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A remonstrance addressed to Alfenus, on the ground that he had forsaken the poet in time of trouble. Attempts have been made by a forced interpretation of vv. 7-8 etc. to connect this poem with the Lesbia episode, proceeding on the theory that Alfenus had led Catullus into his intimacy with Lesbia, but refused assistance upon the arising of some difficulty in connection with the affair. But more probably these verses are but the morbidly exaggerated utterances of a distempered mind in, perhaps, a sick body, fancying itself deserted by former friends. cf. Catul. 38.1ff., which is on a similar theme, and perhaps was written on the same occasion, though with a slight difference of tone; and see Intr. 56.—Date, probably 54 B.C.—Meter, Asclepiadean major.

immemor: used absolutely, as in Catul. 64.58.

unanimis: cf. Catul. 9.4n.

[2] dulcis amiculi: perhaps adopting the phrase formerly used by Alfenus of Catullus.

[3] With the arrangement of me and non dubitas, each joined with one of the two phrases with which they both belong, cf. Catul. 64.336 adestconcordia; Catul. 68.68domumdedit” ; Verg. A. 9.12nunc tempus equos, nunc poscere currus.

[4] nec: by Plautus and other early writers nec is frequently used with no copulative force (= non), and perhaps is so used here; yet the idea may be ‘you are injuring both me (vv. 2-3) and the gods (v. 4).’

[5] quae: sc. facta impia.

[5] neglegis: make light of i.e. lightly commit; cf. Hor. Carm. 1.28.30neglegis fraudem committere?

[5] me miserum: etc. cf. Ter. Heaut. 258me in his deseruisti malis.

[6] fidem: with the thought cf. Catul. 64.143; Ter. And. 425nullane in re esse quoiquam homini fidem.

[7] certe: sc. however so little you now remember it; cf. Catul. 64.149.

[7] animam tradere: sc. tibi; i.e. to surrender my whole being; cf. Cic. Rosc. Am. 50.146omnia sua praeter animam tradidit.

[7] me inducens in amorem: drawing my affections to yourself.

[8] quasi: etc. i.e. assuring me I should never regret it.

[9] idem: cf. Catul. 22.3n.

[10] ventos: with the figure cf. Catul. 64.59, Catul. 64.142; Catul. 65.17; Catul. 70.4n.; Hom. Od. 8.408ἔπος δ᾽ εἴ πέρ τι βέβακται δεινὸν, ἄφαρ τὸ φέροιεν ἀναρπάξασαι ἄελλαι.Theocr. 22.167τὰ δ᾽ εἰς ὑγρὸν ᾤχετο κῦμα πνοιὴ ἔχοισ᾽ ἀνέμοιο” (with which cf. Hor. Carm. 1.26.2tradam protervis in mare Creticum portare ventis” ); Verg. A. 9.312aurae omnia discerpunt et nubibus irrita donant” ; Ov. Trist. 1.8.35cunctane in aequoreos abierunt irrita ventos?Tib. 1.4.21Veneris periuria venti irrita per terras et freta longa ferunt” ; Stat. Ach. 1.960irrita ventosae rapiebant verba procellae.

[11] Cf. Verg. A. 1.542ff.Si genus humanum et mortalia temnitis arma, at sperate deos memores fandi atque nefandi.

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  • Commentary references from this page (14):
    • Homer, Odyssey, 8.408
    • Theocritus, Idylls, 22
    • Catullus, Poems, 38
    • Catullus, Poems, 64
    • Catullus, Poems, 65
    • Catullus, Poems, 68
    • Cicero, For Quintus Roscius the Actor, 50.146
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 1.542
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 9.12
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 9.312
    • Terence, The Self-Tormenter, 2.3
    • Terence, Andria, 2.5
    • Ovid, Tristia, 1.8
    • Statius, Achilleis, 1
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