Skip to main content

Catullus

Catullus (Caius Valerius Catullus) (kətŭl´əs), 84? BC–54? BC, Roman poet, b. Verona. Of a well-to-do family, he went c.62 BC to Rome. He fell deeply in love, probably with Clodia, sister of Cicero's opponent Publius Clodius. She was suspected of murdering her husband. Catullus wrote to his beloved, addressed as Lesbia (to recall Sappho of Lesbos), a series of superb little poems that run from early passion and tenderness to the hatred and disillusionment that overwhelmed him after his mistress was faithless. Of the 116 extant poems attributed to him, three (18–20) are almost certainly spurious. They include, besides the Lesbia poems, poems to his young friend Juventius; epigrams, ranging from the genial to the obscenely derisive; elegies; a few long poems, notably "Attis" and a nuptial poem honoring Thetis and Peleus; and various short pieces. His satire is vigorous and flexible, his light poems joyful and full-bodied. He was influenced by the Alexandrians and drew much on the Greeks for form and meter, but his genius outran all models. Catullus is one of the greatest lyric poets of all time. Two of his most popular poems are the 10-line poem, touching and simple, which ends, "frater ave atque vale" [hail, brother, and farewell], and "On the Death of Lesbia's Sparrow."

See translations by R. Myers and R. J. Ormsby (1970), C. Martin (1990), and P. Green (2005); studies by A. L. Wheeler (1934, repr. 1964), T. Frank (1928, repr. 1965), K. Quinn (1959, 1970, and 1972), R. Jenkyns (1982), T. P. Wiseman (1985), J. Ferguson (1988), and C. Martin (1992).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Catullus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 30 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Catullus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 30, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/catullus

"Catullus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 30, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/catullus

Catullus

Catullus (c.84–c.54 bc), Roman poet. His one book of verse contains poems in a variety of metres on a range of subjects. He is best known for his love poems.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Catullus." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 30 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Catullus." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 30, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catullus

"Catullus." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved April 30, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catullus

Catullus

CatullusCallas, callous, callus, Dallas, Pallas, phallus •Nablus • manless •hapless, mapless •atlas, fatless, hatless •braless, parlous •armless • artless •jealous, zealous •endless • legless • sexless • airless •talus • bacillus • windlass • Nicklaus •obelus • strobilus •acidophilus, Theophilus •angelus • Aeschylus • perilous •scurrilous • Wenceslas • nautilus •Silas, stylus •jobless •godless, rodless •Patroclus • topless • coxless •lawless, oarless •Aeolus, alveolus, bolas, bolus, gladiolus, holus-bolus, solus, toeless •Troilus • Douglas • useless • Tibullus •garrulous • querulous • fabulous •miraculous • calculus • famulus •crapulous • patulous • nebulous •credulous, sedulous •pendulous • regulus •emulous, tremulous •bibulous • acidulous •meticulous, ridiculous •mimulus, stimulus •scrofulous • flocculus • Romulus •populace, populous •convolvulus •altocumulus, cirrocumulus, cumulus, stratocumulus, tumulus •scrupulous •furunculous, homunculus, ranunculus •Catullus • troublous •gunless, sunless •cutlass, gutless •earless • Heliogabalus •libellous (US libelous) • discobolus •scandalous • Daedalus • astragalus •Nicholas • anomalous • Sardanapalus •tantalus •marvellous (US marvelous) •frivolous • furless • surplus

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Catullus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 30 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Catullus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 30, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catullus-0

"Catullus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 30, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/catullus-0