Catullus Index: D-M

Dardania

Poem 64. Another name for the Troad, from Dardanus an ancestor of the Trojan people. Hence Dardanians.

Delos

Poem 34.The Greek island in the Aegean, one of the Cyclades, birthplace of, and sacred to, Apollo (Phoebus) and Diana (Phoebe, Artemis), hence the adjective Delian. Its ancient name was Ortygia. A wandering island, that gave sanctuary to Latona (Leto). Having been hounded by jealous Juno (Hera), she gave birth there to the twins Apollo and Diana, between an olive tree and a date-palm on the north side of Mount Cynthus. Delos then became fixed in the sea. In a variant she gave birth to Artemis-Diana on the islet of Ortygia nearby. (Pausanias VIII xlvii, mentions the sacred palm-tree, noted there in Homer’s Odyssey 6, 162, and the ancient olive.)

Delphos, Delphi

Poem 64. The site of the oracle of Apollo in Phocis. The navel stone in the precinct at Delphi was taken as the central point of the known world.

Diana

Poem 34. Daughter of Jupiter and Latona (hence her epithet Latonia) and twin sister of Apollo. She was born on the island of Ortygia which is Delos (hence her epithet Ortygia). Goddess of the moon and the hunt. She carries a bow, quiver and arrows. She and her followers are virgins. She is worshipped as the triple goddess, as Hecate in the underworld, Luna the moon, in the heavens, and Diana the huntress on earth. (Skelton’s ‘Diana in the leaves green, Luna who so bright doth sheen, Persephone in hell’) Callisto is one of her followers. (See Luca Penni’s – Diana Huntress – Louvre, Paris, and Jean Goujon’s sculpture (attributed) – Diana of Anet – Louvre, Paris.)

Poem 66. Called Trivia, the goddess of the three ways. ‘Diana of the crossroads.’ As the moon, she loved Endymion, a Carian shepherd, with whom she fell in love seeing him naked on the top of Mount Latmos.

Dindymia, Dindymus

Poem 35. Poem 63. A mountain in Mysia (Phrygia) in Asia Minor, sacred to Ceres and Cybele.

Egnatius

Poem 37 An unidentified rival.

Poem 39 He is mocked.

Emathia

Poem 64. An ancient name for Thessaly. The birthplace of Achilles.

Epidamnus, Dyrrachium

Poem 36. Modern Durres, on the Adriatic, where Venus was worshipped.

Erectheus

Poem 64. King of Athens, son of Pandion, father of Orithyia and Procris. A benevolent ruler. The people of Erectheus are the Athenians.

Eumenides

Poem 64. The ‘Kindly Ones’, The Furies, or Erinyes. The Three Sisters were Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera, the daughters of Night and Uranus. They were the personified pangs of cruel conscience that pursued the guilty. (See Aeschylus – The Eumenides). Their abode was in Hades by the Styx.

Eurotas

Poem 64. A river in Laconia not far from Sparta.

Fabullus

An unidentified friend of Catullus, who may have served in Spain and Macedonia.

Poem12Poem47. He is mentioned.

Poem 13. He is invited to dinner.

Poem 28. He is addressed.

Falernian

Poem 27. Wine from Falernia, a district in Northern Campania famous for its high quality wine-making.

Fescennine

Poem 61. A kind of tribal song perhaps from Fescennium in Etruria.

Firmum

Poem 114. A town in Picena. Mamurra had an estate there.

Flavius

Poem6. An unidentified friend of Catullus.

Formianus

Poem 41Mamurra.

Furius

Probably Marcus Furius Bibaculus, a Cremonese and one of the new poets.

Poem11. Addressed to him. Poem 16. Rebuked.

Poem 23. His poverty! Poem 26. His mortgage.

Gallae

Poem 63. The priests of Cybele, so called from the River Gallus in Phrygia, whose waters maddened those who drank them. They castrated themselves ritually.

Gellius

Poem 74Poem 80Poem 88Poem 90Poem 91Poem 116.

Lucius Gellius Poplicola. Consul in 36 BC. He fought for Antony at Actium.

Golgos

Poem 36Poem 64. Golgi, a town in Cyprus associated with the worship of Venus.

Gortyn

Poem 64. A town in Crete, hence Cretan.

Hamadryads

Poem 61. The tree-nymphs.

Harpocrates

Poem 74Poem 102. Horus, the Egyptian god, represented as a child on Isis’s lap with his finger on his lips. The god of silence.

Hatria

Poem 95. A town in the Padua delta.

Hebe

Poem 68. The daughter of Juno, born without a father.

She became the wife of Hercules after his deification, and has the power to renew life.

Hecate

Poem 34. Also called Trivia. The daughter of the Titans Perses and Asterie, Latona’s sister. A Thracian goddess of witches, her name is a feminine form of Apollo’s title ‘the far-darter’ . She was a lunar goddess, with shining Titans for parents. In Hades she was Prytania of the dead, or the Invincible Queen. She gave riches, wisdom, and victory, and presided over flocks and navigation. She had three bodies and three heads, those of a lioness, a bitch, and a mare. Her ancient power was to give to or withhold from mortals any gift. She was sometimes merged with the lunar aspect of Diana-Artemis, and presided over purifications and expiations. She was the goddess of enchantments and magic charms, and sent demons to earth to torture mortals. At night she appeared with her retinue of infernal dogs, haunting crossroads (as Trivia), tombs and the scenes of crimes. At crossroads her columns or statues had three faces – the Triple Hecates – and offerings were made at the full moon to propitiate her.

Helen

Poem 68. The daughter of Leda and Jupiter (Tyndareus was her putative father), sister of Clytemnaestra, and the Dioscuri. The wife of Menelaüs. She was taken, by Paris, to Troy, instigating the Trojan War.

Helicon

Poem 61. The mountain in Boeotia near the Gulf of Corinth where the Muses lived. The sacred springs of Helicon were Aganippe and Hippocrene, both giving poetic inspiration. The Muses’ other favourite haunt was Mount Parnassus in Phocis with its Castalian Spring. They also guarded the oracle at Delphi. The fountain of Hippocrene sprang from under the hoof of Pegasus, the winged horse.

Hercules

The Hero, son of Jupiter. He was set in the sky as the constellation Hercules between Lyra and Corona Borealis.The son of Jupiter and Alcmena, the wife of Amphitryon. Called Alcides from Amphitryon’s father Alceus. Called also Amphitryoniades. Called also Tyrinthius from Tiryns his home city in the Argolis. Jupiter predicted at his birth that a scion of Perseus would be born, greater than all other descendants. Juno delayed Hercules birth and hastened that of Eurystheus, grandson of Perseus, making Hercules subservient to him. Hercules was set twelve labours by Eurystheus at Juno’s instigation.

Poem 38.Poem 55. A reference to his labours.

Poem 68. The sixth labour, the Stymphalian birds.

Hortalus

Poem 65. Lucius Quintus Hortalus, praetor and consul, died 50 BC, a distinguished lawyer and friend of Cicero. One of the ‘new poets’.

Hymen

Poem 61. Hymenaeus, god of marriage, who lives on Helicon with the Muses.

Poem 62. Again invoked as god of marriage.

Hyperboreans

Poem 115. A race of people living beyond the North wind,

often taken to mean the Thracians.

Hyrcania

Poem11. A wild country bordering the Caspian Sea.

Ida

The mountain in Phrygia, in the Troad. Also the mountain in Crete.

Poem 61. Scene of the Judgement of Paris, in Phrygia, where he chose the most beautiful of the naked goddesses, awarding Venus the prize of the golden apple.

Poem 63. Site of the worship of Cybele in Phrygia.

Poem 64. Mount Ida in Crete.

Idalia

Poem 36Poem 64. A district in Cyprus with a grove sacred to Venus.

Ipsíthilla

Poem 32. An unidentified girl.

Iton

Poem 64Athene was said by some source to be the daughter of Itonus, King of Iton in Phthiotis, near the Pagasaean Gulf.

Itylus

Poem 65. The murdered son of Procne q.v.

Iuventius

Poem 24Poem 48Poem 81Poem 99.

An unidentified friend of Catullus.

Juno

The daughter of Rhea and Saturn, wife of her brother Jupiter, and the queen of the gods. A representation of the pre-Hellenic Great Goddess. (See the Metope of Temple E at Selinus – The Marriage of Hera and Zeus – Palermo, National Museum.)

Poem 68. Aware of Jupiter’s many affairs with mortals.

Juno Lucina

Poem 34. An aspect of Diana, as goddess of childbirth.

Jupiter

The sky-god, son of Saturn and Rhea, born on Mount Lycaeum in Arcadia and nurtured on Mount Ida in Crete. The oak is his sacred tree. His emblems of power are the sceptre and lightning-bolt. His wife and sister is Juno (Iuno). (See the sculpted bust (copy) by Brassides, the Jupiter of Otricoli, Vatican)

Poem 4. He can determine the winds.

Poem 7. His oracle of Jupiter-Ammon in Africa.

Poem 34. Father of Latona.

Poem 55. His sacred shrine.

Poem 64. He is all-powerful. Peleus is his descendant through Aeacus.

Poem 67. His power.

Poem 68. Poem 70Poem 72. Notorious for his many affairs with mortal women.

Ladas

Poem 55. Alexander the Great’s courier who ran so swiftly he left no footprints.

Lanuvium

Poem 39. A small town in Latium on the Appian Way south east of Rome.

Laodamia, Laodameia

Poem 68. The daughter of Acastus and wife of Protesilaus. Distressed by the loss of her husband she had a life-sized statue made of him, which he slept with. In one version of the myth her father ordered it burnt and she threw herself into the flames, in a second variant she begged for Protesilaus to revisit her if only for a few hours. The statue was animated by his ghost, and he told her to follow him, which she did by stabbing herself.

Larissa

Poem 64. A town in Thessaly on the River Peneus.

Latmos

Poem 66. The mountain in Caria where Endymion encountered the Moon.

Latona

Poem 34 Daughter of the Titan Coeus, and mother of Apollo and Artemis (Diana) by Jupiter. Pursued by a jealous Juno, she was given sanctuary by Delos, a floating island. There between an olive tree and a date-palm she gave birth to Apollo and Diana-Artemis, by Mount Cynthus. Delos became fixed. A variant has Artemis born on the nearby islet of Ortygia.

Leo

Poem 66.  The constellation and zodiacal sign of the Lion. It contains the star Regulus ‘the heart of the lion’, one of the four guardians of the heavens in Babylonian astronomy, which lies nearly on the ecliptic. (The others are Aldebaran in Taurus, Antares in Scorpius, and Fomalhaut ‘the Fish’s Eye’ in Piscis Austrinus. All four are at roughly ninety degrees to one another). The constellation represents the lion killed by Hercules as the first of his twelve labours. It borders on Coma Berenices.

Lesbia

Poem5Clodia Metelli. (Referred to in poems 2,3,5,7,8,11,36,43,51,58,70,72,75,76,79,83,86,87,92,107109)

See the entry for Clodia.

Lesbius

Poem 79. Unknown presumably a relative of Lesbia.

Lethe

Poem 65. A river of the Underworld, whose waters bring forgetfulness. Its stream flows from the depths of the House of Sleep, and induces drowsiness with its murmuring. (Hence the stream of forgetfulness)

Libo

Poem 54. An unidentified associate of Caesar.

Maecilia

Poem 113. A known adulteress.

Maenad

Poem 63. The Bacchantes, the female followers of Bacchus, given to ecstatic maddened howling, and wild chases through the woods. Also the female followers of Cybele.

Poem 64. The crazed followers of Bacchus. usually with dishevelled hair and clothing.

Magus

Poem 90. The Magi were the priests of the Persians.

Mamurra

Caesar’s chief engineer in Gaul, and one of his intimates. He came from Formia in Latium hence referred to as Formianus.

Poem 29. His profligate spending.

Poem 41. His girlfriend.

Poem 57. His relationship with Caesar.

Manlius

Lucius Manlius Torquatus q.v.

Marcus Tullius

Mars

Poem 64. The god of war. Trapped with Venus under a net forged by her husband Vulcan.

Mella

Poem 67. A river near Brescia.

Memmius

Gaius Memmius Gemellus, praetor in 58BC, and governor of Bithynia in 57BC. Catullus’s patron. Catullus accompanied him to Bithynia. He was himself a poet of the new school.

Poem10 Mentioned implicitly.

Poem 28. Mentioned.

Memnon

Poem 66. The King of Ethiopia, one of the sons of Aurora the Dawn, brother of Zephyrus.

Menenius

Poem 59. An unidentified person.

Mentula

Poem 94Poem 105Poem 114Poem 115.

Unknown. Possibly Mamurra.

Midas

Poem 24. The king of Phrygia, son of Gordius and Cybele, called Berecyntius heros from Mount Berecyntus in Phrygia, sacred to Cybele. See Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book XI:85-145. In reward for returning Silenus to him, Bacchus granted Midas a gift. He chose the golden touch, wherby all he handled turned to gold, and when it plagued him Bacchus took it away again. He was instructed to bathe in the waters of the Pactolus to cleanse himself.

Minos, Minoans, Minoan, Minotaur

Poem 64. The legendary King of Crete, ruler of a hundred cities. Son of Jupiter and Europa. The Minoan Empire at one time ruled the Aegean. Hence the terms Minoan and Minoans for the culture and people of ancient Crete.

The Minotaur was the half-bull half-man born of the union of Pasiphae, Minos’s wife, with a bull. Theseus destroyed it at the heart of the Labyrinth (built by Daedalus), with help from Ariadne.

Muses

Poem 65. Poem 105. The nine Muses are the virgin daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne (Memory). They are the patronesses of the arts. Clio (History), Melpomene (Tragedy), Thalia (Comedy), Euterpe (Lyric Poetry), Terpsichore (Dance), Calliope (Epic Poetry), Erato (Love Poetry),Urania (Astronomy), and Polyhymnia (Sacred Song). Their epithets are Aonides, and Thespiades. Mount Helicon is one of their haunts and is hence called Virgineus.

Poem 1. Poem 68. The Muse, as the force of poetic inspiration.