Header image  
EPIGRAMMATA VI
 
line decor
  
line decor


 
Wordle: Martial VI 
 

 
  • LATIN
  • ENGLISH
  • METRICS

73

An unskilled farmer did not make me with an unskilled sickle:

You perceive the noble work of a steward.

For the rich cultivator of the field of Caeretanus.

Hilarus has these hills and fertile ridges.

Behold, how I may not seem wooden with respect to my fixed face.

Nor I may bear the arms of my groin destined for the hearth.

But with eternal cypress wood never about to decay

my penis may stiffen worthy of the Phidiacan hand.

Neighbors, I warn, celebrate holy Priapus

And spare twice seven measures of land.

LXXIII meter: Elegiac Couplet

Nōn rǔdĭs | īndō|ctā fē|cīt mē | fālcĕ cŏ|lōnūs:

Dīspē|nsātō|rīs || nōbĭlĕ | cērnĭs ŏ|ptūs.

Nām Caē|rētā|nī cūl|tōr dī|tīssĭmǔs | āgrī

Hōs Hĭlă|rūs cō|llēs || ēt iǔgă | laētă tĕn|ēt.

Āspĭcĕ, | quām cēr|tō vĭdĕ|ār nōn | līgnĕǔs | ōrē

Nēc dē|vōtă fŏ|cīs || īnguĭnĭs | ārmă gĕ|rām,

Sēd mĭhĭ | pērpĕtǔ|ā nūm|quām mŏrĭ|tūră cǔp|rēssō

Phīdĭă|cā rĭgĕ|āt || mēntǔlă | dīgnă măn|ū.

Vīcī|nī, mŏnĕ|ō, sănctǔm | cēlēb|rātĕ Prĭ|āpǔm

Ēt bīs | sēptē|nīs || pārcĭtĕ | īugĕrĭ|būs.


 
EPIGRAM VI.73

 

SUMMARY
In this epigram, Priapus, usually a statue, speaks about himself. He seems quite proud of himself saying that he was not made with an unskilled knife, and for the reader to be sure to notice his well formed face. Though made out of wood, he is so artfully carved that he seems to be of another medium. It was custom to place a statue of the god Priapus in gardens to ward off thieves and to promote fertility. This is enforced in this poem when the Priapus warns his neighbors to respect the land of his master, Hilarus. He almost is saying “caveat Priapum.” The divinity acts as a guard to his master’s land and is there to keep safe from any unwanted visitors. Priapus is a phallic god and is depicted with an erect penis. He is usually made of wood, in this case cypress, but marble and stone are other options for the 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


 
GLOSSARY/PARSING (LATIN)

 

COMMENTARY (ENGLISH)