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E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus (ed. E. T. Merrill), Later years. Relations with Caesar. (search)
Later years. Relations with Caesar. 37. But even Sirmio could not long detain him from his loved Rome. His reappearance among his old friends is marked by a single poem (c. 10), whose gay and charming humor shows that even the vicinity of Lesbia had lost its power constantly to embitter his thoughts. And to the passion for Lesbia now appears to have succeeded that for a boy, Juventius, with the charms of whose company Catullus perhaps attempted to drive out the thoughts of his former love. How the intimacy began we cannot tell. The Juventian gens sprang from Tusculum, but inscriptions (C. I. L. vol. V. passim) show that people of that name also lived in the neighborhood of Verona. It may be, therefore, that the boy came to Rome under the guardianship of Catullus, as perhaps Catullus, years before, under that of Nepos But
A dedicatory inscription. — On the return of Catullus from Bithynia in 56 B.C. (see Intr. 33ff.) to his dearly loved home at Sirmio, he suspended as a votive offering in a shrine on his own property a model of the yacht that had brought him safely through his perils by sea, and this poem i
: i.e. when a
tree; imbuisse: i.e. when a
ship. The course of the ship is now traced again, but in the
original direction, from Cytorus to Sirmio.
inde: perhaps a case of
poetic freedom with fact, for Catullus was more likely to
start on his homeward journey from Nicaea
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 t
On the delight of homecoming. The poem is a most unartificial and joyous pouring out of the poet's warmth of feeling at reaching Sirmio after his year of absence with Memmius in Bithynia (v. 5), and forms a perfect conclusion to Catul. 46.1ff., while it is itself supplemented by the quieter reminiscent strains of Catul. 4.1ff. With this and Catul. 101.1ff. cf. Tennyson Frater Ave atque Vale.—Date, summer of 56 B.C.—Meter, choliamb
ally, in Greek fashion; cf.
Cic. Rep. 6.11
nunc venis paene miles
Ov. Her. 15.357
Livy 26.42.8 appears to be the
first to write paeninsula.
Sirmio, the modern
Sermione, is a long and narrow peninsula running out into
the southern end of the Lago di Garda (Lacus
Benacus). The ruins referred to by
Tennyson (l.c.) are of the age of
Sirmio! Eyelet of islands and peninsulas, which each Neptune holds whether in limpid lakes or on the wide sea, how gladly and how happily do I see you again, scarcely believing that I've left behind Thynia and the Bithynian plains, and that I gaze on you safe and sound. O what greater blessing than cares released, when the mind casts down its burden, and when wearied with the toil of travel w safe and sound. O what greater blessing than cares released, when the mind casts down its burden, and when wearied with the toil of travel we reach our hearth, and rest in the long-for bed. This and only this repays our numerous labors. Hail, lovely Sirmio, and rejoice in your master; and rejoice, you waves of the Lybian lake; laugh, you laughters echoing from my home.