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Epigrams: With parallel Latin text (Oxford…
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Epigrams: With parallel Latin text (Oxford World's Classics)

by Martial

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You have to love martial; offering glimpses into daily life in ancient Rome with his witty, and often scathing and obscene epigrams.

I read the OWC edition translated by Dr. Gideon Nisbet which is immensely readable and entertaining.

The publishing team released a very informative & entertaining playlist of short interviews with him about his translation which serves as a great introduction to Martial's life & times which can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLY2GBapteg3nSigwX9KOzBb4YFYnGeYQ6

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Here is a really beautiful epigram which shows a very different side of Martial which is, unfortunately, not included in this selection

—Book X, Epigram 47

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A few of my favourites...

"...No puffery gets near my little books; my Muse doesn't swell and strut in the trailing robe of Tragedy. 'but that stuff gets all the applause, the awe, the worship.' I can't deny it: that stuff does get the applause. But my stuff gets read." - 4.49

"Antonius Primus is happy: he has tallies fifteen completed Olympiads in a life untroubled. He can look back at the days gone by, at the years he has banked; the waters of Lethe draw closer, but he does not fear them. None of his days fails to please, or is hard to bear, as he reviews it in memory; every last one is a pleasure to recall. The good man broadens himself the span of his years: to be able to enjoy the life you have spent, is to live it twice." - 10.23

"You wonder why Marius' ear smells bad. You're making it smell, Nestor: you keep talking shit into it." - 3.28

"Want to know how skinny your arse is, Sabellus? It's so skinny you can fuck people in the arse with it." 3.98

"When you step across the threshold of a marked-up cubicle, whether your hard-on's for a boy or a girl, you're never happy with doors and a curtain and a bolt; you demand greater secrecy. If there's the smallest crack you don't like the look of, or a tiny hole bored by a voyeur's pin, it's plastered over. No one is so fastidious or so anxious about appearances who just fucks arses or pussies, Cantharus." - 11.45
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  EroticsOfThought | Feb 27, 2018 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0199645450, Paperback)

"If you're one of those terribly serious readers, now is a good time to leave."

The poet we call Martial, Marcus Valerius Martialis, lived by his wits in first-century Rome. Pounding the mean streets of the Empire's capital, he takes apart the pretensions, addictions, and cruelties of its inhabitants with perfect comic timing and killer punchlines. Social climbers and sex-offenders, rogue traders and two-faced preachers - all are subject to his forensic annihilations and often foul-mouthed verses. Packed with incident and detail, Martial's epigrams bring Rome vividly to life in all its variety; biting satire rubs alongside tender friendship, lust for life beside sorrow for loss. Gossipy, clever, and above all entertaining, they express amusement as much as indignation at the vices they expose.

This selection brings Martial to a twenty-first century readership in a prose translation that pulls no punches and presents him in all his moods. It establishes his originality as a literary author, and the significance of his achievement as the poet who conquered epigram for Rome.

ABOUT THE SERIES:
For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 31 Aug 2015 09:20:21 -0400)

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