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Egnatius, who was singled out for especial attack in Catul. 37.17ff., is again satirized in the vein there indicated. Cf. also Martial's satire on the continual grin of Canius Rufus (Catul. 111.20). The poem was doubtless written at about the same time as 37, and the meters are identical.

candidos habet dentes: cf. Catul. 37.19ff.

[2] rei subsellium: the defendant's bench; cf. Cael. ap. Cic. Fam. 8.8.1invocatus ad subsellia rei occurro.” Egnatius was one of the friends gathered (advocati) to lend the defendant their support at the trial, and ought to have assumed the expression of countenance that would have accorded with the pathetic character of the counsel's speech and have aided in influencing the judges,—but he grins.

[5] lugetur: he is one of the friends attending the funeral, and should of all men show in his face his sympathy with the bereaved mother,—but he only grins.

[6] quidquid est: whatever is going on.

[7] morbum: cf. Catul. 76.25; Sen. Clem. 2.6.4morbum esse, non hilaritatem, semper adridere ridentibus et ad omnium oscitationem ipsum quoque os diducere.

[8] neque elegantem: etc. i.e. it isn't a nice habit at all.

[9] monendum est te: this impersonal construction of the neuter gerundive of a transitive verb with a direct object occurs only once in comedy ( Pl. Trin. 869mi agitandumst vigilias” ), but is fairly common in Lucretius and Varro, though nowhere found in Caesar. It rarely occurs in Cicero and in the Augustan and later writers.

[9] bone: this vocative is generally used ironically, in more or less mild disparagement; cf. Ter. Andr. 616eho dum bone vir, quid ais? viden me consiliis tuis miserum impeditum esse?” So also Plato's 'γαθέ.

[10] The meaning is: if you were, not to say a native of Rome, but even anything else than what you are, your grinning would be more decent, though yet objectionable enough; but from a Spaniard it is utterly nauseating. The instances cited are not chosen because of any especial qualities, but as types of Italian provincials from near and far, and the descriptive adjectives are therefore but formal epithets.

[11] parcus: frugal.

[11] obesus: the monuments of the Etruscans show them to have been a short and thick-set people.

[12] ater: dark-complexioned; cf. Catul. 93.2.

[12] dentatus: i.e. having fine teeth; cf. Mart. 1.72.3dentata sibi videtur Aegle emptis ossibus Indicoque cornu.

[13] meos: my countrymen, as Verona was a Transpadane town.

[14] puriter: an antique word, used also in Catul. 76.19; cf. such forms as Catul. 63.49miseriter” .

[16] inepto ineptior: on the collocation cf. Catul. 22.14

[20] vester: i.e. the teeth of Egnatius as representative of those of his countrymen.

[20] dens: collective, as in Catul. 37.20.


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hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 8.8.1
    • Catullus, Poems, 111
    • Catullus, Poems, 22
    • Catullus, Poems, 37
    • Catullus, Poems, 63
    • Catullus, Poems, 76
    • Catullus, Poems, 93
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 4.2
    • Terence, Andria, 3.5
    • Seneca, de Clementia, 2.6.4
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