Last modified on 19 January 2011, at 09:08

The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/45

Text and TranslationEdit

Line Latin Text English Translation
1 Acmen Septimius suos amores Septimius holding his love Acme
2 tenens in gremio "mea" inquit "Acme, on his lap said "My Acme,
3 ni te perdite amo atque amare porro if I do not love you desperately and am ready to love you further
4 omnes sum assidue paratus annos, continuously for all my years,
5 quantum qui pote plurimum perire, as much as one who loves most desperately,
6 solus in Libya Indiaque tosta alone in Libya and scorched India
7 caesio veniam obvius leoni." let me come face to face with the gray-eyed lion."
8 hoc ut dixit, Amor sinistra ut ante As he said this, Love on the left as before
9 dextra sternuit approbationem. on the right sneezed approval.
10 at Acme leviter caput reflectens Then Acme, gently bending back her head,
11 et dulcis pueri ebrios ocellos and kissing the intoxicated little eyes of her sweet boy
12 illo purpureo ore suaviata with that rosy mouth
13 "sic", inquit "mea vita Septimille, said "Thus, my life, my little Septimius,
14 huic uni domino usque serviamus, let us be slaves to this one master,
15 ut multo mihi maior acriorque as a much more eager fire burns
16 ignis mollibus ardet in medullis." in my soft marrow."
17 hoc ut dixit, Amor sinistra ut ante As she said this, Love on the let as before
18 dextra sternuit approbationem. on the right sneezed approval.
19 nunc ab auspicio bono profecti Now, having set out from favorable omens
20 mutuis animis amant amantur. with mutual passions they love and are loved.
21 unam Septimius misellus Acmen Little love-sick Septimius prefers Acme alone
22 mavult quam Syrias Britanniasque: to Syrias and Britains:
23 uno in Septimio fidelis Acme faithful Acme makes her delights and pleasures in
24 facit delicias libidinesque. Septimius alone.
25 quis ullos homines beatiores Who has seen any people more blessed?
26 vidit, quis Venerem auspicatiorem? Who has seen a more favoured love?

Connotations of The TextEdit

Line 1Edit

  • Acme - prime; flower; zenith

This implies that Acme is the best a man can get. The usage of the Greek word 'Akmen' which means top or best of serves only as flattery. Acme is probably most famous in the cartoon, Wylie Coyote, as Acme is the provider of his useless weapons. The name is directly from the Greek, and used, in this case for a comic effect.

Line 22Edit

  • Syrias Britanniasque - Syrians and Britains

This could refer to the great campiagns of Crassus and Caesar in Syria and Britain respectively. Thousands of young men would sign up for the army for the chance of riches, in the form of plunder and even slaves that could be kept or sold. The invasions were of Britian in 55 and 54 BC and the campaigns of Crassus were in Syria in 80 BC. The context of the poem is indicating that Septimius is giving up a great opportunity to be with Acme.

VocabularyEdit

Line 1Edit

  • Acmen (Greek Acc. of Acme) - prime; fower; zenith

Line 2Edit

Line 3Edit

  • ni=nīsi - unless; if not
  • perdīte (adv.) - desperately; excessively
  • porrō (adv.) - further; onwards

Line 4Edit

  • assidue (adv.) - continually; constantly

Line 6Edit

  • tostus (p.p.p. of torreo) - parch; roast; bake; scorch; burn

Line 7Edit

  • caesius, -a, -um - green-eyed
  • obvius, -a, -um - to meet with; come into contact with

Line 9Edit

  • sternuo, -ere, ui - to sneeze
  • approbatio, -onis, f. - approval

Line 10Edit

  • leviter - lightly; slightly; a little

Line 11Edit

  • ebrius, -a, -um - intoxicated; drunk
  • ocellus, -i, m. (dim.) - a little eye

Line 12Edit

  • os, oris, n. - mouth
  • suavior, -ari, -atus sum - to kiss

Line 13Edit

  • usque - continuously; constantly

Line 14Edit

  • servio, -ire, -ii, -itum - to be a servant/slave to

Line 15Edit

  • acer, acris, acre - fierce; keen

Line 16Edit

  • mollīs, -is, -e - soft; tender; mild
  • medulla, -ae, f. - marrow (of bones)

Line 19Edit

  • auspicium, -i, n. - omen; sign; divination of birds; appearance of an animal's entrails
  • proficiscor - set out

Line 20Edit

  • mutuus, -a, -um reciprocal; mutual

Line 21Edit

  • misellus (dim. of miser) - love-sick little...

Line 24Edit

  • libido, libidinis, f. - pleasure; desire; passion; longing

Line 26Edit

External LinksEdit

Catullus 45 Translation of Catullus 45

Catullus 45 Another Translation of Catullus 45

Crassus For more on Crassus

Julius Caesar For more on Caesar