Re-reading Catullus 1.9 (o patrona...)
Following the lead of those critics who have judged Catull. 1.9 patrona uirgo as the result of an error christianus, the author proposes an emendation based on the comparison with the incipit of the introductory elegy of Meleager’s Garland. As it has been demonstrated, in his dedicatory poem Catullus echoes in particular Meleager. AP 4.1.1-3, where the Greek poet refers to (i) himself and his poetic work, (ii) to his dedicatee, and (iii) to a not further specified Muse, all elements that can be found also in Catullus; moreover, Meleager introduces a fourth referent in connection to his divine patroness, i.e. the divinely inspired ‘composers of hymns’ (hymnothetai), which is lacking in Catullus’ c. 1: one could resolve this apparent inconsistency by conjecturing uatum instead of the pleonastic uirgo of the manuscripts. Another possibility would be to read patrona diua.