quaeris: perhaps after the appeal in 5 for sundry thousands of kisses.
basiationes: the word occurs in Catullus only here, and does not appear again before Martial, who uses it twice (Mart. 2.23.4; Mart. 7.95.17). Abstract nouns in -io were common in colloquial speech in the time of Catullus.
 numerus harenae: etc., here is united a simplicity of figure that is even ante-Homeric with a precision of geographical and mythological allusion that smacks of the Alexandrian school. The sands of the seashore, the leaves of the forest, and the stars of the heavens, are the first types of infinite number that occurred to early man; cf. Catul. 61.206 ff.; Gen. 13.16 “I will make thy seed as the dust of the carth;” Gen. 5.5 “look now toward heaven and tell the stars, if thou be able to tell them; … so shall thy seed be;” Hom. Il. 11.800 “φύλλοισιν ἐοικότες ἢ ψαμάθοισιν” ; Hor. Carm. 1.28.1 “numero carentis harenae” ; Ov. Art. Am. 1.254 “numero cedet harena meo” , Ov. Art. Am. 1.59 “quot caelum stellas tot habet tua Roma puellas” ; Calp. Buc. 2.72 “qui numerare velit … tenues citius numerabit harenas.”
 laserpiciferis: cf. Plin. NH 19.38 “laserpicium, quod Graeci σίλφιον vocant, in Cyrenaica provincia repertum, cuius sucum laser vocant, magnificum in usu medicamentisque.” The plant was doubtless the ferula asafoetida, the exuded juice of which is still widely used as an antispasmodic. It held a prominent place among the products and exports of Cyrenaica, and is represented upon coins of the country. Pliny notes, however, that in his time it had ceased to he produced there, and our supply comes from Persia and the East Indies.
 Cyrenis: Cyrenae (Gr. Κυρήνη) was the capital of the district of Libya, called Cyrenaica, that bordered upon the Syrtis major. It was founded, according to tradition, about the middle of the seventh century B.C., by Battus, otherwise called Aristotle, a Greek from the island of Thera, and attained great reputation as a centre of trade, and as the birthplace of Eratosthenes, Aristippus, and Callimachus.
 oraclum Iovis: the Egyptian deity Ammon, or Hammon, originally worshipped in Thebes under the form of a ram, or of a human figure with a ram's horns, had his most famous temple and oracle in the oasis of Siwah in the Libyan desert, 400 miles from Cyrene (Plin. l.c.). He was identified by the Greeks and Romans with Zeus and Jupiter; cf. Prop. 4.1.103 “hoc neque harenosum Libyae Iovis explicat antrum.”
[11-12] Cf. Catul. 5.11ff. n.