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EPIGRAMMATA VI
 
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Wordle: Martial VI 
 

 
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  • METRICS

83

As much as the fortune of the father owes to troubled Etruscus

  So much, best of the leaders, both owe to you.

For you have recalled the thunderbolts having been thrown from your right hand:

   I would wish this behavior to belong to the fires of Jupiter;

If your nature should belong to the highest, Caesar,

   A rare hand will make use of the total lightening.

By this Etruscus is witness to both of your gifts

    Because it has happened that he is both a companion and is returned.

LXXXIII Meter: Elegiac Couplet

Quān tūm|sōl lĭ cĭ|tō fōr|tū nă păr|ēn tĭs Ĕ|trūs cō,

   Tān tūm,|sūm mĕ dŭ|cūm,||dē bĕt ŭt|ēr quĕ tĭ|bī.

Nām tū|mīs să tŭ|ā rĕ vŏ|cā stī|fūl mĭ nă|dēx trā:

   Hōs cŭ pĕ|rēm mō|rēs || īg nĭ bŭs|ēs sĕ Iŏ|vīs;

Sī tŭ ă|sīt sūm|mō, Cǣ|sār, nā|tū ră Tŏ|nān tī,

   Ū tē|tūr tō|tō ||fūl mĭ nĕ|rā ră mă|nŭs.

Mū nĕ rĭs|hōc ū|trūm quĕ tŭ|ī tēs|tā tŭr Ĕ|trūs cŭs,

   Ēs sĕ quŏd|ēt cŏ mĭ|tī ||cōn tĭ gĭt|ēt rĕ dŭ|cī.


 
EPIGRAM VI.83

 

SUMMARY
In this poem, Martial is making a reference to the banishment of Etruscus by Domitian. Claudius Etruscus was his son, who accompanied him when he was exiled. The elder Etruscus was recalled only because of his loyal son. Etruscus later appears as a patron of both Martial and Statius. He was a wealthy Knight, raise to the equestrian state under Vespasian. (Watson)

Martial is praising both Domitian and Etruscus. The “total lightening” he refers to is the awesome power Domitian has to exile people. Until Book X, which was rewritten, Martial was the author many poems praising the emperor. (Waters) He also has the very powerful ability to bring those he exiles back to Rome. Martial represents these two abilities by calling them “both gifts.” Etruscus has experienced both powers of Domitian. It is a “rare hand” that will bring the exiled back, but luckily for the Etrusci, they were both brought back. Etruscus both accompanied his father in exiled and was returned with him.

The “fires of Jupiter” are the thunderbolts. Jupiter is quite often depicted with a thunderbolt in his hands. Here, Martial is the awesome power of Jupiter to that of Domitian. Again, he is being praised. Although though there are many ways to praise an emperor being compared to a god never disappointed.



Waters, K. H. The Character of Domitian. Phoenix Vol.18, No. 1. Classical Association of Canada, 1964.

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

S. Elliott-Traficante


 
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