Multas per gentes et multa per aequora uectus
     aduenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
ut te postremo donarem munere mortis
     et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem.
quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum.
     heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi,
nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum
     tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,
accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,
     atque in perpetuum, frater, aue atque uale.


Discussion Questions


  • Discuss the point of this poem? How does the act of mourning in this poem have meaning for Catullus, his audience, the dead?
  • What role does travel play in this poem?
  • Discuss the interplay of speech and silence in this poem.
  • How does Catullus emphasise his funereal theme through specific rhetorical/literary techniques?
  • How do the themes in this poem reflect those found in poem 3? Why is this an altogether more solemn poem?
  • Discuss the extent to which this poem might be autobiographical.
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