The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/109

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Text And Translation[edit]

Meter - Elegiac distych


Line Latin text English Translation
1 Iucundum, mea vita, mihi proponis amorem My life, you promise me that this love
2 hunc nostrum inter nos perpetuumque fore. of ours, between us, will be pleasant and everlasting.
3 Di magni, facite ut vere promittere possit, Great gods, make it that she is able to promise truly,
4 atque id sincere dicat et ex animo, And that she may say it sincerely and from her heart,
5 ut liceat nobis tota perducere vita That we might be allowed to extend
6 aeternum hoc sanctae foedus amicitiae. This life-long pact of holy-friendship our whole life.

Connotations of the Text[edit]

This is the poem Catullus himself chose as the 109th segment of his published set of poems. It is addressed to Catullus's mistress Lesbia. This poem joins the ranks of the many others that demonstrate his conflicting feelings for Lesbia.

Line 1[edit]

  • mea vita - lit. my life

This translates literally to "my life" but a more natural English translation would be "my love" or "my dear". It pertains to the common cliché that one's love becomes their whole life - and is as relevant today as in the time of Catullus.

Vocabulary[edit]

Line 2[edit]

  • fore - the future infinitive of the verb to be, sometimes seen as "futurunesse" lit: to be about to be.

Line 5[edit]

  • liceat - an impersonal verb that requires a dative. "liceat nobis" literally translates as "it may be permissable for us".

Line 6[edit]

External Links[edit]

Catullus 109 Translation of Catullus 109

Catullus 109 Another Translation of Catullus 109