hospites: the principal visitors at this private shrine would be guests of the master of the estate.
 celerrimus: an instance of so-called attraction in case, more common in Greek than in Latin, but not so rare in the Augustan age (especially in Ovid) and later; cf. Hor. Ep. 1.7.22 “vir bonus et sapiens dignis ait esse paratus.” The adjective here is also attracted from the gender of navium into that of phasellus; cf. Hor. S. 1.9.4 “dulcissime rerum.”
 volare: of the swift, skimming notion of the ship cf Catul. 46.6 Enn. Ann 379 Vahl volat super impetus undas; Verg. G. 2.41 “pelago volans da vela patenti” Ov. Her. 6.66 “illa volat ventus concava vela tenet.”
 Catullus retraces the course of his homeward journey.
 minacis Hadriatici: a sea proverbially stormy; cf. Hor. Carm. 1.33.15 “fretis acrior Hadriae” ; Hor. Carm. 3.3.5 “Auster, dux inquieti turbidus Hadriae” ; Hor. Carm. 3.9.22 “improbo iracundior Hadria.” The proper adjective is here used absolutely.
 Rhodum nobilem: in more ancient times the island, with its commanding position and excellent harbor, had been a place of much commercial importance, and now its friendship with Rome, its delightful climate, and the residence there of distinguished teachers of philosophy and rhetoric had attracted large numbers of Romans; cf. Hor. Carm. 1.7.1 (and Mart. 4.55.6) claram Rhodon.
 horridam Propontida: another sea of bad reputation among sailors; cf. the early stories of the cruise of the Argo, and Val. Flac. Arg. 11.645 “me fremens tumido circumfluat ore Propontis;” also of the adjacent strait, Hor. Carm. 3.4.30 “insanientem navita Bosporum temptabo.” On the lengthening of the final syllable, see Intr. 86g.
 post: a construction of adverb with substantive common enough in Greek, but very rare in earlier Latin, though rather more frequent from the Augustan age down.
 comata silva: the figure is as old as Homer; cf. Hom. Od. 23.195 “ἀπέκοψα κόμην τανυφύλλον ἐλαίης” ; Hor. Carm. 4.3.11 spissae nemorum comae; Verg. A. 7.60 “laurus sacra comam servata” ; Prop. 4.16.28 “me tegat arborea devia terra coma” ; Tib. 1.7.34 “viridem dura caedere falce comam” . But silva of a single tree, as apparentiy here, is a rare use.
 Amastri: the city of Amastris, so named from its founder, the wife of Dionysius, tyrant of the Pontic Heraclea, was situated on the Paphiagonian coast of the Euxine Sea, not far from Mt. Cytorus, and on the site of the Homeric city of Sesamus (Hom. Il. 2.853). The younger Pliny praises its beauty (Plin. Trai. 98).
 inde: perhaps a case of poetic freedom with fact, for Catullus was more likely to start on his homeward journey from Nicaea (cf. Catul. 46.5), and not from the extreme eastern boundary of the province; but cf. Intr. 35.
 impotentia: lacking self-control, raging; cf. Catul. 35.12; Ter. Andr. 879 “adeo impotenti esse animo” ; Hor. Carm. 3.30.3 “Aquilo impotens.” On the lengthening of the final syllable, see Intr. 86g.
 erum: Catullus himself.
 vocaret aura: the fair wind ‘invites’ the vessel to pursue its course with hopes of a prosperous voyage; cf. Verg. A. 3.70 “lenis crepitans vocat Auster in altum” ; Verg. A. 3.357 “aurae vela vocant” ; Ov. Her. 13.9 “qui tua vela vocaret ventus erat;” and for the converse, Verg. A. 4.417 “vocat iam carbasus auras” .
 pedem: the pedes (Gr. πόδες,) were the sheets, or ropes attached one to each of the lower corners of the square sail, whence they were carried aft and belayed at either rail. They were used to stretch the sail taut, so as to secure the full effect of the breeze. The pedes here stand for the two halves of the sail itself, and that was evenly filled only when the vessel was sailing before the wind; cf. Cic. Att. 16.6 “utrumque [sinum] pedibus aequis transmisimus” ; Ov. Fast. 3.565 “nancta ratem pede labitur aequo.”
 neque etc.: not that the vessel scorned the gods and their power (cf. vv. 26, 27), but her sea-worthiness kept her out of positions of danger where appeals to them were necessary.
 litoralibus dis: vows were made by sailors to Neptune, to Castor and Pollux and to Venus Marina (Hor. Carm. 1.5.13 ff. Hor. Carm. 1.3.1f.; Hor. Carm. 4.11.15), as well as to lesser divinities; cf. Verg. G. 1.436 “votaque servati solvent in litore nautae Glauco et Panepeae et Inoo Melicertae.”
 limpidum lacum: i.e. the lacus Benacus (Lago di Garda), into the broader, southern end of which projects the peninsula of Sirmio (cf. Catul. 31.1ff.), now Sermione, where stood the villa of Catullus. In the epithet is a thought of the contrast between the dark and turbulent sea over which the journey had been, and the beautifully blue and clear waters of the quiet lake.
 tibi: Castor and Pollux were proverbially united, and were often spoken of, sometimes even as if they were a single person, under one name, —that of Castor being more frequently used, as in v.27; cf. Hor. Ep. 17.42 “Castor fraterque magni Castoris” ; Stat. Silv. 4.6.15 “ab Elysiis prospexit sedibus alter Castor;” and the famous witticism of Bibulus in Suet. Iul. 10 “evenisse sibi quod Polluci; ut enim geminis fratribus aedes in foro constituta tantum Castoris vocaretur, ita suam Caesarisque munificentiam unius Caesaris dici:” but Hor. Carm. 3.29.64 has geminus Pollux.—The Dioscuri were invoked as dispellers of storms by sailors, who took the electrical phenomenon called still ‘St. Elmo's [= Helena's?] fires’ for the stars affixed in ancient art to the foreheads of the brothers; cf. Catul. 68.65 and other poets passim.