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EPIGRAMMATA VI
 
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Wordle: Martial VI 
 

 
  • LATIN
  • ENGLISH
  • METRICS

77

Although you are so poor, poorer than miserable Irus,

       so young, younger than Parthenopaeus was,   

so strong stronger than Artemidorus when he conquered,

       why does it delight you to be the load of six Cappadocians?   

You are laughed at by many, Afer, and you are disgraced more

    than if you should walk naked in the middle of the Forum. 

Not otherwise is Atlas pointed at with his equally dwarf little mule

     and the black elephant who carries its similarly dark Libyan.

Do you ask how offensive your litter is?

     You ought not to be carried dead on a litter borne by six.

LXXVII meter: Elegiac Couplet  

Cūm sīs|tām paū|pēr quām|nēc mĭ sĕ|rā bĭ lĭs|Ī rŏs,
    Tām iŭ vĕ|nīs quām|nēc||Pār thĕ nŏ|pǣ ŭs ĕ|rāt,
Tām fōr|tīs quām|nēc cūm|vīn cĕ rĕt|Ār tĕ mĭ|dō rūs,
    Quīd tē|Cāp pă dŏ|cūm||sēx ŏ nŭs|ēs sĕ iŭ|vāt?
Rī dē|rīs mūl|tō quĕ mă|gīs trā|dū cĕ rĭs|Ā fēr,
    Quām nū|dūs mĕ dĭ|ō||sī spă tĭ|ē rĕ fŏ|rō.
Nōn ă lĭ|tēr mōn|strā tŭr Ăt|lāns cūm|cōm pă rĕ|gīn nō
    Quǣquĕ vĕ|hīt sĭ mĭ|lēm||bē lŭ ă|nī gră Lĭ|by̆n.
Īn vĭ dĭ|ō să tĭ|bī quām|sīt lēc|tī că rĕ|quī rīs?
   Nōn dē|bēs fēr|rī||mōr tŭ ŭs|hē xă phŏ|rō.


 
EPIGRAM VI.77

 

SUMMARY
Here, Martial pokes fun at the young man, Afer, who is being carried around Rome in a litter. Since Afer is so poor, young, and strong, there is absolutely no need for this treatment unless he were dead. Martial states that even if he was dead “he ought not to be carried on a litter born by six.” Perhaps a litter that was more suitable for the poor would be necessary for Afer. Those who were typically carried in litters were the wealthy, or those who were not physically capable of walking around themselves.        

Martial loves to use clever analogies, and does so especially in this epigram. He mentions how Afer is a laughing stock in the city and draws as much attention as a dwarf riding a little mule or a black man riding a black elephant. The witty analogies are what make this epigram so fun to read, only at the expense of Afer.


M. Kolodziej


 
GLOSSARY/PARSING (LATIN)

 

COMMENTARY (ENGLISH)