Catullus

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Catullus

(Caius Valerius Catullus) (kətŭl`əs), 84? B.C.–54? B.C., Roman poet, b. Verona. Of a well-to-do family, he went c.62 B.C. to Rome. He fell deeply in love, probably with Clodia, sister of Cicero's opponent Publius Clodius. She was suspected of murdering her husband. Catullus wrote to his beloved, addressed as Lesbia (to recall Sappho of Lesbos), a series of superb little poems that run from early passion and tenderness to the hatred and disillusionment that overwhelmed him after his mistress was faithless. Of the 116 extant poems attributed to him, three (18–20) are almost certainly spurious. They include, besides the Lesbia poems, poems to his young friend Juventius; epigrams, ranging from the genial to the obscenely derisive; elegies; a few long poems, notably "Attis" and a nuptial poem honoring Thetis and Peleus; and various short pieces. His satire is vigorous and flexible, his light poems joyful and full-bodied. He was influenced by the Alexandrians and drew much on the Greeks for form and meter, but his genius outran all models. Catullus is one of the greatest lyric poets of all time. Two of his most popular poems are the 10-line poem, touching and simple, which ends, "frater ave atque vale" [hail, brother, and farewell], and "On the Death of Lesbia's Sparrow."

Bibliography

See translations by R. Myers and R. J. Ormsby (1970), C. Martin (1990), and P. Green (2005); studies by A. L. Wheeler (1934, repr. 1964), T. Frank (1928, repr. 1965), K. Quinn (1959, 1970, and 1972), R. Jenkyns (1982), T. P. Wiseman (1985), J. Ferguson (1988), and C. Martin (1992).

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Catullus

Gaius Valerius . ?84--?54 bc, Roman lyric poet, noted particularly for his love poems
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
(54) Tambien es de Catulo (Catul. 58, 4-5) este eco sobre la vida disipada de Clodia (nunc in quadruvis et angiportis / glubis magnanimi Remi nepotes [Catul.
Rhaeticam] Cato praecipue laudat in libris quos scripsit ad filium; contra Catullus earn vituperat et dicit nulli rei esse aptam, miraturque cur cam laudaverit Cato' (= Catul. fr.
At the same time he quotes Catullus' defence of poetic free speech, based on the separation of author and text, 'nam castum esse decet plum poetam/ipsum, uersiculos nihil necesse est' ('the true poet should be chaste himself, though his poetry need not be') (Catul. 16.5); but notably Pliny leaves unsaid that poem's truly licentious refrain, 'pedicabo ego uos et irrumabo'.