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Satyricon

Overview

Documenting the colourful escapades of the former gladiator Encolpius and his less than faithful lover Giton, the, Satyricon plunges the reader into the lives of ordinary Roman citizens, vividly revealing the Empire's seamy underbelly. A host of unforgettable characters are satirically presented, such as the pretentious parvenu host Trimalchio m the memorable banquet scene, the lascivious priestess Quartilla and the narrator's unreliable, roguish friend Ascyltus.

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Overview

Documenting the colourful escapades of the former gladiator Encolpius and his less than faithful lover Giton, the, Satyricon plunges the reader into the lives of ordinary Roman citizens, vividly revealing the Empire's seamy underbelly. A host of unforgettable characters are satirically presented, such as the pretentious parvenu host Trimalchio m the memorable banquet scene, the lascivious priestess Quartilla and the narrator's unreliable, roguish friend Ascyltus.

Sometimes referred to as the first novel – although surviving only in fragments – this bawdy, picaresque and surprisingly modern narrative is considered one of the founding texts of Western literature.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

[Ruden] has caught, better than any translator known to me, both the conversational patterns of Petronian dialogue and the camera-sharp specificity and color of the Satyricon's descriptive passages. . . . A quite extraordinary achievement against heavy odds. --Peter Green, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

Relying on. . . her excellent knowledge of Latin, her lively feel for contemporary slang and rhythm, and her infectious love of the work, [Ruden] gives us the full Satyricon; she shows us a man making a comic masterpiece out of Neronian chaos. . . . Her book as a whole, breathing knowledge and affection, is a delight. --Donald Lyons, The New Criterion

This is a really useful volume which can readily be recommended as a set text to students. The ten commentaries at the end are judicious overviews of important topics connected with the work and the suggestions for further reading are up-to-date and intelligent. --Susanna Morton Braund, Yale University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847491169
  • Publisher: Oneworld Classics
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Series: Oneworld Classics Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Ruden, poet and essayist, received her Ph.D. in Classics from Harvard University.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Map: The World of the Satyricon
Satyricon 1
Pt. 1 Introducing Encolpius, Ascyltos, and Giton 1
Pt. 2 Quartilla's Orgy 11
Pt. 3 Trimalchio's Dinner Party 18
Pt. 4 Eumolpus 61
Pt. 5 The Ship of Lichas 79
Pt. 6 Croton 94
Commentaries 129
1 Who Was Petronius Anyway? 129
2 What Happened to the Text of the Satyricon? 133
3 Roman Oratory 139
4 Ancient Views on Sexuality 144
5 The Roman Household 150
6 Roman Dinner Parties 163
7 Roman Religion 168
8 Some Literary Influences on the Satyricon 173
9 Poetry, Prose, and the Satyricon 180
10 Roman Philosophy in the Satyricon 185
Selected Bibliography 191
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazingly and ironically contemporary...

    What strikes me the most about Petronius' story is how similar some of the situations are to America today. It gives the stories a contemporary flavor that is at once surprising and scary. We live in a fairly decadent society and I think if we don't watch it we will go the same route as the Romans in the not-too-distant future. One can only hope that civilization will prevail and we won't be thrown into a new Dark Age.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2004

    Classical Burlesque Satire

    Petronius' Satyricon is a unique satire on decadence and pleasure. Although the story takes place during Nero's reign, one begins to see that many of the scenes have relevance to today's society and its own debaucheries. The story follows the adventures of Aschyltus and Encolpio; two rhetoricians who are on an infinite quest for pleasure. Their frienship is challenged by their mutual attraction to Giton, a scoundrelous slave-boy who seems to have more wits and vices than all of the other characters combined. This triad of debauches is also joined by Emolpus, a sheming trickster and pseudo-intellectual who's always looking to hit the jack pot. The most memorable scene in the fragmentary work is Trimalchio's dinner; this chapter surprisingly brings the ancient past closer to modern times in its recital of the characters' casual conversations on money, opportunism, business, and, of course, pleasure. I personally found this translation the most faithful in trying to convey the type of low-brow humor and puns that Petronius seems to have intended in his work. I strongly recommend this translation above other for that reason.

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    Posted February 27, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 6 Customer Reviews

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