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B.CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. T. B. PAGE, Litt.D W. H. D. ROUHB, Litt.D.




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BOOK X 151








I 11


Digitized by CjOOQ IC

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Imperatori DoMiTiANo Caesari Augusto Germanico
Dacico Valerius Martialis S.

Omnes quidem libelli mei^ domine, quibus tu famam^
id est vitam, dedisti, tibi supplicant ; et, puto propter
hoc legentur. hie tamen, qui operis nostri octavus in-
scribitur, occasione pietatis frequentius fruitur ; minus
itaque ingenio laborandum fuit, in cuius locum mate-
ria successerat: quam quidem subinde aliqua iocorum
mixtura variare temptavimus, ne caelesti verecundiae
tuae laudes suas, quae facilius te fatigare possint
quam nos satiare, omnis versus ingereret. quamvis
autem epigrammata a severissimis quoque et summae
fortunae viris ita scripta sint ut mimicam verborum
licentiam adfectasse videantur, ego tamen illis non
permisi tam lascive loqui quam solent. cum pars
libri et maior et melior ad maiestatem sacri nominis
tui alligata sit, meminerit non nisi religiosa purifica-
tione lustratos accedere ad templa debere. quod

^ This book appears by internal evidence to have been
published towards the end of a.d. 93. The epigrams are
not, however, in chronological order.


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To THE Emperor Domitianus^ Caesar^ Augustus,

Conqueror of Germany and Dacia, Valerius

Martialis sends Greeting^

Of a truth all my little books, Sire, to which you
have given fame, that is, life, are your suppliants,
and I think will, for this reason, be read. This one,
however, which is marked the eighth of my works,
enjoys more frequently the opportunity of showing
loyalty. Accordingly I had less occasion for the
labour of invention, for which the subject-matter
formed a substitute ; that, however, I have here and
there attempted to diversify by some intermixture
of pleasantry, so that every verse should not heap
upon your divine modesty its meed of praise which
would more easily weary you than satiate me. And
although epigrams have been written in such a style,
even by men the most austere and of the highest
position, as apparently to have aimed at the verbal
licence of mimes, yet I have not allowed these to
speak with their usual playfulness. As part of my
book — and that the greater and better — ^is attached
to the Majesty of your sacred name, it should re-
member that it is unfitting to approach the temple
save cleansed by religious purification. ^ That readers

' An allusion to the Emperor's assumption of deity : cf.
VIII. ii. 6.

B 2

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ut custoditurum me lecturi sciant^ in ipso libelli
huius limine profiteri brevissimo placuit epigram-

Laurigeros domini^ liber^ intrature penates
disce verecundo sanctius ore loqui.

nuda recede Venus ; non est tuus iste li bell us :
tu mihi^ tu Pallas Caesariana^ veni.


Fastorum genitor parensque lanus

victorem modo cum videret Histri,

tot vultus sibi non satis putavit

optavitque oculos habere plures,

et lingua pariter locutus omni 5

terrarum domino deoque rerum

promisit Pyliam quater senectam.

addas^ lane pater^ tuam rogamus.


" QuiNQUE satis fuerant : nam sex septemve libelli
est nimium : quid adhue ludere, Musa^ iuvat ?

sit pudor et finis : iam plus nihil addere nobis
fama potest : teritur noster ubique liber ;

et cum rupta situ Messallae saxa iacebunt 5

altaque cum Licini marmora pulvis erunt,

^ Because of the Emperor's recent victories on the Danube.

2 The god Janus presided over the year and the public
records. He was represented with two faces turned in op-
posite ways, i.e. towards the past and the future ; or with
four to represent the four seasons.

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BOOK VIII. i-iii

may know I shall regard this obligation^ I have deter-
mined to make my profession on the very threshold
of this little book by a very brief epigram.


Thou, my book, who art purposed to enter my
Master's laurel- wreathed ^ abode, learn to speak more
reverently in modest speech. Undraped Venus, stand
back : this little book is not thine ; do thou come
to me, thou, Pallas, patron of Caesar.


When Janus, begetter and parent of our annals,^
of late saw Hister*s conqueror, he deemed his many
faces were not enough for him, and wished to possess
more eyes ; and, speaking alike with every tongue,
he promised the Lord of Earth and God of the
Universe a Pylian old age * four times over. Add,
Father Janus, we entreat, your own.


" Five were sufficient ; for six or seven books are
too much : why do you want. Muse, to frolic still ?
Let there be some stint and an end : now nothing
more can Fame give me ; my book is thumbed every-
where ; and when Messalla's * pavements shall lie
shivered by decay, and Licinus'* towering marble

' Nestor's.

* M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus, the patron of Tibullus :
c/. X. ii. 9. He repaired the Via Latina : cf. Tib. i. vii. 57.
Or '* saxa '* may perhaps refer to his tomb.

* A rich freedman of Augustus (cf, Juv. i. 109), who had
a magnificent tomb.

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me tamen ora legent et secum plurimus hospes

ad patrias sedes carmina nostra feret."
finieram^ cum sic respondit nona sororum,

cui coma et unguento sordida vestis erat : 10

^^ Tune potes dulcis, ingrate, relinquere nugas ?

die mihi, quid melius desidiosus ages ?
an iuvat ad tragicos soccum transferre coturnos

aspera vel paribus bella tonare modis,
praelegat ut tumidus rauca te voce magister, 15

oderit et grandis virgo bonusque puer ?
scribant ista graves nimium nimiumque severi,

quos media miseros nocte lucerna videt.
at tu Romanos lepido sale tingue libellos :

adgnoscat mores vita legatque suos. 20

angusta cantare licet videaris avena,

dum tua multorum vincat a vena tubas."


QuANTUS, io, Latias mundi conventus ad aras

suscipit et solvit pro duce vota suo !
non sunt haec hominum, Germanice, gaudia tantum^

sed faciunt ipsi nunc, puto, sacra deL

Dum donas, Macer, anulos puellis,
desisti, Macer, anulos habere.

' Thalia, the Muse of epigram. • Hexameters.

^ For Jan. 3, the day when vows were publicly offered for
the Emperor {votorum nuncupcUio : c/. Suet. iVer. xlvi.)*

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BOOK VIII. iii-v

shall be dust^ yet me shall lips read^ and many
a sojourner shall carry my poems with him to his
fatherland." I ended; when thus replied the ninth
of the Sisters,^ her hair and vesture stained with
unguent : " Can you, ungrateful man, resign your
pleasant trifles? Tell me, what better thing when
idle will you do ? Wish you to adapt your comic shoe
to the tragic buskin, or in even-footed measures* to
thunder of rough wars, that a pompous pedagogue
may dictate you in hoarse tones, and tall girl and
honest boy hate you ? Let those themes be written
by men grave overmuch, and overmuch austere, whom
at midnight their lamp marks at their wretched toil.
But do you dip your little Roman books in sprightly
wit ; let Life recognize and read of her own man-
ners. To a thin pipe you may appear to sing, if only
your pipe outblow the trump of many."


Ho ! How great a concourse of the world at Latin
altars makes and pays their vows^ for their Chief!
These are not the joys of men only, Germanicus :
nay, the very gods now, I ween, offer sacrifice.

While you give rings to girls, Macer, you have
ceased, Macer, to possess rings yourself.*

* i.e. you have lost your qualification as a knisht : cf.
Juv. xi. 43. The iua amdorum (right to wear a gold ring)
was possessed by senators, knights, and magistrates.

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Archetypis vetuli nihil est odiosius Aucti

(ficta Saguntino cymbia malo luto),
argenti furiosa sui cum stemmata narrat

garrulus et verbis mucida vina facit :
^^ Laomedonteae fuerant haec pocula mensae : 5

ferret ut haec, muros struxit Apollo lyra.
hoc cratere ferox commisit proelia Rhoetus

cum Lapithis : pugna debile cernis opus,
hi duo longaevo censentur Nestore fundi :

pollice de Pylio trita columba nitet. 10

hie scyphus est in quo misceri iussit amicis

largius Aeacides vividiusque merum.
hac propinavit Bitiae pulcherrima Dido

in patera, Phrygio cum data cena viro est."
miratus fueris cum prisca toreumata multum, 15

in Priami calathis Astyanacta bibes.


Hoc agere est causas, hoc dicere, Cinna, diserte,
horis, Cinna, decem dicere verba novem ?

sed modo clepsydras ingenti voce petisti
quattuor. o quantum, Cinna, tacere potes !


Principium des, lane, licet velocibus annis
et renoves voltu saecula longa tuo,

1 In the battle between the Lapithae and the Centaurs.
« Achilles : cf. Horn. //. ix. 203.


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BOOK VIII. vi-viii


Than old Auctus* antiques nothing is more odious — I
prefer drinking vessels moulded from Saguntine clay
— when he prates of the crazy pedigrees of his silver
plate, and by his chattering makes the wine vapid.
" These are cups that once belonged to Laomedon's
table : to win these Apollo by his harp-playing built the
walls of Troy. With this mixing-bowl fierce Rhoetus
joined battle with the Lapithae : ^ you see the work-
manship is dinted by the fight. These two goblets
are valuable because of aged Nestor : the dove is
burnished by the rubbing of the Pylian thumb. This
is the tankard in which the grandson of Aeacus*
ordered a fuller draught and stronger wine be mixed
for his friends. In this Ik)w1 most beautiful Dido
pledged Bitias when her banquet was given to the
Phrygian hero." " When you have much admired
these ancient chasings, in Priam's cups you will
drink Astyanax.*


Is this your pleading of causes, is this eloquence,
Cinna, in ten hours, Cinna, to say nine words .'' And
just now in loud tones you asked for four water-
clocks ! ^ Oh, what store of silence, Cinna, you
possess !


Albeit thou, Janus, givest their beginning to the
flying years, and dost with thy visage renew the

' Aeneas : c/*. Verg. Aen. i. 738.

* ».e. something very young and immature. Astyanax was
the grandson of Priam. * cf. vi. xxxv. 1.


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te primum pia tura rogent^ te vota salutent^
purpura te felix, te colat omnis honos :

tu tamen hoc mavis, Latiae quod contigit urbi
mense tuo redueem, lane, videre deum.


Solvere dodrantem nuper tibi, Quinte, volebat
lippus Hylas, luscus vult dare dimidium.

accipe quam primum ; brevis est occasio lucri :
si fuerit caecus, nil tibi solvet Hylas.


Emit lacemas milibus deeem Bassus

Tyrias colons optimi. lucrifecit.

" Adeo bene emit ? '* inquis. immo non solvet,


Pervenisse tuam iam te scit Rhenus in urbem ;

nam populi voces audit et ille tui :
Sarmaticas etiam gentes Histrumque Getasque

laetitiae clamor terruit ipse novae,
dum te longa sacro venerantur gaudia Circo,

nemo quater missos currere sensit equos.
nullum Roma ducem, nee te sic, Caesar, amavit :

te quoque iam non plus, ut velit ipsa, potest.


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BOOK VIII. viii-xi

long siges, albeit pious incense invokes thee, prayers
salute thee first, to thee the consul's joyous purple,
to thee every magistrate pays court, yet this thou
countest more — it has been thy fortune, Janus, in
thine own month to see our god ^ returning home !


Hylas, when blear-eyed, Quintus, was willing lately
to pay you three-quarters of his debt ; now he is one-
eyed he is willing to give half. Take it at once :
brief is the opportunity for gain ; if he become
blind, Hylas won't pay you a penny.


Bassus has bought a cloak for ten thousand ses-
terces, a Tyrian of the best colour. He has made
a bargain. " Did he buy so cheap? ** you ask. Aye,
he is not going to pay.


That thou hast come to thy city Rhine knows
already, for he too hears the voices of thy people :
Sarmatian tribes as well, and Hister and the Getae,
the very shout of our new-found gladness has af-
feared. While in the sacred Circus applause long
sustained revered thee, no man perceived the steeds
had four times been started. No chief has Rome
so loved, nor thee so much, Caesar, as now ; thee
too, albeit she would, she cannot now love more.

1 The Emperor.


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UxoREM quare locupletem ducere nolim

quaeritis ? uxori nubere nolo meae.
inferior matrona suo sit, Prisce, marito :

non aliter fiunt femina virque pares.


MoRio dictus erat : viginti milibus emi.
redde mi hi numnios, Gargiliane : sapit.


Pallida ne Cilicum timeant pomaria brumam,

mordeat et tenerum fortior aura nemus,
hibernis obiecta Notis specularia puros

admittunt soles et sine faece diem,
at mihi cella datur non tota clusa fenestra, 5

in qua nee Boreas ipse manere velit.
sic habitare iubes veterem crudelis amicum ?

arboris ergo tuae tutior hospes ero.


DuM nova Pannonici numeratur gloria belli,
omnis et ad redueem dum litat ara lovem,

dat populus, dat gratus eques, dat tura senatus,
et ditant Latias tertia dona tribus,

^ Naturals or cretins were kept as curiosit es : c/". iii.
Ixxxii. 24 ; xii. xciii. 3.


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BOOK VIII. xii-xv


" Why am 1 unwilling to marry a rich wife ? '* Do
you ask? I am unwilling to take my wife as husband.
Let the matron be subject to her husband^ Priscus ;
in no other way do woman and man become equal.


He had been described as an idiot ;^ I bought him
for twenty thousand sesterces. Give me back my
money, Gargilianus ; he has his wits.


That your orchard trees from Cilicia may not grow
wan and dread the winter, nor too keen an air nip
the tender boughs, glass casements facing the wintry
south winds admit the clear suns and daylight un-
defiled. But to me is assigned a garret, shut in by
an ill-fitting window, in which even Boreas himself
would not care to abide. Is it in such a lodging you
cruelly bid your old friend dwell ? Then as the
guest of one of your trees I shall be more protected. ^


What time from Pannonian war new glory is added
to the tale, and every altar makes fair offerings to
greet returning Jove, while the people gives, the
grateful knights give, the Senate gives incense, and
a third largess makes rich the Latin tribes, Rome

2 cf. a similar epigram, viii. Ixviii.


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hos quoque secretos memoravit^ Roma triumphos^ 5
nee minor ista tuae laurea pacis erat,^

quod tibi de sancta credis pietate tuorum.
principis est virtus maxima nosse suos.


PiSTOR qui fueras diu, Cypere,

causas nunc agis et ducena quaeris :

sed consumis et usque mutuaris.

a pistore, Cypere, non recedis :

et panem facis et facis farinam. 5


Egi, Sexte, tuam pactus duo milia causam.

misisti nummos quod mihi mille quid est ?
" Narrasti nihil ** inquis '' et a te perdita causa est."

tanto plus debes, Sexte, quod erubui.


Si tua, Cerrini, promas epigrammata vulgo,

vel mecum possis vel prior ipse legi :
sed tibi tantus inest veteris respectus amici^

carior ut mea sit quam tua fama tibi.

* memorabit fi. • erit fi,

1 Domitian had waived a formal triumph, merely dedicat-
ing a laurel- wreath (ista laurea, 1. 6) to Jupiter Capitolinus :
Suet. Dom, vi. ; Stat. Sylv. iii. iii. 171.


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BOOK VIII. xv-xviii

has made memorable this triumph also^ though con-
cealed ; ^ nor was the laurel that marks the peace
thou bringest of less account, because touching thy
people's reverent love thou dost trust thyself.^ A
Prince's greatest virtue is to know his own.


You who were long a baker, Cyperus, now conduct
cases, and look to make two hundred thousand ses-
terces a year; but you squander them, and are
continually raising loans. You do not part from
your r61e of baker, Cyperus ; you make your bread —
and make your dust fly too.^


I HAVE pleaded your case, Sextus, for an agreed
fee of two thousand sesterces. What is the reason
you have sent me one thousand? *'You set out
none of the facts," you remark, "and by you my
case was ruined." You owe me all the more, Sextus;
I blushed.


Were you, Cerrinius, to issue your epigrams to the
public, you might be read in rivalry with me, or even
as my superior ; but so great is your regard for your
old friend that dearer to you is my fame than your

2 i.e. thou canst rely on the people understanding the
greatness of thy victory without a triumph.

• i.e. you dissipate your earnings, as grain is reduced to
the dust of flour. Or perhaps the metaphor is taken from
flour falling through the meshes of a sieve : c/. Pers. iii. 112.


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sic Maro nee Calabri temptavit carmina Flacei, 5
Pindarieos nosset cum superare modos^

et Vario cessit Romani laude coturni,
cum posset tragico fortius ore loqui.

aurum et opes et rura frequens donabit amicus :
qui velit ingenio cedere rarus erit. 10


Pauper videri Cinna vult ; et est pauper.


Cum facias versus nulla non luce ducenos,
Vare, nihil recitas. non sapis^ atque sapis.


Phosphore, redde diem : quid gaudia nostra moraris ?

Caesare venturo, Phosphore, redde diem.
Roma rogat. placidi numquid te pigra Bootae

plaustra vehunt, lento quod nimis axe venis ?
Ledaeo poteras abducere Cyllaron astro : 5

ipse suo cedet nunc tibi Castor equo.
quid cupidum Titana tenes .'* iam Xanthus et Aethon

frena volunt, vigilat Memnonis alma parens,
tarda tamen nitidae non cedunt sidera luci,

et cupit Ausonium luna videre ducem. 10

iam, Caesar, vel nocte veni : stent astra licebit,

non derit populo te veniente dies.

^ Horace.

• It is fatal to appear poor : cf, v. Ixxxi.

• The Constellation of the Lesser Bear.

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ftOOK Vin. xviii-xxi

own. So Maro did not even attempt the Ijrics of
Calabrian Flaccus,^ although his skill might have
surpassed the measures of Pindar, and he gave place
to Varius in the renown of the Roman buskin, though
he might have spoken in tragic tone with stronger
voice. Gold and possessions and lands many a friend
will bestow : he who is willing to yield in genius will
be rare.


CiNNA wishes to appear poor, and he is poor.^


Although no day passes but you compose two
hundred verses. Varus, you recite none of them.
You have no wit — and yet are wise.

Phosphor, bring us back day; why puttest thou
off our joys ? Now Caesar comes, Phosphor, bring
us back day, Rome begs thee. Doth the sluggish
wain of slow-twisting Bootes* bear thee, that thou
comest with too slow an axle ? Thou mightest have
withdrawn Cyllarus* from Leda's constellation ; freely
will Castor now yield his steed to thee. Why stayest
thou eager Titan? Already Xanthus and Aethon^
look for the reins ; Memnon's kindly Mother^ wakes.
Yet the slow stars yield not to glowing light, and
the moon longs to see Ausonia*s Chief. Now, Caesar,
come thou, even by night ; let the stars stand still ;
the people, when thou comest, shall not want for day.

. * The horse of Castor : c/. vni. xxviii. 8.
* Horses of the Sun : cf. iii. Ixvii. 5.
® Aurora, goddess of the morning.


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In VITAS ad aprum^ ponis mihi^ Gallice^ porcum.
hybrida sum, si das, Gallice, verba mihi.


Esse tibi videor saevus nimiumque gulosus,
qui propter cenam, Rustice, caedo cocum.

si levis ista tibi flagrorum causa videtur,
ex qua vis causa vapulet ergo cocus ?


Si quid forte petam timido gracilique libello,
inproba non fiierit si mea charta, dato.

et si non dederis, Caesar, permitte rogari :
ofFendunt numquam tura precesque lovem.

qui fingit sacros auro vel marmore vultus, 5

non facit ille deos : qui rogat, ille facit.


ViDisTi semel, Oppiane, tantum
aegrum me : male saepe te videbo.


NoN tot in Eois timuit Gangeticus arvis
raptor, in Hyrcano qui fugit albus equo,

quot tua Roma novas vidit, Germanice, tigres,
delicias potuit nee numerare suas.

* Hybrids were supposed to want sense. A hybrid pri-
marily meant the offspring of a sow and of a wild boar : cf,
Plin. iVr.^. viii. 79.

18 '


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BOOK VIII. xxii-xxvi


You invite me to a boar ; you set before me, Gal-
licus, a pig. I am a hybrid ^ myself if you can deceive
me, Gallicus.


I APPEAR to you cruel and over gluttonous because,
on account of the dinner, Rusticus, I lash my cook.
If that seem to you a slight reason for a beating,
for what reason, then, do you wish a cook to be
flogged ?


If I may by chance ask for something in my bashful
and slender little volume, if my page be not overbold,
do thou grant it. And even if thou shalt not grant
it, Caesar, allow the asking: incense and prayers
never offend Jove. He who shapes sacred lineaments
in gold or marble does not make gods : he makes
them who prays.


You came to see me once only when I was ill. It
will go badly with me if I see you often. ^

Online LibraryMartialEpigrams, with an English translation → online text (page 1 of 29)