A report on Ovid and Catullus

Modern bust of Catullus on the Piazza Carducci in Sirmione.
Statue of Ovid by Ettore Ferrari in the Piazza XX Settembre, Sulmona, Italy.
Catullus at Lesbia's by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Ovid Banished from Rome (1838) by J.M.W. Turner.
Bithynia within the Roman Empire
Medea in a fresco from Herculaneum.
Catullus et in eum commentarius (1554)
Engraved frontispiece of George Sandys’s 1632 London edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses Englished.
Lesbia, 1878 painting by John Reinhard Weguelin inspired by the poems of Catullus
A 1484 figure from Ovide Moralisé, edition by Colard Mansion.
Delacroix, Ovid among the Scythians, 1859. National Gallery (London).
Ovid as imagined in the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493.
Metamorphoses, 1618
Ovid by Anton von Werner.
Ovid by Luca Signorelli.
Scythians at the Tomb of Ovid (c.1640), by Johann Heinrich Schönfeld.
Bust of Ovid by anonymous sculptor, Uffizi gallery Florence

Catullus's poems were widely appreciated by contemporary poets, significantly influencing Ovid and Virgil, among others.

- Catullus

They also play with generic conventions; most of the letters seem to refer to works in which these characters were significant, such as the Aeneid in the case of Dido and Catullus 64 for Ariadne, and transfer characters from the genres of epic and tragedy to the elegiac genre of the Heroides.

- Ovid

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Bust of Virgil at the entrance to his crypt in Naples

Virgil

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Ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period.

Ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period.

Bust of Virgil at the entrance to his crypt in Naples
Bust of Virgil at the entrance to his crypt in Naples
Page from the beginning of the Eclogues in the 5th-century Vergilius Romanus
Horace, Virgil and Varius at the house of Maecenas, by Charles Jalabert.
Late 17th-century illustration of a passage from the Georgics, by Jerzy Siemiginowski-Eleuter.
A 1st-century terracotta expressing the pietas of Aeneas, who carries his aged father and leads his young son
Virgil Reading the Aeneid to Augustus, Octavia, and Livia by Jean-Baptiste Wicar, Art Institute of Chicago
A 3rd-century Roman mosaic of Virgil seated between Clio and Melpomene (from Hadrumetum [Sousse], Tunisia)
A 5th-century portrait of Virgil from the Vergilius Romanus
Virgil in His Basket, Lucas van Leyden, 1525
The verse inscription at Virgil's tomb was supposedly composed by the poet himself: Mantua me genuit, Calabri rapuere, tenet nunc Parthenope. Cecini pascua, rura, duces. ("Mantua gave me life, the Calabrians took it away, Naples holds me now; I sang of pastures, farms, and commanders" [transl. Bernard Knox])
Tomb of Virgil in Naples, Italy

From Virgil's admiring references to the neoteric writers Pollio and Cinna, it has been inferred that he was, for a time, associated with Catullus' neoteric circle.

The Augustan poet Ovid parodies the opening lines of the Aeneid in Amores 1.1.1–2, and his summary of the Aeneas story in Book 14 of the Metamorphoses, the so-called "mini-Aeneid", has been viewed as a particularly important example of post-Virgilian response to the epic genre.

Papyrus fragment from the Aetia of Callimachus

Callimachus

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Callimachus (c. 310c.

Callimachus (c. 310c.

Papyrus fragment from the Aetia of Callimachus
Papyrus fragment from the Aetia of Callimachus
Callimachus is thought to have worked under the patronage of Ptolemy II Philadelphus. This bust of him is held at the National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
Callimachus wrote six hymns to gods of the Greek Pantheon, including one to Zeus. This statue of the god was found at Camirus and is housed at the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes.
19th-century artistic rendering of the Library of Alexandria, where Callimachus compiled the Pinakes
Vergil's Aeneid interacts frequently with the work of Callimachus. This late-18th-century painting by Jean-Baptiste Wicar shows Vergil reciting his poem to the emperor Augustus.

Catullus, Horace, Vergil, Propertius, and Ovid saw his poetry as one of their "principal model[s]" and engaged with it in a variety of ways.

Peleus consigns Achilles to Chiron's care, white-ground lekythos by the Edinburgh Painter, c. 500 BC, (National Archaeological Museum of Athens)

Peleus

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Hero, king of Phthia, husband of Thetis and the father of their son Achilles.

Hero, king of Phthia, husband of Thetis and the father of their son Achilles.

Peleus consigns Achilles to Chiron's care, white-ground lekythos by the Edinburgh Painter, c. 500 BC, (National Archaeological Museum of Athens)
Detail of Greek mosaic with Peleus and Clotho, Paphos Archaeological Park
Peleus makes off with his prize bride Thetis, who has vainly assumed animal forms to escape him: Boeotian black-figure dish, ca. 500 BC–475 BC

Catullus, Poem 64

Publius Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses translated by Brookes More (1859-1942). Boston, Cornhill Publishing Co. 1922. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.