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The Chronology of the Poems of Catullus

  • P. Maas (a1)

In June 1922 Rothstein, in his courageous and ingenious attack on Schwabe's generally accepted chronology of Catullus' poems, made these two surprising statements:

(1) The liaison with Lesbia began later than 57 B.C.

(2) All short poems are later than 57 B.C.

To maintain the first statement Rothstein denied (pp. 8ff.), against strong evidence, that poem 68 referred to Lesbia. To explain the second he assumed gratuitously (p. 31) that Catullus carelessly lost all his short poems written before 57 B.C., preserving only long ones, and among these the datable poems 68 and 65+66.

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page 79 note 1 Schwabe L., Quaestiones Catullianae (= Edition vol. i. 1. 1–366), 1862; Rothstein M., ‘Catull und Lesbia’, Philol. lxxviii (1923), 133. Cf. W. Kroll, Ed. with Comm. (1923); Wilamowitz-Moellendorff U. v., Hellenistische Dichtung, ii (1924), 305–10; Jachmann G., Gnomon, i (1925), 200–14; Rothstein M., ‘Catull und Caelius Rufus’, Philol. lxxxi (1926), 472 f.; Rubenbauer H., Bursians Jahresb. ccxii (1927), 173–5; W. B. McDaniel, Ed. with Comm. (1931); M. Lenchantin de Gubernatis, Ed. with Comm. 3. 9. 62). So Jerome3 may be right in (1933); Wheeler A. L., Catullus and the Tradition of Ancient Poetry (1934), 88106.

page 79 note 2 Upon the general character of these cohortes, cf. van Vliet J., De praetoria atque amicorum cohortibus (1926), and Allen W., Class. Philology, xxxiv (1939), 60. I owe these references to Prof. Momigliano.

page 79 note 3 Cf. Helm R., ‘Hieronymus Zusatze in Eusebius Chronik’, Philol. Suppl. xxi. 2 (1929), esp. pp. 37–9.

page 80 note 1 Cf. McDaniel's edition (1931), which arranges the poems in the then presumed chronological order and adds an Historical Table.

page 80 note 2 It is still not known who was praetor in Spain in 57 B.C.; cf. Schwabe, p. 245; Wilsdorf D., Fasti Hispaniarum provinciarum (Leipz. Stud. Class. Phil. i [1878], 63 ff.); Ruggiero, Dizionario epigr. ant. Rom. iii (19151919), 794, 873. It may have been M. Pupius Piso Calpurnianus, cons. 61 B.C. (Schwabe, I.e., and Lenchantin-Gubernatis to poem 9).

page 80 note 3 W. Kroll on poem 28; cf. Gelzer M. in Real-Enc. v. Tullius (1939), 951. 47 ff. Catullus' charges against his own praetor Memmius are of the same character.

page 80 note 4 There is a chronological difficulty about Asinius Pollio (who later became a famous historian) mentioned in 12. 6. If he started from Rome to Cilicia in March 56, as is generally concluded from Cicero, ad Jam. 1. 6. 1 accipies ex Pollione, the Propempticon which Helvius Cinna wrote for him must refer to another voyage, because Cinna was then with Catullus in Bithynia (10. 30). But could not Cicero refer to an enclosed report composed by Pollio? For accipio in this sense cf. Thes.Ling.Lat. s.v. 307.31—308.32.

page 81 note 1 Münzer in Real-Enc. s.v. ‘Rufus’ (1914) without reference to the Lesbia-problem. There were among the friends of Cicero's Caelius two men called Q. Pompeius Rufus. Other Run of the time belong to the Minucii, Munatii, Numerii, Sulpicii.

page 81 note 2 The Rufus of poem 69 may be identical with the Rufus of poem 77; but the Caelius of poem 58 cannot be Cicero's client because nostra means mea and nothing else, and because he must be identified with the Veronese Caelius of poem 100 who was not Cicero's client; cf. Rothstein (1926), 472.

page 82 note 1 The unity of 68 a and 68 b has been defended again by Prescott H. W., Transact. Americ. Philol. Ass. lxxi (1940), 473500. I still belong to the ‘Separatists’, who read Manli in 68 a. 11, 30.

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The Classical Quarterly
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