The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/45

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Text and Translation[edit]

Line Latin Text English Translation
1 Acmen Septimius suos amores Septimius holding his love Acme
2 tenens in gremio "mea" inquit "Acme, on his lap said "My Acme,
3 ni te perdite amo atque amare porro if I do not love you desperately and am ready to love you further
4 omnes sum assidue paratus annos, continuously for all my years,
5 quantum qui pote plurimum perire, as much as one who loves most desperately,
6 solus in Libya Indiaque tosta alone in Libya and scorched India
7 caesio veniam obvius leoni." let me come face to face with the gray-eyed lion."
8 hoc ut dixit, Amor sinistra ut ante As he said this, Love on the left as before
9 dextra sternuit approbationem. on the right sneezed approval.
10 at Acme leviter caput reflectens Then Acme, gently bending back her head,
11 et dulcis pueri ebrios ocellos and kissing the intoxicated little eyes of her sweet boy
12 illo purpureo ore suaviata with that rosy mouth
13 "sic", inquit "mea vita Septimille, said "Thus, my life, my little Septimius,
14 huic uni domino usque serviamus, let us be slaves to this one master,
15 ut multo mihi maior acriorque as a much more eager fire burns
16 ignis mollibus ardet in medullis." in my soft marrow."
17 hoc ut dixit, Amor sinistra ut ante As she said this, Love on the let as before
18 dextra sternuit approbationem. on the right sneezed approval.
19 nunc ab auspicio bono profecti Now, having set out from favorable omens
20 mutuis animis amant amantur. with mutual passions they love and are loved.
21 unam Septimius misellus Acmen Little love-sick Septimius prefers Acme alone
22 mavult quam Syrias Britanniasque: to Syrias and Britains:
23 uno in Septimio fidelis Acme faithful Acme makes her delights and pleasures in
24 facit delicias libidinesque. Septimius alone.
25 quis ullos homines beatiores Who has seen any people more blessed?
26 vidit, quis Venerem auspicatiorem? Who has seen a more favoured love?

Connotations of The Text[edit]

Line 1[edit]

  • Acme - prime; flower; zenith

This implies that Acme is the best a man can get. The usage of the Greek word 'Akmen' which means top or best of serves only as flattery. Acme is probably most famous in the cartoon, Wylie Coyote, as Acme is the provider of his useless weapons. The name is directly from the Greek, and used, in this case for a comic effect.

Line 22[edit]

  • Syrias Britanniasque - Syrians and Britains

This could refer to the great campiagns of Crassus and Caesar in Syria and Britain respectively. Thousands of young men would sign up for the army for the chance of riches, in the form of plunder and even slaves that could be kept or sold. The invasions were of Britian in 55 and 54 BC and the campaigns of Crassus were in Syria in 80 BC. The context of the poem is indicating that Septimius is giving up a great opportunity to be with Acme.

Vocabulary[edit]

Line 1[edit]

  • Acmen (Greek Acc. of Acme) - prime; fower; zenith

Line 2[edit]

Line 3[edit]

  • ni=nīsi - unless; if not
  • perdīte (adv.) - desperately; excessively
  • porrō (adv.) - further; onwards

Line 4[edit]

  • assidue (adv.) - continually; constantly

Line 6[edit]

  • tostus (p.p.p. of torreo) - parch; roast; bake; scorch; burn

Line 7[edit]

  • caesius, -a, -um - green-eyed
  • obvius, -a, -um - to meet with; come into contact with

Line 9[edit]

  • sternuo, -ere, ui - to sneeze
  • approbatio, -onis, f. - approval

Line 10[edit]

  • leviter - lightly; slightly; a little

Line 11[edit]

  • ebrius, -a, -um - intoxicated; drunk
  • ocellus, -i, m. (dim.) - a little eye

Line 12[edit]

  • os, oris, n. - mouth
  • suavior, -ari, -atus sum - to kiss

Line 13[edit]

  • usque - continuously; constantly

Line 14[edit]

  • servio, -ire, -ii, -itum - to be a servant/slave to

Line 15[edit]

  • acer, acris, acre - fierce; keen

Line 16[edit]

  • mollīs, -is, -e - soft; tender; mild
  • medulla, -ae, f. - marrow (of bones)

Line 19[edit]

  • auspicium, -i, n. - omen; sign; divination of birds; appearance of an animal's entrails
  • proficiscor - set out

Line 20[edit]

  • mutuus, -a, -um reciprocal; mutual

Line 21[edit]

  • misellus (dim. of miser) - love-sick little...

Line 24[edit]

  • libido, libidinis, f. - pleasure; desire; passion; longing

Line 26[edit]

External Links[edit]

Catullus 45 Translation of Catullus 45

Catullus 45 Another Translation of Catullus 45

Crassus For more on Crassus

Julius Caesar For more on Caesar