Luxorius (poet)

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Codex Salmasianus 156, showing the superscription of the poems of Luxorius

Luxorius was an ancient Roman poet and writer of epigrams who lived in Carthage, Africa during the last years of the Vandal rule in the 6th century, under the reign of the Vandal Kings Thrasamund, Hilderic, and Gelimer (AD 496–534). He greatly admired the notable Roman author Martial, whom he used as a model when composing his works. Luxorius's writings served as a bridge between the end of the classical period and the beginning of medieval Latin.


Whatever is carried to other cities, this garden obediently supplies in this one spot.
This is the star of flowers.
  • Priscos cum haberes, quos probares, indices,
    lector, placere qui bonis possent modis,
    nostri libelli cur retexis paginam
    nugis refertam friuolisque sensibus,
    et quam tenello tiro lusi uiscere?
    set forte doctis si illa cara est auribus
    sonat pusilli quae leporis commate
    nullo decora in ambitu sententiae,
    hanc iure quaeris et libenter incohas,
    uelut iocosa si theatra peruoles.
    • Although, dear reader, you had the works of writers of old whom you esteemed highly and who could please you with their excellent har- monies, why do you turn the pages of my little book, pages filled with trifles and frivolities that I wrote as a novice when my talents were undeveloped?
      Can it be that you are fond of that kind of book whose versification is skillful but whose structure is limited, with not a whit of elegance, ostentation, or serious thought? This book of mine is what you are looking for and eagerly begin to read, as if hurrying to a theater dedicated to fun and laughter.
    • A.L. 288. Ad lectorem operis sui ('To his Readers')
  • Hortus, quo faciles fluunt Napaeae,
    quo ludunt Dryades choro uirente,
    quo fouet teneras Diana Nymphas;
    quo Venus roseos recondit artus,
    quo fessus teretes Cupido flammas
    suspensis reficit puer pharetris,
    quo ferunt se Heliconides puellae;
    cui numquam minus est amoena frondis,
    cui semper redolent amoma uerni,
    cui fons perspicuis tener fluentis
    muscoso riguus salit meatu,
    quo dulcis auium canor resultans
    quidquid per Tyrias refertur urbis,
    hoc uno famulans loco subaptat.
    • Garden where the wood nymphs gently flit about, where the dryads frolic in a verdant troop, where Diana cherishes the tender nymphs, where Venus hides her rosy limbs, where tired Cupid, now free after hanging up his quivers, restores his smooth flames, where the Muses retreat, Garden whose beautiful foliage never grows thinner, whose spring balsam is always fragrant, whose delicate fountain of clear water gives rise to a spot well watered by a mossy stream, Garden where the sweet singing of birds resounds,—Whatever is carried to other cities, this garden obediently supplies in this one spot.
    • A.L. 332. De laude horti Eugeti ('The Garden of Eugetus')
  • Hanc puto de proprio tinxit Sol aureus ortu
    aut unum ex radiis maluit esse suis;
    uel, si etiam centum foliis rosa Cypridis exstat,
    fluxit in hanc omni sanguine tota Venus.
    haec florum sidus, haec Lucifer almus in agris,
    huic odor et color est dignus honore poli.
    • I think that the golden sun has dyed this flower with the colors of its own rising or has wished it to be one of its own rays. But if it is also the rose of Venus with a hundred leaves, Venus has entirely flowed into it with her blood. This is the star of flowers; this is the gracious morning star over the fields; its fragrance and hue are worthy of heavenly honor.
    • A.L. 366. De laude rosae centumfoliae ('A Rose with a hundred Petals')
  • Igne salutifero Veneris puer omnia flammans
    pro facibus facilis arte ministrat aquas.
    • The son of Venus, who inflames everything with health-giving fire, provides water in place of his own torches through the medium of art.
    • A.L. 347. De sigillo Cupidinis aquas fundenti ('A Water Urn with a Figure of Cupid')
  • Paruus nobilium cum liber ad domos
    pomposique fori scrinia publica
    cinctus multifido ueneris agmine,
    nostri defugiens pauperiem laris,
    quo dudum modico sordidus angulo
    squalebas, tineis iam prope debitus,
    si te despiciet turba legentium
    inter Romulidas et Tyrias manus,
    isto pro exesequiis claudere disticho:
    contentos propriis esse decet focis,
    quos laudis facile est inuidiam pati.
    • When you, my little book, have come to the homes of the great and to the public bookshelves of the stately Forum, so that you are surrounded by a multifarious throng, after fleeing from the poverty of my household, where for a long time you lay covered with dust in a tiny nook and almost completely devoured by bookworms,—if the multitude of readers looks down upon you with scorn among the crowd of Romans and Carthaginians, end your days with this distich as your funeral oration: "Let those be content to stay at home who easily endure their envy of fame."
    • A.L. 289. Ad librum suum ('His Book’s proper Place')


  • Heinz Happ, ed. Luxurius, vol. 1 (Stuttgart, 1986) — critical edition
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