The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/40
Text & Translation
Meter - Hendecasyllabic
|Line||Latin Text||English Translation|
|1||Quaenam te mala mens, miselle Ravide,||What bad mind, wretched little Ravidus,|
|2||agit praecipitem in meos iambos?||drives you headfirst into my iambs?|
|3||Quis deus tibi non bene advocatus||What god summoned not well|
|4||vecordem parat excitare rixam?||prepares to rouse a demented fight?|
|5||An ut pervenias in ora vulgi?||Or so that you may arrive into the mouths of the common crowd?|
|6||Quid vis? Qualubet esse notus optas?||What do you want? By any means do you wish to be known?|
|7||Eris, quandoquidem meos amores||You will be, since my lover|
|8||cum longa voluisti amare poena.||you wished to love with a long penalty.|
Connotations of The Text
The rival of Catullus.
- non bene advocatus - not well summoned
A slight mistake in invocation may bring down the wrath of the gods
- meos amores - my loves
Refers to Juventius, a young boy who Catullus chased for his affections. Homosexual affairs were a normal part of Roman life, and Juventius may have been a freedman or a slave, since it was not proper for a Roman man to have sex outside marriage with another Roman citizen.
The use of the plural amores indicates the passion felt for Juventius.
cum longa ... poena- Catullus predicts his poetry will be everlasting.
- quinam, quaenam, quodnam - what; tell me?
- mens, mentis f. - mind; reason
- misellus -a -um - (dim. of miser) poor; wretched
- ago, agere, egi, actum - to drive; urge
- praeceps, praecipitis (adj.) - headlong; head first
- iambus, iambi - iamb; metrical foot
- quandoquidem – since; seeing that
- volo, velle, volui – to wish; want; prefer