The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/36

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Text & Translation[edit]

Meter - Hendecasyllabic

Line Latin Text English Translation
1 Annales Volusi, cacata carta, Annals of Volusius, defecated papers,
2 votum solvite pro mea puella. Loosen a prayer for my girl.
3 Nam sanctae Veneri Cupidinque For to the sacred Cupids and Venuses
4 vovit, si sibi restutus essem She promised, if I were restored to her
5 dessemque truces vibrare iambos, and I stopped to shake out savage iambs,
6 electissima pessimi poetae that she would give the most select writings
7 scripta tardipedi deo daturam of the worst poet to the slowest foot god
8 infelicibus ustulanda lignis. to be burned by means of unlucky firewood.
9 Et hoc pessima se puella vidit And this worst girl sees has herself
10 iocose lepide vovere divis. Wished humerously and charmingly to the gods.
11 Nunc o caeruleo creata ponto, Now O you having been created from the blue sea,
12 quae sanctum Idalium Uriosque apertos who dwells in the sacred Idalium and open field of Urium,
13 quaeque Ancona Cnidumque harundinosam and who dwells in Ancona and reedy Cnidus,
14 colis quaeque Amanthunta quaeque Golgos and who dwells in Amathus and who dwells in Golgi,
15 quaeque Durrachium Hadriae tabernum, and who dwells in the Dyrrachian taverns of the Adriatic,
16 acceptum face redditumque votum, grant this vow having been accepted and returned,
17 si non illepidum neque invenustum est. if not uncharming and not unwitty.
18 At vos interea venite in ignem, But you come into the fire, meanwhile,
19 pleni ruris et infacetiarum full of crudity and clumsiness,
20 annales Volusi, cacata carta. annals of Volusius, defecated papers.

Connotations of The Text[edit]

Line 2[edit]

  • mea puella - my girl

This refers to Lesbia, Catullus' lover. The use of mea indicates the way he feels about her. The expression of assonance here, with the repitition of the soft 'a' sounds adds to the calm melody of the piece.

Line 7[edit]

  • tardipedi deo - the slowest foot god

This refers to Vulcan, known in Greek as Hephaestion, who was the blacksmith of the gods. He is described as slow-footed as he is traditionally known as lame and it is curious that he is the only god with a mentioned disability.

Line 9[edit]

  • pessimma - very worst

This word must be nominative to fit the meter.

Line 11[edit]

O caeruleo create ponto - apostrophe to Aphrodite

Line 12[edit]

  • Idalium

A city on the island of Cyprus which was a center for the worship of Venus

  • Urios

A possible reference to Uria, a city in southern Apulia between Brundisium and Tarentum

Line 13[edit]

  • Ancora

Modern day Oculi Piceno on the Adriatic coast of Italy Cnidus- place in which Praxitele's statue of Aphrodite resided

Line 14[edit]

Amanthunta and Golgos- two towns located in Cyprus

Line 15[edit]

  • Durrachium

A seaport in Illyria, (modern-day Croatia).Durrachium is Durres and it was since the begining in Albania.

Line 16[edit]

  • Face

Alternative form of imperative "fac"

Line 20[edit]

  • Annales - annals

This refers to the Annales of Ennius.

Vocabulary[edit]

Line 1[edit]

  • caco, cacare - defile; defecate
  • carta, cartae f. - paper

Line 2[edit]

  • Votum, -i n. - solemn vow
  • Solvo, -ere - dissolve; break up; free; release

Line 3[edit]

Line 4[edit]

  • Desino, desinere - give up; abandon; stop from
  • Trux, trucis adj. - savage; grim; fierce
  • Vibro, vibare - brandish; shake; flick

Line 5[edit]

  • Electus, -a, -um adj. - select; picked

Line 6[edit]

  • Eligo, eligere, elegi, electum - to select; choose
  • Pessimus super. adj. - worst; lowest

Line 7[edit]

  • Tardipes, tardipedis adj.- slow-footed

Line 8[edit]

  • Infelix, infelicis adj. - unlucky; wretched
  • Ustolo, ustulare - burned; scorched

Line 10[edit]

  • Iocose adv. - jokingly; humorously
  • Lipede adv. - charmingly; delightfully

Line 11[edit]

Line 19[edit]

External Links[edit]