Category Archives: Catullus

Catullus 101: A fraternal farewell

Here, Catullus provides a glimpse of tender sincerity as he bids farewell to his brother. Having travelled far and wide to be at the funeral, Catullus honours his brother with […]

Catullus IIa: Lesbia’s Sparrow

Here, Catullus considers Lesbia’s pet sparrow in a playful and charming poem. In true Catullan style, there is an acute corporeal focus at the start of the poem, with a […]

The Return of Spring – Lucretius, Catullus and Horace (contributed by Viviana La Russa and Simona Borrello, with further contribution by Eugenia Russell)

Lucretius was the first author of Latin literature that dealt with the topòs of “The return of spring” in a passage of his poem “De Rerum Natura” (I vv.250-256). The […]

Poppies in Classical Poetry – Homer, Catullus, Virgil, Dante (contributed by Jane Mason and David Bevan)

Homer’s simile describes the death of a minor character, shot by mistake by Teucer when aiming at Hector. Catullus’ poem begins with a bitter and crude invective against his unfaithful […]

Catullus, Poem 86 (Contributed by Terry Walsh)

It has been thought that ‘Lesbia’ is a construct, or even a figment of the poet’s imagination. This poem, I think, proves that the love affair was a real one, […]

Catullus, Poem 5 (Contributed by Jane Mason)

As a teenager who had only studied Virgil so far, it came as an enormous surprise when a teacher, whom we had believed to be very straight-laced, set this poem […]

Catullus, Poem 85 (Contributed by Jane Mason)

Catullus’ two line epigram is justly famous, summing up the bitterness and confused emotions of a betrayed lover. 40 years later the themes of elegaic love poetry, which Catullus first […]

Catullus 50 (and Martial, contributed by Benjamin Walter)

I started with the Catullus poem 50, a wonderful poem about a little incident of friendship and spontaneous epigram writing that captures much of the genre. The next three poems […]

Catullus 51 (contributed by Mariangela Labate)

This poem, inspired by the famous Sappho’s fragment (fr.2 Diehl), describes the devastating effects of love. Nevertheless, it is an evidence of the endless struggle of Latin authors between practical, […]