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Apparently an attack upon Caesar, but exhibiting, in spite of attempts at emendation, an extremely un-Catullian blindness and awkwardness, which fact, together with the repetition in the MSS. of 50.16ff. after v. 1, makes it altogether probable that the tradition of the text is incurably defective. The persons mentioned by name are all unknown.—Date, 55 B.C. (cf. v. 7) Meter, Phalaecean.

oppido: colloquial for valde: especially frequent in Terence.

pusillum: the insinuation is probably like that of our proverb, ‘Little head, little wit.’

[2] et eri: unmetrical and unintelligible, the latter possibly because of a lacuna between vv. I and 2, as indicated by the repetition there of Catul. 50.16ff.; but perhaps a proper name lies hid under the words.

[2] rustica: cf. the references to the country in uncomplimentary characterizations in Catul. 22.14; Catul. 36.19.

[5] tibi: probably referring to the person addressed below as unice imperator.

[5] recocto: i.e. rejuvenated, an old man with all the vices of a young one; cf. the story of Medea, Aeson, and Pelias in Ov. Met. 7.159ff.; Hor. S. 2.5.55recoctus scriba ex quinqueviro Petron. frag. 21 Banus recocta vino trementibus labellis” .

[6] iambis: perhaps in general of satirical verses in whatever meter; cf. Catul. 40.2n.; Catul. 12.10n.

[7] immerentibus: since they tell nothing but the plain truth.

[7] unice imperator: comparison with Catul. 29.11imperator unice” and v. 6 iterum suggests forcibly that Julius Caesar is meant, and that 54 followed soon after 29 in composition, and here refers to it.

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  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Catullus, Poems, 22
    • Catullus, Poems, 29
    • Catullus, Poems, 36
    • Catullus, Poems, 50
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 7.159
    • Horace, Satires, 2.5.55
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