a1 University of Liverpool
Catullus has been looking everywhere for his friend Camerius. In Pompey's arcade he has accosted all the girls who were hanging about there, but they have calmly disavowed knowledge of his friend's whereabouts. At line 9 Catullus breaks into flagitatio, the beginning of which is desperately corrupt: attempts to emend avelte have been made, but it seems more realistic to assume that avelte is the result of some corruption of quas vultu at the beginning of line 8 (with which it has four letters, a v lt, in common, and e - - e corresponding to u - -u), and that it has ousted the original beginning of line 9. In terms of a flagitatio—the girls are pessimae inasmuch as they are allegedly withholding what is Catullus' own, his friend, from him—the sort of word one expects is redde or cedo. Hence reddatis here, merely exempli gratia, would be one conceivable way of introducing the demand. (The ellipse of the imperatives da and cedo which Fordyce alludes to is a well-known feature of colloquial Latin, but it would be most unnatural in a flagitatio to omit the most significant and forceful word, the imperative claiming the return of Catullus' friend.)
1 I am grateful to Professor R. G. Austin and Professor W. J. N. Rudd for their helpful scrutiny of this paper.