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This fragment is so brief that it is almost impossible to determine its original character, though it is probably a modest and grateful recognition of attention at the hands of the public. By different critics it has been taken to be: the protasis to which Catul. 2.11 is the apodosis, the whole thus forming a second, and general, introductory poem, while Catul. 1.1 is a special one; a fragment of the prologue to a libellus comprising 15-60, while 1 is the prologue to the libellus comprising 2-14; a fragment of the original epilogue to the libellus 2-14, while 1 is a prologue written expressly for the extant liber. Other less plausible theories have also found supporters. But as it seems more likely that the existing liber Catulli is a rearranged complex of earlier libellicf. of undeterminable content, and was published by an unknown editor after the death of the author, it is quite possible that this scrap was found among his papers in its present condition, and was inserted in this arbitrary position upon the publication of the liber. See also Intr. 47ff.

ineptiarum: cf. Catul. 1.4nugas” ; Mart. 2.86.9turpe est difficiles habere nugas et stultus labor est ineptiarum” ; Mart. 11.1.13qui revolvant nostrarum tineas inepti. arum.

[2] manus admovere: sc. ut volumen revolvatis; with friendly, not hostile intent; cf. Ov. Met. 10.254manus operi admovet.

[3] non horrebitis: shall not disdain; cf. Hor. Ep. I.18.24quem dives amicus odit et horret.” Others, who believe that 14b is really the first three verses of Catul. 16.1, thus strangely misplaced, would understand these words to mean ‘shall have the impudence.’

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  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Catullus, Poems, 1
    • Catullus, Poems, 16
    • Catullus, Poems, 2
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10.254
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