Wednesday, June 22, 2022

M/M: Kisses Mixed With Wine, Martial XI.26

 NOTE: Although the Romans did not find the relationship between Zeus and Ganymede problematic, it is important to not romanticize this relationship in the modern world, as the massive power imbalance negates the consent of the relationship in our views. 

O mihi grata quies, o blanda, Telesphore, cura,
    qualis in amplexu non fuit ante meo,
basia da nobis vetulo, puer, uda Falerno,
    pocula da labris facta minora tuis.
Addideris super haec Veneris si gaudia vera,
    esse negem melius cum Ganymede Jovi.


--Martial, Epigrams 11.26

Telesphorus, darling, my sweet respite from stress,

My love, I’ve never felt this way before I’d embraced you,

Give me kisses that taste like wine,

Give me wineglasses that your lips have first kissed.

If you also grant me your love,

I’d say I’m better than Jupiter with his Ganymede.



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 and Late Latin: after 410 CE

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