In his 1982 essay on Catullus 64, Richard Jenkyns offered an eloquent and elegant counterblast to the ‘reductivism that has characterized much recent criticism of Latin poetry’ (p. 82). He argued that to impose a unifying interpretation on such a work as Peleus and Thetis impoverishes it. ‘Anyone who has failed to perceive that throughout this poem Catullus is deliberately various, disproportionate and unpredictable has certainly not understood it’ (p. 92). With the advent of the millennium, it seems that Jenkyns, even if he won the battle, did not win the war, though, doubtless because of him, the unities which scholars now advocate have become decidedly more capacious, more able to serve as hold-alls, than those imposed by their predecessors. The instinct to identify unifying principles appears to be a strong one. In any case, Jenkyns’ own view of the poem – that it ‘is made up of pictures in that it is a gallery of tableaux or set pieces’ (p. 150) – can surely be taken as suggesting the kind of e pluribus unum of a work such as Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. The various tableaux, each of them displayed, as it were, by the poet to elicit a differing response, may add up to a single experience. It is not simply that the total may be greater than the sum of the individual parts; it is rather that the total may attain a unity of its own.