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An address of sympathy to Veranius and Fabullus on their return in poverty from an absence in Macedonia on the staff of Piso, the governor. This absence of theirs is not to be confounded with their earlier trip to Spain mentioned in Catul. 9.1ff. and elsewhere (cf. Intr. 68ff.).—Date, about 55 B.C. Meter, Phalaecean.

Pisonis: i.e. L. Calpurnius Piso Caesonianus, on whom see Intr. 70.

comites: i.e. members of the cohors, or staff, of a provincial governor; cf. Catul. 11.1; Catul. 46.9.

inanis: penniless, for Piso cared only to enrich himself, and Cicero scores him for his avarice in Cic. Pis. 35.86; cf. Catul. 64.288vacuus.

[2] aptis: i.e. accommodated to the circumstances of their bearers, as definitely explained by inanis; the idea is carried out by the addition of expeditis, here in the meaning of ‘light,’ but suggesting, from its commoner use, the idea of soldiers in light marching order.

[3] The same careful recognition of equality in esteem that has been already noted (Intr. 68; Catul. 12.13n.) is kept up here by calling Veranius optime and Fabullus mi.

[4] quid rerum geritis: a colloquial form of greeting; cf. Pl. Aul. 117rogitant me ut valeam, quid agam, quid rerum geram.

[5] vappa: wine that has become flat; hence a colloquialism for a good-for-nothing, and sometimes for a totally depraved fellow; cf. Hor. S. 1.1.104vappam ac nebulonem.

[6] ecquidnam: cf. Catul. 10.8n.

[6] tabulis: account-books.

[6] lucelli: modifying ecquidnam.

[7] expensum: the word expected, if there was actually aliquid lucelli, is acceptum (cf. Pl. Most. 297ratio accepti atque expensi” ; Cic. Rosc. Com. 1.4in codice accepti et expensi” ), but Catullus means to indicate his presumption that all accumulation was that of debt.

[8] praetorem: i.e. provincial governor, as in Catul. 10.10, Catul. 10.13.

[8] refero datum lucello: set down to my credit; cf. Hor. Carm. 1.9.14lucro adpone.

[9] Memmi: see Intr. 71.

[9] bene me: etc. i.e. you have most scurvily abused me and betrayed my hopes. See Catul. 16.1n.

[11] pari: sc. mecum.

[13] pete nobiles amicos: ironically spoken in self-apostrophe: the suppressed conclusion is something like sic irrumatus fueris. Neither the Pisones nor the Memmii were new families; the former claimed descent from Numa ( Hor. AP 292vos [Pisones] o Pompilius sanguis” ), and the latter from Mnestheus, the comrade of Aeneas ( Verg. A. 5.117Mnestheus, genus a quo nomine Memmi” ).

[14] at vobis mala: cf. Catul. 3.13n.; Catul. 27.5; Catul. 36.18.

[14] nobis: i.e. Piso and Memmius.

[14] mala: etc. cf. Catul. 14.6n.

[15] opprobria: i.e. you disgrace to the noble origin of your nation; cf. Catul. 34.22; Catul. 49.1; Catul. 58.5.

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hide References (17 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (17):
    • Catullus, Poems, 10
    • Catullus, Poems, 11
    • Catullus, Poems, 27
    • Catullus, Poems, 34
    • Catullus, Poems, 36
    • Catullus, Poems, 46
    • Catullus, Poems, 49
    • Catullus, Poems, 58
    • Catullus, Poems, 64
    • Catullus, Poems, 9
    • Cicero, For Sextus Roscius of Ameria, 1.4
    • Cicero, Against Piso, 35.86
    • Plautus, Mostellaria, 1.3
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 5.117
    • Horace, Satires, 1.1.104
    • Horace, Ars Poetica, 292
    • Plautus, Aulularia, 1.2
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