The Recollections of Encolpius: The Satyrica of Petronius as Milesian Fiction
While nineteenth-century scholars debated whether the fragmentary Satyrica of Petronius should be regarded as a traditional or an original work in ancient literary history, twentieth-century Petronian scholarship tended to take for granted that the author was a unique innovator and his work a synthetic composition with respect to genre. The consequence of this was an excessive emphasis on authorial intention as well as a focus on parts of the text taken out of the larger context, which has increased the already severe state of fragmentation in which today's reader finds the Satyrica. The present study offers a reading of the Satyrica as the mimetic performance of its fictional auctor Encolpius; as an ancient road novel told from memory by a Greek exile who relates how on his travels through Italy he had dealings with people who told stories, gave speeches, recited poetry and made other statements, which he then weaves into his own story and retells through the performance technique of vocal impersonation. The result is a skillfully made narrative fabric, a travelogue carried by a desultory narrative voice that switches identity from time to time to deliver discursively varied and often longish statements in the personae of encountered characters.This study also makes a renewed effort to reconstruct the story told in the Satyrica and to explain how it relates to the identity and origin of its fictional auctor, a poor young scholar who volunteered to act the scapegoat in his Greek home city, Massalia (ancient Marseille), and was driven into exile in a bizarre archaic ritual. Besides relating his erotic suffering on account of his love for the beautiful boy Giton, Encolpius intertwines the various discourses and character statements of his narrative into a subtle brand of satire and social criticism (e.g. a critique of ancient capitalism) in the style of Cynic popular philosophy. Finally, it is argued that Petronius' Satyrica is a Roman remake of a lost Greek text of the same title and belongs - together with Apuleius' Metamorphoses - to the oldest type of Greco-Roman novel, known to antiquity as Milesian fiction. Supplementum 2 in Ancient Narrative
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
according Achilles Tatius Agamemnon ancient Apuleius argued Aristides Ascyltos attempt audience Baiae boys Campania Cena characters colpius comic context Croton Crypta deﬁned deﬁnition discourse Echion elegantia Encol Encolpius epic episode erotic Eumolpus exile extant Satyrica extant text fabula ﬁction ﬁctional ﬁgure ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁrst fragments freedmen genre Giton gladiator Greco-Roman Greek Greek city Greek novels Hedyle Heinze Hippothous impersonation inﬂuence inquit interpretation Iolaos Klebs lacunae language Latin Lichas literary literature Lucian Lucius Lycinus Lycurgus Massalia Massaliots Menippus Metamorphoses Milesia modern Mommsen narrative narrator narrator’s Odysseus original parody passage person Petronian Petronius Petronius Arbiter phrase plot poem poet poetry Priapus prose prosimetric protagonist Puteoli quae quam Quartilla quod reader reading recited reference Rhetorica ad Herennium rhetorical Rohde Roman Rome satire Satyrica Satyricon says Schmeling scholars seems sexual Sidonius signiﬁcant slaves speciﬁc speech story style tell tion Trimalchio Tryphaena tyrica urbs Graeca verse voice words young Encolpius