D. Marthae


Martha Marchina

Original Text

Marchina, Martha. Marthae Marchinae virginis Neapolitanae Musa posthuma. 1701, p. 77.


S. Marii coniugi, & Matri SS. Audifacis & Abachii1

Sponte subit flammas, ensesque invicta Virago,2       Nec timor est raptam cernere utramque manum; Ne iactet dextra contemptos Mutius3 ignes:       Plus potuit pro te fœmina,4 Christe, pati.

1 Saint Martha died in 270 C.E. along with her whole family because she buried Christians. 2 Virago is a word that means a warlike woman, a heroic woman. Because of its visual similarity to the word for vir (man), we’ve translated it as ‘hero’ rather than ‘heroine’ to emphasize the male appearance of the word. 3 Mucius Scaevola famously burned off his right hand to show his determination in defeating the Etruscan Porsenna. His story appears in greater detail in Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita (2.12-13). 4 Fœmina with the œ ligature is a typical post-classical spelling of femina.


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