Carmen 6 –

Flavius is reluctant to show off his new girlfriend. The reader is left to guess that
he's scared of Catullus poaching her. Catullus, applying a common literary topos
to the affair, assures his friend that he merely wants to confer poetic immortality
on him and his lover. Since he succeeded in this object better than he could have
dreamed, the little squib acquires an ironic flavor in retrospect. The girl is febriculosi,
which I translate as "consumptive"; the impression Catullus wants to convey
is of someone thin and feverish in appearance. In fact she was probably suffering
from malaria (Wray 2001,1)6 with references).

1   nulli = nemini



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