Catullus 16

Catullus 16

Catullus 16 is famous among Catullus's "Carmina" because it is so sexually explicit that a full English translation was not openly published until the late twentieth century [cite web|url=|title=Catullus Purified: A Brief History of Carmen 16|accessdate=2006-08-18] . Several editions of Catullus omit the more explicit parts of the poem. An interesting example is the 1924 Loeb Catullus: this omits lines 1 and 2 from the English translation, but includes them in the Latin; lines 7-14 are omitted from both Latin and English; a later Loeb edition [cite web|url=|title=Publisher references censorship for consideration of decency in former edition|accessdate=2006-08-18] gives the complete text in both languages. Other editions have been published with the explicit words blanked out [cite web|url=|title=translation of poem that leaves out obscene words|accessdate=2006-08-18] . The poem is famous among classicists as a benchmark of classical obscenity and invective.

Catullus addresses the poem to two unknown men, Furius and Aurelius, who are perhaps competing poets, perhaps mere constructs, since invective poetry was popular at the time. Modern Catullus scholarship speculates that they are likely the same people referred to in Catullus 11 and other poems. [cite book
author = Arnold, Bruce; Aronson, Andrew; Lawall, Gilbert.
year = 2000
title = Love and Betrayal: A Catullus Reader
] [cite web|url=|title=list of poems that Furius is in|accessdate=2006-08-18] [cite web|url=|title=list of poems that Aurelius is in|accessdate=2006-08-18] Apparently, Furius and Aurelius find Catullus's verses to be "mollici" (soft, perhaps "wussy" in modern slang). Catullus responds with intense abuse and invective.

Latin text

Notes and technical terms

Latin is an exact language for obscene acts, such as "pedicabo" and "irrumabo", which appear in the first and last lines of the poem. The term "pedicare" is a transitive verb, meaning to "insert one's penis into another person's anus", [Forberg, pp. 80–189.] and derives from an analogous Greek word, παιδικω, itself derived ultimately from the Greek word παις, παιδος (child). The term "cinaede" in line 2 refers to the "bottom" person in that act, i.e., the one being penetrated. [Forberg, p.80.] The term "irrumare" is likewise a transitive verb, meaning to "insert one's penis into another person's mouth for suckling", [Forberg, pp. 190–261.] and derives from the Latin word, "ruma" meaning "teat". A male who suckles a penis is denoted as a "fellator" or, equivalently, a "pathicus" (line 2). [Forberg, pp. 190–191.]








External links

* [ Alternate translation from Virtual Roma]
* [ Alternate translation from Negenborn]
* [ Alternate translation from University of Saskatchewan]
* [ Latin text with comments (go to poems 11 and 16 for remarks on c. 16)]
* [ Translation and commentary on lines 5-6]
* [ Scanned version of c.16]

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