chapter  IV
20 Pages

NEOTERIC EPIC: CATULLUS 64

The form is today called an epyllion, or ‘little epic’. Though there is no evidence that ancient critics recognized a separate genre of this description, I am inclined to agree with Hollis (1990: 25) that ‘the category is a genuine one. Roman poets who composed such works as Catul. 64 or the pseudo-Virgilian Ciris - not to m ention lost poems like Cinna’s Zmyma or Calvus’ Io - must surely have believed that they were using a recognizable form inherited from the Greeks.’1