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Few things are more remarkable in the history of the
tradition of Latin texts than the obscurity which still
attaches to the discovery of Catullus' poems in the four-
teenth century. Lachmann in his edition of 1829 gave
j)rominence to this point by prefixing to the poems an epi-
gi-am, which in the earliest IMS. where it is found (dated
1375) is inscribed Versus Domini Beneitenuti ^ de Campexa-
■nis de Vlcencia de resurrectione Catidli jMetae Veronensis.
Ad patriam uenio longis a finibus exul,

Causa mei reditus compatriota - fuit,
Scilicet a calamis tribuit cui Francia nomen,

Quique notat turbae praetereuntis iter,
Quo licet ingcnio uestrum celebrate Catullum,
^ Cuius sub modio clausa papyrus erat.

^ The controversies which have been raised over these six
'-' lines are well known. What were the far-off confines
where Catullus had been hidden in a prolonged exile?

'J Who was the comr)atriot that broup-ht him back ? What
> . . . ....

i name is concealed in the description a calaonis tvihuit cm

Francia nomen ? Are we to understand the words Cuius

sub modio clausa 2^(tpyrus end as only meaning that the

MS. in whicli the poems were discovered had been ' a light

hidden under a bushel,' or may we believe that it was a real

paj)yrus, perhaps found in some oriental clime %

* Thus anagiammatized by Forrctoof Viconza in somo versos addressed
to Mubsatfj : Cui cognomen aui.s Campvs dedit ot Bene nouu'u Cum
Vemo, patriaquo fuit .sat niagnus in ilia Qua retro pauuo iluens I '.it a no
delabitur amnis (Zardo, Atbcrfino Mnssato, ]>. 292). Siuiilarly in llu>
twelfth of (ho scrie.s of poems by (lie throe friends Mussato, Lovati, and
Hiivctini, j)ublished by Padriii in 1887, Campos.iiu^ In! fecit rouorentia
Cami'I Quoin tilii co^;nalao Musau coluoro Latiniu' I'erpeluo.-i fructus
omtii sidt .solo ferontem.

^ Probably ;i Veronosc, just as Colucio Salutati writiiiK (<• (hi' I'.kIimii
Francesco Zabarella call.s him Compatriota Muasuti (Zardn, p. 283;.




As notliiiiijj connot'tiHl witli the liistory of so givat a poet
as Catullus can ever bo tlioui^ht supcriluous, I may be
allowed t(^ luontion here the chief ne'^v theories as to the
name of his Jiscoverer. The earlier views I have men-
tioned in the Prolojjjomena to my large edition. Pignorius
(cent, xvii) seems rightly to have detected in Francia the
name Francesco; whether a calamis represents a surname
(as Scaliger, Lessing, and our own scholar, the late Benjamin
Jowett, thought), or an official title, perhaps that of a notary,
as the fourth verse seems to intimate, Qulque notat turbae
praetereuntis iter, is quite uncertain. It can hardly have
been Bernardino Plumati as Lessing thought, nor Francesco
Notapassanti, as Lachmann (perhaps only half -seriously)
suggested in a letter to Moriz Haupt (p. 27 of Karl Lach-
mann s Brief e an Moriz Haupt). More recently Costantino
Nigra in his excellent work La Chioma cli Berenice (Milan,
1 891) has suggested that the name was Frassapaya da
Ponti. This seems to occur in the Chronicle of Parisio of
Cereta, a small town not far from Verona, as the name of
a podest^ of Cereta in 1 256. Frassapaya might represent
Francus calamus; da Ponti would explain Quique notat
turbae p?'«e^ereu7i^is iter, the bridge taking note of the
passengers who crossed by a toll-gate at one or both ends.

Mr. Falconer Madan thought the name might be
Francesco Accorsi; for, as Nake long ago suggested, the
occurrence of cursum for turbae in some MSS., notably in
Scaliger's, the Cuiacianus (now identified with a MS.
in possession of Mr. Samuel Allen of Dublin) is perhaps
siirnificant. Niike indeed elicited from the words of the
Epigram nothing more recondite than ' Francesco the scribe
at the corner of the Corso,' remarking that most Italian
towns of any importance have such a Corso, and that it is
just in such a locality that an official employed to take
note of the passers-by would naturally be stationed^.

' Niike takes no small credit to himself for his explanation, which he
confesses did not obtain the assent of Nietmhr, but which he V>oldly
predicts will stand for ever (stare in aeternum poterit), when Lessing's more
elaborate theory will be forgotten.

Francesco Accorsi, son of the great jurist and gloumtor of
the same name, was a man of mark in the thirteenth
century, as the fact of King Edward I taking him to
England and his appointment to a law-lectux'ership in
Oxford later prove : he had also seen France and for
that time was a well-travelled man. Dante combines him
with Brunetto Latini and the grammarian Priscian in
the fifteenth Canto of the Inferno. He is said to have
died in the last decade of the thirteenth centurjT-, and
Mazzuchelli records an inscription from the tomb of
Francesco and his more celebrated father in the cemetery
of St. Francesco at Bologna. But I do not see how
he could be called a compatriot of the Veronese poet
Catullus as a citizen of Bologna, nor how the words
a calamis and Quigue notat turhae 2:)raetereuntis iter of
the Epigram could in any true sense be applied to him.
Sir E. M. Thompson has suggested to me that some such
name as Strada might be intended. There was a Luca della
Penna whom Pope Gregory XI (1370- J37S) employed as
his intermediary with Petrarch to borrow copies of some
of the works of Cicero which Petrarch was credited with
discovering. But this must have been considerably later
in the fourteenth century than the time when Catullus
re-emerged (De Nolhac, pp. 180, 181). The names, however,
would suit the Epigram very well. Or are we to trace
in a calamis an occult allusion to Avignon (avena)'^
Francis of Avirnion could of course be none but Petrarch
himself; the other verse would designate him as a notaio.

It will be clear from these widely different guesses that
the riddle of Campesani's Epigram is still unexplained ;
all that seems fairly made out is that the poems were
rediscovered in some region far removed from the im-
mediate neighbourhood of Verona, probably indeed not
in Italy. We sliouM not forget that this was the time
when the Papacy was no longer in Bome, but at Avignon,
a circumstance which M. de Nolhac shows in his admirable
Pelravfjue d rhuriiavifime to have had a potent iniluenco
on the history of classical learning.

It i>^ only in these days of palacogi-aphical research that
the qncstion as to the meaning of 2^<tpyrus in the Epigjram
conld occur. In a paper reatl to tlio Oxford Philological
Society in 190;:?, I suggested that the figure of a long-
Ic'-'Tod liird Nvliich recurs so often in the Canonici MS. of
Catullus may ilate from a jMpyrus archetype. At least
there is a close agreement between this figure and that
of a long-legged hird found in column V of the recently
discovered papyrus of Timotheos the Milesian, edited by
^Vilamo^vitz. This bird-figure he suggests may have served
the purpose of a coronis, and some such use it may have
had in the lost archetype of the MSS. of Catullus, surviving
in Canon. Lat. 30, and in this, it would appear, alone. This
is of course a pure conjecture, and must wait for confirma-
tion from similar instances not yet known or recorded.

I shall now proceed to inquire what are the earliest
traces of the poems of Catullus, after their rediscovery
by a compatriot, as recorded in the Epigram, either in
actual quotations containing the poet's name, or in citations
obviously drawn from his works.

I. There are two collections of fiores scrlptoruTn
belonging to the early fourteenth century, both of which
contain quotations from Catullus.

The smaller of these two MSS. is here mentioned first
because it is dated, 1329. It was written at Verona, and
contains this excerpt (lib. II. 3) — de errore. Catullus ad
Varum. Quern non in aliqua re {uidere om.) Suffenuiii
Possis, suus cuique attrihutus est error. Sed non uidemus
mantice quod in tergo est (xxii. 18-20). This points to
a complete copy of the poems ; for only such a copy would
be likely to contain ad Varum. The MS. of the redis-
covered poems had been brought back to Verona before
Campesani's death in 1323 ; a Veronese scribe in the interval
between its discovery (perhaps as early as 1 3 14 or j 315) and
1329 (when the collection of excerpts was made) had seen
in the MS., or drawn from some one who had seen it, the
above extract.

A much larger collection of Fiores, purporting to belong

to nearljT^ the same period, is known as the Compendium
morallum notabilium ^jer Hlenmiam iudicem de Monta-
gnone ciuem Paduanuin. This work exists in a printed
form, Yen. 1505, a copy of which is in the possession of
Professor Bywater, another in the Bodleian. I have seen
four MSS. of it, all, I should suppose, of the fifteenth century.
One of these is in the British Museum, Add. 22,801 ; of the
other three two are in the Bodleian, one at New College
(100). The extracts, which are mainly of an ethical
character, or at least bearing on the conduct of life, are
taken from a very wide range of authors, including, besides
those easily forthcoming, such as Horace, Juvenal, Vergil,
Terence, Statins, Lucan, Martial, Persius, Ovid, Avianus'
Fables, Boetius, others less widely read, such as Sallust,
Frontinus, Vegetius, Cassiodorus, and the curious Cronica
de nugis philonophorum.

The Compendium contains seven citations from Catullus,
quoted not by the order of the poems as they follow
each other in our MSS. of Catullus, but by sections, or as
they are sometimes called books (llbri). As the 76th poem
is cited from the xith or xiith section, the total number
was perhaps not over thirteen or fourteen. I will mention
them in order.

xxii. 18 omnes fallimur — attributus est error: in sect. v.

xxxix. 16 risu incpto res incptior nulla est: in sect. v.

li. 15 otium et reges prius et beatas Perdidit urbes:
in sect. v.

Ixiv. 143-148 Nulla uiro iuranti femina credat — periuria
curant : in sect. viii.

Ixvi. 15, 16 Estne nouis nuptis — lacrimulis : in sect. ix.

Ixviii. 137 Ne nimium sinms stultorum more molesti : in
sect. ix.

Ixxvi. 13 Difficile est longum subito dcponere amorcm : in
.sect, xi (one MS. xii).

These sections H(;om to l»e rightly preserved in tlie last
four extracts, l)ut the .f^th section containing xxii. 18, xxxix.
16, li. 15 is too comprehensive, containing as it does a total
of 428 verses. Probably the first of these pa.ssages may


have liolon^^ed to sect, iv, aiul only the other two to sect, v,
if iiulcrd, which is not certain, these sections were all of
equal len^^th. The Preface to Cornelius Nepos, and the
two poems on Lcsbia's sparrow, Diay have constituted
sect, i, for there is reason to believe that the sparrow-
poems were sometimes a libeUus by themselves. This is
of course a matter of uncertainty. For us the important
point to bo noticed is the af^recment in the order of the
sections with the order of the poems of Catullus as they
occur in our MSS., the early poems being quoted from
the earlier sections, the later from the later. Bearing
this in mind, we shall not be too hasty in accepting the
wholly unproven hypothesis that these extracts in Monta-
guone's Compendium were drawn, not from the rediscovered
codex of Catullus but from some Anthologia in which
excerpts from Catullus were included. Such a theory is at
once gratuitous and at variance with fact. No anthology
of the middle age prior to 1300 has yet been found con-
taining complete lines from Catullus, still less with the
addition of his name.

If then Montagnone drew his excerpts from Catullus
direct, we may perhaps infer that the archetypal codex
rediscovered by the poet's compatriot was divided into
short books or sections, which fell out from the later
transcripts, giving way to the division into separate
poems, with their titles, which also formed part of the
same codex. This might naturally happen, as the refer-
ence by books or chapters was comparatively vague, and
the other division would be for practical purposes more

The precise date at which the Compendium was written
is unknown. Scardeone (1478-1564) in his work DeAnti-
quitate Urbis Patauii, p. 235, ed, Basil, 1560, says he died
about 13CO. But the last mention of his name in the
Matricida Collegli ludicuno ciuitatis Paduae, preserved
in the Archives of the University of Padua, belongs to
the year 1321. Accordingly the date assigned by Rajna to
the con)pilation of the Comjjcndium, the last decade of the

thirteenth centuiy, must be considered precarious. It would
much assist our inquiry if any MS. of the work were
fortlicoming which belonged to the early fourteenth century.
All those hitherto examined, I believe, date from the
fifteenth, except the MS. in St. Mark's, Venice, 295 in
Valentinelli's Catalogue (iv. p. icS6), which he assigns to
the fourteenth century, and which he considers to have
been used by the Venetian editor from its general agree-
ment. The New Collecje MS. is dated at the end of the
second treatise (fol. 130-158) consisting of Homilies, Sept.
17, 14C0. But it is more than possible that MSS. of an
earlier date still await examination. Meanwhile, as I have
stated in my large Catullus, there are very clear indications
of the source whence Montagnone drew being identical
with the fons of our existing MSS. of Catullus. Thus in
Ixiv. 145 the archetype seems to have had not cqjisci but
adipisci, which appears in the printed edition of Montagnone,
and is found or traceable in each of the two earliest of our
MSS. of Catullus : again the corrupt atqiie parentum of
Ixvi. 16 was also in the codex whence Montagnone drew
the passage as quoted in his Com23endium.

I proceed to the second part of my inquiry. What
traces of acquaintance with Catullus' poems can be found
in the writers of the earlier part of the fourteenth century ?

This inquiry seems to centre chiefly in Padua and
its neighbour Venice. Three names emerge as interesting :
they are the poet and historiographer, Albertino Mussato,
born in 1261, died in 1329; Lovato di Lovati, born
about 1240, died in 1309; Bovatino di Bovatini, died
in 1 30 1. They were close friends, and a collection of
Latin poems which they exchanged with each other has
been preserved in a MS. of St. Mark's at Venice (class, xiv.
no. 223) and published at Padua l)y Luigi Pndrin in
iHHy^. All three were men of mark among their con-

^ Tliia volume, of whicli only 40 copioa wore printed, is raro and
.ilmost inaccessible. I have been able, however, to examine it in tlie
nritinh Museum. Padrin'.s elaborate edition of Mussato's tragedy Ecninis,
with Carducci'ii valuable estimate of it aa a |)< em, was jpubli-ihed at


temporaries. Bovatini was for forty years the chief
authority on ecclesiastical law at Padna. Lovati knew
Petrarch, who eulofi^izes his poems and declares he would
liave been the first poet of his time, if he had not taken up
law as a profession and combined the Twelve Tables with
the nine Muses. We must regret that so little of Lovati's
poetical workmanship has survived (Wicksteed, Dante and
Giovanni del VirgiUo, Append. II). But by far the most
distinguished member of the triad was Albertino Mussato,
a man memorable as patriot, poet, historian. In his famous
tragedy Ecerinis, 629 verses describing the cruelties and
disastrous end of Ezzelino III, tyrant of Padua, beyond Nero
in cruelty ^, as he is described by the Latin commentator
on Ecerinis, Guizzardo of Bologna (Padrin, p. 83), Mussato
imitated, as well as the learning of that time allowed, the
iambics and lyrical metres of Seneca. In his study of this
model Mussato had a compeer in his friend Lovati, who
has left notes on the metres of Seneca's tragedies in a MS.
preserved in the Vatican Library^ (1796}. Mussato's mastery
of the iambic in the Ecerinis is very imperfect ; impossible
caesuras, such as Saeuae tyrannidis ita ut ancipites uices,
Nam quisque liber arbiter in actus suos, are very frequent
and greatly impair the poetical effect. In the Achilles,
a later tragedy which must also belong to the fourteenth
century 2 and which till 1832 was generally, if not
universally, believed to be by Mussato, the imitation of
Seneca is equally palpable, especially of his diction and
love of affected conceits ; but the management of the iambic

Bologna in 1900. Not the least part of the importance of this work
is the publicity given by Padrin to the Holkham MS. of Mussato's Latin

' Dante includes him among other monsters of cruelty in Canto XH
of tlie Inferno.

* Carducci ap. Padrin, p. 272.

' In the Holkham MS., \vhich contains both Ecerinis and Achilles, the
coloplion at the end of the former is Alhertini Muxati Paduani Eccerini
Tragedia Explicit 1390. This is immediately followed by Tragedia Achillis,
but without mention of the author's name. As Mr. Alexander Napier,
librarian of Holkham, suggests, it would be a natural inference that
AchilUs was also by Mussato.


is considerably improved, though sometimes, especially
in the beginning, the same faults are traceable as in
the Eceriniti. Mussato, who from the age of thirty had
been the representative man of Padua, whose counsels
were indispensable in every undertaking of the republic,
then at the height of its prosperity (A. Gloria, Docu-
menti inediti intorno a Francesco Fetrarca e Albertino
Mussato, p. lo), was thought to have achieved a high
success b}'- his Ecerinis, and, after a recitation of it in
presence of the assembled Paduans was crowned in the
palazzo del Commune with a wreath of myrtle and ivy and
conducted home in triumph. The date of this, according
to Carducci (Padrin, Ecerinide, p. 254) w^as Dec. 2, 131 5;
others assign it to 1314. A Latin Commentary^ on the
poem was shortly afterwards drawn up by Guizzardo of
Bologna and Castellani of Bassano which is still extant,
dated Dec. 21, 1317.

I have not detected either in the Ecerinis or this Latin
commentary upon it, anything which even remotely points to
a knowledge of Catullus. Of Seneca's tragedies both show
considerable knowledge, and any Uude on these would be
imperfect which did not take Mussato's poem into account.

In the other tragedy, Achilles, closely resembling Mussato's
Ecerinis in form and long ascribed to him, certainly too
written not after the fourteenth century, though perhaps
belonging to a later part of it, I seem to discern at least
some recognizable traces of a knowledge of Catullus. One
of these I noticed in my first edition of Catullus (1867).
Some .Sapphics in a chorus of this play contain the words
Nemo tarn fortis uulet esse quo non Fortior assit (p. 30,
ed. Yen. 163,^). This looks like an imitation of Cat. Ixvi.
27, 8 Anne honum oblita es facinus, quo rcfjiinn adepta
es Coniugium, quod non fortior ausit alisl Here MSS.
give aut sit, and assit appears to be a conjectural emenda-
tion of this. Tiie .same tragedy Achilles contains the rare
combination celchrare tacdas (p. 28) to which it would be
difficult to find any parallel except Cat. Ixiv. 302 Nee

' I'rintt'd entire \>y P.aflrin, Ecerinide, pp. 69-247.

Thetidis tacdas uoluit cdehrare iugalis : iiixUX like Cat.
Ixvi. 66 Callisto iuxta Lycaonia[m) : and Catullus'(lxiv. i8 1)
Jiciipersum iuuenem fraferna caede secuta perhaps finds
an echo in nirgo iioUutas manus Fratrum cruore
liordido tactaferet {Achilles, p. 2i), though the source may
possibly be Seneca.

It is, however, in the other, preeminently the elegiac,
poems of Mussato, not in the Ecerinis nor the debatable
Achilles, that we find more tangible indications of the
rediscov^ered Roman lyrist. In one of these, the Epistola
ad Collegium Artistai^m (p. 39, ed. Ven.), Mussato men-
tions Catullus in a way which, though not proving that
lie had read the two poems on Lesbia's sparrow, is most
naturally explained on that hypothesis.

Non ego fagineis cecini te Tityre siluis
Scripta Dionaei nee mihi gesta ducis.
Carmine sub nostro cupidi lusciua Catulli
Lesbia, dulce tibi nulla susurrat auis.
In particular the verb susurrcit, not in itself a very
happy word for a sparrow's chirp, looks like a reference to
pipilahat (iii. 10). Similarly in Epist. xviii the lines Quod
pater Oceanus fuerit, quod mater aquaruon Thetis (sic) et
in liquidis exertas Naiadas undis, are not obscurely
modelled partly on Catull. Ixxxviii. 5, 6 Suscipit, Gelli,
quantum non ultima thetis (sic) Nee genitor nymi^harum
abluit Oceanus, partly on Ixiv. 13, 14, where the Nereids
are described rising breast-high from the sea to gaze on
the Argo. In another poem of Mussato's (Ep. 3), headed
Eiusdem ad Rolandum iudicem de 2^l<^ciola ', I trace
a knowdedge of Catullus' Elegy to Hortalus (Ixv) in three
consecutive verses :

Tota superciliis nigrescent tempora toruis
Inuidaque ^ infundens obruet ora rubor
Defier (1) enim tectam ueluti sub ueste salutem.
Catull. Ixv. 21-24:

Quod miserae oblitae molli sub ueste locatum,
Dum aduentu matris prosilit, excutitur,
> Ilolkham MS. 425, fol. 34. ^ Liuidaque, Ilolkham MS.


Atque illud prono praeceps agitur decursu,
Huic manat tristi conscius ore rubor.

These resemblances, it may be said, are fugitive and not
wholly convincing. I allow that there is nothing like
the transference by Orientius of one whole verse of the
O vidian Ibis\ nothing as directly taken from Catullus, as
many of Mussato's own Ovidian imitations are taken from
Ovid. Possibly the poet had only succeeded in obtaining
an imperfect copy of Catullus' poems ; or as his confession
seems to imply, he may have made a merit of abstaining
from indecencies - such as abound in Catullus, turning by
preference to the stately Muse of Tragedy and finding in
his denunciations of tyranny a more assured solace as well as
a more enviable crown. Or again, he may have had only an
imperfect acquaintance with Catullus' principal metre, the
phalaecian hendecasyllable ; certainly it is nowhere found
in the Ecerinis. Still, slight as they are, the resemblances
which I have above cited are sufficient in my judgement
to make it more than probable that Mussato had read at least
some of the lyrics, perhaps only the two on the sparrow in
the first or lyrical portion of the poems, probabl}^ all the
elegiacs (Ixv-cxvi) as well as the hexameter epyllion (Ixiv).

The volume of Latin poems interchanged between the
three friends Mussato, Lovati, and Bovatini, contains little
which can be certainly traced to Catullus ; there is, how-
ever, an exception, c. xvi, in which, besides combinations
like Tie bene quod noui — bene uelle 2^otest (Cat. xci. 3,
Ixxii. 8), the peculiar and rather rare ^ diction tacita mente
is introduced into a hexameter in the very place of the
verse in which it occurs in Catullus : tacita quern mente
gerehani as compared with tacita queni mente requirunt,
Cat. Ixii. 37. This seems to occur in a poem of Mussato's.

Next to Mussato in order of time as vouchers for the

' Orient. Conim. ii. 315 'Illo miser \iero iicc orit inisoral)ilis ulli'; Ov. II).
117 'Sisque miser suiiipcr noc sis miscrabilis ulli.' Soo Bullaugcr's now
Etude sur le Commonitorium d' Orienlius, P.iris, 1903.

' Tlie only indocent poems are the Priapus and Uror Priapi, botli in the
Holkham MS., but noithor containing anything taken from Catullus.

' It is found, however, in Manil. ii. 60.


early roiliscovory of Catullus arc two friends, both ainon<ij
the earliest of (he fourteenth century humanists, Guglielmo
di Pastren^ro and Francesco Petrarca.

Pastrenjjfo is a township near Verona, whence Guglielmo
is sometimes styled orator Veroncnais (Tirab. v, p. 409).

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