Catullus thought that Suffenus was a dud as a poet but – against form – was prepared to make allowances for the inability that we all have, as humans, to see ourselves as we are. The illustration shows that even real talent may get carried away by its own publicity …

Hear the Latin and follow in English here. The photograph of Oscar Wilde is by Sarony.

Catullus’s shortest poem, and one of his most famous, is his epigram about loving and hating simultaneously. Hear it in Latin and follow in English here.

Catullus is self-deprecating about his new little book of poems – but he wants it to last nevertheless.

The poet holding a Roman book in the illustration is Virgil, from a fifth-century manuscript. The text below him is unpunctuated and written in continuous capitals, suggesting that reading poetry to yourself was not as easy then as it is now. The round bin on the left is a bookcase.

Hear the Latin and follow in English here.