The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/49

Text & TranslationEdit

Line Latin Text English Translation
1 Disertissime Romuli nepotum, Most eloquent of the descendants of Romulus,
2 quot sunt quotque fuere, Marce Tulli, all who are, and all who were, 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 (est) as much (as he is) the worst of all poets
7 quanto tu optimus omnium patronus. so much are you the best lawyer of all.

Connotations Of The TextEdit

Catullus knew Cicero and greatly admired him.

Line 2Edit

  • 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 the great Cicero.

Lines 5-7Edit

  • 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.


Line 3Edit

  • aliis (Abl. Pl.) - other; alternate

Line 5Edit

  • omnium,(Gen. Pl.) omnia - all; everyone

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