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37. But even Sirmio could not long detain him from his loved Rome. His reappearance among his old friends is marked by a single poem (c. 10), whose gay and charming humor shows that even the vicinity of Lesbia had lost its power constantly to embitter his thoughts. And to the passion for Lesbia now appears to have succeeded that for a boy, Juventius, with the charms of whose company Catullus perhaps attempted to drive out the thoughts of his former love. How the intimacy began we cannot tell. The Juventian gens sprang from Tusculum, but inscriptions (C. I. L. vol. V. passim) show that people of that name also lived in the neighborhood of Verona. It may be, therefore, that the boy came to Rome under the guardianship of Catullus, as perhaps Catullus, years before, under that of Nepos But nothing further is known of him beyond what may be inferred from the poems of Catullus that concern him (cf. introductory note to c. 15). His history is interwoven with that of a pair of friends, Aurelius and Furius, both at first friends of Catullus, to the former of whom the poet at one time was led to entrust temporarily the care of his ward (c. 15). The result might have been anticipated. Juventius learned to prefer them to Catullus, and in consequence Catullus vented his wrath upon them in a group of bitter poems (cc. 16, 21, 23, 26), though for Juventius he had only sorrowful remonstrance (cc. 24, 81).

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