- 16,99 €
A vivid narrative that recreates the life of Gaius Valerius Catullus, Rome’s first modern” poet, and follows a young man’s journey through a world filled with all the indulgences and sexual excesses of the time, from doomed love affairs to shrewd political maneuvering and backstabbing—an accessible, appealing look at one of history’s greatest poets.
Born to one of Verona’s leading families, Catullus spent most of his young adulthood in Rome, mingling with the likes of Caesar and Cicero and chronicling his life through his poetry. Famed for his lyrical and subversive voice, his poems about his friends were jocular, often obscenely funny, while those who crossed him found themselves skewered in raunchy verse, sudden objects of hilarity and ridicule. These bawdy poems were disseminated widely throughout Rome. Many of his poems recall his secret longstanding affair with the seductive older Clodia.
While Catullus and Clodia made love in the shadows, the whole of Italy was quaking as Caesar, Pompey and Crassus forged a doomed alliance for power. During these tumultuous years, Catullus increasingly turned to darker subject matter, and he finally composed his greatest work of all—a poem about the decoration on a bedspread—which forms the heart of this biography, a work of beauty that will achieve immortality and make Catullus a legend.
Catullus’ Bedspread includes an 8-page color insert.
With its quirky, mildly titillating title, Dunn's work is sure to entice intrigued readers to her worthy subject, but anyone looking for salacious tales of Roman excess should look elsewhere. Instead, Dunn uses the poet Catullus (c. 82 53 BCE) as a lens through which to view late-republic Rome, with all its political intrigue, empire building, and, yes, sex. Extracting insights about his life from his poems, she places him expertly in his time and place, contextualizing what little is known about him today. Catullus is often overshadowed in the text by more famous and vivid figures such as Cicero, Julius Caesar, and Pompey. Also prominent is his married lover, Clodia, and his stormy relationship with her as evoked in his poems. Throughout, Dunn examines the corrupt, unsettled times that Catullus lived in and commented on while also giving insight into his literary choices and subject matter. A newcomer to Roman history may have difficulty following all the threads Dunn weaves together, but for those interested in the subject, Dunn's exploration provides fascinating nuggets of knowledge, social history, and poetry. 8-page color insert.