32. Life in Bithynia was surely unsatisfactory from a financial point of view. The cobwebs in the poet's pockets were not displaced by gold. Perhaps the shrewder men on the staff learned better how to make hay while their brief sun was shining. Catullus, however, came back home poor, and blamed Memmius for it. But whether Memmius really deserved the exceedingly opprobrious epithets heaped upon him (cf. cc. 10, 28) may well be doubted. Virulence of language in invective, especially in the use of terms applied to sexual impurity, was by no means accompanied among the ancients by corresponding intensity of feeling, and is often to be understood as formal and not literal.
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Friends and foes.
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