Friday, September 7, 2007

Secundum Pensum, Autumno 2007

We have just read several Catullan poems grouped under the theme: Amici et Inimici. Citing your evidence in Latin, translating and then analyzing, cite three examples of images that Catullus uses to describe "the human condition" within the realm of friends and enemies. In other words, in these poems that spin off of his friendly and unfriendly relationships, what images of the human condition does Catullus paint for us. After citing your evidence and anylizing them, what conclusions can you draw about Catullus' view of the human person?

21 comments:

hope2 said...

Catullus often seems to see the dark side of human nature. He sees people as untrustworthy "idem nunc retrahis te ac tua dicta omnia factaque ventos irrita ferre ac nebulas aerias sinis" or "you now draw yourself back and allow the winds and airy clouds to carry away all your words and deeds empty" (Catullus 30, 9-10). Others he sees as hostile, such as when he tries to placate Gellius "neu conarere tela infesta < meum > mittere in usque caput" or "that you would not try to send hostile spears all the way into my head" (Catullus 116, 3-4). Others he sees as vain and stupid, such as Suffenus (Catullus 22) or Arrius (Catullus 84). However, instead of disillusioning him towards humanity as a whole, Catullus' view of bad people makes him even more protective of the people he loves, like when he tries to protect the napkins given to him by Veranius and Fabullus (Catullus 12) or his vengeful defense in Catullus 40: "meos amores cum longa voluisti amare poena" or "you wanted to love my loves with a long punishment". Therefore, Catullus sees humans as people who must be protected lest they be corrupted and become like those from whom he is trying to protect them. He tries to use his poetry to reveal the evil within people and thereby protect others from that evil.

ryan2 said...

In the grouping of Amici et Inimici Catullus talks in great detail about human nature, in doing so he make several interesting observations. One such observation is that people are not able to see their errors on their own. It takes an outsider to, so to say, open the eyes of the beholder.
In Carmen 12 he says in lines 2-4: "in ioco atque vino tollis lintea neglegentiorum. Hoc salsum esse putas? Fugit te, inepte: quamvis sordida res et invenusta est." This roughly translated means: in joke and wine you steal the napkins of the more careless. Do you think this smart? It escapes you, foolish man that this thing is utterly bad and unattractive. The last line is the most important. Catullus is telling Asinius Marrucinus that he is doing something wretched. He is opening up Assinius's eyes to the truth.
Another example of Catullus opening up the eyes of another is in Carmen 69, lines 9-10: "quare aut crudelem nasorum interfice pestem,aut admirari desine cur fugiant." Translated means something of the effect: So either get rid of the painful affront to the nostrils or cease to wonder why the ladies flee. This is Catullus helping out a supposed friend, Rufus, solve a problem by opening up his eyes to the truth. Rufus smells extremely foul. Another way of looking at this line, is that Catullus is just fed up with Rufus complaining to him so out of annoyance he went off on Rufus.
A third example of Catullus doing this eye opening, is in Carmen 116, lines 7-8: "contra nos tela ista tua evitabimus amitha at fixus nostris tu dabis supplicium." Which translated is "I'll evade the shafts of yours you fire at me, but you'll be punished, fixed for ever by mine." Thus, saying that Gellius has hurt him and that he will evade any remarks Gellius has but return words that will hurt Gellius's reputation. Opening Gellius's eyes to the fact that he has hurt Catullus and looking for an apology.
Catullus believes that people are blind to their own faults and must be told by others.

jane2 said...

Catullus uses three images of Suffenus in Carmen 22 to describe the "human condition." One example is in lines 18-21: "Nimirum idem omnes fallimur, neque est quisquam quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum possis." / "Surely we are all deceived the same way, nor is there anyone whom you are not able to see Suffenus in some way. To each has been assigned his own flaw, but we do not see the part of the pack on our back." In these lines, Catullus says that humans look at and criticize other people's flaws, but they do not acknowledge their own faults. Another example is in lines 12-17: "Hoc quid putemus esse? Qui modo scurra aut si quid hac re scitius videbatur, idem infaceto est infacetior rure, simul poemata attigit, neque idem umquam aeque est beatus ac poema cum scribit: tam gaudet in se tamque se ipse miratur." / "We wonder how can this be? He who just now was seeming a jester or somebody rather knowing in this matter, the same person is duller than a countryside, as soon as he touches poetry, the same person is not ever as equally happy as when he writes poetry: he rejoices in himself and admires himself so much." In these lines, Catullus points out that human beings all engage in self-delusion to some degree, just like how Suffenus thinks he is so great although no one else thinks so. Another example is in lines 1-3 and 9-11. Lines 1-3 are written: "Suffenus iste, Vare, quem probe nostri, homo est venustus et dicax et urbanus, idemque longe plurimos facit versus." / "That Suffenus, Varus, whom you have known well, that man is attractive and learned and sophisticated, and the same man makes too many verses by far." Lines 9-11 are written: "Haec cum legas tu, bellus ille et urbanus Suffenus unus caprimulgus aut fossor rursus videtur: tantum abhorret ac mutat." / "When you read these, that handsome and sophisticated Suffenus seems a goat milker or a ditch digger again: he shrinks back and changes so much." These two groups of lines contradict each other. In these lines, Catullus brings forth the idea that a person may not be the same kind of person as he appears to be on the outside, just like how Suffenus appears to be stylish in outer appearance although his writing does not reflect that stylishness.

Vance224 said...

One of the first of Catullus’ commentaries on people comes from line 18 of Carmen 22 when he says “nimirum idem omnes fallimur / surely we are all deceived in the same way.” This is Catullus’ way of saying that everybody tends to think that what he/she is doing is perfect even if it isn’t.

The next comes from line 21 of Carmen 22 “sed non videmus manticae quod tergo est / but we do not see the knapsack which is on our own back.” This is a metaphor referring to the fact that one can see another’s knapsack, as one can see everyone else’s faults. However no one can see his/her own knapsack (faults).

The final example I found comes from Carmen 84: “Hoc misso in Syriam requierant omnibus aures / with this man having been sent to Syria, everybody’s ears were relived.” Catullus is quite possibly using this poem to show, at the expense of Arrius, that many people wish to be smarter and so try to seem smarter.

Through all of these statements, I think that Catullus is demonstrating a cynical view of people. However I also think that maybe Catullus is not taking his own advice because he so readily points out the faults of others, making it seem that he thinks that he is perfect or at least close to it.

anqi2 said...

Catullus has two opinions of people: ones who treat him well and ones who treat him bad.

And you don't want to get onto Catullus' naughty list.
First of all... he views them in no good light whatsoever, only highlighting the worst parts of the person. For example, in Catullus 12, Catullus notes with a lot of emphasis that the napkin-stealer has a prefectly charming and witty brother to show the contrast between human natures of the same gene pool! In the inimici poems, such as poem 12, 22, and 30, he uses very harsh words to describe their personalities: foolish man, traitor, cruel one, etc., furthering the painting that Catullus draws for us to describe the qualities his enemies have.

However, he does have his "good list." In the poems about his amici, Catullus wants for his friends to prosper like him. In Catullus 69, Rufus is lacking what Catullus has bounties of: romances. He views his friends as not as good as him, trying to help Rufus out, telling him to get rid of the ferocious goat that dwells in his armpits (in other words... clean up his act).

To Catullus, all of human kind can be grouped into either the good group or the bad group. The bad deserve to be punished to the fullest extent, being bound into his poems for all of eternity to laugh at. These people have either done bad onto him or had an extremely weird habit (such as Arrius' tendency for h's or Alfenus' ignorance for his own horrible poetry). The people who have been good to him are held in Catullus' mind with the highest esteem.

Reminds me of a person I know... :D

khushbu2 said...

In the theme of “Amici et Inimici” Catullus views humans as people who betray their friends. In Carmen 12, Catullus describes the pain he feels when Asinius Maricinus steals his napkins, which were given to him as a gift, “haec amem necesse est ut Veraniolum meum et Fabullum” (It is necessary that I love these things As I love my little Veranius and Fabullus). Catullus has invited him for dinner and Asinius repays him by stealing a meaningful gift. In Carmen 30, Catullus is neglected by his friend when Alfenus “quae tu neglegis ac me miserum deseris in malis” (Like this deed you overlook: deserting me here wretched in my woes). Alfenus ignores him when Catullus needs his friend the most, after a breakup with Lesbia. In Carmen 40, Catullus is betrayed by a friend because Ravidus “voluisti amare meos amores” (you wished to love my love). Ravidus started to like someone that Catullus was in love with. Catullus shows several instances friends have hurt him, ranging from thievery, abandonment, to complete betrayal. He is portraying the negative side of these people who call themselves his friends. I also think that his poetry works both ways because Catullus is also writing these cruel poems about their wrongdoings. Catullus is being caddy and he knows that people will read his poetry and the characters of his “friends” will be tainted.

Roseanne2 said...

There are several examples in which Catullus uses to describe human nature within the realm of friends and enemies. For instance, in carmen 30, he mentions how Alfenus used to be a cherished friend, but then he is now deceitful. Catullus states, "certe tute iubebas animam tradere, inique, me inducens in amorem, quasi tuta omnia mi forent. idem nunc retrahis te ac tua dicta omnia factaque ventos irrita ferre ac nebulas aereas sinis," "For truly you used to bid me to trust my soul to you, leading me into love as if all were safe for me, you who now draw back from me, and let the winds and vapors of the air, bear away all your words and deeds un ratified." He implies that Alfenus has changed from someone who has been a good friend,to someone who has betrayed him, someone worth not considering as a friend. He also means that there are people in life whom we used to consider friends and there are certain circumstances that occur that have those people change. Sometimes such changes can cause a rift in a relationship, causing someone to be hurt or angered or betrayed by the people they once called friends.

In Carmen 40, Catullus talks about deception. The whole idea of the poem is to stress the deception of Ravidius. He says, "Quid vis? Qualubet esse notus optas?
Eris, quandoquidem meos amores
cum longa voluisti amare poena," "what do you want? would you be known no matter how? So you shall, since you have chosen to love my lady,and long shall you rue it." He basically means that Ravidius should not have betrayed Catullus by loving Lesbia (as though the lover may be). Because Ravidius has loved her, he has hurt Catullus. Catullus implies that betrayal and deception are apart of human nature. People will always end up betraying you, regardless of how close they once were to you.

In Carmen 22, Catullus speaks of Suffenus and how he has changed. He says, “rursus videtur: tantum abhorret ac mutat,” “to look at him again; so absurd and changed he is.” He talks about how Suffenus went from being a charming, witty man to someone who is clumsy. When saying this, he implies that people change, whether for good or for bad. It is part of human nature to change.

Kelsey2 said...

In Carmen 22, Catullus speaks of the individual's inability to recognize his own faults - " Suus cuique attributus est error;
sed non videmus manticae quod tergo est." Translated, "to each of us our own mistakes have been attributed, but we do not see the knapsack which is on our own back." Catullus is referring to the unaware Suffenus, the man who dresses stylishly and can't write poetry worth a penny. However, one must assume Catullus understood how this applied to others as well as to himself. Human folly lies partially in our faults themselves, but perhaps more in our refusal to acknowledge any but our own. Humans are quick to point fingers and slow to take the blame or shortcomings, even for a simple matter such as a lack of writing ability.

"Disertissime Romuli nepotum," or "Most eloquent of the descendants of Romulus," leads into poem 49, a kowtow of Catullus to Cicero. Whether it is sarcastically and ironically written is open for debate, but in either case the line demonstrates another characteristically human response. If Catullus is being serious, he himself is trying to garner favor through flattery. If not, he is imitating those who do take it seriously. People often deceive, even if superficially, to aid in personal advancement. While some relationships are true friendships, others rely on advantages gained, such as the patron-client relationship.

Carmen 84 highlights another unfortunate human trait. "Chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet
dicere", or "Chommoda he was saying, if whenever he wished to say commoda". The poem is presented in a comical light, but does present the fact that the unfortunate Arrius, brunt of the jokes, probably belongs to a different social class and is therefore looked down upon by his upper-class peers. While this is a relatively lighthearted and amusing poem, it does suggest the human social nature that superiority is achieved by "othering" those judged inferior and unable to defend themselves.
Admittedly, I chose several of the negative examples of the human condition, which is not a balanced view, as there are equalizers such as love, fairness, and compassion. However, it is important to note the bad examples of human behavior that Catullus presents in order to understand the complexity of relationships and the responses we exhibit toward our fellow beings. I think perhaps Catullus was ultimately optimistic about human nature, but understood that often it is the negative that people let manifest itself in their personalities.

lauren2 said...

Throughout this theme, Catullus seems to be very harsh in telling people exactly what is wrong with their character. For example, "hunc metuunt omnes, neque mirum:nam mala valde est bestia, nec quicum bella puella cubet/ This they all frear and no wonder for it is a great beast for which no beautiful gil will go to bed with" (Catullus 69: 7-8). The poet gets right to the point when explaining that Rufus is bearing an ugly rumor that results in an unsatisfactory lifestyle for him. Also, "contra nos tela ista tua evitabimus acta, at fixus nostris tu dabis supplicium/ I'll evade the shafts of yours you fire at me, but you'll be punished, fixed forever by mine" (Catullus 116:7-8). In this example, Catullus seems to be bitter about the circumstance. Lastly, "quid vis? qualubet esse notus optas? eris, quandoquidem meos amores cum longa voluisti amare poena/ What do you want? Do you want to be known by any means possible? You will be, since you wanted to love my (boyfriend), with a long punishment (Catullus 40:6-8). Again here, Catullus is cruel to whom he is addressing.
In all of these examples, the poet is quick to judge others and point out their flaws. Catullus conveys the human person as sinful and decietful. He does not think very highly of others, but seems to turn the situation around when speaking of himself.

lauren2 said...

Throughout this theme, Catullus seems to be very harsh in telling people exactly what is wrong with their character. For example, "hunc metuunt omnes, neque mirum:nam mala valde est bestia, nec quicum bella puella cubet/ This they all frear and no wonder for it is a great beast for which no beautiful gil will go to bed with" (Catullus 69: 7-8). The poet gets right to the point when explaining that Rufus is bearing an ugly rumor that results in an unsatisfactory lifestyle for him. Also, "contra nos tela ista tua evitabimus acta, at fixus nostris tu dabis supplicium/ I'll evade the shafts of yours you fire at me, but you'll be punished, fixed forever by mine" (Catullus 116:7-8). In this example, Catullus seems to be bitter about the circumstance. Lastly, "quid vis? qualubet esse notus optas? eris, quandoquidem meos amores cum longa voluisti amare poena/ What do you want? Do you want to be known by any means possible? You will be, since you wanted to love my (boyfriend), with a long punishment (Catullus 40:6-8). Again here, Catullus is cruel to whom he is addressing.
In all of these examples, the poet is quick to judge others and point out their flaws. Catullus conveys the human person as sinful and decietful. He does not think very highly of others, but seems to turn the situation around when speaking of himself.

Yayu2 said...

After reading the poems under the grouping Amici et Inimici, Catullus seems to paint the human condition as dark and evil with no insight into personal faults.

He comments on how people aren't able to see their own errors but will readily point out the faults of others. In poem 22, lines 20-21, he says "suus cuique attributus est error; sed non videmus manticae quod in tergo est." (To each one of us one's own mistakes have been assigned; but we do not see the knapsack that is on our back)He's stressing the point that humans can't see their own faults and need others to open their views.

In poem 30, lines 3-4, he depicts Alfenus as a wicked and hostile man. "iam me prodere, iam non dubitas fallere, perfide? nec facta impia fallacum hominum caelicolis placent." (Now do you no longer hesitate to betray me, to deceive me, you treacherous man? Nor are the disloyal deeds of treacherous men pleasing to the gods) He is saying that people are able to easily deceive and trick others and that their nature is bad. He does not at all like how humans are and is trying to make people see the trait by illustrating it in this poem.

Last, in poem 84, line 7, he says, "hoc misso in Syriam requierant omnibus aures: audibant eadem haec leniter et leviter" (With this man having been sent to Syria, everyone's ears found relief: they were hearing the same thing more softly and more lightly) Once again, he's commenting on how humans are extremely ignorant of their own faults and how much they hurt others. In poems 12, 40, 69, and 116, he also comments on how wicked the people around him are and how they are oblivious to their own faults.

I think Catullus is stating that no one is perfect, but everyone thinks they are, so it leads to harmful consequences. He is using his poems to show his friends what kinds of people they really are. In a way he's trying to open their minds and let them see the truth, but he's also denouncing them for all the hurt and damage they have caused him. He is not really happy with what the people around him are doing, so he tries to change them and protect what is left that's valuable to him. He is able to see the evil sides of people, so he uses his knowledge to show other people and preserve the good that's still left.

jrog08 said...

Catullus uses many images to define his personal views on human interaction and human character. First, in Carmen 30 he calls Alfenus a “ immemor atque sodalibus” or “a forgetful and false friend” and he says Alfenus “iam me prodere, iam non dubitas fallere” or “ does not hesitate to betray and does not hesitate to deceive” which shows that Catullus obviously views Alfenus in a negative light based on some past injury. This shows his distrust of people, especially those closest to him, which he seems to hold for most of humanity in general. Second, in Carmen 12 Catullus expresses his anger when Asinus steals his napkins “in ioco atque vino tollis lintea neglegentiorum. Hoc salsum esse putas?” or “in jokes and in wine you lift the linen cloths of the careless. Do you think this to be funny?” Obviously, Catullus is angry here by the fact that his prized Spanish napkins have been stolen and we can surmise that he thinks that Asinus is thieving, conniving and conceited because he stole them and didn’t give them back. We can apply these implications to Catullus’ view of humanity in general, that people are self centered and egotistical. Finally, in Carmen 40, Catullus views Raudus to be trying to take his love away from him for no obvious reason which shows that Catullus thinks that people are trying to get him, which may or may not be true but still gives us insight into the way Catullus views humanity. He says “ quaenam te mala mens, miselle Raude” or “what deranged mind, wretched Raudus” which he follows with “ quandoquidem meos amores cum longa voluisti amare poena” or “ since you want to love my love with long punishment” which shows that Catullus that he thinks Raudus is trying, for no apparent reason, to steal his lover away from him. This shows that Catullus is suspicious of people and their motives. Catullus’ view of humanity in general is very cynical in that he does not trust people, does not trust people and does not believe people care about each other and they only work for the betterment of themselves. All in all, Catullus is somewhat of a misanthrope and prefers the quiet company of himself and his own thoughts to interaction with people who may hurt him.

Timmy2 said...

Catullus often describes a negative outlook about mankind. In Carmen 84, Catullus points out how humans are constantly seeking the approval of their peers. He describes Arrius with “Chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet dicere, et insidias Arrius hinsidias,” meaning “Arrius was saying hadvantage whenever he wanted to say advantage, and hambush when he wanted to say ambush.” Catullus states that in vain, Arrius and other humans desire to be esteemed in the eyes of other. The last powerful lines of Catullus' Poem 22 “Suus cuique attributus est error; sed non videmus manticae quod tergo est.” meaning “To each of us mistakes are assigned; but we do not see the knapsack which is on our back” conveys the idea that humans point out the flaws of others in order to boast their own prowess and abilities. In doing so, however, they overlook their own inabilities and failures. Again in his 30th poem, Catullus expresses his contempt with people and their untrustworthiness, specifically in regard to Alfenus. He says so in a series of rhetorical questions: “iam te nil miseret, dure, tui dulcis amiculi? iam me prodere, iam non dubitas fallere, perfide?” which means “now you feel nothing, harsh one, to your beloved friend? Treacherous one, now do you not hesitate to betray me, now to mislead me?” Catullus explains how his best friend had betrayed his trust, giving an undertone that no humans could be trusted. Though Catullus does praise some people in his poetry, these poems show a his somewhat more jaded opinions on human nature.

Sanjay2 said...

Catullus' view on the human condition is dark and reflective at the same time. In this grouping of poems, inimici and amici, Catullus shows his reflective side when speaking of the past and the present and is biting and harsh on the people of the future. One example of this is of Arrius in Catullus 84, the poor man that mispeaks and mispronounces. "In lines Hoc misso in Syriam requierant omnibus aures: audibant eadem haec leniter et leviter, nec sibi postilla metuebant talia verba, cum subito affertur nuntius horribilis: Ionios fluctus, postquam illuc Arrius isset, iam non Ionios esse sed Hionios." Basically Catullus says that the people were now hearing the same thing more softly and more lightly, once Arrius had moved to Syria. He also remarks that Arrius changes the Ionian seas to the Hionian seas which canbe translated as chilly. Here Catullus personifies the harsh h sounds in Arrius' speaking to show his evil nature and the human condition. Another example of Catullus' portrayal of the human condition is the descrition of Rufus. Catullus is harsh and biting when he says,"qua tibi fertur valle sub alarum trux habitare caper." He speaks of how Rufus' armpits stink as if they were being eaten by a ferocious goat. This is obviously a biting view of the human condition. One good thing that Catullus does say about the human condition is in Catullus 49, when he says,"gratias tibi maximas Catullus" and he says,"quanto tu optimus omnium patronus." Here he is praising Cicero calling him the greatest poet ever and he also says that he (catullus) gives his greatest thanks to him. This shows his respect for his patrons and the great people of his time. I dont think that Catullus actually has a definitive position on the human condition but that his position on people floats depending on the different views on them. One example is of Cicero who defended his beloved in court.

hyung02 said...

In past two weeks, we read Amici et inimici. Catullus talks about human nature and judges those who are displeasing to him. He sees them as untrustworty and wicked. In Catullus 40, he says, "Eris, quandoquidem meos amores
cum longa voluisti amare poena. // You will be, since you wished to love my boyfriend, with a
long punishment." Basically, Catullus will make him miserable for an attemp to take his male lover. In Catullus 12, "Hoc salsum esse putas? Fugit te, inepte:
quamvis sordida res et invenusta est. //Do you think that this is witty? It escapes you, foolish man
This thing is utterly sordid and unattractive." In the previous lines of these lines, Asinius attempts to steal a napkin from Catullus, and Catullus sees this and insults Asinius that it is unattractive and foolish. Lastly, in Catullus 49, he says, "agit pessimus omnium poeta,
tanto pessimus omnium poeta //The least poet of all gives
As much the least poet of all." Here, Catullus insults Cicero who saved his pride by publicly insulting Clodia who is thought to be Lesbia. From reading these poems, it seems that Catullus wants the readers to understand that all humans have ill intent because it's a part of a human nature.

vikas2 said...

In the Catullan poems grouped under the theme: “Amici et Inimici,” Catullus uses many examples to describe "the human condition" between friends and enemies. One example of a “human condition” is in Carmen 22. In lines 18 - 21 it says “Nimirum idem omnes fallimur, neque est quisquam quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum possis. Suus cuique attributus est error; sed non videmus manticae quod tergo est.” (Surely we're all deceived the same way, nor is there anyone whom you are not able to see Suffenus in some way. To each has been assigned his own flaw; but we do not see the part of the pack on our back). Here Catullus is saying that humanity as a whole is flawed by the their inability to see their own faults. Catullus shows us how people are so quick to ridicule and criticize others before themselves. Catullus uses the word “manticae” (backpack) as a way to symbolize the way people do not recognize their own faults. In the same poem, another example of a “human condition” is showed. In lines 12 -14 it says “Hoc quid putemus esse? Qui modo scurra aut si quid hac re scitius videbatur, idem infaceto est infacetior rure,” (We wonder how can this be? He who just now was seeming a jester or somebody rather knowing in this matter, the same person is duller than a dull countryside). Here Catullus is saying that all human beings engage in self-delusion to some degree. In Carmen 22, Catullus says Suffenus has written by far too many verses of poetry. Catullus portrays Suffenus to be this very stylish in appearance, but his writing does not reflect that sylishness. The last example of a “human condition” is in Carmen 40. In lines 6 - 8 it says “Quis vis? Qualubet esse notus optas? Eris, quandoquidem meos amores cum longa voluisti amare poena.” (What do you want? By any means do you wish to be known?
You will be, seeing as how my loves you wished to love with a long penalty.) Here Catullus is saying that humanity as a whole deceives one another. Catullus attacks Ravidus because Ravidus wanted to love the girl that Catullus loves. Catullus shows that people will betray each other know matter how close they are.

vikas2 said...

In the Catullan poems grouped under the theme: “Amici et Inimici,” Catullus uses many examples to describe "the human condition" between friends and enemies. One example of a “human condition” is in Carmen 22. In lines 18 - 21 it says “Nimirum idem omnes fallimur, neque est quisquam quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum possis. Suus cuique attributus est error; sed non videmus manticae quod tergo est.” (Surely we're all deceived the same way, nor is there anyone whom you are not able to see Suffenus in some way. To each has been assigned his own flaw; but we do not see the part of the pack on our back). Here Catullus is saying that humanity as a whole is flawed by the their inability to see their own faults. Catullus shows us how people are so quick to ridicule and criticize others before themselves. Catullus uses the word “manticae” (backpack) as a way to symbolize the way people do not recognize their own faults. In the same poem, another example of a “human condition” is showed. In lines 12 -14 it says “Hoc quid putemus esse? Qui modo scurra aut si quid hac re scitius videbatur, idem infaceto est infacetior rure,” (We wonder how can this be? He who just now was seeming a jester or somebody rather knowing in this matter, the same person is duller than a dull countryside). Here Catullus is saying that all human beings engage in self-delusion to some degree. In Carmen 22, Catullus says Suffenus has written by far too many verses of poetry. Catullus portrays Suffenus to be this very stylish in appearance, but his writing does not reflect that sylishness. The last example of a “human condition” is in Carmen 40. In lines 6 - 8 it says “Quis vis? Qualubet esse notus optas? Eris, quandoquidem meos amores cum longa voluisti amare poena.” (What do you want? By any means do you wish to be known?
You will be, seeing as how my loves you wished to love with a long penalty.) Here Catullus is saying that humanity as a whole deceives one another. Catullus attacks Ravidus because Ravidus wanted to love the girl that Catullus loves. Catullus shows that people will betray each other know matter how close they are.

anqi2 said...

REPOST! (with specific citings)

Catullus has two opinions of people: ones who treat him well and ones who treat him bad.

And you don't want to get onto Catullus' naughty list.
First of all... he views them in no good light whatsoever, only highlighting the worst parts of the person. For example, in Catullus 12, Catullus notes with a lot of emphasis that the napkin-stealer has a "leporum differtus puer ac facetiarum." (prefectly charming and witty brother) to show the contrast between human natures of the same gene pool! In the inimici poems, such as poem 12, 22, and 30, he uses very harsh words to describe their personalities: inepte [Catullus 12], dure [Catullus 30], perfide [Catullus 30] (foolish man, traitor, cruel one, etc.,) furthering the painting that Catullus draws for us to describe the qualities his enemies have.

However, he does have his "good list." In the poems about his amici, Catullus wants for his friends to prosper like him. In Catullus 69, Rufus is lacking what Catullus has bounties of: romances. He views his friends as not as good as him, trying to help Rufus out, telling him to get rid of the "valle sub alarum trux habitare caper" (to get rid of the ferocious got that lives in his armpits). In other words, Catullus is trying to get Rufus to clean up his act.

To Catullus, all of human kind can be grouped into either the good group or the bad group. The bad deserve to be punished to the fullest extent, being bound into his poems for all of eternity to laugh at. These people have either done bad onto him or had an extremely weird habit (such as Arrius' tendency for h's [Catullus 84: chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet dicere, et insidias Arrius hinsidias / Arrius said chommoda whenever he wished to say commoda and hinsidias whenever he wished to say insidias.] or Alfenus' ignorance for his own horrible poetry [Catullus 22: haec cum legas tu, bellus ille at urbanus Suffenus unus caprimulgus aut fossor rursus videtur: tantum abhorret ac mutat / When you read this, that cleer and sophisticated Suffens on the contrary seems to be merely a country bumpkin or a ditchdigger: he differs and changes so much). The people who have been good to him are held in Catullus' mind with the highest esteem.

Reminds me of a person I know... :D

82 said...

I believe that in these poems under the theme anici et inimici, Catullus shows that there is a human condition that everyone suffers from which is blindness to their own faults. Throughout the poems he points out problems that each friend/enemy has that they have not yet realized. In Carmen 69 lines 5-6 "laedit te quaedam mala fabula, qua tibi fertur
valle sub alarum trux habitare caper." which translated says "you are being hurt by an ugly rumor which is beneath your armpit, there dwells a ferocious goatlike smell" Rufus has been wondering why the women run from him and so Catullus finally must point out that it is his own fault that they do not come to him. Next in Carmen 22 line 20-21 Catullus states his theme "To each one of us one's own mistakes have been assigned;
but we do not see the knapsack which is on our back" in latin: "Suus cuique attributus est error; sed non videmus manticae quod tergo est"
Here Suffenus thinks he is a very good writer and praises himself for it, but Catullus points out that he is not able to see his own mistakes.
Last in carmen 84 Catullus tells about Arrius who pronounced everything with an H sound. Arrius thought he sounded good but really everyone was just getting fed up. Lines 3 and 7 explain "et tum mirifice sperabat se esse locutum," "Hoc misso in Syriam requierant omnibus aures" which means "And then he was hoping that he had spoken wonderfully" "With this man having been sent into Syria, everyone's ears found relief"
After examining all of Catullus' views we can gather that maybe we should stop bragging that we are the best, or pointing out others flaws, but try and realize and get rid of our own.

Will Ravon said...

It seems that whenever Catullus is talking about someone it is almost always in a nasty mood, at least with men and women who aren't Lesbia. In Carmen 84 it says
"Chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet
dicere, et insidias Arrius hinsidias"

Which translates
"Arrius was saying chommoda, whenever he wanted to say commoda, and insidias he was saying hinsidias"

In this passage Catullus is clearly making fun of Arrius for mispronouncing words. In Carmen 30 it says
"Alfene immemor atque unanimis false sodalibus,
iam te nil miseret, dure, tui dulcis amiculi?
iam me prodere, iam non dubitas fallere, perfide?"

Which translates
"Thoughtless and deceitful Alfenus to faithful friends, now you have no pity, harsh man, for your sweet friends?
now to betray me, now to lead to not doubt, traitor?"
In this passage Catullus is not only calling Alfenus unfaithful to his loyal friends, but a traitor to them and himself. In Carmen 40 it says
"Quaenam te mala mens, miselle Ravide,
agit praecipitem in meos iambos?"

Which translates
"Who then you bad-mind, little wretched Ravidius, drives headfirst into my iambs?"
In this section Catullus is saying that Ravidius is crazy to attack him because of his poetry that he can use to ruin Ravidius. So, Catullus is very much negative towards other people and what he thinks of people in general. Although, there are those few that Catullus doesn't hate or make fun of, of course, none of them have attacked Catullus or he loves them.

pranav2 said...

Throughout his "amici et inimici" poems, Catullus talks about his notion of human nature. He very often talks about the faults and shortcomings of the human race. In lines 18 to 21 in carmen 22, he says, " nimirum idem omnes fallimur, neque est quisquam quem non in aliqua re videre Suffenum possis." This is translated as," Certainly we are all deceived the same, nor is there anyone whom you are not able to see as Suffenus in something." He is saying that all people are unable to see their own faults. He says that you can find some faultly aspect in anyone, just like you can in Suffenus. Catullus reiterates his point that humans are unaware of their own in the last line of the same poem (carmen 22). " sed non videmus manticae quod in tergo est". But we do not see the part of the pack on our backs. He is again referring to how all people either cannot see their own problems or just choose to ignore them. This adds to Catullus' idea that humans are not perfect. One final passage where Catullus talks about how people are unaware of their faults is in poem 69. "Noli admirari, quare tibi femina nulla, Rufe, velit tenerum sipposuisse femur/ Do not be surprised, why no woman wants to put her delicate leg on you, Rufus." Here Rufus is unaware of the fact that his bad smell keeps all the women away from him. He cannot seem to understand why he is so unattractive even though it is quite obvious to everyone else. This exemplifies Catullus' notion that all men(and women)are unable to understand that it impossible to be perfect.