Petronius

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William Heinemann, 1913 - Italy, Southern - 418 pages
PETRONIUS (C. or T. Petronius Arbiter), who is reasonably identified with the author of this famous satiric and satiric novel, was a man of pleasure and of good literary taste who flourished in the times of Claudius (A.D. 41-54) and Nero (A.D. 54-68). As Tacitus describes him, he used to sleep by day, and attend to official duties or to his amusements by night. At one time he was a governor of the province Bithynia in Asia Minor and was also a consul, showing himself a man of vigour when this was required. Later he lapsed into indulgence (or assumed the mask of vice) and became a close friend of Nero, being looked on as a supreme judge or referee of refined taste. Accused by jealous Tigellinus of disloyalty and condemned, with self-opened veins bandaged he conversed lightly with his friends, dined, drowsed, sent to Nero a survey of Nero's sexual deeds, and so died, A.D. 66. The surviving parts of his romance Satyricon (title is not certain) is a medley of philosophy and real life, of prose and verse, held together in a fictitious story of the disreputable adventures of Encolpius and two companions Ascyltus and Giton. In the course of their wanderings they attend a showy and wildly extravagant dinner given by a rich freedman Trimalchio whose guests talk about themselves and life in general. Other incidents are a shipwreck and somewhat lurid proceedings in South Italy. The work is written partly in pure Latin of the 'Silver Age', but sometimes purposely in a more vulgar style; and parodies and otherwise attacks bad taste in literature, pedantry and hollow society.
 

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Page 250 - ... non enim res gestae versibus comprehendendae sunt, quod longe melius historici faciunt1, sed per ambages deorumque ministeria et fabulosum sententiarum tormentum praecipitandus est liber spiritus, ut potius furentis animi vaticinatio appareat quam religiosae orationis sub testibus fides ; tamquam si placet hie impetus, etiam si nondum recepit ultimam manum.
Page 248 - ... praeterea curandum est ne sententiae emineant extra corpus orationis expressae, sed intexto vestibus colore niteant. Homerus testis et lyrici Romanusque Vergilius et Horatii curiosa felicitas.
Page 100 - Quare ergo servivisti?' Quia ipse me dedi in servitutem et malui civis Romanus esse quam tributarius. Et nunc spero me sic vivere, ut nemini iocus sim. Homo inter homines sum, capite aperto ambulo; assem aerarium nemini debeo; constitutum habui nunquam; nemo mihi in foro dixit 'redde quod debes.
Page 2 - Hyperidis aa famam processit? Ac ne carmen quidem sani coloris enituit, sed omnia quasi eodem cibo pasta non potuerunt usque ad senectutem canescere. Pictura quoque non alium exitum fecit, postquam Aegyptiorum audacia tam magnae artis compendiariam invenit.
Page 38 - Ceterum ego dum omnia stupeo, paene resupinatus crura mea fregi. Ad sinistram enim intrantibus non longe ab ostiarii cella canis ingens, catena vinctus, in pariete erat pictus superque quadrata littera scriptum "cave canem.
Page 78 - Primigeni, crede mihi, quicquid discis, tibi discis. Vides Phileronem causidicum : si non didicisset, hodie famem a labris non abigeret. Modo, modo collo suo circumferebat onera venalia, nunc etiam adversus Norbanum se extendit. Litterae thesaurum est, et artificium nunquam moritur.
Page xxii - ... existimo in scholis stultissimos fieri, quia nihil ex his quae in usu habemus aut audiunt aut vident, sed piratas cum catenis in litore stantes, sed tyrannos edicta scribentes quibus imperent filiis ut patrum suorum capita praecidant, sed responsa in pestilentiam data ut virgines tres aut plures immolentur, sed mellitos verborum globules et omnia dicta factaque quasi papavere et sesamo sparsa.
Page 358 - Somnia quae mentes ludunt volitantibus umbris, non delubra deum nee ab aethere numina mittunt, sed sibi quisque facit. Nam cum prostrata sopore urget membra quies et mens sine pondere ludit, quidquid luce fuit tenebris agit.
Page 164 - ... propter hoc ipsum. amor ingenii neminem unquam divitem fecit. | qui pelago credit, magno se faenore tollit; qui pugnas et castra petit, praecingitur auro; vilis adulator picto iacet ebrius ostro, et qui sollicitat nuptas, ad praemia peccat: sola pruinosis horret facundia pannis atque inopi lingua desertas invocat artes.
Page 384 - sine capite, sine praeputio"? Est aliquid in illo Stoici dei, iam video: nec 2 cor nec caput habet. Si mehercules a Saturno petisset hoc beneficium, cuius mensem toto anno celebravit Saturnalicius princeps, non tulisset illud, nedum ab love, quem quantum quidem in illo fuit, damnavit incesti.

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