Sunday, October 20, 2019

W/W: Philaenis' [Girl]friend: Martial, Epig. VII.70

Ipsarum tribadum tribas, Philaeni, 
recte, quam [viseris], vocas "amicam."

--Martial, Epig. VII.70

Philaenis, everyone's favorite lesbian,
you call the girls you date your [girl]friend--and rightly so!

[Martial is using a double entendre here, as amica can mean female friend or "friend with benefits."]

Disclaimer: this text has been modified to fit the scope of this blog. The main verb of the relative clause has been changed into a less severe alternative. Considering the scarcity of women's perspectives in Latin literature, I felt it was important to include this passage despite the language it uses.

MARTIAL
MAP:
Name: Marcus Valerius Martialis
Date:  40 CE – 104 CE
Works:  Epigrammaton Libri XV*
               De Spectaculis

REGION  2 (Hispania)
Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans

BIO:
Timeline:
Originally from Bilbilis, Hispania, the poet Martial moved to Rome in the 60s CE to advance his career. His two extant works include de Spectaculis, a collection of poems written to commemorate the opening of the Colosseum, and a fifteen volume collection of epigrams. These epigrams provide valuable insight into the mores and private lives of men and women from all of the city’s social classes.     
 SILVER AGE ROME
Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine: after 410 CE