Thalle: nothing further is known of him, though unsatisfactory attempts have been made to identify him with Asinius Marrucinus of Catul. 12.1, by reason of the similar charge against him, and even with Juventius, by reason of the characterization in Catul. 25.1-2. His thieving may have been carried on at the baths (cf. the Vibennius of Catul. 33.1), but to judge from the articles taken, he more probably, like Asinius and Hermogenes, found his opportunity at a dinner where he was a guest.
cuniculi: the Spanish rabbit described by Martial in Mart. 13.60; cf. also Varr. R. R. 3.12.6 “tertii generis est, quod in Hispania nascitur, similis nostro lepori ex quadam parte, sed humilis, quem cuniculum appellant. … cuniculi dicti ab eo, quod sub terra cuniculos ipsi facere solent, ubi lateant in agris” ; Plin. N. H. 8.217. Catullus had doubtless been instructed in Spanish matters by Veranius (cf. Catul. 9.6-7).
 Cic. Q. Fr. 2.13.4 “auricula infima molliorem” (written in June, 54 B.C.); Bücheler conjectures that Cicero copied the expression from the liber Catulli, which must, therefore, have been published before the middle of the year 54 B.C. But the comparison is of precisely the homely sort that might be proverbial; cf. for example Amm. Marc. 19.12.5 “ima quod aiunt auricula mollior,” where it is unsafe to judge that quod aiunt points to a proverbial comparison that spread from a mere invention of Catullus. auricilla is a diminutive from auricula, itself a diminutive, as ocellus (Catul. 3.18, etc.) from oculus. With the diminutive forms of noun and adjective in the same phrase cf. Catul. 3.18 “turgiduli celli;” 64.316 aridulis labellis.
 diva: etc. the verse is unintelligible, and no satisfactory emendation has yet been suggested. The general meaning seems to be that Thallus does his thieving boldly,—because there is nothing to fear, since he chooses an occasion when no one watches against thieves. If oscitantes be the correct reading, it must mean off their guard, rather than half-asleep, as the thefts were probably committed at dinners (see Catul. 25.1n.).
 involasti: pounced upon, when the wine went round, and the pallium had been thrown back from the shoulders of the wearer; cf. Mart. 8.59.9ff. “lapsa nec a cubito subducere pallia nescit, et tectus laenis saepe duabus abit.”
 catagraphos Thynos: the former word is so little used as to make impossible its sure interpretation here: nor is it certain even which of the two words is noun and which is adjective. But as catagraphi is used of outline drawings (in Plin. NH 35.56), and as tablets were commonly made of box ( Prop. 4.23.8 “vulgari buxo sordida cera fuit” ), a Bithynian wood (cf. Catul. 4.13n.), it is quite possible that the objects referred to here were pugillares, carved or otherwise decorated on the outside, and so more valuable and tempting to a thief than was the ordinary kind. Perhaps they were a memento of the journey of Catullus himself to Bithynia. It would not be strange for the poet to bring his tablets to some dinner parties (Catul. 50.1ff.).
 inepte, stupid, in expecting te be able to escape detection while flaunting his spoils openly: by the same word Asinius is addressed in Catul. 12.4, but with a slightly different application.
 laneum: a figure derived from the softness of wool; the meaning is doubtless the same as that of mollicellas, with a sneer at the unnatural mollitia of Thallus (Catul. 25.1ff.), to which the sarcastic diminutives lend effect.
 manus: as he tries with them to cover his back from the blows.
 turpiter: i.e. with the punishment of a slave.
 conscribillent: perhaps with a play upon the word, in that the lashes threatened are really those of satiric verse (Catul. 12.10ff.; Catul. 42.1ff.; and the figure in Hor. Carm. 3.12.4 “patruae verbera linguae” ), and not those at the hands of the law; cf. Pl. Ps. 544ff. “quasi quom in libro scribuntur calamo litterae, stilis me totum usque ulmeis conscribito.” On conscribillo beside scribo see Lachmann on Lucr. 1.360.
 aestues: i.e. bend into all sorts of shapes, like a school-boy flinching from the lash.
 velut: etc. the poem, like several others in Catullus, ends with a comparison.