Creator / Catullus

Gaius Valerius Catullus was a Roman poet who lived during the Roman Republic. His poetry moved away from the ancient Greek epics about gods and heroes to something closer to everyday life. His poetry has been and still is greatly admired thoughout the ages and influenced poets such as Ovid, Virgil and Christopher Marlowe. Unfortunately, his most famous poem nowadays is Catullus 16, which has been censored for centuries because of its...colourful language.

Catullus' work provides examples of:

  • The Masochism Tango: Poem 85 which describes Catullus' love/hate relationship with (presumably) Lesbia.
  • Roman Clef: Lesbia, the heroine of his romantic poems, is widely believed by the modern scholars to be a pseudonim for rather infamous matron Clodia Pulchra Tertia (a "heroine" of Cicero's probably most famous speech, "Pro Celio"), whom Catullus probably had an affair with.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: A master of this. Catullus's love poems are beautiful, describing kisses and lovemaking in carefully crafted wordplay and poetry. And then you flip to Catullus 16 where the first line is "one of the filthiest expressions ever written in Latin"