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Wordle: Martial VI 


Because of that so  large thing, the toga-clad crowd shouts “well done!” to you,
    Pomponius, it is your dinner that is eloquent, not you.

XLVIII Meter: Elegiac Couplet
Quōd tām|grān dĕ sŏ|phōs clā|māt tĭ bĭ|tūr bă tŏ|gā tă,
     Nōn tū,|Pōm pō|nī,||cē nă dĭ|sēr tă tŭ|ā e̸st.



The Romans concentrated much on their abilities to host dinners and banquets for their friends, enemies; anyone they wanted to impress.  As mentioned in the poem 6.49, line 2, the host of the dinner, 'Pomponius', seemed to be accepting the praise for the dinner.  Little did he know, the crowd of officials was not cheering for him, but for the miraculous dinner they have been served.  

The crowd that in mentioned in line 1 is described as being 'turba togata' must have been a crowd of high importance and rank in Rome.  One feature that Martial seems to use often is the use of precise adjectives to key in the reader to specific inferences he makes using the limited words he has to keep the meter.  

The meal mentioned would have been quite elegant if it were to recieve more respect and honor then the host of the meal.  The fundamentals of the meal were very important and there was a standard kept when preparing and serving food at dinner.  

As a rule it has three courses.  the first (gustum) comprised a series of small hors d'oeuvres...With this was drunk mulsum, wine mixed with honey, or some sort of juice.  The main course which followed consisted of roast or boiled meat or poultry...The third and final course (mensae secundae) originally also included spiced and salted dishes or shelfish. (Christ, Karl. The Romans: An Introduction to
Their History and Civilisation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985. pp 108-109).

Pomponius is mentioned in history as Titus Pomponius Atticus.  He is described as one who was "deeply involved in the political process in Rome" (Welch, Kathryn E. "T. Pomponius Atticus: A Banker in Politics?" 1996. JSTOR. Geisel Library, Manchester, NH. 22 Apr. 2009 <http://www.jstor.org/stable/4436441>).  He worked around the time of Cicero and was known for his ability to this outside the limititations of the senate (Welch).