Monday, April 23, 2012

Esset, Castrice...

Here is today's distich by Martial, 7.4. Oppianus thinks that his pallor qualifies him as a poet! The image below shows an appropriately pale-looking poet (I've found it used on various websites to represent Vergil, but I was thinking it makes a nice image for the pale poet of Martial satirical little poet). The poem is in hendecasyllabic meter.

Esset, Castrice, cum mali coloris,
versus scribere coepit Oppianus.

To have some color for his pallid lookes,
Oppian begins, forsooth, now to write bookes.
- Anon. 16th century

Here is the vocabulary:

sum - be, exist
Castricus - Castricus
cum - when, since
malus - bad, evil
color - color
versus - line, verse
scribo - write
coepi - begin
Oppianus - Oppianus