Martial : the world of the epigram by William Fitzgerald

By William Fitzgerald

In this age of the sound chew, what kind of writer will be extra suitable than a grasp of the epigram? Martial, the main influential epigrammatist of classical antiquity, was once simply one of these virtuoso of the shape, yet regardless of his pertinence to today’s tradition, his paintings has been mostly ignored in modern scholarship. Arguing that Martial is a huge writer who merits extra sustained consciousness, William Fitzgerald offers an insightful travel of his works, laying off new and much-needed mild at the Roman poet’s world—and the way it may well converse to our own.

Writing within the past due first century CE—when the epigram was once firmly embedded within the social lifetime of the Roman elite—Martial released his poems in a sequence of books that have been generally learn and loved. Exploring what it skill to learn the sort of number of epigrams, Fitzgerald examines the paradoxical dating among the self-enclosed epigram and the ebook of poems that's greater than the sum of its components. And he is going directly to convey how Martial, through imagining those books being displayed in outlets and shipped around the empire to admiring readers, prophetically behaved like a latest writer. Chock-full of epigrams itself—in either Latin and English versions—Fitzgerald’s examine will satisfaction classicists, literary students, and a person who appreciates an inventive witticism.

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Martial : the world of the epigram

During this age of the sound chew, what kind of writer might be extra proper than a grasp of the epigram? Martial, the main influential epigrammatist of classical antiquity, was once simply the sort of virtuoso of the shape, yet regardless of his pertinence to today’s tradition, his paintings has been mostly overlooked in modern scholarship.

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4), and we know Greek epigram almost exclusively through a succession of anthologies, subsumed into what we call the Greek, or Palatine Anthology, which was put together by Cephalas in the early tenth century. It contains earlier anthologies, most importantly the Garlands (stephanoi, literally “crowns”) of Meleager and Philip. 10 Meleager arranged poems in his anthology according to the four categories of erotic, epitaphic, anathematic (dedicatory), and epideictic (descriptive or narrative), all of which types feature in Martial.

49 At the beginning of his Liber spectaculorum, Martial lists some of the nations represented by visitors to the games, and he concludes the poem with his own version of a “sublime communication of souls” as the resultant babel of tongues becomes one when the emperor is greeted as pater patriae (Spec. 3). 4). The emperor, also known through copies, the statues scattered across the Roman world, is implicitly posed as a figure against which to measure the popular author. 6–8). Not exactly a “sublime communication of souls,” perhaps, but a whistle-stop tour of the city as readership.

Chapter 5 will deal with the society of the book. Martial’s appeal to an anonymous “reader” (lector) is the beginning of a long history of the writer’s relation to an unknown public, but the lector is only one component of Martial’s imagined readership, which is variegated and layered rather than homogeneous. Martial’s readers are made aware of the others with whom they share the book, and this virtual society produces shifting relations between different interests, statuses, and reading practices.

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