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, unguentum (ung'gwent) [L. unguentum, ointment] Ointment.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Catullus' cunning dinner invitation to Fabullus continues to generate a rich variety of interpretations of its memorable central image, the promised gift of a certain unguentum Veneris (13.12).
Interpretations of Catullus 13 seem to oscillate between the 'Dr Ruth' school of criticism and more restrained readings of light, friendly humour at both Fabullus' expense and the poet's, spicing a delicate compliment made to his mistress' eyebrow (suae puellae), whether she is Lesbia or not.(3) The following is offered as a contribution to the debate, in the hope of shedding further light on Catullus' unguentum within the poetic context of an elegant, refined, and deftly erotic compliment from her lover.
There is yet another possible interpretation of the unguentum Veneris, however, which seems both more exact and more poetic, suggested by Pliny the Elder (12.18) and Vergil's commentator Servius.