Thursday, April 7, 2022


MARTIAL (Roman, c. 39-103 CE)

Marcus Valerius Martialis (known in English as Martial) was a Roman poet best known for his twelve books of Epigrams, published in Rome between 86 and 103 CE. These were short poems, usually satirical, that dealt concisely with a single subject. They usually ended with a witty turn of thought--a "zinger." As a native of the province of Hispania (basically, modern Spain) Martial brought an outsider's eye to the life in Rome in his day, often lampooning not just social trends but individuals too. Tired at last of the struggle to make ends meet in the big city--and perhaps also tired of never making it to the highest ranks of Roman society--at last he returned to Hispania, dying in his early 60s in the now-ruined city where he was born.


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