The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/49
Text & Translation
|Line||Latin Text||English Translation|
|1||Disertissime Romuli nepotum,||Most skilled in speech of the descendants of Romulus,|
|2||quot sunt quotque fuere, Marce Tulli,||all who are, and all who have been, Marcus Tullius,|
|3||quotque post aliis erunt in annis,||and however many there will be in other years,|
|4||gratias tibi maximas Catullus||to you, Catullus gives the greatest thanks|
|5||agit, pessimus omnium poeta,||the worst of all poets,|
|6||tanto pessimus omnium poeta||as much the worst of all poets|
|7||quanto tu optimus omnium patronus.||as you are the best defender of all.|
Connotations Of The Text
Catullus knew Cicero and greatly admired him.
read as "fuerunt". The Romans sometimes left the end off of the 3rd person plural of a verb to make it look like an infinitive. This was usually done to fit in with the meter of the poem. This is the syncopated form of the verb "fuerunt".
- Marce Tulli - Marcus Tullius (a.k.a. Cicero)
This is a very formal way of addressing Cicero, his patron. This is why the vocative case is used, which also indicates apostrophe, another poetic device that shows direct address. It serves to further contrast humble Catullus with mighty Cicero.
- pessimus omnium poeta - worst of all poets
The anaphora in these two lines emphasises Catullus' point - it could also add an air of sarcasm and hyperbole within the poem.
- omnium - all
This is repeated three times, and creates a juxtapostition within the poem - i.e. Catullus is the worst of all the poets, and Cicero is the best of all the patrons.
- aliis (Abl. Pl.) - other; alternate
- omnium,(Gen. Pl.) omnia - all; everyone