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. 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", 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
|Line||Latin text||English translation|
|1||Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me||You will dine well, my Fabullus, at my house|
|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 you bring 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||both wine and wit and all the banter.|
|6||Haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster,||If you bring these, I say, our charming friend,|
|7||cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli||you will dine well, for the wallet of your Catullus|
|8||plenus sacculus est aranearum.||is full of cobwebs.|
|9||Sed contra accipies meros amores||But in exchange you will receive the most pure friendship|
|10||seu quid suavius elegantiusve est:||or whatever 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,||Venuses 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.|
- D.F.S. Thomson, Catullus (University of Toronto Press, 1997, 2003), p. 242.
- Emily Gowers, The Loaded Table: Representation of Food in Roman Literature (Oxford University Press, 1993, 2003), p. 234.