Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Martial, Spectacular Sights 10

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


Laeserat ingrato leo perfidus ore magistrum,
[The wicked lion had torn the teacher apart in its merciless jaws,]

     ausus tam notas contemerare manus,
[as he dares so much to withstand the scratches of its paw,]

sed dignas tanto persoluit crimine poenas,
[but he paid a price worthy of so great a crime,]

     et qui non tulerat uerbera, tela tulit.
[and a man who had never before endured the blows of a whip, now suffers the spear.]

Quos decet esse hominum tali sub principe mores,     
[It seems right, under an emperor like this, to be the customs of people,]

     qui iubet ingenium mitius esse feris!
[since he's a man who orders a talent so soothing to be thrown to the beasts!]