Friday, March 11, 2011

Martial, Epigram 6.39

Marcus Valerius Martialis
1st-2nd c. AD (over 1,900 years ago)
Trans. RMBullard
Latin (Silver Age)

Pater ex Marulla, Cinna, factus es septem non liberorum:
(Cinna, you have not become the father of seven children by Marulla:)

namque nec tuus quisquam nec est amici filiusve vicini, sed in grabatis tegetibusque concepti materna produnt capitibus suis furta.
(Really, not one is yours, or the son of a friendly neighbor; instead, they, conceived on the straw beds and filthy mats, betray their mother's thefts by their facial features;)

hic qui retorto crine Maurus incedit subolem fatetur esse se coci Santrae.
(Now, a Moor, who approaches with curly hair, confesses himself to be the son of the cook Santra;)

at ille sima nare, turgidis labris ipsa imago Pannychi palaestritae.
(But he, with his stub nose and swollen lips, is the image of the wrestler Pannychus;)

pistoris esse tertium quis ignorat, quicumque lippum novit et videt Damam?
(Who does not know he is one-third a breadmaker, any one that knows the bleariness and looks upon Damas?)

quartus cinaeda fronte, candido vultu ex concubino natus est tibi Lygdo;
(A fourth of him, with his effeminate forehead, was born with a shining face from your own concubine Lygdus;)

percide, si vis, filium: nefas non est.
(If you want, hump your son: it's no crime;)

hunc vero acuto capite et auribus longis, quae sic moventur ut solent asellorum, quis morionis filium negat Crytae?
(Truly, with his pointed head and long ear that move as are accustomed for donkeys, who is denying that he is the son of a hunched-back clown?)

duae sorores, illa nigra et haec rufa, Croti choraulae vilicique sunt Carpi.
(Two sisters, one with black hair and the other with red, are the flute-players of the Crotus and shaggy Carpus;)

iam Niobidarum grex tibi foret plenus si spado Coresus Dindymusque non esset.
(You would already have Niobe's overflowing horde of children if Coresus and Dindymus had not had male parts.)