Friday, November 9, 2007

Quintum Pensum: Catullus 64

When did Catullus write carmen 64? This is an epyllion, a little epic. This neoteric poet has written a traditional Roman epic poem, sort of. It's about the marriage of an heroic couple whose bedspread has the scenes of Theseus and Ariadne on it. The bulk of the poem is about that scene within the scene, and that scene is about the heartbreak of love betrayed.

We have also seen the words and language that Catullus uses in 64. It often calls to mind the words and language of many of his other poems. And so the question arises: which did he write first--the short lyric poems of love and then the epyllion, or the epyllion out of which he wrote the short lyric poems? And, what difference does it make which came first?

As always, cite evidence in Latin from Catullus works, translate them, and make your case. Take time to do a thorough job here. This is a long essay assignment. I will post no essays until the time deadline is reached, and this essay will count double the usual grade.

Quartum Pensum: Lamenta Ariadnae

Discipuli, videte lamentum Ariadnae in versibus 132-197 carminis Catulli 64. Demonstrate exempla pro his quaestionibus.

1) Quid Ariadna de viris putat?
2) Quid Ariadna de se dixit?
3) Quae quaestiones Ariadna habet?

Respondete, quippe, tantum Latine.