The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/106
Text & Translation
|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
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.
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.