Whoa, that`s enough now,

whoa, little book!

We`ve come now right

to the end.

You`re keen to keep

going any further,

And you can`t be held

back on the last page,

As if you hadn`t finished

the task

That was finished already

on the first page.

Now your reader is

grumbling and giving up,

Now even the scribe

himself is saying

“Whoa, that`s enough now,

whoa, little book!”

~~ Martial, Epigrams 4.89 ~~

Marvel`s epigrams are one of the more rewarding and entertaining ways of learning Latin, and the Roman way of life. Punchy, pungent, snappy, lively, exhilarating, racy, cruel and immensely insightful, the epigrams offer up the reader sex and slavery, life and death, and everything in between which involve violent, grasping caressing hands which delve with sensuous verbal fluidity into the soft, and the mean under belly of Roman culture. They look backwards and forwards, a labyrinthine poetical connection between writing and death, in a literary element which is a living, growing organism and testament to the world of Flavian Rome, giving us the bright news of imperial entertainment of a place and time closer to ourselves than most think. The world of Martial is with us still, because we are the heirs of Rome, and because Rome is eternal.


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