aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Martial, Book on the spectacles 1.2

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On the Colosseum, which was built over Nero’s palace and took its name from the colossal statue of Nero (by this time refashioned as a statue of the Sun).

hic ubi sidereus propius videt astra colossus
    et crescunt media pegmata celsa via,
invidiosa feri radiabant atria regis
    unaque iam tota stabat in urbe domus;
hic ubi conspicui venerabilis Amphitheatri
    erigitur moles, stagna Neronis erant;
hic ubi miramur velocia munera thermas,
    abstulerat miseris tecta superbus ager;
Claudia diffusas ubi porticus explicat umbras,
    ultima pars aulae deficientis erat.
reddita Roma sibi est et sunt te praeside, Caesar,
    deliciae populi, quae fuerant domini.


Here, where the Colossus, arrayed with stars, views the stars up close, and where in the middle of the road tall scaffolding rises, the palace of a savage king used to gleam, and a single house used to stand covering the whole city. Here, where the august far-seen Amphitheatre raises its bulk, were Nero’s lakes. Here where we marvel at the public baths, a swiftly-built amenity, his proud estate had stolen poor folks’ houses. Where the Claudian colonnade spreads its shade the disappeared palace’s furthest part used to extend. Rome has been returned to itself under your governance, Caesar; now the delight of the populace, it was once the delight of its master.

Written by aleatorclassicus

November 9, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Martial

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