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
and Christopher Marlowe
. Unfortunately, his most famous poem nowadays is Catullus 16
, which has been censored for centuries because it describes some unpleasant situations.
Catullus' work provides examples of:
- Altum Videtur: Except in Greek, with poem 63, as well as others
- Beige Prose: His numerous epigrams.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Catullus often moves swiftly from praising his beloved's best features to calling her a whore for her infidelity, and back again.
- Cargo Envy: In many of his poems he desires to be this or that belonging to his mistress, Lesbia. Most famously, he wants to be her passer or pet "sparrow." Though some believe it may not really be a sparrow.
- Deadpan Snarker: Critics are unsure whether the dedication of his libellus to a writer of long-winded epic history is entirely serious or totally mocking.
- Gorn: Catullus 16. Also, 63.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Veranius, but also Furius and Aurelius
- Ho Yay: So, so much; bisexuality was considered usual for an upper-class Roman and it shows.
- Hidden Depths: Read Catullus 16 and then read 72, or 101.
- The Masochism Tango: Poem 85.
- Tsundere: Poem 85 ("Odi et amo") neatly distills the essence of this trope into two lines.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: 16 reveals this side of his relationship with Furius and Aurelius, although it's probably all in good fun.