The writer has before his mind the characteristics he believes Caesar to possess, as v. 10 indicates: but cf. Catul. 16.1n.
 Mamurram: perhaps with the first syllable long, as in Catul. 57.2;Hor. S. 1.5.37; Mart. 9.59.1; Mart. 10.4.11; and in several derivatives from the same stem; though this would then be the only irrational foot in this poem, if vv. 20 and 23 be emended so as to introduce none but iambic feet. On the person see Intr. 73f.
 quod: etc. i.e. Mamurra has already absorbed and squandered all the proceeds of former conquests of Caesar (cf. vv. 18 and 19), and now shall the present conquests go the same road?
 comata Gallia: i.e. Gallia transalpina, so called from the barbarian custom there prevailing of men wearing long hair; cf. Diod. 5.28; Cic. Phil. 8.9.27 “Galliam togatam remitto, comatam postulo” ; Plin. NH 4.105 “ Gallia omnis comata uno nomine appellata” Suet. Iul. 22 “initio quidem Galliam cisalpinam … accepit … mox … comatam quoque.”
 ultima Britannia: cf. v.12; Catul. 11.11n. Caesar took command in Gaul in 58 B.C., and the first entry into Britain was made in the summer of 55 (cf. Caes. BG 4.20ff.). On the lengthening of the final syllable before initial br, see Intr. 86g.
 columbus: etc. i.e. a favorite of Aphrodite, and so an irresistible suitor. Doves were sacred to the goddess, and drew her chariot, and Adoneus is but another form for Adonis; cf. Pl. Men. 144 “ubi Venus [raperet] Adoneum” ; Aus. Ep. 30.6 “Arabica gens [me existimant] Adoneum.”
 The appeal is repeated from v. 5, because in vv. 3f. the reference was only to the ill-gotten wealth of Mamurra, while in vv. 6ff. it was to the expected revival of his licentious career.
 The verse embodies the stinging conclusion following upon the major premise implied in vv. 1-4, with 6-8, and the minor in vv. 5 and 9.
 vorax: doubtless refers to gluttony and wine-bibbing, and is not used in the sense of Catul. 33.4 and Catul. 57.8, nor in that of Catul. 80.6 and Catul. 88.8; yet Suetonius (Suet. Iul. 53) reports that Caesar was abstemious in regard to food and drink.
 aleo: gambling had grown to be such a passion among the young Romans that it was deemed a serious vice and restrained by law; cf. Cic. Phil. 13.11.24 “in lustris, popinis, alea, vino tempus aetatis omne consumpsisses” ; Cic. Catil. 2.10.23 “in his gregibus omnes aleatores, omnes adulteri, omnes impuri impudicique versantur.”
 ultima: etc. cf. v. 4 n.—Wildest rumors had long been afloat about the vast wealth to be found in the interior of Britain, and many young Roman spendthrifts had desired to join Caesar's expedition there. He actually secured nothing of value, but evidently the true news had not yet spread through Italy.
 ista vestra mentula: of a debauchee, as Catul. 17.21 “iste meus stupor” , of a dull fellow. Mamurra is of course the man referred to (cf. Catul. 94.1ff., Catul. 105.1ff., Catul. 114.1ff., Catul. 115.1ff., and Intr. 73). The possessive points to Pompey as sharing blame with Caesar in the matter; cf. also vv. 21-24.
 ducenties aut trecenties: Sc. centena milia sestertium, as regularly with numeral adverbs in the expression of sums of money. Ducenti as well as trecenti (on which cf. Catul. 9.2n.) is used of indefinitely large number; cf. Catul. 37.7; Hor. S. 1.10.60 “amet scripsisse ducentos ante cibum versus.”
 sinistra liberalitas: since the giving was made possible by robbery (cf. Catul. 12.1n.); see Cato's strictures (on Caesar?) in Sall. Cat. 52.11ff. “quia bona aliena largiri liberalitas … vocatur,” etc. The question in this verse touches upon the fitness of giving such gifts; that in the next verse upon Mamurra's fitness to receive them.
 praeda Pontica: probably not that brought back by Pompey in 62 B.C. from the conquest of Mithradates, but that from the capture of Mitylene in 79 B.C., when Caesar was an officer in the army of the governor of Pontus and Bithynia. Thus early was the patrimony of Mamurra already squandered, and thus early, when gains were but small, did Caesar begin to lavish wealth upon him.
 scit: is witness to; cf. Verg. A. 11.258 “scelerum poenas expendimus omnes; … scit triste Minervae sidus” ; Ov. Met. 12.439 “ast ego … scit tuus hoc genitor—gladium spoliantis in ima ilia demisi.”
 aurifer Tagus: the Tagus had a reputation like that of the Pactolus; cf. Ov. Am. 1.15.34 “auriferi ripa a benigna Tagi” ; Mart. 10.16.4 “aurea divitis unda Tagi” ; Mart. 10.96.3 “auriferum Tagum.”
 nunc: carrying on the series of prima … secunda … inde tertia; reports have just arrived of the completed conquest of Gaul and of the invasion of Britain, and the same fate now threatens them that befell former conquests, —to be devoured by Mamurra.
 fovetis: sc. Caesar and Pompey.
 quid hic potest nisi: etc. what is he good for except, etc.; i.e. it cannot be that you favor him because of his efficient services [Mamurra was praefectus fabrum under Caesar], for he is utterly useless except to swallow up money.
 devorare: cf. v. 14 comesset; Cic. Phil 2.27.67 “non modo unius patrimonium sed urbes et regna devorare potuisset” ; Vulg. Marc. 12.40 “qui devorant” ( Matt. 23.14 “qui comeditis) domos viduarum.”
 urbis: etc. see Crit. App.
 socer generque: perhaps with a sneer at the political interests that dictated the marriage of Caesar's daughter to a man over twenty years her senior, who had lately divorced his wife on suspicion of adultery with Caesar himself. Yet the marriage had actually proved a very happy one on both sides.
 perdidistis omnia: the familiar cry of the optimates at this time, when they had become more estranged from their former idol, Pompey, by events following upon the famous council of the so-called triumvirs at Luca in 56 B.C., in accordance with which Pompey and Crassus were this year consuls, with the government of Spain and Syria respectively to follow, while Caesar had just had his command in Gaul extended for five years.