Martial [Marcus Valerius Martialis]

Gideon Nisbet (ed.), Oxford World's Classics: Martial: Epigrams

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  • Hic est pampineis uiridis modo Vesbius umbris,
  •    presserat hic madidos nobilis uua lacus:
  • haec iuga quam Nysae colles plus Bacchus amauit;
  •    hoc nuper Satyri monte dedere choros;
  • haec Veneris sedes, Lacedaemone gratior illi;
  •    hic locus Herculeo nomine clarus erat.
  • cuncta iacent flammis et tristi mersa fauilla:
  •    nec superi uellent hoc licuisse sibi.



Here is Vesuvius, that till recently was green with shady vines. Here did the noble grape load the vats with juice; here was the ridge that Bacchus loved more than the hills of Nysa; on this peak, not long ago, Satyrs held their dances. Here was Venus' seat, that she favoured over Sparta; this spot was famous for its Herculean name.* All lie sunk in flames and dismal ash. The gods themselves must have wished this was not in their power.

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Editor’s Note
4.44 Here was Venus' seat … famous for its Herculean name: Venus was the divine patron of Pompeii, Hercules of Herculaneum, which was named after him.
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