Poesie by Saffo, a cura di Ilaria Dagnini

By Saffo, a cura di Ilaria Dagnini

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Wiseman, Catullan Questions, 60. 13. J. K. Newman, Roman Catullus and the Modification of Alexandrian Sensibility (Hildesheim: Weidman, 1990), 49, points out that Catullus uses the term “iambic” to mean abusive verse in general, not just poems in iambic meters narrowly defined. 14. Wiseman, Catullan Questions, 45. 15. , 45–46. 16. This means that Poem 71 was written before Poem 69. The manuscript order of the poems does not argue against this assumption. There are several striking instances of apparently reversed chronology in the order of Catullus’ poems in the manuscripts, especially in the elegiac collection, 65 to 116.

A spear struck him under the eye and reached the vital organs of the head. The elephants as a group tried to escape through the iron gates that surrounded them, which disturbed the audience. ) When Pompey’s elephants had lost hope of escape, they sought mercy from the crowd through incredible behavior. They begged for mercy, grieving for themselves with a kind of wailing. So great was the sorrow of the people that they forgot the general [Pompey] and the generosity that he had displayed in their honor.

1–5) xxxvii  Poems 62 and 64 are in dactylic hexameters, the heroic meter of Homer and Vergil. 1–3) I have also used five-beat lines in translating Poems 25 and 30, which are metrically unique in Catallus. Their Latin meters (iambic tetrameter and “greater Asclepiads” respectively) have relatively long lines. Poems 65 through 116 are all in elegiac couplets. These consist of lines of dactylic hexameter followed by shorter lines, which resemble the beginning of a hexameter repeated. Couplets generally express complete thoughts, and conciseness is one of their chief virtues.

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