Sunday, March 27, 2022


CATULLUS (Roman, c. 84-54 BCE)

Catullus (Gaius Valerius Catullus) was a Latin poet who was part of a poetic movement that turned away from the traditional emphasis on gods and heroes and focused on personal life, with themes and settings on a smaller scale. His 116 (or so) surviving poems are found in a three-part anthology, containing 60 short poems, 8 longer ones, and 48 epigrams. His themes include poems to and about his friends; erotic poems, including 25 about a woman with the pseudonym "Lesbia," probably a married woman; rude and sometimes-obscene invective against various people of whom he disapproved (including Julius Caesar); and poems of condolence. His poems influenced Ovid and Virgil, among others; little-known for centuries, they were rediscovered in the Late Middle Ages.


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