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The Three Books of Catullus

Latin text with facing English translation

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All texts last revised on 13 September 2005

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 “Liber 1” - Polymetrics (1-60)    “Liber 2” - Long Poems (61-64)    “Liber 3” - Elegiacs (65-117)  

   

Addendum - Bibliography of Catullan Studies:  This bibliography does not aim to be comprehensive.  It consists entirely of (some of the) books and articles which I have read myself.  The seventy entries, which are very diverse, should provide a good starting point for both the undergraduate and graduate student.

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A Note on This Edition of Catullus:
All 116 poems of Catullus are now available in Latin with facing English translation.  This project was somewhat of an academic exercise for me.  I read cover-2-cover 2 commentaries along with 2 collegiate editions of Catullus, as well as countless articles.  I am happy to share this text and translation, which is aimed primarily at the beginning student of Latin.  For the Latinless reader my literal translation will convey a good deal of the meaning of the original but certainly not the beautiful form of its expression.  And the literal meaning of a line sometimes can be quite unintelligible unless you are aware of the cultural (or mythological) context.  I should admonish those unfamiliar with Catullus that a good deal of his work deals with sexual topics and themes.  My translations are no less (or, alternatively, no more) “vulgar” than the original Latin.

Although most (if not all) critical editions as well as translations do not divide Catullus’ oeuvre into three books, ingenious research has indicated that in anqituity Catullus circulated in three papyrus rolls.  Such a division most likely followed Catullus' own original intention.  I, therefore, have merely followed the communis opinio in my division of Catullus.  Just as in antiquity practical limitations necessitated the threefold division, this modern e-text benefits equally as well from it.

Catullus on the Web:  A short list of the best resources for Catullus on the web.

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