The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/106

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Text & Translation[edit | edit source]

Line Latin Text English Translation
1 Cum puero bello praeconem qui videt esse, What should one who sees an auctioneer with a fair boy,
2 quid credat, nisi se vendere discupere? believe, but that he is intending to sell himself?

Connotations of The Text[edit | edit source]

Line 1[edit | edit source]

praeconem - auctioneer

The joke here is that Juventius is selling himself to an auctioneer. i.e. at the best price he can get for his services.

Line 2[edit | edit source]

vendere - to sell [himself]

Catullus suspects that his friend Juventius has been eloping with other men, as is mentioned in Poem 24 and Poem 81. Young boys were permitted to satisfy older men but a boy who sold himself was nothing more than a whore.

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