We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History


Publication details for Prof. Jennifer Ingleheart

Ingleheart, J. (2003). Catullus 2 and 3: A programmatic pair of Sapphic Epigrams? Mnemosyne 56(5): 551-565.

Author(s) from Durham


Starting from a broad ancient definition of 'epigrams' which includes poems which are not in elegiacs, and Martial's use of Catullus 2 (written in hendecasyllables) as a model for his own epigrams (Mart. 4.14.13-4), my paper examines epigrammatic features in Catullus 2 and 3, as well as other literary affinities that can be traced in these poems. AP 7.195 and 196 (by Meleager) are important epigrammatic models for Catullus 2, and I identify major correspondences and differences between these poems, before considering another important model for Catullus 2: Sappho fr. 1. From examination of Sapphic features in Catullus 2 and 2b, my paper moves to Catullus 3, and explores its affinities with Greek epigram (in particular the epitaphs found in AP 7 and Hellenistic curse poetry). In the final section of the paper, working from Martial's references to Catullus' passer and Catullus' use of Sappho fr. 1 in Catullus 2, I consider Catullus 2 as the opening poem of a Catullan collection, and the implications that this has for our interpretation of his poetry.