In Gulum decoctorem (n.d.)

Maitland's epigrams and shorter poems offer up a series of mostly satirical pen sketches of bankrupts, adulterers, and petty lawyers. Sadly, only two are directly linked to verifiable historical figures - David Cunningham and John Gordon (d2_MaiT_015 and d2_MaiT_017 respectively, although the poem address to 'Janus Virbius' may possibly be a satire on John Knox). Metre: elegiac couplets.

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In Gulum decoctorem

Dena mero nuper fœcunda, et dena coemptis
praedia quercedulis 1 vendidit aere Gulus.
Et miramur adhuc, et postera saecla 2 moventur
usque adeo fatis Amphiarae tuis?
Quod te terra vorax patulo glutivit hiatu;
cum patulo terram devoret ore Gulus.

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Against Gulus, the bankrupt

A little while ago Gulus sold his estates - ten fertile with wine, and ten with the water-fowls bought up - for cash. And are we still amazed at your fate, Amphiaraus, a and the ages after you, down to the present day, still disturbed by it? Because the voracious earth gulped you down in its gaping maw: while Gulus devours land with his gaping mouth.



1: Very rare word, which appears only in Columella, De Re Rustica VIII.15.1.2,

2: 'postera saecla': Lucretius, De Rerum Natura III.967


a: Seer from Argos who took part in the expedidition of the Seven against Thebes. There are several accounts of his death, but the version followed by Maitland here is that in Pindar's ninth ode, where he was swallowed whole by a chasm in the earth made by Zeus' thunderbolt as he fled Thebes.