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EPIGRAMMATA VI
 
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Wordle: Martial VI 
 

 
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18

The sacred shade of Saloninus rests in the Hiberian lands,
Than which no better sees the Stygian abodes,
But to mourn is a crime: for he who left you beind, Priscus,
Lives by which part he wished to live more.

XVIII meter: Elegiac Couplet

Sānctă Săl|ōnĭnĭ| tērrīs| rēquī|ēscĭt Hĭ|bērīs,
     Quā mĕlĭ|ōr Stŷgĭ|ās|| nōn vĭdĕt| ūmbră dŏ|mōs.
Sēd lŭgĕ|rē nē|fās: nām| quī tē| Prīscĕ rĕl|īquīt,
     Vīvīt|quā vŏlŭ|īt|| vīvĕrĕ| pārtĕ mă|gīs.


 
EPIGRAM VI.18

 

SUMMARY
Here Martial speaks of the shade of Saloninus. He is probably speaking of Gaius Asinius Gallus Saloninus, a Roman senator who died in 33 AD by starvation in prison at the hands of Tiberius (Tacitus, Annals 6.23). Priscus, to whom the poem is addressed, is probably Helvidius Priscus the younger. Priscus’ father (Helvidius Priscus the elder) was executed by Vespasian in 79 AD because of his open opposition to the emperor’s rule (Epictetus, Discourses 1.2.19-21). This is probably the reason Martial addresses Priscus in this poem, since both Priscus’ father and Saloninus died at the hands of emperors they opposed. Martial tells Priscus not to mourn Saloninus’ death because Saloninus now lives as he wishes, as a shade. Ironically in 93, three years after this poem was written, Priscus himself was charged in a treason trial by Domitian and executed (Rogers, 1960).

Rogers, Robert Samuel, ‘A Group of Domitianic Treason-Trials.’ Classical Philology. Vol. 55 No. 1 (1960) pp. 19-23, The University of Chicago Press.



D. Droggitis


 
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