Pleasant Retirement

Martial Epigrammata 12.18

While you perhaps are restlessly wandering in noisy Subura, Juvenal, or you are treading the hill of mistress Diana, while [your] sweaty toga fans you across the thresholds of the more powerful, and the greater and lesser [peaks of the] Cae-lian Hill weary [you] as you wander (lit., wandering), my Bilbilis, proud with [its] gold and iron, [which I have] returned to after many Decembers, has received me and made me a rustic.

Here with pleasant toil, I idly visit Boterdum and Platea—these are rather uncouth names in the Celtiberian lands. I enjoy a huge and indecent [amount of] sleep, which often not even the third hour disturbs, and I now repay myself [for] all [the time] that I stayed awake over thrice ten years. The toga is unknown, but the nearest [article of] clothing from a broken chair is given [to you] when you ask. A fireplace fed by a noble pile from a nearby holm-oak grove greets [you] when you rise, and it is surrounded by the female overseer (lit., which the female overseer crowns) with many a pot. There follows a hunter, but one whom you would like to have in a secluded woods. The smooth-skinned overseer gives a handout to the slaves and asks [to be allowed] to set aside (i.e., cut) [his] long hair. In this way I want to live, in this way to die.

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