Catullus is one of the most popular of Classical Latin authors because he offers poems easily presented to a beginners’ class: not weighty and serious but short and humorous. But this is not the whole truth. He is also deeply committed to the Roman Republic, its traditions, the disaster of Pompey’s defeat and Caesar’s triumph, the decay of public morality. This is what Newman already emphasised in his Roman Catullus and the Modification of the Alexandrian Sensibility (Weidman, Hildesheim 1990, Pp. 483) and tries again to emphasise for the more general reader here. John Kevin Newman, born in 1928, made his first acquaintance with Classical scholarship at Oxford in 1946-52, where Eduard Fraenkel and Rudolf Pfeiffer were still lecturing. After teaching for the Benedictines at Downside Abbey for some years, in 1969 he accepted a professorship at the University of Illinois, from which he has now retired. He has published eight books and over a hundred articles on Classical themes.
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