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Against Furius and Aurelius, who judge Catullus from his verses to be as bad as themselves. —The reference in Catul. 16.12 seems to fix the date of composition within the later period of the life of Catullus (see Intr. 37).—Meter, Phalaecean.

pedicabo: the verbs are here not to be understood in the literal sense, but only as conveying vague threats, in the gross language of that day; cf. also Intr. 32.

[5-6] With the sentiment cf. Ov. Trist. 2.354vita verecunda est, Musa iocosa mea” ; Mart. 1.4.8lasciva est nobis pagina, vita proba” ; Hadr. apud Apul. Apol. 2lascivus versu, mente pudicus eras” ; Sen. Contr. exc. 6.8quid tu putas poetas, quae sentiunt, scribere? Vixit modeste, castigate” ; Plin. Ep. 4.14.5:

“ To his book's end this last line he'd have placed,
Jocund his Muse was, but his life was chaste

Rob. Herrick
; and per contra Sen. Ep. 114.3.

[5-6] pium poetam: cf. the contrary epithet applied to worthless poets in Catul. 14.7impiorum” .

[7] salem ac leporem: cf. Catul. 12.8leporum ac facetiarum” ; Catul. 50.7lepore facetiisque.

[10] non dico ... sed: cf. Catul. 15.6non dicoverum.

[12] milia multa basiorum: with reference to Catul. 48.1, and perhaps to other poems like it, addressed to Juventius, but not included in the final liber Catulli. The words are a precise repetition of those in Catul. 5.10, but there is no indication that Aurelius and Furius were at this time interested in the Lesbia episode (but for a later date cf. Catul. 11.1), while they were interested in Juventius (cf. Catul. 15.1, Catul. 21.1, Catul. 23.1, Catul. 24.1, and Catul. 81.1). That the reference is to Juventius rather than to Lesbia is further indicated by the comparison of Catul. 16.13male marem” with Ov. Art. Am. 1.524et siquis male vir quaerit habere virum.” On this use of male see Catul. 10.33n.

[14] The last verse is identical with the first also in Catul. 36, Catul. 52, and Catul. 57.

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  • Commentary references from this page (18):
    • Catullus, Poems, 11
    • Catullus, Poems, 12
    • Catullus, Poems, 14
    • Catullus, Poems, 15
    • Catullus, Poems, 16
    • Catullus, Poems, 21
    • Catullus, Poems, 23
    • Catullus, Poems, 24
    • Catullus, Poems, 36
    • Catullus, Poems, 48
    • Catullus, Poems, 5
    • Catullus, Poems, 50
    • Catullus, Poems, 52
    • Catullus, Poems, 57
    • Catullus, Poems, 81
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, 1
    • Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, 4.14.5
    • Seneca, Epistulae, 114.3
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