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the Penmanship that Graces Catullus’ Carmina

24 March, 2010

Behold, the handwriting of Robert J. Clark.   Never have I seen such perfect penmanship: minuscule, yet legible.  Mr. Clark’s annotations were made in the early 1900s; the book was subsequently used by Professor Herbert J Paton, a noted lecturer at Oxford, Glasgow and St Andrews.  Professor Paton’s handwriting is not nearly as striking, so I won’t share it.  He does, however, deserve a mention for having donated this book to the University Library in 1970.

c section

Please, Click to see Closer, and fully Appreciate the Penmanship

Cat. quote

Praise for Catullus by Rev. James Davies, Scholar of Lincoln College, Oxford.


the Gyst of Poem XIV: “What are you about sending me such trashy poems. Did Sulla give you them as payment. Why send them to me. Wait I will send you the ones I can find”

Mr. Clark made notes on nearly every poem, and wrote a synopsis of many.  Poem XVI, one of my favorites, was completely ignored by both Mr. Clark and Mr. Paton.  Why, you may ask?  Get out your Latin-English dictionary and look up the opening line: ‘pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo’.  It’s surprising that the poem was even published: until the mid-20th century, many editions, both in Latin and in translation, censored this–the naughtiest of Catullus’ naughty poems.

Do you prefer Mr Clark’s penmanship to that of the German Cookbook (thank you translator) seen here?

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