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Apparently a rude answer to some approaches by, or on behalf of, Julius Caesar. The date of its composition, even with reference to Catul. 29.1ff. and Catul. 57.1ff., is doubtful; see Intr. 38. Cf. the remark of Quintilian (Quint. 11.1.38negat se magni facere aliquis poetarumutrum Caesar ater an albus homo sit,’ insania; verte, ut idem Caesar de illo dixerit, adrogantia est.

nimium: cf. Catul. 43.4n.

studeo velle: with the pleonasm cf. Nep. Att. 4.2noli adversum eos me velle ducere” ; Cic. Dom. 146nolite eum velle esse privatum” (and Markland's note); Petron. 98si Gitona tuum amas, incipe velle servare” ; Sen. Apoc. 14incipit patronus velle respondere” .

[2] nec scire: etc., i. e. I have no interest in you whatever.

[2] albus an ater: the expression is proverbial; cf. Cic. Phil. 2.41vide quam te amarit is qui albus aterne fuerit ignoras” ; Phaedr. 3.15.10unde illa scivit niger an albus nascerer?Apul. Apol. 16etiam libenter te nuper usque albus an ater esses ignoravi” .

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  • Commentary references from this page (9):
    • Catullus, Poems, 29
    • Catullus, Poems, 57
    • Cicero, Philippics, 2.41
    • Cicero, On his House, 146
    • Phaedrus, Fables, 3.15
    • Cornelius Nepos, Atticus, 4.2
    • Petronius, Satyricon, 98
    • Seneca, Apocolocyntosis, 14
    • Apuleius, Apologia, 16
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