Monday, 25 March 2013


Iam ver egelidos refert tepores,
iam caeli furor aequinoctialis
iucundis Zephyri silescit aureis.
Linquantur Phrygii, Catulle, campi
Nicaeaeque ager uber aestuosae:
ad claras Asiae volemus urbes.
Iam mens praetrepidans avet vagari,
iam laeti studio pedes vigescunt.
O dulces comitum valete coetus,
longe quos simul a domo profectos
diversae varie viae reportant.
Catullus 40.

My Latin has gone all rusty of late. I enjoy Catullus but seem to be relying more and more on translations. This poem was written in the Spring of 56 B.C, when he was leaving Bithynia to tour ''the renowned cities of Asia.'' He says that Spring has come with a breeze of Zephyr (egelidos means ''ex-chill''); he desires to get him gone from the plains of Nicaea into the cities of Asia; that his soul is praetrepidans, literally fluttering with anticipation; and he bids the commitum, the staff, farewell as he longs (avet) for the way home diversae variae viae, in divers paths and through different lands.

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