Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis) c.38 – 104, a Latin poet writing at the end of the first century AD, is one of the most under-appreciated Latin authors. We know very little about Martial as a person outside of clues and hints found in his own works (which cannot be taken as true facts given the mostly fictional nature of the books). It is almost certain that he was born in Spain and moved to Rome in order to further his literary career. He wrote fifteen books of epigrams, twelve of which combine to create an epic-length connected work. His epigrams are often witty, beautiful, thoughtful, and yes, sometimes obscene. They also create a world which is fascinating and different; a world which is, and is not, Rome at the end of the first century, and one in which his books allow us to become a part of.

Dr Francesca Sapsford

Epigrammata | Liber Spectaculorum


Epigrams 1.1 | A Self-Eulogy
Contributed by Francesca Sapsford

Epigrams 1.34, 5.68, 10.39, 11.62, 6.34 | Martial on Lesbia
Contributed by Jacob Horn

Epigrams 2.36, 8.47, 10.83, 12.7 | Hair and Beauty
Contributed by Matthew Liscovitz

Epigrams 5.34 | An Epitaph to Eurotion
Contributed by Francesca Sapsford

Epigrams 7.3-5, 9, 13 | A Favorite Collection
Contributed by Gabe Reale

Epigrams 9.61 and 12.50 | A Living Estate and a Sterile Mansion – Ben Jonson’s ‘To Penshurt’
Contributed by Marlin E. Blaine

liber spectaculorum

Spectacles 1 | The Colosseum
Contributed by Francesca Sapsford

Spectacles | Greek Mythology
Contributed by Shayna Slininger