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Nil nimium studeo, Caesar, tibi velle placere,
nec scire utrum sis albus an ater homo.
Zmyrna mei Cinnae nonam post denique messem
quam coepta est nonamque edita post hiemem,
2. scire utrum sis albus an ater: 93
a proverbial phrase; cf. Cic. Phil. Catullus does not care to be on 2, 41 : vide quam te amarit is, qui good terms with Caesar. The albus aterne fuerit ignoras; Apul. same hatred towards the great Apol. 16: libenter te . . . albus an “ Imperator“ appears in Nos. 29, ater esses, ignoravi ; cf. also Quint. 54, 57, where the connection has 11, 1, 38. given rise to Baehrens's conjecture that this passage and the others mentioned were written soon after On the appearance of the the arrival of Caesar with his reti- Zmyrna, a carefully elaborated nue at Verona after the campaign poem by his friend C. Helvius of 55 B.C., when the military licen- Cinna, Catullus compares this work tiousness which naturally prevailed favorably with the attempts of crossed the path of the poet's own three inferior poets. There is no private life at some point, perhaps need of separating vv. 9-10 from in the pursuit of Ameana by the the rest of the poem. notorious Mamurra.
1. Zmyrna: another name for 1. Nil nimium studeo : I am Myrrha, whose unnatural love for not particularly anxious. Some- her father, Cinyras, was the theme body has apparently tried to rec- of the poem and gave it its name. oncile Catullus to Caesar. A The story is related in Ovid, Met. similar use of nimis is a favorite 19, 298 sqq. The inconsiderable with Catullus; cf. e.g. 64, 22:0 fragments are collected in Baehnimis optato saeclorum tempore rens's Frag. Poet. Rom., p. 324. nati heroes ; cf. also Mart. 9, 81, 3: nonam: cf. Quint. 10, 4, 4: Cinnae non nimium curo. — velle is super- Zmyrnam novem annis accepimus Auous, as in Cic. Mur. 25, 50: scriptam. Horace is very likely nolite a me commoneri velle. alluding to this case when he rec
milia cum interea quingenta Hortensius uno
Zmyrna cavas Satrachi penitus mittetur ad undas,
Zmyrnam cana diu saecula pervoluent.
et laxas scombris saepe dabunt tunicas.
ommends that a book (A. P., trast between the rapid work of v. 388) nonumque prematur in Hortensius and the carefully finannum. Such exhaustive careful- ished Zmyrna. Cf. Hor. Sat. ness was more a proof of the eru- 1, 4, 9-16. dition to be expected from its 5. cavas: deep'; cf. 17, 4: Alexandrian tone than of great cavaque in palude ; Luc. I, 396 : poetic power; and we are not cavo tentoria fixa Lemanno. — surprised to learn that the poem Satrachi: the Satrachus was an was so obscure even at the time obscure inland stream in Cyprus. of its appearance that scholars It was in this region that the story wrote learned commentaries to of Zmyrna was located. — penitus : explain its meaning. For the far inland.' construction, see A. 424 f.
6. cana : “hoary'; cf. Mart. 8, 2. edita : sc. est.
80, 2: nec pateris, Caesar, saecula 3. milia ... quingenta: a mere cana mori. — pervolŭent: cf. Intr. hyperbole for an indefinitely large § 43. number. Cf. 9, 1: Verani, omni- 7. Volusi: the same tiresome bus e meis amicis antistans mihi versifier is referred to in No. 36. milibus trecentis. — Hortensius : cf. For an elaborate argument to Intr. to No. 65. What caused Ca- identify him with Tanusius Gemitullus to feel so differently towards nus see Friedrich on this passage. him at this time can only be – ipsam : the emphasis thus put conjectured. It may be remarked, upon Padua indicates this place as however, in general, that to criti- the home of Volusius, whose prosy cize the work of another poet is verses will never travel farther quite another thing from being than their birthplace, as contrasted invited to contribute one's own with the imaginative work of Cinna, poetic effusions. — uno : anno, which is to penetrate to the remotmense, and die have been sug- est parts of the earth. gested by different editors as 8. laxas: because the material probable nouns in the missing is abundant. -- tunicas : i.e. wrapv. 4, which may be variously sup- ping paper. The idea is borrowed plied. In any case, the idea must by Martial (4, 86, 8): nec scombris have been an unfavorable con- tunicas dabis molestas.
parva mei mihi sint cordi monumenta sodalis:
at populus tumido gaudeat Antimacho.
Si quicquam mutis gratum acceptumve sepulcris
accidere a nostro, Calve, dolore potest, quo desiderio veteres renovamus amores
atque olim missas flemus amicitias,
95. 9. sodalis written by a 15th cent. hand at end of verse in R omitted in V.
9. parva : the Zmyrna was but elegiac writers such poems as a short poem. — sodalis : cf. 10, Nos. 14, 50, and 53 bear ample 29: meus sodalis Cinna est Gaius. testimony. We see from Prop.
10. populus : “the multitude,' 2, 34, 89, that Calvus himself who, of course, lack literary appre- wrote of his lost Quintilia. ciation of the best. -- tumido: 1. Si quicquam: this condi
wordy.' - Antimacho: a volumi- tional statement of immortality is nous epic and elegiac poet of Colo- paralleled often in Roman literaphon, who lived about 400 B.C., ture and inscriptions. Cf. Ovid, and in popular esteem was ad- Am. 3, 9, 59; Cic. Ad Fam. 4, 5, judged one of the greatest of 6; Tac. Agr. 46, 1; CIL. 10, Greek poets. Cf. Intr. $ 6; Cic. 8131, 14: si sapiunt aliquid post Brut. 191 ; Quint. 10, 1, 53: ei funera Manes; CIL. 6, 6250 : secundas fere grammaticorum bene adquiescas, Hilara, si quid consensus deferat.
sapiunt inferi; also K. P. H. on
Inscriptions," PAPA., Vol. 30, The brevity and delicacy of pp. xxviii-xxxi. this little elegy to his dear friend 2. nostro : i.e. of the living in Calvus on the death of his be- general. loved Quintilia prove Catullus a 3. desiderio: in apposition true poet and master of the art of with dolore. consolation. To the genuine com- 4. missas : «lost, i.e. relinradeship of these two early Roman quished of necessity.
certe non tanto mors inmatura dolori est
Quintiliae, quantum gaudet amore tuo.
saviolum dulci dulcius ambrosia.
suffixum in summa me memini esse cruce, 5 dum tibi me purgo nec possum fletibus ullis
tantillum vestrae demere saevitiae. 96. 5. dolori est D dolore est w dolor est VM dolorist Haupt doloreist Ellis. 6. quantum : i.e. gaudium. formation; cf. v. 14; perhaps
only in these two instances. — 99
dulci dulcius : cf. v. 14; also 22, Catullus protests against the 14: infaceto est in facetior rure; torture inflicted upon him by etc. Juventius in punishment for a 3. namque ... memini: "I stolen kiss. The series of poems guess I didn't! For I haven't forconnected with the fondness of Catullus for the pretty boy Juven- 4. summa ... cruce : cf. Eng. tius includes among others Nos. on the hatchel.' The kind of 15, 24, 48, 81. Some editors have crucifixion involving impalement argued that Juventius, as well as brought the greatest torture to the Marathus, the boy favorite of Ti- victim ; cf. Sen. Ad Marciam de bullus, are mere literary fictions. Cons. 20, 3: cruces non unius It seems more probable that Juven- quidem generis, ... alii per obtius, at any rate, was a real person, scena stipitem egerunt; Ep. 1oi, who afforded some diversion for 12: suffigas licet et acutam sessuro the poet's affections after he had crucem subdas. finally cast off Lesbia as unworthy. 5. tibi: “in your eyes.' — purgo:
1. mellite: cf. 48, 1-3: melli- used with conative force ; A. 467. tos oculos tuos, luventi, siquis me 6. tantillum : 'a particle'; cf. sinat usque basiare, usque ad the slang expression, not a little milia basiem trecenta.
bit.' - vestrae : referring not to 2. saviolum: a rare example the individual, but to the class to of Catullus's favorite diminutive which Juventius belonged.
nam simul id factum est, multis diluta labella
guttis abstersisti omnibus articulis, ne quicquam nostro contractum ex ore maneret,
tamquam conmictae spurca saliva lupae. praeterea infesto miserum me tradere Amori .
non cessasti omnique excruciare modo, ut mi ex ambrosia mutatum iam foret illud
saviolum tristi tristius helleboro. quam quoniam poenam misero proponis amori,
numquam iam posthac basia surripiam.
Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
99. 8. abstersisti w abstersti ( astersi GM.
7. id : the stealing of the kiss.
8. guttis : i.e. of water. -- articulis : «fingers’; cf. Prop. 2, 34, Written on visiting his brother's 80: Cynthius in positis temperat tomb at Rhoeteum, and probably articulis.
used as an epitaph there. This 9. contractum: cf. the Eng. visit must have been made on his contract a disease'; Plin. N.H. way to Bithynia with Memmius in 36, 27, 69: pestilentiae quae ob- 57 B.C., rather than on the return scuratione solis contrahitur.
journey, and was indeed one of the 10. Cf. 78, 8: savia conminxit principal motives that prompted spurca saliva tua.
him to go to the East at that time. 11. Amori: i.e. as to an execu Cf. 65, 5-11; 68, 19–24, 89-100; tioner. The offishness of Juven- also Tennyson's familiar poem. tius made the flames of Catullus's 1. per gentes: i.e. past their love burn all the hotter.
shores, while multa per aequora 14. tristi tristius : cf. v. 2, n. means 'over' many seas. Some
15. Catullus shows philosophic of the seas were doubtless insight into the boyish contrariness the lonian, the Sicilian, the Creof Juventius, and meeting him on tan, the Myrtoan, the Aegean. his own ground is likely to win To a landsman who had traveled the day.
little by either land or sea, this ROM. EL. POETS - 8 113