The Poetry of Catullus


Craige B. Champion
Associate Professor of History
306 Maxwell Hall
cbchamp@maxwell.syr.edu
(315) 443-1264
 


Text
Daniel H. Garrison, The Student's Catullus, second edition (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995). ISBN: 0-8061-2763-5.

Course Description
Catullus is a fascinating source for both Roman literary developments and for Roman social and cultural history in the turbulent period of the Late Republic. We begin with an introduction to the Rome of Catullus' day, the meters of his poetry and the background of the poetry of Hellenistic Alexandria. We read selections of Catullus covering various thematic units of his oeuvre: short, epigrammatic poems; the "Lesbia" poems; invective; and the longer, "mini-epic" poem, or epyllion, # 64. The electronic syllabus features links to the entire corpus with morphological analysis for every word in every poem and a link to William Whitaker's Words, a quick-fix for translation and morphology of Latin words. You may choose to read assignments electronically, as each poem is linked to the electronic Perseus text.  For some fun you may want to listen to some musical recordings of Catullus' poems by Raymond Koehler.

Requirements
Regular attendance and participation are necessary for successful completion of this course. Each student will present readings and analyses of several poems. There is a mid-term and a final examination, which includes scansion and translation.

Works on Reserve
C. Champion, "Julius Caesar," Dictionary of Literary Biography: Ancient Roman Writers, vol. 211 (Detroit, San Francisco, London, Boston, & Woodbridge, Conn., 1999) pp. 109-117.
W.V. Clausen, Chapter Nine, Cambridge History of Classical Literature, vol. 2: Latin Literature (Cambridge, 1982) pp. 178-206.
E.S. Gruen, "The Advent of the Magna Mater," in Studies in Greek Culture and Roman Policy (Berkeley, Los Angeles, & London, 1990) pp. 5-33.
J.P. Hallett and M.B. Skinner (eds.), Roman Sexualities (Princeton, 1997).
C. Martin, Catullus (New Haven & London, 1992).
T.P. Wiseman, Catullus and His World: A Reappraisal (Cambridge, 1985).

One
Course Business.

Lecture: An Introduction to Roman Society in the Late Republic and the Rules of Latin Prosody.
Assignment: Read Garrison, pp.171-2 on meter;  Poem 1.

Two
Discussion of "Catullus and His World."

Introduction to the Hendecasyllabic Meter.
Read and Scan (hendecasyllabic meter) Poem 1.
Assignment: Poem 2.

Three
Read and Scan (hendecasyllabic meter) Poem 2.

Assignment: Poem 3.

Four
Read and Scan (hendecasyllabic meter) Poem 3.

Discussion of the Hendecasyllable (Poems 1-3).
Introduction to the Iambic Trimeter.
Assignment: Poem 4.

Five
Read and Scan (iambic trimeter) Poem 4.

Discussion of the Iambic Trimeter, the Voyage, and Human Experience.
Assignment: Poem 5 and Wiseman, Catullus and His World, 15-53

Six
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 5.

Discussion of Wiseman.
Assignment: Poem 7.

Seven
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 7.

Introduction to the Choliambic Meter.
Begin Sight Reading Poem 8.
Assignment: Finish Poem 8 .

Eight
Read and Scan (choliambic) Poem 8.

Overview of the "Lesbia" Poems.
Assignment: Poem 9.

Nine
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 9.

Comparison of Poems 8 and 9.
Assignment: Poem 10, lines 1-20 and Martin, Catullus, 67-91

Ten
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 10, lines 1-20.

Sight Reading: Finish Poem 10.
Discussion of Martin Reading.
Introduction to the Sapphic Meter.
Assignment: Poem 11.

Eleven
Read and Scan (Sapphic) Poem 11.

The Echo of Lesbia.
Assignment: Poem 12 and Martin, Catullus, 92-120

Twelve
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 12.

Discussion of Martin Reading.
Assignment: Poem 13.

Thirteen
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 13.

Assignment: Poem 16 and J. Walters, in Roman Sexualities, J.P. Hallett and M.B. Skinner (eds.), pp. 29-43

Fourteen
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 16.

Discussion of Walters Reading.
Assignment: Poem 27.

Fifteen
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 27.

"The Drinking Song."
Assignment: Prepare Recitation of Any Poem Read Thus Far.

Sixteen
In-Class Recitations.

Seventeen
Finish In-Class Recitations.

Assignment: Poem 31.

Eighteen
Read and Scan (choliambics) Poem 31.

The literary topos of the locus amoenus.
Introduction to Elegiac Couplet.
Assignment: Poem 101 and Wiseman, Catullus and His World, 130-81

Nineteen
Read and Scan (elegiac couplet) Poem 101.

Discussion of Wiseman Reading.
Assignment: Poem 44.

Twenty
MID-TERM EXAMINATION.

Twenty-One
Read and Scan (choliambic) Poem 44.

Assignment: Poem 45.

Twenty-Two
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 45.

Assignment: Poem 46.

Twenty-Three
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 46.

Review of the Sapphic Meter.
Assignment: Poem 51.

Twenty-Four
Read and Scan (sapphic) Poem 51.

Poetic Model--Sappho.
Introduction to the Galliambic Meter.
Assignment: Poem 63, lines 1-30 and Wiseman, Catullus and His World, 198-206; Gruen, "The Advent of the Magna Mater"

Twenty-Five
Read and Scan (galliambic) Poem 63, lines 1-30.

The Cult of Cybele.
Assignment: Poem 63, lines 31-62 and M.B. Skinner, in Roman Sexualities, 129-50

Twenty-Six
Read and Scan (galliambic) Poem 63, lines 31-62.

Assignment: Poem 63, lines 63-93.

Twenty-Seven
Read and Scan (galliambic) Poem 63, lines 63-93.

Discussion of Skinner.
Introduction to Dactylic Hexameter.
Assignment: Poem 62 and M.B. Skinner, in Roman Sexualities, 3-25

Twenty-Eight
Read and Scan (dactylic hexameter) Poem 62.

Discussion of Skinner.
Assignment: Poem 70 and Poem 71.

Twenty-Nine
Read and Scan (elegiac couplet) Poems 70 and 71.

Assignment: Prepare Recitations

Thirty
In-Class Recitations.

Thirty-One
Finish In-Class Recitations.

Assignment: W.V. Clausen, Chapter Nine, Cambridge History of Classical Literature, vol. 2

Thirty-Two
Introduction to the "epyllion" and Catullus 64.

Discussion of Clausen Reading.
Assignment: Poem 64, lines 1-37.

Thirty-Three
Read and Scan (dactylic hexameter) Poem 64, lines 1-37.

The Myth of Peleus and Thetis.
Assignment: Poem 64, lines 38-93.

Thirty-Four
Read and Scan (dactylic hexameter) Poem 64, lines 38-93.

Assignment: Poem 64, lines 94-131.

Thirty-Five
Read and Scan (dactylic hexameter) Poem 64, lines 94-131.

Assignment: Poem 64, lines 132-201.

Thirty-Six
Read and Scan (dactylic hexameter) Poem 64, lines 132-201.

Assignment: Poem 64, lines 202-264.

Thirty-Seven
Read and Scan (dactylic hexameter) Poem 64, lines 202-264.

Assignment: Finish Poem 64.

Thirty-Eight
In-Class Reading: Poem 64, lines 265-408.

Assignment: Poem 64, lines 265-408.

Thirty-Nine
In-Class Reading: Poem 64, lines 265-408.

Assignment: Poem 29.

Forty
Read and Scan (iambic trimeter) Poem 29.

Assignment: Poem 54 and Champion, "Julius Caesar"

Forty-One
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 54.

Assignment: Poem 57.

Forty-Two
Read and Scan (hendecasyllable) Poem 57.

Assignment: Study for Final Examination.