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Etsi me adsiduo confectum cura dolore
sevocat a doctis, Ortale, virginibus,
mens animi: tantis fluctuat ipsa malis :
65. 1. confectum G defectu 0.
1. Etsi: the apodosis begins at
V. 15; cf. Ciris, 1-11. The Ortalus to whom this elegy 2. doctis ... virginibus : the is addressed was probably the cele- Muses; cf. 35, 16: Sapphica brated orator, Quintus Hortensius puella musa doctior ; Tib. 3, 4, 45; (H)Ortalus, the friend and rival Ovid, Am. 3, 9, 62: Mart. 1, 61, of Cicero. It was written to ac- 1. At this (Alexandrian) period company some other poem or of his poetry Catullus with special poems, particularly, as seems most fitness calls his muse“ doctus"; likely, No. 66. Written about cf. Intr. $ 16. 60 B.C. For Hortensius as a poet 3. potis est : for other examples cf. 95,3 (written at a later period); of the uncontracted form of potest Gell. 19, 9, 7; Ovid, Trist. 2, 441; cf. 76, 24; Lachmann's Lucr. 5, Plin. Ep. 5, 3, 5.
880. — fetus : for the same idea The elegy is in one long para- of literary creations cf. Quint. 1o, graph, with parenthetical address 4, 2: scripta nostra tamquam reto his brother, who has lately died. centes fetus. Catullus is in no mood to write in 4. mens animi: cf. Lucr. 3, 615; his usual vein, he says; but, that Cic. De Fin. 5, 36: animi partis, Ortalus may not think him forget. quae princeps est, quaeque mens ful of his request, he sends the ac- nominatur. --On the form of this companying translation from Cal- verse and v. 8 note Intr. $ 42, II limachus.
5 namque mei nuper Lethaeo gurgite fratris
pallidulum manans adluit unda pedem, Troia Rhoeteo quem subter litore tellus
ereptum nostris obterit ex oculis.
adloquar, audiero numquam tua facta loquentem, 10 numquam ego te, vita frater amabilior,
adspiciam posthac. at certe semper amabo,
semper maesta tua carmina morte canam, qualia sub densis ramorum concinit umbris 9. omitted in VR adloquar audiero numquam tua loquentem Dw the lacuna between tua and loquentem variously supplied as facta (D man. sec.), verba, fata w. Lachmann, followed by Haupt- Vahlen, believed there was a lacuna in V of seven verses after 8, and supplied before 9 six verses from 08, 20-24, and 92-96. 11. at D aut V. 12. canam or legam w tegam VR (in R the verse reads : semp mesta tua carmine morte tegam).
5. Lethaeo gurgite: best taken (Charon's); but the emphasis of as abl. of source; cf. v. 6, n. manans adluit is best preserved This seems to be the first reference if we assume that he meant that, to the Lethe myth in Roman escaping from its ordinary bounds, poetry; cf. Tib. 3, 3, 10. — fratris : the flood of Lethe, this stray wave probably an older brother. He had borne the innocent youth all died in the Troad, and was buried too early to the waters of obthere; cf. 68, 90-100; 101.
livion. 6. pallidulum: a pathetic di- 7. Rhoeteo: celebrated also as minutive, implying fond tender- the site of the grave of Ajax. - subness; probably either coined by ter : the use of this preposition with Catullus or borrowed from the the abl. is very rare, hardly occurspeech of everyday life; not used ring elsewhere except in Vergil ; elsewhere before the silver Latin cf. Verg. Aen. 9, 514. period; cf. Intr. S 17; Juv. 10, 9. audiero: sometimes a fut. 82; Platner, Dimin. in Catull. perf. is used with no appreciable --- manans : Catullus's conceptions difference in meaning from that of underworld geography were of the fut. ; cf. Prop. 2, 5, 22; probably at least as hazy as those Plaut. Most. 526; Tib. I, 1, 29, n. of all the Roman poets with re- 10. numquam belongs to both gard to terrestrial geography (cf. adloquar and audiero. 66, 12, n). He may have pictured 11. posthac seems to indicate his brother as fording Lethe, or that his brother's death was quite being ferried over in a skiff recent.
Daulias absumpti fata gemens Ityli:
haec expressa tibi carmina Battiadae,
effluxisse meo forte putes animo,
procurrit casto virginis e gremio,
dum adventu matris prosilit, excutitur:
14. Daulias = Procne, or, ac- Callimachus in this collection excording to another myth, Philo. cept No. 66. — Battiadae : the mela, from Daulis, the scene of celebrated elegiac poet Callimathe Tereus myth. — Ityli: accord- chus, who claimed to be a descending to a Homeric myth, Itylus, son ant of Battus, the founder of Cyof Zethus and Aëdon, was killed rene. It was certainly true in a by his mother by mistake, and she general sense, as Callimachus was became a nightingale. When the a native of Cyrene; cf. 116, 2.
Tereus myth was developed, the 17. tua dicta: implies a previname of the boy was given as Itys. ous request on the part of Ortalus As the two myths are essentially for some poem, whether a translaone, it is not strange that the name tion from Callimachus or someof the former should be transferred thing else. — nequiquam: best to the latter, perhaps under the taken with credita; cf. 30, 10; the idea that it was a diminutive usual medium of communication of Itys; cf. German Willychen, by sound is “ventis." etc.
19. malum : the most common 15. sed tamen: the conclusion gift of lovers ; cf. Verg. Ec. 3, 64: of the periodic sentence begun in malo me Galatea petit; 71: aurea v. 1.- in tantis maeroribus : note mala decem misi; Prop. I, 3, 24: the concessive force of the con- furtiva cavis poma dabam manistruction. The plural expresses bus ; the myth of the apple of dismere poetic intensity
cord, etc. 16. expressa : “translated.' 20. Cf. the Latin proverb quoted carmina : "verses': a single coup by Festus, p. 165: nec mulieri nec let may be a carmen; cf. 64, gremio credi oportet; quod ple383; Ovid, Sapph. 6; Prop. 2, 13, rumque, he adds, in gremio posito, 25, n. on tres ... libelli. At any cum in oblivionem venerunt prorate we have no translation of pere exsurgentium, procidunt.
atque illud prono praeceps agitur decursu,
huic manat tristi conscius ore rubor.
Omnia qui magni dispexit lumina mundi,
qui stellarum ortus comperit atque obitus,
66. 1. dispexit w despexit V.
2. obitus w habitus V.
There is little doubt that this is the poem referred to in No. 65, viz. the translation from Callimachus sent to Ortalus. The meager fragments of the original Bepevikys Illókapos of Callimachus indicate that this elegy of Catullus was not a literal translation, though it was a work of little originality. All the characteristic vices of the Alexandrian type of elegy are here illustrated better, perhaps, than in any other existing Latin poem, — the artificiality of tone, the far-fetched, and often obscure, allusions, the adulation of the court, the general
air of superior learning appropriate to the “ doctus poeta.” Its interest is accordingly greater from the standpoint of literary history than per se. Cf. Lamarre, Vol. 2, p. 560.
The legend upon which the elegy is based is referred to by Hyginus, Astr. 2, 24 : vovisse Berenicen, si victor Ptolomaeus redisset, se crinem detonsuram, quo voto damnatam crinem in Veneris Arsinoes Zephyritidis posuisse templo eumque postero die non comparuisse. Quod factum cum rex aegre ferret, Conon mathematicus, ut ante diximus, cupiens inire gratiam regis crinem inter sidera videri conlocatum et quasdam vacuas a figura septem stellas ostendit quas esse fingeret crinem.
Ptolemy Euergetes (king of Egypt, 247-222 B.C.), soon after his marriage to Berenice II, was compelled to go on an expedition against Seleucus II of Syria. To insure the safe return of her hus
flammeus ut rapidi solis nitor obscuretur,
ut cedant certis sidera temporibus, band the young bride vowed to vow. 39-50: It grieved me sorely the gods a part of her fine head of to leave your head; but how could hair. Upon the return of Ptolemy resist the power of steel ? That the vow was duly performed, and power has even leveled mountains. the hair was placed in the temple Cursed be the inventors of steel ! of Arsinoë on the promontory of 51-56 : It was a sad day for my Zephyrion, not far from Alexan- sister locks when the winged horse dria. When it was discovered, next of Arsinoë came to bear me away morning, that the hair had dis- to the goddess his mistress. 57appeared from the temple, the 68 : She sent him after me that royal astronomer Conon seized I might honor her as a new conthe opportunity to declare that he stellation like that made from had already discovered it in the Ariadne's golden tresses, and heavens as a constellation ; and might be beside Virgo, Leo, Calto this day the group of stars is listo and Boötes. 69-78 : But, known under the appellation Coma no matter how ungrateful I may Berenices.
appear, I cannot feel as much joy The elegy is spoken by the at my new honors as sorrow at hair itself in the first person, and being torn from the head of my is sometimes playful, sometimes mistress, and from all the royal petulant, sometimes gently ironical perfumes there enjoyed. 79-88 : in its tone: 1-8: 'In the heavens In compensation, ye brides, offer Conon discovered me, Berenice's unguents to me on your wedding hair; 9-14: which she vowed to days, ye who are worthy, and may the gods when as a bride she love ever abide with you! 89-92: was obliged to let her husband go As to you, my queen, when you off to war. 15-20 : Despite the propitiate Venus on holidays, do tears of brides, they really love not forget me. 93-94 : But what their husbands dearly. 21-32 : are stars to me? Would that I Was it a separation from a were back upon thy head !! brother merely that you so 1. qui : the antecedent is ille dreaded ? What then became Conon (v. 7).- dispexit : distinso suddenly of your well-known guished'; cf. v. 7, n. courage ? Was it not rather the 3. Conon is said to have anguish of a lover at the thought brought together the earlier Egypof parting ? 33-38 : Then you tian records of eclipses. vowed me to the gods on behalf 4. This verse refers to the anof his safe return; and here I am nual disappearance of certain conamong the immortals paying your stellations at fixed times. Cf.