In this volume, Henriksen offers the first extensive remark on Book 9 of the Epigrams of M. Valerius Martialis (ca. AD 40-104), who published fifteen books of Epigrams all over the last two decades of the 1st century AD. Firmly established in a literary tradition that had begun in Greece more than half a millennium earlier, Martial’s work represents the height of the development of ancient epigram. Conscious of his own times and society, Martial steadily engages current genres and his great Roman predecessors, such as Catullus, Vergil, and Ovid, in an intertextual dialogue.
First published in AD 94/95, Book 9 is the last book in the corpus of Martial to have been published in the reign of the emperor Domitian. At the same time as it presents the reader with the epigrammatist’s characteristic variety of subjects drawn from latest Roman society and on a regular basis life, it also accommodates a patently higher number of poems specializing in and eulogizing Domitian than any other book in the Epigrams. Unlike those of Book 8, the panegyrics in Book 9 are mixed with satirical and obscene epigrams, and the panegyrical tone is intensified. Book 9 also provides a conclusion to the large cycle on Domitian’s Second Pannonian War that extends over Books 7, 8, and 9, the three books which have been termed Martial’s ‘Kaisertriade’.
A thoroughly revised and expanded edition of Henriksen’s published thesis, the book consists of an introduction discussing the date, characteristics, structure, and themes of Book 9, followed by a detailed remark on each and every of the 105 poems, which places them in their literary, social, and historical context.