Malchionis

Henryk Siemiradzki, Romeinse orgie in de tijd van Caesar, 1872
Henryk Siemiradzki, Roman orgy (1872)

Conviva quisquis Zoili potest esse,
Summemmianas cenet inter uxores
curtaque Ledae sobrius bibat testa:
hoc esse levius puriusque contendo.
iacet occupato galbinatus in lecto
cubitisque trudit hinc et inde convivas
effultus ostro Sericisque pulvillis.
stat exoletus suggeritque ructanti
pinnas rubentes cuspidesque lentisci,
et aestuanti tenue ventilat frigus
supina prasino concubina flabello,
fugatque muscas myrtea puer virga.
percurrit agili corpus arte tractatrix
manumque doctam spargit omnibus membris;
digiti crepantis signa novit eunuchus
et delicatae sciscitator urinae
domini bibentis ebrium regit penem.
at ipse retro flexus ad pedum turbam
inter catellas anserum exta lambentis
partitur apri glandulas palaestritis
et concubino turturum natis donat;
Ligurumque nobis saxa cum ministrentur
vel cocta fumis musta Massilitanis,
Opimianum morionibus nectar
crystallinisque murrinisque propinat.
et Cosmianis ipse fuscus ampullis
non erubescit murice aureo nobis
dividere moechae pauperis capillare.
septunce multo deinde perditus stertit:
nos accubamus et silentium rhonchis
praestare iussi nutibus propinamus.
hos malchionis patimur improbi fastus,
nec vindicari, Rufe, possumus: fellat.
(Martial, Ep. 3.82)

Whoever can stand dinner with Zoilus, let him dine among Summemmius’ wives and drink sober from Leda’s broken jar. That would be easier and cleaner, I’ll be bound. Clothed in green he lies filling up the couch and thrusts his guests on either hand with his elbows, propped up on purples and silk cushions. A youth stands by, supplying red feathers and slips of mastic as he belches, while a concubine, lying on her back, makes a gentle breeze with a green fan to relieve his heat, and a boy keeps off the flies with a sprig of myrtle. A masseuse runs over his frame nimbly and skilfully, scattering an expert hand over all his limbs. The eunuch knows the signal of his snapping finger and probes the coy urine, guiding a tipsy penis as his master drinks. But himself, bending back toward the crowd at his feet, in the midst of lapdogs who are gnawing goose livers, divides a boar’s sweetbreads among his wrestling-coaches and bestows turtle rumps on his fancy-boy. While we are served with the produce of Liguria’s rocks or must cooked in Massiliot smoke, he pledges his naturals in Opimian nectar with crystal and murrine cups. Himself dusky with Cosmus’ phials, he does not blush to distribute a needy drab’s hair oil among us out of a gold shell. Then he snores, sunk by many a half pint. We lie by, with orders not to interrupt the snorts, and pledge each other with nods. This insolence of an outrageous cad we suffer and cannot retaliate, Rufus: he sucks, males. (tr. David Roy Shackleton-Bailey)

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