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Many ancient sources indicate that Catullus was born not `on the Palatine Hill in Rome', but in Verona. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 09:27, 7 April 2004


I am currently studying Catullus in the AP curriculum. I would like to contribute by posting literal translations of the poems, how should this be organized? There dont seem to be any good literal translations anywhere, and I know that this is what most students are interested in. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:08, 10 November 2004

  • Wikipedia is not a place to copy original sources, or translations of them. In particular, "Mere collections of public domain or other source material such as entire books or source code, original historical documents, letters, laws, proclamations, and other source material that are only useful when presented with their original, un-modified wording. Complete copies of primary sources should go into Wikisource. There's nothing wrong with using public domain resources such as 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica to add content to an article. See also Wikipedia:Don't include copies of primary sources." You could probably post your translations on Wikisource, as well; but Wikipedia is also not a free web hosting provider, or a place for original research, so maybe you'd be better off finding somewhere else to post your original work. Russ Blau (talk) 14:23, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)

  • Also, IMHO Wikipedia shouldn't be a source for lazy students who want help cheating on their Latin translation. campbel2 —Preceding undated comment added 20:57, 12 August 2005
  • So should the "Catullus #" articles be marked for deletion or is there a community here that could make them useful as appropriate Wikipedia articles? John (Jwy) 18:42, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oops...before reading this I just went ahead and linked this article to a bunch of the "Catullus_#" pages! So, are we moving them to Wikisource or did someone want to keep them here? Psp 06:40, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • in response to campbel2, I see your point, however I believe that was a bit hostile for a response. I am also an AP Latin student, and I have been amalgamating all of my translations onto a page which is published and hosted by Google. Wikipedia may not be a source for lazy students who want help cheating, but maybe you don't know how frustrating it is to be in the midsts of a hard translation and just get stuck. For the most part copying off of wikipedia will get you nowhere. Latin is not really a class where you can fake the work and then pass the tests. If I were to copy every word that I was assigned, I would fail miserably. I believe that the original poster should direct his eyes to wikisource, and possibly a server such as and add a link to it on Wsource. monkeyman08854 —Preceding undated comment added 02:47, 14 March 2007

comment by an anon[edit]

I moved this from the article:

(This is incorrect. Cicero never once mentions Catullus. He does, however, mention to his friend Atticus that he finds the neoteric poets kinda silly in their use of fifth-foot spondees in dactylic hexameter. I find this rather interesting, for even Homer (8th century BCE) uses this metricl device.) (Left by

It's an interesting comment and worth preserving., if you come back, feel free to edit the article; use the talk page for comments and so forth. Cheers, Antandrus 06:07, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Catullus' place of birth and Cicero[edit]

The belief that Catullus was born on the Palatine Hill derives from a confusion between Gaius Valerius Catullus (the author) and Quintus Lutatius Catulus (the politician and philanthropist). Catulus owned one of the most extravagant villas on the Palatine Hill, which rivalled even that of Crassus for its opulence. Catullus/Catulus is a common spelling error. El barty 17:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I've researched Catullus for about a year, I've never found another reference to being born on the Palatine, only that he was born in or around Verona, and died in Rome.

A line of dactylic hexameter where the fifth foot is a spondee is called a spondaic line in greek literature (in latin, a spondaic line is composed entirely of spondees, EXCEPT for the fifth foot). In Homer, an average of 1 in 17 lines is spondaic, mainly as a metrical effect, rather than laziness. Ovid has an average of around 1/32 (probably laziness), Catullus 1/11 (Mostly verified as true literal effects and techniques) and Virgil about 1/400 (because he's too good!). Spondaic lines went out of fashion in Rome, despite their use in the ancient Greek. Interestingly, Cicero's dabbling in poetry was criticised as too heavy handed because his hexameter was almost exclusively spondees (except the fifth foot, of course!). Some say Catullus actually thanks Cicero for not mentioning him in proceedings against Clodia (assuming the traditional identification) in Carmen 49. Cicero may have been criticising the high occurence of 5th foot spondees in Catullus as an attempt to introduce the greek ideals to Rome, and Cicero certainly (at this time) represented the establishment values. Kenneth Charles 10:24 9 April 2005 (EST)

listing below[edit]

From the list of carmina below, of which all but one (if a saw it correctly) are dead links, I suppose I am to understand that someone wants to include all his Carmina within Wikipedia. Imho this is not the right place for full-text poetry; it had better be added to Wikisource. Caesarion 16:54, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Wikisource would seem more appropriate for that. --Ben davison 17:03, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'll start transferring the poems to Wikisource as soon as I have time. Someone else could, too, if they really wanted to. :D sophysduckling —Preceding undated comment added 01:00, 4 June 2005

In the interim, does anyone mind if I restore the "list of" carmina? I miss being able to navigate directly by number or name. JMatthews 03:27, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


This doesn't seem very NPOV: " from writing laborious odes to the reputed beautiful woman to irritating whines about the woman ("illi rumpens"). " "laborious" and "irritating" could be taken out, no? Also "Catullus writes a poem about a person, attempting to sound very upperclass..." Which poem is this specifically? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:46, 2 May 2005

Specifically, it's poem 84. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:37, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

The poem Catullus uses to make fun of a pretentious person is the one about Arrius. It starts with "Hinsidias" in the Latin and has been translated as "Hambushes, he says, whenever he wants to say 'ambushes...'" sophysduckling —Preceding undated comment added 00:57, 4 June 2005


Hmmm, wandering through the questionable edits by IP I noticed the blanking of section Works on 29 November 2005. I noticed the later addition of section See also, which may duplicate/replace some links in the older Works. Could an expert review/revise? I just want to be sure the material wasn't permanently lost to vandalism. Shenme 10:19, 17 March 2006 (UTC)


When I clicked the wikiquote link, I got 'no quote pages with this name' - does this mean we should delete the link? Adambrowne666 08:45, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Strange choice of picture[edit]

As far as I know, there are no actual, verified images of Catullus in existence, so no picture will be completely accurate, but -- with all due respect -- the current image seems kind of preposterous. It's very difficult to accept this as a reasonable likeness of Catullus, and is fairly distracting to anyone who has a knowledge of the late Republican period. The image depicts a middle-aged man with thick facial hair and a headdress, when the generally accepted fact is that Catullus died at around 30 years of age, and we know that he lived in a time when culturally, it was unacceptable for Roman men (especially young men) to wear long beards or moustaches. (There is also no evidence that Catullus wore a headdress of any kind, and it seems strange to assume that he did, as it was not the fashion of the time.) Maybe this would be a more appropriate picture. Again, no picture will ever be totally correct, I'm just suggesting one that is more in keeping with what a young, Roman man of the late Republic might have looked like. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:28, 16 January 2007 (UTC).

I agree, it looks rather more like a portrait of Homer (were it not for the apparent eyesight). Being an obviously inept reconstruction, the picture has no added value, but is misleading instead. I am replacing it with another image which, although it is not a portrait, hopefully captures something of the 'feeling' of Catullus' time and of his poetry. I took it from Wikipedia Commons. Iblardi 20:47, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't the caption of the picture explain why it is in the article: User:capablemachine —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Nice index of carmina[edit]

I noticed that User:Byrgenwulf/Catullus is a nice index of the carmina (although some are just links back to this article) that never seems to have gotten integrated into this article. Is that template a good navigational aid? If so, then please use it. -- 00:17, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

On merging Poetry of Catullus with this biography article[edit]

There's a merge-proposal notice on the top of the Poetry of Catullus page, and the discussion link goes to this talk page, although I see no discussion on a merger anywhere, so here goes:

I've added substantially to the "Poetry of Catullus" page and also to the biography section of this article. The articles could still be merged, making a rather long article. I think it's probably better to leave the articles separate, which would leave plenty of space in the "Poetry" article for more discussion of the poems (and in more detail). (The two articles could certainly be merged into a large article as well.) My preference would be to summarize the poetry section of the biography article a bit and move some of the more detailed paragraphs over to the "Poetry" article. If the two articles remain separate, that needs to be done. Any thoughts? Noroton 21:37, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I think keeping them separate is the way to go. I agree that as they stand now, they could be merged. But both sections, poetry in particular could be expanded. There's a chunk of stuff that should be added about Catullus and the Novae Poetae/neoteric poetry, as well as information regarding the poetry itself. I've been meaning to do some addition myself, but my trusty ol' textbooks are inaccessible to me at the moment, so I've let it sit on the back burner. It's probably worth making a note that both articles aren't as small as they appear - merely incomplete at the moment. Bitnine 00:03, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree: keep them separate. To join them would tend to confuse the issue of how much his writings can serve as a source for his biography. Also it makes for difficult categorization when an article about writings is merged with an article about a person. Andrew Dalby 12:31, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

List of works[edit]

I think there should be a list of his works on this page given that there isn't anywhere else eg:

etc. but i didn't want to add such a big and possibly messy and overwhelming chunk without hearing other people's opinions. Shold we put it here? or on Poetry of Catullus? or a whole new page? or not at all? Storeye 10:40, 6 May 2007 (UTC)


This article was recently tagged for having a trivia section but I though that a trivia section and a popular culture section were different things? Storeye 04:12, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Pop culture[edit]

I believe Octavian quoted a poem of Catullus during the Rome series ... might be worth mentioning. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:33, 15 June 2007


I have changed the {{WikiProject Biography}} priority of the article from low to high. Catullus is a major poet. Xn4 17:40, 5 December 2007 (UTC)


Catullus cannot be called an Epicurean in good faith. Perhaps he fits the commonly understood definition of the word "Epicurean" today, but since the word links to a description of the philosophical movement, it's inaccurate. His poetry is the exact opposite of ataraxia. I'm deleting the word. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:45, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

poems 18-20 now considered spurious[edit]

"Catullus' poems have been preserved in an anthology of 116 carmina (three of which are now considered spurious — 18, 19 and 20 — although the numbering has been retained)"

Nope. It is not so that "poems 18-20 are now considered spurious". Quite contrary, the MSS. simply do not contain anything between poems 17 and 21. The gap in the numbering goes back to early printed editions, as some editor inserted three poems there, which he had found in the (IIRC) Catalepton and attributed to Catullus. This insert has later been expelled from the Catullus' text as having been done without a real reason, but the gap in numbering has been retained. Please correct this, the current formulation suggests that the Catullan MSS. do preserve these three poems. (talk) 10:14, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

modern portrait[edit]

I don't have any objections to using a modern portrait, since no ancient image is available. To me, this is like using a 19th-century painting to illustrate an article on an ancient deity, particularly if no ancient depictions survive or are available. How people used the myth later, or continued to think of the writer, has its own significance. However, I do think it should always be clear what kind of representation these are: for instance, "a French Neoclassical depiction of" or "a pre-Raphaelite interpretation of." So it would be good to know something of the artist's intention or the purpose or period of the sculpture portraying Catullus. (The bust was clearly modeled after an individual face.) The image file, however, gives minimal info. For now, I'm just going to note the relevance of the artwork's location. Cynwolfe (talk) 15:23, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Catullus' Mother[edit]

In the article it says his mother was "Blandus," but this is a male name in Latin. I don't want to correct it to "Blanda" because I have no idea who Catullus' mother or father was. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lejarrag (talkcontribs) 03:39, 8 May 2017 (UTC)

Done a bit of digging, and can't find any reference to Catullus' mother's name. It's been waiting for a cite since October, so I think we can remove it. --Nicknack009 (talk) 08:32, 8 May 2017 (UTC)