A Little Martial for Those Sick of the Dating Game

If this Valentine’s Day has you feeling bitter about romance, take some heart in knowing that love has always been a rough ride. Here are a few deliciously nasty little snarks from the Roman poet Martial to laugh at over your dinner for one.

Truth Comes Out

He used to be your lover, Paula, but you said there was nothing between you.

Now you’ve married him. Can you still claim there’s nothing between you?

Martial, Epigrams 1.74

Left on Read

I wrote to Naevia. She didn’t write back. So she won’t have me.

But I think she read what I wrote. So she’ll have me.

Martial, Epigrams 2.9

Too High a Pedastal

You want to be revered, Sextus; I wanted to love you.

You’ll get what you demand, Sextus, and be revered,

but if I revere you, I won’t love you.

Martial, Epigrams 2.55

In Vino Veritas

Lyris wants to know what she does when she’s drunk? The same thing she does sober: she sucks cock.

Martial, Epigrams 2.73

Slut Era

You don’t say no to anyone, Thais, and you’re not ashamed of it.

You should at least be ashamed that you don’t say no to anything.

Martial, Epigrams 4.12

Hard to Get

Say “No,” Galla. Love gets cloying if its pleasures come too easily.

But don’t say “No” for too long.

Martial, Epigrams 4.38

Serving exactly what it sounds like, the Quotes feature excerpts other people’s thoughts.