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pg 169Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus23 (20)

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While some were wanting Myrinus, some Triumphus, Caesar, with either hand, promised both alike. He could not have put a better end to the good-natured dispute. How amenable is the disposition of our invincible leader!

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Notes

Critical Apparatus
HTK: v. 4 om. T
Critical Apparatus
Tit. De Myrino et Triumpho HTK
Editor’s Note
Introduction: The spectators are calling for two different contestants to enter the arena; by allowing both to appear, the emperor demonstrates his generosity and sense of fair play.
Were these contestants gladiators or bestiarii? Friedländer argued (ad loc.) that Myrinus and Triumphus were bestiarii, for two reasons. (i) This epigram occurs in the middle of a sequence about animal-displays (Spect. 926). This certainly tells in favour of the interpretation of the protagonists as bestiarii, but it is not a clinching argument, since elsewhere in the collection (particularly Spect. 313) there is considerable fluidity in the categories represented: see General Introduction, Section 5. (ii) Whereas these protagonists were requested individually, gladiators were requested in pairs: cf. Suet. Dom. 4. 1 'praeterea quaestoriis muneribus, quae olim omissa reuocauerat, ita semper interfuit, ut populo potestatem faceret bina paria e suo ludo postulandi.' But Suetonius is describing a unique occasion, since the context is the praetorian games, at which Domitian is being asked a special favour, i.e. to sponsor duels between gladiators from the imperial training-school. In contrast, spectators are indeed known to have called by name for individual protagonists, including gladiators: cf. Suet. Claud. 21. 5 (the gladiator Palumbus) 'qualis est ut cum Palumbum postulantibus daturum se promisit, si captus esset', Suet. Calig. 30. 2 (the latro Tetrinius, damnatus ad bestias) 'cumque Tetrinius latro postularetur, et qui postularent, Tetrinios esse ait.'
The alternative view, that Myrinus and Triumphus were gladiators, requires the following scenario, proposed by Ville (1981: 288 n. 143). An unnamed opponent must have already been chosen to fight against whichever champion should be nominated by the spectators. Hence, when the spectators' favour was divided, the emperor solved the dilemma by excluding the unnamed opponent so that he could present both the favoured champions simultaneously, and pit them against one another. It is attested practice to make two record-holding champions fight each other: cf. Porph. on Hor. Sat. 1. 7. 19–20 'Bythus et Bacchius gladiatores optimi illis temporibus fuerunt. qui cum multos interemissent commissi inter se mutuis uulneribus conciderunt.' It is also noteworthy that if the combatants were pitted against one another (which would not be the case with bestiarii), the witticism in l. 3 is more pointed, i.e. the lis iocosa between the spectators is then replaced by a contest between the participants.
Gladiators called Myrinus and Triumphus are known from other periods. A murmillo named 'Triumphus' was famous for having complained about the paucity of munera during the reign of Tiberius (Sen. Prou. [= Dial. 1]. 4. 4). Under Trajan—in approximately 101, if Book 12 appeared by the spring of 1021—another 'Myrinus' was awarded his congiarium after being wounded in the arena (Mart. 12. 28(29). 7 'nuper cum Myrino peteretur missio laeso'). Artists and performers frequently adopted names held by illustrious predecessors in the same profession. Several pantomimi named Pylades—perhaps as many as six—are attested in the two centuries following the career of their famous namesake under Augustus (to PIR2 P 1093–6 add the valuable discussion and bibliographical references of Caldelli 2005: 66–8), and the Neronian pantomime artist Paris had a succession of namesakes: see RE xviii/2c. 1536–8 s.v. Paris 2–6 (Ernst Wüst). Sometimes the associations are rather startling: Columbus, who had a namesake at Nîmes (CIL xii. 3325 = EAOR v, no. 20), was a gladiator poisoned by Caligula (Suet. Calig. 55. 2). For discussion of inherited nomenclature among gladiators see Robert (1930: 112 = 1969: 660, 1940: 297); for pantomimi see Bonaria (1959), Courtney on Juv. Sat. 6. 63; for charioteers see Cameron (1973: 171–3); for the phenomenon in general, with special reference to pantomimi, see Solin (1999). Pace Herrmann (1962: 498), it is most unlikely that Myrinus in ad 101 is the same person as his namesake in our poem since, even if our occasion is to be dated to the early years of Domitian's reign (see on l. 4), the identification would require a fighting career of more than fifteen years; and if it is to be identified as the inauguration under Titus, the gap lengthens to more than two decades. It is more plausible that our 'Triumphus' was called after his namesake under Tiberius, and that Trajan's 'Myrinus' was called after his namesake here: see Ville (1981: 309).
The structure of this epigram conforms to the pattern of 'incident-and-comment' in which the comment is a vehicle for flattery of the emperor: cf. AP 9. 562 = GP Crinagoras 24, Spect. 5, 12, 31, 33, Siedschlag (1977: 101–2).
Editor’s Note
1. peteret: petere = postulare (intractable in dactylic metre), which is regularly used of spectators demanding a particular contestant: cf. examples quoted in the Introduction, above, with TLL x/2. 264. 39–50 (Clavadetscher).
Editor’s Note
Triumphum: the frequency of gladiators' names recalling moral or physical qualities may suggest that they were adopted for professional reasons. 'Triumphus' belongs in the range of names expressing the concept of victory, e.g. 'Inuictus', 'Victor' (Βίκτωρ‎), Νεικάνωρ, Νεικηφόρος, Πασινείκης,‎,2 Στέφανος‎: see Robert (1940: 299), Ville (1981: 309).
Editor’s Note
2 Originally meaning 'quarrelsome' (ftom νεικέω, 'to quarrel'); but the gladiators heard νίκη‎ in it.
Critical Apparatus
2 promisit K: promisce HT: promisti anon. ap. Lemaire
Critical Apparatus
utraque manu HTK: utramque manum Heinsius
Editor’s Note
2. promisit pariter Caesar utraque manu: the emperor's even-handedness is symbolized by his central position in the middle of the line. Suetonius comments on a gladiatorial show at which Titus promised to honour any request made of him, and stood by his promise (Tit. 8. 2): 'populum in primis uniuersum tanta per omnes occasiones comitate tractauit, ut proposito gladiatorio munere, non ad suum, sed ad spectantium arbitrium editurum se professus sit; et plane ita fecit. nam neque negauit quicquam petentibus et ut quae uellent peterent ultro adhortatus est.' Domitian, of course, might have made a similar promise, unrecorded in our sources, and so we cannot assume that Martial is celebrating the occasion mentioned by Suetonius.
promittere here has the technical sense of 'guarantee' in the context of making a contribution to a public project, like Gr. ἐπαγγέλλομαλ,‎, 'to pledge', ἐπαγγελία‎, 'pledge/enactment (of a pledge)': see Parker–Obbink (2001: 260). For the euergetist's obligation to make good a promise cf. the commemorative inscription for Aelius, δημιουργός‎ at Side, SEG 27 (1977), no. 901 l. 6, with the supplement of Nollé (2001: 357–61), conjectured on the basis of the claims to a prompt generosity in the following three lines: πάσας τὰ[ς ὑποσχέσεις ἀπέδωκεν ἀνελλείπτως]‎ | καὶ ἐμπροθέσμως ἔτισ[εν‎ (lac. viii fere litt.)3 καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων ὑπαρ] | χόντων πολλὰ ἐπέδωκε κα[ὶ ἐφιλοτειμ]ήσατο τοῖς πο|λείταις‎. promisit pariter occurs in the same place in the line (a hexameter this time) at Mart. 10. 81. 3 (a prostitute distributing her favours equally between two customers) 'promisit pariter se Phyllis utrique daturam'. As in both the instances just cited, pariter is often combined with a pronoun or adjective expressing mutuality, e.g. uterque: see TLL x/1. 283. 48–70 (Ramminger).
Is utraque manu to be taken literally ('with both hands') or metaphorically ('with even-handed generosity')? The phrase can describe a physical gesture: cf. Tac. Hist. 4. 4 'ceteri uultu manuque … adsentiebantur.' It can also denote eagerness: cf. Sen. Ben. 7. 2. 1 'haec … utraque manu tenere proficientem iubet, haec nusquam dimittere', Mart. 1. 15. 9 'haec utraque manu conplexuque adsere toto'. In the context of the arena, where gesture was a prime vehicle for communication, it seems likely that Martial's phrase refers to a physical sign, as assumed by Aldrete (1999: 91). It bears emphasis that Martial is stressing the quality of ciuilitas, since it was normal for the emperor to make his wishes known by means of a herald: cf. the famous story of Hadrian's herald (Dio 69. 6. 1–2), who silenced the importunate crowd at a gladiatorial show by raising his hand rather than telling them to be quiet (a rude injunction associated with Domitian). Of course, a herald (or an inscribed placard, which the crowd—at least under Claudius—preferred: Dio 60. 13. 5) might have interpreted the emperor's gesture for the spectators, some of whom doubtless could not see it; Martial's emphasis, however, is not upon the channel of communication between emperor and people, but upon the communication itself.
Editor’s Note
3 Here Nollé leaves a gap. On the basis of a photograph of the four fragments of this stone in the original publication by Bean (1965: pl. 18), and from the reconstruction of subsequent lines in instances where more of the stone is preserved, it is evident that approximately eight letters are to be supplied between the two halves of Nollé's supplement.
Editor’s Note
3. litem finire iocosam: in its strict sense a lis is a dispute at law, i.e. requiring arbitration; it is also used of a more informal dispute, primarily one settled by words rather than by blows: see TLL vii/2. 1499. 70–1500. 39 (Steinmann). Frequently the notion of an arbitrator remains prominent, as it does here: the emperor settles the dispute between the two factions. iocosus, 'light-hearted', conveys the notion that the shouting-match between the spectators remained good-humoured; they did not take it seriously enough to stage a full-scale riot. In conjunction with the technical term lis, the adjective iocosa constitutes an oxymoron that had already been employed by Ovid. He used it to describe the quarrel between Jupiter and Juno, ultimately mediated by Tiresias (cf. 15. 5 n.), concerning the question whether men or women get more pleasure out of sexual intercourse: cf. Ov. Met. 3. 332 'arbiter hic igitur sumptus de lite iocosa', Ib. 261–2 'qualis erat, postquam iudex de lite iocosa | sumptus, Apollinea clarus in arte senex'.
finire is the regular word for putting an end to a court-case or dispute: cf. Varr. LL 6. 61 (explaining the etymology of iudex) 'hinc iudex, quod iudicat accepta potestate, id est quibusdam uerbis dicendo finit', Plin. Epist. 7. 7. 2 (to Saturninus, overwhelmed with court-cases) 'si tamen alteram litem per iudicem, alteram (ut ais) ipse finieris', TLL vi/1. 782. 7–18 (Bacherler).
Editor’s Note
4. dulce … ingenium: an unexpected quality for an arbitrator, stressing the emperor's accessibility and his sympathetic behaviour. Behaviour that is dulcis makes the other party in a relationship happy: cf. Phaedr. 3. 15. 16–17 (a lamb explains that it feels more affection for the goat which has suckled it than for its own mother) 'cur hac potior quae iacentis miserita est, | dulcemque sponte praestat beneuolentiam', Stat. Silu. 1. 6. 81–3 'tollunt innumeras ad astra uoces | Saturnalia principis sonantes | et dulci dominum fauore clamant.'
At the games the emperor was on display to the people, and the climate was favourable to the granting of petitions, as Josephus remarks (AJ 19. 24): συνίασίν τε προθύμως εἰς τὸν ἱππόδρομον καὶ ἐφʼ οἷς χρῄζοιεν δέονται τῶν αὐτοκρατόρων κατὰ πλῆθος συνελθόντες, οἱ δὲ ἀναντιλέκτoυς τὰς δεήσεις κρίνoντες οὐδαμῶς ἀχαριστοῦσιν‎. Titus is on record as having promised before a gladiatorial show that he would grant whatever he was asked (Suet. Tit. 8. 2, cit. on 2 'promisit pariter Caesar utraque manu', above), and Pliny praises Trajan for not only granting the people's requests, but also anticipating their unspoken desires and pressing them to demand more of him (Pan. 33. 2–3). The expectation that the emperor would prove complaisant on these occasions prompted detailed justification when petitions were turned down. Hence at a celebration of the Agon Capitolinus Domitian displayed unforgivable arrogantia in that he not only failed to pardon a man whom he had expelled from the Senate, but he also refused to give a reason (Suet. Dom. 13. 1). Cf. Spect. 31. 3 'saepe … magno clamore', n., and for detailed discussion of ciuilitas as a badge of imperial behaviour at the games see Cameron (1976: 157–92).
Editor’s Note
inuicti: 'invincible'. In literary sources this epithet had already been used of Republican heroes, and in the early Empire it is regularly applied to the princeps in military contexts. It is first extended beyond the purely military sphere to acquire the status of an adulatory epithet at Ov. Tr. 5. 1. 41–2 (of Tiberius) 'lenior inuicti si sit mihi Caesaris ira, | carmina laetitiae iam tibi plena dabo.' Tiberius was offered inuictus as an honorific title; he declined (Suet. Tib. 17. 2). It is not used of any of the Julio-Claudians after him. With the Flavian authors it acquires the status of a formulaic epithet, and becomes a stock feature of imperial acclamationes: cf. Mart. 7. 6. 7–8 (to Domitian) 'rursus, io, magnos clamat tibi Roma triumphos, | "Inuictusque" tua, Caesar, in urbe sonas', with Galán Vioque's detailed note, Henriksén on Mart. 9. 1. 10, Sauter (1934: 155–9). inuictus is a natural choice in contexts that involve some kind of contest: cf. Mart. 9. 23. 5–6 (Carus, who had won the golden olive-wreath at Domitian's Alban festival, places it on a bust of the emperor) 'Albanae liuere potest pia quercus oliuae, | cinxerit inuictum quod prior illa caput.' Likewise here the point is that he who arbitrates in the disputes of others is himself inuictus. Whether that person here is Domitian, with whom the epithet is so closely associated,4 or his short-lived predecessor, who is given it nowhere else, cannot be determined beyond all reasonable doubt.
Editor’s Note
4 Especially on his return from the expedition against the Sarmatae in January 93. Hence Dau (1887: 22–4, 29–35) conjectures that this epigram is to be dated no earlier than that, and ascribes its presence in the collection to a posthumous compiler. For a critique of this theory see General Introduction, Section 6 (ii).
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