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A prayer to be cured of love for the unworthy Lesbia. On its chronological position in the cycle of Lesbia poems see Intr. 41.

priora: as man with increasing age (v.5 in longa aetate) is more inclined to review the course of his past life.

[2] pium: explained by v. 3 f.

[3-4] nec sanctam violasse fidem: of fidelity in all relations with one's fellow-men.

[3-4] nec foederehomines: of practical reverence for the gods, toward whom, as witnesses to an oath, obligation exists.

[5] parata manent tibi: i. e. are from now on yours to enjoy; on manere with the dative cf. Catul. 8.15n. tibi manet. In his despair Catullus speaks as if the chapter of his active life were closed, and nothing were left him but the reminiscent period of old age.

[6] ingrato: in the passive sense; i. e. his love and faithfulness had won no return; cf. Catul. 64.103n. ingrata munuscula; but in the active sense in v. 9.

[7] cuiquam: one of the less frequent cases where quisquam occurs when no negative is either used or implied; but perhaps here the preceding quaecumque suggesting an idea of contingency (= si qua) is sufficient to prompt the use of cuiquam.

[9] ingratae … menti: cf. Catul. 65.16f.; the adjective is here active, and not passive as in v. 6.

[10] tu: the conjecture of Schoell in adding this word is more satisfactory than the awkward transposition to iam te cur. The omission of tu by the copyist was of course due to te standing next.

[11] animo offirmas: a phrase apparently not occurring elsewhere, though approximated by, e.g., Pl. Merc. 82animum offirmo meum” ; Ter. Eun. 217censen posse me offirmare perpeti” ; Ov. Met. 9.745quin animum firmas teque ipsa recolligis” ; Plin. Ep. 7.27.8offirmare animum” .

[11] -que: correlative with v. 12 et; the recovered soul-courage is to be shown by abandoning once for all his unworthy passion, and, as a consequence, by regaining his peace of mind. With -que appended to the second word of its clause cf. Catul. 57.2.

[11] te reducis: expressions of the same meaning are Catul. 8.9tu quoque noli” ; Catul. 30.9retrahis te” .

[12] dis invitis: i. e. it is his own choice and not the will of the gods that keeps him in his present state of wretchedness; cf. the appeal in vv. 17 ff.

[12] desinis esse miser: cf. Catul. 8.1desinas ineptire” ; Catul. 8.10nec miser vive” .

[13] longum amorem: the connection with Lesbia had extended over four or five years.

[14] qua libet: no matter how; cf. Catul. 40.6.

[16] pote: sc. est fieri; cf. Catul. 17.24n.; Catul. 42.16.

[17] si: not as intimating a possible doubt, but, as in the following clause si unquam, suggesting nunc potissimum: cf. Catul. 96.1; Catul. 102.1.

[18] extremam: etc., cf. Verg. A. 2.447; Verg. A. 11.846extrema iam in morte” .

[19] punter: explained by v. 3 f. On the form see Catul. 39.14n.

[20] pestem perniciemque: i. e. the deadly disease of v. 25 (cf. Catul. 75.2). The union of the two alliterated words is common; cf. Cic. Catil. 1.13.33cum tua peste ac pernicie” .

[21] hei: with MS. seu for hei cf. Catul. 77.4si” for hei.

[21] subrepens ut torpor: like a creeping palsy.

[21] imos artus: cf. Catul. 64.93imis medullis” ; Catul. 35.15interiorem medullam” .

[23] contra diligat: love in return; cf. Pl. Mil. 101is amabat meretricem, et illa illum contra” .

[24] potis: before a vowel for pote, as in Catul. 72.7.

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  • Commentary references from this page (21):
    • Catullus, Poems, 102
    • Catullus, Poems, 30
    • Catullus, Poems, 35
    • Catullus, Poems, 40
    • Catullus, Poems, 42
    • Catullus, Poems, 57
    • Catullus, Poems, 64
    • Catullus, Poems, 65
    • Catullus, Poems, 72
    • Catullus, Poems, 75
    • Catullus, Poems, 77
    • Catullus, Poems, 8
    • Catullus, Poems, 96
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 1.13.33
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 9.745
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 11.846
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 2.447
    • Plautus, Mercator, 1.1
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.1
    • Terence, The Eunuch, 2.1
    • Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, 7.27.8
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