Ex slave a client of one of the elite roman families

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ex-slave, a client of one of the elite Roman families Wrote tragedy, historical epics, etc Greek lit - further adventures Genre of roman comedy flourished in 2nd cent BCE. all these plays were based on greek plays Beyond his speeches and letters, much of cicero’s literary output could be seen as a response to Greek philo and rhetorical theory Each of Virgil’s major works presents itself as inspired by a famous greek work Note that the elite were all educated and bilingual in Greek and latin, people outside of the elite also were commonly bilingual Catallus From N Italy in a place called Cisalpine Gaul, which in his time (87-54 BCE) was not fully integrated into the political unit of Italy, integrated under Augustus Catullus and his family were roman citizens and quite important locally (the biographer Suetonius preserves a story about JC dining w Catullus’ father, despite having previously been insulted by some of Catullus’ poems) We don’t have any evidence for him after the mid-50’s, so the assumption is that he died about then, apparently still young We have a collection of approx 100 poems, don’t know the publication history His work: Representing his own contemporary world, especially the world of writers and readers, and his own intense experience of love A mix of different registers, including colloquialism, obscenity, ornate poetic style, references to specific greek texts, greek mythology Mostly short poems, but one mini-epic on the wedding of Peleus and Thetis (with a long digression on Ariadne, abandoned by Theseus) and a few other relatively long poems Living in a world of books Just as members of the roman elite collected statues, they also collected libraries and bought slaves trained to read, copy, etc Catullus not only reflects the fact that wealthy people of this period were surrounded by books, but he chooses to foreground the experience of being a reader in his conception of poetry In the opening poem, he conjures up an image of the book which is both a specific physical book presented to Cornelius and the book as an abstraction, available to unknown readers centuries into the future Catullus’ recurring images of books also shows how society forms around the experience of reading and the ways that books play a role in friendships and enmities Poem 14: jokingly threatens Calvus for sending him a collection of bad poems as a gift 22: considers the mystery of why Suffenus is so witty sense of immediacy: as if we have unimpeded access to Catullus
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To recognize if this is a poetic effect is not to say it’s merely a trick or a false front Catullus’ poetry both encourages this sense of intimacy and makes us conscious of the poetic art through which it is constructed. This paradox of the bookish or articificial with the passionate and personal is characteristic of Catullus 2/16/18 Poetry in/as translation Is translation antithetical to lyric?
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