Complete List of Catullus' Poems
First Lines of Catullus' Poems
The Social Set of Catullus: His Friends, Lovers, Rivals
(From the image collection of Barbara McManus at VRoma)
Catullus was a member of the elite, and his family would naturally have cultivated a powerful man like Julius Caesar, who could have advanced their son's career. Catullus mocks the practive of "networking" in Poem 28: "i, pete nobiles amicos (So much for running after powerful friends!)" And he never treated Caesar with much respect.
Catullus did, however, humour his parent's ambitions by taking the standard first step towards a political career. He served for one year on a governor's staff. This satisfied the requirement that all politicians spend time in the army, it was a sort of "internship" in the administration of the empire, and it was a good way to make important connections. But after his year in Bithynia, Catullus pursued his career no further. His interests lay elsewhere.
Friendship of Julius Caesar.
Caesar did not hide the fact that a permanent blot had been put on his name by the verses that Valerius Catullus had made about Mamurra. But when Catullus apologised, Caesar invited him to dinner that very day. And Caesar kept up his old friendship with Catullus' father.Suetonius, Life of Julius Caesar,chapter 73.
Poem 68 (lines 89-100) Troia (nefas!) commune sepulcrum Asiae Europaeque Poem 101 Multas per gentes et multa per aequora uectus
Poem 10 Varus me meus ad suos amores Poem 28 Pisonis comites, cohors inanis Poem 31 Paene insularum, Sirmio, insularumque Poem 46 Iam uer egelidos refert tepores
(From the image collection of Paula Chabot at VRoma)
Simply by devoting himself entirely to poetry, Catullus was rebelling against what was expected of an upper-class Roman. He was one of the Poetae Novi or "Neoteric Poets," who used colloquial language in their work, but also delighted in learned allusion. As a poet, Catullus was revolutionary in ignoring the public audience, and writing intensely about his personal experience for an audience of fellow-poets alone. A large number of his poems analyse his feelings about the two great loves of his life, Clodia and Juventius.
Poet Friends of Catullus: the "Neoteric" Poets.
Gaius Licinius Macer Calvus.
Furius Bibaculus (he may be the Furius who appears in some poems of Catullus)
There are 26 poems about his mistress Clodia.
Click on her name to see them.
There are 6 poems about his boy-friend Juventius.
Click on his name to see them.