Catullus

Author: Catullus

Profile: Gaius Valerius Catullus, popularly known as Catullus was a Roman poet. He was born in Verona, Cisalpine Gaul, Northern Italy and died in Rome. He was born in northern Italy and hence a native of Cisalpine Gaul as per Jerome’s as well as his own evidence. His preference was to reside in Rome though he was owner of property at Sirmio, the modern Sirmione, on Lake Garda. He was owner of a villa in a not very fashionable neighborhood near the Roman suburb of Tibur.

Two emotional crises including an unhappy love affair, the death of his brother and a journey in Asia Minor to Bithynia are portrayed and reported in different ways in twenty five of Catullus’s poems         . An indirect or direct homosexual affair with Juventius, a youth is also recorded in his poems.

Writing style: Catullus’s poems express hatred and love and are considered generally as the finest lyrics in poetry in ancient Rome. The poet talks about his love for Lesbia, a woman having an uncertain identity in around 25 poems. The rest of his poems are derogatory outbursts of hatred or contempt for Julius Caesar and lesser personages.

Published Texts:

Musical settings

2011 – Catullus Dreams (a song cycle)

2014 – Carmina Catulli (a song cycle)

1957 – Catullus 5 (the love poem ‘Vivamus mea Lesbia atque amemus’

1969 – Catallus: on the Burial of His Brother

Catullus 85 (a poem)

Cultural depictions

1888 – Lesbia (a play)

1953 – Farewell, Catallus (historical novel)

1957 – The City of Libertines (novel)

1963 – A poem by Catullus is recited in an eponymous 1963 film

1969 – Translations of Catullus written in an extraordinary set of homophonic translations

1955 – Catullus is a protagonist in the novel Attis

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Catullus is considered to be a contemporary of the statesman Caesar, Pompey and Cicero whom he has addressed in many of his poems.

Poets of the immediately subsequent age of the Emperor Augustus are preceded by Catullus.

Catullus is called as a poet who is work is familiar to works of poets like Ovid, Horace, Tibullus and Sextus Propertius.