GCSE Latin

Theme B poetry notes for wjec

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Epitaph to Claudia
This is a tomb inscription from Rome. It dates from 135-120 BC. It is a typical inscription of a
husband who is praising his wife's qualities.
The informal tone perhaps suggests that it may be more authentic than some inscriptions.
The epitaph gives details of her:
Work at Home
Her husband is therefore suggesting that she was the ideal roman wife.
The choice and order of words suggests an educated man with some literary skill.
L.1 `hospes', `paullum' -Informal opening; may persuade passers-by to take a look
L.2 `sepulcram...feminae' ­Literary skill; Chiasmus and play on words (sepulcram, pulcram,
L.6 `linquit', `locat'; both in the present tense because they continue to be either dead or
L.7 `sermone lepido', `incessu commodo' ­ Suggest she behaved in a polite, ladylike manner
L.8 `Ianam fecit' -Spinning wool was traditional for Greek and Roman women
L.8 `abei' ­informal; genuine
Letter to His friend Atticus
This was written in the spring of 51BC by Marcus Tulius Cicero; the governor of Cicilia. They
travelled from Rome to Arpinum (Cicero's birthplace) to Cicilia. Quintus was a freedman and acted as
an envoy, ambassador and assistant. They also travelled with other friends and officials.
Atticus was the brother of Pomponia, who was married to Quintus, there is evidence of a
difficult relationship.
L.1 `nihil...nihil' Anaphora suggests polite behaviour of his
L.3 `offensio...sumptus' suggests Pomponia may have been capable of
spending large amounts of money
L.5 `in Arcano' Quintus' estate was 4 miles south of Arpinum;
not in a rush
L.5 `humanissime' Good behaviour of his brother; superlative and
first word
L.6 `tu...mulieres' Master and Mistress of the house divided jobs;
L.10 `quod...curaret' Statius has taken Pomponia's role
L. 13-14 `absurde et aspere' Alliteration; Cicero's shock at her reaction
`verbis vultuque'
L.17 `nihil...nihil' Anaphora; brother's good behaviour
L.17 `'nihil...sorore' Chiasmus

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Catullus Poem 5
It is believed by many that Lesbia was a real woman named Clodia. She was the wife of
Marcus Caelius Rufus. Hence we can understand the rumours of old men in L.2, and some enemies
may wish to punish them, ie the `evil eye.
L.1 `vivamus, amemus' Start and end of the line; emphasizes the
L.2 Alliteration letter s Hissing of old men
L.3 `omnes unius' Placed together to contrast all with one
L.…read more

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Catullus Poem 70
In this poem, Catullus appears unsure about whether the girl loves him.
L.1 `nulli' emphatic-her confidence
L.1 `mulier mea nubere malle' alliteration of nasal consonants - sign of
powerful emotion
L.2 `Iuppiter' King of the Roman Gods; Ironic; he was famous
for affairs with mortal women
L.3 `dicit, dicit' emphatic ­ first word and repeated; statement
less believable
L.3 `cupido' Lover may be at fault for wanting to believe
L.4 Imagery Makes his statement more vivid and powerful
L.4 `vento...…read more

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L. 7-8 `saxo....unda' ­ rhetorical question and use of chiasmus (symmetry of the line)
L.10- `Penelope' ­ Famed for her fidelity because she waited ten years for her husband to return
11 from Troy
L.10- `Pergama' ­ The citadel of Try fell after ten years
Marital Equality?
An epigram is a short poem often with a point of humour
L.1-2 `ducere...nubere' play on words; Romans thought that men should
be the dominant partner
L.…read more


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