Chapter 1. Introduction: The Young Poet in Rome

  1. Julia Haig Gaisser

Published Online: 29 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444310474.ch1



How to Cite

Haig Gaisser, J. (2009) Introduction: The Young Poet in Rome, in Catullus, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444310474.ch1

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 20 MAR 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405118897

Online ISBN: 9781444310474



  • Catullus - The Young Poet in Rome;
  • Catullus - the most accessible of the ancient poets;
  • Catullus - wrote two poems attacking Caesar and his henchman Mamurra;
  • most famous piece of ancient biographical information coming from Apuleius in the Apology;
  • Valerii Catulli of Verona were domi nobiles (“nobles at home”) - families rich and important in their native province who had not yet “arrived” socially and politically in Rome;
  • Roman social world not monolithic - different circles whose attitudes, interests, and activities varied widely;
  • sexual attitudes - women not playing an important role in social calculus of dominance and submission;
  • Catullus characterizes Memmius, the praetor - with whom he served in Bithynia, as an irrumator;
  • New Poets and Poetry - Catullus arrived in Rome in time to become a major figure in a group of poets engaged in a new kind of poetry;
  • Catullus' poem - literary manifesto of the neoteric program, which it presents in the form of contrasts


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Fragments of a Biography

  • Politics

  • High Society

  • Sexual Attitudes

  • New Poets and Poetry

  • Conclusion

  • Notes