit seposuitque: Mamurra fastened a seal on the vessels as a token of
purchase, a custom which is rarely attested, but cf. Ulp. dig. 18, 6, 1 si dolium
signatum sit ab emptore, Trebatius ait traditum id videri; perhaps also Sen. benef.
3, 15, 2 refers to this practice: utinam nulla stipulatio emptorem venditori obligaret nec pacta conventaque inpressis signis custodirentur, fides potius illa servaret
et aecum colens animus!
, apparently first introduced into Latin by
15. veteres calathos: Gr.
Vergil, who uses the word in the original Greek sense of basket (ecl. 2, 46; Aen.
7,806), but also in the sense of drinking-vessel,1 the latter sense being unattested
in Greek; cf. A. E. A. Saalfeld, Tensaurus Italograecus, Vienna 1884, s.v.
Martial mentions the calathus twice more (8, 16, 6; 14, 107), both instances
referring to wine cups. As indicated by 8, 6, 16 Priami calathis and by the present
instance, the word carried a notion of great age.

For wine, ecl. 5, 71; for milk, georg. 3, 402; these vessels were probably either wicker-covered or shaped
like tapered baskets (see R. Coleman, Vergil, Eclogues, Cambridge 1977, p. 168).


16. Mentorea manu: at Rome, the Greek chaser Mentor (first half of the 4th
century BC?) was considered the prime master of his art. Pliny speaks of him as
maxime laudatus (nat. 33, 154) and relates that the orator Lucius Crassus possessed a pair of goblets chased by his hand, for which he had paid 100,000 IIS
(nat. 33, 147). Despite his origin, Mentor is not mentioned anywhere in the extant
Greek texts, except in Lucian (see Lippold in RE 15, s.v. 10, 965 ff.).
Mentor is one of the Greek artists who frequently appear in Martial (six instances, also 3, 40, 1; 4, 39, 5; 8, 50, 2; 11, 11, 5; 14, 93, 2, all referring to bowls,
plates or cups); only Phidias is mentioned more often (cf. note on 9, 44, 6 Phidiae
putavi). He seems to have worked mostly in silver, and his works were very rare
and equally sought after, which naturally resulted in there being not only copies,
but also forgeries.
17. viridis picto gemmas in auro: Mamurra counted the emeralds inlaid in
a chased golden cup, pretending to check whether there were enough for him to
consider a purchase.
Gold was used for luxury cups (if only as a gilding), a luxury which was
sometimes increased by the addition of precious stones to the cup to produce socalled pocula gemmata (Plin. nat. 33, 5; 37, 17). Apparently, emeralds (virides
gemmae, also 11, 28, 10; Iuv. 6, 458; cf. Val. Fl. 6, 699 f.) were used in particular; cf. 14, 109 (108 Leary) (Calices gemmati) Gemmatum Scythicis ut luceat
ignibus aurum, | aspice. Quot digitos exuit iste calix! mentioning Scythian emeralds, which were considered the best (cf. Plin. nat. 37, 65; Friedlnder on 4, 28, 4;
Leary on 14, 108, le.); cf. also Iuv. 5, 39 ff. and see Blmner, Privataltertmer, p.
Pictus here must mean chased (so Ker in his Loeb), a usage of the word
which seems to be unattested elsewhere. The juncture pictum aurum appears in
Lucan. 2, 357 and Val. Fl. 3, 11, but both these refer to gold embroidery; it is
noteworthy, though, that in both instances, the words occupy the same metrical
position as in the present line; cf. also Ov. met. 3, 556 and Stat. Theb. 6, 208.
18. a nivea grandius aure sonat: large pearls, like precious stones, were popular
as decorations in earrings (cf., for example, Ov. medic. 21 f.; Sen. benef. 7, 9, 4;
Plin. nat. 9, 114). The type of earring known as crotalia (Plin. nat. 9, 114; Petron.
67, 9; Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 263) was decorated with several, loosely
hanging pearls, the rattling of which accounts for its name, cf. Gr.
, to
make a rattle.
Grandius may allude either to the rattle being louder the bigger the pearls, or
perhaps to the pearls themselves, in the sense of large or distinguished.
Niveus is a standard epithet of female beauty (see Bmer on Ov. met. 3, 423), but
the present may perhaps also be interpreted as a case of hypallage (the ear itself,
and not the pearls, is said to be as white as snow).

19. Sardonychas veros: genuine sardonyx rings. To be considered a sardonyx, the

stone had to have three (or more) layers, black, white and red; varieties with only
two layers were considered ordinary onyxes (see Plin. nat. 37, 85 ff.). The sardonyx, which was found in India (as opposed to the onyx, which was imported

from Arabia), was a popular stone for rings and is often mentioned as such, especially by Martial (cf. 2, 29, 2; 4, 61, 6 [with the epithet verus]; 5, 11, 1; 11, 37, 2),
and also by Persius (1, 16) and Juvenal (6, 382; 13, 139; cf. also Plin. nat. 37, 4);
it is also mentioned without further specification in 4, 28, 4 (with the epithet Indus); 10, 87, 14 (verus); 11, 27, 10; Iuv. 7, 144; see Schramm in RE 18, s.v. Onyx
535 ff.
The semiprecious stone was obviously very valuable, and forgeries (which
were very hard to tell from the genuine stone) were made by putting together
separate pieces of stones of different colours (Plin. nat. 37, 197), hence Martials
stress on the stones as veri in 4, 61, 6 and 10, 87, 14. In the present instance, the
MSS offer vero ( , printed by Gilbert [but see his apparatus], Lindsay and Heraeus) and viro ( ), which was rightfully emended to veros in the editio Aldina.
Apart from the support of the parallels in Books 4 and 10, veros obviously provides a far better sense than vero: Mamurra is looking for real sardonyxes and no
forgeries; of course, he does not find any, lest he should be forced to buy them;
thus, the pattern from the preceding lines is repeated.

20. magnis iaspidibus: according to Pliny (nat. 37, 115 ff.), jasper (an opaque
variety of quartz) appears in a multitude of varieties, like the green Indian (similar
to emerald), the Cypriot greyish-green, the Persian sky-blue, the Phrygian purple,
etc., the best one being that which has a shade of purple. The yellowish variety is
mentioned by Pliny only in passing as similes myxis (like the sebesten plum),
although this is the kind most often mentioned by the Latin poets, presumably
because of the fact that the first mention of this variety in Latin appears in Verg.
Aen. 4, 261 f., referring to a sword inlaid with yellowish jasper: stellatus iaspide
fulva | ensis (cf. Serv. ad loc.; Gell. 2, 26, 11); then Lucan. 10, 122 and Stat.
Theb. 7, 659.
Of old, jasper was used for various decorative purposes; apart from the quotation from Vergil above, cf. Stat. Theb. 4, 270 (the quiver of Parthenopaeus
adorned with amber and jasper); 7, 658 f. (a fibula with jasper); cups inlaid with
jasper are mentioned by Lucan. 10, 122 and Iuv. 5, 42. Martials only other mention of jasper refers to the rings of his friend Stella (5, 11, 1 f. with Howell), and it
seems likely that this is the reference also of the present line, like that of the preceding one.
21. undecima hora: perhaps at closing-time. The eleventh hour fell in the
last quarter of the day, which was called suprema and lasted from the ninth hour
to sundown on the twelfth (Blmner Privataltertmer, pp. 373 f.). Even though
there seems to be no evidence for the eleventh hour as the common closing-time
of shops, there is a parallel in the stipulated time for court proceedings, which
were not allowed to begin earlier than the first hour or to end later than the eleventh (see Mommsen, Strafrecht, pp. 364 f., and cf. Cic. Cluent. 27 puer, cum hora
undecima in publico valens visus esset, ante noctem mortuus; Fronto p. 34, 25 f.
van den Hout 1954 ego quom sine te sum, causidicos in undecimam horam


22. asse duos calices emit: having spent the whole day at the Saepta, Mamurra
left without having bought anything but two calices, which he carried himself,
since he had not even got slaves to carry them for him. The calix was the commonest type of drinking-vessel (Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 405) and so could
be had in very cheap variants; cf. 12, 74; Iuv. 11, 145 plebeios calices et paucis
assibus emptos; Leary on 14, 94, le.

Seu tu Paestanis genita es seu Tiburis arvis,
seu rubuit tellus Tuscula flore tuo,
seu Praenestino te vilica legit in horto,
seu modo Campani gloria ruris eras:
pulchrior ut nostro videare corona Sabino,
de Nomentano te putet esse meo.

A neat epigram to accompany Martials gift to his friend Caesius Sabinus of a

wreath (probably) of roses and violets, the two flowers commonly used for
wreaths; cf. Plin. nat. 21, 14 paucissima nostri genera coronamentorum inter
hortensia novere, ac paene violas rosasque tantum; cf. Ov. met. 12, 410, with
Bmer; Stat. silv. 1, 2, 22. The flowers are, however, not such as Martial has
grown himself on his Nomentan farm, but such as had been imported into the city
from the famous flower gardens of Italy. Now, as several famous Romans had
villas in the areas renowned for their floral splendour, Martial here makes a contrast between these and his own (allegedly) poor farm at Nomentum: the flowers
in his wreath may be from Paestum, Tibur, Tusculum, Praeneste or Campania, but
if Sabinus thinks that the wreath is made of Nomentan flowers, it will seem all the
more beautiful to him.
Like Nomentum, Tibur, Tusculum and Praeneste are all country towns, situated in hilly regions at a convenient distance from Rome, Tibur to the east, Praeneste to the south-east and Tusculum to the south of the city. Because of their great
natural beauty, pleasant climate and nearness to Rome, the towns were enjoyed as
summer resorts by rich Romans, who built large villas in these regions; perhaps
the best-known are the villa of Cicero at Tusculum (which, however, could also
pride itself on those of Sulla, Varro, Pompey, Hortensius, Brutus and others; see
McCracken in RE 2:7, s.v. Tusculum 1484 ff.) and that of the emperor Hadrian at
Tibur (where also Statius friend Manilius Vopiscus had a villa, silv. 1, 3).
Alongside with Lanuvium and Tibur, Praeneste was the favourite secessus of
Augustus (Suet. Aug. 72, 2); cf. also Iuv. 14, 88.
As the foremost resorts of wealthy Romans, Tibur, Tusculum and Praeneste
are often mentioned together. In 10, 30, 5 ff., Martial states that Apollinaris prefers Formiae to all other places: non ille dulce Tibur , | nec Tusculanos
secessus, | Praeneste nec sic miratur; Pliny said that he preferred his Tuscan
villa to Tusculanis Tiburtinis Praenestinisque (epist. 5, 6, 45); cf. Stat. silv. 4, 4,
15 ff.; Sen. benef. 4, 12, 3. The same popularity was enjoyed by Campania, where,

among others, Cicero, Pliny the Younger and Statius friend Pollius (silv. 3, 1)
had villas; see in general Van Buren in RE 2:8, s.v. Villa 2150 ff. Paestum is the
one place lacking literary evidence for villas, but its mention in this epigram is
guaranteed by the fame of its roses; on the other hand, Tibur, while notable for its
villas, seems not to have had any specific reputation as a floral town.
The wreath was a popular gift as a sign of mutual friendship; see K. Baus, Der
Kranz in Antike und Christentum, Bonn 1940, pp. 34 f., and cf. 7, 89, an epigram
accompanying a wreath of roses to Apollinaris. Epigrams accompanying a gift of
some kind (other than those of the Xenia and Apophoreta) belong to a genre
popular especially with the poets of the Garland of Philip, perhaps to be regarded
as a secularised variant of the religious votive epigram. In Martial, cf., apart from
the present and 7, 89, also 1, 111 (a book and incense to Regulus); 5, 59
(earthenware to Stella); 7, 49 (eggs and apples to Severus); see Howells introduction to 1, 111 with further references.
1. Paestanis: the flowers of Paestum, in north-western Lucania, were famous,
above all, the roses (see note on 9, 26, 3 Paestano colono).
2. rubuit tellus Tuscula flore tuo: the only flower mentioned by Pliny in connection with Tusculum is the violet (nat. 21, 27), which was ranked third after the
rose and the lily. When Martial speaks of Tusculum as rubens flore, it seems that
he has in mind the kind of violet which antiquity in fact designated as red but
which today cannot be identified; cf. Ov. met. 4, 268 f. est in parte rubor violaeque simillimus ora | flos tegit with Bmers note. Among the varieties of the violet, Pliny mentions a purple (nat. 21, 27): Violis plura genera, purpureae,
luteae, albae (see also Cels. med. 5, 11, 1); cf. Pind. Ol. 6, 55 .
The alliterative juncture tellus Tuscula is to be found also in Tib. 1, 7, 57.
3. Praenestino in horto: the roses of Praeneste, together with those of Campania, were in the highest repute among the Romans and flowered longer than
any other rose (see Plin. nat. 21, 16 ff.).
Note the diaeresis after the third foot, an incision which is generally avoided
in hexameters, so as not to split the verse into two equivalent halves (this forms
the basis of the so-called Stellungsregel von Marx); in the exceptional cases in
which such a diaeresis can be observed, it is motivated by particularly strong connections between words or by points of emphasis (Crusius 55), but I fail to see
any such motivation in this line.
vilica: the bailiffs wife, like the bailiff himself, is a significant character in
Martials pastoral idylls, more so than in any other poet; the vilicus or the vilica
appear in 13 epigrams,1 which may be compared with one instance each of vilicus
(vilica) in Catullus and Ovid, four each in Horace and Juvenal; absent in Vergil.

Vilica also in 1, 55, 11; 3, 58, 20; 4, 66, 11; and 12, 18, 21; vilicus in 1, 49, 25; 3, 58, 31; 3, 68, 9; 7, 31,
9; 7, 71, 3; 10, 30, 28; 10, 92, 5; and 12, 18, 25. Cf. also 2, 11, 9; 6, 39, 19; 10, 48, 7; and 11, 39, 5.


4. Campani gloria ruris eras: cf. note on the preceding line Praenestino in
horto. Campania had an abundance of roses (copia rosae Plin. nat. 13, 26) which
flowered early, just as those of Praeneste flowered late (ibid. 20); in spring, when
the fields had had their rest, the Campanian fields brought forth a rose with a
scent sweeter even than that of the garden rose (ibid. 18, 111). Campania was also
the only place in Italy to grow the hundred-petalled rose (the centifolia, ibid.
21, 17).
For the ending gloria ruris eras, cf. 6, 80, 6 tantaque Paestani gloria ruris
erat; the source of the expression appears to be Verg. georg. 1, 168. For this use of
gloria, cf. note on 9, 43, 5 nostri gloria caeli.
5. nostro Sabino: Martials Umbrian friend, C. Caesius Sabinus (see note on
9, 58, 1 Sabinus).
6. Nomentano meo: Sabinus will appreciate the flowers more if he thinks that
they come from Martials own country estate at Nomentum (on which see the
introduction to 9, 18), all the more so, as Sabinus, who would not have been
spared Martials constant complaints about its shortcomings, would probably not
expect anything like that to come out of that estate. On Nomentum and Martials
(humorous) complaints about it, see the introduction to 9, 18.

putet esse
(with variants) is common in
putet esse: the combination
the second hemiepes of the pentameter; cf. 3, 5, 12; 8, 47, 2; 8, 78, 4; 11, 55, 8;
and 12, 21, 2. It first appears in Propertius (2, 29a, 12; 4, 1a, 38; 4, 5, 40); five
instances in Ovid (ars 2, 296; 3, 610; rem. 784; fast. 3, 658; Pont. 2, 3, 12).


In Tartesiacis domus est notissima terris,
qua dives placidum Corduba Baetin amat,
vellera nativo pallent ubi flava metallo
et linit Hesperium brattea viva pecus.
Aedibus in mediis totos amplexa penates
stat platanus densis Caesariana comis,
hospitis invicti posuit quam dextera felix,
coepit et ex illa crescere virga manu.
Auctorem dominumque nemus sentire videtur:
sic viret et ramis sidera celsa petit.
Saepe sub hac madidi luserunt arbore Fauni,
terruit et tacitam fistula sera domum;
dumque fugit solos nocturnum Pana per agros,
saepe sub hac latuit rustica fronde Dryas.
Atque oluere lares comissatore Lyaeo,
crevit et effuso laetior umbra mero;
hesternisque rubens deiecta est herba coronis,
atque suas potuit dicere nemo rosas.
O dilecta deis, o magni Caesaris arbor,
ne metuas ferrum sacrilegosque focos.
Perpetuos sperare licet tibi frondis honores:
non Pompeianae te posuere manus.




A poem on a plane-tree planted by Julius Caesar in a house at Corduba, presumably during the Civil War; the tree would thus have been about 140 years old when
celebrated by Martial (see note on line 2 dives Corduba below). In a pastoral
tone, the poem focuses on the fact that the plane was planted by Caesar and
stresses the divinity of the latter, and the trees connection with and awareness of
the divus Iulius.
Martial elsewhere shows neither approval nor disapproval when speaking of
Julius Caesar.1 But, in this poem, the tone is thoroughly laudatory. The hand of
Caesar is hospitis invicti dextera felix (line 7), Caesar himself is magnus (line 19),
and the tree is aware of his divinity, all features which, while applicable to Caesar
as commander, are equally at home in the terminology of the imperial cult. In the
concluding line, Martial even explicitly and unreservedly takes Caesars part
against Pompey, a position which was not a matter of course. The position of the
senatorial and Stoic opposition was for almost a century in favour of what Lucan
called the causa victa: Caesar was still considered an absolute ruler who had
subverted the free Republic, the defender of which was Pompey; this approach was
not to change until the reign of Trajan (cf. Syme, Tacitus, pp. 430 ff.). For instance, when Statius in silv. 1, 1, 22 ff. draws a parallel between Domitian and

Julius Caesar appears very rarely in the Epigrams, usually being mentioned in a general way; thus 6, 32,
5 sit Cato, dum vivit, sane vel Caesare maior; elsewhere with reference to the Civil War, cf. 9, 70, 3; 11,
5, 11 te (sc. Nerva) privato cum Caesare Magnus amabit (there would be no cause for civil strife in the
reign of Nerva).


Julius Caesar, apropos of the formers equestrian statue, which overlooked the
Forum and the templum divi Iulii, his picture of the latter is not uncritical: Hinc
obvia limina pandit | qui fessus bellis adsertae munere prolis | primus iter nostris
ostendit in aethera divis; | discit et e vultu quantum tu mitior armis, | qui nec in
externos facilis saevire furores | das Chattis Dacisque fidem: te signa ferente | et
minor in leges iret gener et Cato castris. As noted by Hardie (p. 191), the emphasis on Domitians clemency even to foreign enemies is a suggested comparison with Caesars anger even against domestic enemies, but there is also some
criticism of Pompey and Cato in his statement that they would not have broken
the law and gone to war had Domitian been in Caesars place.
Statius guarded judgement of Caesar and Pompey would have been in line
with the contemporary view, but this is actually irrelevant to Martials picture of
Caesar, as given in the present poem. What is important, though, is the thought
expressed by Statius in silv. 1, 1, 24: primus iter nostris ostendit in aethera divis.
Caesar was the first of the Roman divi, which is the only thing important here.
Regardless of his deeds as a living man, he is ineluctably the first divus, and the
plane-tree which he planted will continue to grow forever, a symbol of the eternal
succession of divine Roman emperors. Caesar the dictator or the politician is of no
immediate relevance; the tree is conscious only of Caesar the god.
The plane-tree was very much appreciated both in Greece and in Rome because of its large leaves providing plenty of shade; certain specimens were regarded as marvels, like the Lycian plane with a hollow trunk, 81 feet wide, inside
which the consular Licinius Mucianus gave a banquet with no less than eighteen
guests. Famous planes in literature include the one at Aulis, where the Achaeans
made a sacrifice before leaving for Troy (Hom. Il. 2, 307), the plane in Lydia
loved by Xerxes (Herodot. 7, 31; famous not least for its role in Handels aria
Ombra mai fu), and the plane at Ilissus outside Athens, beneath which Socrates
discussed the immortality of the soul with Phaedrus (Plat. Phaedr. 229 b); see
further the list given in Plin. nat. 12, 9 ff. (which, however, does not mention
Caesars plane at Corduba). According to the tradition, the plane was first brought
to Italy by Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, who used it as a decoration in his palace
at Rhegium (c. 390 BC, Plin. nat. 12, 6 ff.), and thence it spread north, being
found in central Italy by the end of the Republic.
The plane was an indispensable feature of any wealthy Romans garden; cf. 3,
58, 3 (of the villa of Bassus at Baiae); 12, 50, 1; Hor. carm. 2, 15, 4; there were
planes in the Tusculan villa of L. Crassus (Cic. de orat. 1, 28), and Seneca grew
them at his villa at Nomentum (epist. 12, 2); see also Plinys description of his
villa in Tifernum Tiberinum (epist. 5, 6, 20 ff.; 27, 32, 36) and R. Meiggs, Trees
and Timber in the Ancient World, Oxford 1982, pp. 276 f. In the same manner,
the plane was a standing element of the locus amoenus and the pastoral idyll, cf.,
for example, Theocrit. 18, 44; 22, 41; 25, 20; Catull. 64, 290; Verg. georg. 4, 146;
Hor. carm. 2, 11, 13; Calp. ecl. 4, 2; Petron. 131, 8. It provided welcome shade to
weary shepherds and is associated with them and with Pan himself; cf. particularly AP 6, 35 (Leonidas); 6, 96 (Erycius); 6, 106 (Zonas); 6, 170 (Thyillus); 7,
174 (Erycias): 7, 196 (Meleager); 9, 374 (Anonymous); for epigrams in the Greek
Anthology focusing on planes, see AP 9, 220 (Thallus); 9, 231 (Antipater); 9, 247
(Philippus, see below); 9, 627 (Marianus); 9, 669 (Marianus).


A poem about a tree in a Roman garden naturally suggests the inclusion of a

reference to the pastoral idyll: hence the section on the Fauns, Pan, the Dryad, and
the out-of-doors carousel in lines 1118. There is a parallel arrangement in Stat.
silv. 2, 3, the birthday poem to Atedius Melior on a plane-tree in his garden,
which bent towards a pool and then grew upwards again. The poem opens in a
manner which reminds us of lines 5 f. of the present poem (silv. 2, 3, 1 f. Stat,
quae perspicuas nitidi Melioris opacet | arbor aquas complexa lacus) and then
proceeds to give the reason for the trees conspicuous nature. Pan once hunted a
nymph, who escaped by plunging into the pool; deprived of his prey, Pan planted
a young plane beside the pool, commanding the tree to spread its sheltering leaves
above it (silv. 2, 3, 861). Statius poem being a kind of aition, the pastoralmythological section is the point of emphasis, but the poem still shows roughly
the same arrangement as the present one: there is an introduction describing the
tree (silv. 2, 3, 17; Mart. 9, 61, 110), a pastoral-mythological passage (silv. 2,
3, 861; Mart. 9, 61, 1118), and a conclusion (silv. 2, 3, 6277, containing congratulations and good wishes for Melior; Mart. 9, 61, 1922); it may well be that
Martial used it as a model for the present poem. For the pastoral-mythological
motif in and Ovidian influences (fast. 1, 391 ff., the ass of Silenus; the pursuit of
nymphs in the Metamorphoses) on silv. 2, 3, see van Dam, pp. 283 f. and 286; see
also his note on silv. 2, 2, 1006.
1. Tartesiacis terris: so-called from the ancient city of Tartessus in southern
Spain on the mouth of the river Baetis (now the Guadalquivir). Founded probably
by the Etruscans about 1100 BC because of the abundant silver and copper in the
region, it was an important commercial town until its destruction by the Carthaginians around 500 BC (see Schulten in RE 2:4, s.v. 2446 ff.).
domus est notissima: for all its fame in ancient times, it is not possible to determine which house is meant here. The pastoral setting of lines 11 ff. have been
taken as suggesting a villa outside the city itself, and one such villa, the so-called
palace of Mogueit el Rumi (where today a symbolic plane-tree grows), has been
tentatively identified as the location of Caesars planetree. There is, however, no
substantial evidence to support this theory (Knapp, Roman Crdoba, Berkeley etc.
1983, p. 66), and furthermore, a villa outside the town would probably not be
referred to as a domus.
For the prosody, cf. Ov. met. 2, 591; 4, 287.
2. dives Corduba: i.e. in Corduba on the river Baetis, the capital of the province of Baetica in southern Spain, founded probably by M. Claudius Marcellus as
a Roman colony (Knapp, op. cit., p. 11) in a region attractive on account of the
mineral riches of the Sierra Morena (above all, copper; Hbner in RE 4, s.v. Corduba 1223; for gold, see below) and the fertile land south of the river. It played a
significant role in the Civil War between Caesar and the Pompeians, at the beginning of which it was held for Pompey by his legate M. Terentius Varro (the
famous writer). Caesar himself, however, visited the town on only two occasions,
on one of which he must have planted the plane. The first occasion was a stay of a
couple of days in the late spring of 49; Caesar had summoned all the magistrates

and chief men of the surrounding communities to Corduba, which had been
evacuated by Varro when Caesar began to move towards the town. The assembled
magistrates gave Caesar their support, and Corduba remained pro-Caesarian,
although, after an interval of unrest, it fell into the hands of Sex. Pompeius, son of
Pompey the Great. Pompeius fled the town at the news of Caesars major victory
at Munda in 45,1 and Caesar then quickly suppressed the remaining pro-Pompeian
elements in Corduba by sending his troops into the town, which was partially
destroyed and the Pompeians slaughtered. Caesar remained in Corduba for a
while, and perhaps this is the more likely occasion for the planting of the plane.
For details concerning the Civil War in Baetica, see Knapp, op. cit., pp. 20 ff.
Baetin: the only instance of this accusative with -n.
3. vellera nativo pallent flava metallo: Baetica was famous for its production
of wool (12, 64, 5), of which there was a white variety suitable for the toga (8, 28,
5 f.), a black (1, 96, 5), and, in the region around Corduba, a reddish (5, 37, 7; 12,
63, 3 ff.) used particularly for mantles; Colum. 7, 2, 4; cf. Plin. nat. 8, 191; Blmner, Privataltertmer, p. 240.
Martial implies that the mineral deposits of the region coloured the wool (cf.
Iuv. 12, 40 ff. [vestes] quarum generosi graminis ipsum | infecit natura pecus, sed
et egregius fons | viribus occultis et Baeticus adiuvat aer), and it seems that, in
using the epithet flavus (cf. note on 9, 23, 1 virgineo flavescere contigit auro), he
has particularly gold in mind. Corduba is not usually connected with this metal,
but Sil. 3, 401 speaks of its aurifera terra, and Spain was otherwise rich in gold;
Strabo 3, 2, 8 also states that Turdetania (somewhat east of Baetica) and the
territory adjoining it was very rich in gold, silver, copper and iron and that the
gold was not only mined but also washed from the rivers, which carried goldbearing sand; cf. also Blmner in RE 7, s.v. Gold 1564.
The phrase reminds us of Vergils description in ecl. 4, 42 of how wool will
automatically take purple colour during the Golden Age; see Coleman, ad loc.
4. linit brattea viva: lino here means to gild (cf. cf. 4, 39, 7; 8, 33, 11; Suet.
Nero 31, 2; TLL, s.v. 1456, 83 ff.), brattea a thin covering (cf. bratteatus =
auratus, TLL, s.v. 2167, 18) and vivus natural as opposed to artificial; cf. 12, 63
tinctis gregibus colore vivo of the sheep grazing in the fields of Corduba
(Forcellini, Lex., s.v. vivus 377, 5).
Hesperium pecus: the expression makes one think of the cattle of Geryon,
whose abode was in later tradition sometimes placed near Tartessus, see note on 9,
101, 10 (where Geryons cattle are referred to as Hesperias ... boves).

It may be noted here that the Caesarians, while cutting down trees for their camp at Munda, came upon a
palm-tree, which Caesar spared as foreboding his victory. A branch shot forth on the palm, growing continuously and overshadowing the mother tree within a few days; and many doves, the birds of Venus, nested
in it, although they normally shunned the stiff foliage of the palm (Suet. Aug. 94, 11); see W. Deonna, La
lgende dOctave-Auguste. Dieu, sauveur et matre du monde, RHR 83 (1921), pp. 192 ff.


5 f. Aedibus in mediis totos amplexa penates | stat platanus: obviously inspired

by Verg. Aen. 2, 512 ff. aedibus in mediis nudoque sub aetheris axe | ingens ara
fuit iuxtaque veterrima laurus | incumbens arae atque umbra complexa penatis;
cf. also Sil. 13, 277 f. Aedibus in mediis consurgens ilice multa | extruitur rogus,
hospitium commune peremptis. There was a tree in the atrium also at Manilius
Vopiscus villa at Tibur, cf. Stat. silv. 1, 3, 59 mediis servata penatibus arbor
(with Vollmers note).
Cf. also the opening lines of Stat. silv. 3, 2 Stat, quae perspicuas nitidi
Melioris opacet | arbor aquas complexa lacus.
6. densis comis: the plane has large leaves and provides plenty of shade; according to Pliny, this was the reason why it was brought to Italy: quis non iure
miretur arborem umbrae gratia tantum ex alieno petitam orbe? (nat. 12, 6).
Compare also Cic. carm. frg. 23, 10 platano umbrifera; Verg. georg. 4, 146 ministrantem platanum potantibus umbras; Nux 17 platanis ... praebentibus umbram;
Petron. 131, 8, 1 nobilis aestivas platanus diffuderat umbras; Fronto p. 29, 18 f.
van den Hout 1954 platanus umbrosa.
7. hospitis invicti: the reference here would obviously be to Caesars military
achievements, but in a poem such as this, one must also consider the formulary
usage of invictus with regard mainly to divinity, which Martial elsewhere applies
to Domitian; see note on 9, 1, 10 invicta manus.
dextera felix: like invictus, felix may simply mean victorious in battle, but,
like invictus, and for the same reasons, it should be taken one step further to the
sense of faustus, bene ominatus, sacer (TLL, s.v. 439, 2 ff.). Cf. Ov. am. 3, 13, 34,
referring to the hand of Halaesus, mythological founder of Falerii, as felix manus.
As the plane, still a virga, in the following line is said to begin to grow ex illa
manu, there may also be a notion of felix in the sense of fertile or productive,
adding to the trees perception of Caesars divinity.
9. Auctorem sentire videtur: for the influence of the numen of the divine
monarch on sacrificial animals and animals in the arena, see 9, 31 intro. The
same was applicable also to plants; the whole of nature is aware of his numen. It
was at home in the Hellenistic tradition; cf., for example, AP 9, 307 (Philippus),
presenting the emperor, as it were, as the creative force of nature: a laurel grew on
an altar of the emperor; Daphne, says Philippus, who refused Apollo, now desires
Zeus, the son of Aeneas, since not even stone can refuse to bear offspring to
Caesar. In like manner, the plane at Corduba is inspired by Caesars divinity,
making it flourish and strive to reach the heavens with its crown. Compare also
Quint. inst. 6, 3, 77, relating how Augustus, when the Tarraconians told him that
a palm had grown forth from his altar, jokingly answered: apparet ... quam saepe
accendatis; Suetonius tells that a withered oak on Capri revived at the coming of
Augustus (Aug. 92, 2); see Weinreich, Studien, p. 79, n. 11; Sauter, pp. 169 f.
Sentire videtur three times at the end of the hexameter in Lucretius (2, 989; 3,
607; 3, 1053).


nemus: this is the only instance of the word with reference to one single tree
(see Forcellini, Lex., s.v. 255, 6), and it has therefore been subjected to interpolations (suum in , see Heraeus apparatus). But perhaps nemus is meant to emphasize the sanctity of the tree; cf. nemus in the sense of sacred grove (cf. OLD, s.v.

10. sidera celsa: in its consciousness of Caesar, the plane reaches towards the
stars, the abode of divus Iulius himself (see note on 9, 101, 22 astra suis, caelo
The juncture sidera celsa appears first in Stat. Theb. 7, 4 (also 8, 61), which
may have influenced Martial here.
1114.: this is the order of these lines offered by the MSS and kept by all editors
except Friedlnder, who adopted Munros suggestion 13141112. The -group
gives the lines in the order 11141312.
However, at the time of Friedlnders edition, the important L manuscript of
the -group had not yet emerged from obscurity (see the introduction, vol. 1, p.
35), nor did he use the f MS of the same group. The -group has therefore gained
substantial in support, and Friedlnders argumentation need no longer be taken
into consideration.

11. madidi Fauni: in poetry, the plural Fauni as a category of rustic demons
(as opposed to the singular Faunus) is probably to be regarded as having been
influenced by the plurality of similar Greek demons (for example,
), although there may have been a native Roman concept of a multitude
of Fauni; see Otto in RE 6, s.v. Faunus 2060. They are a common feature of the
countryside and frequently appear either by themselves (8, 49, 4; 10, 92, 3; Verg.
ecl. 6, 27; Hor. ars 244; Priap. 36, 5; Sil. 5, 626; Stat. Theb. 4, 696; silv. 1, 3, 99;
2, 3, 7) or coupled with other rustic deities, such as the almost identical Satyrs
(Lucr. 4, 580; Hor. epist. 1, 19, 4; Ov. met. 6, 392), with the Nymphs (Lucr. 4,
580; Verg. georg. 1, 10; Aen. 8, 314; Stat. Theb. 2, 521; 6, 95; Ach. 1, 240),
sometimes with the addition also of rivers (Ov. Ib. 81 f.; Val. Fl. 1, 105 f.); often,
all or some of these are combined.
The Fauns usually carry epithets such as agrestum praesentia numina (Verg.
georg. 1, 10), ruricolae (Ov. met. 6, 392), Apenninicolae (Sil. 5, 626), capripedes
(Lucr. 4, 580), cornipedes (Stat. Theb. 4, 696) and faciles (Stat. silv. 2, 3, 7).
Madidus appears only here as an epithet of the Fauns, but Martial also in 8, 49, 4
hints at their addiction to wine (cf., for example, Hor. epist. 1, 19, 4; cf. carm. 3,
18, 6 of Faunus himself), which is a clear sign of their identification with the
Satyrs, companions of Bacchus.
The section on the rustic deities is neatly kept together by saepe sub at the beginning of this line and line 14. The same opening of the line is found in Verg.
georg. 3, 416; Ov. epist. 4, 97; ars 2, 315; met. 4, 626; 8, 746 saepe sub hac dryades festas duxere choreas; fast. 6, 554.


or pan-pipe (TLL, s.v. fistula 829,

12. terruit fistula sera domum: the
70 ff.). Syrinx was a nymph loved by Pan, who transformed herself into a reed in


order to escape him; from the reed, Pan made the pan-pipe, hence its connection
with rustic demigods and shepherds; cf. Ov. met. 1, 689 ff. with Bmer; Eitrem in
RE 2:4, s.v. Syrinx 1777 f.
Terruit refers to the feeling of the inhabitants of the house when they become
aware of the presence of the numina, suggesting that the nightly lusus of the
drunken Fauns was rather noisy and perhaps also that the tones of the syrinx are
not languorous ones but rather such as earned the instrument epithets such as
arguta (Sidon. ecl. 7, 24) and garrula (Tib. 2, 5, 30).
Visits by rustic deities and other demigods mostly occur at night; cf. nocturnum Pana below and van Dam on Stat. silv. 2, 2, 1006.
13 f. solos nocturnum Pana per agros | Dryas: Pans love of nymphs was
always unhappy, and those he chased were transformed into trees or plants, like
Syrinx and Pitys; he had the reluctant Echo torn to pieces by mad shepherds.
None of these, it is true, were Dryads, but the Dryads were closely connected with
Pan as inhabitants of trees giving shade to shepherds during the heat of the summer; in this respect, the plane-tree, with its large leaves, played a significant role
and was considered (like the oak, the willow, the elm and, above all, the pine)
sacred to the god; see Roscher in Roscher, s.v. Pan 1393 ff., and cf. the epigrams
from the Greek Anthology mentioned in the introduction above.
For nocturnus Pan, see also Stat. Theb. 3, 480; Val. Fl. 6, 538. For the juncture soli agri, cf. Verg. georg. 3, 249; Ov. ars. 2, 473; Sil. 6, 57 f.
14. saepe sub hac: in distichs, saepe at the beginning of a pentameter is commonly repeated at the beginning of the following hexameter or pentameter or
both. There seems to be no other instance in which saepe is repeated at the beginning of the pentameter three lines below to enclose a section. On the iteration
of saepe, see also Bmer on Ov. met. 2, 813.
), an epithet of Dionysus as loosener, is
15. comissatore Lyaeo: Lyaeus (
not recorded earlier than Hellenistic times; it was adopted by the Latin writers
(already Enn. [trag. 121]; Verg. Aen. 4, 58; Ov. am. 3, 15, 17; met. 4, 11 etc.)
and, like the god himself, also serves as metonymy for wine (for example, Hor.
epod. 9, 38; carm. 1, 7, 22 with Nisbet & Hubbard; Ov. am. 2, 11, 49; ars 3, 645;
3, 765; fast. 5, 521). The present instance should probably be taken both as metonymy (as suggested by oluere) and as indicating that Bacchus himself was present at the revel of the Fauns; the reference to Bacchus proper is suggested by the
fact that comissator (a word virtually absent in poetry but found three times in
Martial, also 4, 5, 3 and 5, 16, 9) is not elsewhere applied to the wine itself (see
TLL, s.v. 1790, 7).

16. crevit umbra mero: according to Plin. nat. 12, 8, plane-trees were fertilized with wine, as this was considered most beneficial to the roots; Pliny ascribes
this to the high esteem in which the plane was held, and it seems questionable
whether he really believed in wine as fertilizer, as he adds: docuimusque etiam
arbores vina potare! The idea was obviously well known, cf. Ov. rem. 141 ff.


quam platanus vino gaudet ... tam Venus otia amat; AP 9, 247 (Philippus), on a
plane uprooted by the wind, which was revived by pouring wine on it.
Umbra is metonymy for the foliage, cf. OLD, s.v. 3 b.
17 f. deiecta ... rosas: difficult lines; the reading of the -group and of L and f in
the -group is delecta, while deiecta is found in the remaining MSS of the group, P and Q. There is consequently substantial support in the MSS for delecta,
but this does not make much sense, and attempts at emendations have been made,
like Gilberts distincta (retracted by himself) or Shackleton Baileys depicta
(Corrections, p. 284). If, however, deiecta is accepted,1 we may translate: the
grass, reddening from yesterdays wreaths, has been pressed down, and no one
could say that the roses (sc. of the wreaths, cf. 9, 60 intro.) were his; cf. TLL, s.v.
deicio 397, 26 ff. (paraphrasing deiecta as deflexa).
Friedlnders explanation of deiecta, Von den Rosenkrnzen, welche die
Begleiter des Bacchus dort gelassen hatten, war das Gras niedergebogen und
zugleich gerthet, was opposed by Friedrich (G. Friedrich, Zu Martial, Philologus 68 [1909], pp. 111 f.), who suggested that the grass would have been
pressed down by the master of the house and his guests having a drinking-bout
beneath the plane and took line 18 as implying that the merry band would have
returned the day after, without anyone being able to tell which of the scattered
wreaths he had worn the night before; for he holds it to be too ridiculous that
Bacchus und seine Begleiter am nchsten Tag wiederkommen und sich nach
ihren Krnzen umsehen sollen. This explanation, while pointing in the right
direction, still needs some modification.
First, it is obvious that the revel is held by Bacchus and the Fauns, and herba
deiecta would refer to the grass having been pressed down by this merry band. It
would therefore be Bacchus and the Fauns who have left their wreaths scattered
about beneath the plane. But the lines clearly depict the scene of the revel on the
day after, and thus reasonably as found by the actual inhabitants of the house
when they woke up in the morning; the sight of the pressed-down grass and the
scattered wreaths, which no one among them could claim as his own, and the
memory of the sound of the flute at night, would probably make them suspect
what had really been going on the night before.

19. magni Caesaris: like invictus and felix above, the epithet magnus is capable
of bearing both a profane and a sacred sense; in the former sense, it was the honorary title of Pompey and was applied to Caesar by Catullus (11, 10 Caesaris
monumenta magni), to Augustus by Vergil (georg. 4, 560), Horace (carm. 1, 12,
50), Propertius (2, 1, 26; 2, 7, 5; 2, 31, 2) and Ovid (fast. 4, 124; 4, 859; trist. 1,
2, 3; 2, 230; 4, 1, 54; Pont. 1, 8, 24).
But magnus was naturally also used by the poets as an epithet of gods; of Jupiter (cf., for example, 12, 90, 4; Plaut. Aul. 776; Verg. Aen. 3, 104; 9, 82 f.; Hor.
carm. 1, 10, 5; Ov. am. 1, 10, 8; epist. 14, 95; ars 2, 540; met. 2, 677 f. [with
Bmer; for the Greek models, see Bruchmann, Epitheta, pp. 133 f.]), of Mars (Ov.
trist. 2, 295 [cf. Bruchmann, Epitheta, p. 40]) and as the official epithet of Hercu1

As it has been by all editors from Schneidewin to Heraeus; Shackleton Bailey prints delecta.


les (see note on 9, 64, 1 Herculis ... Caesar). When used by Martial and Statius of
Domitian, of his magnae manus etc., it is mostly to be taken as expressing the
emperors sanctity, apart perhaps from such instances as allude to the emperor as
the great commander (for example, Stat. silv. 3, 1, 62 magnus dux; see Sauter, pp.
96 ff.).
20. ne metuas focos: cf. Nux 177 ff. Si merui videorque nocens, imponite
flammae | nostraque fumosis urite membra focis: | si merui videorque nocens,
excidite ferro Caesars plane need not fear iron and fire; it is as though the
elements could sense the divinity behind the tree, in the same manner as the tree
itself is conscious of the divine Caesar. The thought is similar to 9, 1: invicta
quidquid condidit manus, caeli est.
The fires would be sacrilegi, as burning the tree of divus Iulius. Martial has
the adjective only four times, (apart from the present also 4, 30, 12; 9, 61, 20; 9,
70, 2), all of which are applied to actions against the state (9, 70, 2, Catilinas
sacrilegum nefas) or, more specifically, against the divine emperor or objects
related to him; thus, the hook catching Domitians sacri pisces in 4, 30 is called
sacrilegus, as well as the furores of Saturninus revolt (see note on 9, 84, 1 sacrilegos furores).
21. Perpetuos frondis honores: the plane will grow eternally, a symbol of the
divine successors of Caesar. Cf. Apollos words to Daphne in Ov. met. 1, 565 tu
quoque perpetuos semper gere frondis honores (with Bmer).
22. Pompeianae manus: the tree was planted by the hand of a victor and a
god, not by that of the mortal over whom he gained the victory.

Tinctis murice vestibus quod omni
et nocte utitur et die Philaenis,
non est ambitiosa nec superba:
delectatur odore, non colore.
Philaenis wears purple clothes day and night; it is not because she is particularly
fond of the colour but apparently because she likes the smell of urine, a side effect
of the dyeing process which seems to have remained in the final product (see
below on line 4). The reason, as suggested by Shackleton Bailey in his Loeb, is
very likely that it hides her own smell; she is presumably incontinent.
Although it is not explicitly said that Philaenis is an elderly women, it is reasonable to assume that she was; Martial uses the name only of such women as he
would have found particularly repulsive, explicitly of a vetula in 2, 33 (see note on
9, 29, 1 Philaeni). For the vetula-scoptic in Martial, see 9, 37 intro.


2. et nocte ... et die: the words substitute the Ovidian formula nocte dieque which
is common in dactylic verse; thus 10, 58, 11; 11, 56, 6; Ov. met. 2, 343; 4, 260;
12, 46; Pont. 3, 1, 40; then Silius (three instances), Valerius Flaccus (two), Statius
(six) and Juvenal (three).
3. ambitiosa nec superba: purple clothes were otherwise a sign of extravagant
luxury; they were the fashion among wealthy Roman ladies already in the 3rd
century BC, and Julius Caesar, followed by Augustus, Tiberius and Nero, tried to
restrict their use among the people (Suet. Iul. 43, 1). There are no indications of
such restrictions during the reign of the Flavians, although purple clothes were
still in vogue; Martial mentions such prices as 10,000 IIS for a Tyrian cloak coloris optimi (8, 10); cf. Schneider in RE 23, s.v. purpura 2006; Friedlnder, Sittengeschichte 2, pp. 315 f.
4. odore: the smell of purple-dyed garments is mentioned also in 1, 49, 32 olidae
... vestes murice; 2, 16, 3 (torus) Sidone tinctus olenti; 4, 4, 6, comparing the
smell of Bassa to a bis murice vellus inquinatum.
The dyeing industry itself was a smelly business, owing to the method of extracting the dye from the molluscs: these were opened (or crushed) and the innards were left in salt for three days, after which the fleshy parts and impurities
were removed from the liquid. This was obviously a malodorous process; Strabo,
for example, says that Tyre was an unpleasant city to live in because of the number of dye-works (Forbes, Studies 4, pp. 117 f.). Lilja explains the smell of purple
on the basis of this method of preparation (S. Lilja, The treatment of odours in the
poetry of antiquity, Commentationes Humanarum Litterarum 49, Helsinki 1972,
p. 136; cf. p. 166). But nowhere in the ancient writers is there any mention that
the odour attached to the dye itself.
Important in this context is a passage from Pliny on the use of purple in the
robes of state (nat. 9, 127): Tyri praecipuus hic (sc. murex) Asiae, Meninge Africae et Gaetulo litore oceani, in Laconica Europae. Fasces <h>u<ic> securesque
Romanae viam faciunt, idemque pro maiestate pueritiae est, distinguit ab equite
curiam, dis advocatur placandis omnemque vestem inluminat, in triumphali miscetur auro. Quapropter excusata et purpurae sit insania. Sed unde conc<hy>liis
pretia, quis virus grave in fuco, color austerus in glauco et irascenti similis mari?
Apparently, Pliny makes a distinction between purpura and conchylia, the former
presumably signifying true purple, which apparently did not smell, and the
latter conchylian dye, which was odorous; cf. E. de SaintDenis in the Bud
edition of Pliny (Livre IX, Paris 1955); see also his note ibid., p. 138. Plinys
distinction between purpura and conchylia is also apparent elsewhere, for example, in nat. 5, 76; 8, 197; and 9, 130. In 9, 138 he gives the reason for the odour of
the conchylian dye: In conc<h>ylia<ta> veste ius temperatur aqua et pro
indiviso humani potus excremento. The smell would thus be due to the true purple
having been diluted with water and urine (see Blmner, Technologie 1, p. 236).
Martials mention of smelly Sidonian purple in 2, 16, 3 and of the odorous
cloth bis murice vellus inquinatum in 4, 4, 6 may perhaps be explained as referring to fabric dyed with Tyrian conchylian purple, which was done by a doubledyeing process: first, conchylian dye was used, followed by the usual method of

producing Tyrian purple, by soaking the cloth twice in two, different, true purple dyes (Blmner, op. cit., pp. 237; 234). Pliny remarks that the method would
have arisen from the dyers having second thoughts about the conchylian, dying
the cloth a second time to get rid of undesirable effects (Paenitentia hoc primo
debet invenisse, artifice mutante quod damnabat, nat. 9, 140). Among the undesirable effects would certainly have been the smell of the conchylian dye, which,
however, may have been present also in the final product.

Ad cenam invitant omnes te, Phoebe, cinaedi.
Mentula quem pascit, non, puto, purus homo est.
Phoebus gets invited to dinner by depraved persons because he is known to perform sexual services in return. He is thus a kind of male prostitute, a category of
men for whom antiquity on the whole showed disapproval (as of sex between
grown-up men; see Sullivan, Martial, pp. 188 f.). Similar to Phoebus is the
Telesinus of 6, 50: Cum coleret puros pauper Telesinus amicos, | errabat gelida
sordidus in togula: | obscenos ex quo coepit curare cinaedos, | argentum, mensas,
praedia solus emit. | Vis fieri dives, Bithynice? Conscius esto: | nil tibi vel minimum basia pura dabunt.
1. Phoebe: the name appears in ten other epigrams, two making cutting comments on his looks (2, 35; 3, 89), two poking fun at a bald man with artificial hair
(6, 57; 12, 45), four referring to a creditor (2, 44; 6, 20; 9, 92; 9, 102) and two
aimed, as here, at homosexuals (1, 58; 3, 73). Howell (on 1, 58, 2) remarks that
the name would suggest good looks, which, in a case like this, would perhaps
imply effeminacy.
2. Mentula quem pascit: Phoebus is metaphorically fed by the dick inasmuch
as he makes a living out of it, but also in a more literal way if he performed fellatio (which is certainly implied here, see note on purus below) or agreed to pedicatio; the culus (like the cunnus) is elsewhere depicted as eating or feeding on
the mentula; cf. 9, 80, 2 with note; 12, 75, 3 Pastas glande natis habet Secundus;
and see Adams, p. 138.
However, quem may perhaps also be taken to refer both to Phoebus and one of
the cinaedi of the preceding line, if one assumes that the latter acted as passive
homosexual and Phoebus took the active part (Adams, p. 141, reckons only with
this possibility). In such a case, Phoebus would still make a living out of his penis,
but the cinaedus, taking the passive part, would also pascere mentulam. Such an
interpretation gives us the opportunity of taking the line as anticipating an objection from Phoebus to Martials designation of his friends as cinaedi: But they are
not catamites, to which Martial ambiguously replies: I do not consider him who
is fed by the dick to be innocent.


purus: the word means, of course, morally innocent, but when referring to
concrete sexual acts, it often appears to have a more literal meaning. The general
idea seems to be that the semen was pollutant; Martial often uses (im)purus with
reference to fellatio; cf. 14, 70 (69 Leary) (Priapus siligineus) Si vis esse satur,
nostrum potes esse Priapum: | ipsa licet rodas inguina, purus eris; 2, 61, 8; 3, 75,
5; 6, 66, 5; 9, 67, 7; and see Adams, p. 199; also of the cunnus in 3, 87, 2. Perhaps the same idea is reflected in CIL 4, 1391 Veneria Maximo mentla exmuccavt
per vindemia tota et relinque(t) putr. ventre mucei os plenu It should be noted,
though, that in 11, 61, 14 purus is used also in connection with cunnilinctio, so
perhaps the impurity would be the result of oral sex rather than of the semen specifically. See also 9, 67, 7 with note.

Herculis in magni voltus descendere Caesar
dignatus Latiae dat nova templa viae,
qua, Triviae nemorosa petit dum regna, viator
octavum domina marmor ab urbe legit.
Ante colebatur votis et sanguine largo,
maiorem Alciden nunc minor ipse colit.
Hunc magnas rogat alter opes, rogat alter honores;
illi securus vota minora facit.
Domitian had built a temple to Hercules on the Via Appia, about midway to his
estate at Alba, and in the temple, there stood a statue of the god bearing the features of the emperor. The temple, which is mentioned also in 9, 3, 11, is not mentioned in Martials previous books and would therefore have been finished in 94.
It does not appear anywhere else in the extant literature and, the archaeological
evidence being equally scarce, no conclusions can be drawn as to the features of
the temple itself; the remains of a building on the same location, previously identified with the temple and commonly called tempio di Ercole, date in fact from
the late Republic (see L. Quilici, Via Appia da Porta Capena ai Colli Albani,
Rome 1989, p. 55).
The comparison of rulers with Hercules, the prime model of the victorious
hero, first appeared in the Hellenistic world, where it was as favoured by the rulers themselves as it was later by their Roman counterparts; Alexander the Great,
for example, used to wear a lion skin and carry a club
12, 53 Kaibel f.; see Sauter, pp. 78 ff.). In Rome, this habit was imitated by
Caligula and Nero; Augustus, being more cautious, was content with the mere
comparison; cf. Verg. Aen. 6, 801; Hor. carm. 3, 14, 1 ff. The height was reached
by Commodus, who dressed as Hercules, called himself Hercules Romanus and
even tried himself to imitate hero by performing cruel deeds in the amphitheatre.
Well known is the bust presenting Commodus in a lion skin, the club resting on
his shoulder (see further Riewald, pp. 283 ff.).


By letting the statue in the temple on the Appian Way be given his own features, Domitian perhaps made way for such extravagances as those of Commodus,
but literary comparisons of Domitian and Hercules are comparatively few. Martial
had made some attempts in that direction in 5, 65, depicting the deeds of Hercules
as inferior to the spectacles given by Domitian in the arena and foretelling that the
emperor, like Hercules, will be given heaven as a reward for them. It is not until
Book 9, however, that the true comparisons appear, probably in response to
Domitians statue of Hercules, which would have indicated that the emperor
thought the comparison appropriate. 9, 65 is coupled with the present poem and is
devoted entirely to the statue, but the thoroughly realized comparison appears in
9, 101, a grandiose piece weighing the deeds of Hercules against those of
Domitian, which are naturally found to be superior. The hero is also among the
children of Jupiter in 9, 34, who may be interpreted as representatives of the emperor (see 9, 34 intro.). Perhaps there were further comparisons in the first edition
of Book 10, of which only the second edition has survived; it was issued in the
reign of Trajan and was consequently cleared of all references to Domitian (cf.
Sullivan, Martial, pp. 44 ff.). See also 9, 101 intro.
In the Silvae of Statius, there are no elaborate comparisons between Domitian
and Hercules. A couple of lines in Book 4, however, compare the hero to the emperor; thus 4, 2, 50 f., in which Domitian hosting a banquet is likened to the relaxed Hercules resting after having accomplished his Labours, and 4, 3, 155 ff.,
which draws a parallel between the northward journeys of the emperor and those
of Hercules and Bacchus (cf. Sauter, p. 84). Although these instances are insignificant as compared with those of Martial, it may be noted that they appear in
poems written in 9495 (see Coleman, p. xx), and may thus perhaps have been
inspired by the statue of Hercules with the features of Domitian.
1. Herculis ... Caesar: the order of precedence is set at once: it is Domitian who
deigns to lend his features to Hercules, not vice versa.
The present line offers Martials only instance of Hercules with the epithet
magnus, which in the official Roman cult was restricted to Hercules Magnus Custos but is relatively common in Latin poetry (see Carter, Epitheta, p. 43). In Greek
poetry, the epithet
is rare (see Bmer on Ov. met. 9, 135). In using the
epithet here, Martial emphasizes Domitians greatness: Hercules is magnus, and
yet he is the minor when compared to Domitian (line 6).

2. Latiae viae: sc. Via Appia, presumably called Latia as being the principal
road to Rome from the south (cf. Friedlnder, ad loc.); apparently for the same
reason, it is called Ausonia via in 9, 101, 2. In the same manner, the city of Rome
itself is referred to as both Latia and Ausonia urbs (see note on 9, 17, 4). The
juncture Latia via is unparalleled.
3. Triviae nemorosa regna: south of the Alban lake, near the town of Aricia
(cf. 13, 19, 1) and east of the Appian Way, is the Lacus Nemorensis or Speculum
Dianae (now Lago di Nemi; see map in RE 1, 1310), on the shore of which lay the
famous temple of Diana Nemorensis, to whom the lake and the nearby grove,
nemus Dianae, were sacred. The priest of the temple bore the title of rex Ne66

morensis (cf. Stat. silv. 3, 1, 55; Suet. Cal. 35, 3),1 and the area could thus, as
here, be referred to as a regnum (cf. Ov. ars 1, 260; fast. 3, 271 with Bmer). The
feast of Diana Nemorensis fell on the 13th of August (S