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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, choliambic.

paene: used adjectivally, in Greek fashion; cf. Cic. Rep. 6.11nunc venis paene miles” ; Ov. Her. 15.357paene puer.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 Constantine, but are called by the natives the Villa of Catullus in accordance with the mediaeval identification

[2] ocelle: the gem cf. in this sense Aesch. Eum. 1025ὄμμα πάσης χθόνος” ; Pind. Ol 2.9Σικελίας τ᾽ ἔσαν ὀφθαλμός” ; Plaut. Trin. 245o ocelle mi” (as a pet name), Cic. Att. 16.6.2ocellos Italiae villulas meas.

[2] liquentibus: with the same meaning as liquidas in Catul. 64.2 and limpidum in Catul. 4.24.

[3] uterque: as god of stagna and of mare; so Mart. Spect. 13.5numen utriusque Dianae” (as goddess both of the hunt and of birth; cf. Catul. 34.9ff.)

[4] libenter … laetus: a not infrequent collocation. cf. Pl. Trin. 821laetus lubens laudes ago” (the speaker here also has just returned from a foreign shore), and at the end of dedicatory inscriptions, e.g. C I L 6.533POSVIT·L·L” (i.e. laetus lubens

[4] inviso: in the sense of (poetical) video a rare use; cf. however Catul. 64.233, Cic. ND 2.43.110et natos Geminos invises sub caput Arcti.

[5] Thyniam: the Thyni, a people from Thrace, are said to have settled that portion of Bithynia which lay close to the Thracian Bosphorus and was sometimes said to be divided from Bithynia proper by the river Psilis; but the two names, long before the time of Catullus, had ceased to express any actual distinction.

[6] liquisse: for reliquisse, as not infrequently in Catullus (cf. e.g. Catul. 46.4); but in Catul. 35.3 and elsewhere relinquere occurs.

[7] quid est beatius: cf. Catul. 9.11.

[7] solutis curis: cf. Hor. Carm. 1.22.11curis expeditis.

[8] peregrino labore fessi: cf. Hor. Carm. 2.6.7lasso maris et viarum militiaeque.

[9] larem: the guardian deity of the household, worshipped with the penates at the hearth. The plural occurs but once in Plautus ( Pl. Rud. 1206ut rem divinam faciam laribus familiaribus” ), and the word not at all in Terence; but from this time down the plural is common as a designation for the home, especially in connection with penates with which divinities the lares came to be practically identified.

[11] hoc est quod unum est: this is of itself reward enough.

[12] ero gaude: probably an imitation of the familiar χαῖρὲ μοι

[13] Lydiae: if the reading is correct, the lacus Benacus was so called from the well-known Etruscan settlements in the Po region. The Etruscans were traditionally of Lydian origin, and are often called Lydians by the poets; cf. Verg. A. 2.781Lydius arva inter opima virum leni fluit agmine Thybris” ; Hor. S. 1.6.1Lydorum quidquid Etruscos incoluit fines.” With the transfer of epithet from lacus to undae cf. Verg. l.c. quidquid and Catul. 17.19n.

[14] quidquid est: etc. cf. Catul. 1.8n. quidquid hoc libelli. The whole clause is to be taken as a vocative.

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hide References (19 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (19):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 16.6.2
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 1025
    • Pindar, Olympian, 2
    • Catullus, Poems, 101
    • Catullus, Poems, 34
    • Catullus, Poems, 35
    • Catullus, Poems, 4
    • Catullus, Poems, 46
    • Catullus, Poems, 64
    • Catullus, Poems, 9
    • Plautus, Rudens, 4.6
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 2.1
    • Plautus, Trinummus, 4.1
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 2.781
    • Horace, Satires, 1.6.1
    • Ovid, Epistulae, 15.173
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 26, 42.8
    • Cicero, De Republica, 6.11
    • Cicero, de Natura Deorum, 2.43
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