The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus/94/94A

Text & TranslationEdit

Meter – Elegiac couplet

Line Latin Text English Translation
1 Mentula moechatur. moechatur mentula? certe. Mentula is an adulterer. A cock is an adulterer? Certainly.
2 hoc est quod dicunt: ipsa olera olla legit. It is as they say: The pot takes vegetables as naturally.
  • Note: "mentula" means penis, but to give it a greater sense of the original Latin, i.e. vulgar common slang "cock" has been used.

Connotations of The TextEdit

Line 1Edit

  • Mentula moechatur - Mentula/a cock is an adulterer.

This play on the man's nickname and the word for 'penis' is deliberately implemented to catch our attention. The word order is then reversed to further emphasise it, with the capital 'M' taken away to show that Catullus is only talking about a penis this time.

  • Certe. - Certainly.

This abrupt use of the word imprints the statement to the reader.

Line 2Edit

  • dicunt - they say

"They" is understood here as a saying, i.e. "you know what they say..." and is designed to represent a universal agreement to the statement above, adding further to Catullus' mockery of Mentula.

Scansion NoteEdit

The elision at the end of Line 2 rushes through the end of the poem. Combined with the alliteration of olera olla it is a striking way to end the poem. The use of two dactyls also adds to the speed at which the poem ends.


īpsa ǒlěra ōllǎ lěgît.

  • Syllaba anceps has been marked with a circumflex (â).

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