When we say "epigram," we mean "Martial"--whether we know it or not. After Martial, a Roman poet of the first century AD, epigram would always mean satirical epigram: a short, funny poem with a sting in its tail. But Martial was an imitator. He copied and adapted the real innovators: the Greek poets who were already turning epigram into antiquity's sharpest--and shortest--form of satirical humor. This book finally gives them their due, uncovering a forgotten world of wicked puns and violent slapstick.
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