Catullus Index: D-M
Poem 64. Another name for the Troad, from Dardanus an ancestor of the Trojan people. Hence Dardanians.
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.)
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.
Poem 37 An unidentified rival.
Poem 39 He is mocked.
Poem 64. King of Athens, son of Pandion, father of Orithyia and Procris. A benevolent ruler. The people of Erectheus are the Athenians.
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.
Poem 64. A river in Laconia not far from Sparta.
An unidentified friend of Catullus, who may have served in Spain and Macedonia.
Poem 13. He is invited to dinner.
Poem 28. He is addressed.
Poem 27. Wine from Falernia, a district in Northern Campania famous for its high quality wine-making.
Poem 61. A kind of tribal song perhaps from Fescennium in Etruria.
Poem 6. An unidentified friend of Catullus.
Probably Marcus Furius Bibaculus, a Cremonese and one of the new poets.
Lucius Gellius Poplicola. Consul in 36 BC. He fought for Antony at Actium.
Poem 64. A town in Crete, hence Cretan.
Poem 61. The tree-nymphs.
Poem 95. A town in the Padua delta.
She became the wife of Hercules after his deification, and has the power to renew life.
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.
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.
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.
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 62. Again invoked as god of marriage.
Poem 115. A race of people living beyond the North wind,
often taken to mean the Thracians.
Poem 11. A wild country bordering the Caspian Sea.
The mountain in Phrygia, in the Troad. Also the mountain in Crete.
Poem 64. Mount Ida in Crete.
Poem 32. An unidentified girl.
An unidentified friend of Catullus.
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.
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 55. His sacred shrine.
Poem 67. His power.
Poem 55. Alexander the Great’s courier who ran so swiftly he left no footprints.
Poem 39. A small town in Latium on the Appian Way south east of Rome.
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.
Poem 66. The mountain in Caria where Endymion encountered the Moon.
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.
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.
See the entry for Clodia.
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)
Poem 113. A known adulteress.
Poem 64. The crazed followers of Bacchus. usually with dishevelled hair and clothing.
Poem 90. The Magi were the priests of the Persians.
Poem 29. His profligate spending.
Poem 41. His girlfriend.
Poem 57. His relationship with Caesar.
Lucius Manlius Torquatus q.v.
Poem 67. A river near Brescia.
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.
Poem 10 Mentioned implicitly.
Poem 28. Mentioned.
Poem 59. An unidentified person.
Unknown. Possibly Mamurra.
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.
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.