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Classics & Ancient History   >   Cambridge Latin Anthology – Amor

Love is Soft: Catullus 7

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Cambridge Latin Anthology – Amor

In this course, Professor Sharon Marshall (University of Exeter) explores the theme of love in Latin poetry. It will be particularly useful for those reading the eight poems (or extracts of poems) that make up the ‘Amor’ set text for OCR Latin GCSE (J282). Each lecture focuses on a single poem (or extract from a poem) to explore a particular aspect of love in the Roman literary imagination – e.g. its softness, its inequality, its pain, its universality, etc. In each case, we explore the historical, literary and social context for the author and text in question, as well as engaging in some close reading of the Latin text.

Love is Soft: Catullus 7

In this lecture we think about the Roman presentation of love as soft and effeminate, focusing in particular on Catullus 7 (How many kisses?). As we move through the lecture, we consider: (i) Catullus’ life and times, and the group of poets known as the neoterics or poetae novi (new poets); (ii) Catullus’ work: 116 poems in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and covering a range of themes; (iii) the figure of Lesbia, who features in a number of Catullus’ poems; (iv) the tenderness of Catullus 7; (v) the learnedness of Catullus 7, including its use of polysyllabic neologisms and mythological references; and (vi) the extent to which Catullus 7 subverts Roman ideas about masculinity and love.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Marshall, S. (2023, March 27). Cambridge Latin Anthology – Amor - Love is Soft: Catullus 7 [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Marshall, S. "Cambridge Latin Anthology – Amor – Love is Soft: Catullus 7." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Mar 2023,


Dr Sharon Marshall

Dr Sharon Marshall

Exeter University