Catullus’ Carmen 51 and Sappho’s Fragment 31: Dialogue or Disputation

  • Jovana Radenković Department of Classics, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
  • Gordan Maričić Department of Classics, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade
Catullus, Sappho, Carmen 51, Fragment 31, dialogue, intertextuality


The paper examines the well-known, yet never fully interpreted relationship between Catullus’ Carmen 51 and Sappho’s Fragment 31 with the goal of highlighting once again coincidences and differences of the two texts, as well as their interdependence and connection. Using the comparative analysis of the text, the paper will examine those aspects of intertextuality that have broken their functionality and importance into a multitude of hidden sub-layers, thus depriving them of restraints of strict and exclusive interpretations. The intention is to discover a new textual space where Catullus and Sappho will meet once again and commence a dialogue. Likewise, we are searching for a textual space where the poet and the poetess would resolve and finish the dialogue that started long ago.


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