Hie End of a Wild Party

Propertius Elegies 4.8.27-36, 47-66

Since wrong was being done to my bed so often, I wanted to change my partner (lit, with [my] bed having been changed) and move camp. There is a certain Phyllis, a neighbor of Aventine Diana, possessing few charms (lit., too little charming) when sober, [but] when she drinks, she adorns everything. There is another, Teia, [from] among the Tarpeian groves, fair, but one [man] will not be enough for her [when] drunk. I decided to pass the night pleasantly by inviting these (lit, by these having been invited) and to resume my stolen pleasures with a novel sexual experience. There was one couch for three in a secluded garden. You ask about the seating? I was between the two

They were singing to a deaf [man], they were baring [their] breasts to a blind [man]; woe is me! my whole mind was (lit., I was entirely) at the gates of Lanu-vium, when suddenly the screechy doors made a noise with their pins and loud (lit., no low) murmurs were made in the front room with the Lares (lit., at the first Lares). And without delay, Cynthia pulled back the double doors fully, [her] hair unkempt, but elegant despite her fury. The cup fell [from] between [my] slackened fingers, [my] lips, [though] indeed relaxed from the wine, grew pale. [Her] eyes flashed with lightning (lit., she flashed with lightning with respect to her eyes) and she raged as much as a woman [can], nor was the sight anything short of [that of] a captured city. She thrust [her] angry nails into Phyllis' face; the terrified Teia shouted, "Neighbors! [Bring] water!" The abuse [that was] uttered disturbed the sleeping citizens, and the whole alley rang with frenzied voices. The first inn on a dark street received them (i.e., the two prostitutes), with torn hair and loose tunics.

Cynthia rejoiced in the spoils and hurried back victorious and bruised my face with the back of [her] hand and put a mark on [my] neck and drew blood with [her] biting, and especially struck my eyes, which deserved [it]. (The historic presents have been translated by the English past tense.)

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