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Wordle: Martial VI 



This sixth little book is sent to you,

Martialis, dear to me among the first:

Which, if you will have cleaned with an attentive ear,

It, less anxious and trembling, will dare

To come into the mighty hands of Caesar.

I meter: Hendecasyllabic

Sēx tūs|mīt tĭ tŭr| hīc tĭ|bī lĭ|bēl lŭs,
Īn prī|mūs mĭ hĭ| cā rĕ| Mār tĭ|ā līs:
Quēm sī| tēr sĕ rĭ|s āu rĕ| dī lĭ|gēn tĭ,
Āu dē|bīt mĭ nŭs| ān xĭ|ūs trĕ|mēns quĕ
Māg nās| Cǣ să rĭs| īn mă|nūs vĕ|nī rĕ.



Martial begins Book VI by dedicating it to his long time friend, Julius Martialis. In 12.34, Martial states that he has been friends with Martialis for thirty-four years (triginta... quattuorque), making Martial in his mid twenties when the two became friends. He is mentioned in numerous epigrams in every book of Martial's except Book II and Book VIII. Martialis receives the finished copy of the book from Martial, but is asked to make corrections. These corrections most likely are more than just scribal mistakes, if Martialis must use his auris (Watson).

Although Martial does dedicate this book of epigrams to Martialis, this quickly becomes overlooked when Martial mentions the emperor Domitian. The only purpose of having Martialis look over his epigrams is to make sure they are good enough for Domitian to read. Martialis is, in this instance at least, merely a stepping stone to help Martial reach his ultimate goal of having Domitian as a member of his audience (Nuurd).

Nauta, Ruurd R. Poetry for Patrons. New York: Brill Academic Publishers, 2000.
Watson, Lindsey and Patrician, eds. Martial: Select Epigrams. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

K. Renner