form of a dedicatory inscription appended thereto. It is
needless, not to say impossible, to suppose, as some have done,
that the actual yacht was brought up the Po and the Mincio, or by an overland
route, and beached in the Lago di Garda, but the votive model is spoken of as if
the experiences of its prototype were its own. (For a strong
presentation of a different interpretation of the poem cf.
C. L. Smith, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology,
nt sea; cf.
Ov. Trist. 3.13.27
terrarum pars paene novissima,
Tac. Agr. 10
oram novissimi maris.
limpidum lacum: i.e.
the lacus Benacus (Lago di Garda), into the broader, southern end of
which projects the peninsula of Sirmio (cf. Catul.
31.1ff.), now Sermione, where stood the villa of
Catullus. In the epithet is a thought of the contrast
between the dar
Frater Ave atque
Vale.—Date, summer of 56
adjectivally, in Greek fashion; cf.
Cic. Rep. 6.11
nunc venis paene miles
Ov. Her. 15.357
Livy 26.42.8 appears to be the
first to write paeninsula.
Sirmio, the modern
Sermione, is a long and narrow peninsula running out into
the southern end of the Lago di Garda (Lacus
Benacus). The ruins referred to by
Tennyson (l.c.) are of the age of
but are called by the natives the Villa of Catullus in
accordance with the mediaeval identification
gem cf. in this sense
Aesch. Eum. 1025
o)/mma pa/shs xqo/nos
Pind. Ol 2.9
*sikeli/as t' e)/san
Plaut. Trin. 245
Martial (e.g. Mart. 7.84, also
sent to a Caecilius).
Comi: in the year 59
B.C., in accordance with the Vatinian law, Julius Caesar
settled 5O0O colonists at Comum, a town already established
under Cn. Pompeius Strabo, and called the place Novum Comum. Como, the modern town,
lies at the southern end of the westem arm of Lacus Larius (Lago di Como), about thirty miles
north of Mediolanum (Milan).
desires to entice his friend to visit him, and so speaks
with playful vagueness of certain weighty matters that can
be communicated only by word of mouth. The whole tone of the
poem is opposed to any serious interpretation of the phrase.
amici sui meique: the
same playful mysteriousness of expression is kept up here