CATULLUS' USE OF DIFFERENT
Catullus, in his poems, uses particular archaisms (quicum
2,2 ; oraclum 7,5) that are typical of ancient language and are used to give
solemnity to the verse or for simple metrical reasons.
He uses even the proverbial expressions (quod vides perisse perditum
ducas 8,2) and the typical expressions of the familiar language (quantum est
hominum 3,2 ; unius assis 5,3 ; satis superque
7,2 ; nulla 8,14 ; omnia si faciat 75,4) such the terms
prevalently used by Latin playwrights, like Plautus (ipsa - is used in the language
of slaves of Plautine comedies to designate the mistress - ; vivere - is used
instead of to be).
Another exemple of colloquial language, typical in Catullus poems, is
the use of diminutives
(solaciolum 2,7 ; ocelli 3,18) that the poet uses
with specific affective value, especially to describe the physiognomy and the
characteristics of the darling woman, and the diminutives are tightly connected to
erotic-affective language (puellae 2,1 ; iocosa 8,6 ; rogabit
8,13 ; bella 8,16) always present in poems and that the poet uses to describe
his bound with Lesbia and their amorous affair.
In poems concerning Catullusdisillusion about Lesbias love,
the erotic-affective language is turned into obscene language ( glubit magnanimi Remi
nepotes 58,5 ) that results offensive when it is reported to a woman, but enriches the
poems language moving the tone.
in his compositions even words and expression by Greek poets (typical are the homeric
expressions : primum digitum 2,3 ; nox 5,6; harenae
7,3 ; longe resonante 10,3 - typical homeric adjectives -) that give a very
elevated tone and contribute to enrich the "Catullus
use of different language forms".
Michela Dal Bosco, Sara Roccabianca e Alice Zamberlan
Sirmione, Catullus' villa.
A barrel vault