Scanned text contains errors.
only in the city, but also in Gaul, Germany, Britain, Getica, and the wild region of the north ; he secured the special patronage of the emperors Titus and Domitian, obtained by his influence the freedom of the state for several of his friends, and received for himself, although apparently without family if not unmarried, the highly-valued privileges accorded to those who were the fathers of three children (jus trium liberorum)^ together with the rank of tribunus and the rights of the equestrian order, distinctions which in his case were probably merely honorary, not implying the discharge of any particular duties, nor the possession of any considerable fortune. His circumstances, however, must have been at one time easy ; for he had a mansion in the city whose situation he describes, and a suburban villa near Nomentum, to which he frequently alludes with pride. It is true that Pliny, in the letter to which we have referred above, states that he made Martial a pecuniary present to assist in defraying the expenses of his journey (prosecutus eram viatico secedentem\ but when he adds that the gift was presented as an acknowledgment for a complimentary address, he gives no hint that the poverty of the bard was such as to render this aid an act of charity. The assertion that the father of Martial was named Pronto and his mother Flaccilla^ rests upon a mistaken interpretation of the epigram v. 34 ; and another curious delusion at one time prevailed with regard to the name of Martial himself. In the biography of Alexander Severus (c. 38) we find the twenty-ninth epigram of the fifth book quoted as " Mar-tialis Coci Epigramma," and hence Joannes of Salisbury (Gurial. Nugar, vii. 12, viii. 6, 13), Jacobus Magnus of Toledo (Sopliolog. passim), and'Vin-centius of Beauvais (SpecuL Doctr. iii. 37), suppose Coquus to have been a cognomen of the poet, and designate him by that appellation. The numerous corruptions which everywhere abound in the text of the Augustan historians, and the fact that the word in question is altogether omitted in several MSS. and early editions, while we find etiam substituted for it in two of the Palatine codices, justify us in concluding either that cod was foisted in by the carelessness of a transcriber, or that the true reading is coce, i. e. quoque, which will remove every difficulty.
The extant works of Martial consist of an assemblage of short poems, all included under the general appellation Epigrammata, upwards of 1500 in number, divided into fourteen books. Those which form the two last books, usually distinguished respectively as Xenia and Apophoreta, amounting to 350, consist, with the exception of the introductions, entirely of distichs, descriptive of a vast variety of small objects, chiefly articles of food or clothing, such as were usually sent as presents among friends during the Saturnalia, and on other festive occasions. In addition to the above, nearly all the printed copies include 33 epigrams, forming a book apart from the rest, which, ever since the time of Gruter, has been commonly known as Liber de Spectaculis, because the contents relate entirely to the shows exhibited by Titus and Domitian, but there is no ancient authority for the title, and hence the most recent editor restores the proper and simple form Liber Epigrammaton. The " .De Spec-taculis" is altogether wanting in most of the best MSS., and of those which embrace it two only, both derived from the same archetype, are older
than the fifteenth century ; but the most judicious critics are of opinion that the greater number of the pieces are genuine, although it is not unlikely that spurious matter may have found its way both into this and the other books, for we find a remonstrance (x. 100) addressed to an unscrupulous pretender, who was attempting to palm his own progeny on the public under the cover of Martial's reputation.
Considerable praise is due to the industry displayed by Loyd and Dodwell in adjusting the chronology of Martial, but the recent labours of Clinton are much more satisfactory. It is clear from the introductory dedication and notices in prose and verse, that the different books were collected and published by the author, sometimes singly and sometimes several at one time. The " Liber de Spectaculis" and the first nine books of the regular series involve a great number of historical allusions, extending from the games of Titus (a. d* 80) down to the return of Domitian from the Sarmatian expedition, in January, a. d. 94. The second book could not have been written until after the commencement of the Dacian war (ii. 2), that is, not before a. d. 86, nor the sixth until after the triumph over the Dacians and Germans (a. d. 91); the seventh was written while the Sarmatian war, which began in a. D. 93, was still in progress, and reaches to the end of that year. The eighth book opens in January, a. d. 94, the ninth also refers to the same epoch, but may, as Clinton supposes, have been written in a. d. 95. The whole of these were composed at Rome, except the third, which was written during a tour in Gallia Togata, The tenth book was published twice: the first edition was given hastily to the world; the second, that which we now read (x. 2), celebrates the arrival of Trajan at Rome, after his accession to the throne (x. 6, 7, 34, 72). Now, since this event took place a. d. 99, and since the twenty-fourth epigram of this book was written in honour of the author's fifty-seventh birthday, we are thus supplied with the data requisite for fixing the epoch of his birth ; and since at the close of the book (x. 104) he had been thirty-four years at Rome, we can thence calculate the time when he left Spain. The eleventh book seems to have been published at Rome, early in a. d. 100, and at the close of the year he returned to Bilbilis. After keeping silence for three years (xii. prooem.), the twelfth book was despatched from Bilbilis to Rome (xii. 3,18), and in this he refers (xii. 5) to the two preceding books, published, as we have seen, in a. d. 99 and 100. Allowing, therefore, for the interval of repose, the twelfth book must be assigned to a.d. 104. It must be observed, however, that if the Parthenius, to whom book xi. is dedicated, and who is again addressed in book xii. (ep. 11), be the "Palatinus Parthenius,''the chamberlain of Domitian (iv. 45, v. 6, viii. 28 ; comp. Sueton, Domit. 16), and if the statement of Victor (Epit. 12), that this Parthenius was cruelly murdered by the soldiery (a. d. 97) soon after the elevation of Nerva, can be depended upon, it is evident that some pieces belonging to earlier years were included in the later books. It is not necessary, however, to hold with Clinton, that Ep. xi. 4 is in honour of the third consulship of Nerva (a. d. 97), since the words and the name Nerva are equally applicable to the third consulship of Trajan (a. d. 100). Books xiii. and xiv., the Xenia and Apopho-