Carmen 37 –

The "felt-hatted Brethren" are Castor and Pollux, whose temple stood on the south
side of the Forum. The popular assumption (based, I suspect, on a misreading of
Cic. Pro Cael. 48: see, e.g., Kroll 1922, 69-70; Quinn 1972, 135; Goold 1989, 243)
is that Catullus's bordello nine doors down was in fact Clodia's town house on the
Palatine, complete with casual lovers and hangers-on, but this is topographically
impossible: Catullus very specifically locates it "among the 'old shops' [tabernae
ueteresj on the southwest side of the Forum, soon to be swept away by the building
of the Basilica Julia" (Wiseman 1985, 26). Wray reminds us solemnly (2001,
82) that Catullus's threats of retaliation (6-8 in particular) are "wild hyperbole"
(yet no more than what's attributed to Lesbia at 11 .17-20). On the other hand,
the improbable accusation against Egnatius in line 20 (repeated at39.17-21) gets
confirmation from both Diodorus Siculus (5.33.5) and Strabo (3.4.16, C.164). Lesbia's
association with him "calls her own taste into question" (Arkins 1982, 88).
Note the intriguing near repetition of 8.5 in the very different context of 37.12.

1   nulli = nemini



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