Mentula Magna Minax

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Title: Mentula Magna Minax A Study of Genre in Catullus' Abusive Poetry
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Low, Zachary
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Latin
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theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
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Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This thesis analyzes the abusive poetry of Catullus through the lens of three different generic traditions. The first, comedy, uses stock characters and comic language to, at times, undermine the persona of Catullus. In poem 8, there are the two figures of the counseling seruus callidus clever slave Catullus and the sad lovestruck Catullus. The second, oratorical invective, uses restrained language to condemn Catullus' enemies, such as the subtle allusion to Lesbius' incestuous practices in poem 79. The third, iambic invective, uses violent abuse to threaten Catullus' enemies. In the famous poem 16, Catullus defends himself against charges of mollitia by threatening Furius and Aurelius with sexual violence. By looking at these genres, I give new readings of many of Catullus' poems and how ancient readers would have a greater sense of Catullus' poetic practices.
Statement of Responsibility: by Zachary Low
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Rohrbacher, David

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Source Institution: New College of Florida
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Classification: local - S.T. 2012 L9
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Material Information

Title: Mentula Magna Minax A Study of Genre in Catullus' Abusive Poetry
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Low, Zachary
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Latin
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This thesis analyzes the abusive poetry of Catullus through the lens of three different generic traditions. The first, comedy, uses stock characters and comic language to, at times, undermine the persona of Catullus. In poem 8, there are the two figures of the counseling seruus callidus clever slave Catullus and the sad lovestruck Catullus. The second, oratorical invective, uses restrained language to condemn Catullus' enemies, such as the subtle allusion to Lesbius' incestuous practices in poem 79. The third, iambic invective, uses violent abuse to threaten Catullus' enemies. In the famous poem 16, Catullus defends himself against charges of mollitia by threatening Furius and Aurelius with sexual violence. By looking at these genres, I give new readings of many of Catullus' poems and how ancient readers would have a greater sense of Catullus' poetic practices.
Statement of Responsibility: by Zachary Low
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Rohrbacher, David

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2012 L9
System ID: NCFE004623:00001

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Mentula Magna Minax : A Study of Genre in Catullus' Abusive Poetry BY ZACHARY LOW A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts under the sponsorship of Dr. David Rohrbacher Sarasota, Florida April, 2012


ii Dedication s orori m eae m usae m eae, et tibi, Mia, hoc libellum dedico.


iii Acknowledgment I would like to thank the following people for making the completion of this thesis possible: Dr. David Rohbacher, for being my Advisor, my ISP Sponsor, my Thesis Buddy; for teaching far too high a proportion of my classes; for coming up with the best jokes; for supporting me through the highs and lows; for contributing so much to my un dergraduate schooling that a full list would take up a 38 foot long scroll; and, in short, for everything. Dr. Carl Shaw, for giving me the solid foundation in Greek I needed to explore all sorts of lascivious literature and for being a supportive teacher and friend. Dr. Thomas McCarthy, for reintroducing me to Latin during my first ISP and for keeping me on my toes. Dr. Carrie Bene for introducing me to the horrors of Palaeography and for introducing me to the only sometimes horrors of Medieval Latin. My parents Robert and Deborah Low, without whom I would not be here My sister, Kaylynn, who was my muse. My late grandmother, Sharon Low, whom I wish could be here to laugh with me. The surprisingly long list of my friends Adam Flowerday, Candice Fr ances, Thomas Luehl, Morgan McCabe, Grayson Chester, Gracie Loesser, Nicholas Daugharty, to mention a few who have heard so much about my thesis and about Catullus, that they could have written this as easily as I. Mia Newell, who was there for everything T he rest of the 108 girls, Michelle Patteson and Nicole Noujaim. Anthony Serifsoy, for all the nights of karaoke, hookah, and trivia. Max Imberman and James Eveland, for being my backgammon buddies. And finally to the late Gaius Valerius Catullus, wh ose life and work gave me purpose for studying the field of Classics.


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vi M ENTULA M AGNA M INAX : A S TUDY OF G ENRE IN C ATULLUS A BUSIVE P OETRY Zachary Low 5EF!(GHHEIE!GJ!$HGKLMNO!2?'2 A BSTRACT This thesis analyzes the abusive poetry of Catullus through the lens of three different generic traditions. The first, comedy, uses stock characters and comic language to, a t times, undermine the persona of Catullus In poem 8, there are the two figures of the counseling seruus callidus [clever slave] Catullus and the sad lovestruck Catullus. Th e second, oratorical invective, uses restrained language to condemn Catullus' enemies, such as the subtle allusi on to Lesbius' incestuous practices in poem 79. The third iambic invective, uses violent abuse to threaten Catullus' enemies In the famous poem 16, Catullus defends himself against charges of mollitia by threatening Furius and Aurelius with sexual violen ce. By looking at these genres, I give new readings of many of Catullus' poems and how ancient readers would have a greater sense of Catullus' poetic practices. 8NPLM!0GQKRNSQEK 8LPLTLGU!GJ!9VWNULXLET


1 Introduction The late Roman R epublic poet Gaius Valerius Catullus is one of the most skilled poets of antiquity His poems speak of his writing practices and style, 1 his friends and enemies, 2 and his love interests 3 His writing style was carefully constructed and calculated in its use of allusion through language or theme His works show a grea t indebtedness to Greek poetic traditions, though they are coupled with his own Romanizing personal touch. Life Catullus was b orn in 85 or 84 BCE in Verona. Details concerning his life are scarce, with the only extensive source of information being his own poems. Some have argued that Catullus died at a young age due to an entry in Jerome's translation of Eusebius' Chronicle Jerome writes that Catullus died in his thirtieth year, placing his death in the mid 50s BCE. 4 Wiseman suggests that, based on the later dating of some of the poems and other fragments that surv ive, Catullus did not die and continued to write an d publish. 5 We have limited knowledge of Catullus' actual life. H e was raised in an equestrian family and so had exposure to oratory and politics at an early age. His mention of major !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Cf. esp. cc. 14b 22, 50, 68, and 95 2 Such as cc. 11, 29, and 79 3 Lesbia in cc. 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 11, 36, 37, 51, 58, 68, 70, 72, 7 5, 76, 83, and more; Iuventius in cc. 24, 48, 81, and 99 4 Martin (1992), p. 39 ; Wiseman (1985), p. 190. 5 Wiseman (2007), p. 59; He offers the outlying, yet tempting the ory that Catullus began to write comedies a plausible hypothesis in light of the comedic elemen ts present in Catullus' poetry discussed in chapter one.


2 political figures is thus no surprise. He mention s Caesar, Pompey, Cicer o, and other lesser political figures such a s the praetor Memmius whose staff he worked on in Bithynia in his poems with confidence in keeping with his wealthy upbringing His poem to Cicero in praise of his eloquence ( disertissime ) suggests Catullus was present at the delivery of at least one of Cicero's speeches 6 Catullus' use of oratorical invective like elements in his poems may have stemmed from his exposure to such deliveries in the courtroom. Catullus and Caesar were also familiar with each ot her. Catullus' father 's friendship with Caesar and Caesar's subsequent visit to Catullus in reponse to his abusive poetry indicates that the two were on familiar terms 7 The dedication of his libellus to Cornelius Nepos and his mention of such poets as Licinius Calvus and Quintus Hortensius place Catullus among the literary elite of Rome Catullus' Poetry Many scholars argue that Catullus cast away the older poetic traditions and their associated meters in favor of something new and diff erent They place Catullus among a group of poets who celebrated the Alexandrian concepts of urbanitas [sophistication] and lepo s [wit]. 8 This group is commonly called the neoterics, a name which is derived from Cicero's scornful labeling 9 of the poets as !" #$%&$'!( Greek for 'newer poets' The neoterics ha d distaste for older poetry like that of Ennius and sought to follow the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 c. 49; Quinn suggests that the poem may be cleverly disguised criticism depending on how Cicero chose to read it. Quinn (2009), p. 233. 7 Cf. Martin (1992), p. 39. 8 Johnson (2007); Martin (1992). 9 Cicero spoke about the neoteric poets with contempt. See Johnson (2007), pp. 175 7; Cicero Tusculan Disputations 3.45


3 Alexandrian poets in cr afting small, carefully constructed, poetry 10 They suggest Catullus developed a unique style quite different from anything that Rome had previously been familiar with. He developed shor ter poetry and rejected the longer, more mythologically driven epic traditions of the Greek poets Homer and Hesiod in favor of more personalized poetry. 11 Influenced by Gr eek predecessors like Callimachus Catullus wrote poetry that shows indebtedness to the Greeks, but also shows his own personal touch DeBrohun however, reminds us not to take the portrait of Catullus as a revolutionary too far using t he longer poems in the middle of the present collection of Catullus, 61 through 68, to show that he did not focus strictly on shorter poems and did not shun the earlier epic tradition as being too old fashioned and long winded, but rather aimed to create his own unique take on the genre by adaptation of Greek models. Poem 64, Catullus' epyllion poem [little epic], draws inspiration from Apollonius' Argonautica through its similar subject matter 12 and language reminiscent of epic. 13 Many of the longer poems draw influence from the works of the Greek poet Callimachus, with poem 66 being a translation of Callimachus' Coma Berenices and poem 65 introducing it Such adaptation of literary traditions is key to understanding Catullus' poetry, because with an understanding of the influences acting on Catullus, his poetical style becomes easier to interpret. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10 c. 95 identifies many of the characteristics of the Alexandrian poets. 11 Long works were seen as a b ore to read. cf. Johnson (2007), pp. 178 89; Martin (1992), pp. 20 1; c. 36 12 c. 64 deals with the myth of Theseus and Ariadne, which has much in common with the story of Jason and Medea in Apollonius' work. 13 e.g the use of dicuntur [they are said] is similar to the many verbs of speaking in Homeric literature. C f. DeBrohun (2007), pp. 293 311 for a greater comparison.


4 Lesbia The subject of much of Catullus' poetry and perhaps th e mo st studied of all is his affection for a woman called Lesbia. Lesbia was not her real name, but rather a pseudonym used by Catullus. The name literally means 'woman from Lesbos' and p resumably alludes to Sappho, the Greek female poet from the area, who se love poetry was a n influence on Catullus' own poetry. 14 Apuleius of Madaura, the second century CE orator, identified Catullus' Lesbia as a woman named Clodia. 15 The similarity of the name to the Clodiu s mentioned in Catullus' poetry suggests that Clodia is in some way related to Clodius. Three sisters, all named Clodia, are identified as the most likely candidates, through their involvement in major political affairs during the time. 16 The y were the sisters of Clodius Pulcher, who was the target of numerous invective speeches by Cicero due to their political rivalry. Cicero attacks him by dicussing his violation of the rites of Bona Dea and alleged incest with one of his sisters. Catullus' poem 95 uses clever wordplay to allude to Clodius Pulcher Catullus gives him the cognomen Lesbius and calls him pulcer [pretty] which coupled with charges of incest, imply he was related to Lesbia. Lesbia was then most likely one of the Clodia related to Lesbius. Cicero attacked one sister, Clodia Metelli, in a case involving Marcus Caelius Rufius, who was likely the Caelius and Rufus of Catullus' carmina 17 The fact that he charges Clodia of incest with her brother suggests that she is probably Lesbia. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 14 c. 51 is an adaptation of Sappho fr. 31 15 Apol. 10: C. Catullum, quod Lesbiam pro Clodia nominarit ... [Gaius Ca tullus, since he called (her) Lesbia instead o f Clodia...]". 16 Martin (1992), pp. 38 47; Quinn (1972), p. xviii; contrast Wiseman (1985), pp. 136, 216 18. 17 Dyson (2007), p. 255; c. 35.16 7 where Catullus talks about Caelius' girlfriend as being a sapphica puella / musa doctior [a Sapphic girl, more learned than a Muse]. Clodia Metelli had the reputation of being a poet. cf. Martin (1992), p. 44


5 Language Catullus' language differed from the elevated vocabulary of the epic traditions and ins tead, coupled with his shifting of subject matter from myth to everyday life, was far more colloquial. He showed a fondness for hapax legomena words which he coined such as the epithet tardipedi deo [to the slow f ooted god] in poem 36. Catullus often used Greek words in his poetry for their cultural and literary associations. The Greek words used by Catullus tended to be associated more with the vulgar register than with poetic. This differed from the use of Greci sms in other Latin poetry, where they were employed typically as proper nouns which had no Latin equivalent. 18 Outside of the longer poems in the middle of the corpus, which are replete with proper Gre ek nouns due to their Greek source s, elevated Greek vocabulary is rare. Instead, Catullus shows a fondness for using vulgar Greek terminology associated with mimes and farces. 19 Words like moechus and cinaedus recall the obscene vocabulary of the scurra [buffoon]. 20 Order The ordering of the collection of Catullus poetry as we currently have it is a subject of debate Most think the present order is the work of a later editor 21 alothough others see !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 18 Sheets (2007), p. 197 19 Sheets (2007), p. 198. 20 Sheets (2007), p. 197. 21 Wheeler (1934).


6 traces of Catullus' original order still present in the collection. 22 Current scholarly consensus is that the ordering is at least partially original. 23 Wheeler suggests that t he exact ordering of the poems as th ey have been received was the work of a later editor. The opening poem addressed to Cornelius Nepos, which serves as an introduction to the libellum [little book] cannot refer to the surviving collection, which would have filled several volumes. 24 The presence of other possible introduction poems such as 14b suggests that the corpus was originally released in several collections. The postulated editor of Catullus arranged the corpus by meter, with the shorter polysyllabic poems making up the first 60, the l onger poems of 61 8 in the middle and the elegiac poems that consume the remainder of the collection, at the end, 69 116. 25 Wiseman on the other hand, follows Quinn in thinking that the collection "is what is purports to be, Catullus' own collection of his poems, and not the work of some unattested compiler or posthumous editor'." 26 Wiseman writes that Catullus' intent should not be assumed to be i mmediately obvious since he was a subtle poet and that we should not feel entitled to rearrange the ordering to our liking. Martin agrees and suggests that the order would have fulfilled "some overarching aesthetic concern, some aim for coherence and unity ." 27 He identifies chiastic arrangement a favorite poetical device of Catullus of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 22 Martin (1992), pp. 33 6; Wiseman (1985), p. 136. 23 Summarized in Skinner (2007), p. 48. 24 Which would have been too long to be contained on a reasonably sized scroll. cf. Wheeler (1934) in Wiseman (1985) who conjectured that the scroll would have been around 38 feet long. 25 Though the longer poems retain the chiastic ordering favored by Catullus in his poetry, cf. Martin (1992), pp. 35 6. 26 Wiseman (1985), p. 136. 27 Martin (1992), p. 34.


7 poems throughout the corpus. 28 Thesis Overview Scholarly opinion in the early 20 th century followed Willhelm Kroll and his idea of die Kreuzung der Gattungen or the meldi ng of genres. He cited as an example, Ovid's Heroides, which he says melds the genres of historical epistle and elegy. 29 Barchiesi notes that Kroll did not take into account whether such genres as historical epistle' and elegy' could really be defined as ge nres to begin with, 30 causing him to create new freakish' genres by looking at only melded forms of genre rather than the two components 31 Barchiesi suggests that the a ncient use of genre was instead "an evolution or devolution of a generic matrix which needs recalling; the recalling of origins identifies the new work in the literary space but also suggests a drama of appropriation and legitimization." 32 Rosenmeyer's idea of ancient genre is similar t o Barchiesi. He looks at how writings by Plato and Aristotle di s cuss terms such as drama and epic as designations for a certain kind of literature. 33 The only traditions identified by Aristotle were those where a known founder existed. 34 He agrees that anc ient genre was not Kroll's Kreuzung but rather was a practice in aemulatio [emulation] of a preceding literary figure. The ancient concept of genre was thus unstable. It was at the same time a conscious emulation of an existing predecessor and a box with set attributes into which an author fit his poem. Specific allusion compels the reader to compare the two texts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 28 See Martin (1992), pp. 35 6 for a greater discussion. 29 Barchiesi (2001), p. 145. 30 Barchiesi (2001), p. 149. 31 Barchiesi (2001), p. 156. 32 Barchiesi (2001), p. 157. 33 Rosenmeyer (1985) provides a lengthy discussion of generic ideals in Plato and Aristotle. 34 Rosenmeyer (1985), p. 82.


8 with each other to see the changes and similarities. This differs from generic allusion in a broader sense, which instead causes the reader to t hink of the more general characteristics of a work. T his thesis considers th e use of this broader generic allusion as a filter through which Catullus' abusive poems can be read. Three generic traditions are dealt with each in their own chapter: Roman come dy, oratorical invective, and iambic abuse. These genres represent different modes of abuse, be it through stereotypes (comedy), restrained implication (oratory), or obscene description (iambos). By looking at these genres I hope to show that Catullus, as Thomas says about Virgil, "intends that his reader be 'sent back' to them... and that he then return and ap ply his observation to the text." 35 Being aware of the use of genre in Catullus' poetry helps to better analyze and appreciate its art. Looking at t he poems through these different lenses, the impression of a Catullus who composes his poetry in a fit of passion instead changes into a n impression of a Catullus who exerts conscious effort on his part to create personae evocative of other generic traditions sometimes in order to subvert the reader 's initial analysis of the poem and other times to enhance already existing tropes by associating a poem with a broader genre through shared vocabulary and themes While the poems may not specifically reference works of comedy, oratory, or iambos indeed characteristics common to several genres are present in each reading them with an understanding of these traditions allows the reader to better appreciate and understand Catull us In the first chapter I look at the use of comic stock characters and comic vocabulary !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 35 Thomas (1982), p. 172 n. 8


9 in Catullus' poetry. The portrayal of characters as comic figures at times undermines a more somber theme or enhances the humor of an already humorous poem In the second chapter I look at the influence of Roman oratorical invective. The use of several invective methods in Catullus' poetry has parallels with many of Cicero's invective speeches and many of the targets are shared between the two. In the final chapter I look at the influence of iambos in Catullus' poetry specifically Archilochus and Hipponax, observing their use of sexual metaphor, abuse, and symposiastic setting. I also observe the sexual subversion of Sapphic poetry in poem 11 of the corpus. By looking at these three generic traditions, I hope to better equip the reader of Catullus to confront his poetry and to achieve a better understanding of his poetic technique with knowledge of the genres that influenced him. Notes on Text and Translatio n All translations from Latin and Greek are my own. The Latin text of Catullus is from Quinn's 1972 revision. The texts for Archilochus and Hipponax come from the Loeb Classical Library's Greek Iambic Poetry: From the Seventh to the Fifth Centuries BC by Douglas Gerber The Sappho text is from Carson (2002). The texts from Cicero and Plautus are also from their respective Loeb editions (Shackleton Bailey and Wolfgang de Melo respectively). Any changes to the original text are footnoted and explained.


10 Cha pter 1 Roman comedy as seen in the works of the playwrights Plautus and Terence is based on adaptation of Greek comedy, which greatly influenced early Roman dramatic forms. 36 The Romans preserved numerous themes, characters, costumes, and settings of their Greek models. For an accurate picture of Roman Comedy's influence on the poetry of Catullus to be achieved, the Greek origins of comedy in general must first be briefly outl ined so that the development of stock characters and other tropes can be displayed. Origins The era of New Comedy is associated with the playwright Menander. Some of his play s and numerous fragments survive and help to recreate the characteristics. The plots often take the form of a love story, usually between the amorous puer adulescens and his love interest, the puella The chorus became less im portant to the plot itself and acted as an intermission during paus es in dialogue The language of the plays is also colloquial and simple, using the iambic meter that mirrored speech. New Comedy developed into a social drama that spoke more of human weaknesses and the problems of everyday life than earlier forms did, wit h the use of characters such as husband, wife, son, and daughter creating a context more realistic than mythological The Romans found this type of comedy easier to adapt to the Roman stage than the more complicated and politically invective forms of Old C omedy. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 36 Duckworth (1952), p. 18


11 Life and Work Looking at the works of the Roman playwright Plautus we can see the careful adaptation of Greek comedy to Roman comedy Titus Maccius Plautus (254 184 BCE) probably started his work in the theater business by constructing sets for various performances and acting as a clown in farces. Later he moved on to compose his own plays with influence from his readings of Greek forerunners, especially those of Menander, whose plays served as a basis for many of his own. 37 His use of meter vari ed from his Greek models, focusing more on word stress. H is language employed numerous archaisms as well as many poetical devices while showing a fondness for name play Language The language employed by Plautus in his comedies is col loquial though its over the top use of words and alliteration create a distinctly artificial language. It is colloquial in that the speech of a given character is usually suited to that character's respective social status slaves speak in a cruder way than aristocrats and e mploys a number of words not normally found in con temporary literary compositions, employ ing a greater use of Gre cisms than the speech of those of higher social standing. Plautus also created unique word formations, through the compounding of several word s and the use of dim inutives without the association of smallness or endearment He !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 37 These are: Bacchides Cistellaria and Stichus C f. Duckworth (1952), p. 53 for a list of Plautus' plays and their models.


12 had a fondness for excessive alliteration of words often in pairs or triplets as in Miles Gloriosus 147: praedam participes petunt [the participants petition for presents ] 38 The use of numerous interjections, such as uae heu and euge with greater frequency than natural speech, added to both the colloquial and hu morous element of the work, as in Plautus' Stichus 771: Babae! Tatae! Papae! Pax! [Oh dear! Oh my! Oh gosh! Oh shush!]". Characters Comedy had many stock characters. The characters were recurring roles that became standard in their depiction, such as the counseling seruus callidus or the lovestruck puer The characters were first use d in Old Comedy and became more developed and formulaic in New Comedy. The masks and wigs characters wore, such as the red wigs of slave s or the white wigs of old men, distinguished them. By outlining several of the stock roles, I hope to construct a usefu l framework for the analysis of comedic influence in Catullus' poems. Puella T he puella [or uirgo ] was an elusive personality in comedy and although of ten the focal point of the plot since she was the love interest of the puer adulescens [young man], never took a main role. S ocial convention made it difficult for the young girls to take part in the main action as did the construction of the stage 39 The puella 's main presence was inside the house. The stage did not allow for inside scenes and so the pu ella 's appearances were less !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 38 C f. Duckworth (1952), p. 342 39 Duckworth (1952), p. 253


13 frequent. C atullus depicts himself as a puer yearning for his puella Lesbia. She is often the main topic of the poem, though not always actively present, much like the puella of comedy. Meretrix The more active feminine roles in comedy are reserved for the characters of the matrona [wife] and meretrix [courtesan]. Meretrices in Greek comedy reflected real life hetaerae [prostitutes], who played a major role in Greek social life. 40 The choragus [cho ral speaker] of Plautus' Curculio mentions the presence of these women near the Roman forum, which implies their presence in Rome at the time of composition. Meretrices differed from the lower class scort um [prostitute] in that they were not socially jud ged in the same way Scorta had associations with the seedier brothels, while meretrices were held in higher esteem. 41 In comedy, the meretrix often takes the role of meretrix callida [clever courtesan]. The clever courtesan manipulates the many male figure s in the play to achieve her own goals and often undermines their power through seduction or by catching them in their lies. Catullus' Lesbia also takes on the role of meretrix callida in many of his poems and often deceives him through her wit and causes him to respond in anger. 42 Seruus Callidus The seruus callidus [clever slave] was a trickster and often mocked the puer and his !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 40 C f. Moore (1998), p. 141 41 Moore (1998), p 142 42 C f. c.10 and 36 below.


14 love affair. He also gave counsel and aid to him, however, and warranted the description which Lesbonicus gives Stasimus in Plautus' Trinummus 527: "etsi scelestus est, at mi infidelis non est [even if he is wicke d, he is not unfaithful to me]." T he serui callidi gain more rapport with the audience than any other character due to their dialogue s with them which often expose key plot points Miles The so called braggart soldier [ miles gloriosus ] of comedy more than any other character as Duckwor th puts it, "is a caricature rather than a character 43 The miles always has a love interest and often acts as the rival to the puer in his pursuit of the puella The miles language is boastful and laden with references to military exploits. The humor of the miles comes from the gross exaggeration in his speech like the miles Antamoenides in Plautus' Poenulus who brags of having killed sixty thousand men in a single day with his hands. 44 Conclusion Roman comedy taking inspiration from its Greek predecessors, was set in everyday life with characters that were exaggerated stereotypes of different personalities. Its use of colloquial language reflects this focus on everyday situations and suits the lower class characters typically employed. Catullus use of such characters indicates comedic influence, as does his use of language typical of Roman comedy. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 43 Duckworth (1952), p. 264 44 C f. c. 37 where Catullus threatens to orally rape the two hundred contubernales of the tavern.


15 Poem 8 Miser Catulle, desinas ineptire, et quod uides perisse perditum ducas. fulsere quondam candidi tibi soles, cum uentitabas quo puella ducebat amata nobis quantum amabitur nulla; 5 ibi illa multa cum iocosa fiebant, quae tu uolebas nec puella nolebat, fulsere uere candidi tibi soles. nunc iam illa non uolt: tu quoque impotens noli, nec quae fugit sectare, nec miser uiue, 10 sed obstinata mente perfer, obdura. uale puella, iam Catullus obdurat, nec te requiret nec rogabit inuitam. at tu dolebis, cum rogaberis nulla. scelesta, uae te, quae tibi manet uita? 15 quis nunc te adibit? cui uideberis bella? quem nunc amabis? cuius ess e diceris? quem basiabis? cui labella mordebis? at tu, Catulle, destinatus obdura.


16 Miserable Catullus, stop being a fool. And what you see as lost, reckon to be lost. Once bright suns shined for you, when you went whereve r your girl was leading you she wh o was loved by you as much as no other will be loved. Back then, when everything was good as you wanted it to be, and your girl certainly wasn't unwilling truly bright suns shined for you. No longer does she want it. Don't lose control, nor follow she who flees you, nor live miserably, but endure it with a hardened mind, hold out. Farewell, girl. Now Catullus hardens himself, and he will not seek you, nor beg for you who are unwilling. But you will be sorry, when you are sought by none. Oh wretched girl! W hat life remains for you? Who will come to you now? To whom will you be seen as beautiful? Whom now will you love? Whose will you be said to be? Whom will you kiss? Whose lips will you bite? But you, Catullus, remain resolute in your hardness. For the fi rst half of the poem, Catullus takes on a self deprecated role in which he discusses the passive role he played in his relationship with Lesbia (the puella of line 4). Here he is being led by his girl through their relationship. Lesbia has apparently left Catullus and the narrative contains two distinct personae one of Catullus the lover and the other of Catullus the counselor that reflect on the nature of Catullus' relationsh ip with Lesbia, with the counselor commanding Catullus to stop being the fool, to stop reminiscing on what is past, and to steel himself for his future life without Lesbia. The second half of the poem begins with Catullus the counselor telling the lover Catullus to get over his lost girl; his sadness quickly turns into determination as he finds himself hardening [ obdura ] his mind in the process. He asks Lesbia a series of questions that


17 serve to emphasize how lonely she will be without him doting on her. His will begins to weaken as he asks the questions The voice of the counselor retu rns in the final line of the poem to remind Catullus to harden himself to his feelings for Lesbia and to move on. Th e poem is divided up into a past (lines 3 8), present (8 12; 19), future division (13 8) that gives the reader an overview of Catullus' rel ationship with Lesbia in the space of only nineteen lines. It opens up in with a strong imperative ( desina [stop]) that sets the action in the present before pulling the reader back into the past in line 3 with the syncopated perfect form fulsere [shined]. On line 8, however, the reader is brought back from the past. The change in words from fulsere quondam [once shined] to fulsere u ere [truly shined] sharpens the focus from what was past happiness to what is simple, timeless happiness. 45 The following l ine confirms this change again with a use of the imperative, noli [do not], this time occupying the grammatically strong endpoint of the line, and the use of nunc [now] which also occupies the grammatically strong initial position of the line to bring the focus back into the present This brief return to the present brings the reader's focus back on to the present state of Catullus and Lesbia's relationship. No long does she want a relationship ( nunc iam illa non uolt ). Catullus is now powerless ( impotens ), having lost control. This return is cut short when Catullus begins his rapid questioning of Lesbia (lines 13 8) this time switching to the use of the future tense, before ending with a final present imperative. He is now looking to the future and counse ling himself to move on. The vocative use of Catulle at the beginning and ending of the poem creates ring composition for the entire poem and contrasts with the use of Catullus in the third person in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 45 Rowland (1966), p. 18


18 line 12. The use of the vocative at the beginning and e nding as well as the use of pr esent imperatives on both lines identifies the speaker as the counseling Catullus The Catulle, desinas ineptire of line one sounds very similar to the Catulle, destinatus obdura and reinforces the ring composition. The ri ng composition serves to show the repeated cycle Catullus goes through in thinking of Lesbia and how he cannot get her out of his mind. By the end of the poem, he returns back to the beginning, never truly getting over her, even with the repeated advice gi ven by the counseling Catullus. The third person use of Catullus in line 12 jolts the focus from the outside co u nseling Catullus, who is present at the start and finish, to the inner Catullus receiving advice on getting over Lesbia creating two characters This sequence is paralleled with the mentioning of his puella and the careful balancing of lla words surrounding his name. 46 The poem can be read as a sad self reflection on the nature of Catullus' relationship with Lesbia. This is mixed with both iamb ic elements and comedic elements which undermine the initial somber reading of the poem. The persona of Catullus recalls both the indignant ego of iambos and the rejected lover lost in infatuation and hurt pride. 47 The standard reading of the poem portrays Catullus as the angered and scorned lover. 48 He has lost control in his anguish over his lost relations hip with Lesbia and cannot get her out of his mind. He slowly comes to the re alization that he should move on and his anguish turns to anger at t he end of the poem where he poses passionate questions to Lesbia !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 46 Swanson (1963), p. 194; Swanson identifies a sort of refrain worked i nto the poem this way built up upon these words: puella illa nulla puella; illa puella nulla: bella labella [that girl (is) not a girl, that girl (is) no one; (just) pretty lips]. 47 Skinner (1971), p. 298 48 Wiseman (1985), pp. 142 4.


19 before bringing himself short. 49 From a comic perspective however, t he use of both the second and third person for ms of Catullus in the poem forms a comic dialogue between a more rational out sider the seru us callidus of comedy 50 and the struggling lover puer adulescens. The persona of Catullus here differs very much from his typical urbanus style that makes light hearted jokes at his friends. Instead there are two Catulli, one who reminisces over his past relationship with Lesbia and another who counsels the first Catullus to steel his heart and move on. The two personae here are not quite t he unified ego of Catullus but rather function as two separate figures that allude to comedic dialogue. 51 The fact that miser also is the first word of the entire poem indicates possible conscious effort on Catullus' part in associating the outside speaker with the comedic figure of the miser by having the word and its associated use of the vocative surrounding the other, distinct Catullus of line 12. This sets up the poem to be read through a comic lens, since, as Fowler puts it: The generic markers that cluster at the beginning of a work have a strategic role in guiding the reader. They help to establish, as soon as possible, an appropriate mental set' that allows the works generic codes to be read. 52 The miser of comedy was a symbol of self imposed exil e, as Konstan puts it: The misanthrope and the miser, on the contrary, have themselves severed their ties with society... they cannot be brought back into society by a dramatic coincidence or !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 49 Quinn (2009), p. 115. 50 C f. the seru us callidus chastising the young lover in Plautus' Cistellaria Konstan (1983), p. 102 51 C ontrast Skinner (1971), p. 300 52 Fowler (1982), p. 88.


20 revelation. They must rather be made to realize the insuffic iency of their own isolation, so that they turn back of their own will. 53 Catullus has presumably refrained from pursuing new relationships in his inability to get over his ruined relationship with Lesbia. The seruus callidus voice functions to convince him to realize the insufficiency of his own isolation and to turn his back on Lesbia. The vocabulary used in this poem has analogues in comedy. The repetition on line 2 of the related words perisse [to have perished] and perdi tum [having been lost] is similar to wordplay in comedy. 54 The stacking up of words that have very similar meanings in line 11 also was a favored comedic device. Obstinata perfer and obdura all have the same force behind them and similar meanings. They fo rm a triadic structure favored by comics 55 and are pleonastic in their overstatement of the same thing, which sounds just as odd in English: "but endure it with a hardened mind, hold out ". The nature of the content of the questions which Catullus asks Lesbia (lines 15 8) characterize her more as a lower class libertina or meretrix 56 rather than a woman of higher social standing, since they develop into more sexually themed questions, with the use of basiabis [you will kiss] and labella mordebis [you will bite the lips] in line 18. 57 The long list of questions is characterized by its use of anaphora the repetition of an initial word !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 53 Konstan (1983), p. 34 54 C f. Duckworth (1952), pp. 343 4; This is fu rther repeated throughout the poem, such as : amata and amabitur (line 5), obdura and obdurat (lines 11 2). 55 Duckworth (1952), p. 341 56 Konstan (1983), p. 97 57 Skinner (1971), p. 299


21 throughout: 58 scelesta, uae te, quae ti bi manet uita? 15 quis nunc te adi bi t? cui uideberis b ella? quem nunc ama bi s? cuius esse diceris? quem b asia bi s? cui la b ella morde bi s? The use of this literary device has parallels in comedy and was used to add emphasis to the words of a character, strengthening the desperate voice of Catullus. 59 The conversational and accusatory tone of the passage are as at home here in the poem as they would be in the mouth of an actor in any Plautine comedy. Framing the narrative at the beginning and the end is the advice giving seruus calli dus who counsels the puer adulescens persona that Catullus assumes in reflecting on his relationship with Lesbia. Lesbia herself can be associated with the comic figure of the meretrix who is both the object of affection for the interior persona of Catullu s and is also shamed by the outer seruus persona through nu merous questions that emphasize her inability to find a new lover. The two personae act as a means of self reflection in a poem about self reflection. Catullus calls up associations with figures f rom comedy to describe his own personal folly. Casting himself as a puer adulescens hopeless in his love, he is acknowledging his delusion of thinking that he could have a long lasting relationship with Lesbia the meretrix whose character could only allow something more transitory. The counseling Catullus on the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 58 Repeated related words and sounds are in bold while assonant endings are italicized. 59 Duckworth (1952), p. 341


22 outside is the side of Catullus that recognizes all of this. This poem could then as Skinner says, be a way of rationalizing his feelings while distancing himself through use of humorous figures. 60 It is also a way for him to mock his own obsession of Lesbia. The repeated questions grow in intensity to the point that the reader can imagine Catullus saying them at first angrily Who will come to you now? then thinking more on losing his resolve Whose lips will you bite? The counseling Catullus brings Catullus' reserve back by reminding him to steel himself and to move on. What originally appears to be a self deprecating poem by Catullus in his misery can also be interpreted as a scene from a comedy bet ween a lover and a servant, who advises him on the necessary course of action to take. The opening reflection on Catullus' past relationship appears to be a fond remembrance of the history of his and Lesbia's relationship, but becomes a means for the couns eling Catullus to snap the inner Catullus out of a daydream. The next poem, 37, to be discussed again shows evidence of Catullus' use of stock characters in his poetry, this time portraying himself as a miles gloriosus and Lesbia as a puella his love int erest. Poem 37 Salax taberna uosque contubernales, a pilleatis nona fratribus pila, solis putatis esse mentulas uobis, solis licere, quidquid est puellarum, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 60 Skinner (1971), p. 305.


23 confutuere et putare ceteros hircos? 5 an, continenter quod sedetis insulsi centum (an ducenti?), non putatis ausurum me una ducentos irrumare sessores? atqui putate: namque totius uobis frontem tabernae sopionibus scribam. 10 puella nam mi, quae meo sinu fugit, amata tantum quantum amabitur nulla, pro qua mihi sunt magna bella pugna ta, consedit istic. hanc boni beatique omnes amatis, et quidem, (quod indignum est), 61 15 omnes pusilli et semitarii moechi; tu praeter omnes une de capillatis, cuniculosae Celtiberiae fili, Egnati, opaca quem bonum facit barba et dens Hibera defricatus ur ina. 20 Lecherous tavern and you my fellow comrades, nine columns down from the Capped Brothers; do you think that you alone have cocks? that you alone can fuck whatever girls you want and think the rest are goats? Or is it that, because you sit there in a row, a hundred (or two) tasteless men, you do not think that I would dare to face fuck all two hundred of you at !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 61 I have set this off as an aside by Catullus where Quinn has left it unmarked.


24 once? Go ahead and think so: for I will scribble dicks all over the front of the tavern. For my girl, who has fled from my arms, loved so much as none will be loved, and on whose behalf great battles have been waged by me has settled herself in your tavern. All you good, upstanding men love her and even (as intolerable as it is) you small fry, backalley whores; and you before all, one of th e long haired youths, son of rabbit filled Celtiberia, Egnatius, whose thick beard makes him upstanding, and whose teeth are scrubbed with Spanish piss. Poem 37 is closely tied with the preceding poem 36 and poem 8 via language and theme. The setting of this poem in a salax taberna [lecherous tavern] recalls the mention of Durrachium Hadriae tabernam [Dyrrachium, the tavern of the Adriatic] in the preceding poem. 62 Catullus gives a clear indication of where the tavern is located, situating it southwest si de of the Forum among the so called old shops'. 63 The Capped Brothers mentioned here refer to Castor and Pollux the Gemini or Twins' of the Zodiac. A large number of comrades [ contubernales ] inhabit this tavern, all of whom Catullus threatens to face fuck [ irrumare ]. Why have these men warranted such a response from Catullus? The answer is delayed until the second half of the poem: Lesbia has fled Catullus and settled herself there for sexual purposes The meter of the poem is limping iambics, which, with the numerous linguistic allusions to poem 8, tie the two together. T he line amata nobis quantum amabitur nulla [loved by us as much as none will be loved] from poem 8 (line 5) recurs here with slight adaptation at line 12: amata tantum quantum amabitur nulla [so loved as none will be !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 62 36.15 63 Wiseman (1987), p. 26


25 loved]. The allusion to poem 8 relates this poem to the Lesbia poems and gives identity to the puella present here. It also serves to recall the out of control puer of p oem 8, whom Catullus once again embodies through his exaggeration of Lesbia's actions. Catullus wants the reader to read the poems in a similar manner through the ir shared subject matter Catullus' failing relationship with Lesbia and their shared character Lesbia the puella / meretrix The language of the entire poem evokes the miles [braggart soldier] of Roman comedy, through its association with military vocabulary and its portrayal of Catullus 64 The use of the word contubernales [comrades] in line 1 immediately associates the poem with military vocabulary. 65 The word is used to refer to fellow tent mates in the army. Other military words are used throughout the poem. The magna bella of line 13 are the great battles' Catullus has engaged in with his rivals for Lesbia's affection. In comedy, the miles waged battles on behalf of his love interest, the puella The use of pro qua [on her behalf] o n the same line recalls this The verb consedit in line 14 from consedere has military con notations as well. It can mean to set up camp' or to take up a post' as well as refer to soldier equipped for battle. 66 The taberna which the contubernales inhabit, can mean 'tent' in a military context. 67 The association of Castor and Pollux with the pil leus [cap] may have its own connections to military vocabulary. While the pilleus was typically a hat given to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 64 Or even of the seru us callidus who commands his allies (or his tricks) with language rem iniscent of military metaphor. C f. Duckworth (1952), p. 337 65 Its use also shares some influence from Hipponax fr. 115, where the target is a "# $ %&' [companion; comrade] who wronged the speaker a nd is the object of similar abuse. 66 Cf. Livy 8.8.10 : Triarii sub vexillis c onsidebant sinistro crure porrecto [The Triarii were kneeling under their banners with their left legs extended]." 67 Wray (2001), p. 84


26 freedmen when they were manumitted 68 it also was associated with the Spartans, who were supposedly accustomed to fight in pillei 69 There is a repetition of initial con sounds in the poem: contubernales (1), confutuere (5), continenter (6), and consedit (14) that serves to emphasize Catullus' anger The word semitarii [those who frequent the backalley] is a frequentative creation from the word semitae [backalley] found only here. 70 Lesbia's lovers and their association with alleyways is evocative of comedy. 71 In Plautus' Curculio when Curculio accompanies Cappodax and Lyco and defrauds the banker in order to obtain Planesium for himself instead o f for the miles Therapontigonus, the choragus enters to make an extended monologue on the types of people one can find in and around the Forum including the alleys In this monologue, the longest in Plautus' plays, the temple of Castor and Pollux is menti oned, where quibus credas male [those whom you shouldn't trust]" inhabit. The deception of Lesbia in poem 37 and the contubernales willing participation in her adultery, fall much into the same characterization as mentioned in the Curculio since Catullus cannot trust Lesbia and the contubernales Furthermore, Lesbia herself is later associated in poem 54 (line 4) with the alleyways and crossroads of the city: Caeli, Lesbia nostra, Lesbia illa, illa Lesbia, quam Catullus unam plus quam se atque suos amaui t omnes, nunc in quadriuiis et angiportis !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 68 C f. Plautus Am 462 69 C f. Wray (2001), p. 85 where he cites a gloss: pugnare mos pilleatis est [it is custom to fight wearing caps]. 70 Quinn (2009), p. 205 71 C f. the similarity of the moechi to the scortillum of poem 10, who is also found in the streets of Rome.


27 glubit magnanimi Remi nepotes. 5 Caelius, our Lesbia, that Lesbia, Lesbia herself, whom Catullus loved alone more than himself and his friends, now strips down the grandchildren of courageous Remus in the crossroads and backalleys. Lines 2 3 recall line 12 of poem 37 above and line 5 of poem 8, using almost the sam e vocabulary and theme Catullus is again portayed as out of control over his loss of Lesbia and his jealous mind drives him to think of her performing sexual acts in the streets. The mention of Remus in line 5 recalls the repetition of Cinaede Romule in poem 29. These shared traits link the poems together through theme a nd inspiration from the comedic tradition. The initial gemination reduplication of words of Lesbia and illa in the first two line s of the poem is used here to evoke the sympathy of th e reader In come dy its use evoked sympathy, as in Plautus' Casina 621, when Paradalisca uncovers a murder plot and pleads with her master Lysidamus: "nulla sum, nulla sum, tota, tota occidi [I am nothing! I am nothing! I'm dead, completely dead!" 72 Catullu s is acting in a similar manner here, tryi ng to arouse Caelius' sympathy all while exaggerating Lesbia's actions I nstead of the miser or puer adulescens of poem 8, Catullus uses the role of miles gloriosu s, along with military vocabulary T he theme which he treats that of the loss of the puella a common love interest of the amorous miles and the exaggerated bravado the miles uses to intimidate his opponents are better suited for this poem The miles is a character who uses exaggerated language in recount ing his exploits. Catullus mirrors Antamoenides in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 72 Duckworth (1 952), p. 344


28 exaggerating the number of men Lesbia is sleeping with, as Antamoenides exaggerates the number of men he kills. In lin es 6 8, Catullus makes a threat to face fuck all two hundred contubernales He has pres umably engaged in such acts before, since in line 13 he says sunt magna bella pugnata [great battles have been fought], implying such struggles to attain Lesbia's here in the role of puella (line 11) affection have been fought before. The sexual puns, from the very first line in which the taberna is salax because of the contubernales [which can also refer to sexual partners], 73 coupled with the roles of miles and puella show how Catullus' extreme jealousy and affection for Lesbia can devolve into comedy. Ca tullus becomes an exaggerated comic figure in his over the top threat to perform irrumatio on two hundred men at once. Again Catullus is mocking himself through association of comedy. The final two poems to be dealt with in this chapter are connected in their use of characters. In both poems 10 and 36, Catullus evokes a puer adulescens who is undermined by the clever meret r ix callida (Varus' amica [girlfriend] and Lesbia respectively) first by being caught in a lie and then through the use of a witty joke at his own expense. Poem 10 Varus me meus ad suos amores visum duxerat e foro otiosum scortillum (ut mihi tum repente visum est) non sane illepidum neque invenustum; huc ut venimus, incidere nobis 5 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 73 C f. Adams (1982), p. 161


29 sermones varii, in quibus, quid esset iam Bithynia, quo modo se haberet, et quonam mihi profuisset aere. respondi id quod erat nihil neque ipsis nec praetoribus esse nec cohorti, 10 cur quisquam caput unctius referret praesertim q uibus esset irrumator praetor, nec faceret pili cohortem. 'at certe tamen,' inquiunt 'quod illic natum dicitur esse, comparasti 15 ad lecticam homines.' ego (ut puellae unum me facerem beatiorem) 'non' inquam 'mihi tam fuit maligne ut, provincia quod mala incidisset, non possem octo homines parare rectos.' 20 (at mi nullus erat nec hic neque illic, fractum qui veteris pedem grabati in collo sibi collocare posset.) hic illa, ut decuit cinaediorem, 'quaeso' inquit 'mihi, mi Catulle, paulum 25 istos c ommoda: nam volo ad Serapim deferri.' 'mane' inquii puellae,


30 'istud quod modo dixeram me habere... fugit me ratio: meus sodalis Cinna est Gaius is sibi paravit; 30 verum utrum illius an mei, quid ad me? utor tam bene quam mihi pararim -sed tu insulsa male et molesta vivis, per quam non licet esse neglegentem!' My dear Varus had taken me, having nothing better to do, out of the forum to check up on his girlfriend, a hot little bitch (as she immediately appeared to me then), who was not entirely lackin g in smarts or sex appeal As we came there, different conversations sprang up among us, such as: what was happening in Bithynia, how it was there, and what money I had made there. I stated the facts that there was nothing there for the people, for the pra etors, f or their retinue, nor any way that a guy could grease up his finances especially those who had a b astard praetor who didn't give a damn about his followers. "But certainly," they said, "you nevertheless bought litter bearing men there, since they are the local product." And I (so that I might pass myself off as pretty rich to the girl) said, "It wasn't so bad for me that, even though the province had fallen on hard times, I couldn't assemble eight straight backed men." (Even though I had not a sing le man neither here nor there, that could hold the cracked foot of a tiny old bed on his neck.) At this the girl, as befits a more shameless whore, said, "I beg you, my dear Catullus, to lend me them as a favor for I want to be carried away to the temple o f Serapis." "Wait a second," I said to the girl, "that thing which I just now


31 said that I had... I wasn't thinking... my friend that is Cinna... Gaius Cinna he got them for himself. Really though, whether they belong to him or to me, what's it matter to me ? I use them as well as if I had bought them. You are a tasteless pest, someone you can't be careless with." Poem 10 recreates a scene of comedy. The poem presents the reader with a colloquial dialogue. Numerous asides to the reader, analogous to the asi des made by actors to the audience in Plautine comedy as a form of indirect stage direction, also occur frequently. 74 These combine to form an anecdote that could have been found in a comedic play. In the poem, Catullus is taken to visit his friend's girlfriend. He finds the girl surprisingly pleasant at first, acknowledging how she can appreciate the wit and charm that characterize the Roman urbani 75 He and his friend discuss Catullus' recent stay i n Bithynia, eventually focusing on the subject of money. 76 Catullus mentions that there is not money for the locals there nor for those of higher rank. The conversation eventually turns to talk of the local product of the region, which is apparently known f or its strong men. Catullus chooses to stretch the truth a bit to show off to his friend's girl and to say that he acquired eight such men even though the province was in such a state of financial ruin. He makes an aside to the reader disclosing the truth of the matter. The aside sets up the next part where the girl asks to borrow the men, catching Catullus in his own lie. Catullus' association of the puella with a cinaedus and his closing re marks on how bothersome she is underscore his displeasure. He !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 74 Asides in comedy serve to give vital information to the audience. C f. Duckworth (1952), pp. 109 11 75 Quinn (2009), p. 122 76 The use of quonam serves to emphasize this.


32 stum bles over his words, writing in a disjointed style that shows him trying to cover up his lie. Numerous elisions between words and the confused word order show the hurried speech he employs trying to save himself. Line 31 has a large amount of elision to s imulate the rushing, stumbling speech that Catullus is using to cover up his tracks. Elision is shown in parentheses : fugit me ratio: meus sodalis Cinn(a) est Gaius is sibi paravit; 30 ver(um) utr(um) illius an mei, quid ad me? The enjambment of est between Cinna and Gaius (his praenomen ) coupled with the elision between Cinn(a) est is an indication of stumbling speech. Catullus mentions Cinna's last name first, while slurring his words, before then mentioning his friend's first name, as if he forgo t it in his hurry to save himself from being caught in a lie. The double elision of ver(um) utr(um) on the following line further slurs the words as he rushes to explain his mistake. This is something characteristic of comedy where it was used to a great extent in some places, such as Menaechmi 16: tant(um) ad narrand(um) argument(um) adest benignitas [ such great pleasure it is present to narrate the plot] 77 The use of uiu is [you live/are] in line 33 recalls the use of the verb uiue re [to live] as a su bstitute for esse [to be] in Roman comedy. 78 Line 2 contains the word u isum [to see], the supine form of u idere something also common in comedy used in an epexegetical manner with the main verb duxerat [had led]. It sets up the back story for the main scene' of this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 77 For more examples cf. Duckworth (1952 ), p. 367 78 Quinn (2009), p. 125


33 poem by explaining the purpose of Catullus' journey Catullus rushes through the backstory, giving enough informati on to set the scene up, using the first few lines to transition into the new scene. The overuse of words to emphasize a concept, known as a pleonasm, finds its home in Plautine comedy. It is most often used to add emphasis and often functions similar to the way double negatives do in modern colloquial speech. 79 On lines 9 10 of this poem, Catullus employs the sam e device, stacking up a line of negations (in bold): 80 respondi id quod erat nihil neque ipsis nec praetoribus esse nec cohorti, 10 T he unexpected request of a low scortillum a characte r type widely present in comedy, here catches Catullus off guard. The word is a diminutive form of scortum 81 and is present only her e in Catullus. The creation of novel diminutives was common p ractice for playwrights in Roman Comedy. Plautus coined new diminutives to express tenderness or affection, though as Duckworth notes, they are often used in place of the regular noun form with no great difference in meaning 82 Catullus' use of scortillum mirrors Plautus' use of diminutives in his plays such as ebriola persolla 83 [drunken little mask (here used in the sense of scare/fright) ] In the Curculio Palinur us comments on his master, Phaedromus' affection for the slave girl Planesium. Planesium calls out Palinurus on his disapproval of his master's !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 79 Duckworth (1952), p. 334 80 Quinn takes ipsis and praetoribus separately as I too have done, but others have lumped the two together, in which case the negatives are emphasized all the m ore; c f. Quinn (2009) p. 122 81 C f. 6.5 82 Duckworth (1952), p. 335 83 Curc 192


34 behavior by labeling him as a pest ( odium ), to which he responds in anger calling her an ebriola persolla The second person use of Catullus in line 25 recalls the second person u se in poem 8. While the use of the second person in poem 8 was to juxtapose the outside Catullus commenting and advising the inner Catullus, in this line the framing of the vocative is to set up the scortillum 's witty undermi ning of Catullus' lie. 84 He labels her cinaediorem [more shameless whore] at this poin t, showing his anger at being caught in a lie Varus' puella is depicted with characteristics similar to the meretrix callida of comedy. Catullus brags about the men that he claims to have gather ed while in Bithynia even though he has none as he tells the audience in an aside. Varus' puella asks Catullus to borrow these men to go away to the temple of Serapis, catc hing him in the lie and inadvertantly undermining his tric k. As he states in line four, she is not entirely lacking in wit ( non illepidum sane ). Like the meretrix callida of comedy, she has undermined the male figure of the poem, Catullus, by subverting his power through her request. Catullus is caught off guard at this request as his stumbling speech shows. His quick rushing to cover his lie is an attempt to reassert his power. Poem 36 Annales Volusi, cacata carta, uotum soluite pro mea puella. (nam sanctae Veneri Cupidinique !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 84 Swanson (1963), p. 136


35 uouit, si sibi restitutus essem desi ssemque truces uibrare iambos, 5 electissima pessimi poetae scripta tardipedi deo daturam infelicibus ustulanda lignis. et hoc pessima se puella uidit iocosis lepide uouere diuis.) 10 nunc o caeruleo creata ponto, quae sanctum Idalium Vriosque apertos quaeque Ancona Cnidumque harundinosam colis quaeque Amathunta quaeque Golgos quaeque Durrachium Hadriae tabernam, 15 acceptum face redditumque uotum, si non illepidum neque inuenustum est. at uos interea uenite in ignem, pleni ruris et infacetiarum. annales Volusi, cacata carta. 20 Annales of Volusius, chapters of crap, fulfill a vow for my girl. (For she vowed to sacred Venus and to Cupid that, if I were brought back to her and stopped brandishing my savage iambics, she would give most select writings of the worst poet to the slow footed god to be burnt upon ill fated wood. And the wicked girl saw that she vowed this wittily to the jestful


36 gods.) Now, O Goddess born from the sky blue sea, you who dwell in Idalium and exposed Urii and in Ancon and reedy Cnidos and Amathus and Golgi and Dyrrachium the tavern of the Adriatic, enter this vow as received and paid, if it is neither witless nor without the charm of Venus. But meanwhile come into the fire, full of coarseness and tastelessness, Annales of Volusius, chapters of crap. The central focus of this poem is the misleading vow of Lesbia. Lesbia has made a vow to Venus and Cupid, the gods of love, to have Catullus return to her on the condition that he cease his abusiv e poetry. In return for the fulfillment of this vow, she will burn the choicest works of the worst poet. When Lesbia vows to offer to the gods the choicest works of the worst poet, Catullus pretends to assume she intends to burn the Annales of Volusius, wh en Lesbia is in fact alluding to his own abusive poetry. She does this to stop his savage iambics [ truces iambos ] 85 Catullus assumes a mock serious tone in response to her jesting [ iocosis ] by assigning her the title pessima puella [wicked girl] clearly in reference to her identification of his poetry as the best of the worst poet [ electissima pessimi poetae ]. 86 The second half of the poem has an epic feel to it and contrasts sharply with the first half. In it, Catullus invokes Venus in prayer to make his ow n vow to the gods in response to Lesbia's. His vow is to offer up the choicest works of the true worst poet, Volusius, and to please the god dess by using this witty poem to frame his vow. The descriptions of Catullus and Lesbia as pessimus poeta and pessi ma puella !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 85 Poem 37 seems a likely candidate for one of the poems. C f. Polt (2010); the use of iambos also links to Archilochus. C f. Hadrian AP 7.674 where Archilochus' poetry is identifie d as ()** + ,"#' ./0&)' [raging iambs] and Wray (2001), p. 168 86 C f. c. 49.5 6


37 respectively are similar to Plautus' Pseudolus 87 The titular slave [ seru us callidus ], Pseudolus, celebrates the victory he has achieved in humiliatin g his old master, Simio, and defrauding the leno Ballio, earlier in the play. While celebrating this (potentially temporary) victory, Simio calls him a pessumus homo There could be a relation here to the use of pessimus and pessima in the poem above, since they share similar themes of witty victory ov er two parties (Lesbia and Volusius; Ballio and Simio). The real wit is not that Lesbia thought she was playing a neat trick when she offered up Catullus' poetry, but Catullus and his ability to adapt this vow to the Annales of Volusius by demonstrating th e value of his poetry in the poem he wrote defending his poetry. Lesbia here assumes the figure of Ballio, thinking that she outwitted Catullus in making this offering to the gods. 88 The tardipedi deo of line 7 is Hephaestus the limping god. The epithet i s unique to Catullus and was probably used here to parody Volusius' work in mock solemn language. Its proximity to the iambos of line 5 makes a very different connection The use of the choliambic meter in some of Catullus' poems is characterized by its l imping' nature and was also called limping iambics. The limping god here connects the limping nature of some of Catullus invective evoking iambos alongside comedy. The adjective harundinosam [reedy] in line 13 is another epithet and hapax legamenon The word ustulanda is attested only here in early literature. These words may also parody Volusius' work in their mock epic quality. There are several references to other poems in this poem The repetition of the initial line: Annales Volusi, cacata ca rta recalls the repetition of the initial line back in poem 8 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 87 C f. Plautus Pseudolus 1310; c. 55.10 88 Ballio is confident in his outmaneuvering of Pseudolus in Pseudolus' attempts at defrauding him of his money. cf. Plautus Pseudolus 1052 1102; Polt (2010) pp. 99 100


38 where the repetition created a cyclic nature for the poem emphasizing Catullus' indecision and continuous reflection on his relationship It s use here functions as another parody of Volusius' work, recreating the unending feel associated with it. 89 The use of Veneri Cupidinique in line 3 also recalls poem 3 where it is fi rst used (line 1). This contextualizes the poem situating firmly among the Lesbia poems and invective poems through its relati on to poem 95 along with its use of choliambics. 90 Repetition of similar words balances the poem In lines 10 and 17, the use of illepidum mirrors lepide and inu enustum recall s the recipient of this address, Venus. 91 L esbia made a witty vow to the gods, who were known for t heir appreciation of such jokes. Catullus replies with his own wit He plays with words in a manner to appea l to the gods appreciation for such jokes. The words further recall the puella in poem 10, who was neither uncharming [ illepidu m ] nor unattractive [ inu enustum ] perhaps to associate Lesbia's actions with the actions of Varus' girlfriend 92 Catullus further develops his joke by paralleling Lesbia's identification of him as pessimus poeta with his identification of Lesbia as pessima puella The long list of places associated with Venus during her invocation on line s 11 15 is typical The majority of the locations were famed for their association to Venus via cultic practice. 93 It is likely that each of the locations had a temple dedi cated to Venus. Morgan sees these places as functioning as simple stopping places for someone traveling across !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 89 C f. c. 95.3 where Volusius' work is likened to Hortensius' fifty thousand line long poem: milia cum interea quingenta Hortensius uno ... [meanwhile Hortensius (wrote) fifty thousand (verses) in one (year)]". 90 cf. S klen‡r (1996), p. 58 91 Since inu enustum was etymologically derived from Venus. 92 c. 10.4 93 Idalium, Golgi, and Amathus were all renowned sites for cultic worship of Venus. cf. Morgan (1980), pp. 60 1


39 Greece, perhaps on a pilgrimage, 94 though the mention of Dyrrachium, the tavern of the Adriatic [ Hadriae tabernam ], seems indicative of comic all usion. Plautus' Menaechmi (258 62) mentions Dyrrachiu m, saying that : voluptarii atque potatores maxumi; tum sycophantae et palpatores plurumi 260 in urbe hac habitant; tum meretrices mulieres nusquam perhibentur blandiores gentium. Debauchers and great drinkers, tricksters and many flatterers live in that city. Courtesan women there are said to be more captivating than no other race. T he mention of meretrices mulieres [courtesean women] reflects the character of Lesbia, who functions in a role much like the meretrix callida through her deception of Catullus in offering up his worst poems The association of Dyrrachium as a tavern as well couples the poem with the foll owing poem 37, which takes place in a tavern and is full of tasteless characters like those that are associated to Dyrrachium by Plautus. The association with poem 37 is further reflected in the actions of Lesbia. In both poems, Catullus feels betrayed by Lesbia's actions. In this poem Lesbia betrays him by offering up his poems for sacrifice. In poem 37 she betrays him by leaving him for other men. Having been accused by Lesbia for being pessimus poetae Catullus is proving his worth by showing the variety of styles he can employ, even in the length of a single twenty !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 94 Morgan (1980), p. 61


40 line poem. The two part division of poem 36 is well balanced. The first part of the poem outlines the problem that Catullus is confronted with. Lesbia has decided to offer up his poems as a se lection of the best of the worst. Catullus pretends she is joking, why else would she do this? The second part of the poem has puzzled many scholars and has been a subject of debate. The tone of the poem immediately changes from a light hearted, abusive po em to something that alludes to the epic tradition. The extended invocation of Venus in formulaic fashion that dominates the second half of the poem breaks up the flow of the narrative. Here Catullus uses epic style and vocabulary to change the style of th e poem. Wray points out several parallels between poem 36 and Theocritus' Idyll 15. 95 The two poems have a shared epic tone with numerous cultic epithets and puellae [girls] who are making aesthetic judgments In Theocritus' Idyll after the puellae commen t on the appearance of the palace they have come to and the life like quality of its art there follows a n invocation much like in Catullus. The one difference however is that a brief comedic interlude takes place where the women are asked to stop speaking in their Doric accents. There may be then a connection between the poems Catullus may have had this comic scene in m ind when he remarked how Lesbia thought herself charming and witty when she made her vow, just as Theocritus' puellae think they are charming and witty when talking in their Doric accent. 96 Poem 36 is, however, not limited to one specific generic reading. The beauty of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 95 Wray (2001), p. 78 96 T he pleni ruris of line 19 doubly illustrates its point. The Annales are non urbane and seem to be the stuff of inarticulate countrymen. The meter here too illustrates this point as a spondaic word is followed by a trochaic where no pause is observed as to be expected. This jarring metrical feature further emphasizes the rustic tastelessness of the work. cf. Townend (1980), p. 135; There rustic origins are discuss in c. 95.7, where Catullus mentions their origin in Padua.


41 Catullus is, as has been seen, the combination of many different literary traditions which he employs in the construction of his poems. The roles of stock characters in his poetry acts as a nod of inspiration from the comedic practices of Rom an comedy and are comple mented with language typical of comedy. The poems, however, are not single faceted. They are open to multiple interpretations and display a number of different literary influences.


42 Chapter 2 Oratorical Invective The practice of o ratory in Rome incorporated two concepts: laus [praise] and u ituperatio [invective ] which were employed in speeches to either praise or degrade an individual Laus was used by the orator to elevate himself over his opponent, while uituperatio was used to lower the audience's opinion of the opponent The two often played an intertwined role, as in Cicero's In Pisonem when Cicero compares hi s actions to those of Piso's. Cicero demonstrates how his own were superior and how Piso's disgraced him. 97 Arena split s uituperatio further into three broad categories that were employed to shame the target: external circumstances such as birth and wealth, physical characteristics such as strength and appearance, and qualities of character [ u irtutes animi ] su ch as wisdom and self restraint. 98 Romans often appraised their fellow citizens based on appearance and speech, as the slightest idiosyncrasy evident could betray an underlying moral defect. 99 The orator used s uch a focus on thes e aspects of the target with the int ent to turn the audience's opinion against the target. By emphasizing his opponents' bad qualities, the orator was able to appear better in moral standing by comparison and was able to sway the audience's favor by playing to their emotions si nce, as Cicero says: "people make their judgements more out of love or hate or !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 97 Cicero, In Pisonem 63 98 For a further explanation of these categories, cf. Aren ( 2010 ), pp. 149 15 0. 99 Tatum (2007), p. 334 ; for an example of such cf. Horace, Satires 1.4.124 6


43 desire or rage [ enim multo homines iudicant odio aut amore aut cupiditate aut iracundia ] 100 These attacks were delivered with humorous elements delivered succinctly [ uno saepe in uerbo positum ], in order to incite laughter [ mouere risum ] The opponent, shamed by such attacks and belittled by the demoralizing humor brought against him, would have little standing to defend himself while the orator who delivered the attack would be praised for his skill and urbanity [ quod eruditum, quod urbanum ] 101 As Cicero states, however: "it is one thing to slander, but another thing to accuse 102 Here Cicero draws an important line. Accusation [ accusare ] requires a crime to outline the matter [ rem ut definiat ] to prove a target's impropriety [ argumento probet ] and to confirm this with the testament of a witness [ teste confirmet ]. Slander [ maledictio ] on the other hand, has no real goal besides insulting [ nihil habet propositi praeter contumelia m ] 103 Oratorical invective whi le abusive in its means was characterized as more rest rained than other abusive genre s It refrained from abuse for the sake of abuse and instead required proper accusation relevant to the crime at hand to denigrate its target 104 Vituperatio The invective that Roman orators employed was more restraine d than that seen in the abuse poetry of Greece. The orator did not want to use such vile language that his dignitas [dignity] was soiled, but rather kept his reputation intact thr ough the use of clever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 100 C f. Cicero, De Orator e 2.178 101 C f. Cicero, De Orator e 2.236 102 Cicero, pro Caelio 6. sed aliud est male dicere, aliud accusare. 103 Ibid., Recklessly or wittily repectively. 104 C f. Corbeill (1996), pp. 18 9 Invective referred to the real argument by supplementing rather than supplanting it; Ibid., pp. 19 21.


44 allusion and various circumlocutions. 105 The language was thus more restrained and less obscene and was delivered in a way that not only shamed the target but also demonstrated the reserved, upstanding manner of the speaker. 106 There are several themes in Catullus' abusive poetry that are parallel with common oratorical uituperatio Many of his poems focus on the physical aspects of his target, especially the os impurum Catullus also enjoys playing with names, much in the way C icero does in his speeches. Finally, Catullus displays an aggressive sense of masculinity, especially when his own is under attack. Physical Deformities Often oratorical invective focused on the ph ysical defects of the opponent. An attack based on a person's physical deformities could have lasting ramifications, since t here were numerous responses to physical deformation such as the killing of deformed children and the barring of deformed people fr om political office, making it a useful means of attac k in oratorical invective 107 T he face's appearance was of special importance to both the Greeks and the Romans. Its deformity could imply that the person was of low virtue. A physical defect in general gave the afflicted person a sense of otherness that exc luded them from the same social groups of their fellow Romans. 108 Cicero's famous attack on Vatinius focused on his numerous swellings to generalize this physical defect first to his inner morals and then throughout his !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 105 Arena (2010), p. 154 106 In this c ase, by emphasizing the typical masculine qualities associated with an ideal Roman: disciplina, pietas, fides, fortis, integer et al. ; C f. Manwell (2007), pp. 113 4 107 Corbeill (1996), p. 25 108 Corbeill (1996), p. 56


45 entire body to create the image of Vat inius as a monster In essence, a person's u ultus [appearance] displayed their mores [habits]. The use of such jokes in oratory were however, not to be too tasteless lest they seem to be made by a scurra [clown] or mimicus [mime], through base language and rude gestures respectively 109 Names Often the cognomen of a person was attacked based on its physical or moral connotations. 110 In Rome any free Roman male had two or more names: a praenomen which is similar to a first name and was used to differentia te a person fro m their siblings, a nomen which identified the f amily that a person belonged to, and often a cognomen which was a nickname. E ven though not necessarily indicative of the person named, these were often open to attack in a political debate. Cicero attacked Bambalio [the Stutterer] in his Third Phi li p pic in such a manner. The actual physical aspect of the trait was attacked (his stutter) and the corresponding moral negatives were emphasized (his ineloquence in speaking). 111 Catullus assigns the cognomen Mentula [cock] to Mamu r ra, which eventually culminates in transforming him into a mentula magna minax [great menacing cock] in poem 115. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 109 Corbeill (1996), p. 27 110 There was punning not only in political debates but also by actors and the public. The name Pompeius was punned on by a tragic actor, Diphilus, when he said that Pompeius was a great [ magnus ] contributor to his misery. Corbeill (1996), pp. 80 1 111 Bambali o was nicknamed such because of his hesitancy in speech. Cicero Phil 3.16; Corbeill (1996), pp. 57 8


46 The Os Cicero repeatedly attacked the os impurum [unclean mouth] in his works A person who has engaged in any excess or demeaning activit y involving the mouth, such as overeating, drinking to excess, or oral sex, had an os impurum The mouth was considered stained by its association with objects such as genitalia and urine, and was said to be impurum due to i ts sme ll or appearance. An especially clean mouth too was under suspicion as it could indicate attempts at covering up the stain. 112 Cicero attacks t he smell of the os in his speech against Verres where he says that not even beasts [ bestiae ] could stand the stench of Apronius' mouth. 113 A stained mouth was also associated with incestual practices through the expected sexual associations and the more general immoral behavior 114 In relation to the os Cicero restrains his language and reserves it for those of mu ch lower social standing The attack of the os is avoided in Cicero's discussion of Marc Antony vomiting in public, while focused on when he charges Sextus Cloelius with incest 115 Even when mentioning the Cloelius' os he resorts to double entendre as in D e Domo Sua 83: inuenient hominem apud sororem tuam occultantem se capite demisso [they wil l find the man [Cloelius] at your sister's house hiding himself with his head lowered]." Masculinity Roman oratorical invective was a social practice designed to alienate its target from !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 112 Richlin (1992), p. 26 113 Cicero Verr 2.3.23; cf. C orbeill (1996), pp. 110 1 ; It includes language that recalls poem 37 of Catullus as well in its ins istence on a person or group of people, alone, experiencing something. 114 Cicero De Domo Sua 25, 26; Richlin (1992), pp. 26 30 has a discussion of this conc ept broadly, and w ith Cicero p. 99 and with Catullus p. 149 51. 115 Cf. Corbeill (1996), p. 105 ; Richli n (1992), p. 99


47 the greater Roman society by portraying them as exemplifying non masculine traits while simultaneously elevating the speaker as one who righteously upheld the correct, ma sculine traits that h is fellow citizens praised The se included both physical ( fortitudo [brave ry ], potestas [strength ]) and mental traits ( fides [trust], u irtus [virtue]). Without these traits a man was not considered a uir bonus [good man] and was instead accused of having mollitia [softness] an attribute of women. 116 Cicero attacks Marc Antony on charges of mollitia in his second Phil ip p ic He says Antony took up the toga of manhood [ sumpsisti uirilem ] and immediately made it a t oga of womanhood [ togam muliebrem redd id isti ]. 117 Catullus' poetry is replete with similar attacks Poem 16, written in defense of his poetry, serves to humiliate Furius and Aurelius, who charge Catullus with mollitia based on his poetry. Catullus asserts hi s own masculinity through sexual threat in return. Conclusion The public nature of oratorical delivery necessitated that the attacks on figures be of a reserved enough nature that the speaker did not harm his own dignitas in the act of u ituperatio against an opponent a telling difference from the similar, but less reserved iambic abuse also present in Catullus' poetry. It is also certain that Catullus' readers would be familiar with oratorical practices. Performances in the Forum of speeches from the rostrum reached the ears of practically every Roman citizen. Catullus' re aders would have recognized thes e types of attacks in his poetry. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 116 C f. Manwell (2007) for a deeper discussion. 117 Cicero, Philippics 2.44.


48 Powerful political figures are common objects of Catullus' abuse, such as Caesar and Pompey, but, as will be see n, his language is often reserved w hen attacking these figures analogous with oratorical invective. The form of attack foc used on many aspects, including attacking the opponent's origins and family, attacks on character, financial problems, appearance, and habits. I am going to concentrate on the four features I have discussed as they seem particularly central to many of Catullus' abusive poems: the physical defects of a person as displaying inner corruption, the abuse of a cognomen or use of a pseudonym, a focus on the os impurum and the violation of the character i s tics making a uir bonus Poem 29 Quis hoc potest uidere, quis potest pati, nisi impudicus et uorax et aleo, Mamurram habere quod Comata Gallia habebat uncti et ultima Britannia? cinaede Romule, haec uidebis et feres? 5 et ille nunc superbus et superfluens perambulabit omnium cubilia, ut albulus columbus aut Adoneus? cinaede Romule, haec uidebis et feres? es impudicus et uorax et aleo. 10 eone nomine, imperator unice, fuisti in ult ima occidentis insula,


49 ut ista uestra diffututa mentula ducenties comesset aut trecenties? quid est alid sinistra liberalitas? 15 parum expatrauit an parum elluatus est? paterna prima lancinata sunt bona, secunda praeda Pontica, inde tertia Hibera, qua m scit amnis aurifer Tagus: nunc Galliae timetur et Britanniae. 20 quid hunc, malum, fouetis? aut quid hic potest nisi uncta deuorare patrimonia? eone nomine urbis o piissimi socer generque, perdidistis omnia? Who can see this, who can endure this, unl ess he is shameless, gluttonous, and a gambler, that Mamurra has the riches, which longhaired Gaul and remote Britain used to have? Faggot Romulus, will you see and endure such things? Will that man, overblown and overflowing, even now do the rounds over everyone's bed, as a little white dove or Adonis? Faggot Romulus, will you see and endure such things? You are shameless, gluttonous, and a gambler. In his name, peerless emperor, have you been at the farthest island of the West, so that this fucked out mentula of yours can consume 20 or 30 million sesterces? What is this other than perverse generosity? Did he plow through too little or not glut himself enough? First, his paternal inheritance was squandered, the n the loot from Pontus, then the loot from


50 Spain, which the gold bearing Tagus River knows. Now Gaul and Britain are feared for! Why do you cherish this man, damn it?! What can he do but devour his rich patrimonies? In his name, father in law and son in la w, most devout of Rome, have you squandered everything? This poem introduces the character of Mamurra, who will make appearances in several poems later on either directly or under the pseudonym Mentula This is one of Catullus' more politically oriented poems, targeting both Caesar and Pompey. This may have even been one of the poems that Suetonius in his L ife of Julius describes as hurting Caesar's reputation and causing Catullus' subsequent apologizing. 118 L ater mention of this poem by Pliny, Horace, and Quintilian show that this poem was widely known and had a lasting effect. 119 The poem opens with a series of qu estions that imply that only someone as terrible as Mamurra can understand his actions. In line 10, Catullus identifies the cinaedus Romulus as b eing one of these people The cinaedus referred to here is most likely Caesar himself as he is mentioned more directly in connection with the term cinaedus later on in poem 57: Pulcre conuenit improbis cinaedis, Mamurrae pathicoque Caesarique [ The vile f aggots get along well together, sodomite Mamurra and sodomite Caesar] ". 120 The term cinaedus [faggot] has !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 118 C f. c. 54.7; Suetonius, Jul 73: Valerium Catullum, a quo sibi versiculis de Mamurra perpetua stigmata imposita non dissimuleverat, satis facientem eadem die adhibuit cenae hospitioque patris eius, sicut consuerat, uti perseveravit. [(Caesar) did not disguise the permanent stigma which was placed on him by Valerius Catullus and his verses about Mamurra. On the same day that Catullus apologized, Caesar invited him to dinner, and his relationship with Catullus' father remained just as it used to be.] 119 Quinn (2009), p. 176 : Horace Epodes 4.5, 5.69, and 17.41; Pliny Nat. 36.48; Quintilian 9.4.141. 120 Cameron (1976), p. 161 does make a convincing argument that the term actually refers to Pompey, though the later association of cinaedus with Mamurra and Caesar in poem 57 makes it difficult to decide. C f. Young's view that the term refers neither to Pompey nor Caesar, but instead the average Roman citizen


51 abusive connotations and is often used to refer more to the character of a person rather than sexual proclivity. 121 Caesar has made an expedition out west apparently to indulge Mamurra in his greed, by allowing him to plunder the lands. The lands as far as Spain have been looted by this lackey of Caesar and now Gaul and Britain are next on the list. The poem ends with Catullus asking Caesar why he knowingl y allows this to happen. The squandering of patrimony by Mamurra in the poem closely mirrors a section of Cicero's Pro Sestio where he attacks the consul Gabinius: me ipsum ut contempsit helluo patriae! nam quid ergo patrimoni dicam, quod ille tum cum quaestum faceret amisit? 122 That consumer of his fatherland condemns me, my very self! For why should I say that he is a consumer of his patrimony, which he lost when he was engaged in business? Here Gabinius i s called a consumer of his fatherland [ helluo patriae ] 123 and a consumer of his patrimony [ patrimoni ]. Catullus mirrors this passage by first saying that Mamurra squandered his paternal inheritance [ paterna... bona ] in line 17 124 then, after elaborating on oth er riches that he has squandered, going on to ask what else Mamurra could do than to devour his patrimony [ deuorare patrimonia ] in line 22. The verb deuorare was also used in association with the squandering of wealth that leads to bankruptcy and serves t o further enforce the image of Mamurra as a bankrupter. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!! in Young (19 69), p. 327 121 The term is often used in politics. Cf. Cameron (1976), p. 159 122 Cicero Sest 26 123 Helluo and the elluatus est of line 16 are cognates 124 Notice the wordplay between pat rauit [plowed] in the preceding line and pat erna


52 Three major aspects characterize Mamurra and those who can endure him: they are impudicus [shameless], uorax [gluttonous], and an aleo [gambler]. Catullus is here emphasizing their excessive appetite s for sex, food, and money. The triadic structure of foul characteristi cs associated with Mamurra was common in Cicero. 125 Catullus emphasizes Mamurra 's violation of moderation, as each characteristic is associated with ov erindulgence and a lack of self control. Mamurra is lacking the kind of attributes associated with a uir bonus Tatum argues that the attacks against Caesar and Pompey are not all veiled, citing the labeling of Caesar as cinaede Romule (lines 5 and 9), the use of socer generque (line 2 4), and the association of Caesar with shamelessness, gluttony, and gambling (lines 2 and 10) as being overt attacks. 126 While these attacks are much less veiled than Catullus' attacks against Mamurra, his avoidance of using Caesar and Pompey's actual names keep s up the fa ade of indirect attack. By using thinly veiled language that would immediately evoke the names of Caesar and Pompey to his readers, Catullus is avoiding overt attack against his social superiors. By choosing Mamurra as his target, Catullus is employing a common technique of political attack the attacking of a person of lesser social standing in an attempt to discredit a social superior, in this case both Caesar and Pompey. 127 He uses the term mentula to shame Mamurra and the term Romulus as a n indirect means of attack on Caesar t o undermine his !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 125 C f. Wiseman (1987), pp. 113 4; aside from comedic and oratorical influence, this structure is further paralleled in relation to Archilochian abuse. Wray cites a surviving mention of Critias' criticizing Archilochus calling him: /&123' [adulterer, Lat: moechus ], (.4,&' [lustful], and 5 0%1*"6' [lewd; violent]. Wray (2001), pp. 175 6 126 Tatum (2007), p. 341 127 C f. Corbeill (1996), pp. 116 7


53 character because of his support of Mamurra's actions by calling him impudicus uorax and aleo Calling Mamurra a bankrupter is a common theme of both Catullus' poetry 128 and Cicero's attacks on other people. Poem 79 Lesbius est pulcer. quid ni? quem Lesbia malit quam te cum tota gente, Catulle, tua. sed tamen hic pulcer uendat cum gente Catullum, si tria notorum suauia reppererit. 4 Lesbius is handsome. Why not? It i s he, whom Lesbia prefers over you and your whole family, Catullus. Regardless, let this handsome man sell Catullus along with his whole family as slaves, if he can get three kisses from his acquaintances. Is Lesbius handsome or is he Pulcher? It a ppears that Catullus is referring to Lesbius being the infamous Publius Clodius Pulcher of many of Cicero's invective orations. Clodius was brother to Clodia Metelli, likely the Lesbia of Catullus' poetry. 129 He is the current object of Lesbia's affections, since she prefers him over Catullus' entire family. This does not bother Catullus very much, for Clodius has shame d himself because of his sexual involvement with his own sister Catullus is willing to wager himself and his whole family on Clodius' inability to get kisses from three of his acquaintances. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 128 C f. c. 41 and 43 above 129 C f. Wiseman's chapter on Clodia in Wiseman (1985), pp. 15 53; Introduction above, p.4.


54 Lesbius cannot get three kisse s from his acquaintances Why is this? Lesbius has an implied os impurum The last line of the poem has sexual innuendo that implies that Lesbius is seeking or engaging in oral sex. 130 Lewis and Short define the term suauia as referring to an amorous kiss (synonym of 7 8 (9/# ) that seems as odds with the use of acquaintances'. The use of the subjunctive reppererit in conjunction with the jussive uendat implies that receiving these kisses would be difficult for Lesbius. What is the reason ? It is the smell of his mouth from cunnilingus. 131 The similarity between his name and that of Lesbia has several ramifications : he is committing incest and cannot even f ully do that, to the extent that he has to resort to performing oral sex on her. This could even imply that Lesbius had erectile dysfunction, tripling the abuse lobbied at him. 132 The word pulcer can have sexual connotations as well, mean ing effeminate'. Ca tullus is then c alling Lesbius effeminate and is lambasting his passive sexual practices, which stem from his effeminacy. The mention of Clodius' inability to get kisses [ suauia ] from three friends coupled with the 'effeminate' connotation of pulcer functi ons as innuendo The kisses could refer to oral sex, which coupled with Clodius' effeminacy, imply that he acts as the passive partner in sexual relationships as the one doing the 'kissing'. 133 Cicero attac ks many of his targets, Clodius included, in a simi lar way to Catullus. In his case against Vatinius, he repeatedly makes fun of the man's appearance and the association of his cognomen with his physical deformities Cicero, in his attack on Clodius, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 130 C f. Seneca, Co ntrov. 1.2.9 10 131 The smell of the os was commonly see n as an indicator of oral sex. C f. Richlin (1992), p. 99 132 Skinner points out that cunnilingus was especially despised since it meant that the male involved could not pleasure a woman through penile erection'. C f. Skinner (1982), p. 198 133 Plautus' Menaechmi 595 remarks how three people could condemn someone. The three friends here could be three witnesses to protect Lesbius.


55 repeatedly puns off his cognomen Pulcher, referring to several debasing act ivities he has engaged in, such as invading the rites of Bona Dea in the garb of a woman and also how his poor political relationships have led him to debase himself. 134 Cicero discusses the incest between Clodius and his sister, Clodia, in De domo sua He attacks Clodius' subordinate, Cloelius, saying that: praegustatori libidinum tuarum, homini egentissimo et facinerosissimo, Sex. Clodio, socio tui sanguinis, qui sua lingua e tiam sororem tuam a te abalienau it. 135 To the taste tester of your lusts, to the neediest and most impious man, Sextus Clodius, to the friend of your own blood, who with his own tongue has stolen away your sister from you. Not only is Cloelius being attacked for performing oral sex on Clodia, but the fact that he has stolen away [ abalienau it ] her from Clodius implies that Clodius also engaged in similar practices with her. Catullus may have drawn inspiration from this attack in his own attack here though it is hard to say who borrowed from who since both works wer e composed in the late 50s BCE He has made a three fold play on the word pulcer in similar to Cicero's own wordplay His methods are similar to oratory in their use of the cognomen as a means of attack and their veiled reference to degrading sexual practi ces. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 134 For a broader description, cf. Cicero, De haruspicium responso 21.44 and Ad Atticum 1.16.10 where Cicero refers to Clodius as pulchellus puer [cute little boy]; Skinner (1982), p. 201; Rasmussen (2003), pp. 186 9 135 Cicero, De domo sua 25


56 Poem 43 Salve, nec minimo puella naso nec bello pede nec nigris ocellis nec longis digitis nec ore sicco nec sane nimis elegante lingua. decoctoris amica Formiani, 5 ten prouincia narrat esse bellam? tecum Lesbia nostra comparatur? o saeclum ins apiens et infacetum! Greetings, girl with neither a tiny nose, nor pretty foot, nor with dark eyes, nor with long fingers nor a dry mouth, nor certainly with a very elegant tongue. Girlfriend of the bankrupter from Formiae, does the province say that you are pretty? Is our Lesbia compared with you ? Such an unwise and witless age! Ameana from poem 41 returns, unnamed in this poem. She can be identified as the addressee based on the repetition of decoctoris amica Formiani in line 5, mirroring the use of t he very same line in line 4 of poem 41. It is clear that this poem, like 41, once again backhandedly disgrace s Mamurra by attacking the appearance of his girlfriend. The first half of the poem lists the physical defects in the character of Ameana. Her nose feet, eyes, fingers, and mouth are all lacking in beauty, not to mention the fact that when she opens her mouth to speak nothing elegant comes out. The second half of the poem starts off with a vocative


57 again and asks a series of rhetorical questions bef ore building up to Catullus' comment on the insapiens [lacking in wisdom] and infacetum [witlessness] of the age. T he repetition of nec clauses re jected again and again lays charge after charge on the girl. Catullus is making a checklist of faults in Amea na, to whom Lesbia is compared in line 7. The mention of Lesbia here has drawn attention away from Amea na and focused the poem on being one of the Lesbia poems, but this distracts the reader from the main focus Ameana and her relation to Mamurra. The ling ua of line 4 has multiple interpretations. It could represent Ameana's pronunciation of words, which is made all the more likely by her association with the prouincia two lines later and the proclamation of the infacetum saeculum at the very end of the poe m. Infacetus derives itself from its antonym facetus which as we have seen previously was a quality that defined the urbane in Roman society and set them apart from the lesser refined people of the country. 136 Oratorical practices often fo cused on the reput ation of people outside of Rome being ignorant and untrustworthy. 137 Her inelegant tongue may also be indicative of an os impuru m 138 Coupled with the mention of the nec ore sicco in the previous line, the lingua may also allude to Ameana's sexual practices. Catullus emphasizes the rural background of Ameana in respect to her appearance and morals. The use of prouincia in line 6 serves to juxtapose the values of those in the outside Rome [ Vrbs ] compared to those inside The use of infacetum in relation to the taste of those people from the prouincia portrays them as lacking wit. Ameana's way of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 136 For the juxtaposition between these two ideals, cf. cc. 36.19 and 22.9 14 137 Richlin ( 1992), p. 101 138 For the use of lingua in a sexual sense, cf. c.7.12


58 pronouncing words associates her with these country bumpkins and functions as a means for Catullus to attack and shame her. Catullus goal is to attack Mamurra by showing Mamurra's lack of taste in women through his description of Ameana. 139 He does this in a manner evocative of oratory. Instead of directly targeting Mamurra, Catullus instead focuses on his girlfriend. He attacks her physical features in a restrained manner. He could have compared her mouth to a pissing mule like he does in poem 97, but chooses to describe it only as nec sicco The girl is entirely lacking in physical beauty and her mouth is impurum either through sexual activi ty or by her rustic way of speaking. Catullus does not even identify Mamurra in the poem, but refers to him simply as the bankrupter from Formiae [ decoctor Formianus ]. Lesbia serves a lesser role in this poem than may at first be apparent. She serves as a means of comparison to Ameana in order to shame the girl and, by shaming her, to shame Mamurra. The comparison is mirrored as well. Lesbia is elevated above Ameana and so Catullus over Mamurra. Mamurra is shown to embody the 'unwise and witless age' by being among those who compare Ameana to Lesbia. The prouincia then also labels Mamurra as an outsider through his connection and proximity in the poem to the word. Poem 53 Risi nescio quem modo e corona, qui, cum mirifice Vatiniana !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 139 Though the presence of two poems in the corpus that are addressed specifically to her recall the shaming of Lycambes by Archilochus through shameful depiction of his daughters, see es p. Archilochus, fr. 196A


59 meus crimina Caluos explicasset, admirans ait haec manus tollens, di magni, salaputium disertum!' 5 I laughed just now wh en someone from the assembly when my dear Calvus had beautifully set forth Vatinius' crimes, raised his hands in admiration and said this: "Good God, how elegant a little man!" Poem 53 is set in the courtroom during Calvus' argument against Vatinius. Catullus previously mentioned Calvus in poem 50, which takes the for m of a letter from Catullus to him, and poem 14, where again in a letter Catullus complains about Calvus' taste in literature. The short poem acts as an anecdote inside of the courtroom, during which a member of the audience unknown [ nescio quem ] to Catull us laughs in (mock) admiration at Calvus' eloquence. Corona when used to refer to a group of people as in line 1 of this poem is most commonly associated with judicial assemblies. Its place in the opening line, coupled with the adverb modo [just now], i mmediately puts the poem in the courtroom and sets up the anecdote that is to follow. The bit of dialogue at the end of the poem acts as the punchline, where Calvus is identified as a salaputium disertum [elegant little man]. The word salaputium is a sub ject of some controversy. Scholars tend to agree that the word refers to small stature. 140 It may be !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 140 For a concise summary of scholarly arguments on the meaning and connotation of this word, see Weiss (1996), pp. 353 4


60 related to the Latin word praeputium (foreskin) comparing someone of small size to the small piece of skin Weiss has argued that the word may be of Oscan origin with a meaning approximating to saltshaker' and function in the poem as a regional means of joke making fun of the speaker's dialect 141 I have chosen to translate the word as 'little man', since Calvus was noted for being small 142 The oratorical al lusions in this poem are immediately evident. Line 1 sets the poem in the courtroom and the combination of risi and modo indicate the events take place during Calvus' oration against V atinius. Catullus addresses two of his poems to Gaius Licinius Macer Cal vus, a famous orator and poet. Publius Vatinius was the object of many oratorical attacks from both Calvus and Cicero 143 mainly focusing on the numerous strumae large swellings present on his face and neck. 144 Catullus makes fun of Calvus here in typical orat orical fashion. Whatever the meaning of salaputium it seems to be used in an ironic sense. If it refers to some regiona l word, the joke is on the foreign origins of the man in the audience and his accent If instead, as most scholars accept, it is a remark on stature it is probably pointed at Calvus. It seems more likely that the joke is a comment on some physical aspect of Calvus rather than a joke on the man from the audience, as the reader would expect Catullus to name him if he was the primary t arget. The final position of disertum after salaputium serves to emphasize its force and so expresses the amazement that the man from the audience is feeling at the fact that Calvus can actually deliver a speech. On line 4 Catullus describes the anonymous man !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 141 Weiss (1996), pp. 357 9 142 Another proposition is that the word is a compound of salax [horny] and putium [penis], though there is not significant evidence to support this. cf. Adams (1982), p. 65 143 T hough Cicero later defended him. S ee Cicero, Ad Fam. 5.9 144 C f. c. 52.2 3


61 from the crowd as manusque tollens [raising his hands]. Thomson, in his commentary on this poem, identifies this as a typical gesture of astonishment in oratory. 145 The combination of the final line and the gesture of amazement make s the poem a joke abou t Calvus' ability to deliver oratory. While Calvus was renowned for his oratorical skills, 146 Catullus is implying that he was, as Quinn states, "laying it on a little thick". 147 Poem 39 Egnatius, quod candidos habet dentes, renidet usquequaque. si ad rei uen tum est subsellium, cum orator excitat fletum, renidet ille; si ad pii rogum fili lugetur, orba cum flet unicum mater, 5 renidet ille. quidquid est, ubicumque est, quodcumque agit, renidet: hunc habet morbum, neque elegantem, ut arbitror, neque urbanum. quare monendum est te mihi, bone Egnati. si urbanus esses aut Sabinus aut Tiburs 10 aut parcus Vmber aut obesus Etruscus aut Lanuuinus ater atque dentatus aut Transpadanus, ut meos quoque attingam, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 145 Thomson (2003), p. 3 3 3 146 C f. Sen. Con. 7.4.6 147 Quinn (2009), p. 248


62 aut quilubet, qui puriter lauit dentes, tamen renidere usquequaque te nollem: 15 nam risu inepto res ineptior nulla est. nunc Celtiber : Celtiberia in terra, quod quisque minxit, hoc sibi solet mane dentem atque russam defricare gingiuam, ut, quo iste uester expolitior dens est, 20 hoc te amplius bibisse praedicet loti. Since he has shining teeth, Egnatius smiles on every occasion. If someone comes to the judge's seat, while the orator is rousing tears, he smiles. If someone mourns at the pyre of a loyal son, while his bereft mother is crying over her only child, he smiles. Whatever it is, wherever it is, whatever he is doing, he smiles; he has a disease, neither an elegant one nor as I believe an urbane one. So I must warn you, my dear Egnatius: if you were a Roman, or a Sabine, or a T iburtine, or a stingy Umbrian, or a bloated Etruscan, or a black and toothy Lanuvian, or a Transpadane (to mention my own people, too), or anyone at all who washes his teeth with clean water, I would not want you to smile on every occasion: for there is no thing more tasteless than a tasteless smile. Now you are a Celtiberian. In the Celtiberian country, what everyone pisses, all are accustomed to scrub their tee th and red gums with so that, the cleaner your teeth are, the more urine you are said to have dr unk. The poem is like a speech delivered against the character Egnatius due to Catullus'


63 direct address of him in line 9, as well as the stacking of charges against him throughout the rest of th poem Egnatius is mentioned among the contubernales in poe m 37. Th ere Egnatius is described as: tu praeter omnes une de capillatis, cuniculosae Celtiberiae fili, Egnati, opaca quem bonum facit barba et dens Hibera defricatus urina. 20 And you before all, one of the longhaired youths, son of rabbit filled Celtiberia, Egnatius, whose thick beard makes him upstanding, and whose teeth are scrubbed with Spanish piss. The refer ence to Celtiberia in line 18 of poem 37 reappears in line 17 and is elaborated upon. When first seen in p oem 37, the reference to Celtiberia along with its epithet cuniculosae appears to associate the quality of Egnatius' hair with that of the fine haired rabbits for which Celtiberia was renowned ; it may also have sexual connotations 148 Here the association wi th Celtiberia is elaborated upon to a much different effect the Celtiberians are apparently famous for brushing their teeth with their own urine. In poem 37, Catullus also describes Egnatius as having a thick beard ( opaca... barba of line 19). Combined wit h his well groomed hair and the fact that he has a thick beard, Egnatius is depicted as a model, upstanding Roman citizen. 149 The character of Egnatius changes with the mention of him !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 148 Quinn (2009), p. 205 ; one cannot help but also see the relation of this hapax to the words cunnus [cunt], culus [ass], and cuniculum [excrement], cf. Adams (1982), p. 239. 149 C f. Richlin (1992), p. 100


64 scrubbing his teeth with urine in both poems and extended abuse of him in poem 39; he first appears to be a man of good character, but soon becomes much the opposite. He is aspiring to fit himself among the boni beatique in poem 37 (line 13) rather than the semitarii moechi mentioned later (line 15). What he has in appearance, E gnatius lacks in his actions. Legal vocabulary is prevalent throughout the poem. The use of rei ... subsellium [judge's seat] and orator [orator] at the beginning of the poem in lines 2 3 immediately situate the poem in a trial. The aside on line 8 ut arbit ror [as I believe] also has association with law. The word can be used in the sense of to give judgment or make a sentence' as well as to testify' or give as evidence'. Here it is used more from the standpoint of a witness or an orator making his atta ck, as Catullus seems to be doing, since the information is being set forth as evidence of Egnatius' despicable character. The mention of urbanum in line 8, a word often seen in Catullus 150 originally describes Egnatius' disease as not being urbane' or charming'. On the next line however, it is picked up by the term urbanus which has dual function: it first repeats the fact that Egnatius is not urbane through use with the subjunctive esses [you would be], and then to show that Egnatius is not urbane in the sense that he is also not a Roman. The verbs in the two poems are the same: defricatus [scrubbed] in poem 37 (line 20) and defricare [to scrub] in poem 39 (line 19). Both the mention of Celtiberia and the use of the word defricatus in reference to urine occur at almost the same location in each of the poems. Throughout the poem, Catullus creates many pairs of balanced sentences that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 150 Cf. cc. 57.4 and 22.2, 9.


65 humorously repeat the same conclusion through two very different situations (lines 2 6) In the first, Egnatius smiles when others are moved to tears by the speech of an orator. In the second, however, Egnatius smiles when a mother is moved to tears by the death of her son. The sentences follow a similar form ula to that used in many of Cicero's works : 151 si ad rei uentum est subsellium, cum orator excitat flet um, renidet ille ; si ad pii rogum fili lugetur orba cum flet unicum mater, 5 renidet ille Both sentences follow the formula: si + ad + impersonal verb + subordinate clause with cum + renidet ille ". The above passage is bolded to show the use of this formula. To further help the balance between these two, there is repetition of flet or "pertaining to tears", which I have put into itali cs. The emphasis of both poems falls on renidet ille which should occupy the grammatically superior position in the sentence. At both instances it does this, however it appears enjambed on the next line for added emphasis. The next lines contain more bal anced pairings of thoughts, this time in threes: quidquid est, ubicumque est, quodcumque agit (lines 5 6)". Krostenko points out that there are numerous parallels in the corpus of Cicero that make use of a similar combination of quidquid / quisquis and then cumque word. 152 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 151 C f. Cicero Pis 81; Krostenko (2001), pp. 240 1 152 Krostenko (2001), p. 241 n.6 cites several examples in Cicero. The tripartite formation was see n earlier as being indicative of comedic influence, though Krostenko points out that such a construction with these words is absent from co medy


66 Catullus uses several words to associate Egnatius with the commonness of Celtiberia. The word lotium [piss] in line 21 was used as an obscenity during this time and was associated with baser colloquial language. 153 Its use as a form of mouth wash for Egnatius, serves to give him an os impurum The reader of the poem could imagine on all the occasions that Egnatius smiles, the smell of the urine he used to brush his teeth would be noticeable. The use of russam [reddened] in line 19 also associ ates Egnatius with a lack of sophistication and crudeness being a rustic word for ruber 154 Catullus, in typical oratorical fashion, sets out to discuss negative traits that Egnatius displays. Catullus mentions t he occasions on whi ch Egnatius smiles specifically to denigrate his character as much as possible. The focus that Catullus sets on Egnatius' mouth throughout the poem mirrors the use of os impurum Cicero employs in attacking his enemy's character. His os has a bad smell because it has been sc rubbed with urine. The fact that he has an os impurum conflicts with the manner with which he keeps up his appearance. He has a thick beard, which was indicative of good character, but this mark of good character surrounds the stain of bad that is his mout h. More than that, he also smiles on occasions where a smile is not warranted. His character is further undermined by his insensitivity to other's misfortune, since he smiles even when a mother is crying over the death of her only son. In this chapter, I have noted how the use of restrained language separates oratorical invective from the less restrained iambic abuse to come in the next chapter. I have also noted !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 153 Adams (1982), p. 247 states that lotium was the common, non obscene word in Cato's time before being supplanted by urina 154 Krostenko (2001), p. 256


67 that Catullus' choice of setting for a poem can also be indicative of the type of genre Catull us wants to invoke somehing that will also be helpful for deciding what is Catullan iambos There are shared characteristics between oratory and iambos in their methods of attack but as we will see the differences lie in setting and word choice.


68 Chapter 3 Overview The iambic tradition of ancient Greece is characterized by its abusive language and invecti ve formulas associated with the Greek concept of psogos or blame. The genre of iambos is difficult to define, because of the fragmentary nature of its earliest existence in the corpus of archaic Greek literature. I will avoid attempting to fully define the Greek concept of iambos as there exists much debate over the topic already with not hing e ntirely certain on the subject. 155 Instead, I turn to Catullus to understand what he identified as iambic Several of his poems mention the term iambos which functions as a means to fulfilling threats of abuse. These poems characterize Catullan iambo s as a general abusive type of poetry. They often also allude to two Greek poets ident ified with the iambic tradition, Archilochus and Hipponax. The two major figures of archaic Greek iambos are the poets Archilochus of Paros and Hipponax of Ephesus, who composed invective against their enemies in a manner identified as iambic. 156 The meter s that they used differed from the hexameter of the epic poets and more resembled natural speech. 157 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 155 It is unclear as to whether iambos referred to the content of poetry or to a specific meter. Modern scholarship, however, is of the opinion that it refers more to content than to meter. cf. Rotstein (2007), West (1974), Rosen (2007) For a nice summary of surviving ancient commentary on iambos especially of Archilochus, cf. Rostein (200 7), pp. 3 24, 61 166. 156 C f. Rosen (2007), p. 3 157 Harrison (2005), p. 190


69 Writer s of Iambos Archilochus had a poetic style that differed from the epic works of Homer and Hesiod. 158 His language was straightforwar d and varied with epic and aristocratic values. 159 His poetry was extremely aggressive at times, characterized by its unbridled anger. 160 The s e characteristics set him apart from poets who emulated the great epic poets both in style and vocabulary. He com posed in many meters on a variety of topics, t he most prominent of w hich is his conflict with Lycambes and his family which figures prominently in a number of the surviving fragments 161 Hipponax of Ephesus is another early iambic poet. Like Archilochus, he wrote about many different topics using several meters, although his subject matter is more overtly obscene in com parison to Archilochus 162 Hipponax shar ed a relationship similar to that of Archilochus and Lycambes, with a sculpto r named Bupalus, who affronted Hipponax by making a crude statue of him. Hipponax responded to this offense with angry invective which Pliny said drove him to suicide 163 Alt hough Hipponax composed many abusive poems to discredit his enemies, another aspect of his poetry was his own discreditable depiction of his persona. He characterizes himself as an impotent man ( fr 92) and a pauper ( fr. 32). He also often uses his own name in the poems as the addressee of assault ( frr 32, 36, 37). Like Catullus' use of his own name in the vocative, this is often to target himself. 164 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 158 Wray (2001), p. 167 159 Rotstein (2007), p. 149 160 He was characterized by the poet Callimachus as being "wine drunk" in his writing, setting him as Wray nicely puts it "among the wine guzzl ing he men" rather than "the water sipping nellies (like the refined Callimachus himself)". Wray (2001), p. 169 161 See Carey (1986). 162 Boner (2009), p. 11 163 C f. Bowie (2001), p. 10 ; Pliny, NH 36.11. 164 C f. c. 8.1 above.


70 Characteristics of Iambos Iambic p oetry was not restricted by the same social and lawful restraints that were present in Rome. 165 Thus iambic writers were not limited in their language as orators would be and were free to compose poems employing crude sexual metaphor and coarse obscenity. The shocking language of some of Catullus' poetry demonstrates the freedom of abusive languag e that he sometimes chose to make use of when composing. 166 There is frequent mention of both food and drink among all the early iambic poets, namely in relation to overindulgence, implying a symposiastic setting. 167 They also often used i nvective tropes such as sexual voyeurism or abuse, vilification, and emphasis of incompetence and foolishness in denigrating a target 168 Both poets use sexual abuse throughout their poetry often in the form of narrative or metaphor 169 There are multiple sexu al metaphors in Archilochu involving flowers, especially the myrtle bush. 170 Hipponax is much more overt in its use of sexual vocabulary, avoiding such metaphors, though the shared use of the verb 01 + [to fuck] be tween both of the authors show s that crude sexual depictions were a common characteristic of their poetry. 171 Contrary to the dominant and confident u ir bonus persona of oratorical invective, the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 165 For a greater discussion of the legality of such attacks in the late Republic, see Wray (2001), pp. 117 9 166 For example, compare the depiction of Mamurra as mentula in c. 29 with the disgusting depiction of an executioner's diseased ass and the pissing mule i n c. 97 or licking the botto m of a shoe in c. 98 167 C f. Kantzios (2005), pp. 40 3 168 C f. Kantzios (2005), pp. 44 7 169 West (1974), p. 28; Archilochus: frr. 20, 23, 30 ; Semonides: frr. 16, 17 ; Hipponax: frr. 16, 17 ; cf. Heyworth (2001) 170 F r 30: myrsines [myrtle], rhodes [rose], and anthos [flower]; fr 32: myrton [myrtle]. 171 01 (:) + was seen as the equivalent of a Greek four letter word ; cf. Adams (1982), pp. 119 20 ; obscene sexual vocabulary became strongly tied to the genre and is present in both Greek and Roman autho rs.


71 iambic poet commonly took on the persona of a man in financial need and lacking in resources. 172 This sort of self deprecating character was a stark contrast to the m asculine persona typical of much early literature The character assumed by the poet varied from poem to poem, seldom staying consistent. The "I" of the poem could be a carpenter, a lawg iver or the poet himself real or fictionalized. 173 Archilochus' persona in the surviving narrative fragments of his poetry is varied. At times he has an aggressive, masculine persona (especially when writing about Lycambes), at others he takes on a calmer, feminine persona (like in fr. 23). The use of first person plural pronouns also indicates the presence of several personae speaking in unison, such as in fr. 34. Setting A common place of performance in the Ancient Greek world was the symposium. 174 The deli very of iambos was suited for the more private symposium setting. Rotstein identifies t he private setting as a more ideal place for the poet to deliver dissident views than outside in the polis [city] where the political climate did not afford free speech 175 Archilochus provides evidence for a symposiastic context. The address of named individuals in his poetry in several poems could imply a setting where speakers would take turns delivering their work, for which the intimate setting of the symposium was pa rticularly suited. He clearly indicates such a setting in fr. 124 with the use of such words as ;8,<, [drinking] and =(9>:8' [you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 172 Rotstein (2007), p. 145 173 Kantzios (2005), pp. 76 9 174 For a summary of different arguments concerning setting of iambos and the symposium cf. Rotstein (2010), pp. 1 16 175 Rotstein (2007), p. 151


72 were invited]. 176 Summary To explore iamb os in Catullus we will first look at poems that allude directly to the iambic genre through use of the word iambos and then to look at the poems that are indebted to surviving fragments of iambic poets By looking at the use of iambos and iambic themes in these poems we can better interpret and appreci ate Catullus' poetry As has b een seen above, iambic poems strongly focus on abuse something emphasized in Catullus as well. Archilochean abuse is of special interest, since numerous poems in the Catullan corpus allude directly to several surviving fragmen ts of Archilochus' poetry. Hipponax, Archilochus, and Catullus share a similar interest in the use of obscenity in their abusive poems, sometimes pushing obscenity to the limits of what is acceptable in literature as well as cleverly allud ing to sexual acts through metaphor. The targets of such abusive poems are often named and often may be even the poet himself either through direct address in the vocative or third person reference. Finally while iambic meter can, at times, be divorced from iambic poetry, its will also be considered since Catullus' mention of meter as a form of attack indicates that meter is part of what he defines as iambic Poem 40 Quaenam te mala mens, miselle Rauide, agit praecipitem in meos iambos? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 176 Kantzios (2005), p. 23


73 quis deus tibi non bene aduocatus uecordem parat excitare rixam? an ut peruenias in ora uulgi? 5 quid uis? qualubet esse notus optas? eris, quandoquidem meos amores cum longa uoluisti amare poena. What crazed mind, my poor little Ravidus, drives you headlong into my iambics? What god, poorly invoked by you, is ready to stir up a mindless brawl? Do you want to be known on the mouths of the people? What do you want? What does it please you to be known for? You will be kno wn, since you wanted to make love to my love together with a long... punishment. Catullus is angry with Ravidus, why is this? The answer is delayed to the last line: Ravidus is Catullus' rival in a love affair. 177 Catullus chooses to threaten Ravidus with his iambics. 178 The long series of questions topically and grammatically recalls the questions Catullus asks Lesbia in poem 8, with a similar focus on mouths between 40 .5 and 8.18 and shared repetition of question words The poem en ds with the threat fulfilled, since Catullus' iambics will punish Ravidus for a long time. T he term iambus here evokes the genre of iambos by directly naming it and ties !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 177 The most likely candidate is Iuventius, the object of Catullus' love in many poems. Of the fifteen occurrences of amores in the corpus, its only use as an object of Catullus' love is in c. 15.1 in relation to Iuventius. 178 C f. cc. 36, 54 and the hendecasyll abos of cc. 12, 42


74 together this poem with other poems in the corpus that contain the same phrase. Here there is no relation to the meter, since the poem is in hendecasyllables. T his poem is based directly on an Archilochean model 179 There are numerous analogues in vocabulary between this poem and fr. 172 of Archilochus, which is addressed to his long time enemy and father of his love interest, Lycambes: ;.":% ?)=./0#, ;&$&, @7%.*< "3A:; "8' *B' ;#%6:1%: 7%C,#' D' "E ;%F, G%6%9*>#; ,H, AI AJ ;&(K' L*"&$*1 7#8,:#1 4C(<' Father Lycambes, what were you thinking? Who unhinged your mind, which was once firm? But now indeed you are a big joke to those in the city. The shared subject matter and theme of the two poems are evident Both the poems discuss the insanity of their targets and question its cause. Peru enias in ora uulgi [do you want to be known on the mouths of the people?] parallels the use of L*"&$*1 7#8,:#1 [you appear to those in the city]. The use of quaenam mens [what mind], ;&$&, @7%.*< "3A:; [what were you thinking?], and 7%C,#' [thoughts] a ll share the same subject matter and connotation. Quis [what] and "8' [what] both ask what caused such thinking, here with Catullus elaborating on the original by expanding to quis deus [what god]. The two opening !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 179 Wray (2001), p. 178


75 vocatives miselle [poor little] and ;.":% [father] 180 carry a mock polite air to them that is made clear as the poems develop from what initially seems genuine concern to laughing abuse at the stupidity of the respective addressees. Catullus switches the order of the initial line to lay emphasis on quaenam mens [what mind], delaying the subject Rau ide to the grammatically strong final position. The addition of line 2 departs from the Archilochean model in order for Catullus to evoke iambos using meos iambos The quotation of a passage from Archiloc hus in Lucian's Pseudologistes 1 seems to come from the same poem as fr 172: M =#=3A#1/&, N,>%<;:, "8 0&)(3/:,&' ;&19"J, (.(&, ;#%&OP,:1' @;F *:#)"E, #-"8#' Q9"&H,"# =#F 5;&>C*:1' "&$' -./0&1' ; Oh you poor fool, what do you want in provoking a talkative poet, who is searching for grievances and subjects for his iambs? Wray argues: It is impossible to say whether Lucian's quip about the invective poet's iambic chip on the shoulder reflects lost material from the epode to 'papa Lycambes'... however, the tr adition reflected here by Lucian is likely to have been known to Catullus and so points again toward the 'pre existing form' of an 'iambic,' specifically Archilochean mode of hypermasculine aggression familiar enough that Catullus could invoke it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 180 Here used as a respectful term for addressing an elder.


76 with a s ubtle gesture. 181 If the quote by Lucian comes from a different section of Archilochus or a writer like him, Catullus is evoking iambos as Thomas puts it, through conflation of two separate passages in order to "subsume their versions, and the tradition along with them, into his own". 182 The use of meos iambos [my iambics] parallels the use of "&$' -./0&1' [his iambs]. The shared use of iambos in the poems shows that Catullus recognized this sort of poetry as belonging t o the same genre as Archilochus Th e use of excitare [stir up] in place of ;#%&OP,:1' [provoke] is significant. In Archilochus' poem, it is Lycambes that is the provoker of attack, but in Catullus' the enabler is identified as deus In lieu of this shared theme, Ravidus' madness becomes cle arer he has fashioned himself as a god. Catullus has 'corrected' 183 the original for his own means to abuse Ravidus. Peruenias in ora u ulgi has strong sexual connotations. Peru enias has the connotation of achieving an orgasm and gives a new meaning to the p hrase, by suggesting that instead of being known by traveling from mouth to mouth, Ravidus is inst ead charged with orally penetrating many people 184 Ravidus thus takes on the dominating masculine role, in a poem where Catullus is trying to abuse R avidus. Though speculative, the explanation for this could come in the framing of the metaphor in a question. Catullus is asking Ravidus if he wants to fuck everyone in the mouth, just as he has with the amores of Catullus. Ravidus' sexually dominate role makes mo re sense, considering he has taken Catullus' Iuventius from him and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 181 Wray (2001), p. 180 182 Thomas (1986), p. 193 183 Characteristic of the Alexandrian poets. cf. Thomas (1986), p. 185 184 Adams (1982), p. 144


77 shows no signs of stopping from doing the same with the remaining masses [ u ulgi ]. There are other sexual references as well. Rixa [brawl] has sexual implic ations, as it can pertain to the actual act of sex with violent connotations. 185 Its use in the poem is to show the heedlessness Ravidus observes in his sexual life. The mindless brawl [ uecordem rixam ] is metaphorical for the mindless manner in which Ravidus chases after Catullus' own love interest. Finally, the end of the poem works to deceive the reader with the delaying of poena [punishment] to the final position. Those reading the poem would first see meos amores cum longa uoluisti amare... [you wanted to make love to my love together with a long...] and expect a word like mentula to appear agreeing with longa Instead, they find that Ravidus wanted to love Catullus' loves with the accompaniment of long punishment in exchange for his indiscretion. The ablative changes from means to acc ompaniment and illustrates the poe t's delight in deceiving the reader through misdirection. Catullus' view of what constitutes poetry characteristic of iambic abuse does not see the iambic meter as being a defining factor; poem 40 is evidence for this. Ca tullus has repurposed the hendecasyllabic meter for abusive purposes. Catu llus' threat of iambics is fulfilled by the end of the poem as mentioned above. I t is clear that Catullus chooses to use this word to define the poetry he composes to abuse or gain revenge on a named individual that has wronged him. The poem gives a new interpretation in light of Catullus' use of Archilochean allusion Catullus' Ravidus is a madman like Archilochus' Lyca mbes who has fashioned himself as a god among men in his sexua l exploits, provoking iambics from Catullus, just as !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 185 Adams (198 2), p. 158


78 Lycambes provoked the iambs of Archilochus. Through clever adaptation of his source material, Catullus shows his idea of w hat constitutes iambic poetry. I t is the abusive poetry, which through its use of sexual metaphor and basis in Greek models, serves to attack the named individual in a manner less restrained in language than oratorical invective His out of control persona is not a product of passion, but instead a character crafted from a longstanding tradition. In adapting this material, he also displays a fondness for keeping the sound of the original in his poetry, with the shared alliteration being too consistent for coincidence. The fact that a poem in the Catullan corpus has enough shared materia l with Archilochus creates a starting point for the search for more iambic influence in his other poems, which may not be as obvious. Poem 56 is also based on an Archilochean model : Poem 56 O rem ridiculam, Cato, et iocosam dignamque auribus et tuo cachinno. Ride, quidquid amas, Cato, Catullum: res est ridicula et nimis iocosa. Deprendi modo pupulum puellae 5 trusantem: hunc ego, si placet Dionae, pro telo rigida mea cecidi. Oh what a ridiculous and funny thing, Cato, worthy for your ears and for your laughter. Laugh, Cato, as much as you love Catullus for it is so ridiculous and funny a thing. I just


79 now ca ught a young boy pounding a girl and, if it may please Diana, I fell upon him with my hardened member, using it like a spear. Catullus has a funny anecdote to tell Cato something so funny that Cato must hear it, for it is utterly ridiculous. The punchline is delayed until the end: Catullus found a boy and girl having sex and pu nished the boy with his own member. The vocabulary of the poem con tains several examples of euphemism. The word pupulum [little boy] in line 5 appears only here in Catullus and once elsewhere in Seneca in reference to an old man. Its meaning is 'little boy'. The boy is trusantem puellae or pushing a girl (dative of adva ntage) hard, here in an overtly sexual sense. Catullus, adopting a Priapic presence, punishes the boy by engaging in pedicatio with him, indicating this through innuendo. Catullus uses t elo [spear] in a similar manner to fr. 23 of Archilochus In the fragm ent, Archilochus takes on a feminine persona encouraging a masculine figure to rule over the city, which he has conquered with his spear [ )*+,-( ]. 186 The innuendo present leads to interpretation of this fragment as a sexual pun, much like here in Catullus. 187 Cecidi [I fell upon], too, is used as a euphemism for sex especially as a form of punishment. 188 The poem has a large quantity of alliteration [in bold] that adds to the playful feel of the passage: O re m ri dicu la m, Ca to, et i oco sam dignam qu e au ri bus et t uo cachi nn o !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 186 L ine 19 187 Compare Greek R 42&' [spear] and Latin telum [spear; missile]. Adams shows how the words were often euphemistic for the penis, namely in misquoting Homeric poetry. Adams (1982), pp. 19 20; cf. cc. 56.7 [ pro telo ] and 116.7 [ tela ] 188 Adams (1982), p. 145


80 Ri de, qu id qu id amas, Ca t o Ca tullum: re s est ri dicu la et nimis i oco sa. De pren di m odo pupulu m puella e 5 tr usan te m: hu nc eg o si pl ace t Di onae, p ro telo ri gida mea ceci di. This poem is modeled on a fragment from Archilochus, 168: S %# */&,8A9 T#%8(# : 2%U /. "&1 4: (&$ &, @ %C < ;&(V 78( "#>W !"#8 %< "C %X: #1 AW L=&P<,. Charila [Charm], son of Erasmonos [Darling], I must tell you something funny, dearest by far of all my friends, you will be delighted when you hear it. The Latin contains numerous references to this passage, including as Heyworth has pointed out, shared sound play of r/ % and l/ ( sounds in the poems. 189 T his shows Catullus' careful adaptation of Archilochean models to the meter of hendecasyllables. Catullus has retained not only the su bject matter but also the sounds of the original. If the entire poem of Archilochus survived, it is likely then that the two poems would show even more parallels T he addressee of Catullus' version is po ssibly Valerius Cato, the poet and critic, to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 189 Heyworth (2001), p. 128


81 whom Catullus appeals for approval via poetry. He appeals to Cato by framing his anecdote in a iambic manner reminiscent of Archilochus and seeking Cato's approval on the success of such a venture. He likens Cato to Charila of Archiloc hus' fragment, who was dearest by far of all his friends [ ;&(V 78("#>W !"#8%<, ] in an attempt to delight [ "C%X:#1 ] him. 190 Quinn suggests that the Cato referred to may be instead Cato Uticensis, who once left a performance of Ludi Florales so that a strip tease could happen. 191 If so, Catullus is then mentioning the anecdote to Cato to make fun of him for his modesty. This seems possible given the similar abusive qualities in poem 40 and is even preferable, since why would Catullus choose iambics to show off poetic art without some sort of abuse? If Valerius Cato is the true addressee of the poem, then t he poem is an exercise in artistic composition Catullus adapts it from a base model, retaining much of the character of the original, through sound play and alliteration. Catullus hopes to please Cato' s literary tastes through his skilled adaptation of an original poem. The rest of the poem may also take inspiration from the full poem, th ough it is difficult to tell since this is all that survives. If it instead is targeted at Cato Uticensis, Catullus is poking fun at Cato's modesty through a sexually charged anecdote. Poem 11 Furi et Aureli, comites Catulli !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 190 Enjoyment was mentioned in the same breath as iambos in a fragment (215) that survives via Tzetzes, the twelfth century Byzantine grammarian: =#8 / Y & Z Y ./0<, & Z ": ":%;<(C<, /C(:1 [I enjoy neither iambo s nor pleasures]. Cf Kantzios (2005), p. 2 191 Quinn (2009), p. 254


82 siue in extremos penetrabit I ndos, litus ut longe resonante Eoa tunditur unda, siue in Hyrcanos Arabesue molles, 5 seu Sagas sagittiferosue Parthos, siue quae septemgeminus colorat aequora Nilus, siue trans altas gradietur Alpes, Caesaris uisens monimenta magni, 10 G allicum Rhenum horribilesque ulti mosque Britannos omnia haec, quaecumque feret uoluntas caelitum, temptare simul parati, pauca nuntiate meae puellae 15 non bona dicta: cum suis uiuat ualeatque moechis, quos simul complexa tenet trecentos, nullum amans uere, sed identidem omnium


83 ilia rumpens; 20 nec meum respectet, ut ante, amorem, qui illius culpa cecidit uelut prati ultimi flos, praetereunte postquam tactus aratro est. Furius and Aurelius, companions to Catullus, whether he will press into the farthest lands of India, where the shore is struck by the far resounding eastern waves, Whether he will press among the effeminate Hyrcani and Arabes, or the Sagae or the arrow bearing Parthi, or the waters which the seven mouthed Nile colors, Whether he will cross the lofty Alps, seeing the monuments of Caesar's greatness, and the Gallic Rhine and the shaggy far off Britons, All of these things, and whatever the will of the gods bears, you are prepared together to attempt, inform my girl of these select not fine words: Let her live and flourish with her three hundred adulterers, all three hundred whom she embraces as one, truly loving none, but again and again breaking the groins of all.


84 Let h er not await my love, as before, which has toppled from her infidelity just as a flower of the meadow's edge, after it has been touched by a passing plough. The addressees of this poem are Furius and Aurelius, Catullus' comites [companions]. Th e referenc e to them as comites however is not necessarily good since Catullus never depicts them in a positive manner. Catullus describes Furius, in poem 26, as being so poor that he does not shit ten times in a year ( nec toto decies cacas in anno ) In poem 21, A urelius is labeled a father of hunger ( pater esuritionum ) and is charged with stealing away Catullus' puer Juventius. Both of the men warrant the bitter abuse of poem 16 (discussed below) Since Catullus finds their loyalty to accompany him through any situation a sign of their dedication, then Furius and Aurelius will have no problem in delivering the news to Lesbia, that she should expect Catullus' love no more since she has run it over like a flower in a meadow by committing adultery with three hundred men. Catullus could be implying that they are among th e men sleeping with Lesbia, since they are familiar enough with Lesbia to deliver a message from Catullus. The locations Furius and A urelius are willing to follow Catullus through appear to mark the length s both geographically and metaphorically the two go through for Catullus implying their company in any situation. The sexual ramifications of this accompaniment are not immediately ob vious until the vocabulary Catullus uses is looked at in greater detail The verb penetrabit [will press into] (line 2) governs the following clauses and it cannot but seem purposeful that it ends up being paired with the effeminate Arabs and Hyrcani ( in H yrcanos Arabasu e molles ). The word seems to not have been associated with sexual innuendo


85 in Classical usage, but its use here is suggestive. 192 Catullus is penetrating 'deep' into the peoples of India, where the shore is 'ploughed' 193 by the eastern waves. Th e use of the adjective molles to describe the Arabs and Hyrcani furthers the sexual imagery with its association of passive sexuality. The septemgeminus [seven mouthed] of line 7 not only suggests repeated oral sex, but also recalls the sexual use of gemin i [twins] as 'testicles'. Furius and Aurelius are accustomed to following Catullus through a variety of sexual encounters and in all these things Catullus takes the active role. He penetrates the effeminate peoples; he pen etrates the seven mouthed Nile; and he even penetrates the shaggy Britons. Since Furius and Aurelius accompany Catullus, it can be assumed that they perform these sam e dominate masculine activities. The prat um [meadow] that Catullus lies at the edge of at the end of the poem could be a metaphor for the culus 194 [anus] or even cunnus 195 [vagina], by relation to analogous Greek usage. The association with a meadow also recalls Archilochus' fondness for depictions of passive sexual activity involving floral vocab ulary 196 Catullus may be paralleling this here by depicting his passivity through being toppled [ cecidit ] by Lesbia from his previous assertive masculinity, through his proximity to the cunnus and further emphasizing it by his passive receiving of the tou ch of a plough [ tactus aratro ]. 197 The roles have switched, since for most of the poem it was Catullus who took on the active sexual role and his objects the passive, but here Lesbia is breaking the groins of the men and runs over the now passive !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 192 C f. Adams (1982), p. 151 193 The word can be taken sexually and is indeed used so later on at c. 32.11: pertundo tunicamque palliumque [I poked my way through my tunic and cloak]". cf. Adams (1982), p. 148 194 Adams (1982), p. 68 195 Adams (1982), p. 113 196 C f. esp. frr. 30 and 32. fr. 30 reads: R 2&)*# >#(( E )%* [ ,9' @ \ %;:"& / ] &A U ": =#( E N ,>&' [she was enjoying taking the bush of myrtle and the beautiful flower of rose]." cf. Boner (2009), p. 19 197 The sexual connotations of aratio were widespread. cf. Adams (1982), p. 158


86 Catullus li ke a plough running over a flower [ flos ], effectively destroying him in the process. The sexual obscenity also is apparent in the sound play. Lines 19 20 have a repetition of d and m sounds with alternation of high and low vowels, which could possibly have been employed to cause the reader to reenact ilia rumpens with their mouth and tongue, furthering the obscenity of the poem. 198 This poem is one of two in the corpus that is in sapp hics, the other being 51. T he meter is named after the Greek poetess, Sappho. It represented her feminine voice and sexuality, much like the self deprecating, passive person of Catullus in this poem. 199 Sappho fr 31, which Catullus adapts in poem 51, displa ys many of the typical tropes of the sapphic meter. Below is the first stanza: ^#8,:"#8 /&1 =U,&' _*&' >C&1*1, R//:,' `,9%, a""1' @,#,"13' "&1 -*A.,:1 =#F ; (.*1&, bA) 7<,:8 *#' K;#=&P:1 That man seems to me equal to the gods, who sits opposite you and li stens closely to your sweet voice. And Catullus' version of the same lines: Ille mi par esse deo uidetur, ille, si fas est, superare diuos, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 198 Sheets (2007), p. 204 199 Greene (2007), p. 131


87 qui sedens adversus identidem te spectat et audit dulce ridentem... 5 That man seems to me equal to a god. Tha t man, if it right, seems to be above the gods, who sitting across from you again and again watches you and listens to you sweetly laughing... Both poems express jealousy for the object of their love's affection by comparing him to the gods and depict the ir love's speech as sweet [ bA) / dulce ]. Catullus balances the sweet love poetry of poem 51 with the crude sexual imagery of poem 11, grouping them together through their shared meter. The two poems mark a good beginning and end point for Catullus' relations hip with Lesbia. In poem 51, it is commonly suggested, that Catullus was only just beginning to fall in love with Lesbia. In poem 11, the relationship has clearly collapsed. Perhaps Catullus is reflecting on this by pairing up the poems. Catullus displays iambic aggressiveness and obscenity in several ways in poem 11. The vocabulary used is highly sexual and contains several euphemisms sham ing the character of Lesbia, who is no longer f aithful to Catullus. By using sapphics a meter tradit ionally associated with love poetry in a poem about betrayal and exaggerated sexual infidelity Catullus is mirroring the betrayal of his love Lesbia is not the only target, however, as Furius and Aurelius occupy the initial vocative. This is the place oft en reserved for the recipients of Catullus' abuse. 200 Furius and Aurelius are implied to be among the adulterer s whom Lesbia is sleeping with. Catullus asks them to pass the message to Lesbia, supposing they would see !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 200 Cf. cc. 16, 38, 47 69, 103, et al.


88 her eventually Before his request, he s tresses the ways Furius and Aurelius emulate him by following him wherever he goes and doing whatever he does hinting that possibly they have a relations hip with Lesbia, just as he once did The reader of the poem initially expects a sapphic poem with love as a theme, especially when the first few lines open up tamely with an invocation of the fidelity of Catullus' friends. 201 Instead, as the poem progresses and the language becomes more and more suggestive, the atmosphere changes from love to perversion of s ubject matter when Catullus arrives to the news he wishes Furius and Aurelius to deliver: Lesbia engages in grossly exaggerated sexual intercourse with a large number of men. By the end of the poem, Catullus is defeated, much like the speaker in Hipponax f r 115 who suffers at the hands of a man who trampled on his promise [ (BO A @;Y c%=8&1' R09 ], like a flower who falls from the touch of a plow. He evokes the self deprecating persona present in iambos to underscore the hurt he feels because of Lesbia's be trayal Poem 16 Pedicabo ego uos et irrumabo, Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi, qui me ex uersiculis meis putastis, quod sunt molliculi, parum pudicum. nam castum esse decet pium poetam 5 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 201 Though with the unknown original ordering of the poems this may not be the case, as c. 16 could have come before this poem. The mollitia present in Catullus' writing of this poem here though suggests that c. 16 was written afterwards d efending poems like this one. The anger Catullus has with Furius and Aurelius is not present here and likely developed later on.


89 ipsum, uersiculos nihil necesse est; qui tum denique habent salem ac leporem, si sunt molliculi ac parum pudici, et quod pruriat incitare possunt, non dico pueris, sed his pilosis 10 qui duros nequeunt mouere lumbos. uos, quod milia multa basiorum legistis, male me marem putatis? pedicabo eg o uos et irrumabo. I will fuck you in the ass and in the mouth, cock sucking Aurelius and faggot Furius, you who think that I, because my little lines a re delicate, am hardly chaste For it is seemly that a pious poet be chaste himself, such is not necess ary for his little lines; lines which then have wit and charm, if they are delicate and hardly undefiled, and can incite one to itch, I say this not of boys, but of those hairy men who cannot move their stiff limbs. You, because you have read of the many t housands of kisses, think that I am hardly a man? I will fuck you in the ass and in the mouth. Catullus is responding to charges set against him by Furius and Aurelius (from poem 11) that he is effeminate because of the verses he writes. He responds that while it is fitting that a poet himself show morality, his poems need not be reserved. He emphasizes the fact that his poems can arouse even older men whose stiff limbs are not easily moved [ qui duros


90 nequeunt mouere lumbos ] showing that this is a purpo seful design in his poems Furius and Aurelius still think that Catullus is hardly a man [ male marem ]? Catullus threatens to violate them sexually to prove his masculinity. The structure of this poem with the beginning line repeated at the end differs fro m its use in cc. 36, 52, and 57 where the initial charge or question is repeated as an opening and closing. The charge here, through repetition at the end of the poem, takes on a different connotation. It is not immediately sexual, as both pedicabo and irr umabo can be used in a more general obscene sense similar to use of fuck in English, which can be both literal and figurative. By the end of the poem, the repetiti on of the first line takes on a new meaning switching from figurative to literal in Catullus' effort to defend his masculinity. The use of the term cinaedus [faggot] was associated with the attribute of mollitia [softness; effeminacy]. Those who were not the u iri duri [hard men], who were associated with active, penetrating roles, were often accused of having mollitia a common attribute of women. 202 The term cinaedus was often used as a charge of slander in both Greece and Rome. Cicero was known for using charges of molli tia and for being accused of it himself. 203 There is a play on the meaning of molliculi in line 4. The word can mean soft' as in kind' or be a reference to a flaccid penis. It also has the negative connotation of effeminate' when attacking a Roman male's sense of masculinity. Since Furius and Aurelius are calling Catullus' verses molliculi and saying that he is the same, they are attacking his masculinity by associating him with erectile dysfunction and passive sexual roles. His passivity is further empha sized by the words parum pudicum [hardly undefiled]. The collocation can also !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 202 Manwell (2007), p. 114 203 Manwell (2007), p. 115


91 indicate wantoness'. Catullus is not defeated by this, but defends himself by saying that, because his poems may be effeminate, they are able to incite an itch not only in the v irile youth, but also those who normally have trouble being aroused. Here he indicates the design is purposeful and not indicative of his own sexuality. If there is any doubt as to his masculinity Catullus ends the poem as he began, with a threat to emascu late his two attackers by submitting them to passive sexual roles. The opening at first was crude and could be explained away as simple strong language, but now at the end with the repetition of the same words the threat becomes very real. Here Catullus u ses his hendecasyllables to threaten rape for Furius and Aurelius, in a style fitting the 50%1*"U%:' -./0&1 [raping iambs ], which Archilochus used in his attack on Lycambes' daughters in fr 7 204 His attack differs from the oratorical poems in that he makes no efforts to elevate himself morally above Furius and Aurelius. 205 Instead, he at first defends the charges of unmanliness brought by the two by insisting that just because his poetry is at time s delicate and hardly undefiled [ molliculi et parum pudici ] does not mean that the poet himself is unchaste [ pium ]. Catullus implies that he is chaste in contrast to his poetry, but his poem here betrays the truth. His defense is aggressive and sexual, ha rdly the work of an chaste man. By calling Furius a cinaedus Catullus may be playing on Furius' cognomen Bibaculus. Calling someone a cinaedus was a typical insult in Rome and could be used withou t its sexual connotations. It was also used, however, to identify boys who engage in passive anal intercourse. This charge of passivity coupled with the name Bibaculus may !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 204 Where Archilochus implies the rape of Neboule's younger sister. cf. Ranki n (1977), p. 14 205 C f. Tatum (2007), pp. 346 7


92 allude to the word culus [anus]. Catullus does this elsewhere in the corpus in reference to Furius Bibaculus, such as in poem 23, where he sa ys to Furius that "culus tibi purior salillost [you r ass is cleaner than salt]". 206 The association of Biba culus and culus is made stronger with the repetition of cul in uersi culis almost directly beneath cinaede Furi in line 3, molli culi in lines 4 and 8, and uersi culos in line 6. The punning on Furius' name serves to make the insults against him very literal. Through associating Furius with the culus Catullus is making him an actual cinaedus Poem 27 Minister uetuli puer Falerni inger mi calices amariores, ut lex Postumiae iubet magistrae ebrioso acino ebriosioris. at uos quo lubet hinc abite, lymphae 5 uini pernicies, et ad seueros migrate. hic merus est Thyonianus. Young servant of the old Falernian, bring me stronger cups, just as the law of mistress Postumia orders, she who is drunker than the drunken grape. But may it please you, water, the enemy of wine, to go away from here and head off to crabby old men. Here is the pure Thyonian. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 206 See Hawkins (2011).


93 This short poem is a call to a young slave boy who is acting as the wine bearer at a dinner party that Catullus is throwing. The emphasis on the wine in this poem has much in common with typical symposiastic depictions in literature. Catullus orders that stronger cups of wine be brought forth, pur e wine this time, with no water mixed in. Catullus does not wish to stave off inebriation any longer; he instead wants pure unmixed wine, since diluted wine is for crabby men [ seueros ]. The mention of the wine being the pure Thyonian [ merus est Thyonianu s ] on the final line of the poem is in reference to one of the numerous Greek epithets for Bacchus. The nod to Bacchus further places this poem in a symposiastic context, since Bacchus was heavily associated with the symposium and wine His presence nicely balances the mention of lymphae here use d to indicate water, but also the name of a goddess of water. The battle, then, between Bacchus [Wine] and Lymphae [Water] has a clear victor by the end of the poem, when Lymphae is sent off to the seu eros and Bacc hus alone remains. The use of a form of amarus contains both connotations of bitter taste as well as of sharp or caustic speech Such speech was characteristic of much of Archilochean abuse and iambic abuse in general. We can interpret Catullus' re quest f or more caustic wine/ speech a s a call to arms for the poet He desires to cast aside lesser forms of abuse and equip himself with the arms of iambic abuse. This poem deals with the relationship of wine and water. Typically, wine was diluted with varying proportions of water in a symposiastic setting depending on t he whim of the guests. Catullus here shuns water entirely in favor of strong wine, in stronger cups. There is a

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94 parallel between this shunning of water in favor of pure wine and the association of wine with abuse poetry, specifically of Archilochus, which Callimachus identifies as being wine drunk. 207 The poem may have significance in its iambic inspiration and the way it functions to introduce Catullus' iambic poems. From this poem the reader could interpret that Catullus views watered down abusive poetry, here in the form of mixed wine, as the stuff for the older, more reserved generation of authors. His insistence for pure wine is evident for his desire for the less restrained poetry present throughout the corpus. The setting of the poem is also in the symposium. The poem can be seen as a short anecdote of a typical night in the symposium, where, as the night goes on, Catullus calls for stronger drink to be served a s he recites poetry. The symposiarch, Postumia, who is here identified as drunker than the drunken grape [ ebrioso acino ebriosioris ], is the object of abuse. Catullus is making fun of her low tolerance. She has already become drunk from the mixed wine they are drinking and calls for stiffer drinks. It is odd that a female is the symposiarch here, especially one whose name means bottom most' or last'. As Quinn points out, it appears there is a joke here though its meaning escapes us. 208 This poem forms a un it with poem 28, by setting up the themes and iambic abuse that are to follow. Poem 28 Pisonis comites, cohors inanis, aptis sarcinulis et expeditis, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 207 Wray (2001), p. 169; cf. Antipater 11.20: d%21(32&1&... *;C,A&/:, [we drink to Archilochus] 208 Quinn (1972), p. 171.

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95 Verani optime tuque mi Fabulle, quid rerum geritis? satisne cum isto uappa frigoraque et famem tulistis? 5 ecquidnam in tabulis patet lucelli expensum, ut mihi, qui meum secutus praetorem refero datum lucello? o Memmi, bene me ac diu supinum tota ista trabe lentus irrumasti. 10 sed, quantum uideo, pari fuistis casu: nam nihilo minore uerpa farti estis. pete nobiles amicos! at uobis mala multa di deaeque dent, opprobria Romuli Remique. 15 Friends of Piso, empty handed cohort with your bags shouldered and unburdened, dearest Veranius and you my dear Fabullus, how are things? Have you endured cold and hunger long enough with that good for nothing? Is there any small profit among your expenses, s uch as is present in mine who count following the way of my praetor expense as a small profit? Oh Memmius, you face f ucked me nice and slowly with that log of yours as I lay on my back. As far as I can tell, you two are in the same camp: for you both are stuffed with no lesser a cock! Seek noble friends! May the gods and goddesses bring great trouble to you, disgraces of Romulus and Remus.

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96 Poem 28 is addressed to Veranius and Fabullus, who were previously subjects of poems 9 and 12 and were lauded by Catullus for being his dear friends. 209 The two are abroad in their travels again, this time in the company of Piso, most l ikely the governor of Macedonia, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesonius. Catullus says that the two friends have lightened their bags and shouldered them [ aptis sarcinulis et expeditis ], implying that they plan on fleeing the company of Piso as his questions in lines 4 5 indicate Catullus parallels the personality of Piso with that of his own praetor Memmius, whom he mentioned in poem 10 again in connection with the verb irrumare 210 Both Catullus and his friends are being 'fucked over' by their respective gover nors perhaps they should look for bet ter friends to keep company The use of uappa in line 5, here translated as 'good for nothing', literally refer s to stale wine that has lost its flavor. Due to the proximity of this poem to poem 27, it may be a reference back to Catullus' promise for bitterer wine to be served in contrast to wine that is uappa Fittingly the poem delivers on Catullus' wish for aggression. The use of the verb irrumare [face fuck] recalls the aggressively dominant persona Catullus assumes in poem 16, though here it is Memmius instead that takes the active role and Catullus functions as the object. His pr aetor, Memmius, shames Catullus, who here takes that passive role. Catullus' passivity here creates a downtrodden persona His wish for more aggression was granted, but not in the way it was imagined. Not only is Catullus subject to Memmius sexual deeds, but also the man he plays the passive role to is uappa !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 209 C f. c. 12.17 210 C f. c. 10.12 irrumator

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97 The abuse in the poem is twofold. Casting Memmius as a n irrumator who orally rapes him, Catullus shames himself Such a description represent s the exploitation and mistreatment of Catullus and his friends and to underscore the persona of the disgraced man, which is common in iambic tradition. It also portrays M emmius as a sexually dominate, masculine fi gure who does not heed the law. 211 The reader is struck by the change in persona that Catullus employs in this poem a persona that contrasts sharply with the assertive, confident, and aggressive persona of poem 16. Poem 12 Marrucine Asini, manu sinistra non belle uteris: in ioco atque uino tollis lintea neglegentiorum. hoc salsum esse putas? fugit te, inepte: quamuis sordida res et inuenusta est. 5 non credis mihi? crede Pollioni fratri, qui tua furta uel talent o mutari uelit: est enim leporum differtus puer ac facetiarum. quare aut hendecasyllabos trecentos 10 exspecta, aut mihi linteum remitte, quod me non mouet aestimatione, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 211 irrumatio of a freedman or citizen was illegal.

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98 uerum est mnemosynum mei sodalis. nam sudaria Saetaba ex Hiberis miserunt mihi mune ri Fabullus 15 et Veranius: haec amem necesse est ut Veraniolum meum et Fabullum. Marrucinus Asinius, you do not use your right hand for good. Amidst humor and wine you stole the napkins of those too careless. Do you think that this is tasteful? You ju st don't get it idiot. It is as sordid and uncharming a deed as can be. You do not believe me? Believe your brother Pollio, who would want your thefts to be exchanged for even a talent for he is a boy filled with wit and cleverness. Therefore, either awa it three hundred hendecasyllables or send back my napkin not because its value moves me, but it is a keepsake of my friends, Fabullus and dear Veranius, for they sent me napkins from Saetabis in Spain as gifts. So it is that I love these just as I love my dear Fabullus and Veranius. Asinius has stolen Catullus' napkin, just as he is accustomed to stealing the napkins of the careless [ lintea neglegentiorum ] at other dinner parties, thinking that he is funny. Catullus does not see the same way. If Asinius w ants to know how to be funny, he should take after his brother, Pollio, who is a boy filled with wit and cleverness [ leporum differtus puer ac facetiarum ]. Catullus does not reveal the reason for his anger until the second half of the poem, when it becomes clear that he also was a victim of Asinius, who stole the napkin that his friends sent him from Spain. If the napkin is not returned, Catullus threatens to send

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99 three hundred lines of hendecasyllables to Asinius implying that he will send poem after poem to Asinius The threat of sending hendecasyllabos trecentos [three hundred hendecasyllables] in line 10, closely parallels the similar threat of iambos in Catullus' other poems. The invocation of specific ally hendecasyllables in a poem is also present in the flagitatio poem 42. The theft of a napkin implies a symposiastic setting where Asinius and Catullus were both present. Catullus' party included jokes and wine [the in ioco et uino of line 2], typical of the symposium. The Greek setting of the party is furthered by the use of talento in line 8, a Greek unit of money and the use of mnemosynum [keepsake] in line 13. By placing an abusive poem in the setting of the symposium and threatening the named reci pient with poetry by its meter, Catullus situates the poem in iambic setting The setting of the poem in the symposium and the subsequent bitter inv ective on Catullus' part allude to iambic abuse. This poem and poem 33 parallel each other through their me ntion of thieving hands and contexts like a symposium. In poem 33, the theft happens at a bath, though bathing was something incorporated into symposiastic ritual: O furum optime balneariorum Vibenni pater et cinaede fili (nam dextra pater inquinatiore, cu lo filius est uoraciore), cur non exilium malasque in oras 5 itis? quandoquidem patris rapinae notae sunt populo, et natis pilosas,

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100 fili, non potes asse uenditare. Oh greatest thieves of the baths, father Vibennius and faggot son, (for the father has a fouler right hand and the son has a hungrier ass) why do you not go into exile to some dismal shores? Since the father's robberies are known to everyone, and boy, you couldn't sell your hairy ass for even a penny. Grotesque sexual vocabulary abounds in this poem. Catullus uses cinaede in an obscene sense like in poem 16, as the charge is made very real with the descrip tion of the boy. The boy has a hungrier ass than his father, who has a stained right hand. 212 The boy is too old to be engaging in pederastic practices, since the fact that he has a hairy ass [ natis pilosas ] implies he is old enough to be the active member. No wonder that, as Catullus states at the close of the poem, no one is willing to pay him f or sex. He also advises the two to go off to exile and save themselves some disgrace, much like the advice to Asinius to listen to his brother. The malasque in oras [to some dismal shores] recalls to some extent the in ora uulgi [on the mouths of the peopl e] of 40.5, possibly hinting at sexual parallels between the two poems and making the suggestion that Vibennius and his father should move onto to targets more like themselves. Horace's letter to Maecenas, claims that he was the first Roman poet to adapt the genre of iambos to a Latin audience: Parios ego primus iambos ostendi Latio, numeros animosque secutus Archilochi, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 212 W hich balances nicely with the manu sinistra [left hand] of 12.1

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101 non res et agentia verba Lycamben. 213 25 I was first to bring Parian iambics to Latium and to follow the meter and thoughts of Archilochus, though not its themes and the words accusing Lycambes. Su ch a claim loses support in light of this chapter. As I have shown, there are numerous places in Catullus' poetry where the type of abuse becomes iambic in nature. In some cases, this is due to the direct modeling of a poem from an existing iambic base. Ancient commentary also lends support to this. Diomedes' mention of Catullus among the iambic poets indicates that t he ancients were already aware of Catullus' allusion to Archilochus and Hipponax: "Iambici carminis scriptores praecipui apud Graecos Archilochus et Hipponax: apud Latinos Lucilius, Catullus, Horatius, Bibaculus [The writers of iambic poetry among the Gree ks were namely Archilochus and Hipponax, among the Romans were namely Lucilius, Catullus, Horace, and Bibaculus]". 214 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 213 Horace Epistles 1.19.23 214 D iomides 1.485.11

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102 Conclusion This study has observed the manner in which Catullus evokes different genres and the effect this has on the reader. In chapter one, I noted how the characters of Catullus' abusive poems evoked stock characters of comedy like the meretrix girlfriend of Varus in poem 10 who catches Catullus in his lie In chapter two, I looked at the oratorical allusions in several of Catullus' abusive poems. The repeated attack of Egnatius' os in poems 37 and 39 reflects the shaming of the os in oratory. In chapter three, I observed iambic allusion specifically to Archilochus, Hipponax, and Sappho in further selections of Catullus' poetry. There are a number of poems that use Archilochean models, such as poem 56. Catullus also uses the Sapphic meter to tie together poems 11 and 51 and to shock the reader with their different themes. The chapters were not intended to draw a strict divide between genre in Catullus, but to instead show that they are not mutually exclusive. This thesis serves as an introduction to deeper analysis of Catullus' poetry through the lens of genre. I have not attempted to analyze every poem of Catul lus nor every genre present in the corpus. Indeed, there are several other traditions that Catullus evokes in his poems which have not been discussed. For instance, poem 42 takes the form of traditional flagitatio calling forth hendecasyllables to demand the return of Catullus' writing tablets. Poems 97 and 98 are especially problematic, as their use of abusive language is unparalleled among existing iambic fragments. Perhaps deeper readings of these poems will uncover undiscussed generic parall els This thesis has instead simply shown that such allusions are present in Catullus' poetry and that they enrich the reading of every poem. There is benefit in looking at generic influence, as new readings of Catullus' poetry appear and existing

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103 readings are deepe ned. It also shows Catullus' audience would have been docti [learned] enough to recognize both specific allusion and generic allusion, and to appreciate their use in Catullus' poetry To look at his poetry in the way this thesis has done is to look at it w ith a mindset like the ancients. There remain numerous other instances of generic allusion to look at, which could uncover even deeper readings of Catullus than ever before.

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