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Love by the Numbers

Form and Meaning in the Poetry of Catullus

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Helena Dettmer

The poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus survived antiquity by the slimmest of threads. This study concerns the controversial issue of whether the order of the collection was contrived by the poet himself. Love by the Numbers offers new and compelling evidence that Catullus shaped the work into an exquisitely interrelated whole. The aesthetic patterning is highly significant because it offers fresh solutions to longstanding problems of text and interpretation. The development of deeply learned philological analysis in the service of elucidating widely applicable human concerns makes this book a relative rarity in the field of Classics, a work of hard scholarship that informs a human sensibility toward matters of the heart.