Archive forMay, 2012

Some stimulating verse (Catullus 35)

Purington Catullus 35

Can Latin poetry be sexy? That’s what Catullus thinks of his friend Caecilius’ poem about the goddess Cybele, and evidently Caecilius’ girlfriend agreed. Catullus 35, read, translated, and discussed by Katy Purington.

Poetae tenero, meo sodali,
velim Caecilio, papyre, dicas
Veronam veniat, Novi relinquens
Comi moenia Lariumque litus:
nam quasdam volo cogitationes 5
amici accipiat sui tuique.
quare, si sapiet, viam vorabit,
quamvis candida milies puella
euntem revocet, manusque collo
ambas iniciens roget morari, 10
quae nunc, si mihi vera nuntiantur,
illum deperit impotente amore.
nam quo tempore legit incohatam
Dindymi dominam, ex eo misellae
ignes interiorem edunt medullam. 15
ignosco tibi, Sapphica puella
musa doctior: est enim venuste
Magna Caecilio incohata Mater.

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Nevertheless, take these things (Catullus 101)

Pinkham Podcast

The elegy set at his brother’s funeral rite is one Catullus’ most profound and best loved poems. Emotional restraint and the honoring of the rite itself are the keys to its effect, argues Gillian Pinkham. Catullus 101, read, translated, and discussed by Gillian Pinkham.

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus
advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
ut te postremo donarem munere mortis
et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem,
quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum, 5
heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi.
nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum
tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,
accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,
atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale! 10

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A modest proposal (Catullus 32)

OConnor-Podcast

Obscenity was not at all out of place in Roman poetry, argues John O’Connor, as he reads, translates and discusses a prime example, Catullus 32.

Amabo, mea dulcis Ipsitilla,
meae deliciae, mei lepores,
iube ad te veniam meridiatum.
et si iusseris, illud adiuvato,
nequis liminis obseret tabellam, 5
neu tibi libeat foras abire,
sed domi maneas paresque nobis
novem continuas fututiones.
verum, siquid ages, statim iubeto:
nam pransus iaceo et satur supinus 10
pertundo tunicamque palliumque.

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Drunker than the martini olive (Catullus 27)

CarpenterCatullus27

Roman women hung right in there with the men when it came to drinking parties, says Avery Carpenter, in his discussion of Catullus’ festive drinking song. Catullus 27, read, translated, and discussed by Avery Carpenter.

Minister vetuli puer Falerni,
inger mi calices amariores,
ut lex Postumiae iubet magistrae
ebrioso acino ebriosioris.
at vos quo libet hinc abite, lymphae, 5
vini pernicies, et ad severos
migrate: hic merus est Thyonianus.

 

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The in crowd (Catullus 12)

Kuzma Catullus 12

Catullus’ joking attack on a napkin thief is partly a way of defining urbanitas, argues Alexis Kuzma, and letting us feel like we are part of the “in” crowd with the poet and his friends. Catullus 12, read, translated, and discussed by Alexis Kuzma.

Marrucine Asini, manu sinistra
non belle uteris in ioco atque vino:
tollis lintea neglegentiorum.
hoc salsum esse putas? fugit te, inepte:
quamvis sordida res et invenustast. 5
non credis mihi? crede Pollioni
fratri, qui tua furta vel talento
mutari velit: est enim leporum
differtus puer ac facetiarum.
quare aut hendecasyllabos trecentos 10
exspecta, aut mihi linteum remitte;
quod me non movet aestimatione,
verumst mnemosynum mei sodalis.
nam sudaria Saetaba ex Hiberis
miserunt mihi muneri Fabullus 15
et Veranius: haec amem necessest
ut Veraniolum meum et Fabullum.

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Perilous leisure (Catullus 51)

Jeschke Catullus 51

A common Roman view was that leisure (otium) made men debauched and effiminate, says Lauren Jeschke, and that was not at all the image Catullus wanted to convey when he was wooing Clodia with this poem translated from Sappho. This makes the last, extra stanza he added connect with Sappho’s original Greek. Catullus 51, read, translated, and discussed by Lauren Jeschke.

Ille mi par esse deo videtur,
ille, si fas est, superare divos,
qui sedens adversus identidem te
spectat et audit

dulce ridentem, misero quod omnes 5
eripit sensus mihi: nam simul te,
Lesbia, aspexi, nihil est super mi
<vocis in ore;>

lingua sed torpet, tenuis sub artus
flamma demanat, sonitu suopte 10
tintinant aures geminae, teguntur
lumina nocte.

otium, Catulle, tibi molestumst:
otio exsultas nimiumque gestis:
otium et reges prius et beatas 15
perdidit urbes.

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Dinner with friends (Catullus 13)

Caruso Catullus 13

Catullus’ joking dinner invitation, in which he asks Fabullus to come over and bring the food along with him, is really a lovely tribute to friendship, argues Ariel Caruso. Catullus 13, read, translated, and discussed by Ariel Caruso.

Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
cenam, non sine candida puella
et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis. 5
haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster,
cenabis bene: nam tui Catulli
plenus sacculus est aranearum.
sed contra accipies meros amores
seu quid suavius elegantiusvest: 10
nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque;
quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis,
totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.

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Welcome home! (Catullus 9)

carmenlatinpodcast

The difficulties and risks of travel in the ancient world add depth to Catullus’ joy on the return of his friend Fabullus from Spain, says Kristen Carmen, and make this poem a moving celebration of friendship.┬áCatullus 9, read, translated, and discussed by Kristen Carmen.

Verani, omnibus e meis amicis
antistans mihi milibus trecentis,
venistine domum ad tuos penates
fratresque unanimos anumque matrem?
venisti. o mihi nuntii beati! 5
visam te incolumem audiamque Hiberum
narrantem loca, facta, nationes,
ut mos est tuus, applicansque collum
iucundum os oculosque saviabor.
o quantumst hominum beatiorum, 10
quid me laetius est beatiusve?

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Life without forks (Catullus 12)

Aaron_Brumbaugh_Catullus_12

Catullus may seem unduly harsh on the napkin thief Marrucinus Asinius, says Aaron Brumbaugh, however the poem’s main point is not to shame Marrucinus but to show the value of true friendship over material possessions.┬áCatullus 12, read, translated, and discussed by Aaron Brumbaugh.

Marrucine Asini, manu sinistra 12.1
non belle uteris in ioco atque vino:
tollis lintea neglegentiorum.
hoc salsum esse putas? fugit te, inepte:
quamvis sordida res et invenustast. 5
non credis mihi? crede Pollioni
fratri, qui tua furta vel talento
mutari velit: est enim leporum
differtus puer ac facetiarum.
quare aut hendecasyllabos trecentos 10
exspecta, aut mihi linteum remitte;
quod me non movet aestimatione,
verumst mnemosynum mei sodalis.
nam sudaria Saetaba ex Hiberis
miserunt mihi muneri Fabullus 15
et Veranius: haec amem necessest
ut Veraniolum meum et Fabullum.

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Ariadne’s lament (64.132-148)

Catullus64_Winner

The beach-side lament of Ariadne,┬áthe mythological heroine of Crete, after she has been abandoned by the Athenian hero Theseus in Catullus 64, has its roots in Catullus’ personal experience of rejection, argues Sarah Winner. Catullus 64.132-148, read, translated, and discussed by Sarah Winner.

‘sicine me patriis avectam, perfide, ab aris,
perfide, deserto liquisti in litore, Theseu?
sicine discedens neglecto numine divum
immemor ah devota domum periuria portas? 135
nullane res potuit crudelis flectere mentis
consilium? tibi nulla fuit clementia praesto,
immite ut nostri vellet miserescere pectus?
at non haec quondam blanda promissa dedisti
voce mihi, non haec miseram sperare iubebas, 140
sed conubia laeta, sed optatos hymenaeos;
quae cuncta aerii discerpunt irrita venti.
nunc iam nulla viro iuranti femina credat,
nulla viri speret sermones esse fideles;
quis dum aliquid cupiens animus praegestit apisci, 145
nil metuunt iurare, nihil promittere parcunt:
sed simul ac cupidae mentis satiata libidost,
dicta nihil meminere, nihil periuria curant.’

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