Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Avenger of Achilles: Martial, Epig.2.84.1-2

Note: Only the first half of the poem is printed here. In the second half, Martial makes an obscene comparison to this myth and one of his peers.

Mollis erat facilisque viris Poeantius heros:

     vulnera sic Paridis dicitur ulta Venus.

--Martial, Epig. 2.84.1-2

Philoctetes was gay, and openly flirty with men;

This is how Venus avenged the wounds of Paris*.

*In this version of the myth, Paris shoots and kills Achilles, and in turn is slain by Philoctetes' bow.




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: Northern Africa, including Carthage; Region 4: Egypt and the Middle East; Region 5: Peninsular Greece and the coast of Turkey




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: 18 - 150 CE


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