Gaius Valerius Catullus (3511 words)

Mandy Green (University of Durham)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Share on Facebook Tweet Report an Error

“Sweet Catullus”, “Tenderest of Roman poets”, as Tennyson hailed him, is most often remembered for composing some of the finest lyric poetry that has come down to us from ancient Rome. The remarkable sequence of poems inspired by his obsessive love for an older, married woman, whom he addressed under the pseudonym Lesbia, revolutionised Roman poetry, exerting a profound influence upon the Latin love elegy in the Augustan period. Celebrating the achievement of his predecessor, the poet Propertius claimed that, thanks to Catullus, Lesbia was even “better known than Helen herself” (ipsa notior est Helena, II.34.88). However, there was another aspect to the poetic genius of Catullus. Martial, the famous composer of …

We have have no profile for this entry. If you are a qualified scholar and you wish to write for The Literary Encyclopedia, please click here to contact us.

Green, Mandy. "Gaius Valerius Catullus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 October 2003
[, accessed 21 April 2018.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here.