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Catullus

ISBN: 978-1-4051-1889-7
256 pages
April 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Catullus (140511889X) cover image
Catullus is one of the liveliest and most appealing Roman poets. His emotion, charm, and apparent spontaneity resonate with readers as strongly today as in antiquity. This sophisticated literary and historical introduction brings Catullus to life for the modern reader and presents his poetry in all its variety of emotions, subjects, and styles.
  • Places Catullus in a social, historical, and literary context
  • Examines Catallus's style and subjects, and provides a literary introduction to his major themes of love, social life, and politics
  • Discusses the reception of the poems by translators and interpreters
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List of Figures viii

Preface ix

1 Introduction: The Young Poet in Rome 1

2 Poetry Books 22

3 The Catullan Persona 45

4 What Makes It Poetry 72

5 Poetic Architecture 100

6 Songs for Mixed Voices: Allusions, Intertexts, and Translations 133

7 Receiving Catullus 1: From Antiquity through the Sixteenth Century 166

8 Receiving Catullus 2: England and America 194

Appendix 1 Catullus' Meters 222

Appendix 2 Glossary of Metrical and Rhetorical Terms 223

Bibliography 225

General Index 235

Index of Catullus' Poems 242

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Julia Haig Gaisser is Eugenia Chase Guild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at Bryn Mawr College, and a past president of the American Philological Association. She is the author of Catullus and His Renaissance Readers (1993), Pierio Valeriano on the Ill Fortune of Learned Men: A Renaissance Humanist and His World (1999), and The Fortunes of Apuleius and the Golden Ass: A Study in Transmission and Reception (2008), and the editor of Catullus in English (2001), and Catullus (2007).
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  • Places Catullus in a social, historical, and literary context

  • Examines Catallus's style and subjects, and provides a literary introduction to his major themes of love, social life, and politics

  • Discusses the reception of the poems by translators and interpreters
See More
"Gaisser (emer., Bryn Mawr College), who has written extensively on ancient Roman poetry and Renaissance Latin literature, has produced an excellent comprehensive guide to the major Roman poet Catullus." (CHOICE, December 2009)

"Such a simple and yet profound book could only have been written by someone with the authority conferred by a detailed knowledge of Catullus' work, its transmission and its reception over the ages. … I consider [it] the best existing survey on Catullus." (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, December 2009)

"An essential contribution to Catullan studies, this volume deftly introduces readers to fundamental issues: formation of the collection; the speaking voice; verbal and structural techniques; intertextuality; reception both ancient and contemporary."
Marilyn B. Skinner, University of Arizona

"Gaisser speaks with authority about every aspect of Catullus’ poetry. From now on, when my students, at whatever level, ask for a single book introduction to Catullus, I will recommend this one."
Andrew Feldherr, Princeton

"A panoramic introduction that--like Catullus himself--is learned, accessible and luminous, rich with insights on poetic sound and architecture, intertextuality and literary reception. Gaudete, Veneres Cupidinesque, and readers of Catullus new and old."
Judith P. Hallett, University of Maryland, College Park

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