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Wordle: Martial VI 



Cilix a thief of exceedingly notorious greediness

wanted to rob a garden,

But there was in the enormous garden, Fabullus,

Nothing beyond a marble Priapus.

While he did not want to return with an empty hand,

Cilix stole Priapus himself.

LXXII   meter: Hendecasyllabic

Fūr nō|tǣ nĭ   mĭ|ūm ră|pā cĭ|tā tīs

Cōn pī|lā rĕ Cĭ|līx vŏ|lē băt| hōr tŭm,

Īn gēn|tī sĕd ĕr|āt, Fă|būl le̸,͜ ĭn| hōr tō

Prǣ tēr|mār mǒ rĕ|ūm nĭ|hīl Prĭ|ā pūm.

Dūm nōn|vūlt vă cŭ|ā mă|nū rĕ|dī rĕ,

Īp sūm|sūb rĭ pŭ|īt Cĭ|līx Prĭ|ā pŭm.



This is one of the few poems having to do with the deity, Priapus. This phallic god’s only duty is to protect garden in which he is placed. In this poem, he fails to do his job when he is taken by a thief who has found nothing of value. Cilix (the Cilician?) is a thief who has to resort to stealing a marble Priapus because it was the only thing that he might have been able to get a profit for.  This is a humorous poem dealing with two subjects that are often comical in antiquity. The story of Priapus is always referred to for humor and if often confused with Bacchus or Pan, two figures in myth that could have been fathered him with Aphrodite. Thievery is also a used as comic relief, because they usually involve some kind of mishap. Cilix refuses to leave without something, so he steals a statue. 

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

Watson, Lindsay and Patricia, Martial: Selected Epigrams. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge 2003.

S. Higgins