Sappho in Roman Epigram

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter argues that Martial positions himself in relationship with his great model Catullus through a number of highly sophisticated yet ‘deformed’ allusions to Sappho. It argues further that these allusions help Martial in asserting his own, individual poetic project. The line of reasoning emerges from close scrutiny of a number of details from a wide range of Greek and Roman epigrams, such as that in which Valerius Aedituus alludes to Sappho fr. 31. The main investigation, however, remains concentrated on crucial passages from Martial, compared with relevant passages from the satires of Juvenal, which together form a pattern in which the figure of Sappho appears key.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoman Receptions of Sappho
EditorsThea Thorsen, Stephen Harrison
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9780198829430
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameClassical Presences
PublisherOxford University Press


  • Sappho
  • Greek and Roman epigram
  • Catullus
  • Martial
  • sexuality
  • gender
  • poetics


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