Saturday, January 4, 2020

A Marble Hermaphroditus: Martial, Epigr. XIV.174

TRIGGER WARNING: The intersex mythological figure Hermaphroditus was portrayed frequently as a curiosity in ancient Roman art.

Masculus intravit fontis: emersit utrumque:
pars est una patris, cetera matris habet.

--Martial, Epigr. XIV.174

He entered the spring, but they emerged from it.
Their body has one part of a man's; the rest is a woman's.

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

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.     
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