The Poems of Catullus


Catullus 5, Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus, read and discussed by Amanda Hayes.

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Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
rumoresque senum seueriorum
omnes unius aestimemus assis!
soles occidere et redire possunt:
nobis cum semel occidit breuis lux,
nox est perpetua una dormienda.
da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
aut ne quis malus inuidere possit,
cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.

Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84 – 54 BC) is one of the most beloved of Latin poets with modern audiences because of his elegance and wit, and the directness and intensity of his loves, friendships and hatreds. Nearly lost forever in the middle ages, his work survived thanks to a single manuscript, an anthology that may or may not have been arranged by Catullus himself. No titles exist, so the poems are known unromantically to scholars by their order in the manuscript, from 1 to 116, and by their first lines. Podcasts were recorded for Prof. Francese’s Introduction to Roman Poetry class.

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Catullus 39, Egnatius, quod candidos habet dentes, discussed and read by Tyler Zentz

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Egnatius, quod candidos habet dentes,
renidet usque quaque. si ad rei uentum et
subsellium, cum orator excitat fletum,
renidet ille; si ad pii rogum fili
lugetur, orba cum flet unicum mater,
renidet ille. quidquid est, ubicumque est,
quodcumque agit, renidet: hunc habet orbum,
neque elegantem, ut arbitror, neque urbanum.
quare monendum est te mihi, bone Egnati.
si urbanus esses aut Sabinus aut Tiburs
aut pinguis Vmber aut obesus Etruscus
aut Lanuuinus ater atque dentatus
aut Transpadanus, ut meos quoque attingam,
aut quilubet, qui puriter lauit dentes,
tamen renidere usque quaque te nollem:
nam risu inepto res ineptior nulla est.
nunc Celtiber es: Celtiberia in terra,
quod quisque minxit, hoc sibi solet mane
dentem atque russam defricare gingiuam,
ut quo iste uester expolitior dens est,
hoc te amplius bibisse praedicet loti.

Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84 – 54 BC) is one of the most beloved of Latin poets with modern audiences because of his elegance and wit, and the directness and intensity of his loves, friendships and hatreds. Nearly lost forever in the middle ages, his work survived thanks to a single manuscript, an anthology that may or may not have been arranged by Catullus himself. No titles exist, so the poems are known unromantically to scholars by their order in the manuscript, from 1 to 116, and by their first lines. Podcasts were recorded for Prof. Francese’s Introduction to Roman Poetry class.

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Catullus 45, Acmen Septimius suos amores, discussed and read by Erica Pitcairn

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Acmen Septimius suos amores
tenens in gremio ‘mea’ inquit ‘Acme,
ni te perdite amo atque amare porro
omnes sum assidue paratus annos,
quantum qui pote plurimum perire,
solus in Libya Indiaque tosta
caesio ueniam obuius leoni.’
hoc ut dixit, Amor sinistra ut ante
dextra sternuit approbationem.
at Acme leuiter caput reflectens
et dulcis pueri ebrios ocellos
illo purpureo ore suauiata,
’sic’ inquit ‘mea uita Septimille,
huic uni domino usque seruiamus,
ut multo mihi maior acriorque
ignis mollibus ardet in medullis.’
hoc ut dixit, Amor sinistra ut ante
dextra sternuit approbationem.
nunc ab auspicio bono profecti
mutuis animis amant amantur.
unam Septimius misellus Acmen
mauult quam Syrias Britanniasque:
uno in Septimio fidelis Acme
facit delicias libidinisque.
quis ullos homines beatiores
uidit, quis Venerem auspicatiorem?

Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84 – 54 BC) is one of the most beloved of Latin poets with modern audiences because of his elegance and wit, and the directness and intensity of his loves, friendships and hatreds. Nearly lost forever in the middle ages, his work survived thanks to a single manuscript, an anthology that may or may not have been arranged by Catullus himself. No titles exist, so the poems are known unromantically to scholars by their order in the manuscript, from 1 to 116, and by their first lines. Podcasts were recorded for Prof. Francese’s Introduction to Roman Poetry class.

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