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The Complete Poetry of Catullus

Catullus, David Mulroy

Publication Year: 2002

    Catullus’ life was akin to pulp fiction. In Julius Caesar’s Rome, he engages in a stormy affair with a consul’s wife. He writes her passionate poems of love, hate, and jealousy. The consul, a vehement opponent of Caesar, dies under suspicious circumstances. The merry widow romances numerous young men. Catullus is drawn into politics and becomes a cocky critic of Caesar, writing poems that dub Julius a low-life pig and a pervert. Not surprisingly, soon after, no more is heard of Catullus.
    David Mulroy brings to life the witty, poignant, and brutally direct voice of a flesh-and-blood man, a young provincial in the Eternal City, reacting to real people and events in a Rome full of violent conflict among individuals marked by genius and megalomaniacal passions. Mulroy’s lively, rhythmic translations of the poems are enhanced by an introduction and commentary that provide biographical and bibliographical information about Catullus, a history of his times, a discussion of the translations, and definitions and notes that ease the way for anyone who is not a Latin scholar.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press


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pp. v

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pp. vii

When I first started working on my translations of Catullus, some years ago, Martha Osvat of Milwaukee went to the trouble of arranging a public reading in which I was given an opportunity to showcase my work, and my former student, Shirley Yousoufian, helped me practice for the event. I am glad to have this opportunity to acknowledge these services, which meant a great deal to me. ...

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pp. ix-xliv

In his first poem, Catullus asks his Muse to let his works survive for more than one age. In fact, they were well known from the time of their creation, in the first century B.C., until the end of the first century A.D. In the second century, however, when scribes began transferring classical literature from papyrus scrolls to more capacious “codices” (books in our sense of the word)...

The Complete Poetry of Catullus

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pp. 1-106


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pp. 109-110

E-ISBN-13: 9780299177737
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299177706

Publication Year: 2002

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Subject Headings

  • Love poetry, Latin -- Translations into English.
  • Elegiac poetry, Latin -- Translations into English.
  • Rome -- Poetry.
  • Epigrams, Latin -- Translations into English.
  • Catullus, Gaius Valerius -- Translations into English.
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