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EPIGRAMMATA VI
 
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Wordle: Martial VI 
 

 
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52

In this tomb lies one snatched away in his boyhood years
    Pantagathus, the concern and grief of his master,
Skilled at cutting irregular hairs with the blade scarcely touching
    And at having improved prickly cheeks.
Although, earth, you may be light and peaceful, as you ought to be
    You are not able to be lighter than the hand of this artist.

LII Meter: Elegiac Couplet

Hōc iă cĕt|īn tŭ mŭl|ō rāp|tūs pŭ ĕr|ī lĭ bŭs|ān nīs
      Pān tă gă|thūs, dŏ mĭ|nī||cū ră dŏ|lōr quĕ sŭ|ī,
Vīx tān|gēn tĕ vă|gōs fēr|rō rĕ sĕ|cā rĕ|că|pīl lōs
     Dōc tŭs ĕt|hīr sū|tās||ēx cŏ lŭ|īs sĕ gĕ|nās.
Sīs lĭ cĕt,|ūt dē|bēs, tēl|lūs, plā|cā tă lĕ|vīs quĕ,
     Ār tĭ fĭ|cīs lĕ vĭ|ōr||nōn pŏ tĕs|ēs sĕ mă|nū.


 
EPIGRAM VI.52

 

SUMMARY
    Pantagathus (Heslin, P.J. Diogenes. Computer software. Vers. 3.1.6.), a slave boy working under and Roman master is the one who is described in this poem.  The poem starts with a very insightful piece of information.  Pantagathus now lies in his tomb dead.  After this very shocking first line, the poem moves ahead to the description of of what Pantagathus used to do while he was alive and a member of his masters staff.  
   
    Pantagathus was a key part of his master's slaves and he is the one who learned and was trusted to shave the beard off of his master's face and tending to his his master's hair.  

    Pantagathus has become very good at his trade and has become very trusted by his master.  He has become so good at tending to his master's various types of hair that he has been described as being able to use his cutting blade so that it feels as if it is not even touching his master's skin (Vix tangente vagos ferro resecare capillos, Doctus et hirsutas excoluisse genas).

    The last lines are the lines that give and especially good name to Pantagathus.  The earth is described in the second to last line as having the lightest touch with people (Sis licet, ut debes, tellus, placata levisque).  The last line complements Pantagathus extremely by acknowledging that he has a lighter touch then the touch of the earth.  

    This poem seems to be a poem that is not the description of a pesky slave like most poems.  It is a poem that is comemorating a slave that was very good at his assigned task.  He was so good that he was described as being an Artificis.  

C. McLean


 
GLOSSARY/PARSING (LATIN)

 

COMMENTARY (ENGLISH)