Martial [Marcus Valerius Martialis]

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

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  • Iam numerat placido felix Antonius aeuo
  •    quindecies actas Primus Olympiadas
  • praeteritosque dies et tutos respicit annos
  •    nec metuit Lethes iam propioris aquas.
  • nulla recordanti lux est ingrata grauisque;
  •    nulla fuit, cuius non meminisse uelit.
  • ampliat aetatis spatium sibi uir bonus: hoc est
  •    uiuere bis, uita posse priore frui.



Antonius Primus is happy: he has tallied fifteen completed Olympiads* in a life untroubled. He can look back at the days gone by, at the years he has banked; the waters of Lethe draw closer, but he does not fear them. None of his days fails to please, or is hard to bear, as he reviews it in memory; every last one is a pleasure to recall. The good man broadens for himself the span of his years: to be able to enjoy the life you have spent, is to live it twice.

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Editor’s Note
10.23 fifteen completed Olympiads: an Olympiad is five years in Martial's reckoning, making Primus seventy-five years old.
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