Mit Martial ins Amphitheater
Martial's Liber Spectaculorum is an attractive little volume of epigrams, probably his first book of poetry, composed and published οn the occasion of the opening of the Colosseum in Rome in 80 AD. Although the book poses some major philological problems, its poetical subject matter, descriptions of theatrical events, seems to merit closer attention than it is usually given.
Ιn this paper, the main motifs and texts of the book are analysed, particularly the notorious 'execution epigrams' (5, 7, 8, and 21). Οn the basis of this survey, it is argued that the book originally must have contained more poems about gladiator combats and naumachiae. Furthermore, the central role of the Emperor is discussed. Finally, whereas the Liber spectaculorum obviously celebrates the games of 80 AD and the Emperor who organised them, the book is suggested to have aimed at everlasting fame of the poet himself.
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