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Editor’s Note17

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Editor’s Note
On a fellow townsman who does not look after his young wife as he should. Catullus would have him pitched over the old bridge of a town that wants, and badly needs, a new one, to see if that may bring him to his senses. Like 67 and 100 the poem belongs to the provincial side of Catullus' life and the allusions to local scenes, personalities, and scandals may well have been as obscure to a Roman reader as they are to us. Even the place cannot be identified; the references of lines 1 and 6 are lost on us and in Catullus' waterlogged province many a stream must have had its pools and backwaters. By municeps meus Catullus must mean a fellow-Veronese, but it does not follow that the town he is addressing is not Verona, and Kroll's objection that municeps meus must distinguish the colonia from Verona is untenable. A priori, Verona is the likeliest setting; but though Tacitus makes Verona a colonia in a.d. 69 (Hist. iii. 8), we do not know when or how it became one, and Pliny's omission of it from his list of the coloniae of his own province (N.H. iii. 130) makes its status doubtful. Guarinus and Muretus identified the colonia with the modern Cologna Veneta, a small town about 20 miles east of Verona which not only seems to preserve the name but actually offers a Ponte di Catullo, the site of a bridge over the Guá, now diverted; but there is no evidence for the existence of a colonia there in Catullus' day and 'Ponte di Catullo' may be no more than a jeu d'esprit or the fanciful invention of civic pride.
  The lively abandon of the poem is matched by the rollicking Priapean metre, a simple lyric system in which a glyconic is followed by a pherecratean. As in Catullus' longer glyconic systems (three glyconics followed by a pherecratean in 34, four glyconics followed by a pherecratean in 61), synaphea is observed; elision is permitted between glyconic and pherecratean, but not syllaba anceps or hiatus. The combination occurs sporadically in Greek lyric and tragedy (e.g. Pind. Ol. 1. 1, Aesch. Agam. 407–8, Soph. O.T. 1187): it was written continuously by Anacreon (fr. 69 D. ἠρίστησα μὲν ἰτρίου λεπτοῦ μικρὸν ἀποκλάς κ‎.τ‎.λ‎.). In hellenistic times the use of it for hymns to Priapus gave it its technical name. In Latin, apart from this poem, it is represented only by two fragments of Catullus from a Priapus poem or poems, one of the Priapus poems included in the Appendix Virgiliana, and four lines of Maecenas (fr. 4 Morel).
Critical Apparatus
17. 1 o culonia que δ‎ (colonia quae θ‎): oculo in aque V
Critical Apparatus
ludere ed. Rom. (loedere Scaliger): ledere V
Editor’s Note
1. ludere : i.e. hold a religious festival with its associated merrymaking and dancing.
Editor’s Note
ponte … longo : The long bridge of l. 1—Pons Longus may have been its actual name—is the 'miserable bridge' ponticulus, of 1. 3.
Editor’s Note
2. salire paratum habes : habere aliquid paratum with a noun object (iter, exercitum, consilium, classem, etc.) is a very common use in which the verb and the participle have each its normal function ('have an army in readiness'). Here the noun is replaced by an infinitive: 'have dancing in readiness, all set'. The nearest parallel seems to be Tac. Ann. xi. 1. 2 'turbare nationes promptum haberet', 'found it easy to'. (For a discussion of these phrases and of the later development of habere as an auxiliary verb see P. Thielmann in A.L.L. ii. 391–3.)
Editor’s Note
inepta : 'ill-fitting', the opposite of aptus in its literal sense of 'well-fitted' (in which it is opposed to solutus, 'loose', in Cic. Orat. 228); the word is not so used elsewhere.
Critical Apparatus
3 axulis Hand (acsuleis Ellis), assulis Statius: ac sulcis V
Critical Apparatus
stantis Vossius: tantis V
Editor’s Note
3. axulis : ac sulcis of the manuscripts may point to the old spelling acsuleis (cf. 46. 3). axis is a technical term for a board or plank (Fest. Paul. 3 L. 'tabula sectilis axis appellatur'; Colum, vi. 30. 2 'stabula roboreis axibus constrata', 'stalls floored with oak boards'): the diminutive does not occur elsewhere, assula, a diminutive of assis, apparently a by-form of axis, is found but refers to something smaller, 'shavings' or 'chips' of wood (Fest. Paul. 75 L., Plaut. Merc. 130) or marble (Vitruvius vii. 6. 6).
Editor’s Note
rediuiuis : rediuiuus is a builder's term for second-hand material used over again: Cic. Verr. ii. 1. 147 'columnam efficere ab integro nouam nullo lapide rediuiuo', Vitruvius vii. 1. 3 'rediuiuus rudus' ('old rubble'). The word is probably cognate with reduuiae, but popular etymology connected it with redeo and uiuo, and in ecclesiastical Latin it is common in the sense 'restored to life'.
Editor’s Note
4. supinus eat : means no more than 'fall flat' and does not imply turning a somersault: cf. Prop. iv. 8. 44 (a table collapses) 'reccidit inque suos mensa supina pedes'.
Editor’s Note
caua in palude : 'in the surrounding, engulfing, swamp': a not uncommon use of cauus to describe not a permanent attribute (like our 'hollow') but a relation. Ovid has the same phrase, Met. vi. 371 'tota caua submergere membra palude'; cf. the Virgilian 'nube caua amicti' (Aen. i. 516), 'caua umbra' (ii. 360, on which Heyne rightly comments 'quatenus ipsi ea circumdantur'), 'cauis exspectant turribus hostem' (ix. 46, 'the sheltering towers': so Prop. iv. 10. 13 'ante cauas … turres'). So in 64. 259 'obscura cauis celebrabant orgia cistis', the point of cauis is not merely that the caskets are hollow (since caskets are never anything else) but that they conceal the mystic emblems inside.
Editor’s Note
5. sic : 'on this one condition'. sic anticipates the condition attached to the wish: the condition is expressed by the following imperative. So Virg. Ecl. 9. 30 'sic tua Cyrneas fugiant examina taxos, / … incipe', Hor. Od. i. 3. 1 ff. 'sic te diua potens Cypri … regat …, reddas', Ov. Met. viii. 857 'sic sit tibi piscis in unda / credulus …, / dic ubi sit'. Sometimes the order is reversed and the imperative comes first, as in Tib. ii. 5. 121 'annue: sic tibi sint intonsi, Phoebe, capilli', or in Martial's reminiscence of this passage, vii. 93. 7 f. 'sed iam parce mihi nec abutere, Narnia, Quinto: / perpetuo liceat sic tibi ponte frui'. For a similar use of sic in asseveration see 45. 13–16.
Critical Apparatus
6 suscipiant V: corr. Auantius
Editor’s Note
6. Salisubsali : if this word is a genitive, Salisubsalus (or -ius) must be taken to be either the title of a god in whose honour cult-dances were performed or the name of dancers who performed them. Its form has suggested a connexion with Salii, the 'leaping priests', associated particularly with Mars, who are found not only at Rome but at other places in Italy, Verona among them. But the title is otherwise unknown: for the line which Guarinus cited and explicitly ascribed to the Armorum Iudicium of Pacuvius, 'pro imperio nostro Salisubsulus si excubet', is not to be found in any ancient author. (Its origin is a mystery; it is hard to see why a forger should have produced a line which is not only unmetrical but also inexplicable.) Statius proposed Salisubsilis as a dative of the agent, referring to the dancers. (Birt's fantastic suggestion that salĭ subsili—two imperatives—is a ritual cry placed in loose apposition to sacra is perhaps worth mentioning as a curiosity: he attempts to support it by the entirely different recuso euge tuum of Pers. i. 49 and does not explain why the ritual cry should be in the singular.)
Editor’s Note
7. maximi … risus: a descriptive genitive, 'this highly entertaining favour'; it is less natural to take munus in its special sense of 'public exhibition', as Ellis and Kroll do.
Editor’s Note
8. municipem meum : 'a fellow-townsman of mine': so ciuis meus, tribulis meus, in Gk. δημότης ἐμός, πολίτης ἐμός‎. Strictly the word municeps should refer to a member of a municipium, but it is used also of members of a colonia in default of a corresponding term: cf. Sen. Suas. 6. 27 'municipem nostrum' (of Corduba), Pliny, Ep. i. 19.1 'municeps tu meus (of Comum) et condiscipulus', Sen. Apoc. 6. 1 'Lugduni natus est, Marci municipem uides'.
Editor’s Note
uolŏ : see on 10. 27.
Editor’s Note
9. per caputque pedesque : 'head over heels': the phrase is not found elsewhere, but compare Livy, per. xxii 'ab equo … per caput deuolutus', 'head first'.
Critical Apparatus
10 putidaeque θ‎: pudiceque V
Critical Apparatus
paludis η‎: paludes V
Editor’s Note
10. uerum … ut : 'and (let it be) where'. For this corrective or defining use cf. Ter. Heaut. 598 'dicam, uerum ut aliud ex alio incidit'. A similar use of sed is more common: e.g. Plaut. Cas. 692 'etiamne habet Casina gladium?—habet, sed duos' ('yes, in fact two'); Mart. i. 117. 7 'scalis habito tribus sed altis' ('three stairs up, and high ones'); for other examples see Mayor on Juv. 5. 147.
Editor’s Note
totius : with one exception (67. 23 illīus) the pronominal genitive always has -ĭ- in Catullus: he has seven instances of illĭus, three of ipsĭus, and one of alterĭus, ullĭus, and unĭus.
Editor’s Note
ut : 'where': see on 11. 3.
Editor’s Note
12. homō : with the original quantity, as in 81. 2 (bellus homo); homŏ with iambic shortening (see on 10. 27) at 24. 7 (homo bellus) and 115. 8.
Editor’s Note
pueri instar : 'he has not as much sense as a child', instar, the relic of an obsolete noun (hence the following genitive), in classical Latin has always a quantitative reference, either literal (of size or amount: e.g. Virg. Aen. ii. 15 'instar montis equum', 'a horse as large as a mountain') or metaphorical (Cic. Pis. 52 'unus ille dies mihi immortalitatis instar fuit', 'was as good as immortality', Brut. 191 'Plato mihi unus instar est centum milium', Livy xxxviii. 7. 5 'armati instar munimenti erant, 'were as good as a rampart'). For a full analysis of the usages of the word see Nettleship, Contributions to Latin Lexicography, pp. 487–9.
Editor’s Note
13. tremula : here not of the shakiness of old age (as in 61. 154, 68. 142) but of the movement of rocking or dandling. Nemesianus has a pleasant description of Silenus playing nursemaid to the infant Bacchus (3. 28 ff.): 'aut gremio fouet aut resupinis sustinet ulnis,/euocat aut risum digito motuque quietem / allicit [i.e. rocks him to sleep] aut tremulis quassat crepitacula palmis' (shakes his rattle for him).
Critical Apparatus
14 cui cum Pall. (quoi cum Scaliger, quoi iam θ‎): cui iocum V
Editor’s Note
14. cui cum : most editors have followed Scaliger in reading quoi: Catullus probably wrote quoi always (see on 1. 1) but the cui iocum of V does not seem to be strong enough ground in itself for restoring it here.
Critical Apparatus
15 et δ‎: ut V
Editor’s Note
15. et puella : for the emphatic repetition with et cf. Cic. Fam. ii. 7. 4, 'a tribuno plebis et a Curione tribuno', Sest. 54 'gener et Piso gener', Sull. 18 'ueniebat ad me et saepe ueniebat', Verr. ii. 3.65 'sterni triclinia et in foro sterni iubebat', ii. 5.121 'errabas, Verres, et uehementer errabas', Leg. Man. 10 'de Lucullo dicam alio loco et ita dicam ut …'.
Editor’s Note
tenellulo : the double diminutive might well have been ascribed to Catullus' invention, but manu tenellula happens to have survived in a fragment of Laevius (fr. 4 Morel).
Editor’s Note
delicatior : 'more skittish', the word conveys the notion of the capricious, wilful behaviour of a spoiled person or animal: see on 50. 3 'ut conuenerat esse delicatos'. So Augustus said (Macr. ii. 5. 4) 'duas se habere filias delicatas quas necesse haberet ferre', 'two spoiled daughters that he had to put up with'—Rome and Julia.
Critical Apparatus
17 uni al. uim R
Editor’s Note
17. ludere : 'lets her flirt as she pleases'.
Editor’s Note
uni : the adjectival form of the genitive is quoted by Priscian from the comic poet Titinius, and Cato has the feminine dative unae. But instances of pronominal adjectives following the adjectival in preference to the normal pronominal declension are not confined either to archaic or to informal use: they occasionally appear, without obvious explanation, in formal prose (Caesar has toto, B.G. vii. 89. 5) and verse (Propertius has nullae curae (dat.) i. 20. 35, toto orbi iii. 11. 57). (See Kühner2 i. 622 sqq., Neue4 ii. 518 sqq.)
Critical Apparatus
18 se 1472: me V
Editor’s Note
18 f. alnus … securi : the elaborate Homeric simile of the felled poplar (Il. iv. 482–7) to which editors refer, has nothing in common with the vivid local colour of Catullus' image, in which the proper name calls up a picture of the forest-jungle of the wet Ligurian highlands, and the lively metaphor of suppernata.
Critical Apparatus
19 superata V: corr. Statius
Editor’s Note
17. 19 citat sub uoce 'suppernati' Festus p. 396 L.
Editor’s Note
19. suppernata : 'hamstrung by a Ligurian axe': cf. Fest. 396. 22 L. 'suppernati dicuntur quibus femina sunt succisa in modum suillarum pernarum'.
Editor’s Note
20. nulla sit : 'as if it did not exist at all'. This use of nullus as an emphatic negative is found both with sum and with other verbs: cf. (a) Cic. Acad. ii. 22 'cernere ea potest quae aut nulla sunt aut internosci a falsis non possunt', Off. iii. 104 'non ad iram deorum, quae nulla est, sed ad iustitiam et ad fidem pertinet', Ov. Met. ix. 735 'uellem nulla forem', Liv. xxxii. 35. 2 'Philippus nullus usquam'; (b), 8. 14 'cum rogaberis nulla', Plaut. Asin. 408 'is nullus uenit', Ter. Eun. 216 'etsi nullus moneas', Cic. Rosc. Am. 128 'haec bona in tabulas publicas nulla redierunt'. See Löfstedt, Synt. ii. 370, Hofmann, Lat. Umgangssp. 80; as Munro notes on Lucr. i. 377, the idiom is parallel to the common 'adverbial' or 'predicative' uses of omnis and totus (cf. 13. 14).
Critical Apparatus
21 meus V: merus Passerat (fortasse recte; cf. 13. 9)
Critical Apparatus
nil] nichil V
Editor’s Note
21. talis iste meus stupor : 'my dim-witted friend of whom I am telling you is just like that'. For the use of the abstract noun of a person, compare the common scelus, odium, pestis; for the colloquial meus cf. Phaedr. v. 7. 32 'homo meus se in pulpito … prosternit', Petr. 62. 13 'miles meus', Mart. v. 54. 1 'extemporalis factus est meus rhetor'. But iste meus is a very surprising combination and Passerat's ingenious merus, 'unadulterated dullness' (cf. 13. 9 meos V for meros) is probably right.
Critical Apparatus
22 qui V: quid mg
Editor’s Note
22. qui sit : cf. Plaut. Capt. 560 'quin suom ipse interdum ignorat nomen neque scit qui siet', Aul. 714 f. 'quo eam aut ubi sim aut qui sim / nequeo cum animo certum inuestigare'. qui is the normal form in this collocation (again in 78b. 4 'qui sis fama loquetur anus'), presumably for reasons of euphony (so before se, 66. 42): see on 61. 46.
Critical Apparatus
23 nunc cum X (al. hunc eum R), nunc uolo O
Critical Apparatus
24 potest olidum V: corr. Victorius
Critical Apparatus
excitare ζ‎η‎: exitare V
Editor’s Note
24. si pote : 'on the chance that he can': pote is personal; see on 45. 5.
Editor’s Note
potē stolidum : for the lengthening, cf. 63. 53 gelidā stabula, 64. 186 nullā spes, 44. 18 nefariā scripta: there may be another instance at 67. 32 supposita speculae. (22. 12 modo scurra is doubtful since modō may have its original quantity.) Elsewhere lengthening of a final syllable containing an open short vowel before a combination of s and another consonant is extremely rare; in elegiac verse there is only one instance (Tib. i. 5. 28 segete spicas), in Augustan hexameters two (Grattius 142 generosa stirpibus, 259 uulpina species). Allowing a syllable to remain short in the same position, as Catullus does at 64. 357, unda Scamandri, is almost as rare: see note on that line. In general the poets clearly avoid the collocation altogether.
Editor’s Note
excitare : 'shake up his lethargy': similarly with torporem Plin. N.H. xix. 155, inertiam Quint. Decl. 374, somnos Claud. xv. 447. By an idiom common both in Latin and in Greek the subject is represented as doing what is in fact done to him: see on 64. 305.
Critical Apparatus
25 delinquere X
Editor’s Note
25. supinum : 'spineless', 'phlegmatic'; for the metaphorical use cf. Quint. x. 2. 17 'otiosi et supini', xi. 3. 3 'supini securique' ('languid and indifferent'): Mart. vi. 42. 22 has the curious phrase aure supina 'with listless ear'.
Editor’s Note
26. soleam : the Romans did not use shoes nailed to the hoof: the solea was a slipper of leather with metal on the sole (so ferrea here: Nero had silver plates on his mules' shoes, Suet. Nero 30, and Poppaea carried ostentation even farther with gold, Pliny, N.H. xxxiii. 140), drawn over the animal's foot on the road to assist it when the going was difficult.
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