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Flavius is rallied about an intrigue which he has in vain tried to conceal. With the general theme cf. Catul. 55.1ff. and Hor. Carm. 1.27; Hor. Carm. 2.4. —Metre, Phalaecean.

Flavi: otherwise unknown, though Baehrens suspects him to be the Fabullus of Catul. 12.1ff., Catul. 13.1ff., Catul. 28.1ff., and Catul. 47.1ff.

delicias: see Catul. 2.1n.

Catullo: the poet is fond of referring to himself by name; cf. Catul. 7.10; Catul. 11.1; Catul. 13.7; Catul. 14.13; Catul. 38.1; Catul. 44.3; Catul. 49.4; Catul. 56.3; Catul. 58.2; Catul. 68.27,Catul. 68.135; Catul. 72.1; Catul. 79.3; Catul. 82.1.

[2] ni sintvelles: granted that [your love] is not … you would surely be willing, etc. The imperfect tense in both clauses would express at once a conclusion definitively arrived at after past deliberation; the tenses as they here stand convey the idea of a pause for deliberation after laying down the chosen proposition (ni sint, etc.), and then a triumphant pounce upon the inevitable conclusion (velles dicere, etc.). For other instances of this construction cf. Catul. 58b.1 and Draeger, Hist. Synt. 2. p. 721.

[2] inlepidae atque inelegantes: cf. similar phrases in Catul. 10.4; Catul. 36.17.

[4] febriculosi: this word appears first, and only once, in Catullus and but rarely later.

[6] viduas noctes: cf. Ov. Ep. 18.69viduas exegi frigida noctes;” and similarly Catul. 68.6in lecto caelibe” .

[7] nequiquam tacitum: i.e it is to no purpose that the bed lacks the power of speech, for it tells as emphatically and clearly (clamat) as though it could speak; cf. Catul. 80.7.

[8] Syrio: etc., cf. Catul. 68.144fragrantem Assyno odore;” and the lament of Berenice's hair in Catul. 66.75ff.; Hor. Carm. 2.7.8coronatus nitentis malobathro Syrio capillos” ; Hor. Carm. 2.11.14rosa canos odorati capillos, Assyriaque nardo uncti.

[15] quidquid habes: etc., cf. Catul. 1.8n.; Hor. Carm. 1.27.17quidquid habes, age, depone tutis auribus” .

[16] nobis: = mihi; the plural for the singular of the first person (though never of the second) often occurs in Catullus in personal and possessive pronouns and in verbs, sometimes with a change from singular to plural even in the same sentence; cf. Catul. 77.3f.; Catul. 91.1f.

[16] volo: etc., the tone of the poem is certainly different from that of Catul. 55.1, and the raillery of the whole address thus far suggests that these concluding words are not spoken seriously, but after the spirit of Horace in the odes cited in the introductory note.

[16] amores: of a scortillum also in Catul. 10.1 and Catul. 45.1; cf. the same word of Juventius in Catul. 15.1; Catul. 21.4; Catul. 40.7; but of love itself in Catul. 38.6; Catul. 64.27, etc.; and never of a mere petted friend, as in Cic. Att. 16.6.4salutem dices Atticae, deliciis atque amoribus meis” .

[17] ad caelum vocare: phrases like ad caelum ferre, efferre, tollere are common enough in Latin, as is vocare with ad vitam, ad exitium, ad salutem, and the like; but this particular phrase is rare, if not unique, and its strangeness adds to the mock-heroic, jesting tone of the sentence.

[17] lepido: not of external character, as in Catul. 1.1, but of internal; cf. Catul. 36.10lepide” ; Catul. 12.8; Catul. 16.7; Catul. 50.7lepor” , etc.

[17] versu: carmine; Cicero says versum facere as well as versus facere; cf. also Verg. G. 3.339quid tibi pastores Libyae versu prosequar;” but the collective use of the singular did not become common till a later age.

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hide References (34 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (34):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 16.6.4
    • Catullus, Poems, 1
    • Catullus, Poems, 10
    • Catullus, Poems, 11
    • Catullus, Poems, 12
    • Catullus, Poems, 13
    • Catullus, Poems, 14
    • Catullus, Poems, 15
    • Catullus, Poems, 16
    • Catullus, Poems, 21
    • Catullus, Poems, 28
    • Catullus, Poems, 36
    • Catullus, Poems, 38
    • Catullus, Poems, 40
    • Catullus, Poems, 44
    • Catullus, Poems, 45
    • Catullus, Poems, 47
    • Catullus, Poems, 49
    • Catullus, Poems, 50
    • Catullus, Poems, 55
    • Catullus, Poems, 56
    • Catullus, Poems, 58
    • Catullus, Poems, 64
    • Catullus, Poems, 66
    • Catullus, Poems, 68
    • Catullus, Poems, 7
    • Catullus, Poems, 72
    • Catullus, Poems, 77
    • Catullus, Poems, 79
    • Catullus, Poems, 80
    • Catullus, Poems, 82
    • Catullus, Poems, 91
    • Vergil, Georgics, 3.339
    • Ovid, Epistulae, 18.51
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