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  • Published: 17 January 2005
  • ISBN: 9780140449815
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

The Poems




A collection of the beautiful, surprising poems of Catullus.

One of the most versatile of Roman poets, Catullus wrote verse of an almost unparalleled diversity and stylistic agility, from the brevity of the epigram to the sustained elegance of the elegy. This collection contains all of Catullus' extant work and includes his lyrics to the notorious Clodia Metelli - married, seductive and corrupt - charting the course from rapturous delight in a new affair to the torment of love gone sour; poems to his young friend Iuventius; and longer verse, such as the extraordinary tale of Attis, a Greek youth who castrates himself in a fit of religious ecstasy. Ranging from the tender, moving and passionate to the vicious and even obscene, these are poems of astonishingly modern force and content.

  • Published: 17 January 2005
  • ISBN: 9780140449815
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Catullus

Of the few facts known about the life of Gaius Valerius Catullus even the dates of birth and death are uncertain, but he was probably born in 84 BC. The son of a wealthy citizen of Verona, either he or his family owned a villa on Lake Garda, but in Poem 68 he describes Rome as his home and says that his life was passed there.

He writes as a friend of Cicero and other leading figures and appears as a leader of the new movement in poetry and a lover of the notorious Clodia Metelli, who was probably the Lesbia of the poems. In 57 he travelled as one of C. Memmius Gemellus's suite to Bithynia, where he visited his brother's grave. He started writing in 69 or 68 but, after his death in about 54 BC his work was all but lost for a thousand years.

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