Deinde nobis, qui concedentibus philosophis antiquis adulescentulis delectamur, etiam vitia saepe iucunda sunt. Naevos in articulo pueri delectat Alcaeum; at est corporis macula naevos; illi tamen hoc lumen videbatur. Q. Catulus, huius collegae et familiaris nostri pater, dilexit municipem tuum Roscium, in quem etiam illud est eius:
Auroram forte salutans,
cum subito a laeva Roscius exoritur.
pace mihi liceat caelestes dicere vestra:
mortalis visus pulchrior esse deo."
Huic deo pulchrior; at erat, sicuti hodie est, perversissimis oculis: Quid refert, si hoc ipsum salsum illi et venustum videbatur?
--Cicero, De Natura Deorum I.LXXIX
For those of us who, following in the footsteps of ancient philosophers, are delighted by young men,* we often even think that their imperfections are cute. Alcaeus was delighted by the birthmark on his boyfriend’s finger. Although a birthmark is a blemish on the body, to Alcaeus, it seemed to be the boy’s best feature. Q. Catulus, the father of a friend and co-worker of mine, loved his fellow citizen Roscius, and composed the following poem about him:
“I stood, welcoming the rising sun
When suddenly Roscius came into view from the left.
Heaven forgive me! I confess
That he, a mortal, seemed prettier than a god.”
Roscius was “prettier than a god,” although he had (and even today, still has) a very bad squint. Why does that matter, if he seemed charming and beautiful in the eyes of his admirer?
* Adulescentulus is used for men in their mid-twenties to early thirties
Name: Marcus Tullius Cicero
Date: 106 BCE – 43 BCE
Works: de Amicitia
Pro Archiam, etc.
Cicero was an Italian-born Roman statesman and author who lived during the complexities of Rome’s transition from Republic to monarchy. Cicero spent most of his life in service of his country, serving as both a lawyer, senator, and even consul [Roman equivalent of president]. He is known for his suppression of the failed governmental coup in 63 BCE known as the Catilinarian conspiracy that occurred during his consulship. After the rise of Octavian [later known as the first Roman emperor Augustus], his views fell out of favor and he was eventually put to death during the proscriptions under the Second Triumvirate (Octavian, Marc Antony and Lepidus). He was a prolific author with a wide range in genres, and his literary style was adopted by Petrarch as the default model for the Latin language.
GOLDEN AGE ROME
CATULUS MAP: Name: Quintus Lutatius Catulus Date: 2nd century BCE Works:
[lost] REGION UNKNOWN BIO: Timeline: Quintus Lutatius Catulus was a prominent
figure in the wars against the Cimbri and the Teutones in the 2nd century
BCE. Although he was a prolific author, only fragments remain of his works. REPUBLICAN ROMAN ERA
Name: Quintus Lutatius Catulus
Date: 2nd century BCE
Quintus Lutatius Catulus was a prominent figure in the wars against the Cimbri and the Teutones in the 2nd century BCE. Although he was a prolific author, only fragments remain of his works.
REPUBLICAN ROMAN ERA
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