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Wordle: Martial VI 



Household Nymph, who glides in the pure fountain of my Stella

And enters under the bejeweled roof of the master

Whether the consort of Numa sent you from the grotto of Trivia

Or you come ninth from the group of muses.

With this virgin sow Marcus absolves himself from solemn promises to you

Because sick, he drank stolen water.

You now being content with my crime,

grant me the safe joys of your fountain, let my thirst be healthy.

XLVII meter: Elegiac Couplet          

Nȳm phă, mĕ|ī  Stēl|laē quaē|fōn tĕ dŏ|mēs tĭ că|pū rō

    Lā bĕ rĭs|ēt dŏ mĭ|nī||gēm mĕ ă|tēc tă sŭ|bīs,

Sī vĕ Nŭ|maē cōn|iūnx Trĭ vĭ| ǣ tē|mī sĭt ăb|ān trīs,

    Sī vĕ Că|mē nār|ūm||dē grĕ gĕ|nō nă vĕ|nīs:

Ē xōl|vīt vō|tīs hāc |sē tĭ bĭ |vīr gĭ nĕ |pōr cā

    Mār cūs ,|fūr tī|vām ||quōd bĭ bĭt |aē gĕ ră|quām.

Tū cōn|tēn tă mĕ|ō  iām|crī mĭ nĕ|gaū dĭ ă|fōn  tīs

    Dā sē|cū ră tŭ |ī:||sīt mĭ hĭ|sā nă sĭt|ĭs.






Rome was connected to many aqueducts.  If one was wealthy enough, they could have an aqueduct connected directly to their house.  Martial praises this particular poem in the home of his patron Arruntius Stella in book seven, poem 15.  He talks about the beauty of Stella’s home and then asks the fountain itself questions.  Stella’s fountain must have been quite impressive for Martial to write two poems on it in two different books. (Aicher)

Martial, loving to indulge in laziness, was not a fan of some of the aspects of being a client.  He detested the salutatio, where he would have to get up early and get dressed in his toga, ready to meet his patrons.  Martial did not like the long hours and detested appearing in public applauding his client and clearing paths for him on busy streets.  Martial changed patrons quite frequently, sometimes because they were not there when they were supposed to be or sometimes through his own fault.  Martial does seem to stay on good terms with his patrons who are literary figures themselves, Frontius and Proculus. (Jones)

Aicher, Peter J. “Terminal Display Fountains ("Mostre") and the Aqueducts of Ancient Rome” Phoenix, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Winter, 1993), pp. 339-352. Published by: Classical Association of Canada.

Jones, Francis L. “Martial: the Client” The Classical Journal, Vol. 30, No. 6 (Mar., 1935), pp. 355-361. Published by: The Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Inc.







E. Craig