Martial [Marcus Valerius Martialis]

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

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  • Iulia lex populis ex quo, Faustine, renata est
  •    atque intrare domos iussa Pudicitia est,
  • aut minus aut certe non plus tricesima lux est,
  •    et nubit decimo iam Telesilla uiro.
  • quae nubit totiens, non nubit: adultera lege est.
  •    offendor moecha simpliciore minus.



Less than thirty days have passed, Faustina—not more than that, surely?—since the Julian Law was newly reinstated and Morality ordered into our homes … and already Telesilla* is marrying her tenth husband. A woman who gets married that often isn't getting married—she's a state-licensed slut. Good old-fashioned adultery offends me less.

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Editor’s Note
6.7 Telesilla: the name derives from a famous female poet of Argos, but Martial's immediate source is probably Lucillius, AP 11.239; see note on 11.97.
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