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To the village of Colonia; a wish for the violent waking-up of an indifferent old Veronese who had a gay young wife. Very possibly written at Verona before Catullus came to Rome to live (cf. Catul. 17.8n.) The frequency of alliteration is noteworthy. —Metre, Priapean.

Colonia: usually identified since Guarinus with the modern village of Cologna, a few miles eastward from Verona, the marshy situation of which fits well with the description in the text.

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. 8.14.4pontibus palude constrata legiones traducit” ; Tac. Ann. 1.61ut pontes et aggeres umido paludum et fallacibus campis imponeret” ; Tac. 1.63monitus 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.

[2] salire: of the dance, at first priestly, but afterward popular. Cf. the rites of the Salii at Rome (Preller I. pp.347, 355 ff.)

[2] paratum habes: the use of habere almost as a simple auxiliary is not rare in any stage of the Latin language cf. Catul. 60.5; Catul. 67.31 and Draeger Hist. Syntax I. pp 294 ff.

[2] inepta crura: shaky legs; the noun is unique in this humorous application to inanimate objects pes being commonly used in such connections.

[3] ponticuli: the diminutive implies the general worthlessness of the whole structure.

[3] assulis redivivis: second-hand sticks.

[4] supinus eat: tumble flat; apparently a colloquial expression; the adjective is used in this sense of the sea in Plin. NH 9.2, and of the alluvial plains of Egypt in Plin. Pan. 30.

[4] cava: deep; cf. Catul. 95.5; Ov. Met. 6.371tota cava submergere membra palude.

[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. 7.93.8perpetuo liceat sic tibi ponte frui.

[6] 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.

[7] maximi risus: with this genitive of characteristic cf. Catul. 15.17n.

[8] 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

[9] 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. 255ab equo praeceps decidit” ), and the Gr. κατωκάρα has the same meaning.

[10] ut: locative; cf. Catul. 11.3n.

[10] totius lacus putidaeque paludis: the brimming, stinking swamp.

[11] lividissima: of a dark gray or bluish black color; cf. Verg. A. 6.320vada livida” ; Hor. Carm. 2.5.10lividos racemos” .

[12] insulsissimus est homo: he's the biggest ass of a man.

[13] 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.

[14] viridissimo flore: in her freshest bloom; cf. similar figures in Catul. 24.1flosculus Iuventiorum” ; Catul. 61.57floridam puellulam” ; Catul. 61.193ore floridulo nitens” ; Catul. 63.64gymnasi flos,Catul. 64.251florens Iacchus” ; Catul. 68.16iucundum cum aetas florida ver ageret” ; Catul. 100.2flos iuvenum” ; Ter. Eun. 318anni ? sedecim, flos ipse;” and more detailed similes in Catul. 61.22n.

[15] et: and that too, adding an emphatic explanatory phrase; cf. Cic. Verr., et hostis nimis ferus” , and often.

[15] delicatior: livelier, implying a tendency toward wantonness or sensuality; cf. Cic. N.D. 1.36.102pueri delicati nihil cessatione melius [existimant]” ; Att. 1.19.8odia illa libidinosae et delicatae iuventutis.

[16] nigerrimis: i.e. dead-ripe, and so needing the most careful protection from thieves, as the young wife from lovers.

[17] pili facit: cf. Catul. 10.13; Catul. 5.3n.; Petr. 44nemo Iovem pili facit.

[17] uni: on this genitive form see Neue Formenlehre 11.2 p.254.

[18] se sublevat: trouble himself; l.c. he feels no decent jealousy, and no regard for the honor of his family.

[19] fossa: perhaps a water-way constructed to float logs off; for Liguria abounded in ship-timber according to Strabo 202ἔχουσι δ᾽ ὕλην ἐνταῦθα παμπόλλην ναυπηγήσιμον καὶ μεγαλόδενδρον.

[19] Liguri securi: by transfer of epithet from alnus; cf. Catul. 31.13Lydiae lacus undae” ; Catul. 37.20; Catul. 51.11; Hor. Carm. 1.31.9premant Calena falce quibus dedit fortuna vitem; Hor. Carm. 3.6.38Sabellis docta ligonibus versare glaebas” ; Verg. A. 2.781Lydius arva inter opima virum fluit Thybris.

[20] tantundem. etc.: i.e. with no more feeling than if it had no existence at all.

[20] nulla: cf. Catul. 8.14n.

[21] meus: ironically; cf. Phaedr. 5.7.32homo meus se in pulpito totum prosternit” (of a conceited tibicen).

[21] stupor: for homo stupidus, the abstract for the concrete; a common usage in colloquial speech from Plautus down.

[23] pronum: with no more pre cise reference to attitude than in Catul. 17.4supinus” .

[24] 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.

[24] veternum: cf. Catul. 17.21stupor” .

[25] supinum: with a play upon the actual position of the man in the mud.

[26] 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 30soleis mularum argenteis” ; Plin. NH 33.140Poppaea, 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.

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hide References (33 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (33):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 1.19.8
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 8.14
    • Catullus, Poems, 10
    • Catullus, Poems, 100
    • Catullus, Poems, 17
    • Catullus, Poems, 24
    • Catullus, Poems, 31
    • Catullus, Poems, 37
    • Catullus, Poems, 45
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    • Catullus, Poems, 63
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    • Catullus, Poems, 76
    • Catullus, Poems, 95
    • Catullus, Poems, 98
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 2.2.51
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6.371
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 2.781
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 6.320
    • Vergil, Eclogues, 9
    • Tacitus, Annales, 1.61
    • Tacitus, Annales, 1.63
    • Terence, The Eunuch, 2.3
    • Phaedrus, Fables, 5.7
    • Suetonius, Nero, 30
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 33.49
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 9.2
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 22, 3
    • Cicero, de Natura Deorum, 1.36
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