The Satyricon

The Satyricon

by Petronius

  • Language: English
  • Category: Classics
  • Rating: 3.81
  • Pages: 272
  • Publish Date: August 19th 1999 by Oxford University Press, USA
  • Isbn10: 0192839527
  • Isbn13: 9780192839527

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This was often the face put forward in the fifties, the dark ages of sex as culture. The Satyricon presents a great deal of straightforward sexuality, including all the various sodomies and same-sex pairing. For the uninitiated, that would be a sexual relationship between a grown man and a pubescent boy. Pederasty has been recorded among many cultures, from the Spartans and Athenians to the Romans, Japanese Samurai, and the most prestigious colleges of Britain and America. It was often a method to tutor the young man in the ways of life, not just sex. Though pederasty is now a deviant practice, it is not inherently psychologically damaging (at least, not more than any other sexual relationship has the potential to be). In cases of abuse, children often do not feel frustration and depression until people around them make it clear that they are supposed to feel this way. I don't mean to suggest any need to change our laws, since our cultural traditions have no role for pederasty, there is no way for it to operate as a healthy relationship. It is intriguing for its presentation of Roman life, for its similarities with the novel, and for its frank depiction of the unheroic.

Perhaps the best way to think about this book is to look at it like a little prose Odyssey. The lunatic work of a mob of perverts wouldnt be a terrible subtitle to this book. Encolpius and Giton end up falling in with a self-anointed poet named Eumolpus. The comedy is even funnier if youve read Homer or Virgil. Particularly, there are a number of direct parallels with the Odyssey: Encolpius calls himself Polyaenos at one point, he compares his inability to get it up with the trials Poseidon imposed on Odysseus, at one point Giton has to cling to the underside of a bed like Odysseus clinging to the rams belly, etc. Aside from the comedy, this book is also interesting as a very frank look at the underbelly of Roman life in the first century. Very few books from antiquity really look at what life was life for the little people; the Satyricon provides a revealing, if comic, look at what it must have been like to live in the early Roman empire. I thought about knocking a star or half star off because whats left of the book is so fragmented, making the experience of reading it feel a bit incomplete.

A slave was bribed to incriminate Petronius; no defense was permitted and most of the prisoners household was placed under arrest. I must echo what a GR friend has already written here: what a sadness the many lacunae in this text are! OK, but I can appreciate second hand, due to William Arrowsmith's scholarship, that Petronius wrote this book using many different styles and genres of Latin literature to heighten yet more the various kinds of irony at play here. (By God, I'm almost tempted to disinter my high school Latin books!) Arrowsmith admits he can't do that; he can only tell us about it and try to translate some of it. And this satire and irony is by no means bitter or cutting (as opposed to so much of our contemporary literature); even the most ridiculed character (usually through his own words) is not reduced to some kind of symbol to be despised - Petronius, who was no moralizer, empathizes with each and lets them breathe.

The ancient pagans, as we all know, loved big dicks and anything that symbolized them, such as Priapus, the well-endowed fertility god. And so, many centuries later, it might have come as a shock to proper Christian bakers and the families that enjoyed their kneaded hot-cross buns at table if someone had told them that they were basically biting into a nice, warm, firm big dick. You see, over time the Christians managed to wheedle, cajole, beat, burn or use whatever means necessary to de-paganize and convert the heathens, which included a requirement that they give up on silly old gods like Priapus. Deciding to use honey rather than a stinger, the Christians hit upon a compromise: the phallic loaves honoring Priapus could be kept as long as they were blessed with a Christian cross carved into them. Thus, the hot cross bun was born, and so too was the hand-off of the big baton from Priapus to God Almighty. The above facts about Priapus and his conversion into hot cross buns are, not surprisingly, not taught very much--nay, I vouchsafe, never--in Sunday school, nor is The Satyricon taught often enough in high schools. I think if it were, instead of, say, The Iliad and Odyssey or The Scarlet Letter, a continuing interest in literature might be planted in otherwise idling and distracted young minds. There was a time, a few generations ago, when the Satyricon was kind of a hush-hush thing. The Romans had very different ideas about sex; in many ways they were much freer. At one point, when Priapus fails to raise the wilted member of our lively young anti-hero, Encolpius, an old witch tries to cure his impotence with an herbal-laced leather dildo shoved up his ass. Along the way there also are lovely ruminations on mortality, art, and love as well as prescient portents about the fate of the empire (not just of Rome, but of later ones, eg. The book is episodic, to be sure, and I felt like I could probably read it backwards without there being much difference. I think there might be one quote in the book that sums up its ethos: "So much better does it profit a man to train his member than his mind!" ------ A few more favorites include: "I knew not whether I was the more incensed with the boy for having robbed me of my mistress, or with my mistress for debauching the boy." "You never saw so unfortunate a fellow; soaked leather, that's what his tool is!" "On hearing this, Oenothea sat down between us, and after shaking her head awhile, "I am the only woman," she said, "knows how to cure this complaint. only yesterday this dead man here cast up the accounts of his fortune, and actually fixed in his own mind the day, when he should return to his native shore. The instant a man has got a verse to stand on its feet and clothed a tender thought in appropriate language, he thinks he has scaled Helicon right off.

Sadly, due to its fragmentary nature (only two books have survived), it fails in ever truly making the reader - well, this one at least - care about the actual story.

Per darvi un esempio concreto, si suicidò per evitare la condanna dell'imperatore, che sospettava avesse fatto parte della congiura dei Pisoni contro di lui, tagliandosi le vene e lasciandole subito dopo, in modo da potersi godere il banchetto a cui aveva invitato i suoi amici per gossippare e recitar poesie. Tutti gli altri personaggi, che si alternano in una girandola teatrale, sono perfettamente caratterizzati e riconoscibili. Il viaggio diventa un mezzo con cui venire a contatto con la realtà delle classi più umili ma anche con quella vera di tutte le altre. È orgoglioso di essere capace di accettare ciò in cui è dentro, che è parte di lui. Se non si può fare una cosa del genere, che senso ha essere lettori?;) P.s: il "romanzo" greco in realtà non aveva nome nell'antichità, quindi chiamarlo in questo modo è accettato ma non corretto

Na, o turinys nuteikia domiai; sivaizduoju, jog gyvenant tuometinje romn visuomenje skaityti bt tik domiau - vis tik apraomos ir ijuokiamos t laik aktualijos, kurias iais laikais suvokti ne taip ir paprasta.

Au menu : - épisodes burlesques - une bonne dose d'étrangeté pour les yeux des lecteurs du 21e siècle : par moments, le Satiricon paraît parfois proche de nous, et à d'autres moments, sans l'appareil critique et ses notes on perd pied. - Rumeurs, bavardages, flatteries, discussions sur les valeurs contemporaines, Un épisode ressort entre les lacunes : le festin chez Trimalchion ; chez Trimalchion, c'est une mise en scène de tous les instants. Ajax venait derrière et, tirant l'épée, comme s'il était fou, se mit à taillader le veau; puis, après avoir fait avec son arme des passes en tous sens, il prit les morceaux sur la pointe et, à notre grand émerveillement, nous distribua la viande.

Uno de los personajes más ricos de la novela Quo Vadis? En uno de los capítulos de la novela Quo Vadis?, Petronio se complace en obsequiar a su sobrino Marco Vinicio su más reciente obra, su libro llamado "El Satiricón" en donde le sugiere leer de inmediato el capítulo "El banquete de Trimalción". El Satiricón, en la edición de la Biblioteca Clásica Gredos y según Carmen Codoñer menciona los siguiente: "Resulta complicado presentar una obra cuyo autor y época son dudosos y que, por añadidura, nos han llegado incompleta o, mejor aún, fragmentada".