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An epigram of coarse irony on the poverty of Furius, with whom, as with Aurelius, Catullus was now on no friendly terms, since they had disregarded his injunctions concerning Juventius (see Intr. 37, Intr. 41). Perhaps the immediate inspiration to this poem came from the fact that Furius, being utterly bankrupt, as were many of the young men about town at that day, had become notorious among his acquaintances for fruitless attempts to negotiate a small loan, and in his despair was trying to enlarge his constituency by placating Catullus; cf. the similar attempt at a later date commemorated in Catul. 11.1. With the first verses cf. Mart. 11. 32.1-4nec toga nec focus est nec tritus cimice lectus, nec tibi de bibula sarta palude teges, nec puer aut senior, nulla est ancilla nec infans, nec sera nec clavis nec canis atque calix” (and Mart. 11. 56.3-6).—Meter, Phalaecean.

neque servus: cf. Catul. 24.5. Even a poor man could own a slave, as, for instance, Horace, who, when representing the extreme simplicity of his life, yet speaks of his dinner as served by three slaves (Hor. S. 1.6.116).

neque arca: for Furius has no money to keep in it.

[2] nec cimex: for there is not a bed to conceal one.

[2] neque araneus: for there is not a roof under which he may spin his web.

[2] neque ignis: for there is no hearth on which to build one.

[3] verum: with strongly contrasting adversation; the things Furius has are precisely those most embarrassing to have in the absence of what he has not.

[3] noverca: proverbially an unpleasant relative; cf. Verg. Ecl. 3.33iniusta noverca” ; Hor. Epod. 5.9quid ut noverca me intueris ?

[4] dentes: etc., their fangs are so sharpened by perpetual hunger.

[5] est pulchre tibi: cf. Catul. 23.15, and Catul. 14.10n.

[6] lignea: the meaning is probably like that of sicca (Catul. 23.12), dry, withered, and so forbidding; cf. Lucr. 4.116: nervosa et lignea Dorcas.

[7] nec mirum: cf. Catul. 57.3; Catul. 62.14; Catul. 69.7.

[9] non incendia: , etc. because there is no house to burn or collapse. On the dangers in Rome at a later date from such causes, cf. Juv. 3.6-8, Juv. 3.190-202.

[10] non furta impia: because there is nothing to steal: so Juvenal (Juv. 14.303-310) celebrates the happiness of those who need take no precaution against fire and thieves, while other writers mention the torments that accompany wealth; cf. Hor. S. 1.1.76 ff.an vigilare metu exanimem, noctesque diesque formidare malos fures, incendia, servos, ne te compilent fugientes, hoc iuvat ?Mart. 6.33.3furta, fugae, mortes, servorum, incendia, luctus adfligunt hominem.

[11] casus alios periculorum: cf. Cic. Fam. 6.4.3ad omnes casus subitorum periculorum obiecti sumus.

[12] atqui: not like Catul. 23.3verum” to introduce a counterbalancing affirmation, but to add a final particular that caps the climax; Furius and his family are happiest of all in their own bodily constitution, and not by reason of external circumstances: with this use of atqui cf. Cic. Sen. 19.66quae aut plane neglegenda estaut etiam optandaatqui tertium certe nihil inveniri potest

[12] sicciora: cf Catul. 23.6lignea” but siccitas is sometimes an agreeable quality in a woman, cf Catul. 43.3, Pl. Mil. 787[puellam] siccam et sucidam

[12] cornu: cf Catul. 1.2 where pumice-stone is mentioned as a typical dry substance.

[13] aut si quid: etc. cf. Catul. 13.10n.

[14] frigore: etc., cf. Mart. 12.32.7frigore et fame siccus.

[15] bene ac beate: cf. Catul. 14.10

[25] nec: the negative is repeated as if noli speruere were ne sperne; cf. Pl. Poen. 1129mirari noli neque me contemplarier” , and elsewhere.

[25] putare parvi: cf. Catul. 5.3n.

[26] sestertia centum: somewhat less than $5000, no great sum for a young man at that time to borrow, when one remembers the fabulous amounts owed by such men as Caelius, Curio, and Caesar.

[26] precari: construed ἀπο κοινοῦ with soles and desine.

[27] satis beatu's: (for beatus es): cf. Hor. Carm. 2.18.14satis beatus unicis Sabinis.” See Crit. App.


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hide References (17 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (17):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 6.4.3
    • Catullus, Poems, 1
    • Catullus, Poems, 11
    • Catullus, Poems, 14
    • Catullus, Poems, 23
    • Catullus, Poems, 24
    • Catullus, Poems, 43
    • Catullus, Poems, 57
    • Catullus, Poems, 62
    • Catullus, Poems, 69
    • Plautus, Poenulus, 5.3
    • Vergil, Eclogues, 3
    • Horace, Satires, 1.1.76
    • Horace, Satires, 1.6.116
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 3.1
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 4.116
    • Cicero, De Senectute, 19
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