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nowhere so definite and obvious in Roman poetry as in Catullus. The mere fact that of the 116 poems in the extant Catullus collection, nearly one half (Nos. 65-116) are in the elegiac meter is unique in a poet of essentially lyric tastes and genius. The forms of his measure constantly betray Alexandrian influence (cf. $$ 42, 43). Not merely the considerable proportion of epigrams and the subjects of various elegies but also the wealth of mythological learning displayed in such poems as No. 68 show that even in treating a matter of deep personal interest he at that period of his work believed it necessary to assume the Alexandrian manner. And finally the translation of the Coma Berenices of Callimachus (No. 66) brings us straight back to Alexandria as no other existing poem in Latin does. In some of those elegies we have a young poet trying his hand at the new style of verse just imported; while in the later elegists, even in Propertius, the influence of their models is much more artfully concealed, if indeed it is ever as direct. This is not the place to discuss the first 60 (shorter) poems of the Catullus collection, in various meters, or the group of four longer poems (61-64) — the two epithalamia, the “Attis” and the epyllion of Peleus and Thetis, which precede the elegies in the existing collection.
17. “Other Roman poets have produced works of more elaborate composition, and have shown themselves greater interpreters of nature and of human life: none have expressed so directly and truthfully the great elemental affections, or have uttered with such vital sincerity the happiness or the pain of the passing hour.” 1
The fire of youth burned into furious love or furious hate, according to the fuel of the hour. Whether he admires a beautiful lake or a beautiful woman, or hates a vulgar society villain, the language of Catullus is that of absolute frankness - a frankness sometimes too complete for our tastes, yet compelling by its perfect revelation of every mood and tense of the writer. is therefore natural that in the instrument of
1 Sellar 3, Rep., p. 436.
such expression we find less artificial refinement in versification, a closer approximation to the language of everyday life, and a simplicity of expression that makes his language usually as transparent as his thought. The diction of Catullus has been analyzed by Simpson,' who shows the prominent elements in it to be the language of everyday life and of society, a welldeveloped lover's vocabulary, a remarkable mastery over diminutives with their varying shades of meaning, some archaisms and contracted forms, some new descriptive terms coined with a poet's facility, and an abundance of inceptive, frequentative, and prepositionally-compounded verbs. Some of these features are, however, better illustrated elsewhere than in the elegies. While most of the familiar grammatical and rhetorical figures are amply illustrated in Catullus, his skill in the employment of simile, metaphor, and metonymy is especially noteworthy.5
18. Since Lachmann in 1829 brought out his epoch-making edition of Catullus, basing it upon two Berlin Mss., the Datanus (D) and the Laurentianus (L), both of the fifteenth century, great progress has been made in establishing the text of this author. In 1830 the Sangermanensis (G), No. 14137 of the National Library at Paris, written at Verona in 1375, was described by J. Sillig; and in 1867 Robinson Ellis published the Oxoniensis (O), No. 30 of the Canonici Latin Mss. of the Bodleian Library. In 1896 W. G. Hale discovered the Romanus (R) in the Vatican (Cod. Ottob. 1829), a Ms. which he believes to be of about the same age as G and O, viz., the latter part of the fourteenth century. A complete collation of R has not yet been published. Meanwhile the controversy that has arisen over the relative value of these various important Mss. and their relation to a lost archetype and to the host of
1 Pp. 180 sqq.
2 Cf. Platner in AJP., Vol. 16 (1895), p. 186. 8 Index verborum in Schwabe. 4 Cf. Riese, pp. xxiv sqq. 5 Cf. e.g. No. 68, vv. 53, 57, 63, 73, 109, 119, 125. 6 Jahrb. f. Phil., Vol. 13 (1830), pp. 261 sqq.
? Cf. PAPA., Vol. 28 (1897), p. liii; Class. Rev., Vol. 20 (1906), p. 160; Magnus in BPW., Vol. 30 (1910), p. 780; etc.
later copies from one source or another, has resulted in more diligent search for Catullus Mss."
The result up to the present appears to be that our text must be constituted chiefly on the three Mss., O GR, which are all derived from a lost Ms., V (Veronensis), which was seen by Petrarch and other scholars of his day; and that all the other existing Mss. were derived from these. O may have been a direct copy of V; G and R were copied probably from an intervening copy of V.
19. Besides the editions of Lachmann (1829) and Ellis (1867 and 1878) before mentioned, the most important editions in modern times have been those of Haupt (1853) (published with Tibullus and Propertius, and several times revised by Vahlen – 7th ed., 1912), Schwabe (1866 and 1886), Baehrens (1876 ; revised by K. P. Schulze, 1893), Riese (1884), Merrill (1893), the large commentary of Ellis (1876) and his later Oxford text (1904), and Friedrich (1908). The editions of Baehrens, Schulze, Riese, Merrill, and Friedrich have full exegetical commentaries. Several of the most important elegies are annotated in the selections made by Simpson, Jacoby, Schulze, and others; and the critical and epexegetical activity still centered upon Catullus remains unabated. The translations by Martin (1861), Ellis (1871), and Cornish (1912) deserve mention.
TIBULLUS 20. Although at first sight it would seem that we have a considerable body of valuable data for the life of Tibullus, careful sifting of the authorities makes these sources appear rather sterile. At the end of the Mss. is a brief epigram attributed to Domitius Marsus, as follows:
Te quoque Vergilio comitem non acqua, Tibulle,
mors iuvenem campos misit ad Elysios, ne foret, aut elegis molles qui fleret amores aut caneret forti regia bella pede.
1 Cf. Class, Phil., Vol. 3 (1908), p. 233.
The Mss. also include a short vita, which has been unconvincingly attributed to Suetonius. The text of this vita is plainly corrupt, and some of its statements are hardly intelligible (e.g. eques regalis), and others quite unsatisfactory (e.g. militaribus donis donatus est, which is out of harmony with the character of the poet, so far as revealed in his elegies). Perhaps some of the statements were invented from the elegies. Both the epigram and the vita are believed to have been in the archetype of our Mss. A longer vita 5 is evidently the work of a comparatively late hand and has little worth. The testimony of classical writers, especially Ovid, to certain features of the life, work, and character of Tibullus, is important so far as it goes. Even more valuable than all these are the few allusions to his life found in the poet's own writings.
21. From a judicious use of this material it is safe to draw the following conclusions. The poet's name was Albius Tibullus, no praenomen being known. The end of his life came at about the same time as that of Vergil, who died, we know, September 21, 19 B.c.8 As the only definite statement that could be used to determine the date of his birth (3, 5, 17) evidently applies not to Tibullus himself, but to Lygdamus (cf. § 25), we are forced to resort to conjecture, which has commonly accepted 54 B.C. as a probable approximation to the truth. The editor's reasons for believing this too early (as given in PAPA., Vol. 32 (1901), pp. cxxxvii-cxxxviii) are that it would make Tibullus relatively too old a man while he was engaged in writing elegies; that he would have been likely to go on an expedition like the Aquitanian campaign (31 B.c.) soon after assuming the manly toga,
1 Baehrens, Tib. Bl., p. 6.
7 He never speaks of himself by any other name than Tibullus; cf. 1, 3, 55; 1, 9, 83 ; 4, 13. 13.
8 Cf. the epigram of Marsus, and Ovid, Trist. 4, 10, 51.
i.e. at about seventeen years of age, according to Roman custom; that the smallness of the amount of his poetry would be difficult to explain if he died at the age of thirty-five ; and that his being confused with Lygdamus would have been more natural if he were himself more nearly of the age of Lygdamus (b. 43 B.C.). In view of these considerations 48 B.C. seems a not unreasonable conjectural date to assign for the birth of Tibullus.
22. Whether or not the statement that he was of equestrian rank is founded on fact, it is clear from various passages in his elegies that he was of respectable family, and comfortably endowed, although he had lost part of his ancestral estates, perhaps through confiscations similar to those suffered by Vergil. Horace, in Epistle 1, 4, which, there seems no good reason to doubt, refers to this Albius,” says that the gods had blessed Tibullus with wealth, beauty, and the art of enjoying life, and indicates that his home was in the district of Pedum, which was in Latium, not very far from Praeneste. The indications also are that he lost his father quite early but was survived by his mother and a sister. Much weight in determining the poet's character and station must be given to the long intimacy between Tibullus and Messalla, the orator, statesman, warrior, litterateur, and trusted councilor of Augustus. It is not clear just when Messalla began to realize the qualities of the poet and foster an acquaintance that made Tibullus the central figure of the literary group that gathered around this accomplished patron of polite letters. It is not improbable that the tastes of Tibullus led him while getting an education at Rome into close touch with Horace, among others, that the older poet introduced him to Messalla not long before the battle of Actium, and that the last elegy of the first book was written about this time. Vergil must at least have been known and admired by Tibullus. 4
1Cf. 1, 1, 19, 41, and 77: 2, 4, 53, etc.
2 Cf. Ullman in AJP., Vol. 33 (1912), pp. 149 sqq., and the rejoinders, pp. 450 sqq. 8 Cf. 1, 3, 5; Ovid, Am. 3, 9, 50.
4 Cf. Tib. 2, 5, 39 sqq. ROM. EL, POETS 3