This paper examines the presence of the female body in ancient epigram, with a focus on the Roman poet Martial. In a number of epigrams, Martial uses the female body to generate material that the male author then uses to position himself within and against traditions of Latin elegy and Greek inscriptive epigram. I explore how Martial invokes the female body as a partible, servile, and violable object of homosocial exchange, both like and unlike the epigram book itself. Finally, I suggest an important instability in the association between epigram book and female body.
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