The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/94/94A
Text & Translation
Meter – Elegiac couplet
|Line||Latin Text||English Translation|
|1||Mentula moechatur. moechatur mentula? certe.||Mentula is an adulterer. A cock is an adulterer? Certainly.|
|2||hoc est quod dicunt: ipsa olera olla legit.||It is as they say: The pot takes vegetables as naturally.|
- Note: "mentula" means penis, but to give it a greater sense of the original Latin, i.e. vulgar common slang "cock" has been used.
Connotations of The Text
- Mentula moechatur - Mentula/a cock is an adulterer.
This play on the man's nickname and the word for 'penis' is deliberately implemented to catch our attention. The word order is then reversed to further emphasise it, with the capital 'M' taken away to show that Catullus is only talking about a penis this time.
- Certe. - Certainly.
This abrupt use of the word imprints the statement to the reader.
- dicunt - they say
"They" is understood here as a saying, i.e. "you know what they say..." and is designed to represent a universal agreement to the statement above, adding further to Catullus' mockery of Mentula.
The elision at the end of Line 2 rushes through the end of the poem. Combined with the alliteration of olera olla it is a striking way to end the poem. The use of two dactyls also adds to the speed at which the poem ends.
- Syllaba anceps has been marked with a circumflex (â).