- Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Format: Paperback | 388 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 198mm x 30mm | 458g
- Publication date: 27 September 2006
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 0521555396
- ISBN 13: 9780521555395
- Edition: Bilingual edition
- Edition statement: Bilingual
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
- Sales rank: 380,506
Despite his enduring popularity, Martial has recently suffered from serious critical neglect. The present work is the first edition of selections from Martial to be published for decades, and includes a fully representative selection of the oeuvre of the poet, who has often been criticised, unfairly, the authors argue, for obscenity and flattery of the Emperor Domitian. The epigrams included in the selection are organised under various heads, e.g. Martial and poetry, sexual mores, satirical pieces. A very full introduction deals with such topics as the prejudices and predilections of his audience which conditioned Martial's choice of subject matter, Martial's language, the structure and style of the epigrams, the epigrammatic tradition and Martial's creative engagement with it. The detailed commentary is suitable for use with undergraduates and is distinguished by its focus on social history as well as literary interpretation.
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Lindsay Watson is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Sydney and the author of Arae: The Curse Poetry of Antiquity (1991). Patricia Watson is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Sydney and author of Ancient Stepmothers: Myth, Misogyny and Reality (1995).
'The commentary is meticulous, clear in its style and organization and exceptionally well informed ... we could not hope for a better account of martial in his cultural, historical and literary context. As martial approaches his bimillenium, uninhibited once more, Watson & Watson will be the standard introduction.' The Times Literary Supplement
Table of contents
Preface; Abbreviations; Introduction; Select epigrams; 1. Martial and poetry; 2. Poet and patron; 3. Martial and the city of Rome; 4. Women; 5. Sexual mores; 6. Satirical epigrams; 7. Epideictic epigrams; 8. Funerary epigrams; Commentary; Bibliography; Indexes.