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EPIGRAMMATA VI
 
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Wordle: Martial VI 
 

 
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  • ENGLISH
  • METRICS

  LXXI meter: Elegiac Couplet

  Ē dĕ rĕ|lās cī|vōs ād|Bǣ tĭ că|crūs mă tă|gēs tūs

       Ēt Gā|dī tā|nīs||lū dĕ rĕ|dōc tă mŏ|dīs,

  Tēn dĕ rĕ|quāe trĕ mŭ|lūm Pĕ lĭ|ān Hĕ cŭ|bǣ quĕ mă|rī tūm

      Pōs sĕt ăd|Hēc tŏ rĕ|ōs||sōl lĭ cĭ|tā rĕ rŏ|gōs,

  Ū rĭt ĕt|ēx crŭ cĭ|āt dŏ mĭ|nūm Tĕ lĕ|thū să prĭ|ō rēm:

      Vēn dĭ dĭt|ān cīl/lām,||nūnc rĕ dĭ|mīt dŏ mĭ|nām.


 
EPIGRAM VI.71

 

SUMMARY
Poem 71 deals with Spanish dancers, Mythology, and master/slave relations. The Baetican dancers came from Cadiz or Baetica and were known for being some of the most sexually arousing dancers from anywhere in the world (Fear 76). Their dances were erotic, with little clothing and much body contortion and shaking, like a belly dancer. This former slave, Telethusa, was owned by an unnamed master who then let her go. After learning the art of Spanish dancing, she is able to sexually attract anyone, even the oldest, most impotent men that one could think of, at which point mythological imagery is employed with Telethusa, Pelias, Hecuba and Priam. Pelias, Hecuba, and Priam represent old age, showing that Telethusa can win over any man, even the impotent. The twist at the end is that the master, formerly owning this girl but getting rid of her is now turned into a slave of sorts. He is now forced to pay for what he could have had for free, and there may even be some sexual innuendo to be seen in the slave/mistress relationship. The slave now has the better of the master in this inversion of Roman society's normal roles.


Adams , J.N. The Latin Sexual Vocabulary. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982.

Fear, A. T. "The Dancing Girls of Cadiz." Greece and Rome 38 no.1 (1991): 75-79.

Morford, Mark P.O., Robert J. Lenardon. Classical Mythology: Eighth Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

N. Jurek


 
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