Exploring Catullus poet Roman villa ruins

Catullus Caves, the ruins of an ancient and majestic Roman villa

Catullus Caves, in Sirmione, on the shore of Garda lake, are the ruins of an ancient and majestic Roman villa.

Weird Italy lombardia Exploring Catullus poet Roman villa ruins Italian History Magazine What to see in Italy  sirmione roman villa mediterranean climate lesbia Imperial Rome garda lake catullus caves catullus architecture   The name caves was coined during Middle Ages, when the ruins were buried by dirt and vegetation.

The villa was attributed to Roman poet Catullus, since it was proved he had a residence in Sirmione area.

The villa was built around I Century AD.

Afterward, the villa was abandoned.

Only in 1801 a general of Napoleone started to study the area.

Despite being in the middle of Padana plain, climate is mediterranean. Hundred of olive trees grow in the area.

Images

Weird Italy Bakalovich Exploring Catullus poet Roman villa ruins Italian History Magazine What to see in Italy  sirmione roman villa mediterranean climate lesbia Imperial Rome garda lake catullus caves catullus architecture

Catullus was one of the greatest Roman poet. His surving works are still read widely.
Image: Catullus reading to his friends. Stepan Bakalovich (1857-1936)

Weird Italy catullo-caves Exploring Catullus poet Roman villa ruins Italian History Magazine What to see in Italy  sirmione roman villa mediterranean climate lesbia Imperial Rome garda lake catullus caves catullus architecture

Gaius Valerius Catullus was born to a leading equestrian family of Verona, in Cisalpine Gaul.  [Wikipedia]

 

The social prominence of the Catullus family allowed the father of Gaius Valerius to entertain Julius Caesar when he was the Promagistrate of both Gallic provinces. In a poem, Catullus describes his happy homecoming to the family villa at Sirmio, on Lake Garda, near Verona; he also owned a villa near the resort of Tibur (Tivoli). [Wikipedia]

Weird Italy Acme-and-Septimius Exploring Catullus poet Roman villa ruins Italian History Magazine What to see in Italy  sirmione roman villa mediterranean climate lesbia Imperial Rome garda lake catullus caves catullus architecture

It was probably in Rome that Catullus fell deeply in love with the “Lesbia” of his poems, who is usually identified with Clodia Metelli, a sophisticated woman from the aristocratic house of patrician family Claudii Pulchri, sister of the infamous Publius Clodius Pulcher, and wife to proconsul Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer. [Wikipedia]
Image: Leighton, Frederic – Acme and Septimius – c. 1868


A Pastoral: to Septimius

Septimius holding his beloved Acme
in his lap, said: ‘Acme, mine, if I
don’t love you desperately, and love forever,
continually through all the years,
as much as he who loves the most,
in empty Libya and scorched India,
I’ll fight against some green-eyed lion.’

As he spoke, Love, to left and right,
sneezed his approbation.
But Acme lifted her head slightly
and her charming red lips spoke
to her sweet boy’s intoxicated eyes:
‘So, Septimius, mea vita,
let us always serve this one lord,
that more deeply and more fiercely
the fire will burn my tender marrow.’

As she spoke, Love, to left and right
sneezed his approbation.
Now profiting from these good omens
their mutual spirits love and are loved.
Septimius sets his little Acme,
above the Syrians or Britons:
faithful Acme makes Septimius
her one darling and desire.
Who might see more blessed creatures
who a love more fortunate?

Translated by A. S. Kline

Weird Italy Sir-Edward-John-Poynter-lesbia-and-her-sparrow Exploring Catullus poet Roman villa ruins Italian History Magazine What to see in Italy  sirmione roman villa mediterranean climate lesbia Imperial Rome garda lake catullus caves catullus architecture

Tears for Lesbia’s Sparrow

Sparrow, my sweet girl’s delight,
whom she plays with, holds to her breast,
whom, greedy, she gives her little finger to,
often provoking you to a sharp bite,
whenever my shining desire wishes
to play with something she loves,
I suppose, while strong passion abates,
it might be a small relief from her pain:
might I toy with you as she does
and ease the cares of a sad mind!

Translated by A. S. Kline

In his poems Catullus describes several stages of their relationship:
initial euphoria, doubts, separation, and his wrenching feelings of loss.  [Wikipedia]
Image: Image: Sir Edward John Poynter, Lesbia and her Sparrow, 1907

Source: Wikipedia 1 , 2
Photo: commons.wiki ; Flickr

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join Weird Italy, Guide to Places and People in Italy

Weird Italy 35d34cee42cbb06848a4b6ac844a4ae7?s=116&d=mm&r=g Exploring Catullus poet Roman villa ruins Italian History Magazine What to see in Italy  sirmione roman villa mediterranean climate lesbia Imperial Rome garda lake catullus caves catullus architecture
WeirdItaly
Lifestyle weblog about everything that happens in Italy: photography, places, people, fashion, Italian movies and books, news and much more
24FansLike
1,143FollowersFollow
244SubscribersSubscribe

How Sanremo Casino Continues to Flourish as a Gaming Hotspot

Sanremo Casino has changed a lot over the past few decades. Its official name is Casinò Municipale di Sanremo, and it's located along the historic...

P448 and Italian high couture tradition

Italy has always been a synonym for high couture. But there are many sports brand famous all over the world. And it wasn’t enough. On the...

Italy, two gangs broke arms, legs, to defraud insurance companies, 42 arrests

The two gangs in Palermo were especially looking for desperate young people and women to stage false accidents to defraud insurance companies. They offered 300...

The Manifesto of Futurist Cooking, A Meal that Prevented a Suicide

The ultimate aim of Futurist cuisine is the abolition of mediocrist daily life in the pleasures of the palate, represented above all by pasta,...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close