Martial, like many of the Latin poets, was born in Bibilis, Spain, probably around 38-41 AD. He appears to have lived in Rome for nearly thirty-four years, under the patronage of the great Spaniard Senaca, the Younger. He belonged to a class of intellectuals who were in resolute opposition to the emperor Domitian, so many times figures like Cicero, Brutus, and Pompey are used as literary devices against the crazed tyrant. Martial's poems are definitely modelled off of Catullus' epigrams and elegiac verses, although they are different in meaning and theme. These poems are hilarious and audacious, cruel, lewd, charming, spiteful, and creative; and they bring to life the social and political milieu of Rome.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd