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Encyclopedia > Catullus
Fresco from Herculaneum, presumably showing a love couple.
For persons with a cognomen "Catulus", see Lutatius

Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84 BC – ca. 54 BC) was a Roman poet of the 1st century BC. His work remains widely studied, and continues to influence poetry and other art. Download high resolution version (689x682, 149 KB)Herculaneum fresco with a strange device The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Download high resolution version (689x682, 149 KB)Herculaneum fresco with a strange device The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... The cognomen (name known by in English) was originally the third name of a Roman in the Roman naming convention. ... Temple to Juturna, built by Gaius Lutatius Catulus to celebrate his victory at Aegades islands, in Largo di Torre Argentina, Rome. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC 100s BC 90s BC - 80s BC - 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC Years: 89 BC 88 BC 87 BC 86 BC 85 BC - 84 BC - 83 BC 82 BC 81... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC - 50s BC - 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC 0s BC Years: 59 BC 58 BC 57 BC 56 BC 55 BC 54 BC 53 BC 52 BC 51... The poor poet A poet is a person who writes poetry. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 1st century BC started on January 1, 100 BC and ended on December 31, 1 BC. An alternative name for this century is the last century BC. The AD/BC notation does not use a year zero. ...

Contents

Biography

Little is known about Catullus's life. Most ancient sources, including Suetonius and Ovid (Amores III.XV), claim Verona as his birthplace. He came from a leading equestrian family from Verona, but lived in Rome most of his life. The Twelve Caesars is a set of twelve biographies of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire. ... Engraved frontispiece of George Sandyss 1632 London edition of Publius Ovidius Naso (Sulmona, March 20, 43 BC – Tomis, now ConstanÅ£a AD 17), a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid, wrote on topics of love, abandoned women and mythological transformations. ... This page is about the city in Italy; for other uses, see Verona (disambiguation). ... An equestrian (Latin eques, plural equites - also known as a vir egregius, lit. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5...


Catullus's family owned a villa at Sirmio on Lake Garda. His father entertained Caesar, then governor of Gaul.[1] At some point, the poet parodied Caesar and an associate, but later apologized and was forgiven.[2] Sirmio is a promontory at the southern end of Lake Garda, projecting 21 miles into the lake. ... Lake Garda (Italian Lago di Garda or Benaco) is the largest lake in Italy. ... Gaius Julius Caesar [1] (Latin pronunciation ; English pronunciation ; July 12 or July 13, 100 BC or 102 BC – March 15, 44 BC), was a Roman military and political leader and one of the most influential men in classical antiquity. ...


Catullus's friends included the poets C. Licinius Macer Calvus, Marcus Furius Bibaculus, and C. Helvius Cinna; the orator Q. Hortensius (a rival of Cicero in the law courts) and the biographer Cornelius Nepos, to whom Catullus' book of poems is dedicated.[1] Marcus Furius Bibaculus was a neoteric poet with little money who had an affair with the boyfriend of Catullus, Juventius. ... Cicero at about age 60, from an ancient marble bust Marcus Tullius Cicero (IPA:Classical Latin pronunciation: , usually pronounced in American English or in UK English; January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, lawyer, political theorist, philosopher, widely considered one of Romes greatest orators... Cornelius Nepos (c. ...


In 61 BC Catullus went to Rome and fell in love with the "Lesbia" of his poems, generally believed to be Clodia Metelli, sister of the infamous Publius Clodius Pulcher. This sophisticated woman, 10 years older than Catullus, was a member of the aristocratic Claudian family. Their brief affair ended when Clodia spurned him for Caelius Rufus, a member of Catullus' social circle and an associate of Cicero.[1] Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 110s BC 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC - 60s BC - 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC Years: 66 BC 65 BC 64 BC 63 BC 62 BC 61 BC 60 BC 59 BC 58... Lesbia is the lover to whom the Roman poet Catullus dedicates a number of poems. ... Clodia, born Claudia Pulchra Tercia circa 95 BC and often referred to in scholarship as Clodia Metelli (Clodia the wife of Metellus), was the third daughter of the patrician Appius Claudius Pulcher and Caecilia Metella Balearica. ... Publius Clodius Pulcher (born around 92 BC, died January 18, 52 BC), was a Roman politician, chiefly remembered for his feuds with Titus Annius Milo and Marcus Tullius Cicero and introducing the grain dole. ...

Bithynia

In 57 BC he accompanied his friend Memmius to Bithynia, where Memmius served as propraetor. Catullus served on the staff of the governor of Bithynia, his only political office. While in the East, Catullus traveled to the Troad to perform rites at his brother's tomb, an event recorded in a moving poem.[1] Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC - 50s BC - 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC 0s BC Years: 62 BC 61 BC 60 BC 59 BC 58 BC 57 BC 56 BC 55 BC 54... Gaius Memmius (incorrectly called Gemellus, The Twin), Roman orator and poet, tribune of the people (66 BC), friend of Lucretius and Catullus. ... Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine (today Black Sea). ... A promagistrate is a person who acts in and with the authority and capacity of a magistrate, but without holding a magisterial office. ... Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine (today Black Sea). ...


After his year in Bithynia, Catullus returned to Italy, probably settling in Rome and spending the last few years of his life there. Although his poems contain complaints of poverty, he owned a villa near Tibur (modern Tivoli).[1]


It is uncertain when Catullus died. Some ancient sources claim he died from exhaustion at the age of thirty. St. Jerome gives his birth year as 87 BC and wrote that the poet lived 30 years, but some of the poems refer to events in 55 BC Since no poem can be dated later than 54BC, scholars traditionally accept the dates 84 BC54 BC.[1] For other uses see: Jerome (disambiguation) Jerome (about 340 - September 30, 420), (full name Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) is best known as the translator of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC 100s BC 90s BC - 80s BC - 70s BC 60s BC 50s BC 40s BC 30s BC Years: 89 BC 88 BC 87 BC 86 BC 85 BC - 84 BC - 83 BC 82 BC 81... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC - 50s BC - 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC 0s BC Years: 59 BC 58 BC 57 BC 56 BC 55 BC 54 BC 53 BC 52 BC 51...


His poems were widely appreciated by other poets, but Cicero despised them for their supposed amorality. Catullus was never considered one of the canonical school authors. Nevertheless, he greatly influenced poets such as Ovid, Horace, and Virgil; after his rediscovery in the late Middle Ages, Catullus again found admirers. His explicit writing style has shocked many readers, both ancient and modern. Cicero at about age 60, from an ancient marble bust Marcus Tullius Cicero (IPA:Classical Latin pronunciation: , usually pronounced in American English or in UK English; January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, lawyer, political theorist, philosopher, widely considered one of Romes greatest orators... Engraved frontispiece of George Sandyss 1632 London edition of Publius Ovidius Naso (Sulmona, March 20, 43 BC – Tomis, now Constanţa AD 17), a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid, wrote on topics of love, abandoned women and mythological transformations. ... Horace, as imagined by Anton von Werner Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. ... A bust of Virgil, from the entrance to his tomb in Naples, Italy. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ...


Poetry

Main article: Poetry of Catullus

Wikibooks has a book on the topic of The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus The poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus was written towards the end of the Roman Republic. ... Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo-en. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ...

Sources and organization

Catullus's poems have been preserved in an anthology of 116 carmina (three of which are now considered spurious — 18, 19 and 20 — although the numbering has been retained), which can be divided into three formal parts: sixty short poems in varying metres, called polymetra, eight longer poems, and forty-eight epigrams. ANThology is the first major label album by Alien Ant Farm. ... An epigram is a short poem with a clever twist at the end or a concise and witty statement. ...


There is no scholarly consensus on whether or not Catullus himself arranged the order of the poems. The longer poems differ from the polymetra and the epigrams not only in length but also in their subjects: There are seven hymns and one mini-epic, or epillion, the most highly-prized form for the "new poets". A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a god or other religiously significant figure. ... The epic is a broadly defined genre of poetry, and one of the major forms of narrative literature. ...


The polymetra and the epigrams can be divided into four major thematic groups (ignoring a rather large number of poems eluding such categorization): In literature, a theme is a broads idea in a story, or a message conveyed by a work. ...

  • poems to and about his friends (e.g., an invitation like poem 13).
  • erotic poems: some of them indicate homosexual penchants (50 and 98), but most are about women, especially about one he calls "Lesbia" (in honour of the poetess Sappho of Lesbos, source and inspiration of many of his poems).
  • invectives: often rude and sometimes downright obscene poems targeted at friends-turned-traitors (e.g., poem 30), other lovers of Lesbia, well known poets, politicians (e.g., Julius Caesar) and rhetors, including Cicero.
  • condolences: some poems of Catullus are, in fact, serious in nature. 96 comforts a friend in the death of a loved one; several others, most famously 101, lament the death of his brother.

All these poems describe the Epicurean lifestyle of Catullus and his friends, who, despite Catullus's temporary political post in Bithynia, lived withdrawn from politics. They were interested mainly in poetry and love. Above all other qualities, Catullus seems to have sought venustas, or charm, in his acquaintances, a theme which he explores in a number of his poems. The ancient Roman concept of virtus (i.e. of virtue that had to be proved by a political or military career), which Cicero suggested as the solution to the societal problems of the late Republic, meant little to them. Eroticism is an aesthetic focused on sexual desire, especially the feelings of anticipation of sexual activity. ... Homosexuality refers to sexual interaction and / or romantic attraction between individuals of the same sex. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Catullus. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Catullus. ... Lesbia is the lover to whom the Roman poet Catullus dedicates a number of poems. ... This article refers to the Greek poet. ... Lesbos, shown off the coast of the Anatolian peninsula (Asiatic Turkey), northwest of Ä°zmir. ... A bitter and injurious term of insult. ... Obscenity has several connotations. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Catullus. ... Lesbia is the lover to whom the Roman poet Catullus dedicates a number of poems. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A politician is an individual who is a formally recognized and active member of a government, or a person who influences the way a society is governed through an understanding of political power and group dynamics. ... Gaius Julius Caesar [1] (Latin pronunciation ; English pronunciation ; July 12 or July 13, 100 BC or 102 BC – March 15, 44 BC), was a Roman military and political leader and one of the most influential men in classical antiquity. ... Rhetoric (from Greek ρητωρ, rhêtôr, orator) is one of the three original liberal arts or trivium (the other members are dialectic and grammar). ... Cicero at about age 60, from an ancient marble bust Marcus Tullius Cicero (IPA:Classical Latin pronunciation: , usually pronounced in American English or in UK English; January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, lawyer, political theorist, philosopher, widely considered one of Romes greatest orators... When someone condoles, or offers their condolences to, a particular situation or person, they are offering active, conscious support of that person or activity. ... Catullus 96 is a poem written by the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus. ... Catullus 101 is a poem written by the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus. ... Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c340-c270 BC), founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. ... Politics is the process by which groups make decisions. ... The Chinese poem Quatrain on Heavenly Mountain by Emperor Gaozong (Song Dynasty) Poetry (from the Greek , poiesis, making or creating) is a form of art in which language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its ostensible meaning. ... Love is any of a number of emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong affection or profound oneness. ... Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Virtue (Latin virtus; Greek ) is moral excellence of a person. ... Cicero at about age 60, from an ancient marble bust Marcus Tullius Cicero (IPA:Classical Latin pronunciation: , usually pronounced in American English or in UK English; January 3, 106 BC – December 7, 43 BC) was a Roman statesman, lawyer, political theorist, philosopher, widely considered one of Romes greatest orators... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus Roman provinces on the eve of the assassination of Julius Caesar, c. ...


But it is not the traditional notions Catullus rejects, merely their monopolized application to the vita activa of politics and war. Indeed, he tries to reinvent these notions from a personal point of view and to introduce them into human relationships. For example, he applies the word fides, which traditionally meant faithfulness towards one's political allies, to his relationship with Lesbia and reinterprets it as unconditional faithfulness in love. So, despite seeming frivolity of his lifestyle, Catullus measured himself and his friends by quite ambitious standards. Template:More soruces For other uses, see War (disambiguation). ...


Intellectual influences

Catullus's poetry was greatly influenced by the Greek neoteroi, Latin poetae novi or "new poets". Callimachus influenced Catullus especially, having propagated a new style of poetry which deliberately turned away from the classical epic poetry in the tradition of Homer. Catullus and Callimachus did not describe the feats of ancient heroes and gods (except perhaps in re-evaluating and predominantly artistic circumstances, e.g. poems 63 and 64), focusing instead on small-scale personal themes. Although these poems sometimes seem quite superficial and their subjects often are mere everyday concerns, they are accomplished works of art. Catullus described his work as expolitum, or polished, to show that the language he used was very carefully and artistically composed. The Chinese poem Quatrain on Heavenly Mountain by Emperor Gaozong (Song Dynasty) Poetry (from the Greek , poiesis, making or creating) is a form of art in which language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its ostensible meaning. ... Neoteroi is Greek for new poets, referring to styles like avant-garde. ... Callimachus (Greek: ; ca. ... The epic is a broadly defined genre of poetry, and one of the major forms of narrative literature. ... Homer (Greek: , ) was an early Greek poet and aoidos (rhapsode) traditionally credited with the composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey. ... Callimachus (Greek: ; ca. ... Heroine (female hero) redirects here. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...


Catullus was also an admirer of Sappho, a poetess of the 7th century BC, and is the source for much of what we know or infer about her. Catullus 51 is a translation of Sappho 31, and 61 and 62 are certainly inspired by and perhaps translated directly from lost works of Sappho. Both of the latter are epithalamia, a form of laudatory or erotic wedding-poetry that Sappho had been famous for but that had gone out of fashion in the intervening centuries. Catullus sometimes used a meter that Sappho developed, called the Sapphic strophe. In fact, Catullus may have brought about a substantial revival of that form in Rome. This article refers to the Greek poet. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 7th century BC started on January 1, 700 BC and ended on December 31, 601 BC. // Overview Events Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria who created the the first systematically collected library at Nineveh A 16th century depiction of the Hanging Gardens of... Catullus 51 is a poem written by Gaius Valerius Catullus. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Catullus. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Catullus. ... Epithalamium (from Greek; epi- upon, and thalamium nuptial chamber) specifically refers to a form of poem that is written for the bride. ...


Style

Catullus wrote in many different meters including hendecasyllabic and elegiac couplets (common in love poetry). All of his poetry shows strong and occasionally wild emotions especially in regard to Lesbia. He also demonstrates a great sense of humour such as in Catullus 13. Hendecasyllable verse (in Italian endecasillabo) is a kind of verse used mostly in Italian poetry, defined by its having the last stress on the tenth syllable. ... Elegiac couplets consist of alternating lines of dactylic hexameter and pentameter: two dactyls followed by a long syllable, a caesura, then two more dactyls followed by a long syllable. ... Lesbia is the lover to whom the Roman poet Catullus dedicates a number of poems. ... // Latin Text Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus, si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam cenam, non sine candida puella et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis. ...


Many of the literary techniques he used are still common today, including hyperbaton: ‘’plenus saculus est aranearum’’ (Catullus 13), which translates as ‘[my] purse is all full – of cobwebs.’ He also uses anaphora eg. ‘’Salve, nec minimo puella naso nec bello pede nec…’’(Catullus 43) as well as tricolon and alliteration. He is also very fond of diminutives such as in Catullus 50: ‘’Hestero, Licini, die otiose/multum lusimus in meis tabellis’’ – Yesterday, Licinius, was a day of leisure/ playing many games in my little note books. Hyperbaton is a figure of speech that uses deliberate and dramatic departure from standard syntax (word order) for emphasis or poetic effect. ... In rhetoric, anaphora (from the Greek anaphérō, «I repeat») is the repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of several consecutive sentences or verses to emphasize an image or a concept. ... This is a poem by the Roman poet Catullus in hendecasyllabic metre. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary using the Transwiki process. ... Alliteration is a structuring device characterized by the reiteration of the initial consonant at the beginning of two consecutive or slightly separated words. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Catullus. ...


Catullus in popular culture

The epistolatory novel Ides of March by Thornton Wilder features Catullus, his poetry, his relationship (and correspondence) with Clodia, correspondence from his family and a description of his death. Catullus' poems and the closing section by Suetonius are the only documents in the novel which are not imagined. An epistolary novel is a literary technique in which a novel is composed as a series of letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. ... Ides of March is an epistolatory novel by Thornton Wilder. ... Image:Thorntonwilderteeth. ... Clodia, born Claudia Pulchra Tertulla in circa 95 BC, was the third daughter of the patrician Appius Claudius Pulcher and Caecilia Metella Balearica. ...


In the popular webcomic Achewood, Catullus is reffered to in the March 8th, 2002 comic ("Hell Yes I'm telling you about some Latin shit!") as the "first poet who ever got his Bone on". Achewood is an online comic strip created by Chris Onstad. ...


Works

  • Carmina

Text resources

Wikisource
Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Catullus

Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... The introduction of this article does not provide enough context for readers unfamiliar with the subject. ... // Latin Text Varus me meus ad suos amores visum duxerat e foro otiosum, scortillum, ut mihi tum repente visum est, non sane illepidum neque invenustum. ... The original Wikisource logo. ...

Secondary Works

  • Harrington, Karl Pomeroy. Catullus and his influence. New York, Cooper Square Publishers, 1963.
  • Ferguson, J. Catullus.(G&R New Surveys in The Classics No.20). Oxford, 1988.
  • Gaisser, Julia Haig. Catullus And His Renaissance Readers. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1993.
  • Balme, M and Morewood, J. Oxford Latin Reader Oxford, University Press, 1997.

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f [1]Catullus Web page at Encyclopedia of World Biography Web site, accessed February 13, 2007
  2. ^ [2]Hope, Ken, "Introduction on Catullus" at the Catullus Translations Web site, accessed February 13, 2007

February 13 is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini era. ... February 13 is the 44th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini era. ...

External links

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Catullus

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Catullus (377 words)
Catullus was a member of the elite, and his family would naturally have cultivated a powerful man like Julius Caesar, who could have advanced their son's career.
Catullus mocks the practive of "networking" in Poem 28: "i, pete nobiles amicos (So much for running after powerful friends!)" And he never treated Caesar with much respect.
As a poet, Catullus was revolutionary in ignoring the public audience, and writing intensely about his personal experience for an audience of fellow-poets alone.
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