Saturday, May 7, 2011

Martial, Spectacular Sights 7

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


Qualiter in Scythica religatus rupe Prometheus
     adsiduam nimio pectore pauit auem,
[In like manner, Prometheus, tied down upon a cliff in Scythia, grew fearful of his eternal lifespan, his heart exceeding its limit,]

nuda Caledonia sic uiscera praebuit urso
     non falsa pendens in cruce Laureolus.
[and thusly Laureolus, not hanging upon any fictional cross, provided his naked innards to a bear from Caledonia.]

Viuebant laceri membris stillantibus artus               5
[His body parts clung to life, even as they are torn from their bleeding limbs,]

     inque omni nusquam corpore corpus erat.
[and in the entirety of his body, there never was a body.]

Denique supplicium dignum tulit:
[At last he endured a worthy punishment:]

 ille parentis
     uel domini iugulum foderat ense nocens,
[or rather, a dangerous man would had slit his master's throat with a sword,]

templa uel arcano demens spoliauerat auro,
[or a psycho would have robbed our temples of their sacred gold,]

     subdiderat saeuas uel tibi, Roma, faces.               10
[or someone would have turned their savage torches upon you, Rome.]

Vicerat antiquae sceleratus crimina famae,
[An evildoer had once managed to commit crimes of the old type,]

     in quo, quae fuerat fabula, poena fuit.
[at which point in time, there was once a punishment, that it had become the subject of fables.]