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It it evident that these verses lack an introduction, but quite as clear that (as Statius decided) they cannot be the ending of Catul. 78.1ff., which is admirably complete in itself. Scaliger would add then to Catul. 77.1ff.; but §1 the tone of that reproachful hexastich is entirely different from the coarse bitterness of these verses; §2 Catullus would hardly think of Lesbia as an innocent girl, as in vv. I, 2; §3 vv. 5, 6 seem to indicate that the person addressed is not named in the poem (cf. Catul. 71.1ff. and Catul. 104.1ff.), while in 77 and the group to which it belongs Rufus is expressly named. Nor does either Catul. 80.1ff., as Bergk thought, or Catul. 91.1ff., as was the opinion of Corradius de Allio, need any completion at all, still less such a completion as these verses would afford. It seems best to regard them as a fragruent of an independent poem, from the beginning of which certain verses are lost. These, which need not be more than two, apparently contained a conditional sentence embodying some sentiment like ‘if you were a man of cleanly life, I would not object to your amour’ (cf. Catul. 21.9ff.,si faceres satur, tacerem: nunc ipsum id doleo, quod” , etc.).

[3] puellae: apparently not Lesbia (see note above)

[4] savia: here, as sometimes oscula, of the lips; cf. Pl. Mil. 94maiorem partem videas valgis saviis” ; Gell. 19.11.4dum semihiulco savio meo puellum savior” .

[4] comminxit: etc. cf. Catul. 99.10.

[5] id non impune feres: of stealing and carrying off something without challenge; cf. Catul. 99.3; Catul. 14.16.

[6] fama loquetur anus: cf. Catul. 68.46n. charta loquatur anus.

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  • Commentary references from this page (11):
    • Catullus, Poems, 104
    • Catullus, Poems, 14
    • Catullus, Poems, 21
    • Catullus, Poems, 71
    • Catullus, Poems, 77
    • Catullus, Poems, 78
    • Catullus, Poems, 80
    • Catullus, Poems, 91
    • Catullus, Poems, 99
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 2.1
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 19.11.4
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