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Guy Lee (ed.), Oxford World's Classics: Catullus: The Complete Poems
- 1Peliaco quondam prognatae uertice pinus
- 2dicuntur liquidas Neptuni nasse per undas
- 3Phasidos ad fluctus et fines Aeeteos,
- 4cum lecti iuuenes, Argiuae robora pubis,
- 5auratam optantes Colchis auertere pellem
- 6ausi sunt uada salsa cita decurrere puppi,
- 7caerula uerrentes abiegnis aequora palmis.
- 8Diua quibus retinens in summis urbibus arces
- 9ipsa leui fecit uolitantem flamine currum,
- 10pinea coniungens inflexae texta carinae.
- 11illa rudem cursu prora imbuit Amphitriten.
- 12quae simul ac rostro uentosum proscidit aequor
- 13tortaque remigio spumis incanuit unda,
- 14emersere feri candenti e gurgite uultus,
- 15aequoreae monstrum Nereides admirantes.
- 16illa atque haud alia uiderunt luce marinas
- 17mortales oculis nudato corpore Nymphas
- 18nutricum tenus exstantes e gurgite cano.
- 19tum Thetidis Peleus incensus fertur amore,
- 20tum Thetis humanos non despexit hymenaeos,
- pg 8221tum Thetidi Pater ipse iugandum Pelea sensit.
- 22o nimis optato saeclorum tempore nati
- 23heroes, saluete, Deum genus! o bona matrum
- progenies saluete iter ⟨um mihi formosarum!⟩
- 24uos ego saepe, meo uos carmine compellabo,
- 25teque adeo, eximie taedis felicibus aucte,
- 26Thessaliae columen, Peleu, cui Iuppiter ipse,
- 27ipse suos Diuum Genitor concessit amores.
- 28tene Thetis tenuit pulcerrima Nereine?
- 29tene suam Tethys concessit ducere neptem,
- 30Oceanusque mari totum qui amplectitur orbem?
- 31quae simul optatae finito tempore luces
- 32aduenere, domum conuentu tota frequentat
- 33Thessalia, oppletur laetanti regia coetu.
- 34dona ferunt prae se, declarant gaudia uultu.
- 35deseritur Cieros, linquunt Pthiotica Tempe
- 36Crannonisque domos ac moenia Larisaea.
- 37Pharsalum coeunt, Pharsalia tecta frequentant.
- 38rura colit nemo, mollescunt colla iuuencis;
- 39non humilis curuis purgatur uinea rastris;
- 40non glebam prono conuellit uomere taurus;
- 41non falx attenuat frondatorum arboris umbram;
- 42squalida desertis rubigo infertur aratris.
- 43ipsius at sedes, quacumque opulenta recessit
- 44regia, fulgenti splendent auro atque argento.
- 45candet ebur soliis, collucent pocula mensae,
- 46tota domus gaudet regali splendida gaza.
- 47puluinar uero Diuae geniale locatur
- 48sedibus in mediis, Indo quod dente politum
- 49tincta tegit roseo conchyli purpura fuco.
- 50haec uestis priscis hominum uariata figuris
- 51heroum mira uirtutes indicat arte.
- 52namque fluentisono prospectans litore Diae,
- 53Thesea cedentem celeri cum classe tuetur
- 54indomitos in corde gerens Ariadna furores,
- pg 8455necdum etiam sese quae uisit uisere credit,
- 56utpote fallaci quae tum primum excita somno
- 57desertam in sola miseram se cernat harena.
- 58immemor at iuuenis fugiens pellit uada remis,
- 59irrita uentosae linquens promissa procellae.
- 60quem procul ex alga maestis Minois ocellis,
- 61saxea ut effigies Bacchantis, prospicit, eheu,
- 62prospicit et magnis curarum fluctuat undis,
- 63non flauo retinens subtilem uertice mitram,
- 64non contecta leui uelatum pectus amictu,
- 65non tereti strophio lactentis uincta papillas,
- 66omnia quae toto delapsa e corpore passim
- 67ipsius ante pedes fluctus salis alludebant.
- 68sed neque tum mitrae neque tum fluitantis amictus
- 69illa uicem curans toto ex te pectore, Theseu,
- 70toto animo, tota pendebat perdita mente.
- 71a misera, assiduis quam luctibus externauit
- 72spinosas Erycina serens in pectore curas
- 73illa tempestate, ferox quo ex tempore Theseus
- 74egressus curuis e litoribus Piraei
- 75attigit iniusti regis Gortynia templa.
- 76nam perhibent olim crudeli peste coactam
- 77Androgeoneae poenas exsoluere caedis
- 78electos iuuenes simul et decus innuptarum
- 79Cecropiam solitam esse dapem dare Minotauro.
- 80quis angusta malis cum moenia uexarentur,
- 81ipse suum Theseus pro caris corpus Athenis
- 82proicere optauit potius quam talia Cretam
- 83funera Cecropiae nec-funera portarentur.
- 84atque ita naue leui nitens ac lenibus auris
- 85magnanimum ad Minoa uenit sedesque superbas.
- 86hunc simul ac cupido conspexit lumine uirgo
- 87regia, quam suauis exspirans castus odores
- 88lectulus in molli complexu matris alebat,
- 89quales Eurotae progignunt flumina myrtus
- 90auraue distinctos educit uerna colores,
- pg 8691non prius ex illo flagrantia declinauit
- 92lumina quam cuncto concepit corpore flammam
- 93funditus atque imis exarsit tota medullis.
- 94heu, misere exagitans immiti corde furores,
- 95Sancte Puer, curis hominum qui gaudia misces,
- 96quaeque regis Golgos quaeque Idalium frondosum,
- 97qualibus incensam iactastis mente puellam
- 98fluctibus, in flauo saepe hospite suspirantem!
- 99quantos illa tulit languenti corde timores!
- 100quanto saepe magis fulgore expalluit auri,
- 101cum saeuum cupiens contra contendere monstrum
- 102aut mortem appeteret Theseus aut praemia laudis!
- 103non ingrata tamen frustra munuscula Diuis
- 104promittens tacito succendit uota labello.
- 105nam uelut in summo quatientem bracchia Tauro
- 106quercum aut conigeram sudanti cortice pinum
- 107indomitus turbo contorquens flamine robur
- 108eruit (illa procul radicitus exturbata
- 109prona cadit, late quaeuiscumque obuia frangens),
- 110sic domito saeuum prostrauit corpore Theseus
- 111nequiquam uanis iactantem cornua uentis.
- 112inde pedem sospes multa cum laude reflexit
- 113errabunda regens tenui uestigia filo,
- 114ne Labyrintheis e flexibus egredientem
- 115tecti frustraretur inobseruabilis error.
- 116sed quid ego a primo digressus carmine plura
- 117commemorem, ut linquens genitoris filia uultum,
- 118ut consanguineae complexum, ut denique matris
- 119quae misera in gnata deperdita lamentatast,
- 120omnibus his Thesei dulcem praeoptarit amorem;
- 121aut ut uecta rati spumosa ad litora Diae
- 122uenerit, aut ut eam deuinctam lumina somno
- 123liquerit immemori discedens pectore coniunx?
- 124saepe illam perhibent ardenti corde furentem
- 125clarisonas imo fudisse e pectore uoces,
- 126ac tum praeruptos tristem conscendere montes
- pg 88127unde aciem in pelagi uastos protenderet aestus,
- 128tum tremuli salis aduersas procurrere in undas
- 129mollia nudatae tollentem tegmina surae,
- 130atque haec extremis maestam dixisse querellis,
- 131frigidulos udo singultus ore cientem:
- 132'sicine me patriis auectam, perfide, ab aris,
- 133perfide, deserto liquisti in litore, Theseu?
- 134sicine discedens, neglecto numine Diuum,
- 135immemor, a, deuota domum periuria portas?
- 136nullane res potuit crudelis flectere mentis
- 137consilium? tibi nulla fuit clementia praesto,
- 138immite ut nostri uellet miserescere pectus?
- 139at non haec quondam blanda promissa dedisti
- 140uoce mihi, non haec miseram sperare iubebas,
- 141sed conubia laeta, sed optatos hymenaeos,
- 142quae cuncta aerii discerpunt irrita uenti.
- 143nunc iam nulla uiro iuranti femina credat,
- 144nulla uiri speret sermones esse fideles;
- 145quis dum aliquid cupiens animus praegestit apisci,
- 146nil metuunt iurare, nihil promittere parcunt,
- 147sed simul ac cupidae mentis satiata libido est,
- 148dicta nihil meminere, nihil periuria curant.
- 149certe ego te in medio uersantem turbine leti
- 150eripui, et potius germanum amittere creui
- 151quam tibi fallaci supremo in tempore dessem.
- 152pro quo dilaceranda feris dabor alitibusque
- 153praeda, neque iniacta tumulabor mortua terra.
- 154quaenam te genuit sola sub rupe leaena,
- 155quod mare conceptum spumantibus exspuit undis,
- 156quae Syrtis, quae Scylla rapax, quae uasta Charybdis,
- 157talia qui reddis pro dulci praemia uita?
- 158si tibi non cordi fuerant conubia nostra,
- 159saeua quod horrebas prisci praecepta parentis,
- 160attamen in uestras potuisti ducere sedes
- pg 90161quae tibi iucundo famularer serua labore,
- 162candida permulcens liquidis uestigia lymphis,
- 163purpureaue tuum consternens ueste cubile.
- 164sed quid ego ignaris nequiquam conqueror auris,
- 165externata malo, quae nullis sensibus auctae
- 166nec missas audire queunt nec reddere uoces?
- 167ille autem prope iam mediis uersatur in undis,
- 168nec quisquam apparet uacua mortalis in alga.
- 169sic, nimis insultans extremo tempore, saeua
- 170Fors etiam nostris inuidit questibus aures.
- 171Iuppiter Omnipotens, utinam ne tempore primo
- 172Cnosia Cecropiae tetigissent litora puppes,
- 173indomito nec dira ferens stipendia tauro
- 174perfidus in Creta religasset nauita funem,
- 175nec malus hic celans dulci crudelia forma
- 176consilia in nostris requiesset sedibus hospes!
- 177nam quo me referam? quali spe perdita nitor?
- 178Idaeosne petam montes? a, gurgite lato
- 179discernens ponti truculentum ubi diuidit aequor?
- 180an patris auxilium sperem? quemne ipsa reliqui
- 181respersum iuuenem fraterna caede secuta?
- 182coniugis an fido consoler memet amore?
- 183quine fugit lentos incuruans gurgite remos?
- 184praeterea nullo colitur sola insula tecto,
- 185nec patet egressus pelagi cingentibus undis.
- 186nulla fugae ratio, nulla spes. omnia muta,
- 187omnia sunt deserta, ostentant omnia letum.
- 188non tamen ante mihi languescent lumina morte
- 189nec prius a fesso secedent corpore sensus
- 190quam iustam a Diuis exposcam prodita multam
- 191Caelestumque fidem postrema comprecer hora.
- 192quare facta uirum multantes uindice poena
- 193Eumenides, quibus anguino redimita capillo
- 194frons exspirantis praeportat pectoris iras,
- 195huc huc aduentate, meas audite querellas,
- 196quas ego, uae misera, extremis proferre medullis
- 197cogor inops, ardens, amenti caeca furore.
- pg 92198quae quoniam uerae nascuntur pectore ab imo,
- 199uos nolite pati nostrum uanescere luctum,
- 200sed quali solam Theseus me mente reliquit,
- 201tali mente, Deae, funestet seque suosque.'
- 202has postquam maesto profudit pectore uoces,
- 203supplicium saeuis exposcens anxia factis,
- 204annuit inuicto Caelestum numine Rector;
- 205quo motu tellus atque horrida contremuerunt
- 206aequora concussitque micantia sidera mundus.
- 207ipse autem caeca mentem caligine Theseus
- 208consitus oblito dimisit pectore cuncta
- 209quae mandata prius constanti mente tenebat,
- 210dulcia nec maesto sustollens signa parenti
- 211sospitem Erectheum se ostendit uisere portum.
- 212namque ferunt olim, classi cum moenia Diuae
- 213linquentem gnatum uentis concrederet Aegeus,
- 214talia complexum iuueni mandata dedisse:
- 215'gnate mihi longa iucundior unice uita,
- 216gnate ego quem in dubios cogor dimittere casus,
- 217reddite in extrema nuper mihi fine senectae,
- 218quandoquidem fortuna mea ac tua feruida uirtus
- 219eripit inuito mihi te, cui languida nondum
- 220lumina sunt gnati cara saturata figura,
- 221non ego te gaudens laetanti pectore mittam
- 222nec te ferre sinam fortunae signa secundae,
- 223sed primum multas expromam mente querellas,
- 224canitiem terra atque infuso puluere foedans,
- 225inde infecta uago suspendam lintea malo,
- 226nostros ut luctus nostraeque incendia mentis
- 227carbasus obscurata dicet ferrugine Hibera.
- 228quod tibi si sancti concesserit Incola Itoni,
- 229quae nostrum genus ac sedes defendere Erecthei
- 230annuit, ut tauri respergas sanguine dextram,
- 231tum uero facito ut memori tibi condita corde
- pg 94232haec uigeant mandata nec ulla oblitteret aetas,
- 233ut simul ac nostros inuisent lumina collis,
- 234funestam antennae deponant undique uestem
- 235candidaque intorti sustollant uela rudentes,
- 236quam primum cernens ut laeta gaudia mente
- 237agnoscam, cum te reducem aetas prospera sistet.'
- 238haec mandata prius constanti mente tenentem
- 239Thesea ceu pulsae uentorum flamine nubes
- 240aerium niuei montis liquere cacumen.
- 241at pater, ut summa prospectum ex arce petebat,
- 242anxia in assiduos absumens lumina fletus,
- 243cum primum inflati conspexit lintea ueli,
- 244praecipitem sese scopulorum e uertice iecit,
- 245amissum credens immiti Thesea fato.
- 246sic, funesta domus ingressus tecta paterna
- 247morte, ferox Theseus, qualem Minoidi luctum
- 248obtulerat mente immemori, talem ipse recepit.
- 249quae tum prospectans cedentem maesta carinam
- 250multiplices animo uoluebat saucia curas.
- 251at parte ex alia florens uolitabat Iacchus
- 252cum thiaso Satyrorum et Nysigenis Silenis,
- 253te quaerens, Ariadna, tuoque incensus amore.
- 254cui Thyades passim lymphata mente furebant
- 255'euhoe' bacchantes 'euhoe', capita inflectentes.
- 256harum pars tecta quatiebant cuspide thyrsos,
- 257pars e diuolso iactabant membra iuuenco,
- 258pars sese tortis serpentibus incingebant,
- 259pars obscura cauis celebrabant orgia cistis,
- 260orgia quae frustra cupiunt audire profani.
- 261plangebant aliae proceris tympana palmis
- 262aut tereti tenuis tinnitus aere ciebant.
- 263multis raucisonos efflabant cornua bombos
- 264barbaraque horribili stridebat tibia cantu.
- 265talibus amplifice uestis decorata figuris
- 266puluinar complexa suo uelabat amictu.
- 267quae postquam cupide spectando Thessala pubes
- 268expleta est, sanctis coepit decedere Diuis.
- pg 96269hic, qualis flatu placidum mare matutino
- 270horrificans Zephyrus procliuas incitat undas
- 271(Aurora exoriente uagi sub limina Solis)
- 272quae tarde primum clementi flamine pulsae
- 273procedunt leuiterque sonant plangore cachinni,
- 274post uento crescente magis magis increbrescunt
- 275purpureaque procul nantes ab luce refulgent,
- 276sic tum uestibulo linquentes regia tecta
- 277ad se quisque uago passim pede discedebant.
- 278quorum post abitum princeps e uertice Peli
- 279aduenit Chiron portans siluestria dona.
- 280nam quoscumque ferunt campi, quos Thessala magnis
- 281montibus ora creat, quos propter fluminis undas
- 282aura parit flores tepidi fecunda Fauoni,
- 283hos indistinctis plexos tulit ipse corollis,
- 284quo permulsa domus iucundo risit odore.
- 285confestim Penios adest, uiridantia Tempe,
- 286Tempe quae siluae cingunt super impendentes,
- 287Haemonisin linquens Dryasin celebranda choreis,
- 288non uacuos; namque ille tulit radicitus altas
- 289fagos ac recto proceras stipite laurus
- 290non sine nutanti platano lentaque sorore
- 291flammati Phaëthontis et aeria cupressu.
- 292haec circum sedes late contexta locauit
- 293uestibulum ut molli uelatum fronde uireret.
- 294post hunc consequitur sollerti corde Prometheus,
- 295extenuata gerens ueteris uestigia poenae
- 296quam quondam silici restrictus membra catena
- 297persoluit pendens e uerticibus praeruptis.
- 298inde Pater Diuum sancta cum coniuge natisque
- 299aduenit caelo, te solum, Phoebe, relinquens
- 300unigenamque simul cultricem montibus Idri;
- 301Pelea nam tecum pariter soror aspernata est
- 302nec Thetidis taedas uoluit celebrare iugalis.
- pg 98303qui postquam niueis flexerunt sedibus artus,
- 304large multiplici constructae sunt dape mensae,
- 305cum interea infirmo quatientes corpora motu
- 306ueridicos Parcae coeperunt edere cantus.
- 307his corpus tremulum complectens undique uestis
- 308candida purpurea talos incinxerat ora,
- 309at roseae niueo residebant uertice uittae,
- 310aeternumque manus carpebant rite laborem.
- 311laeua colum molli lana retinebat amictum;
- 312dextera tum leuiter deducens fila supinis
- 313formabat digitis, tum prono in pollice torquens
- 314libratum tereti uersabat turbine fusum;
- 315atque ita decerpens aequabat semper opus dens,
- 316laneaque aridulis haerebant morsa labellis
- 317quae prius in leui fuerant exstantia filo.
- 318ante pedes autem candentis mollia lanae
- 319uellera uirgati custodibant calathisci.
- 320haec tum clarisona uellentes uellera uoce
- 321talia diuino fuderunt carmine fata,
- 322carmine perfidiae quod post nulla arguet aetas.
- 323'o decus eximium magnis uirtutibus augens,
- 324Emathiae tutamen, Opis carissime nato,
- 325accipe quod laeta tibi pandunt luce Sorores,
- 326ueridicum oraclum. sed uos, quae fata sequuntur
- 327 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- 328adueniet tibi iam portans optata maritis
- 329Hesperus, adueniet fausto cum sidere coniunx
- 330quae tibi flexanimo mentem perfundat amore
- 331languidulosque paret tecum coniungere somnos,
- 332leuia substernens robusto bracchia collo.
- 333 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- 334nulla domus tales umquam contexit amores,
- 335nullus amor tali coniunxit foedere amantes
- 336qualis adest Thetidi, qualis concordia Peleo.
- 337currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- pg 100338nascetur uobis expers terroris Achilles,
- 339hostibus haud tergo sed forti pectore notus,
- 340qui persaepe uago uictor certamine cursus
- 341flammea praeuertet celeris uestigia ceruae.
- 342 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- 343non illi quisquam bello se conferet heros
- 344cum Phrygii Teucro manabunt sanguine campi,
- 345Troicaque obsidens longinquo moenia bello
- 346periuri Pelopis uastabit tertius heres.
- 347 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- 348illius egregias uirtutes claraque facta
- 349saepe fatebuntur gnatorum in funere matres,
- 350cum incultum cano soluent a uertice crinem
- 351putriaque infirmis uariabunt pectora palmis.
- 352 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- 353namque uelut densas praecerpens messor aristas
- 354sole sub ardenti flauentia demetit arua,
- 355Troiugenum infesto prosternet corpora ferro.
- 356 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- 357testis erit magnis uirtutibus unda Scamandri,
- 358quae passim rapido diffunditur Hellesponto,
- 359cuius iter caesis angustans corporum aceruis
- 360alta tepefaciet permixta flumina caede.
- 361 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- 362denique testis erit morti quoque reddita praeda
- 363cum teres excelso coaceruatum aggere bustum
- 364excipiet niueos perculsae uirginis artus.
- 365 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- 366nam simul ac fessis dederit Fors copiam Achiuis
- 367urbis Dardaniae Neptunia soluere uincla,
- 368alta Polyxenia madefient caede sepulcra;
- 369quae, uelut ancipiti succumbens uictima ferro,
- 370proiciet truncum summisso poplite corpus.
- 371 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- pg 102372quare agite, optatos animi coniungite amores.
- 373accipiat coniunx felici foedere Diuam,
- 374dedatur cupido iamdudum nupta marito.
- 375 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
- 376non illam nutrix orienti luce reuisens
- 377hesterno collum poterit circumdare filo,
- 379anxia nec mater discordis maesta puellae
- 380secubitu caros mittet sperare nepotes.
- 381 currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.'
- 382talia praefantes quondam felicia Pelei
- 383carmina diuino cecinerunt pectore Parcae.
- 384praesentes namque ante domos inuisere castas
- 385heroum et sese mortali ostendere coetu
- 386Caelicolae nondum spreta pietate solebant.
- 387saepe Pater Diuum templo in fulgente residens
- 388annua cum festis uenissent sacra diebus,
- 389conspexit terra centum procumbere tauros.
- 390saepe uagus Liber Parnasi uertice summo
- 391Thyiadas effusis euantis crinibus egit,
- 392cum Delphi tota certatim ex urbe ruentes
- 393acciperent laeti Diuum fumantibus aris.
- 394saepe in letifero belli certamine Mauors
- 395aut rapidi Tritonis Era aut Amarynthia Virgo
- 396armatas hominum est praesens hortata cateruas.
- 397sed postquam Tellus scelere est imbuta nefando
- 398iustitiamque omnes cupida de mente fugarunt,
- 399perfudere manus fraterno sanguine fratres,
- 400destitit extinctos gnatus lugere parentes,
- 401optauit genitor primaeui funera nati
- 402liber uti nuptae poteretur flore nouellae,
- 403ignaro mater substernens se impia nato,
- 404impia non uerita est diuos scelerare Penates.
- 405omnia fanda nefanda malo permixta furore
- 406iustificam nobis mentem auertere Deorum.
- 407quare nec talis dignantur uisere coetus
- 408nec se contingi patiuntur lumine claro.
Editor’s NoteEditor’s NoteLXIV
- Editor’s Note1Pines in the past, born from the brow of Pelion,
- 2Are rumoured to have swum through Neptune's clear waves
- 3To Phasis' breakers and the frontiers of Aeetes,
- 4When chosen young men, oaks of Argive adulthood,
- 5Eager to rob the Colchians of a gilded hide,
- 6Ventured the voyage past salt shoals in a swift hull,
- 7Sweeping blue-green levels with palms of silver fir.
- Editor’s Note8For them the Goddess Guardian of high citadels
- 9In person made a car to fly with the light breeze
- 10By joining interwoven pinewood to curved keel.
- Editor’s Note11Its prow inured raw Amphitrite to ships' courses.
- 12As soon as with its beak it ploughed the windy plain
- 13And, by oarage spiralled, wave grew white with foam,
- 14Out of the gleaming surge wild faces arose,
- 15Aequoreal Nereids, marvelling at the portent.
- 16In that and not another day's light mortal eyes
- 17Beheld the bodies of the Nymphs of Ocean naked
- 18Far as the sucklers standing out from the white surge.
- 19Then Peleus, it is told, for Thetis burned with love,
- 20Then Thetis did not despise human hymeneals,
- pg 83Editor’s Note21Then the Father Himself felt Peleus should yoke with Thetis.
- 22O born in a time of all the ages too much missed,
- 23Hail, heroes, breed of Gods! O noble progeny
- Of mothers beautiful, I hail you once again!
- 24I shall invoke you often, invoke you in my song,
- 25And you above all, blest by happy bridal torches,
- 26Thessaly's pillar, Peleus, to whom Jove himself,
- 27The Father of the Gods himself resigned his love.
- 28Did Thetis, fairest Nereïne, embrace you?
- Editor’s Note29Did Tethys allow you to wed her granddaughter
- 30And Ocean's who encircles all the globe with sea?
- 31But when at the appointed time those longed-for days
- 32Arrived, the whole of Thessaly by invitation
- 33Crowds the house, fills the palace with delighted throng.
- 34They bring gifts with them. Faces manifest their joy.
- Editor’s Note35Cieros is deserted; they leave Phthiotian Tempe
- 36And Crannon's houses and the walls of Lárisa.
- 37They flock to Pharsalus; they crowd Pharsalian roofs.
- 38None tills the soil; the necks of oxen become soft.
- 39No low-grown vine is cleared of weeds by bent-pronged rake.
- 40No bullock cleaves the clod with deep-driven ploughshare.
- 41No pruner's hook thins out the shade of leafy trees.
- 42Slovenly rust attacks the solitary ploughs.
- 43The king's own quarters, though, far as the sumptuous
- 44Palace stretched backward, shine with lustrous gold and silver.
- 45Ivory gleams on thrones, cups glow upon the board,
- 46The whole house revels in the glint of royal treasure.
- 47Indeed, there in the midst, the Goddess's bridal
- 48Divan is placed, inlaid with Indian tooth and spread
- 49With woven purple dipped in rosy murex dye.
- 50This coverlet, embroidered with old-time human figures,
- 51Reveals with wondrous art the virtues of heroes.
- Editor’s Note52There, staring out from Dia's surf-resounding shore
- 53And watching Theseus sailing off with his fast fleet,
- 54Is Ariadne, nursing at heart unmastered passions,
- pg 8555Nor can she yet believe she sees what she is seeing,
- 56That very moment woken from deceiving sleep
- 57To find her poor self left behind on lonely sand.
- 58The heedless youth in flight strikes the shallows with oars,
- 59Leaving broken promises to the blustering gale.
- Editor’s Note60Him, far off, from the wrack Minois, bitter-eyed,
- 61Like some Bacchante's stone statue, watches, ah
- 62Watches, and tosses inwardly on great waves of troubles,
- 63Not keeping fine-spun snood upon her golden head,
- 64Not covered by light raiment over veiled bosom,
- 65Not tied about the milky paps with rounded band,
- 66All which had slipped down off her body in disarray
- 67And at her feet salt waves were playing games with them.
- 68But she, not thinking then of snood nor troubled then
- 69By floating robe, with all her heart, Theseus, and all
- 70Her soul and all her mind clung desperately to you.
- 71Poor girl, how Erycina obsessed her with continual
- Editor’s Note72Sorrows, sowing thorny worries in her heart
- 73At that time, ever since the day when proud Theseus,
- 74Sailing from the curving shoreline of Piraeus,
- Editor’s Note75Touched land at the unjust king's Gortynian precinct.
- 76For they report that earlier, forced by cruel plague
- Editor’s Note77To pay the penalty for Androgeos' murder,
- 78Cecropia used to send the pick of her young men
- Editor’s Note79And glory of her maidens to feast the Minotaur.
- 80But when her narrow walls were harassed by this evil,
- 81Theseus of his own will determined to lay down
- 82His body for dear Athens rather than allow
- 83Cecropia's living dead thus to be shipped to Crete.
- 84And so, relying on light vessel and fair winds,
- 85He came to great-souled Minos and his proud abode.
- 86Soon as the maiden princess with longing look espied him,
- 87She whom a virgin bed breathing out sweet odours
- 88Still nurtured in the soft embraces of her mother,
- Editor’s Note89Like myrtle that the streams of Eurotas bring forth
- 90Or like the different colours springtime air draws out,
- pg 8791She did not turn away from him her smouldering
- 92Eye-beams until throughout her frame she had caught fire
- 93Deep down, and in her inmost marrow was all ablaze.
- 94Ah, wretchedly arousing passions, cruel-hearted,
- Editor’s Note95Holy Child, who mix for mankind joy with sorrow,
- 96And you, the Queen of Golgi and leafy Idalium,
- 97On what rough seas you tossed the girl with mind aflame
- 98As often as she sighed for that fair-haired stranger!
- 99How great the fears she suffered with a heavy heart!
- 100How often then she turned paler than gleam of gold,
- 101When, eager to contend against the savage monster,
- 102Theseus willed either death or the prize of glory!
- 103Not vainly pledging, though, to the Gods unpleasing
- 104Little gifts she kindled vows on silent lips.
- Editor’s Note105For as on Taurus' top, wildly waving its arms,
- 106Oaktree or cone-bearing pine with sticky bark
- 107By a furious whirlwind whose blast twists its stout trunk
- 108Is toppled (torn up by the roots the tree full length
- 109Falls prostrate, crushing everything in its wide way),
- 110So Theseus laid the monster low, beast body beaten
- 111As it tossed its useless horns against the empty air.
- 112Thence with great renown he walked his way back, safe,
- Editor’s Note113Directing his bewildered steps with slender thread,
- 114Lest, while he tried to escape the Labyrinth's meanders,
- 115The building's inscrutable maze should baffle him.
- 116But why digressing further from my opening song
- 117Remember how the daughter leaving her sire's face,
- 118Leaving the embrace of blood-sister and even of mother
- 119Who grieved in desperation for her wretched child,
- 120Before all these preferred the sweet love of Theseus?
- 121Or how he carried her by ship to Dia's foaming
- 122Beaches, or how he left her blindfolded by sleep,
- 123Departing, though her husband, with a heedless heart?
- 124Often, they say, in frenzy, with her mind on fire,
- 125She poured out shrill-edged cries from the depth of her heart,
- 126And sometimes in her sorrow she clambered up steep cliffs
- pg 89127From whence to extend her view of the ocean's empty swell;
- 128Sometimes ran out to meet the restless brine's breakers
- 129Kilting up her bared legs' lightweight covering.
- 130These words at last she spoke of bitter lamentation,
- 131Distorting with chill little sobs her tearful face:
- 132'So, faithless one who took me from my father's altars,
- 133You leave me, faithless Theseus, on a lonely beach?
- 134So, sailing off, contemptuous of the Gods' will,
- 135You carry home, ah heedless, accursed perjury?
- 136And was there nothing that could turn your cruel mind's
- 137Intention? Had you then no kindliness at call
- 138That your ungentle heart might wish to pity us?
- 139Not these the promises you gave me once in gallant
- 140Phrases, not these the things you told poor me to expect,
- Editor’s Note141But married happiness, but longed-for hymeneals,
- 142All which the airy winds have tattered into nothing.
- 143No woman now should put her faith in a man's oath
- 144And none expect a man's word to be trustworthy.
- 145For while their lusting spirit craves to gain something
- 146There's nothing they fear to swear, nothing forbear to promise;
- 147But once the longing of their lustful mind is slaked
- 148They don't recall their words or balk at perjury.
- 149You can't deny that while you spun round in death's whirlpool
- 150I rescued you and chose rather to lose a brother
- 151Than fail deceitful you in time of utmost need—
- 152For which I'm to be torn apart by beasts and birds,
- 153Carrion in death, with no dust thrown for burial.
- 154What lioness littered you below some lonely crag?
- 155What sea conceived and spewed you out in the waves' spume?
- 156What Syrtis, what devouring Scylla, what grim Charybdis,
- 157You who can render such return for your sweet life?
- 158If marriage, yours and mine, had not been to your mind
- 159Because you dreaded the harsh rules of an old-world father,
- 160You could at least have brought me to your family home
- pg 91161That I might serve you as a slave in joyful work,
- 162Soothing the white soles of your feet in clear water
- 163Or spreading your couch with a purple coverlet.
- 164But why do I complain, out of my mind with woe,
- 165In vain to unheeding airs, which unpossessed of feeling
- 166Can neither hear nor return a spoken message?
- 167Besides, by now he's almost half way on the waves
- 168And there's no sign of man along the bare sea-wrack.
- 169So, jumping on us hard in time's extremity,
- 170Cruel Fortune even grudges ears to our complaints.
- 171Almighty Jove, if only in that first of times
- 172Cecropian hulls had never touched the Cnossian shore,
- 173Nor bearing fearful tribute to an untamed bull
- 174Had faithless sailor ever tied up line in Crete
- 175Or this bad man, concealing cruel counsels under
- 176A sweet outside had rested in our house as guest!
- 177For where do I turn? What hope rely on in my ruin?
- Editor’s Note178Am I to make for Ida's mountains? Ah, with wide
- 179Gulf sundering, when stormy ocean lies between?
- 180Or can I hope for father's help? Whom I deserted
- 181To follow a youth spattered with my brother's blood?
- 182Or comfort myself with a husband's faithful love?
- 183Who's fleeing from me, bending tough oars in the surge?
- 184Besides, this lonely island's uninhabited.
- 185Every way out is blocked by sea's encircling waves.
- 186There's no means of escape, no hope. Everything's dumb,
- 187Everywhere's deserted, everything threatens doom.
- 188Nevertheless my eyes shall not grow dim in death
- 189Neither shall sensation leave my weary body
- 190Before I claim, betrayed, just forfeit from the Gods
- 191And pray in my last hour for Heaven to keep faith.
- 192Wherefore, chastisers of men's deeds with vengeful forfeit,
- 193Eumenides, whose forehead wreathed in snaky hair
- 194Proclaims the furious anger breathed out from your heart,
- 195Be present, come in haste, give ear to my complaints,
- 196Which, woe is me, I am forced to bring forth from my very
- 197Marrow, helpless, burning, blinded by mindless passion.
- pg 93198But since they are true children of my inmost heart
- 199Be sure you suffer not our grief to go for nothing,
- 200But with what mind Theseus has left me on my own,
- 201With such mind, Goddesses, let him doom himself and his.'
- 202After she had poured forth these words from her sad heart,
- 203In anguish claiming punishment for cruel deeds,
- 204Heaven's Ruler nodded his invincible assent,
- 205And at that movement earth and the wild sea's expanse
- 206Quaked and the firmament shook its glittering stars.
- 207But Theseus' self, his mind thick-sown with blinding dark,
- 208Let slip from his forgetful heart all the commands
- 209Which hitherto he had kept constantly in mind,
- 210Nor hoisted the sweet signal for his grieving parent
- Editor’s Note211To prove that he was safely in sight of Erechtheus' port.
- Editor’s Note212For earlier, we are told, commending to the winds
- 213The son about to sail from the Goddess's walls,
- 214Aegeus embraced the youth and gave him these commands:
- 215'My only son, sweeter than length of life to me,
- 216Son I am forced to send away to doubtful doom,
- Editor’s Note217Though late restored to me in my extreme old age,
- 218Whereas my fortune and your passionate valour
- 219Rob me of you against my will (for my dim eyes
- 220Have not yet looked their fill upon my son's dear form)
- 221I shall not send you gladly with a happy heart
- 222Nor let you show the signs of favourable fortune
- 223But first give utterance to my mind's much bitterness
- 224Befouling my white hair with soil and sprinkled dust,
- 225Thereafter hang the roving mast with dyed canvas
- 226So that the grief and burning kindled in our mind
- Editor’s Note227Sails darkened with Iberian rust may publicize.
- 228But should the Dweller in holy Itonus give you leave
- 229(She who vouchsafes protection to our people and
- 230Erechtheus' realm) to stain your right hand with bull's blood,
- 231Then, truly, see that these commands stay fresh, stored up
- pg 95232In mindful heart and unerased by lapse of time,
- 233That when your bright eyes first catch sight of our hills
- 234The yard-arms lower their doom-laden cloth entirely
- 235And plaited halyards hoist aloft shining white sails,
- 236That seeing I may know your joy with happy mind
- 237Soon as may be, when prospering time brings you back safe.'
- 238These commands, hitherto kept constantly in mind,
- 239Drifted from Theseus like clouds driven by the wind's
- 240Breath from the airy summit of a snowy mountain.
- 241His father, though, on look-out from the Acropolis
- 242And wasting anguished eyes in continual weeping,
- 243Soon as he saw the canvas of the swelling sail
- 244Hurled himself headlong down from the highest of the rocks,
- 245Believing Theseus lost to an ungentle fate.
- 246So, entering the home polluted by his father's
- 247Death, haughty Theseus had himself to endure such grief
- 248As he had brought Minois by his heedless mind;
- 249Who meanwhile, sadly watching his receding keel,
- 250Wounded in spirit pondered troubles manifold.
- Editor’s Note251But in another part Iacchus in bloom flew by
- Editor’s Note252With rout of Satyrs and Nysigenous Sileni,
- Editor’s Note253Seeking you, Ariadne, and burning with love for you.
- 254For him the Thyads raved around with frenzied mind,
- 255Shrieking Evoe, Evoe, twisting their heads about.
- 256Part of them were shaking thyrsi with covered spike,
- 257Part threw around the limbs of a dismembered steer,
- 258Part wrapped themselves about with wreaths of writhing snakes,
- Editor’s Note259Part thronged the orgia concealed in hollow creels,
- 260Those orgia the profane desire in vain to hear.
- 261Others with open palms were banging tambourines
- 262Or clashing ringing clangour from thin rounded bronze.
- 263For many, horns blared out cacophonous boom-booms
- 264And barbarous reed-pipes screeched hair-raising music.
- 265The coverlet, with such figures grandly decorated,
- 266Embracing the divan veiled and enveloped it;
- 267With eager study of which after Thessaly's folk
- 268Were sated, they made way then for the holy Gods.
- pg 97269Here, even as Zephyrus ruffling the tranquil sea
- 270With early morning breath arouses the slope waves
- 271(While Dawn comes up to the threshold of the roving Sun)
- 272Which slowly at first, being driven by a clement breeze,
- 273Procéss and lightly break with a mournful guffaw,
- 274Then, the wind strengthening, grow bigger, multiply
- 275And swimming in the distance gleam with crimson light,
- 276So, by the forecourt then leaving the royal palace,
- 277The guests dispersed on roving feet each to his home.
- 278And after their departure, first of all, from Pelion's
- Editor’s Note279Summit Chiron came, bringing woodland gifts.
- 280For all the flowers the plains bear, all that Thessaly
- 281Grows on her mighty mountains, all that warm Favonius'
- Editor’s Note282Fruitful breeze produces near the rippling river,
- Editor’s Note283All these he brought himself, arranged in random bunches,
- 284Charmed by whose delightful fragrance the house laughed.
- Editor’s Note285Straightway Peníos comes, leaving verdant Tempe,
- 286Tempe by overhanging woodland ringed above,
- Editor’s Note287For the Haemonian Dryads to celebrate with dances,
- 288Not empty-handed, for he carried, root and all,
- 289Lofty beeches and tall laurels with straight stem,
- Editor’s Note290Not without nodding plane-trees and the supple sister
- 291Of burnt-out Phaëthon and airy cypresses.
- 292These he placed all around the entrance, intertwined,
- 293So that the forecourt might grow green, screened with soft leaves.
- 294There follows after him Prometheus of crafty heart,
- 295Bearing faded traces of the ancient punishment
- 296Which formerly, with limbs fast bound by chain to flint,
- 297He paid by hanging over a sheer precipice.
- 298Then the Father of Gods with holy wife and children
- 299Arrived from Heaven, leaving you, Phoebus, alone
- Editor’s Note300Together with the sibling Dweller on Idrus' mountains;
- 301For equally with you your sister despised Peleus
- 302And refused to attend Thetis' nuptial torches.
- pg 99303But after they had bent their limbs to snow-white seats,
- 304The tables were heaped lavishly with various courses;
- 305Meanwhile, their bodies shaking with infirmity,
- Editor’s Note306The three Parcae began to chant their soothsaying.
- 307A fair white robe embracing all their trembling body
- 308Fell about their ankles with its purple edge,
- 309While rosy fillets rested on their snow-white heads
- 310And their hands duly plied the everlasting task.
- 311The left hand held the distaff mantled in soft wool;
- 312The right, first, lightly drawing down the threads with upturned
- 313Fingers shaped them, then, with downturned thumb twisting,
- 314Revolved the spindle balanced by its rounded whorl;
- 315And all the time their teeth tore off and smoothed the work
- 316And to their thin dry lips clung bitten tufts of wool
- 317Which previously obtruded on the even thread.
- 318Moreover at their feet the soft fleeces of dazzling
- 319White wool were safely stored in plaited osier baskets.
- 320They then, plucking the fleeces, with clear-sounding voice
- 321Poured out in a prophetic song such fates as these—
- 322A song no after-age will ever charge with falsehood:
- 323'O you, enhancing rare distinction with great virtues,
- Editor’s Note324Emathia's guardian, most dear to the son of Ops,
- 325Hear what the sisters scry for you in this glad light,
- Editor’s Note326Their truthful oracle. But you that the fates follow
- 327 Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- 328For you there'll come soon, bringing heart's desire to bridegrooms,
- 329Hesperus; with his lucky star there'll come a consort
- 330To bathe your being for you in soul-searching love
- 331And ready to consort with you in swooning slumbers,
- 332Laying her smooth arms underneath your stalwart neck.
- 333 Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- 334No house has ever given shelter to such loves,
- 335No love has ever joined lovers in such treaty
- 336As is the harmony between Peleus and Thetis.
- 337Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- pg 101338There shall be born to you one free from fear—Achilles,
- 339Known to the enemy not by back but valiant front,
- 340Who many a time victorious in far-ranging race
- 341Will overtake the fiery slots of the swift deer.
- 342 Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- 343There's not a hero shall compare with him in war,
- Editor’s Note344When plains of Phrygia shall flow with Teucrian blood
- 345And in the siege of that long war the walls of Troy
- Editor’s Note346Shall be destroyed by the third heir of perjured Pelops.
- 347 Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- 348His extraordinary virtues and famed deeds
- 349Shall mothers often own at their sons' funeral,
- 350When they shall loose dishevelled hair from their white crowns
- 351And with impotent palms shall bruise their withered breasts.
- 352 Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- 353For as a reaper lopping off the close-packed corn-ears
- 354Beneath the burning sun reaps golden-yellow ploughland,
- Editor’s Note355He shall cut down with raised steel bodies of Trojan-born.
- 356 Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- Editor’s Note357Scamander's wave shall witness to his great virtues,
- 358Which spreads out every way in the swift Hellespont
- 359And whose course he will choke with slaughtered heaps of bodies,
- 360Warming the deep river with intermingled blood.
- 361 Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- 362Last witness will be the prize given him even in death
- 363When heaped up in a lofty mound his rounded tomb
- 364Duly receives the snow-white limbs of a butchered virgin.
- 365 Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- 366For soon as Fortune grants the weary Achaeans means
- Editor’s Note367To undo Neptune's knot around the Dardan city,
- Editor’s Note368His high tomb will be drenched in Polyxena's blood,
- 369Who, like a slain beast falling to the two-edged sword,
- 370Shall lay down, sinking to her knees, a headless body.
- 371 Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- pg 103372Come therefore and consort in long-imagined love.
- 373Her consort shall accept the Goddess in glad treaty
- 374And at long last shall bride be given to eager groom.
- 375 Run spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.
- Editor’s Note376Her nurse revisiting her at first light tomorrow
- 377Shall fail to tie yesterday's ribbon round her neck,
- 379Nor shall an anxious mother, sad at her quarrelling daughter
- 380Sleeping apart, stop hoping for dear grandchildren.
- 381 Run, spindles, drawing out the weft, run on.'
- 382Foretelling in the past such happiness for Peleus
- 383From their inspired breast the Parcae sang their song.
- 384For long ago Heaven's Dwellers in person used to visit
- 385The chaste homes of heroes and show themselves at mortal
- 386Meetings, while religion was not yet held in scorn.
- 387Often the Father of Gods, enthroned in shining temple,
- 388When with their festal days his annual rites had come,
- 389Would watch one hundred bulls slump prostrate to the ground.
- Editor’s Note390Often nomadic Liber from Parnassus' top
- 391Would drive his baying Thyads with their hair flying,
- 392While Delphians in concert rushing from their town
- 393Gave the God joyous welcome with smoke of sacrifice.
- Editor’s Note394And often Mavors in war's deadly competition
- Editor’s Note395Or rapid Triton's Lady or the Amarynthian Maid
- 396Would hearten by their presence armed companies of men.
- 397But after Earth was stained with crime unspeakable
- 398And all evicted Justice from their greedy thoughts,
- 399Brothers poured the blood of brothers on their hands,
- 400Sons no longer grieved when parents passed away,
- 401Father prayed for death of son in his first youth
- Editor’s Note402So as freely to possess the bloom of a new bride,
- 403Mother, lying impiously with ignorant son,
- 404Dared impiously to sin against divine Penates.
- 405Our evil madness by confounding fair with foul
- Editor’s Note406Has turned away from us the Gods' forgiving thoughts.
- 407Wherefore they neither deign to visit such meetings
- 408Nor let themselves be touched by light of day or eye.
Presumably Catullus would have regarded this epyllion as his masterpiece and hoped that it might stand comparison with Cinna's Zmyrna (whose publication he greets in XCV), Calvus' Io, and Cornificius' Glaucus (two lost epyllia that we hear about from other sources). Its main characteristic is a studied avoidance of the obvious, the straightforward, and the expected. It differs from the epyllia mentioned above in not dealing with a story in any way bizarre or perverted, and in not containing a metamorphosis of the main character. We do not know what title Catullus gave it, but it is usually referred to as The Marriage of Peleus and Thetis because that is the story dealt with in lines 1–49 and 267–383. The coverlet on the marriage-bed enables Catullus to inset the story of Theseus, Bacchus, and Ariadne (50–266). Surprisingly this inner theme is dealt with at much greater length than the outer one, occupying 217 lines as against 166. The poem ends with an epilogue of 25 lines contrasting the Heroic Age with the poet's own day. The method of narration is equally surprising. Narrative proper is reduced to a minimum. The poet selects certain key moments for special treatment, e.g. how Peleus fell in love with Thetis, Ariadne deserted on the shore, her dramatic monologue, Aegeus' farewell speech to his son Theseus, the arrival of Bacchus and his revellers, a description of the Parcae spinning, their wedding-song foretelling the birth and prowess of Achilles.
Every line of the poem is most carefully considered and will often be found to contain a miniature point or notable feature: 1–2 prognatae and nasse applied to trees; 3 the chiastic arrangement with the spondaic adjectival ending answering the genitive noun at the beginning; 4 the phrase robora pubis; 5 'gilded hide' referring to the famous Golden Fleece; 7 palmis used of oars. The reader is also expected to pick up allusions, e.g. to Ennius' Medea and Apollonius' Argonautica at the beginning, and to know, say, that Prometheus (294–7) was freed from his chains when he told Zeus the secret that Thetis was fated to bear a son greater than his father, or that Apollo and his sister did not attend the wedding (299–302) because Apollo would later kill its offspring Achilles, and probably too that Theseus was immemor 'heedless, forgetful' (58) because Bacchus, in love with Ariadne himself, caused him to forget about her. Nevertheless it is perfectly possible to enjoy the poem without such knowledge, just as one can enjoy, say, Eliot's Waste Land without recognizing any of its numerous allusions.
1–10 The Argo, first ocean-going ship as opposed to coaster, carried the Argonauts in quest of the Golden Fleece to the river Phasis in Colchis (Georgia), the realm of king Aeetes.
8 The Goddess Athena.
11 Amphitrite, wife of Neptune, represents the open sea.
21 Pater ipse: Jupiter, who had wished to marry Thetis himself, until he learnt from Prometheus that her son was destined to be greater than his father.
29 Tethys: wife of Oceanus.
35–7 Thessalian place-names.
52 Dia was the old name for Naxos in the Cyclades (Callimachus, Fragment 601).
60 Minois: Minos' daughter.
72 Erycina: because Venus had a famous temple on Mt. Eryx in NW Sicily.
75 Gortynia: the adjective must be used here (by the figure of speech known as synecdoche or part for whole) for 'Cretan', for the Labyrinth was at Cnossos in the North of Crete, whereas Gortyn was some 16 kms from the South coast.
77 Androgeos, Minos' son, was killed on a visit to Athens after competing successfully in the Panathenaic Games. Minos held Aegeus, king of Athens and Theseus' father, responsible and in compensation demanded an annual tribute of seven young Athenians of both sexes.
79 Cecropiam: Athens, because founded by Cecrops.
Minotauro: the Minotaur, a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man, fed on human flesh and was hidden away in the Labyrinth in Crete.
89 Eurotas: a river in Sparta.
95–6 refer to Cupid and Venus; Golgi and Idalium were cult-centres of hers in Cyprus.
105 Taurus: a mountain range in Cilicia, presumably chosen because of the verbal connection with Minotaurus.
113 Ariadne had given Theseus a ball of thread to unwind as he went into the Labyrinth, so that he could find his way out again.
141 Goold notes that the hexameter can also be regarded as a combination of glyconic and pherecratean, the metre used for wedding songs (cf. LXI):
- sed conubia laeta, sed
- optatos hymenaeos.
178 Mt. Ida in Crete.
211 Erechtheus was Aegeus' ancestor, and his port the Piraeus.
212 Athena, referred to in 228 as Incola Itoni because she had a famous temple there.
217 Theseus was brought up by his mother and met his father for the first time on reaching manhood.
227 A dye from Spain.
251 Iacchus: a cult name of Bacchus.
252 The Sileni or elder Satyrs came from Nysa, a legendary place where Bacchus was born and they brought him up.
253 After this line Mynors supposes a lacuna.
259 orgia: secret holy objects.
279 Chiron: the wise Centaur, later to become Achilles' tutor.
282 Favonius was the Latin equivalent of Zephyros, the west wind.
283 Or, reading in distinctis, 'in assorted bunches'.
285 Penios: a Thessalian river-god.
287 Text uncertain. Haemonia was another name for Thessaly.
290–1 After Phaethon fell to his death while driving the chariot of the Sun, his weeping sisters were turned into poplars.
300 A cryptic reference to Apollo's sister Diana. unigena ought to mean 'only begotten', but at LXVI. 53 Catullus uses it to translate the Greek word gnotos 'sibling'.
306 Parcae: literally 'the Sparing Ones', the Latin equivalent of the Greek Moirai or Fates.
324 Emathia: strictly Macedonia, but used here by metonymy for Thessaly. Ops: Saturn's wife and Jupiter's mother. 'Housman's repunctuation of this line on which, in the form Emathiae tutamen opis, carissime (or clarissime) nato, editors had exercised their ingenuity for centuries, is the most spectacular contribution of modern scholarship to the interpretation of Catullus' (Fordyce).
326 In fact the antecedent of quae is not fusi but subtegmina: 'But run, you spindles, drawing out the weft which the fates follow.'
344 Teucer was the first king of Troy; hence the Trojans were called Teucri 'Teucers, Teucrians'.
346 A reference to Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War.
355 infesto: for the translation 'raised' see Oxford Latin Dictionary s.v. 3 c.
357 Scamander: a river in the Troad.
367 The walls of Troy had been built by Neptune.
368 Polyxena was a daughter of King Priam and his wife Hecuba.
376–7 It was an ancient belief that the loss of virginity thickened the neck.
390 Liber: an Italian vegetation God identified with the Greek Bacchus.
394 Mauors: an older form of Mars, the God of war.
395 Tritonis Era: Athena, born beside the legendary river Triton.
Amarynthia Virgo: Artemis/Diana who had a cult-centre at Amarynthus in Euboea.
402 Text uncertain.
406 iustificam: literally 'just-making, justifying'. The adjective occurs here only.