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 ?
(27) It is this intimacy with the character which has led a number of scholars to argue that there is a bit of the Catullan persona to be detected in Attis.
The general reluctance to include Juventius as a Catullan paramour in the stories of the poet's life has undoubtedly been shaped by cultural mores surrounding homoerotic relations.
In the next morning's seaside lament, he makes his Attis recall the Catullan speaker of Poems 8 and 76: "Miss her I miss her--queer end doom's that I am, hot what!
Such studied corresponsion and contrast in the Catullan corpus should not be surprising in poetry which looks to Callimachus as its literary model - or foil.
is equating Ariadne with the abandoned speaker of other Catullan poems,
Despite his reputation as a practitioner of traditional form--which readers often naively dismiss as ill-suited to the world of today--Gunn's poems have a startling ability to embody contemporary experience: though recognizably his own, his language includes a wide range of current usage (including a Catullan inclination towards the dirty and demotic).
Anyway, embodying many Catullan feelings and only an imagined Lesbia's, the story of Laodamia in poem 68 is an example for Catullus of the power and potential of love.
The tension between these elements manifests itself not only in the apparently dichotomous first and second halves of the poem, but also in several corresponding dichotomies: the Catullan, phallic connotation of the "wanton" sparrow versus the biblical connotation of the sparrow whose fall is marked by God; Jane's apparent innocence versus her sensual delight at Phyllyp's provocative flutterings (and her perhaps naive references to sex); and Skelton's Marian language in the Commendacions versus their cupiditous overtones.
Pliny then describes how he tried his hand at other metres, including elegiacs ([sections]7), and settled on producing the volume of hendecasyllables ([sections]8) (once more following in Catullan footsteps), which Pontius, the letter's addressee, has just read.
These scholars have focused on conflicting kinds of love expressed in the Lesbia poems and on the complementary relations of logic and emotion.(5) I believe further light can be shed on the divided consciousness of the Catullan ego through an analysis of the dynamic, shifting relationships of multiple speaking voices in the anguished poems about Lesbia.
The basic quantitative scansion (sans accent locations or alternate feet) of a Catullan line would be as follows:
I will then place these verses in their French surroundings and pursue the insights that an awareness of the Catullan context makes available for interpretations of the essay.