"To whom shall I give my new witty little book,
freshly polished with a dry stone?
Cornelius, to you: since you were accustomed
To think my trifles to be something
already when you dared, alone of Italians,
to explain all the ages in three books,
scholarly and painstaking ones, O Jupiter!
so take for yourself whatever from this book,
of whatever worth; may it, O virgin patroness,
survive more than one long age.”
Gaius Valerius Catullus (c. 84 - 54 BC), Poems, no. 1.
This poem serves as the dedication of Catullus’ book of poems to the Roman historian Cornelius Nepos (c. 110 - 25 BC), and a friend of Catullus’. The “virgin patroness” referred to at the end of the poem is most likely the Muse.