|The poems of Catullus have notoriously been subjected
to numerous accidental corruptions. This work represents a radical
reappraisal of his text. It recommends some six hundred changes to
the Oxford Text of R.A.B. Mynors; many of these proposals are easily
accessible elsewhere, but many are either original or else more or
It is suggested here that Catullus' text was also subjected to significant
deliberate change, much of it probably dating back to classical antiquity.
These changes consist in part of around seventy interpolated lines,
often designed to explain or paraphrase what Catullus had written,
and in part of modernizations designed to adapt a Republican poet,
the near contemporary of Cicero and Lucretius, to the poetical norms
of the early Empire.
Students of Catullus will certainly wish to take account of the arguments
here advanced, even where they find themselves in disagreement with
The author John Trappes-Lomax, formerly Senior Scholar of Gonville
and Caius College Cambridge, specializes in the textual criticism
and interpretation of Latin poetry. In this field he has published
numerous articles in Classical Quarterly, Mnemosyne, Phoenix and Proceedings
of the Cambridge Philological Association.