31. Memmius was praetor in 58 B.C., and therefore in all probability ruled over Bithynia in 57-56 B.C., though this fact cannot be substantiated from other sources. Of the journey of Catullus to Bithynia and of his stay there we have no record up to the period of his approaching return to Italy, save in the one poem (c. 101) in which he commemorates the funeral-offerings at the grave of his brother in the Troad, and speaks the last farewell,-- a farewell of infinite sadness because spoken with no hope of a future reunion. To make these offerings of pious affection was one of the motives of Catullus in coming to this distant land, and doubtless the sad duty was not long postponed after his arrival there. What were the other occupations of his life in Bithynia we cannot tell. No poems remain, at any rate, to mark the pleasures of social intercourse, no squibs of raillery, no brilliant bits of fancy, such as distinguish the Roman days of the poet. The year is a long silence. Perhaps he was too sad to write; perhaps the irksomeness and dulness of his official life wore hard upon his Muse; perhaps, however, he was gathering inspiration from their native scenery and legend for those poems of his matured genius, cc. 63 and 64, and had even then begun to block them out. When they were published cannot be determined.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Friends and foes.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.