Object structure

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Alternative title:

The Motif of Snow in Martial’s Epigrams versus Compositionof the Book 4 (epigrams 4, 1; 2 AND 3)



Subject and Keywords:

Martial   epigram-cycle   snow   Domitian


The article focuses on the Martial’s poems no. 1, 2 and 3 from the fourth book of epigrams. The author analyses these poems among which there are: 4, 1 – a genethliakon praising the Caesar’s birthday; 4, 2 – a satirical poem criticising Horatius for disobeying the law enacted by the Caesar; 4, 3 – a contemplative and a consolatory epigram which recollects the memory of the deceased Domitian’s son. Mentioned poems create a cycle of the epigrams concentrated on the emperor Domitian. The poems no. 2 and 3 employ a motif of a snow, but each of them uses this motif differently – in 4, 2 Martial mentions the snowfall only as a pretext to speak about the Caesar; in 4, 3 the snowfall becomes a main subject of the poem – it not only reveals the Domitian’s feelings and consoles him, but also it allows to present the emperor’s son and it gives a proof of his deification. Thus Martial using the motif of a snow (in epigrams no. 2 and 3) achieves varietas in the whole Caesar’s cycle (poems no. 1, 2 and 3). Moreover, all the presented poems differ from one another in terms of metre: 4, 1 and 3 are written in elegiac couplets, but 4, 2 is composed in the hendecasyllables.


Instytut Studiów Klasycznych, Śródziemnomorskich i Orientalnych UWr



Date issued:


Detailed Type:

czasopisma (wydawnictwa ciągłe)



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Attribution, ShareAlike


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Rights holder:

Copyright by Joanna Pieczonka   Copyright by Instytut Studiów Klasycznych, Śródziemnomorskich i Orientalnych