Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis), the Latin epigrammatic poet, was born about the year 40 at Bilbilis in Spain, near the source of the Tagus. His parents' names were Fronto and Flaccilla. He came to Rome at an early age, and stayed there till the year 91, living on the patronage of Calpurnius Piso, the Senecas, Titus, and Domitian, whose favour he returned by fulsome eulogies. Although he had a small estate at Nomentum, he was always needy, and at times quite without resources. He seemed to prefer this to practising as an advocate, as his friend Quintilian had advised him. When he revisited his native land he appears to have been protected by a cultured lady named Marcella. He died about 102 or 103. His earliest work, the Liber Spectaculorum. was composed at the end of the reign of Titus. The first nine books of the Epigrams appeared in the reign of Domitian; book xi. in 86, the year of Nerva's accession; and a revised edition of book i. in 98. The last book was written in Spain shortly before his death. For literary polish and shameless grossness of description, flattery, and abuse, Martial is unrivalled.