Catullus 13

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Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me is the first line, sometimes used as a title, of Carmen 13 from the collected poems of the 1st-century BC Latin poet Catullus. The poem belongs to the literary genre of mock-invitation.[1] Fabullus is invited to dine at the poet's home, but he will need to bring all the elements of a dinner party (cena) himself: the host pleads poverty. Catullus will provide only meros amores, "the essence of love",[2] and a perfume given to him by his girlfriend, granted to her by multiple Venuses and Cupids, guaranteed to make Fabullus wish he were all nose.

Latin text and translation[edit]

Line Latin text English translation
1 Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me You will dine well, my Fabullus, at the house of me
2 paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus in a few days, if the gods favor you,
3 si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam if with you bring with you a good and great
4 cenam, non sine candida puella meal, not without a fair-skinned girl
5 et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis and wine and wit and all the banter.
6 Haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster, If these, I say, you bring, our charming friend,
7 cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli you will dine well, for the purse of your Catullus
8 plenus sacculus est aranearum. is full of cobwebs.
9 Sed contra accipies meros amores But in exchange you will receive most pure friendship
10 seu quid suavius elegantiusve est: or if anything is more sweet or more elegant:
11 nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae for I will give perfume, which to my girl
12 donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque, Venus and Cupids have given,
13 quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis, (which) when you will smell (it), you will ask the gods,
14 totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum. to make you, Fabullus, all nose.

References[edit]

  1. ^ D.F.S. Thomson, Catullus (University of Toronto Press, 1997, 2003), p. 242.
  2. ^ Emily Gowers, The Loaded Table: Representation of Food in Roman Literature (Oxford University Press, 1993, 2003), p. 234.