ponte longo: not the desired bridge, but the existing ponticulus (Catul. 17.3) itself. The village folk would fain hold their solemn ceremonials on their bridge, but fear its rottenness, and inability to bear the weight of so many people at once. Pons, often modified by longus, was the ordinary term for a causeway constructed across a morass, part bridge, and part corduroy road; cf. Hirt. B. G. 8.14.4 “pontibus palude constrata legiones traducit” ; Tac. Ann. 1.61 “ut pontes et aggeres umido paludum et fallacibus campis imponeret” ; Tac. 1.63 “monitus ponies longos quam maturrime superare.”
ludere: on the religious ceremonials (cf. Catul. 17.6) connected with the bridging of streams by the early Latins. see Preller Röm. Myth. 2. p. 134 ff. The custom had apparently been carried northward by the Latin colonists.
 ponticuli: the diminutive implies the general worthlessness of the whole structure.
[5-7] sic fiat, … da: with this form of conditional wish cf. Hor. Carm. 1.3.1 ff. “sic te diva regat, Vergilium reddas” ; Verg. Ecl. 9.30 ff. “sic distendant ubera vaccae, incipe.” Martial imitates in Mart. 7.93.8 “perpetuo liceat sic tibi ponte frui.”
 Salisubsili: the word is not found elsewhere, unless the quotation from Pacuvius given by Guarinus on this passage be genuine, pro imperio salisubsulus si nostro excubet. Here Salisubsulus apparently means Mars; the derivation of the word is evident. The rites of the Salii at Rome were accompanied by violent dances apparently survivals of the orgiastic rites of most ancient times (cf. Preller l.c.), but even such rites as these are not to shake the new bridge.
 municipem meum: evidently, then, a Veronese; the keen interest of Catullus in this local affair (and perhaps even the meter, used only here) point to a time when he was yet residing at Verona; cf. introductory note to Catul. 67.1
 per caputque pedesque: I.e. over head and ears, soused completely under, — and that too (Catul. 17.10) in the deepest part of the slough. This marks the end of the movement begun by ire praecipitem. Yet per caput in Liv. Per. 22 is explained in Liv. 22.3.11 by equus consulem super caput effudit to be equivalent to praeceps (cf. Ov. Ib. 255 “ab equo praeceps decidit” ), and the Gr. κατωκάρα has the same meaning.
 tremula: of the tremulousness of age, as in Catul. 61.51; Catul. 61.161; Catul. 64.307; Catul. 68.142. Precision is not attempted, or an aged man would not be represented as the father of so young a child; but, as in Catul. 61.51; Catul. 64.350; Catul. 68.142, the poet emphasizes the traditional contrast between age and youth by the juxtaposition of the two extreme adjectives bimuli and tremuli.
 viridissimo flore: in her freshest bloom; cf. similar figures in Catul. 24.1 “flosculus Iuventiorum” ; Catul. 61.57 “floridam puellulam” ; Catul. 61.193 “ore floridulo nitens” ; Catul. 63.64 “gymnasi flos,” Catul. 64.251 “florens Iacchus” ; Catul. 68.16 “iucundum cum aetas florida ver ageret” ; Catul. 100.2 “flos iuvenum” ; Ter. Eun. 318 “anni ? sedecim, flos ipse;” and more detailed similes in Catul. 61.22n.
 delicatior: livelier, implying a tendency toward wantonness or sensuality; cf. Cic. N.D. 1.36.102 “pueri delicati nihil cessatione melius [existimant]” ; Att. 1.19.8 “odia illa libidinosae et delicatae iuventutis.”
 nigerrimis: i.e. dead-ripe, and so needing the most careful protection from thieves, as the young wife from lovers.
 uni: on this genitive form see Neue Formenlehre 11.2 p.254.
 Liguri securi: by transfer of epithet from alnus; cf. Catul. 31.13 “Lydiae lacus undae” ; Catul. 37.20; Catul. 51.11; Hor. Carm. 1.31.9 “premant Calena falce quibus dedit fortuna vitem; ” Hor. Carm. 3.6.38 “Sabellis docta ligonibus versare glaebas” ; Verg. A. 2.781 “Lydius arva inter opima virum fluit Thybris.”
 tantundem. etc.: i.e. with no more feeling than if it had no existence at all.
 pote (sc. est) = potest, as always with this word in Catullus, except in case of the compound utpote; cf. Catul. 45.5; Catul. 67.11; Catul. 76.16 (twice); Catul. 98.1. On the lengthening of the final syllable see Intr. 86g.
 supinum: with a play upon the actual position of the man in the mud.
 soleam: there is no indication in ancient monuments or writers that the shoes were nailed on, though mules used as draught-animals, or on journeys, are several times mentioned as shod. Probably the metal sole (which in cases of great display was of silver, or even of gold; cf. Suet. Nero 30 “soleis mularum argenteis” ; Plin. NH 33.140 “Poppaea, coniunx Neronis principis, soleas delicatioribus iumentis suis ex auro quoqe induere iussit” ) was attached to a sort of sock of leather or woven fibre, which was in turn fastened by thongs about the fetlock. Such a shoe might readily be lost in strongly adhesive mud.