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E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus (ed. E. T. Merrill) 10 0 Browse Search
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E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus (ed. E. T. Merrill), Lesbia. (search)
her wrenched by another heavy blow that fell upon him at about the same time with these disclosures. His dearly loved brother was dead, and, to heighten the anguish of the moment, dead far away in the Troad, without a single relative near him to close his eyes, utter the last formal farewell, and place upon his tomb the customary funeral offerings. The news either reached Catullus when on a visit to his father's house at Verona, or summoned him suddenly thither from Rome. For a time this emotion dulled his sensibility to every other. He could think of nothing else. He foreswore the Muses forever, save to express the burden of his woe (cc. 68.19; 65.12). To the request of the influential orator Hortensius for verses, he could send only a translation from Callimachus, and the story of his tears. He must even deny (c. 68a) an appeal from
E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus (ed. E. T. Merrill), Later years. Relations with Caesar. (search)
c. 58). And these proffers now made to him through, and by, Furius and Aurelius were definitely and disdainfully rejected (c. 11), -with a manly, not a petulant disdain, for Catullus could not even then forget that he had loved Lesbia>. 42. This manly utterance was almost the last of the poet's life. A few scattered verses there may have been, closing perhaps with the touching appeal written from Verona (cf. § 56) to his brother-poet, Cornificius, for a word of consolation, but that was all; and sometime in the year 54 B.C., in his beloved Rome, so says the chronicler, the swiftly burning candle of his life burned itself out. 43. With him died the clearest, if not the richest, poet-voice ever lifted in Rome. He lacked the lofty grandeur of Lucretius, the polished stateliness of Vergil,
E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus (ed. E. T. Merrill), Manuscripts. (search)
is memory alive through the declining centuries of the Roman empire. The scholars and poets of the latter half of the first millennium after Christ had forgotten even his name. Only Rather, bishop of Verona, in a sermon delivered there in 965 A.D., confesses that he had just become acquainted with his writings; and an anthology of Latin poets written at about the same time (now cod. Thuaneus, Parisinus 8er of Vicenza, Benvenuto Campesani (who died before 1330), celebrated in a few enigmatic verses (cf. Critical Appendix ad fin.) the rediscovery of the text of Catullus 'under a bushel,' apparently at Verona. From this MS., or from copies of it, numerous Italian scholars, among them Petrarch, early learned to know the poet. The original MS. soon disappeared, and has never been found; but two descendants of it, appa
E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus (ed. E. T. Merrill), Poem 17 (search)
To the village of Colonia; a wish for the violent waking-up of an indifferent old Veronese who had a gay young wife. Very possibly written at Verona before Catullus came to Rome to live (cf. Catul. 17.8n.) The frequency of alliteration is noteworthy. —Metre, Priapean. Colonia: usually identified since Guarinus with the modern village of Cologna, a few miles eastward from Verona, the marshy situation of which Verona, the marshy situation of which fits well with the description in the text. ponte longo: not the desired bridge, but the existing ponticulus (Catul. 17.3) itself. The village folk would fain hold their solemn ceremonials on their bridge, but fear its rottenness, and inability to bear the weight of so many people at once. Pons, often modified by longus, was the ordinary term for a causeway constructed across a morass, part bridge, and
E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus (ed. E. T. Merrill), Poem 59 (search)
A skit upon a certain woman named Rufa, who, from the fact that she is especially mentioned as a Bolognese, must have been living elsewhere, probably at either Verona or Rome. The persons mentioned are otherwise unknown, though some suppose that Rufulus is M. Caelius Rufus (Intr. 59).—Meter, choliambic. Rufa Rufulum: perhaps the similarity in name denotes some relationship (cf. Lesbius and Lesbia in Catul. 79.1ff.), the diminutive being used sneeringly. sepulcretis: a(/pac lego/menon; apparently used of common and cheap places of burial; with the form cf. arboretum, rosetum, busticetum, etc. rapere: etc. i.e. pilfer the food placed on the funeral pyre to be burned with the body (cf. Verg. A. 6.224 congesta cremantur turea dona, dapes, fuso crateres olivo ). On such bustirapi
E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus (ed. E. T. Merrill), Poem 68a (search)
impossible for even such considerations to move him. Veronae turpe Catullo esse: apparently the predicate infinitive esse is (though contrary to general usage) omitted here, or else (and most improbably) the later esse serves as both subject and predicate; for in spite of v. 28 hic and the MS. Catulle, a direct quotation in such a setting would be extremely rare. The meaning evidently is, ‘to be staying at Verona is dishonorable for Catullus, when his place with Lesbia is being filled by promiscuous lovers.’ The reply is ‘the matter is not one of dishonor but of sorrow.’ Catullo: the poet likes to refer to himself in the third person, and V not infrequently gives e for o; hence the MS. reading is no great argument for a direct quotation. hic: at the place where Manlius was writing, the word be
E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus (ed. E. T. Merrill), Poem 100 (search)
other of the Quintia of Catul. 86.1ff. (see introductory note to c. 86). Aufilenus is otherwise unknown, though to Aufilena are addressed Catul. 110.1ff. and Catul. 111.1ff., in which she is accused of faithlessness as a mistress and of incest with an uncle. The lack of any apparent feeling against Aufilena in c. 100 leads to the supposition that it was written before c. 110 and 111 but it is not necessary to suppose that its scene is laid at Verona, for v. 2 Veronensum indicates merely origin and not residence. flos iuvenum: cf. Catul. 24.1. depereunt: see Catul. 35.12n. hic: referring to the first mentioned person, Caelius, while ille refers to Quintius; cf. the similar use of hoc and illud in Catul. 97.3. hoc est quod dicitur: cf. Catul. 94.2. cui faveam potius: i. e. in