Header image  
line decor
line decor

Wordle: Martial VI 



I have purchased a rural farm for many sesterces:

I ask you, Caecilianus, to give me a hundred on loan.

You answer nothing to me? I believe that you, silent, say

“You will not return it.”: For that reason, Caecilianus, I ask you.

XL meter: Elegiac Couplet

Fē mĭ nă|praē fēr|rī pŏ tŭ|īt tĭ bĭ|nūl lă, Ly̆|cō rī:

Praē fēr|rī Gly̆ cĕ|raē ||fē mĭ nă|nūl lă pŏ|tēst.

Haēc ĕ rĭt|hōc quōd|tū: tū|nōn pŏ tĕ|s ēs sĕ quŏd|haēc ēst

Tēm pŏ ră|quīd fă cĭ|ūnt!||hānc vŏ lŏ,|tē vŏ lŭ|ī.



This epigram deals with the patron and client relationship, particularly as it pertains to money and loans. Martial often asked his patrons for money (Saller). Often, he received what he asked for, but that does not appear to be the case in this epigram. Martial asked Caecilianus for money to ease the debt he procurred after buying his country house. He chose Caecilianus because Martial doesn't think he will have to pay him back, but that is the very reason why Caecilianus chooses to ignore Martial's request. Although Caecilianus probably is a fictional character, he represents Martial's relationship with many of his patrons (Postgate).

Many of Martial's epigrams discuss his country house, which seems to be in disrepair. It is likely he put a large amount of money not only into buying this house, as the poem states, but into repairing it, which would have increased his debt even more. The one hundred sesterces he wants to borrow from Caecilianus would equal about $600 today.

Postgate, J. P. "On Some Passages of Catullus and Martial." Classical Philology, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Jul., 1908), pp. 257-263

Saller, R. P. "Martial on Patronage and Literature." The Classical Quarterly,
New Series, Vol. 33, No. 1 (1983), pp. 246-257

K. Renner