Epigram CXIX  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Epigram CXIX is an epigram by Martial of which Brantome says in Les vies:

"Martial in Epigram CXIX of his First Book. Therein doth he introduce and speak of a woman by name Bassa, a tribad, reproaching the same greatly in that men were never seen to visit her, in such wise that folk deemed her a second Lucretia for chasteness. But presently she came to be discovered, for that she was observed to be constantly welcoming at her house beautiful women and girls; and 'twas found that she herself did serve these and counterfeit a man. And the poet, to describe this, doth use the words, geminos committere cunnos. And further on, protesting against the thing, he doth signify the riddle and give it out to be guessed and imagined, in this Latin line :
Hic, ubi vir non est, ut sit adulterium,
"a strange thing," that is, "that where no man is, yet is adultery done." "

Full text

Quod numquam maribus iunctam te, Bassa, videbam
quodque tibi moechum fabula nulla dabat,
omne sed officium circa te semper obibat
turba tui sexus, non adeunte viro,
esse videbaris, fateor, Lucretia nobis:
at tu, pro facinus, Bassa, fututor eras.
inter se geminos audes committere cunnos
mentiturque virum prodigiosa Venus.
commenta es dignum Thebano aenigmate monstrum.
hic, ubi vir non est, ut sit adulterium.

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