An Adventurous Woman

Juvenal Satires 6.82-110

Eppia, married to a senator, accompanied a gladiatorial troupe to Pharos and the Nile and the infamous walls of Lagus, with [even] Canopus condemning the monstrosities and morals of the city (i.e., Rome). She, forgetful of [her] home and [her] husband and sister, had no regard at all for [her] country, and shamefully abandoned [her] weeping children and, to amaze you more, the public games and Paris (a popular mime in Rome). But although [as a] tiny [child], she had slept amid great wealth and on [her] fathers down and in a decorated cradle, she scorned the sea; she had long ago scorned [her] reputation, whose loss is trivial (lit., very small) among [women accustomed to] soft easy chairs.

So with resolute heart she endured the Tyrrhenian waves and the roaring (lit., loudly resounding) Ionian Sea, although she had to travel from sea to sea (lit., a sea had to be passed from one to another [by her]) so many times. If the reason for danger is legitimate and honorable, [women] are afraid and [their] timid hearts are frozen (lit., they are frozen with respect to [their] timid heart) and they cannot stand on [their] trembling feet. They apply a brave heart to actions that they, to their disgrace, dare [to do] (lit., things that they disgracefully dare). If ever a husband bids [them], it is hard to board a ship; that's when (lit., then) the bilge water is offensive, that's when the sky spins round (i.e., they get dizzy). A woman who follows an adulterer has a strong stomach (lit., is strong in [her] stomach). The former vomits over her husband, the latter both takes breakfast among the sailors and wanders over the deck and takes joy in handling the rough ropes.

Yet with what good looks was Eppia inflamed? By what youthfulness was she captivated? What did she see that caused her to put up with (lit., on account of which she endured) being called a gladiator's woman? For [her] darling Sergius had already begun to shave [his] neck and to hope for rest (i.e., retirement) because of [his] wounded arm; moreover, there were many unsightly [marks] on [his] face, a furrow rubbed by [his] helmet, and a huge lump in the middle of [his] nose, and the severe complaint of a constantly weeping eye. But he was a gladiator; this makes them the equals of Hyacinthus (lit., makes them Hyacinthuses).

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