Although his privileged position in Verona offered him access to the Roman elite, inhabitants of Verona and the rest of Transpadane Gaul acquired full Roman citizenship only in 49 BCE (Wiseman 1987, 297).
Catullus's diminished agency as poet is accordingly closely linked with the problem of 'home': he is a Transpadane poet with a successful literary career in Rome, a career based to a great extent on his effective appropriation of Greek literary models (Fitzgerald 1995, 202).
63 the liminal character of the mythic Attis allows Catullus to explore at length imbalances in relationships as well as the problematic question of home and its connection to identity, all issues that the Transpadane poet in the power-hungry world of late Republican Rome faced.
Here, however, there is clear evidence of traducers of the Flavian gens in operation: those who alleged a Transpadane origo were suggesting at the least that the family was not from Italy and probably that the great-grandfather was not even born a Roman citizen.10 Suetonius declares that he could find no evidence at all to justify this story, although he had displayed due diligence in his investigations, quamvis satis curiose inquirerem.
(10) This would seem a reasonable assumption given the presumable date of his birth and the enfranchisement of the Transpadanes by Caesar only in 49 BC.
The attribution of boldness is not without point: although Roman historiography was not a genre exclusively restricted to senators, they dominated the field none the less, to the extent that, even in the particular category of universal history, the intrusion of a municipal author was remarkable.(19) Nepos, like Catullus, was a Transpadane.(20) The poet's origins are made clear in his collection, the full background to which has been described in careful detail (not eschewing some speculation) by Peter Wiseman.(21) In our poet's day, the Valerii Catulli, simply put, were domi nobiles who had not yet arrived on the Roman political scene.
And, even if he does, will he appreciate the problematic correspondences between the flesh-and-bone Transpadane and his Cyrenian model mapped out in the compositional relationship obtaining between 65 and 66?
All of the Roman world, even the small village of Andes in quiet, rustic Transpadane
Gaul, was plunged into political chaos.
(59) Various of Fronto's correspondents in Italy were fellow-Africans: besides Julius Celsinus and Arrius Antoninus, then governor of Transpadane
Gaul, (60) perhaps also Claudius Julianus (Ad.