Marcus Valerius Martialis, AKA Martial (c. 38 CE)

Born in what is now Spain, Martial went as a young man to Rome, where he associated with prominent figures and won fame for his wit and poetry. He is renowned for his 12 books of epigrams—short, pithy sayings, often with a satiric or paradoxical twist. Pointed and often obscene, the poems provide a picture of Roman society during the early empire that is remarkable for its accurate portrayal of human foibles. In one verse, he accuses a man of burning down his own house for what reason? More… Discuss

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