The Central Section of Catullus’ Attis

in Mnemosyne
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The Attis of Catullus was described by Kenneth Quinn (1970, 282) as “perhaps the most remarkable poem in Latin.” However, the five lines of divine digression which split the poem into two sections (63.39-43) have remained barely commented upon. In this article, I will discuss not only the various elements of these lines and their significance for poem 63, but the poem’s link to other ‘marriage’ poems of Catullus—particularly poem 64. I will investigate this theme particularly with reference to the counterpoint between Sol and Cybele and to the Iliadic reference in the appearance of Pasithea.

The Central Section of Catullus’ Attis

in Mnemosyne

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References

BremmerJ.N. NautaR.R.HarderA. Attis: A Greek God in Anatolian Pessinous and Catullan Rome Catullus’ Poem on Attis: Text and Contexts 2005 Leiden 534 573

ClarkeJ.R. Colours in Conflict: Catullus’ use of Colour Imagery in c.63 cq 2001 51 1 163 177

DettmerH. Love by the Numbers: Form and Meaning in the Poetry of Catullus 1997 New York

EllisR. A Commentary on Catullus 1889 2nd Edition Oxford

FordyceC.J. Catullus: A Commentary 1961 Oxford

GraillotH. Le culte de Cybèle, Mère des dieux, à Rome et dans l’empire Romain 1912 Paris

GranaroloJ. L’œuvre de Catulle: Aspects religieux, éthiques et stylistiques 1967 Paris

HarderA. Catullus 63: A ‘Hellenistic Poem’? Mnemosyne 2004 57 5 574 595

JananM. When the Lamp is Shattered: Desire and Narrative in Catullus 1994 Carbondale/Edwardsville

JankoR. The Iliad: A Commentary 1992 Cambridge (Vol. iv: books 13-16)

KonstanD. Catullus’ Indictment of Rome: The Meaning of Catullus 64 1977 Amsterdam

KrollW. C. Valerius Catullus 1968 5th edition Stuttgart

KroonC. The Effect of the Echo. A Text Linguistic Approach to Catullus Carmen 63 Mnemosyne 2004 57 5 629 650

LeeG. The Poems of Catullus 1990 Oxford

NewmanJ.K. Roman Catullus and the Modification of the Alexandrian Sensibility 1990 Hildesheim

O’HaraJ.J. Sostratus Suppl. Hell. 733: A Lost, Possibly Catullan-Era Elegy on the Six Sex Changes of Tiresias TAPhA 1996 126 173 219

QuinnK. Catullus: The Poems 1970 London/Basingstoke

RadinA.P. Sunrise, Sunset: ἦμος in Homeric Epic AJPh 1988 109 3 293 307

SandyG.N. The Imagery of Catullus 63 TAPhA 1968 99 389 399

SandyG.N. Catullus 63 and the Theme of Marriage AJPh 1971 92 2 185 195

SchäferE. Das Verhältnis von Erlebnis und Kunstgestalt bei Catull 1966 Wiesbaden

SchmidW. Catullus: Ansichten und Durchblicke 1974 Göppingen

SkinnerM.B. SkinnerM.B. Authorial Arrangement of the Collection: Debate Past and Present A Companion to Catullus 2007 Oxford 35 53

Strauss ClayJ. Catullus’ “Attis” and the Black Hunter qucc 1995 50 2 143 155

ThomsonD.F.S. Aspects of Unity in Catullus 64 cj 1961 57 2 49 57

ThomsonD.F.S. Catullus 1997 Toronto

TraillD.A. Ring Composition in Catullus 64 cj 1980 76 232 241

TraillD.A. Catullus 63: Rings around the Sun CPh 1981 76 3 211 214

TraillD.A. Ring Composition in Catullus 63, 64 and 68b cw 1988 81 5 365 359

WisemanT.P. Catullan Questions 1969 Leicester

6

Also in e.g.Il. 18.483.

8

Cf. Clarke 2001167-170 for an analysis of light and dark in the poem.

17

E.g.Od. 8.64 S. ot 410 ff. 1269 ff. E. Ba. 1264 ff.

23

Strauss Clay 1995149.

30

Sandy 1971192.

37

Janko 1992168-169.

38

Thomson 1997389.

42

E.g. Traill 1981passim and Putnam 1961 169-170.

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