Category Archives: Martial

Epigrams 9.61 and 12.50: A Living Estate and a Sterile Mansion

In my seventeenth-century literature class, I teach Ben Jonson’s poem “To Penshurst.”  He borrows from both of these (and other) epigrams in that poem. I wanted my students to read […]

Martial: Greek Mythology in Roman Spectacle

The following are selections from Martial’s De Spectaculis Liber. I have selected according to the theme “Greek Mythology in Roman Spectacle”, including epigrams that contain reference to display of a […]

Martial Epigrams 1.34, 5.68, 10.39, 11.62, 6.34 (contributed by Jacob Horn)

Martial makes no secret that he was greatly inspired by the poetry of his predecessor Catullus, whose contributions to poetry beyond his epigrams Martial often minimizes, if not outright ignores.  […]

Martial Epigrams 2.36, 8.47, 10.83, 12.7 (contributed by Matthew Liscovitz)

Martial wrote several epigrams about how people wear their hair, or lack of hair. These epigrams give a quirky insight into Roman thoughts on beauty not so different from ideas […]

Martial Epigrams 7.305, 9, 13 (contributed by Gabe Reale)

These are a few of my favorite witty epigrams from the first portion of book 7 of Martial’s epigrams, the collection of which I am studying for my Junior Seminar […]

Martial Spectacles 1 (contributed by Francesca Sapsford)

The Liber Spectaculorum was probably Martial’s first collection of epigrams and this is the first of three prefatory epigrams introducing the Flavian ampitheatre. Francesca Sapsford   Barbara pyramidum sileat miracula Memphis, […]

Martial Epigrams 5.34 (contributed by Francesca Sapsford)

This epigram is often selected by those giving examples of Martial’s poems. It purports to be a eulogy to Erotion, a slave-girl who has recently died. Martial wishes her to […]

Martial Epigrams 1.1, 6.60(61) (contributed by Francesca Sapsford)

The first epigram of Book 1 is fascinating as it proclaims this is to be the work of the world-famous Martial. However, this is his fourth book and is the […]