In This Article Catullus

  • Introduction
  • Biography
  • General Overviews
  • Collections of Papers
  • Critical Studies
  • Guides to the Poems
  • Bibliographies
  • Lexica
  • Arrangement of the Collection
  • Greek Influences
  • Sexuality and Gender
  • Lesbia
  • Influence on Roman Poetry
  • Later Reception

Classics Catullus
by
David Konstan
  • LAST MODIFIED: 13 January 2014
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0010

Introduction

Catullus, a master of lyric poetry, epigram, and other forms during the late Roman Republic, was born in Verona in 87 BCE, according to Jerome’s Chronicle, which also reports that he died at the age of thirty. Since the latest datable references in his poems relate to 54 BCE, most scholars assign Catullus’s birth to 84 (thus treating one of Jerome’s statements as true), but it is possible that he lived longer. At the time of Catullus’s birth, Verona had not yet been granted full Roman status; but Catullus’s family, which was prominent in the city, probably enjoyed Roman citizenship. Catullus moved to Rome as a young man (the precise year is unknown), and probably died there. From his poems, we know that he was very attached to an older brother who died in the Troad. His verses give evidence of a wide circle of friendships among the highest classes in Rome, but, of course, they must be used with great care in reconstructing anything like a narrative of his own life. His friends, as well as his amatory relationships, are discussed below.

Biography

In the first half of the 20th century, critics still attempted to recover details of Catullus’s biography, and especially of his love affair with Lesbia, from the poems. Such literal interpretations have been superseded, and critics have adopted more subtle approaches to the poet’s relation to his times. Skinner 2003 offers a summary of the issues; Wiseman 1985 shows both the problems and the kinds of information that can be extracted from Catullus’s verses. Wiseman 1979 is a brief survey of what can be known of Catullus’s life; Wiseman 1987 discusses the famous villa at Lake Sirmio.

  • Skinner, Marilyn B. 2003. Catullus in Verona: A reading of the elegiac libellus, poems 65–116. Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press.

    E-mail Citation »

    The introduction, available online, provides a clear summary of the debates over a biographical reading of the poetry; argues that this part of the collection was arranged by Catullus himself.

    Find this resource:

    • Wiseman, T. P. 1979. Catullus, his life and times. Journal of Roman Studies 69:161–168.

      DOI: 10.2307/299066E-mail Citation »

      A brief and balanced introduction to Catullus’s life.

      Find this resource:

      • Wiseman, T. P. 1985. Catullus and his world: A reappraisal. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

        E-mail Citation »

        Offers interesting evidence and speculation on Catullus’s biography and relations with his contemporaries; questions the usual (but not universally accepted) identification of Lesbia with Clodia, wife of Metellus, and suggests his lover was a younger sister of hers (already argued by Wiseman in his 1965 Catullan Questions). Also argues for an original three-volume edition of the poems by Catullus, and that Catullus went on, after completing these poems, to write dramatic mimes (cf. Cicero Epistolae ad Familiares 7.11.3), a view that has not won general acceptance.

        Find this resource:

        • Wiseman, T. P. 1987. The masters of Sirmio. In Roman studies: Literary and historical. By T. P. Wiseman, 309–370. Liverpool, UK: Univ. of Liverpool Press.

          E-mail Citation »

          Discusses the family estate of the Valerii on Lake Sirmione (Sirmio in Latin), the subject of Catullus’s poem 31, and the later history of the family.

          Find this resource:

          General Overviews

          Hurley 2004 and Godwin 2008 are good starting points for the general reader; most recently, Gaisser 2009 covers Catullus’s life, poetry, and reception. Holzberg 2002 provides an intriguing reading that emphasizes Catullus’s literary genius and calls into question some of the usual identifications of members of his circle. Quinn 1959 was important in redefining Catullus as a poet, identifying his various “levels of intent,” and Quinn 1972 is still valuable as a subtle reading of Catullus in the manner of the New Criticism. Some information, along with text and translation of individual poems, is available at the NationMaster Encyclopedia, a website under construction and of varying quality.

          • Arkins, Brian. 1999. An interpretation of the poems of Catullus. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen.

            E-mail Citation »

            An introduction to Catullus as a modern poet, emphasizing his artistry, his treatment of sexual themes, and his subjective voice.

            Find this resource:

            • Gaisser, Julia Haig. 2009. Catullus. Blackwell Introductions to the Ancient World. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

              E-mail Citation »

              Treats Catullus’s poetry in its historical and literary context, with chapters on style, structure, intertextuality, and reception.

              Find this resource:

              • Godwin, John. 2008. Reading Catullus. Exeter, UK: Bristol Phoenix.

                E-mail Citation »

                An up-to-date introduction for the general reader, with selected translations and bibliography.

                Find this resource:

                • Holzberg, Niklas. 2002. Catull: Der Dichter und sein erotisches Werk. Munich: Beck.

                  E-mail Citation »

                  A subtle, sometimes impish interpretation of the poet, but always lively and bright.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Hurley, Amanda Kolson. 2004. Catullus. Bristol, UK: Bristol Classical Press.

                    E-mail Citation »

                    An elegant, reliable introduction to Catullus’s poetry and life for the general reader.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Martin, Charles. 1992. Catullus. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

                      E-mail Citation »

                      Argues that the refined style and playful irony of the poems count more than their content; Martin’s Catullus is distinctly modernist.

                      Find this resource:

                      • NationMaster Encyclopedia. Catullus.

                        E-mail Citation »

                        The site is under construction, and contains texts, translations, and information of varying quality; useful for an initial consultation.

                        Find this resource:

                        • Quinn, Kenneth. 1959. The Catullan revolution. Melbourne, Australia: Melbourne Univ. Press.

                          E-mail Citation »

                          Path-breaking study of Catullus’s poetic sensibility, in the manner of the New Criticism.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Quinn, Kenneth. 1972. Catullus: An interpretation. London: Batsford.

                            E-mail Citation »

                            Focuses on the affair with Lesbia as the core of the collection, to which the political poems are little more than background.

                            Find this resource:

                            Collections of Papers

                            The most accessible and comprehensive introductions to Catullus are the excellent Blackwell Companion (Skinner 2007) and the recent, but more selective, Du Quesnay and Woodman 2012; see also the rich collection of articles in Gaisser 2007. Studies of specific poems are in Cairns 2012.

                            • Cairns, Frances. 2012. Roman lyric: Collected papers on Catullus and Horace. Berlin: de Gruyter.

                              E-mail Citation »

                              The first ten chapters are on Catullus, and reflect Cairns’ sensitivity to the various subgenres that “lyric poetry” embraces.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Du Quesnay, Ian, and Tony Woodman, eds. 2012. Catullus: Poems, books, readers. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                E-mail Citation »

                                Contains essays on Catullus and Alexandrian poetry and Meleager, his influence on Virgil and Ovid, and studies of specific poems (45, 65, 66, and 68).

                                Find this resource:

                                • Gaisser, Julia Haig, ed. 2007. Catullus. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                  E-mail Citation »

                                  A rich collection of twenty-eight previously published papers, beginning as far back as the Renaissance (includes some of the papers listed elsewhere in this bibliography).

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Heine, Rolf, ed. 1975. Catull. Wege der Forschung 308. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

                                    E-mail Citation »

                                    Collection of essays in German translation.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    • Johnson, Margaret, ed. 2006. Catullus in contemporary perspective. Special issue of Antichthon 40. Sydney: Australasian Society for Classical Studies.

                                      E-mail Citation »

                                      Some good articles on individual poems and themes (incest, masculinity, women poets).

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Quinn, Kenneth, ed. 1972. Approaches to Catullus. Cambridge, UK: Heffer.

                                        E-mail Citation »

                                        A collection of previously published articles from the 1940s onward; complements Gaisser 2007.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Skinner, Marilyn B., ed. 2007. A companion to Catullus. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

                                          E-mail Citation »

                                          All chapters newly written for this volume, and covering virtually every aspect of Catullan studies, including pedagogy. Suggested readings guide the student (and professional classicist) to the latest work.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          Critical Studies

                                          Catullus’s poems are a splendid combination of technical sophistication and intense emotion; the latter aspect gave rise to the image of him as a romantic poet in earlier criticism. The treatments in this section discuss the formal aspects of Catullus’s poetry (Jenkyns 1982, Fitzgerald 1995), his self-presentation in his poems (Adler 1981, Fitzgerald 1995), the relationship of his book to the tradition of oral poetry (Miller 1994), and something of the social context (Wiseman 1969). Bellandi 2007 deals with various topics, though the unifying theme is poetics (the “wit and emotion” of the title).

                                          • Adler, Eve. 1981. Catullan self-revelation. New York: Arno.

                                            E-mail Citation »

                                            Analyzes the conflicted self that Catullus exposes in his poems, but treats the poetry as an expression of a real, “knowable person.”

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Barbaud, Thierry. 2006. Catulle: Une poétique de l’indicible. Louvain, Belgium: Peeters.

                                              E-mail Citation »

                                              Sometimes gushy (how otherwise to discuss the “inexpressible”?), but with occasional interesting remarks on linguistic registers.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Bellandi, Franco. 2007. Lepos e pathos: Studi su Catullo. Bologna, Italy: Patròn Editore.

                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                Chapters deal with Catullus’s poetics, the structure of the book, the nature of writing, and death, among other topics; long, detailed, and for the advanced student.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Fitzgerald, William. 1995. Catullan provocations: Lyric poetry and the drama of position. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                  Explores how the poetry is “positioned” between poet, poem, and reader (including cultural context), and offers a critique of modern romantic interpretations.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • Jenkyns, Richard. 1982. Three classical poets: Sappho, Catullus, and Juvenal. London: Duckworth.

                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                    A bracing study of Catullus’s formal technique and healthy critique of over-subtle readings.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Miller, Paul Allen. 1994. Lyric texts and lyric consciousness: The birth of a genre from Archaic Greece to Augustan Rome. London: Routledge.

                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                      Identifies a new lyric voice in Catullus that depends essentially on poetry conceived as written rather than sung or read aloud.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Wiseman, T. P. 1969. Catullan questions. Leicester, UK: Leicester Univ. Press.

                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                        Good chapters on the identity of Lesbia (as the famous Clodia’s younger sister), among other topics, by a leading Roman historian cum literary critic.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        Guides to the Poems

                                                        Catullus’s poetry is dense, despite its immediacy, and lends itself to close reading poem by poem. Commentaries provide such readings, of course; but for a general companion to the poems, Small 1983 is a good place to start. The three volumes by Hans Peter Syndikus (Syndikus 1984, Syndikus 1987, Syndikus 1990) offer detailed analyses of all the poems.

                                                        • Small, Stuart G. P. 1983. Catullus: A reader’s guide to the poems. Lanham, MD: Univ. Press of America.

                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                          Sensible introductory study of the individual poems.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Syndikus, Hans Peter. 1984. Catull: Eine Interpretation. Erster Teil: Einleitung, Die kleinen Gedichte (1–60). Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                            Detailed, sober analyses of poems 1–60; nothing too adventurous.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Syndikus, Hans Peter. 1987. Catull: Eine Interpretation. Dritter Teil: Die Epigramme (69–116). Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                              Detailed, sober analyses of poems 69–116; nothing too adventurous.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Syndikus, Hans Peter. 1990. Catull: Eine Interpretation. Zweiter Teil: Die grossen Gedichte (61–68). Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                Detailed, sober analyses of poems 61–68; nothing too adventurous.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                Bibliographies

                                                                The compilation of bibliographies has changed radically with the arrival of the internet. Older lists, such as Harrauer 1979 and Holoka 1985, while useful, are no longer being compiled; in the future, online bibliographies such as that maintained (somewhat irregularly) by Cuypers (Cuypers 2007) will be the rule, but these require continual updating. Even the venerable L’Année philologique has gone online. Critical reviews of secondary literature, like Leon 1960, Quinn 1973, Granarolo 1987, and Ferguson 1988, are particularly helpful.

                                                                • L’Année philologique. Paris: Société d’édition “Les Belles Lettres.”

                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                  The bibliography of record for the field of classical studies. In print since 1924 and now online; the earlier issues will all eventually be available electronically, and the latest entries begin to come online as soon as a few months after publication.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Cuypers, Martine. 2007. A Hellenistic bibliography: Catullus.

                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Part of a series of bibliographies maintained by Cuypers on Hellenistic poetry; the emphasis of this one is on the influence of Hellenistic poetry on Catullus. Includes references to reviews of books listed.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Ferguson, John. 1988. Catullus. Greece and Rome: New Surveys in the Classics 20. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Addressed to students and a general readership.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • Granarolo, Jean. 1987. Catulle 1960–1985. Lustrum 18–19:65–106.

                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                        A detailed review article.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Harrauer, Hermann. 1979. A bibliography to Catullus. Hildesheim, West Germany: Gerstenberg.

                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                          Complete list of works on Catullus, presented without comments.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Holoka, James P. 1985. Gaius Valerius Catullus: A systematic bibliography. New York: Garland.

                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                            Another complete survey of works on Catullus to the date of publication, again without editorial comments on the items cited.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • Leon, Harry J. 1960. A quarter century of Catullan scholarship (1934–1959). Classical World 53:104–113.

                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Contains helpful critical remarks on the various entries.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • Quinn, Kenneth. 1973. Trends in Catullan criticism. Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt 1.3: 369–389.

                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                Surveys questions relating to the text, translations, interpretation, the Lesbia poems, and the collection; nicely marks the watershed between older and more recent approaches.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • Wikipedia. WikiProject Catullus/References.

                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Ongoing bibliography, listing articles by poem (in reverse chronological order), with links to online publications (via JSTOR, etc.) where possible. Better for some poems than for others, but a very useful starting point, especially on the shorter carmina. Updates are invited.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  Texts and Commentaries

                                                                                  Catullus is a favorite poet in elementary Latin courses, and he is well served by editors; all those listed below are highly recommended.

                                                                                  Elementary

                                                                                  For schools, Ancona (Catullus 2002) and Forsyth (Catullus 1986) are particularly useful; Garrison (Catullus 2004) is suitable at the university level, as is Merrill (Catullus 1961), an old warhorse. The two volumes by Godwin (Catullus 1995 and Catullus 1999) are good for readers with limited Latin, but worth consulting by more advanced students as well.

                                                                                  • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1961. Catullus. Edited by Elmer Truesdell Merrill. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Reprint of the 1893 school edition; still useful.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1986. The poems of Catullus: A teaching text. Edited by Phyllis Young Forsyth. Lanham, MD: Univ. Press of America.

                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      A selection of the poems, with good pedagogical aids.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1995. Poems 61–68. Edited and translated by J. Godwin. Warminster, UK: Aris and Phillips.

                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        With facing translation and commentary geared to the translation.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1999. The shorter poems. Edited and translated by J. Godwin. Warminster, UK: Aris and Phillips.

                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          With facing translation and commentary geared to the translation.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 2002. Writing passion: A Catullus reader. Edited by Ronnie Ancona. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci.

                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            Elementary reader, good for secondary school students and beginners.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 2004. The student’s Catullus. Edited by Daniel H. Garrison. 3d ed. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press.

                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Very helpful comments, with brief but sensible literary interpretations.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              Scholarly

                                                                                              At the university level, Fordyce 1961 (which omits a good many of the lyrics—32 poems out of a total of 113) and especially Quinn (Catullus 1973) best serve the student. For research purposes, Ellis 1889 is still useful, but scholars will want especially to consult Kroll 1923; Thomson (Catullus 1997) is good on textual matters, and provides an up-to-date bibliography. Mynors (Catullus 1960) remains a handy text (no commentary); likewise, Thomson (Catullus 1978) provides only a text. Pérez Vega and Ramírez de Verger (Catullus 2005) provide a text with good Spanish translation.

                                                                                              • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1960. C. Valerii Catulli carmina. Edited by R. A. B. Mynors. Rev. ed. Oxford Classical Texts. Oxford: Clarendon.

                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                Reprinted in 2001. A basic critical text.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1973. The poems. Edited by Kenneth Quinn. 2d ed. London: Macmillan.

                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  Reprinted in 1983. The best university commentary, with bibliography and good critical introductions to each poem.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1978. Catullus: A critical edition. Edited by Douglas F. S. Thomson. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press.

                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Extensive critical apparatus.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1983. Catullus. Edited and translated by George P. Goold. London: Duckworth.

                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      An adventurous edition of the text, with brief but stimulating critical remarks.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1995. Poems 61–68. Edited and translated by J. Godwin. Warminster, UK: Aris and Phillips.

                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        With facing translation and commentary geared to the translation.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1997. Catullus: With a textual and interpretative commentary. Edited by Douglas F. S. Thomson. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press.

                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Updated text of Catullus 1978, with good discussion of the transmission of the poems; interpretations are of the traditional sort (the poet’s biography, historical references), with no account taken of modern approaches, but the bibliography is ample.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 2005. Catulo: Poemas. Edited by Ana Pérez Vega and Antonio Ramírez de Verger. Huelva, Spain: Fundación El Monte.

                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Edition of the poems, with Spanish translation and brief commentary.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            • Ellis, Robinson. 1889. A commentary on Catullus. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Reprinted in 1988 (Hildesheim, West Germany: Olms). Commentary very good on parallel passages in other literature; not always highly selective.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • Fordyce, Christian James. 1961. Catullus: A commentary. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                Reprinted in 1990. A learned commentary, omitting many of the more scurrilous poems.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                • Kroll, Wilhelm. 1923. C. Valerius Catullus. 5th ed. Stuttgart: Teubner.

                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  Very good and full German commentary; still indispensable for scholarly work.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  Lexica

                                                                                                                  There is no lexicon specifically on Catullus that provides definitions of all the words in his text; since the corpus is small and good Latin dictionaries are available, there is less necessity for such a work. McCarren 1977 and Wetmore 1912 are word lists, and are useful for seeing the distribution of vocabulary in the poems.

                                                                                                                  • McCarren, Vincent P. 1977. A critical concordance to Catullus. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    As a concordance, this provides a word list rather than a dictionary, but it has the advantage of noting variant readings in editions and manuscripts.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Wetmore, M. N. 1912. Index verborum Catullianus. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      Reprinted in 1961 (Hildesheim, West Germany: Olms). Like McCarren 1977, an index rather than a lexicon.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      English Translations

                                                                                                                      Although the first complete English translation of Catullus did not appear until the end of the 18th century, he has been popular with translators over the past fifty years. Listed in this section is just a sample.

                                                                                                                      Translation Collections

                                                                                                                      It is informative as well as entertaining to see various versions of the same poem. Gaisser 2001 gives a good historical overview; Gaius Valerius Catullus is open to additions; the anonymous website Selected poetry of Catullus provides multiple versions of a few poems.

                                                                                                                      • Gaisser, Julia Haig, ed. 2001. Catullus in English. London: Penguin.

                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        A delightful collection of translations of Catullus’s poems, presented in chronological order.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • Gaius Valerius Catullus.

                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Website featuring around 1,500 versions of Catullus’s poems by almost 200 different hands, and growing.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Selected poetry of Catullus.

                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Contains various versions of selected poems, which allows easy comparison; a bibliography of translations is provided.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            Single Translator

                                                                                                                            Poetry, including poetry in translation, is a matter of taste. Many translations are available for Catullus; this selection is doubtless idiosyncratic in some respects, especially since it includes a couple of versions that are little known and hard to acquire. The website Selected poetry of Catullus (cited under Translation Collections) provides samples of versions not included here, with bibliography. Green (Catullus 2005) and Michie (Catullus 1969b) also include the Latin text.

                                                                                                                            • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1966. The poetry of Catullus. Translated by C. H. Sisson. London: Macgibbon and Kee.

                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              Verse version. Some versions included in the Selected poetry of Catullus website cited under Translation Collections.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1969a. Catullus. Translated by Louis Zukofsky and Celia Thaew Zukofsky. London: Cape Goliard.

                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                A rather bizarre effort to translate all of Catullus into English that sounds like the Latin.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1969b. The poems of Catullus. Translated by James Michie. New York: Random House.

                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Contains facing Latin text.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1974. Selected poems of Catullus. Translated by Carl Sesar. New York: Mason and Lipscomb.

                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    Racy, vivid versions of most of the shorter poems; Catullus 56 as a limerick is hilarious.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1990. The poems of Catullus. Translated by Guy Lee. Oxford: Clarendon.

                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Readable and reliable.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1991. Gaius Valerius Catullus’s complete poetic works. Translated by Jacob Rabinowitz. Dallas, TX: Spring.

                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        Poems arranged by topic; a brisk translation, with imaginative introduction.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 2002. The complete poetry of Catullus. Translated by David Mulroy. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press.

                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Good rhythmic version; includes headnotes and commentaries on the poems.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 2005. The poems of Catullus. Translated by Peter Green. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Fluent version with facing Latin text.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            Studies of Selected Individual Poems

                                                                                                                                            The following is intended to guide the reader to some interesting articles on specific poems, illustrating a variety of approaches; it makes no pretense to completeness, and in the interest of space many equally fine items have been omitted. For the epigrams (69–116) only two studies are listed, which will direct readers to further items; anything more would begin to resemble a full-scale Catullus bibliography. See also under Collections of Papers, Critical Studies, and Guides to the Poems.

                                                                                                                                            Polymetric Poems (1–60)

                                                                                                                                            These poems are collected in the first part of the corpus as it has been transmitted (some scholars maintain that it was published separately). The opening poem is a dedication, and clearly not meant to include the longer poems since it refers to Catullus’s “bagatelles”; Elder 1966 is a good treatment. Poems about Lesbia are a must: see Segal 1968, Dickie 1993, and Greene 1997 on some of these (space requires omitting any articles on the “sparrow” poems). For Catullus’s invective (characteristic of the iambic meter), see Fernández Corte 1999–2000 and Heyworth 2001; and for the reverse (that is, friendship), see Williams 1988 and Finamore 1984.

                                                                                                                                            • Dickie, Matthew. 1993. Malice, envy, and inquisitiveness in Catullus 5 and 7. Papers of the Leeds International Latin Seminar 7:9–26.

                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Special attention to the “evil eye” aspect of these poems.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • Elder, J. P. 1966. Catullus I, his poetic creed, and Nepos. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 71:143–149.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/310761E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                On the dedicatory poem.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                • Fernández Corte, Carlos. 1999–2000. Cuniculosae Celtiberiae en Catulo y la etimología fenicia de Hispania. Voces 10–11:59–73.

                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  An engaging examination of why Spain should be called cuniculosa (“rabbit-filled”) in Catullus 37; linguistics can matter.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  • Finamore, J. F. 1984. Catullus 50 and 51: Friendship, love, and otium. Classical World 78:11–19.

                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    Relates the poetic activity in Catullus 50 to the emphasis on otium (leisure) in Catullus 51.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    • Greene, Ellen. 1997. Journey to the remotest meadow: A reading of Catullus 11. Intertexts 1:147–155.

                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      On the imagery of Catullus’s “farewell” to Lesbia.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      • Heyworth, Stephen J. 2001. Catullian iambics, Catullian iambi. In Iambic ideas. Edited by Alberto Cavarzere, Antonio Aloni, and Alessandro Barchiesi, 117–140. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Deals well with the invective poems as a function of genre.

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Segal, Charles. 1968. Catullus 5 and 7: A study in complementaries. American Journal of Philology 89:284–301.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/293446E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          A subtle analysis of the formal interdependency of these two love poems to Lesbia.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Williams, Mark F. 1988. Catullus 50 and the language of friendship. Latomus 97:69–73.

                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            On the erotic nature of Catullus’s language in this intimate poem to Calvus.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            Long Poems (61–68)

                                                                                                                                                            At the center of the collection as we have it are eight long (or fairly long) poems. The first two are wedding poems, or epithalamia; the third is a poem on a devotee of Cybele, in an orgiastic meter; the fourth is a miniature epic; there follow four more poems in elegiac meter. These are treated in order.

                                                                                                                                                            Wedding Poems

                                                                                                                                                            The first two in the series of long poems, gathered in the middle of the collection as transmitted, are marriage poems, or epithalamia (see Fedeli 1983): the first is in the glyconic meter, continuing in this respect the first part of the collection, whereas the second is in hexameters. Consult Agnesini 2007 for text of and commentary on Catullus 62.

                                                                                                                                                            • Agnesini, Alex. 2007. Il carme 62 di Catullo. Cesena, Italy: Stilgraf Editrice.

                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Edition and very detailed commentary on the poem.

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              • Fedeli, Paolo. 1983. Catullus’ Carmen 61. Translated by M. Nardella. London Studies in Classical Philology 9. Amsterdam: Gieben.

                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                A study of the poem’s relation to the tradition of epithalamia. Unfortunately, the English translation is awkward, and those who read Italian may wish to consult the original Italian (Freiburg: Edizioni Universitarie, 1972).

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                • Stehle Stigers, Eva. 1977. Retreat from the male: Catullus 62 and Sappho’s erotic flowers. Ramus 6:83–102.

                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  A rich feminist reading of the epithalamium, arguing that Catullus subverts Sappho’s distinctive images of desire.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • Thomsen, Ole. 1992. Ritual and desire: Catullus 61 and 62 and other ancient documents on wedding and marriage. Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Subtle, polemical, and committed to the notion that these wedding poems were written for real occasions, without the levels of irony characteristic of Catullus’s oeuvre in general.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    The Attis Poem

                                                                                                                                                                    This poem is in a very rare meter and deals with the self-castration of a devotee of the orgiastic cult of Cybele; Nauta and Harder 2005 provides a good collection of articles on this poem.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Nauta, Ruurd R., and M. Annette Harder, eds. 2005. Catullus’ poem on Attis: Text and contexts. Mnemosyne 57. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      A collection of articles, with ample bibliographical references.

                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                      • Skinner, Marilyn B. 1993. Ego mulier: The construction of male sexual identity in Catullus. Helios 20:107–130.

                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        A major study of the fragility of male identity, with particular attention to poem 63; reprinted in Roman Sexualities by Judith P. Hallett and Marilyn B. Skinner (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1998, pp. 129–150), and in Gaisser 2007, cited under Collections of Papers.

                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                        The Epyllion

                                                                                                                                                                        Poem 64 is a miniature epic (of sorts: it includes an epithalamium or wedding song, and much else) in hexameters. It has elicited much commentary, both for its unusual form and debt to Hellenistic and earlier poetry (Bramble 1970, Schmale 2004), and for its relation to Catullus’s own lyrical verse (Putnam 1961); for a social interpretation, see Konstan 1977 and Konstan 1993.

                                                                                                                                                                        • Bramble, J. C. 1970. Structure and ambiguity in Catullus LXIV. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 16:22–41.

                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Stresses the formal complexity of the poem, as opposed to the moral aspects.

                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                          • Gaisser, Julia Haig. 1995. Threads in the labyrinth: Competing views and voices in Catullus 64. American Journal of Philology 116:579–616.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/295405E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Uses narratology and intertextuality to argue that 64 is a hermeneutic labyrinth.

                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                            • Konstan, David. 1977. Catullus’ indictment of Rome: The meaning of Catullus 64. Amsterdam: Hakkert.

                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Full-length study, concentrating particularly on the relation of the epyllion to Roman moral and political ideology.

                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                              • Konstan, David. 1993. Neoteric epic: Catullus 64. In Roman epic. Edited by A. J. Boyle, 59–78. London: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                A more accessible treatment than the above, with a new argument for Catullus’s use of the Hesiodic Shield of Heracles.

                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                • Putnam, Michael C. J. 1961. The art of Catullus 64. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 65:165–205.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/310836E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  A path-breaking study of the poet’s persona as reflected in this miniature epic, with illuminating comparison of Ariadne’s lament and Catullus’s love poems.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Schmale, Michaela. 2004. Bilderreigen und Erzähllabyrinth: Catulls Carmen 64. Munich: Saur.

                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    Good on narrative strategies in the poem.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                    Elegiac Poems

                                                                                                                                                                                    The last four of the long poems are in elegiac pentameter, resembling in this respect the epigrammatic poems that make up the last part of the collection. One of these (66) is a translation of a now fragmentary poem by Callimachus (full discussion in Marinone 1997); another is a conversation with a door (Laguna Mariscal 2002); the last of the set (68) is a highly complex combination of mythological and personal poetry, and has invited very different kinds of interpretation (Feeney 1992, Kiss 2009, Wiseman 1974). See also the chapters on poems 65, 66, and 68 in Du Quesnay and Woodman 2012 (cited under Collections of Papers).

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Feeney, Dennis. 1992. “Shall I compare thee . . .?” Catullus 68 and the limits of analogy. In Author and audience in Latin literature. Edited by Anthony J. Woodman, and J. G. F. Powell, 33–44. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      Argues that the similes “are the poem.” Reprinted in Gaisser 2007, cited under Collections of Papers.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kiss, Dániel, ed. 2009. “Catullus 68 edited with an introduction and a detailed commentary.” Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.

                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        Pays special attention to textual variants.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Laguna Mariscal, Gabriel. 2002. Estudio literario de la poesía 67 de Catulo. Amsterdam: Hakkert.

                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          A detailed analysis of the poem, excellent on the ambiguities and polysemy of this often baffling conversation with a door.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lowrie, Michèle. 2006. Hic and absence in Catullus 68. Classical Philology 101:115–132.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/507157E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            From an analysis of the use of deictics, shows “how the poetry represents itself.” With extensive bibliography of earlier contributions on the unity of 67 and 68 and other matters.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Marinone, Nino, ed. 1997. Berenice da Callimaco a Catullo: Testo critico, traduzione e commento. Rev. ed. Bologna, Italy: Pàtron.

                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              Side-by-side presentation of Callimachus’s poem (now fragmentary) and Catullus’s version, with detailed analysis of the relationship between the two.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Sarkissian, John. 1983. Catullus 68: An interpretation. Mnemosyne Supplement 76. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                A dense, line-by-line study that emphasizes the distance between the poet and his persona in the poem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Wiseman, T. P. 1974. Poem 68. In Cinna the poet and other Roman essays By T. P. Wiseman, 77–103. Leicester, UK: Leicester Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lays out clearly the problem of the unity of the main body of the poem and the prefatory letter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Epigrams (69–116)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The two books listed below provide interpretations of the poems in elegiac couplets, which are mainly brief items classified as epigrams (Skinner 2003 includes the last four of the long poems; see Elegiac Poems); the bibliographies provide guides to further reading.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hartz, Cornelius. 2007. Catulls Epigramme im Kontext hellenistischer Dichtung. Berlin: de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    An intertextual approach, but not always convincing in identifying allusions to Hellenistic poetry; argues rather speculatively that Catullus’s epigrams were written for insiders in his own poetic circle, who would know the people and the facts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Skinner, Marilyn B. 2003. Catullus in Verona: A reading of the elegiac libellus, poems 65–116. Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Apart from the argument for the coherence of this portion of the collection, provides numerous subtle readings of the poems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Text and Transmission

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Catullus’s works have survived via a single manuscript, the Veronensis (V), now lost. As a result, much work has been done on the text and the history of its transmission.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Textual Studies

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In addition to the textual matters treated in the advanced commentaries on Catullus, the following works may be consulted. Harrison and Heyworth 1998 and Harrison 2000 examine problems in the currently available texts; Trappes-Lomax 2007 offers numerous emendations, along with novel ideas on the transmission of the text; cf. also McKie 2009. It is intensely debated whether the Veronese manuscript preserved anything like the original order of Catullus’s poems (see Arrangement of the Collection). For an online compendium of textual variants and emendations, with bibliography and much else, see Catullus Online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Harrison, Stephen J. 2000. The need for a new text of Catullus. In Vom Text zum Buch. Edited by Christiane Reitz, 63–79. Subsidia Classica 3. Sankt Katharinen, Germany: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        On why the current texts of Catullus are not wholly adequate: “Here is the fundamental problem of the textual tradition of Catullus. The whole of our manuscript tradition, outside the fortuitous Carolingian transmission of poem 62, is descended from a late and corrupt copy which was already the despair of its earliest scribes.” Available online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Harrison, Stephen J., and Stephen J. Heyworth. 1998. Notes on the text and interpretation of Catullus. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 44:85–109.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Various suggestions on the improving the text.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kiss, Dániel, ed. Catullus Online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Offers a critical edition of the poems of Catullus, a repertory of conjectures on the text, an overview of the ancient quotations from Catullus that have independent source value, and high-quality images of some of the most important manuscripts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • McKie, D. S. 2009. Essays in the Interpretation of Roman Poetry. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Classical Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Close textual criticism, mainly on Catullus (despite the title), with a variety of new and intriguing suggestions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Trappes-Lomax, John M. 2007. Catullus: A textual reappraisal. Swansea: Classical Press of Wales.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Recommends hundreds of textual emendations, arguing that the received text underwent a variety of alterations over time. Scholars should consult also the detailed review by S. J. Heyworth in Bryn Mawr Classical Review, available online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Transmission

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Three surviving manuscripts, located in Oxford, Paris, and the Vatican, bear independent witness to the Veronensis; other manuscripts, which are numerous, depend on these (see Thomson [Catullus 1997] and Butrica 2007). Gaisser 1992 provides an extensive list of editions; Kiss 2012 provides a survey of extant manuscripts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Butrica, James L. P. 2007. History and transmission of the text. In A companion to Catullus. Edited by Marilyn B. Skinner, 13–34. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A thorough survey of the history of the text.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus). 1997. Catullus: With a textual and interpretative commentary. Edited by D. F. S. Thomson. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good discussion of the transmission of the poems; especially valuable for the ancient and medieval traditions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Gaisser, Julia Haig. 1992. Catullus. In Catalogus translationum et commentariorum. Vol. 7. Edited by Virginia Brown and Paul Oskar Kristeller, 197–292. Washington, DC: Catholic Univ. of America Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A detailed discussion of the transmission of Catullus from Antiquity to about 1600, with an account of editions and commentaries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kiss, Dániel. 2012. Towards a catalogue of the surviving manuscripts of Catullus. Paideia 67:607–622.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An up-to-date account of an ongoing research project on the manuscripts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Scherf, Johannes. 1996. Untersuchungen zur antiken Veröffentlichung der Catullgedichte. Spudasmata 61. Hildesheim, Germany: Olms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Contains much information on ancient publishing, including lists of poems in various meters; argues that Catullus’s book as we have it could well have been contained in a single roll. See Arrangement of the Collection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Zicàri, Marcello. 1960. Scritti Catulliani. Urbino, Italy: Argalia Editore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The second chapter is devoted to examining late manuscripts of Catullus, which, while mostly derivative and hence useless for the establishment of the text, indicate much about the nature of transmission (the first chapter demonstrates that there was no other source for the transmission of Catullus apart from the lost Veronese manuscript). Other chapters deal with the contributions of the Renaissance humanists to the text.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Arrangement of the Collection

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whether Catullus himself was responsible for the arrangement of the poems as they appear in the manuscripts, or whether this was a later compilation drawn from several (at least two) independently circulating libelli (cf. Hubbard 2005), remains a matter of dispute. But the question has given rise to many intriguing efforts to find narrative or formal coherence in either a part or a whole of the collection. Dettmer 1997 argues for the coherence of the entire collection; Skinner 1981, Skinner 2003, and Most 1981 discuss the arrangement of major segments, Segal 1968 focuses on the first set of eleven poems, and Forsyth 1977 concentrates a shorter cycle of poems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Claes, Paul. 2002. Concatenatio Catulliana: A new reading of the carmina. Amsterdam: Gieben.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Particularly good on interconnections between nearby poems in the collection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Dettmer, Helena. 1997. Love by the numbers: Form and meaning in the poetry of Catullus. New York: Peter Lang.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Detailed argument for the self-conscious arrangement of all the poems by Catullus himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Forsyth, Phyllis. Y. 1977. The Ameana cycle of Catullus. Classical World 70:445–450.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A look at a subset of Catullus’s poems; a promising approach to mini-cycles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hubbard, Thomas K. 2005. The Catullan libelli revisited. Philologus 149:253–277.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Argues for a posthumous editor for much of the collection; good to read in connection with recent defenses, e.g. those of Skinner and Dettmer, of Catullus as the final editor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hutchinson, G. O. 2008. The Catullan corpus, Greek epigram, and the poetry of objects. In Talking Books. Edited by G. O. Hutchinson, 109–130. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1093/cq/53.1.206E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Examines Catullus’s oeuvre in relation to Greek epigrams, especially on papyrus, for evidence concerning the nature of the collection. Previously published in 2003 in Classical Quarterly 53:206–221.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Most, Glenn. 1981. On the arrangement of Catullus’ carmina maiora. Philologus 125:109–125.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A ground-breaking study of the order of the longer poems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Segal, Charles. 1968. The order of Catullus, poems 2–11. Latomus 27:305–321.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A seminal article, arguing that poems 2–11 present the story of Catullus’s love affair with Lesbia in nuce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Skinner, Marilyn B. 1981. Catullus’ passer: The arrangement of the book of polymetric poems. New York: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Argues that Catullus arranged the poems as we have them in the first half of the collection (the “original libellus”). The biographical element is chiefly an “artistic device.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Skinner, Marilyn B. 2003. Catullus in Verona: A reading of the elegiac libellus, poems 65–116. Columbus: Ohio State Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A similar approach to Skinner 1981, arguing that Catullus himself is responsible for the order of the latter portion of the collection; provides rich and sophisticated readings of the poems along the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Politics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Catullus was on personal terms with the leading political figures of his day, including Julius Caesar, Pompey, Cicero, and his intimate friend Licinius Calvus. Many of his poems have an immediate political reference, and he is said (by Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar) to have left an indelible stain on Caesar’s reputation. Neudling 1955 identifies to the extent possible the persons named in Catullus’s poems (many are pseudonyms, and many doubtless entirely fictional). Burl 2004 and Wiseman 1985 discuss Catullus in relation to Roman politics generally; Konstan 2007 looks to some possible allusions to politics in poems that are not overtly political; Skinner 1979 is good on Catullus’s vitriolic style. Zierl 2003 explores Catullus’s criticism of the prevailing values of his times; see Williams 2012 in particular for the language of friendship.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Burl, Aubrey. 2004. Catullus: A poet in the Rome of Julius Caesar. New York: Carroll and Graf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Places Catullus’s poetry in its political context; a bit breezy; includes selected translations by Humphrey Clucas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Konstan, David. 2007. The contemporary political context. In A companion to Catullus. Edited by Marilyn B. Skinner, 72–91. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A sometimes speculative attempt to identify political allusions even in ostensibly purely literary poems (e.g., poems 64 and 66).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Neudling, C. L. 1955. A prosopography to Catullus. Iowa Studies in Classical Philology 12 London: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Identifies as many of the names as possible in Catullus’s oeuvre, along with the figures who may lie concealed behind nicknames.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Skinner, Marilyn B. 1979. Parasites and strange bedfellows: A study in Catullus’ political imagery. Ramus 8:137–152.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Examines Catullus’s technique for casting aspersions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Williams, Craig A. 2012. Reading Roman friendship. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In this splendid study of Roman friendship and its relation to passionate love, there is a fine reading of friendship in Catullus at pp. 174–185.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Wiseman, T. P. 1985. Catullus and his world: A reappraisal. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A penetrating appraisal of the political world of Catullus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Zierl, Annette. 2003. “Alte und neue Werte in den Gedichten Catulls.” In O tempora, o mores! Römische Werte und römische Literatur in den letzten Jahrzehnten der Republik. Edited by Andreas Haltenhoff, Andreas Heil, and Fritz-Heiner Mutschler, 199–208. Berlin: de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Catullus as critic of the values of his age.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Caesar, Pompey, and Their Henchmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Catullus came to see Julius Caesar and Pompey—father-in-law and son-in-law, since Pompey married Caesar’s daughter Julia—as the ruin of Rome, though it is debated how deep a social vision one should ascribe to him; "Mentula" (penis) is the obscene nickname Catullus used for Mamurra, one of Caesar’s minions (see Deuling 1999 and Harvey 1979).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Asper, Maya. 1997. Catull, Mamurra und Caesar: Eine öffentliche Auseinandersetzung? In Fabrica: Studien zur antiken Literatur und ihrer Rezeption. Edited by Eckard Lefèvre, Thomas Baier, and Frank Schimann, 65–78. Leipzig: Teubner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Argues that Catullus’s attacks on famous men might have been performed publicly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Deuling, Judy Kay. 1999. Catullus and Mamurra. Mnemosyne ser. 4, 52:188–194.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1163/1568525991528932E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Examines Catullus’s attacks on Caesar’s henchman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Harvey, Paul B. 1979. Catullus 114–115: Mentula, bonus agricola. Historia 28:329–355.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Even invective poems may shed light on Roman realities, here on the size and nature of farms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Other Targets

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Catullus served in the administration of Memmius when he was a provincial governor (Braund 1996); he also had plenty of other enemies, for example the violent tribune Clodius (Tatum 1993).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Braund, David C. 1996. The politics of Catullus 10: Memmius, Caesar, and the Bithynians. Hermathena 160:45–57.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good on the historical background to Catullus’s complaint about his service in the provinces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tatum, W. Jeffrey. 1993. Catullus 79: Personal invective or political discourse? In Papers of the Leeds International Latin Seminar 7. Edited by Francis Cairns and Malcolm Heath, 31–45. Leeds, UK: ARCA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On the charge of incest against Clodius.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tatum, W. Jeffrey. 1997. Friendship, politics, and literature in Catullus: Poems 1, 65, and 66, 116. Classical Quarterly 47:482–500.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/cq/47.2.482E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On Catullus’s relations with the Roman nobility and the language of friendship (included in Gaisser 2007, cited under Collections of Papers); see also Tatum’s chapter 18 in Skinner 2007, cited under Collections of Papers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Greek Influences

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Catullus was a learned (doctus) poet, despite the ready wit that makes his poems so popular today, and he was deeply indebted to early Greek and Hellenistic poetry (he translated poems by Sappho and Callimachus). Braga 1950 is still the best overview of Hellenistic influences; Clare 1996 and Clausen 1970 focus on individual poets. A rich bibliography on this aspect of Catullus is collected in Cuypers 2007. Hartz 2007 and Hutchinson 2003 focus on the epigrams. Newman 1990 sees Catullus rather as embodying the spirit of archaic Greek invective.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Braga, Domenico. 1950. Catullo e i poeti greci. Messina and Florence: d’Anna.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Still the most extensive survey of Greek influences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Clare, R. J. 1996. Catullus 64 and the Argonautica of Apollonius Rhodius: Allusion and exemplarity. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 42:60–88.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Defends Theseus’s action by way of intertextual allusions to Apollonius; see also chapter 16, by Jeri deBrohun, in Skinner 2007 (cited under Collections of Papers).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Clausen, Wendell V. 1970. Catullus and Callimachus. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 74:85–94.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/311001E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On Catullus’s Alexandrian style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cuypers, Martine. 2007. A Hellenistic Bibliography: Catullus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Part of a series of bibliographies maintained by Cuypers on Hellenistic poetry, the emphasis of this one being the influence of Hellenistic poetry on Catullus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hartz, Cornelius. 2007. Catulls Epigramme im Kontext hellenistischer Dichtung. Berlin: de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  An intertextual approach, seeking to identify allusions to Hellenistic poetry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hutchinson, G. O. 2003. The Catullan corpus, Greek epigram, and the poetry of objects. Classical Quarterly 53:206–221.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/cq/53.1.206E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Examines Catullus’s oeuvre in relation to Greek epigrams, especially on papyrus, for evidence concerning the nature of the collection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lefèvre, Eckard. 1999. Catulls Alexandrinisches Programm (C. 1–3). In Rezeption und Identität: Die kulturelle Auseinandersetzung Roms mit Griechenland als europäisches Paradigma. Edited by Gregor Vogt-Spira, 225–239. Stuttgart: Steiner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On the Alexandrian character of the opening poems; available online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lefèvre, Eckard. 2000. Alexandrinisches und Catullisches im Peleus-Epos (64). Hermes 128:181–201.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A close study, like Lefèvre 1999; see also the same author’s study of Catullus 63 (the Attis poem), “Alexandrinisches und Catullisches im Attisgedicht (c. 63),” Rheinisch Museum 141 (1998): 308–328, available online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Newman, John Kevin. 1990. Roman Catullus and the modification of the Alexandrian sensibility. Hildesheim, Germany: Weidmann.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maintains that Catullus was “in his primary inspiration a satirist,” and argues that Catullus was in many ways a throwback to the lyric tradition of Archaic Greece (Archilochus and Hipponax); fine close readings of poems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Style

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Catullus’s style ranges from the allusive, erudite manner of Alexandrian poets such as Callimachus to the slang bawdiness of invective poetry and occasional epigram. It is a pity that we do not have more than fragments of works by his contemporaries among the so-called New Poets, such as Cinna (and Cicero too was a poet).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Catullus in Relation to Latin Poetry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Courtney 2003 is the place to go for the texts of other poets in Catullus’s circle, supplemented by Hollis 2007, which concentrates more narrowly on Catullus’s time and shortly afterwards; Lyne 1978 argues that Catullus was part of a self-conscious poetic movement, whereas Heusch 1954 discusses Catullus’s diction in relation to earlier Latin verse. Loomis 1973 focuses on Catullus’s choice of words in his lyric poems; Fain 2008 situates Catullus’s epigrams in the tradition running from early Greek verse to Martial.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Adams, J. N. 1982. The Latin sexual vocabulary. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A fundamental resource for the study of Catullus’s obscene language.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Agnesini, Alex. 2004. Plauto in Catullo. Bologna, Italy: Pàtron.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Investigates the influence of comic language on the poetics of Catullus, with attention to textual questions as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Courtney, Edward. 2003. The fragmentary Latin poets. 2d ed. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A splendid edition, with commentary, of the poetry we have mostly lost, including Catullus’s contemporaries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fain, Gordon L. 2008. Writing epigrams: The art of composition in Catullus, Callimachus and Martial. Collection Latomus 312. Brussels: Latomus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A study of formal properties in epigram (widely conceived), arguing, among other things, that “Catullus was for Martial what Callimachus was for Catullus.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Heusch, Heinrich. 1954. Das Archaische in der Sprache Catulls. Bonn, West Germany: Hanstein.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A study of archaic expressions in Catullus; useful for determining the linguistic register of this deceptively informal poet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hollis, A. S. 2007. Fragments of Roman poetry c. 60 BC–AD 20. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Texts with translation and commentary of the poems near the time of Catullus, with an attempt to provide an integrated picture of the poetic scene.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Loomis, Julia. 1973. Studies in Catullan verse: An analysis of word types and patterns in the polymetra. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With lots of tables and quantitative data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lyne, R. O. A. M. 1978. The Neoteric poets. Classical Quarterly 28:167–187.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/S0009838800037848E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Adopts the view (still controversial) that the “newish” poets, as Cicero (To Atticus 7.2.1) calls them, were something like a school, and surveys the possible members (including Catullus) of the group. Reprinted in Gaisser 2007 (cited under Collections of Papers).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ross, David O., Jr. 1969. Style and tradition in Catullus. Cambridge MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A careful study of the technical aspects of style characteristic of the neoteric poets (see also Social Aspects of Style).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Social Aspects of Style

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Invective has its own stylistic qualities, as Pedrick 1993 argues; so too does obscenity (see Lateiner 1979). For Catullus’s self-referential aesthetic vocabulary, see Krostenko 2001 and Seager 1974. Ross 1969 examines, among other things, Catullus’s use of political vocabulary for aesthetic purposes. Nappa 2001 discusses how Catullus presents himself in the social world of Rome (cf. also Stroup 2010).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Krostenko, B. A. 2001. Cicero, Catullus, and the language of social performance. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An elegant study of aesthetic and rhetorical terms and their relation to contemporary social life and politics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lateiner, Donald. 1979. Obscenity in Catullus. Ramus 6:15–32.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Argues that “obscenity is an aesthetic, not a legal, problem.” Reprinted in Gaisser 2007 (cited under Collections of Papers).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Nappa, Christopher. 2001. Aspects of Catullus’ social fiction. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Analyzes Catullus’s multiple personae in relation to Roman society.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Pedrick, Victoria. 1993. The abusive address and the audience in Catullan poems. Helios 20:173–196.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Deals with the way abuse would have been received by Catullus’s contemporaries, with the reader as eavesdropper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ross, David O., Jr. 1969. Style and tradition in Catullus. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      On Catullus’s poetic language in its social context, treating “friendship,” for example, as a term borrowed from the political sphere; this latter notion has come in for criticism. A good and seminal effort, though, to challenge overly romantic and personal interpretations of the poetry (Lesbia is “the consummation of a style”).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Seager, Robin. 1974. Venustus, lepidus, bellus, salsus: Notes on the language of Catullus. Latomus 33:891–894.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        These terms help to define the aesthetic values of Catullus and his circle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Selden, Daniel L. 1992. Ceveat lector: Catullus and the rhetoric of performance. In Innovations of antiquity. Edited by Ralph Hexter and Daniel Selden, 461–512. New York: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A modern critical approach, emphasizing social relevance and revealing, among other things, the vagaries of the history of Catullan criticism. Reprinted in Gaisser 2007 (cited under Collections of Papers).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Stroup, Sarah Culpepper. 2010. Catullus, Cicero, and a society of patrons: The generation of the text. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Situates Catullus’s poetry in the performance context of his time and the transference of the author’s voice to the page and back again in the form of publication.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sexuality and Gender

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Catullus addressed love poems to women and to boys, and expressed his attachment to male friends in exceptionally passionate language. What is more, in his first-person poems one may detect striking analogies to voices of women in his narrative poems (e.g., Ariadne in Catullus 64; recall that he translated Sappho; see Greene 1999, Skinner 1993), and one of his poems (Catullus 63) is about a boy who castrates himself, and who is henceforward identified by feminine pronouns and adjectives. He thus presents fascinating material for the study of sexuality in Classical Rome. The following are but a selection of the many recent discussions of the topic (more may be found in the volumes cited under Collections of Papers). In particular, for the construction of the erotic self, see Arkins 1982, Greene 1994, and Konstan 2000; with special reference to the construction of masculinity, see Skinner 1993 and Wray 2001. Janan 1994 focuses on the complex representation of the love object.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Arkins, Brian. 1982. Sexuality in Catullus. Hildesheim, West Germany: Olms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Surveys the various dimensions of sexuality in the poems, including the homoerotic poems addressed to Juventius.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Greene, Ellen. 1994. The Catullan ego: Fragmentation and the erotic self. American Journal of Philology 116:77–93.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On the many, and conflicting, voices in Catullus’s oeuvre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Greene, Ellen. 1999. Re-figuring the feminine voice: Catullus translating Sappho. Arethusa 32:1–18.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1353/are.1999.0004E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What it means for a man to translate a woman’s poem; a subtle feminist reading.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Janan, Micaela. 1994. “When the lamp is shattered”: Desire and narrative in Catullus. Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A fascinating Lacanian analysis of desire in Catullus, exploring the divided image of the beloved woman as perfect and monstrous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Konstan, David. 2000. Self, sex, and empire in Catullus: The construction of a decentered identity. In La intertextualidad griega y latina. Edited by Vicente Bécares Botas, Francisca Pordomingo, Rosario Cortés Tovar, and Carlos Fernández Corte, 213–231. Madrid: Ediciones Clásicas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Relates Catullus’s erotic self to his critique of Roman imperialism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Skinner, Marilyn B. 1993. Ego mulier: The construction of male sexual identity in Catullus. Helios 20:107–130.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A pioneering article on Catullus and masculinity; reads well in conjunction with Greene 1999.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Wray, David. 2001. Catullus and the poetics of Roman manhood. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A close look at the poems addressed not to Lesbia but to other men, illustrating the “poetics of manhood” in Roman poetry and society.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lesbia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Certainly the most memorable figure in Catullus’s poetry is Lesbia, although she figures in only a limited number of poems. Scholars of an earlier period attempted to reconstruct the trajectory of Catullus’s love affair with Lesbia, who was identified, on the basis of a statement by Apuleius in his Apology, with Clodia, the wife of Metellus, a leading political figure at Rome (on Clodia, see Dyson 2008). Although modern treatments reject so direct a connection between real life experience and poetry (what Steele Commager once referred to as “going from bed to verse”), Catullus’s relation to “Lesbia” retains its fascination. On Lesbia’s appearance, see Baker 1960, Rankin 1976; for her effect on Catullus, Copley 1949 and Lieberg 1962 offer sensitive but traditional interpretations, whereas Janan 1994 makes good use of modern psychoanalysis to account for Catullus’s ambivalent representation of Lesbia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Baker, Sheridan. 1960. Lesbia’s foot. Classical Philology 55:171–173.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/364484E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Notes Catullus’s restraint in physical descriptions of Lesbia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Copley, Frank O. 1949. Emotional conflict and its significance in the Lesbia-poems of Catullus. American Journal of Philology 70:22–40.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A classic paper looking beyond mere autobiography in the poems addressed to Lesbia (reprinted in Quinn 1972, cited under General Overviews).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duclos, Gloria S. 1976. Catullus 11: Atque in perpetuum, Lesbia, ave atque vale. Arethusa 9:76–90.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                On Catullus’s farewell to Lesbia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Dyson Hejduk, Julia. 2008. Clodia: A sourcebook. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A study of the woman most likely to be the person behind Catullus’s Lesbia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Janan, Micaela. 1994. “When the lamp is shattered”: Desire and narrative in Catullus. Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A fascinating Lacanian analysis of desire in Catullus, exploring the divided image of the beloved woman as perfect and monstrous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Lieberg, Godo. 1962. Puella divina: Die Gestalt der göttlichen Geliebten bei Catull im Zusammenhang der antiken Dichtung. Amsterdam: P. Schippers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A full-length study of the image of Lesbia in the old style, before modern approaches complicated the discussion; makes an interesting bookend to the Lacanian interpretation in Janan 1994.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Rankin, H. D. 1976. Catullus and the beauty of Lesbia (poems 43, 86, and 51). Latomus 35:3–11.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On the Roman ideal of beauty, and how Lesbia might have looked; a good companion piece to Baker 1960.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Influence on Roman Poetry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Catullus exerted a considerable influence on later Roman poets; Virgil modeled his Dido at least in part on the Ariadne of Catullus 64, Horace and the elegiac poets drew on his verses, and Martial (also Pliny, by his own confession) were deeply indebted to his epigrams and poems in other meters. Commentaries on these later works provide many references, of course; here are a few articles that provide some initial orientation. For Virgil’s debt to Catullus, one may start with Ferguson 1971–1972; Gonnelli 1962 is also useful, and for a more specific focus, see Kilroy 1969 (see also Thomas 1999 and Fernandelli 2012). For Horace, see especially Putnam 2006 (Fernández Corte 1990 examines the way Catullus and Horace are perceived as lyric poets). On Catullus as a model for later epigrammatists, see Summers 2001 and Swann 1994. There are also several fine chapters on the subject in Skinner 2007.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ferguson, John. 1971–1972. Catullus and Virgil. Proceedings of the Virgil Society 11:25–47.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A good introduction to Virgil’s debt to Catullus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fernandelli, Marco. 2012. Catullo e la rinascita dell’epos: Dal carme 64 all’Eneide. Hildesheim, Germany: Georg Olms Verlag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Though Fernandelli concentrates more on what Catullus derived from Greek epos (including hymns and bucolic poetry), the book provides important insights on how his adaptation of these influences inspired Virgil’s technique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fernández Corte, José Carlos. 1990. Del sentido en que se ha aplicado a Catulo y a Horacio: El término de poetas líricos y de la sinceridad como criterio valorativo de sus poemas. Veleia 7:317–336.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This imaginative study considers how Catullus and Horace have fared at the hands of critics who see lyric poetry as the site of emotional sincerity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gonnelli, G. 1962. Presenza di Catullo in Virgilio. Giornale Italiano di Filologia 15:225–253.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A detailed examination of allusions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Kilroy, G. 1969. The Dido episode and the sixty-fourth poem of Catullus. Symbolae Osloensis 44:48–60.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/00397676908590607E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Focuses on the Catullus’s Ariadne as a model for Virgil’s Dido.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Putnam, Michael C. J. 2006. Poetic interplay: Catullus and Horace. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The only full-length study of Catullus’s influence on Horace; subtle and engaging.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Skinner, Marilyn B., ed. 2007. A companion to Catullus. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This collection includes several important chapters on the influence of Catullus on later poetry. See especially Randall L. B. NcNeill on “Catullus and Horace,” Christopher Nappa on “Catullus and Vergil,” Paul Allen Miller on “Catullus and Roman Love Elegy,” and Sven Lorenz on “Catullus and Martial.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Summers, Kirk M. 2001. Catullus’ program in the imagination of later epigrammatists. Classical Bulletin 77:147–160.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Catullus may be said to have introduced the epigram collection to Latin poetry; this study examines his influence in this genre, and especially on Martial.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Swann, Bruce W. 1994. Martial’s Catullus: The reception of an epigrammatic rival. Hildesheim, Germany: Olms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The fullest treatment so far of Martial’s debt to his predecessor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Thomas, Richard F. 1999. Reading Virgil and his texts: Studies in intertextuality. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A collection of previously published papers, with four chapters on how Catullus was received by Virgil and his contemporaries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Later Reception

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Catullus’s survival into the modern world hung by a single manuscript, and his influence first began to be felt again in the 15th century. The story is well told in Gaisser 1993; for a briefer survey, see her chapter “Catullus in the Renaissance” in Skinner 2007 (cited under Collections of Papers). Many modern poets were influenced by Catullus; William Butler Yeats’s poem The Scholars lampoons the “bald heads” who edit and annotate Catullus, shuffling along: “Lord, what would they say / Did their Catullus walk that way?” However, there is no full-scale treatment of Catullus in modern poetry (for a brief survey, see Arkins 2007).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Arkins, Brian. 2007. The modern reception of Catullus. In A companion to Catullus. Edited by Marilyn B. Skinner, 778–808. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A brief overview of Catullus’s modern reception.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gaisser, Julia Haig. 1993. Catullus and his Renaissance readers. Oxford: Clarendon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thorough, learned, and readable treatment of how Catullus was discovered, rescued, read and adapted in the Renaissance; a must for those who would see how slow and painstaking the progress in establishing the text was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Gaisser, Julia Haig. 2007. Catullus in the Renaissance. In A companion to Catullus. Edited by Marilyn B. Skinner, 737–777. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A shorter survey than Gaisser 1993 of Catullus’s influence during the Renaissance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ludwig, Walther. 1989. Catullus renatus: Anfänge und frühe Entwicklung des catullischen Stils in der neulateinischen Dichtung. In Litterae Neolatinae: Schriften zur neulateinischen Literatur. By Walther Ludwig, 162–194. Munich: W. Fink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A fuller and more detailed version of Ludwig 1990.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ludwig, Walther. 1990. The origin and development of the Catullan style in Neo-Latin poetry. In Latin poetry and the classical tradition. Edited by Peter Godman and Oswyn Murray, 183–198. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Emphasizes the role of Giovanni Pontano in the revival of the Catullan style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      back to top

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      How to Subscribe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions and individuals. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Purchase an Ebook Version of This Article

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ebooks of the Oxford Bibliographies Online subject articles are available in North America via a number of retailers including Amazon, vitalsource, and more. Simply search on their sites for Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guides and your desired subject article.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you would like to purchase an eBook article and live outside North America please email onlinemarketing@oup.com to express your interest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Article

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Down