2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Social Science

Disability, Humor, and Immorality: Martial in Roman Life
Kelly K. Bultman*, Laura S. Ursprung, Mike K. Sheldon, Aaron E. Pearson, and Cheylynne Y. Bosley
Prof. Martha L. Rose, Faculty Mentor

Martial composed his Epigrammation Libri during the reigns of Trajan, Domitian, Nerva, and Nero. These epigrams, well received by the general public, provide scholars with credible documentation on Roman daily life. Martial, born in Spain c. A.D. 38, began writing his classical epigrams after he moved to Rome in about A.D. 64. His writings give scholars a first hand account of the social norms of Roman aristocracy and the urban poor. Today, physical disability is part of daily life, but its place in ancient history has been largely ignored and lacks major scholarly research. The works of Martial provide valuable information about physical disability in daily Roman life, but one must be aware of his satirical form, as well as his bias against the wealthy class. For Martial, physical disability was an opportunity to make a caricature of Roman society, and had none of the modern medical or moral connections.

Keywords: Roman Empire, Ancient History, Disability Studies


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 13-4
Location: VH 1416
Time: 9:00

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