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14. Saetaba, of Saetabus' (Alcoy), in Hispania Tarraconensis, famous in Roman times for flax.


Hibere, MSS. abl. of Hiber = "Iẞup, the river Ebro. Ellis' note on text. The common, but perhaps unnecessary, correction is Hiberis, in support of which Munro compares Mart. IV. 55. 8, x. 65. 3.


P. 8. 2. 'In the course, if the gods befriend you, of a few days.' 5. 'Sunny maiden and wine and wit and funds of laughter.' 6. venuste noster =


as you are our model of taste."

9. meros amores, 'the essence of delight.' Cf. Mart. xiv. ccvi.,

'Collo necte puer meros amores

Ceston de Veneris sinu calentem.'

10. seu quid, 'or a something, if there be such, still more fragrant and exquisite.' Cf. XXII. 13, LXXXII:

'Quinti, si tibi vis oculos debere Catullum
Aut aliud si quid carius est oculis,
Eripere ei noli, multo quod carius illi
Est oculis seu quid carius est oculis.'

11. 'I will give you a balsam, vouchsafed to my lady by the Loves and Joys: once you smell it, you will pray the gods to turn you wholly into nose.

totum agrees with te, but is adverbial in sense, a common Latin construction. Cf. Cic. ad Fam. xv. 7, 'sum totus vester,' and Hor. Sat. 1. ix. 2:

'Nescio quid meditam nugarum, totus in illis.'


Gaius Licinius Macer Calvus was born 82 B.C., and, like Catullus, in company with whom he is often mentioned by Augustan writers as an epigrammatist and erotic poet, died young. He was, according to Cicero and Quintilian, an orator of great promise, his impeachment of Vatinius being especially famous. His vehemence was so striking 'ut in media ejus actione surgeret Vatinius reus et exclamaret " rogo vos, judices, num, si iste disertus est, ideo me damnari oportet?" (Seneca, Controv. VII. 19). Compare LIII. L. and XCVI. are addressed to him, and perhaps LV.

1. jucundissime, 'most genial.' Cf. L. 16, IX. ?.

munere isto, 'for your wicked present.' If at the Saturnalia, the Roman equivalent (if not the origin) of our Christmas festivity, you received book as a present, you were bound

by etiquette to read it.

3. odio Vatiniano =

'as Vatinius hates you,' 'with all the spleen of Vatinius.' Ellis prefers an allusion to Vatinius' notorious unpopularity; if this is meant, render 'as Vatinius is hated.' But, as Vatinius had such special reason to hate Calvus, the former interpretation seems preferable.

5. that you should wilfully poison me with such a dose of poets.'

7. impiorum, 'this heap of outcasts' who write dis invitis. 8. But if, as I shrewdly guess, this original and exquisite offering is a gift to you from the pedant Sulla.'


dedit. Cf. Verg. Aen. IX. 266:

'Cratera antiquum, quem dat Sidonia Dido.

10. est mi male. . . . beate. Cf. x. 18, XXIII. 5, XXXVIII.

12. 'portentous and predestinate volume.'

P.9. 13. tu scilicet, 'you of course felt bound to send,' or (less well) 'you of all men sent.'

14. misti, so promisti cx. 3, luxti LXVI. 21, duxti XCI. 9, subrepsti LXXVII. 3, abstersti XCIX. 8. 1. Compare accestis, Verg. Aen. I. 201: cf. IV. 606, 682, v. 786, vi. 57, xI. 118. Remark tristi, LXVI. 30, where however the syllable contracted is vis, not -sis.

continuo, forthwith.' Ellis compares, however, Ov. Fasti. v. 734, vI. 720, where 'continua die,' continua nocte,' = 'next day,' 'next night.' If continuo die be taken in the same way here, the present must have come on the eve of the Saturnalia, and this would certainly agree with v. 17, si luxerit. Mr. Munro now thinks continuo is the adjective.


16. non hoc sic abibit = 'this shall not pass without consequences,' 'shall not end where it stands.' Cf. 'mirabar hoc si sic abiret,' Ter. And. II. i. 4. 'Nisi facient quae illos aequum est, haud sic auferent,' Adelphi III. iv. 8. Cf. Cic. Att. XIV. i. 1, de Fin. v. iii. 7.

17. si luxerit, 'with the first streak of dawn.' Si with 2nd Fut. simul atque. Cf. Verg. Aen v. 64:


'Praeterea si nona diem mortalibus almum

Aurora extulerit radiisque retexerit orbem,' and Cic. Phil. xiv. ii. 6, 'Ad literas veniam si pauca ante, quae ad ipsas litteras pertineant, dixero.' The original meaning of si in this usage was probably as surely as, if it be allowed that'; but in Cicero's time this conditional sense had faded into a merely temporal force.


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librariorum scrinia, 'the copyists' (or publishers') book-cases.' 18. Aquinos probably the poetaster of Cicero, Tusc. v. xxii., 'Adhuc neminem cognovi poetam (et mihi fuit cum Aquinio amicitia) qui sibi non optimus videretur.'

19. Suffenum. XXII. Munro says this is genitive plural, after omnia venena; but these words are better taken as a summary, 'every literary drug.' A bad book was 'poison' to Catullus. Cf. XLIV. 10 to end.

20. remunerabor, 'return your present in kind.'

21. Cf. XXVII. 5, xxxvI. 18.


22. Away to the regions whence you brought your bad feet.' Malum pedem alludes to the faulty measure of the poems, as well as their unwelcome appearance.

Three verses, the fragment of another poem (cf. 11. 11-13 note) here follow in the MSS.:

'Si qui forte mearum ineptiarum

Lectores eritis manusque vestras
Non horrebitis admovere nobis.'


1. The metre is Priapean. See Appendix I. c. (i.). ludere, 'celebrate your games.' We hear of annual celebrations at Rome on the pons Sublicius, from which figures of men, made of rushes, were thrown down. Hence the appropriateness of the boon which the poet begs of the municipality in 8,9.

2. paratum habes. Cf. LX. 5, contemptam haberes, the beginning of the analytic perfect, used also by Cicero, but always, as yet, specially emphatic.

sed, &c., 'but in dread of the crazy shanks of that miserable structure, propped on its poor posts that have done other service, lest it turn on its back and find a bed in the depths of the swamp.'

3. axulis, diminutive of axis assulis - laths.


round post. The vulgate

redivivis, used especially of old building_material that is employed again, 'resurrected.' Cf. Cic. Ver. 1. 56, lapide redivivo.

5. sic, see Hor. Od. 1. iii. 1. 'On one condition may you get a bridge good enough to satisfy your wildest longings, on which the orgies of the leaping god himself may be solemnised.'

6. Salisubsali, said to be a name of Mars, who was served by dancing priests (Salii). Hercules had also Salii.

7. munus maximi risus, see XII. 11 note.

10. Verum, 'only,' 'only let it be where the whole fen and pool of corruption provides the bluest and deepest slough,' the strong smell of which is intended to wake him from his torpor. For ut = where, cf. XI. 3 note.

12. nec sapit, 'has not as much sense as a babe of two years, rocked asleep on its father's elbow.'

14. viridissimo flore, 'in her spring's freshest green.'

15. et


'what is more,' is commonly so used with a repeated word; but may be used without such repetition. Cf. timeo Danaos et dona ferentes': 'I fear the Greeks, and, still more, when they bring gifts.'

17. uni = unius: see Ellis' note.

P. 10. 18. 'Never rousing himself to his duty, he lies as an alder lies in a ditch, hamstrung by the Ligurian axe, just as little awake to everything as if the world did not contain it.'

Nulla sit, as if it did not exist at all,' said of the alder. This agrees better with Talis, which resumes velut. It might, however, refer to puella, 'as if he had no wife at all.'

21. 'No better than that, yonder dullard of mine.'

24. In the hope that he may startle his blank lethargy by the shock, and cast his sluggish spirit in the clogging mire.'

soleam, 'sock,' made of leather, but with an iron sole-the part left behind in the mud.

pote = possit. Cf. XLV. 5, LXVII. 11, LXXVI. 16. For the lengthening before a double consonant, cf. XXII. 12, XLIV. 18, LXIII. 53, and Appendix I. J.


The metre is Choliambic or Scazon, Appendix I. B. 3.

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2. venustus, dicax, urbanus, 'of taste and wit, and with the tone of town.'

4. aut decem aut plura = 'if not ten thousand, then more.'

5. perscripta = fairly copied out.

palimpsesto relata, 'not vulgarly entered on twice-scoured parchment (or paper).'

palimpsesto. The ordinary construction is with the accusative, and Baehrens emends to palimpsestos.

6. 'Royal sheets, virgin volumes and virgin finials, scarlet leathers, parchment wrappers, and everything pencil-ruled and pumice-planed.'

Sheets (cartae) were made of strips of papyrus rind pressed together, and of course were of more than one quality. Several sheets were united to form a long narrow liber, which was provided with a wooden cylinder, round which it was rolled for convenience of stowage and carriage, and from which it was gradually unrolled by the reader. This roller (umbilicus) had projecting ends (also called umbilici), shaped like horns or bosses. The lora were strips of leather hanging from the rolled volumes, and containing the titles of the books; or, more probably, they were bands employed to tie up the rolls. Membranae were envelopes of skin in which the books were kept, and were often coloured, answering to our leather bindings. Lines were ruled in lead to direct the writer, and pumice-stone was employed to remove all blots, errors, or irregularities in the writing, as well as to smooth all roughnesses, and finish the edges, both of the paper and of the parchment covering. Part of the membrana overlapped the top of the paper, and on it was sometimes written the title of the work. This may explain why any part of the membrana should have been ruled with lines, which Munro thinks was

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