Martial, Book IX : A commentary. Vol. 1, Vol. 2

Abstract: This dissertation consists of a commentary on Book 9 of the Epigrams of M. Valerius Martialis (ca. 40-104 AD). The book, with its 105 epigrams one of the longer in Martial's production, was published in late 94 or early 95 and presents the reader with Martial's characteristic variety of subjects drawn from contemporary Roman society and everyday life. Notable is that Book 9 contains a markedly higher frequency of poems focusing on the emperor Domitian than any other of Martial's books. The tendency towards a greater attention to Domitian is obvious already in Book 8 (published in early 94) and is likely to have been continued also in the last book published under his reign, the now lost firstedition of Book 10 (published in 95). In Book 9, this tendency is also reflected in the increase of references to Domitian simply as Iuppiter or as Tonans, of the application to the emperor of epithets originally belonging to divinities, and of comparisons of Domitian with gods, particularly with Jupiter, the Sun, and Hercules. The book as a whole is set within an imperial framework, marked at the beginning by poems 1, 3, 5 and 7, and by poem 101 at the end.The present commentary consists of an introduction discussing the date, general characteristics, structure and themes of Book 9 (with special regard to matters concerning the emperor), followed by a detailed commentary on each of the 105 poems, placing them in their social, historical and literary context.

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