One of classical literature's greatest satirists, Martial earned his livelihood by excoriating the follies and vices of his time, and set a pattern that satirists have admired and imitated across the ages. Born in Spain, Marcus Valerius Martialis (c. 40–102 AD) went to Rome as a young man to win fame and fortune. At the height of his career he published a book of scathing social commentary every year—1500 poems in all, from which Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills has selected and translated some 500 of the best.
"Funny, wicked, and fresh, these epigrams ... will give the reader plenty of smiles."—Philadelphia Inquirer