Gaius Petronius Arbiter (ca. 27–66 AD) was a Roman courtier during the reign of Nero. He served as consul in the year 62. His relationship to Nero was apparently akin to that of a fashion advisor.
Petronius’ flair belied his original writing abilities, which were revolutionary for the Roman Empire. He’s best known today for The Satyricon, a biting satire. In The Satyricon, characters and their development, which had always been at the heart of ancient literature, took a backseat to literary devices such as allusions and allegories.
Though it is a satire, Petronius was not pushing for reform so much as writing simply to entertain and be artistic. The Satyricon satirizes nearly everything in Roman society during the time period, and it is speculated that Petronius’ depiction of Trimalchio mirrors that of Nero. Although we never know the author's own opinion, we see the opinions of the characters in the story and how Encolpius criticizes Trimalchio.
This edition of The Satyricon is specially formatted with a Table of Contents, an original introduction, and dozens of images of the characters and ancient Romans.