Friday, April 13, 2007

Week 13: Ille Phasellus: When is a boat not a boat?

This week we have read Carmen 4 in which Catullus reports to his "hospites" what his little ship, his "phasellus", has said.

Immediately, we know that this is more than meets the eye. Ships don't report anything. But, when poets have ships that are talking, the poets are trying to tell us something.

In your blog post, describe at least three different things that Catullus is telling us about through the words of the ship. Cite the Latin, translate it, and then explain.

Finally, if you were to describe some object in your life that could tell us about you, what would it be, and why?

35 comments:

XRoSeSrReD317X said...

Through the words of the ship, Catullus seems to be telling us several things. First off, in the first couple of lines, he says, " phaselus ille quem videtis hospites, ait fuisse navium celerrimus, " that boat which you see, guests, says that it is the fastest of all ships. In these lines, Catullus probably means that he is the best of all men, or at the very least, poets. When the boat says, "et hoc regat minacis hadriaticis.." and the boat denies that the shores of the Adriatic denies this, he means that the others claim that he is not the best. People deny how Catullus feels about himself. Lastly, Catullus says, "sive utrumque Iuppiter simul secundus incidisset in pedem, " he neither says he made any prayers to the gods of the shore. This implies that he is just blessed and lucky.
An object in my life that could tell people about me would be my iPod because the music in it describes who I am. The music I listen to in order to calm myself down or just to relax is part of who I am because usually what I listen to is something I can connect with. Most of the songs I listen to can usually tell what kind of person I am depending on the mood. So the best object that could tell people about me would be my iPod.

82 said...

Catullus uses the ship to tell us many things about him. In lines 2 and 4-5 Catullus says "ait fuisse navium celerrimus" which means "that he was the fastest ship" and "sive palmulis opus foret volare sive linteo" which states "whether by oreblades or sails". Catullus uses these lines to show the he considers himself to be the strongest and the quickest and these things have either by his own work (oreblades) or by fate (sails). in lines 11-12 "nam Cytorio in iugo loquente saepe sibilum edidit coma" which means " for on the Cytorian ridge often it produced a rustling with the leaf speaking". In these lines he shows that the gods inspire him. also in lines 15-18 "ulrima ex origine tuo stetisse dicit in cacumine, tuo imbuisse palmulas in aequore" "farthest from your origins he says that he has stood on your highest poeak and he has dipped your ores in his water." Here Catullus is stating that he has had high times in his life (highest peak) and he has had low points in life (dipped your ores in his water). If I needed some object to describe my life it would have to be my car. Because i spend alot of time in it and have lots of cds that show what i like to do and listen too. I have also had many good memories of traveling through life in it.

cullenforhire said...

Catullus says "ait fuisse navium celerrimus, neque ullus natantis impetum trabis nequisse praeterire, sive palmulis opus foret volare sive linteo." ([the little ship] says that it is the fastest of ships, it was able to surpass the speed of any other boat, or if there was a need for an oar or sail to fly). He uses this for two things; one being an example of how he is better than all other men (the quickest of ships), and the second being his explanation for his greatness. "Whether by ore or by sail" is a reference to how he is who he is due to both his hard work and the grace of the gods (wind to his sails). Catullus uses much of the rest of the poem (lines 6-14) to tell his own origins.
And as for an object to describe me, I would have to say my car. I have turned it into basically an extension of myself, in that many aspects of/in it are comedic and outlandish. My car could also tell you of my many travels, and thus makes it the optimal object to describe me.

youknowdis said...

Catullus in carmen 4 talks about his "phasellus" which is giving us information about Catullus himself. First, the boat says "that it is the fasted of ships, it was able to surpass the speed of any other boat" ((ait fuise navium celerrimus, neque ullius natantis impentem trabis)). This is saying how Catullus sees himself as being a very honorable man that many people can't come close to. Second, Catullus says "Pontus Bay where it later a small boat was previously the woods having much foliage" ((Ponticum sinum, ubi iste post phaselus antea fuit comata silva)). Catullus could be saying this is where the boat (himself) was born and thats where his roots come from. Third Catullus says "Vocaret aura, siue utrumque Iuupiter simul secundus incidisset in pedem" ((Through so many raging seas, whether a breeze was calling from the left or from the right or if it at the same time a favorable breeze fell upon each foot)) could relate to how he has had rough times in his life but he got past them and still overall has had good experiences. Lastly, if there was any object that could describe me would be my photo album. There are pictures that explain who I am, how I act, and who I hang out with. Just by one picture you can tell a lot about a person and how they compose themselves.

Frank said...

Catullus uses personification throughout the entire poem of Catullus 4. At the beginning, he writes, "sive palmulis opus foret volare sive linteo." This translates into "whether his work would be able to fly by ore blades or by sail." This shows that sometimes Catullus had to work to accomplish his obstacles and other times most of the work was done for him. Another example is when Catullus writes, "et inde tot per impotentia freta erum tulisse," which says "and from there he carried his master through so many wild seas." This shows that Catullus has had some harsh times in his life. Another example is when Catullus writes, "nunc recondite senet quiete seque dedicat tibi, gemelle Castor et gemelle Castoris." This says "and he grows old and now hidden and quietly dedicates himself to you twin Caster and Castor's twim." This may mean that Catullus has accepted the fact that he might be dying.
An object that can describe me would be my computer. My computer contains all of my photos and music. The photos show my love for taking pictures and what I like to do in my free time. The music shows what kind of person I am.

Wolf Angel said...

In lines 1-4, Catullus says that the ship says, “Phaselus ille…ait fuisse navium celerrimus, neque ullius natantis impetum trabis nequisse praeterire,” (“That little ship…says that he was the fastest of ships, and was not unable to skip over the attack of any other swimming plank.”) Through these lines, Catullus says in a very straightforward way that he is better than other men because he is the fastest and is able to dodge anything they throw at him, so to speak. In lines 10-11, after listing the names of several places, he writes, “ubi iste post phaselus antea fuit comata silva,” (“these are places where the after ship was before a leafy forest”). In these lines, Catullus shows how important his origin is; even though he is now a “ship,” and not part of the forest, he still remembers all the places of his origin. Lines 20-23 say “sive utrumque Iuppiter simul secundus incidisset in pedem; neque ulla vota litoralibus deis sibi esse facta” (“or Juppiter at the same time falls into each of the low corners of the sails; and not any vows to the gods of the shores were made on its behalf”), in which Catullus says that he has the favor of the gods, and it is not necessary for him to pray to them to have their favor. An object in my life that describes me is the moon. My moods and interests are constantly changing, but always seem to come back around, like how the moon continuously changes through its phases, only to keep returning to them later.

Vance224 said...

Throughout Carmen 4 Catullus uses the Phasellus to describe himself. Lines 2-5 read, “ait fuisse navium celerrimus neque ullius natantis impetum trabis nequisse praeterire, sive palmulis opus foret volare sive linteo / he says that he was the fastest of ships and was not unable to overcome the attack of any other swimming plank, and whether by oars or by wind, his work will fly.” In this quote Catullus is saying that he sees himself as being the best of all people (ships) and that he has never succumbed to any other person’s malice towards him; and by referring to them as “swimming planks” he is probably trying to cast a public insult at his enemies. And following that, lines 6-12 say that all of the places where the ship’s wood was harvested from affirm this. By listing such a long list of names, such as “litus minacis Hadriatici / the shore of the menacing Adriatic and horridam Thraciam / horrid Thrace,” suggest that the qualities which have made Catullus the man he is today were cultivated from around the known, horrid world.

Finally, the best item to describe me isn’t really one item, but rather my collection of items, my CD’s. I feel that this describes me fantastically because it is variegated, expansive, and at any given time can describe my mood.

Dr. Gregory House said...

In Carmen 4 Catullus is telling us about himself and his life. In lines 15 and 16 Catullus says through the boat “tuo stetisse dicit in cacumine, tuo imbuisse palmulas in aequore” or “the little ship says that he had stood on your highest peak, he says that he had dipped his oars in your water.” What Catullus is trying to say is that he has been figuratively “on top of the world” and has fallen on hard times. In lines 4 and 5 the “boat” says “sive palmulis opus foret volare sive linteo" or "[the work done] either by oarblades or sails” and by this Catullus is trying to say that he has had good fortune through hardwork and sometimes by the grace of the gods. In lines 11 and 12 “nam Cytorio in iugo loquente saepe sibilum edidit coma" or "for on the Cytorian ridge often produced a rustling with the leaf speaking” and in this Catullus is trying to say how much of his work was inspired by some sort of god or muse. Carmen 4 portrays Catullus’ reflection on his life and how it all seemed to have unfolded. If I had to choose an object to tell the most about me, it would be my purse. I carry my life in my purse. I have my cell phone to keep in touch with friends and family, my camera to capture the moments that are important to me, as well as a dozen other little things that I feel like I need. By going through my purse you can tell what matters to me. Plus, the way I organize my purse is kind of similar to my life, organized chaos. I have everything I need, its just that sometimes I don’t know how to get to it right away, if you give me a little time I’ll figure it out.

chmathew said...

Catullus tries to talk to us through his ship. He says "phaselus ille quem videtis hospites, ait fuisse navium celerrimus," (which means that boat which you see, guests, says that it is the fastest of all ships). In this, he implies that he considers himself the best and most talented man out there. He also says, “et hoc regat minacis hadriaticis..”(which means and the boat denies that the shores of the Adriatic denies this). This just goes to show how others see him. Catullus thinks he is great and all, but others don’t agree with him. Finally, he says, “Sed haec prius fuere; nunc recondite” (which means but these events came earlier; now you are old). This shows that Catullus was once great, but now he is old.
If I was to choose one object that could describe me, it would be my friends circle. As the saying goes, "Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are." The people who I’m always with usually share the same interests and values as me.

latin blogger said...

In Carmen 4, there are several things Catullus is trying to tell us about himself when the ship is talking. The ship says, “neque ullus natantis impetum trabis nequisse praeterire” (it was able to surpass the speed of any other boat). Catullus is priding himself on not just being a good man but also being the best of all men. Catullus isn’t showing vulnerability or weakness, but he is showing his high self-esteem. The poem also writes, “ubi iste post phaselus antea fuit comata silva” (where it later a small boat was previously the woods having much foliage). This shows how Catullus has built up his charcter through his years. He, like all humans, was not just born the person he is now but his experiences have created him. This formation of this wonderful ship from some rugged forest shows the journey and maturation of Catullus. The ship also says, “et inde tot per impotentia freta erum tulisse, laeva sive dextera vocaret aura, sive utrumque Iuppiter simul secundus incidisset in pedem”(to have carried his master through so many raging seas, whether a breeze was calling from the left or from the right or if at the same time a favorable breeze fell upon each foot). This shows Catullus’ hard work and how he has been able to overcome obstacles in his life. He has also been able to control what he does and who he is despite his surroundings (the winds), which may represent superficial people or the society in general. Then the ship says, “neque ulla vota litoralibus deis sibi esse facta, cum veniret a mari novissimo hunc ad usque limpidum lacum” (and he says neither any prayers to the Gods of the shore was done by him, when the boat was coming from the newest sea all the way to the clear lake). This shows how Catullus doesn’t need to depend on anybody in his obstacles. I think you could probably learn the most about my life by just looking through my TiVo. It tells you what I choose to watch and how I spend some time to just relax. It also shows how I’m multifaceted and enjoy a wide variety of shows and movies.

said...

Through the words of the ship, Catullus explains a few things about his life. At the beginning of the poem Catullus writes, "phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites, ait fuisse navum celerrimus,.." which means,"That little ship whom you see, guests, says that he was the swiftest of ships,.." Here Catullus is implying that he is one of the greatest poets or at least he thinks so. Catullus also says how his life had many ups and downs but he was able to get through them with the gods on his side by saying, "et inde tot per impotentia freta
erum tulisse, laeva sive dextera
vocaret aura, sive utrumque Iuppiter," which means, "and from there he carried his master through so many wild seas, whether from the left or from the right the breeze called." At the end of the poem Catullus talks about how he was blessed during his life by saying, "neque ulla vota litoralibus deis sibi esse facta, cum veniret a mari novissimo hunc ad usque limpidum lacum." which says that Catullus did not have to make any solum vows to the gods when he came ashore from the dangerous sea. And as for me my object that would tell you about my life would be a rollercoaster because it seems that with every good thing or up that happens in my life a long fall is always right around the corner.

LOL said...

Catullus tells us many things about his life through the words of the ship in Carmen 4. In lines 10-15, Catullus writes, "ubi iste post phaselus antea fuit comata silva-- nam Cytorio in iugo loquente saepe sibilum edidit coma. Amastri Pontica et Cytore buxifer, tibi haec fuisse et esse cognitissima ait phaselus." / "where the ship after was a leafy forest before. For on the Cytorian ridge often it produced a whistling with a leaf speaking." In these lines, Catullus reveals to us that he has special attachment to his place of origin. He also tells us that he is inspired by gods and that he comes from a place of inspiration. In lines 18-21, Catullus writes, "et inde tot per impotentia freta erum tulisse, laeva sive dextera vocaret aura, sive utrumque Iuppiter simul secundus incidisset in pedem." / "And from there he carried his master through so many wild seas, the breeze called whether from the left or from the right, or whether a favorable Jupiter fell into the lower corners of the sails." In these lines, Catullus tells us that he had rough and troublesome times in his life. However, the gods always blessed him and guided him in those difficult times. He seems thankful to the gods because due to their help and his hard work, he was able to become the person he was. In lines 22-27, Catullus writes, "neque ulla vota litoralibus deis sibi esse facta, cum veniret a mari novissimo hunc ad usque limpidum lacum. Sed haec prius fuere: nunc recondite senet quiete seque dedicat tibi, gemelle Castor et gemelle Castoris." / "And not any solemn vows on its behalf were made when he came from the dangerous sea all the way to this clear lake. But these things were earlier and he grows old and quietly dedicates himself to you, twin Castor and Castor's twin." In these lines, Catullus tells us that he has finally found peace in his life and that he can now rest peacefully, which also signifies death. Objects in my life that could tell people about me are my diaries. I started keeping diaries even before I started school. I have kept up with them for around ten years now. My diaries contain my personal records of everyday experiences as well as my deepest secrets and feelings that I have not even told the people closest to me. My diaries contain all of my memories, both good and bad, while growing up, so they would be the most suitable in describing me to other people.

welchie said...

Catullus is trying to tell us three things about himself in Carmen 4. First, he is saying that he is stronger than other people. "Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites, ait fuisse navium celerrimus, neque ullus natantis impetum trabis nequisse praeterire." or "This ship, whom you see, guests, is the fastest of ships, and it is not unable to surpass the attack of any other swimming plank." By saying that the boat can withstand the attack of another boat, which, is as insignificant as a swimming plank, Catullus is saying that he is greater than all other people.

Then, Catullus talks about how he has withstood many trials. "Et hoc negat minacis hadriatici negare litus insulasve Cycladas Rhodumque nobilem horridamque Thraciam Propontida trucemve Ponticum sinum..." or "And the ship denies that the shore of the threatning
Adriatic denies this, or the cyclades islands the famous island of Rhodus, wild Thracian rough sea of Marmara, Pontus bay..." By saying that the ship has been able to pass by all these places without trouble, Catullus is saying that he is able to withstand many trials.

And finally, Catullus says "laeva sive dextera vocaret aura, sive utrumque Iuppiter simul secundus incidisset in pedem" or "whether a breeze was calling from the left or from the right or if at the same time a favorable breeze fell upon each foot." In this passage Catullus uses the breeze to signify the presence of the gods. He is saying that the gods have blessed him throughout his life and that they have brought him through hard times and also given him favorable, easy times, too.

An object in my life that describes me is my calculus book. First of all, I spend a large portion of my time with it. The book and the class it represents show how hard work in my life pays off most of the time, but not all the time. Sometimes I can work really hard for something, like a good grade, and things still don't work out. However, when they do work out, the rewards are amazing.

Kirro said...

There are a few things that we can infer from Carmen 4 about Catullus' life. The first comes from lines 1-2, where he writes, "Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites, ait fuisse navium celerrimus," or, "That little ship which you see, guests, says that it was the fastest of ships." By telling us this, it makes it known that he is superior to all others. He was able to surpass others because of this speed. In addition, he also tells us, "sive palmulis opus foret volare sive linteo," or "whether it would be necessary to fly by oars or by sails." This tells us that he not only was stronger, working through his life, but he was also blessed by the gods. However, the third thing he says is, "neque ulla vota litoralibus deis sibi esse facta," or "and not any solemn vows were made on his behalf to the gods of the shore." This adds to what he said earlier about being blessed. Not only was he blessed, but he never begged the gods to bless him. Instead, the gods did this of their own accord. Personally, the keyboard of my computer would tell the best tale of my life. Into it I have infused all of the triumphs and achievements of my life, but I have also expelled all my fears and sorrows into it. When I am in emotional pain, it is my outlet to become whole again. It is part of who I am.

In_other_words said...

One thing Catullus mentions is, "That boat that you see guests
says that it is the fastest of ships it was able to surpass the speed of any other boat." This statement is explaining in a way that Catullus holds himself higher than other [ships] people in the world. Also, by saying, "these things have been well known to you from its earliest days; he said that he stood on top you have dipped oars into your sea." Catullus is saying that he has become well-known, or at the highest peak in life, giving the readers the impression of his success and experiences. And finally Catullus mentions, "to have carried his master
through so many raging seas, whether a breeze was calling from the left or from the right." This statement says that Catullus has experience many trifling events in his life. Sure, he has lead a fairly blessed life, but he cannot say that he hasn't been through rough waters. If I could describe myself as an object I would choose a clock. A clock is overall consistent and grounded. Every clock contains that one element (time) that gives it a purpose in life. A clock, in other words, knows exactly what to do and how to do it. There is also the factor that a clock's persona (once again, time) can make others happy, and some upset, depending on the surroundings.

Ian said...

As it seems that everyone else has said, the first five lines are the manifestation of Catullus' superiority complex - Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites, ait fuisse navium celerrimus, neque ullus natantis impetum trabis nequisse praeterire, sive palmulis opus foret volare sive linteo (That boat that you see guests says that it is the fastest of ships it was able to surpass the speed of any other boat or if there was a need
for an oar or sail to fly). The boat is our good buddy Catullus and he is superior, of course, to the other boats of the world, other poets or else other men in general. His superiority comes from either his own works (with the oars) or the grace of the gods (the sail). Later, in lines 17-19, he speaks of the hardships the ship has faced, and he as the ship has overcome (tuo imbuisse palmulas in aequore,
et inde tot per impotentia freta
erum tulisse - you have dipped oars into your sea and then, to have carried his master through so many raging seas).

As to some sort of representation of myself... I would have to say the sun. It's high above any man that ever lived and glorious to behold. As am I.

tram192 said...

The ships words mean more than meets the eyes. Catullus is talking through the ships. When catullus says, Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites,
ait fuisse navium celerrimus,
neque ullus natantis impetum trabis
nequisse praeterire. THis translates to That boat that you see guests
says that it is the fastest of ships
it was able to surpass the speed of any other boat. When he says this, he is basically saying that he is the stringest and best man compared to others. He also says:simul secundus incidisset in pedem;
neque ulla vota litoralibus deis
sibi esse facta, this translates toor if at the same time a favorable breeze fell upon each foot
and he says neither any prayers to the Gods of the shore
was done by him. He is basically saying that the gods favor him. He doesn't ask of the gods anything, but in return they bless him or help him. Catullus also says et inde tot per impotentia freta
erum tulisse, laeva sive dextera
vocaret aura, sive utrumque Iuppiter, which translates to and then, to have carried his master
through so many raging seas, whether a breeze was
calling from the left or from the right. This basically means that when there were problems coming from every dirrection he, Catullus would also be able to get through it, whether the gods helped him or not. An object that you would use to describe me is my bookbag and what it contains. When you look into my bookbag you can see that it is not organized. I'm not a very organized person. When you look at the grades in my notebooks, you can see that I'm am a pretty good student, and when you find my mp3 ,player you will know I like music.

Gretzky said...

So catullus uses a boat to portray himself. That by itself i think, says something. Honestly, of all things to pick, he picks to be a ship. I believe that this is also done intentionally and he is further describing himself. A ship by definition is "a bark [tree] having more than three masts" (Dictionary.com). So just by the definition of a ship, Catullus is pointing out about himself that he has more than one way to move through life and that he is not soley reliant on one thing or one person. In the poem, the ship says a few interesting things as well. One such thing is in line 9 - 12 "Propontida trucemve Ponticum sinum, ubi iste post phaselus antea fuit comata silva" which translates in to good English that makes since. "Pontus bay where it was found later to be the place where a small boat was previously made in the woods which have much foliage". This passage tells the reader where Catullus was born and that he did not know of his birthplace until later in life. Another interesting and reveling thing that the "ship" says is in line 3 "neque ullus natantis impetum trabis" which translates to "it was able to surpass the speed of any other boat". This is Catullus saying that he is smarter than anyone else in that could come against him. He believes that he is the best person in the world.

Minerva said...

1.Life is swift for Catullus
2.Rough times abound but he endures
3.He has hope for the future

In the first two lines, "Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites, ait fuisse navium celerrimus", Catullus writes of the swiftness with which his life's journey has been conducted, "That small ship, which you all see, guests, says that it has been the fastest of ships." Immediately the poem remarks upon the brevity of the individual's sojourn upon the earth, and that to Catullus life has seemed very fast in particular.

Also, he describes the frequent turmoil in which he has lived thus far, "et inde tot per impotentia freta erum tulisse," "and he [the ship] says that he brought the master through so many raging seas". This is a comment on the pain, suffering, and difficult times through which he has endured, certainly including his blustery affair with Lesbia.

Finally, in the last section of the poem, he indicates the ship's final direction towards "usque limpidum lacum", the "always clear lake", or the manifestation of a calm and placid period of life following the troubles. This is likely his view of the "calm following the storm", but it is interesting when one notes the brevity of Catullus' journey that when he wrote this, he was actually passing into the final phase of his life.

If I were to pick an object to describe my own life, short of a classic literary symbol, I would likely pick a sketchbook. It is one of the more interesting indicators of my growth and personal experience, as what I put into it oftentimes reflects what life has put into me.

Jeep3 said...

"ait fuisse navium celerrimus,
neque ullus natantis impetum trabis
nequisse praeterire/that it is the fastest of planks, it was not unable to pass the speed of any other plank/boat" --In these first few lines Catullus tells us that he could live his life (little ship traveling on waters) faster than anyone else, that it was the fastest of all lives but that also could mean the most fleeting of anyone else's life. "et inde tot per impotentia freta
erum tulisse, laeva sive dextera
vocaret aura/and then to have carried his master through very many wild seas, whether a breeze was calling from the left or from right" means that his life has taken him through many dark times and yet, the ship's master stands hold whether the wind blew from left or right (continued in next line). Catullus wants to tell us that he has endured and will continue to endure for as long as the ship stays afloat--he will bear previous hardships and continue drifting in his sea of life. "Sed haec prius fuere; nunc recondita
senet quiete seque dedicat tibi/ but these happenings occured previously; you now are old and in a hidden place(of rest) and it dedicates itself to you" means that his ship is looking back on its past adventures with Catullus and is now merely reflecting on a memory, for Catullus is gone and the ship remains dedicated to him--as is life was dedicated to him alone. The ship says that this is indeed Catullus' life and it will forever be his that was lived.

The object that would describe my life would most likely be a little boat [and it was so before we read Catullus (: ]. When we read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in English, I thought about how life in a boat really would be like. I have no real control over the movement of the little boat in this big ocean of life and thus, am just a little being floating along, going wherever the current takes me--believing that I am in control of my life when all I am doing is steering the boat in a direction that is still, in the end, controlled by the waves themselves. Momentarily I will go in the direction that I steer, but in the end, I will still end up wherever the current and wind take me because the only way to "steer" a little boat is by using oars to paddle a little on each side--there is no handle, no wheel. Thus, I can only choose how I wish to move my life along the water, not where I move my life. Any little disturbance in the waters rocks the little boat, affecting its destination at the end, just like whatever actions I take-on and endure in life will affect who I will be at the end of my years.

whereisyourboytonight said...

In lines four through five, Catullus writes, “sive palmulis/opus foret volare sive linteo,” which can be translated as “whether his work would be able to fly by oars or sail.” This indicates that the ship, or Catullus, has experienced rough times, or rough waters as it were, but he has been able to overcome these hard times using either hard work, indicated by the oars, or luck, indicated by the sail. In lines twenty through twenty one, Catullus writes “sive utrumque Iuppiter/simul secundus incidisset in pedem,” which means “whether just as a favorable Juppiter (weather) fell into the lower corner of the sails.” This is yet another illustration of the luck that Catullus feels he has had throughout his life. In Roman times, a favorable wind would move a ship in the fastest means possible. In the same way, Catullus feels he has been blessed by the gods with creativity so that he may write his poetry. Finally, in lines twenty-five through twenty-seven, Catullus writes, “nunc recondite/ senet quiete seque dedicate tibi/ gemelle Castor et gemelle Castoris,” which means “now hidden away he grows old quietly and dedicates himself to you, twin Castor and twin of Castor.” Although it is possible that Catullus is not commenting about himself, it is highly unlikely. He seems to say that he feels like his time is growing short and that he is growing old quickly.

If I were to use one object in my life to tell others about myself, I would use my camera. They do say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I do not believe that there is a better way for a person to see a glimpse into someone else’s life. I always have my camera by my side to capture a moment I wish to remember. My camera has seen a lot and would be able to reveal to others about me.

unbuma said...

In Catullus' Carmen 4, when Catullus talks of the boat, there is also another meaning to it. For example, when Catullus says "Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites,
ait fuisse navium celerrimus,"
(That boat that you see guests
says that it is the fastest of ships). Basically Catullus is saying that he is better than all other men by saying this. Also Catullus says "ait phaselus, ultima ex origine
tuo stetisse dicit in cacumine," (well known to you from its earliest days
he said that he stood on top). Catullus says here that he has once been on top of all other men, like he said in lines 1-2. "tot per impotentia freta
erum tulisse" (to have carried his master
through so many raging seas). Here Catullus is saying that he has had some rough times, but he has made it through them all, no matter how bad they were.
An object that would most describe my life would be my ipod. If you look through all the different sorts of music, you would be able to tell what kind of person I am.

hahaha psyche said...

Catullus writes through the ship that "ait fuisse navium celerrimus" (that ship is the fastest of ships). Catullus is referring to himself in this line by describing the ship's speed, and is implying that he is the fastest of all men. In a way, he is just trying to come off as impressive.
Catullus also portrays the ship saying "neque ullus natantis impetum trabis
nequisse praeterire, sive palmulis
opus foret volare sive linteo." (it was able to surpass the speed of any other boat, whether by oarblades or by sails.) Catullus is comparing the little ship to himself. He is saying that, whether or not the little ship is conciously advancing, whether by oarblade (personal work), or by wind (blessings from the gods) it is doing so. When Catullus writes in Carmen 4
"et inde tot per impotentia freta
erum tulisse, laeva sive dextera
vocaret aura, sive utrumque Iuppiter
simul secundus incidisset in pedem" (to have carried his master
through so many raging seas, whether a breeze was
calling from the left or from the right
or if at the same time a favorable breeze fell upon each foot), he is referring to the fact that he has had a hard life, but, again, he has made it in life, regardless of whether or not the gods blessed him.

If I had to use one thing to describy myself it would be the lyrics to my favorite songs. Most of the music I listen to is positive and uplifting, although it might not sound like it. The lyrics to my music of choice talks a lot about standing one's ground, regardless of what people think, about and loving people regardless of differences, and about acceptance of everyone. These are very accurate to the way I am, and I do my best to display these attrivutes in my everday life.

Orz said...

First, in first few lines, he says "Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites,
ait fuisse navium celerrimus,//that small ship, which you will see, guest, it says that it is the fastest of ships." The ship refers to himself being the best of all men.
Second, in the middle of the poem, he says, "ubi iste post phaselus antea fuit
comata silva; nam Cyrotio in iugo
loquente saepe sibilum edidit coma.//where it later a small boat was previously
the woods having much foliage; for in the Cytorian ridge
with its whistling leaves often produce whistling." In these lines, he talks about his origin, the ship's origin. He says that the ship is built from trees where the gods dwelt. He's applying that he's blessed by the gods.
Last, in lines near the ending, he says "cum veniret a mari
novissimo hunc ad usque limpidum lacum.//when the boat was coming
from the newest sea all the way to the clear lake." This describes how he was new to everyone, but now he's known to public. In the old time, being new means bad thing. The public considered that new person will disregard the tradition and bring new ideas. The lines describe Catullus from unknown person to a person who's known by many.

I can't beleive magister is a Florida Gator!!!Thats whack said...

Catullus writes in his poem, Carmen 4, about a ship that he talks to who describes to Catullus the ships life which is actually a personified form of Catullus’ life. The ship starts out saying that he was “navium celerrimus” (the fastest of ships). This can be applied to Catullus and the fact that he talks about himself being the greatest Catullus also has a very obvious reference to his life when he says he has been “to have carried his master through so many raging seas” (et inde tot per impotentia freta erum tulisse). This is a clear reference to all the hard times in Catullus’ life, and to say that his only hard time was attributed to Lesbia would be foolish. Catullus is trying to illustrate all the tough times in a person’s life that must be weathered. The final reference to Catullus’ life is near the end when he leaves the reader a message that overall his life went well and he will live the rest peacefully. “Now you are old in a hidden rest and dedicate itself to you” (nunc recondite senet quiete seque dedicat tibi).

In response to what object describes me, I would like to say something cute like everyone else who probably is going to make something up about their music or car or something, but to tell you the truth for me to tell you an object that describes me would be me making up a lot of …well stercum. Catullus did not refer to the ship as being like him; however Catullus used the ship as a large comparison to his life. What I hang around does not describe me I describe who I am. I have had a quote on my dresser for a while that was written by August W. Hare that says “Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.”

inthecake said...

@Everyone knows that an actual ship cannot talk, but it is the personification that Catullus is using throughout Carmen 4. Catullus is conveying different messages through the ship. In lines 14-17 Catullus says "tibi haec fuisse et esse cognitissima
ait phaselus, ultima ex origine
tuo stetisse dicit in cacumine,
tuo imbuisse palmulas in aequore" which is translated as "The ship says that he has been these things to you and has been most well known. Farthest from his origins he says that he has stood on your highest peak." Catullus is saying that even far away from his home, he has still been "on top of the world." The ship is saying he is most well known which is really implying Catullus thinks he is very well known and loved. In lines 18-19 Catullus states, "et inde tot per impotentia freta
erum tulisse," which means "And he has dipped his oars in your water and from there he carried his master through so many wild seas." This is signifying that there were some harsh times in Catullus' life and not everything was plain and simple. The wild seas are a metaphor for the struggles he faced in his life. Another place in Carmen 4 where Catullus is telling us something through the words of the ship is in lines 22-24 "neque ulla vota litoralibus deis sibi esse facta, cum veniret a mari novissimo hunc ad usque limpidum lacum," which is saying, "And not only solemn vows to the gods of the shore on its behalf here made when he came from new seas all the way to his clear lake." Catullus is saying that he is making these certain vows and prayers to not only the gods of the new shores he has come across, but also the clear lake which represents saftey and tranquility to him.
Many people have at least one object in their life that is significantally more important. Although many objects in my life could describe me in many ways, I would have to say my phone is a very good descriptor of my life. My phone connects me to the important people in my life that I could not live without. It also allows me to talk and have communication which is a major aspect in my life. My phone also resembles my life because it is random and jumbled which is how my life is. I don't know from one moment to the next when it is going to ring or if I get a message, just like in my life- I don't know what is going to happen from moment to moment. I'm one of those people that lives in the moment, which is why I think my phone resembles me well. The random pictures and messages found on my phone also represent my life because I am very random and spontaneous. Although there are plenty of other things that could describe my life just as well such as my clothes, camera, and purse, I feel that my phone is the one object that tells the most about my life.

gabaseballer7 said...

The way Catullus talks about the ship tells us how he feels, and how he feels about himself. He implies that he has the fastest ship, "aut fuisse navium celerrimus." Catullus is saying that he is the best there is, plain and simple. He wakes up each morning and pees excelence. Catullus also says "et inde tot per impotentia freta
erum tulisse, laeva sive dextera
vocaret aura, sive utrumque Iuppiter." which translates, "and from there he carried his master through so many wild seas, whether from the left or from the right the breeze called." This is telling us that Catullus is a hardworking man, and goes through many obstacles through life. One another thing Catullus says is, "neque ulla vota litoralibus deis sibi esse facta, cum veniret a mari novissimo hunc ad usque limpidum lacum." Which translates "And not any solemn vows on its behalf were made when he came from the dangerous sea all the way to this clear lake." This is telling us how he goes through a dangerous sea of conlicts and problems, but always finds a solution, whic represents his clear lake.
If I had to pick one object to describe myself it would be shoes. I give support when and where it is needed, I take people where they have never been, and I am always there no matter what. As Forest Gump says, "you can tell a lot by a persons shoes...where they gone...where they been..."

awavehello said...

When talking about his ship, Catullus says, "ait fuisse navium cellerrimus" (it was the fastest of the ships). Meaning that Cutulls thinks of himself as a great man, or at least greater than most other men. He then goes on to say, "Et hoc negat minacis hadriatici negare litus insulasve Cycladas
Rhodumque nobilem horridamque Thraciam
Propontida trucemve Ponticum sinum" (And the boat denies that the shore of the threatning Adriatic denies this, or the cyclades islands the famous island of Rhodus, wild Thracian rough sea of Marmara, Pontus bay), indicating that his life has had its rougher points, as well. He finishes the poem with the lines,
"Sed haec prius fuere; nunc recondita
senet quiete seque dedicat tibi,
gemelle Castor et gemelle Castoris."
(But these events came earlier; now you are old
in a hidden rest and dedicates itself to you
the twin Castor and twin of Castor.),
indicating that Catullus has indeed grown older and his life has continued along its journey.
As for an object that describes me, there isn't one. There's isn't even anything that could hopefully describe me. And it's not because I'm super deep or strange or anything, but more because I'm not always sure. There are always times growning up when you question who you are and what you're doing. Part of growning up is defining who you're going to be for the rest of your life. That's how I am right now. I'm not totally sure of who I am at the moment, but I can tell you exactly who I want to be and exactly what I'm working towards. I guess I could be described as a work in progress, but then again, couldn't we all?

jrog08 said...

Catullus uses the “little ship” in order to brag about himself and his life thus far. He talks about how strong and speedy quick he is when he says, “ ait fuisse navium celerrimus neque ullus natantis impetum trabis nequisse praeterire “ or “ he says that he was the fastest of ships and that he was not unable to skip past the attack of any other swimming plank” thus not only bragging about himself by saying he is fast and can defeat any other opponent but he is also insulting all other people by calling them “swimming planks” which makes light of any other person’s talents and by insulting their abilities he automatically makes himself look good. Also, Catullus is apparently blessed by the gods when he says, “ et inde tot per impotentia freta erum tulisse laeva sive dextra vocaret aura sive utrumque Iuppiter simul secundus incedisset in pedem” or “ and he carried his master through so many wild seas whether from the left or the right the breeze called or whether at the same time it fell into the lower corners of the sails” which clearly shows that if the wind fell directly into the corners of the sails then he must be favored by the gods in order for such a thing to happen. Finally, Catullus shows uncanny premonition when he says, “cum veniret a mari novissimo hunc ad usque limpidum lacum…senet quiete” or “when he came from the newest sea to this clear lake continually…he grows old quietly” which shows that he was either taking a huge shot in the dark and trying to end a decent poem or he had visions comparable to those of Nostradamus and predicted his own fate, either way it shows that Catullus uses the ship as a metaphor for his own life and what he thinks will eventually happen to it.

The one item or group of items that could describe me would be the bag that contains all my swimming stuff because it holds all of the things that for a long time have been with or near me in some regard and because of that they reveal my dedication for the sport, the fun and pain in the water, and excitement of being in a meet.

thomas said...

First, Catullus writes ait fuisse navium celerrimus", stating that he is the fastest of ships. He makes it clear that he is far superior to all other ships/men in the sea. He goes on to support this bold statement by declaring "ive palmulis opus foret volare sive linteo," that he was the greatest not only by his own doing (by oar) but also by sail (the good grace of the gods). Finally, "tuo stetisse dicit in cacumine, tuo imbuisse palmulas in aequore" essentially says that he has had many ups and downs in his life.

The best thing to describe myself would be my voice and that of stories. I can control my voice to convey a myriad of emotions and to describe my "tuo stetisse dicit in cacumine, tuo imbuisse palmulas in aequore." My stories tell of far off lands and mystical creatures and gooffy sentimental events that have little monetary value.

Eureka! said...

In Carmen 4, Catullus is trying to tell us that he is one of the best. In lines 1-2, Catullus says, "Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites, ait fuisse navium celerrimus," "This ship, which you see, guests, says that he was the fastest of ships." Catullus is using a feature that ships have, speed, and comparing it to himself. He is saying that he is better than all of the other guys.

Catullus is also trying to tell the reader that he has been blessed by the gods. In lines 4-5, Catullus writes, "sive palmulis
opus foret volare sive linteo." "whether his work would be able to fly by ore blades or by sail." When Catullus mentions sailing, it is a reference to blessings from the gods. Ancient Roman ships could only be powered by sail, if the wind was blowing in a favorable direction: the direction the ship was traveling. Therefore, Catullus is saying he has been blessed.

In lines 4-5, Catullus also implies that he has worked hard to get where he is in life.When Catullus writes, "sive palmulis
opus foret volare sive linteo." "whether his work would be able to fly by ore blades or by sail." When Catullus mentions flying by oar, he is saying that even when the gods were not showering him with blessings, he still moved forward, by his own effort.

I'd say an object from my life that describes me is my filing cabinet in my room. Well the outside of it. (I'm not really organized.) On the outside of my filing Cabinet I have pictures of my friends and family, so people know what is important to me. I have cartoons and comics on it because I love to laugh. I have pictures from church trips that have really impacted my spiritual life. On top of my filing cabinet I have an alarim clock with a worn out snooze button, saying that i'm always tring to get a little more sleep if I can. Lastly, i have a bowl of candy on my filing cabinet because sugar is delicious and I love it! :)

Will Ravon said...

Carmen 4 says many things about Catullus, but only a few are noteworthy. Lines 2 - 4 say, for example,
"ait fuisse navium celerrimus
neque ullus natantis impetum trabis
nequisse praeterire..."

"It said that it was the fastest ship and it was not unable to beat any swimming plank's attack."

This means that Catullus could defend himself from any verbal attack from anyone that meant to harm him or his reputation. Lines 4 and 5 say,
"... sive palmulis
opus foret volare sive linteo."

"whether by its oars or by its sails could it escape."

This segment means that either he could defeat his enemies himself or the gods would help him do it. Finally, Lines 18 - 21 say,
"et inde tot per impotentia freta
erum tulisse laeva sive dextera
vocaret aura sive utrumque Iuppiter
simul secundus incidisset in pedem;"

"And from there, through so many wild seas, it brought its master, whether from the left or the right the wind would summon, or whether the favorable Jupiter had fallen onto both corners simultaneously;"

This final part means that he was blessed by the gods to get through any trouble that came across him.

Personally, I think my "little ship" would be a Bible. A Bible has been to every country in the world and has been through many dangers and experienced many cultures. Even though I haven't yet experienced as many dangers as a Bible has I know that it has escaped those troubles becuase of God; and he is the person that has allowed me to get through my troubles and safely experience the cultures that I have.

Postransky said...

One thing Catullus tells us throught the words of the ship is that he is better than the average "Joe." This boat is the swiftest of all ships and can withstand attacks from others (ait fuisse navium celerrimus,
neque ullus natantis impetum trabis
nequisse praeterire.) Catullus also describes how his history is important to him. He describes where the ship was made from, and even though he is no longer there, he still remembers them. (Amastri Pontica et Cytore buxifer, tibi haec fuisse et esse cognitissima ait phaselus, ultima ex origine.) Catullus also says he is just plain lucky and the Gods favor him even though he didn't pray for anything (simul secundus incidisset in pedem; neque ulla vota litoralibus deis.)

One object in my life that could tell you about me would be a soccer ball. I display most of my emotion while playing soccer and it's also the thing I spend most of my time around. Soccer has also been apart of my life for 12 years, so it could tell my history as well.

jimi said...

in carmen 4 catullus uses the ship to express feelings and characteristics about himself. In lines 1-2 catullus states "Phaselus ille, quem videtis, hospites,
ait fuisse navium celerrimus" or "That boat that you see guests says that it is the fastest of ships" with this i believe he is trying to show that he is confident with himself and he views himself with a feeling of superiority over others. Further down the poem Catullus states these lines "Et hoc negat minacis hadriatici negare litus insulasve Cycladas"
or "the boat denies that the shore of the threatning Adriatic denies this, or the cyclades islands" here Catullus shows that though people oppose him he will standfast even if others claim he is not superior to all others. Third the boat says in Lines 14-15 "tibi haec fuisse et esse cognitissima ait phaselus, ultima ex origine"
translated "the boat said that these things have been well known to you from its earliest day" this can be taken to mean that catullus is a genuine being and that he has been a prominent figure for a long time. Also you can take this to mean that he believes he is here to stay and that his strength and high class will and have always stood the test of time.
An object in my life that could tell people about me would be my guitar b/c i spend a great deal with it and my style is always a smooth indicator of my mood and feeling of that paticular time.

srivatsanenator said...

It is true, poet don't often personify object without trying to make a point. In Carmen 4 Catullus uses a boat that speaks in order to talk about himself and say many different things. In this poem Catullus uses the ship to talk about many of his qualities. One such quality is mentioned in lines 2-5 where Catullus says,"ait fuisse navium celerrimus, neque ullus natantis impetum trabis nequisse praeterire, sive palmulis opus foret volare sive linteo." This basically translates to, He says was the fastest of ships and he was not unable to skip over any swimming plank, the work whether to fly by oarblade or sail. Catullus is actually saying two different things here,one Catullus is faster than any other ship and through understatement he is saying that he is more powerful than anyother ship or if it is used as an extended metaphor Catullus states that he is more powerful than other ships. The second point made by Catullus is that he is not only strong and able to do it physically but he also has the divine blessing.Also in lines 15-18 Catullus quotes,"tuo stetisse dicit in cacumine,tuo imbuisse palmulas in aequore,et inde tot per impotentia freta,"This states that Catullus has also been at the highest peaks of his life (the most joyful) and been at the low points, the sad times of his life.