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Wordle: Martial VI 



Seven water clocks to you pleading with a loud voice,
a reluctant judge gave, Caecilianus.
but you speak for a long while many things and
half-laying on your back drink the warm water from your glass flask.
So that you finally satiate both your voice and your thirst,
Caecilianus, we ask that you now imbibe from a water-clock.

XXXV Meter: Elegiac Couplet

Sēp tēm|clēp sȳd|rās māg|nā tĭ bĭ|vō cĕ pĕ|tēn tī
      ār bĭ tĕr|īn vī|tūs,||Cǣ cĭ lĭ|ā nĕ, dĕ|dĭt.
Āt tū|mūl tă dĭ|ū dī|cīs vĭ trĕ|is quĕ tĕ|pēn tĕm
      ām pūl|līs pō|tās||sē mĭ sŭ|pī nŭs ă|quăm.
Ūt tān|dēm să tĭ|ēs vō|cēm quĕ sĭt|īm quĕ, rŏ|gā mūs
      iām dē|clēp sȳd|rā,||Cǣ cĭ lĭ|ā nĕ, bĭ|bās.



In this epigram, M. attacks Caecilianus, who has been granted by a reluctant mater (arbiter invitus) his request for seven waterclocks (septem clepsydras). Evidently, Caecilianus is quite verbose (dicis diu). Finally, M. gets so fed up from hearing Caecilianus, that he requests Caecilianus drink from the waterclock itself (clepsydra) to satiate his voice (vocem) and his thirst (sitim). Pearse's translation pegs Caecilianus as a "troublesome pleader"who has been granted his request to exhaust the clepsydra seven times (Pearse (1897)). This view interprets septem clepsydras more metaphorically, which is an interesting twist on the seemingly literal translation of the phrase. On the character, name Caecilianus appears 15 times in M., likely for its metrical value (Howell (1980) 153). M. seems to have a serious problem with Caecilianus. In epigram I.20, M. criticizes Caecilianus’ dinner party, at which the host eats mushrooms in front of his guests; the punchline says it all: boletum qualem Claudius edit, edas; “may you eat a mushroom such as Claudius ate” (Fitzgerald (2007) 86). M. treats Caecilianus in an unbecoming and ridiculous manner, but he nevertheless adds the punch that so characteristically makes him such a great epigrammatist.

Pearse (1897), Howell (1980), Fitzgerald (2007)

Pearse, Roger (2008) "Martial: Epigrams, Book 6," Bohn's Classical Library. Ipswich, UK

Fitzgerald, William (2007) Martial: The World of Epigram. Chicago

Howell, Peter (1980) A Commentary on Book One of the Epigrams of Martial. London

McIntosh, Gillian Elizabeth. "HAEC EST ILLA MES MULTUM CANTATA LIBELLIS: An Investigation of Female Personae in the Epigrams of Martial." A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Classics Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada August 1997 5 Apr 2009.







S. Campbell