A Unique Bond (Catullus 87)

Catullus uses some rather un-romantic words (foedus, fides) in this intense love poem to his mistress Lesbia, argues Joanna Wood. He speaks as if in rejecting him Lesbia is breaking an important Roman social code. This poem has an intense tone, she says.

Wood

Nūlla potest mulier tantum sē dīcere amātam

vērē, quantum ā mē Lesbia amāta mea est.

Nūlla fidēs ūllō fuit umquam foedere tanta,

quanta in amōre tuō ex parte reperta meā est.

 

Image: Gold finger-rings showing the ceremony of joining hands at a marriage. Source: The British Museum

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