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Arbitri Nugae

Petronius’ Short Poems in the "Satyrica</I>

Series:

Aldo Setaioli

This book aims to provide a comprehensive inquiry into the short metrical intermezzos inserted in the prose narrative of Petronius’ Satyrica. The text of each poem has been thoroughly investigated; in addition, special attention has been devoted to their function in the context and to the aspects connecting Petronius with the literature and culture of his time. Numerous contacts with other ancient authors have been pointed out to illustrate Petronius’ attitude to the cultural and literary heritage on the one hand, and the character of his own work on the other.

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Chapter III - Two Views of Success (Petr. 15.9; 18.6) 61

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Chapter III Two Views of Success (Petr. 15.9; 18.6)* 15.9 Nolo quod cupio statim tenere nec victoria mi placet parata L(=lmrtp) 2 placet michi 18.6 Contemni turpe est, legem donare superbum: hoc amo, quod possum qua libet ire via. Nam sane et sapiens contemptus iurgia nectit, et qui non iugulat victor abire solet. L(=lmrtp)O(=BRP) 3 nectit E(Messanensis deperditus)tmg: flectit ceteri, defendit Petrone: plectit i. nectit Samb. 4 at Scheidweiler, Tandoi iurgat Scheidweiler, Nisbet victus Nisbet dolet Heinsius(‘in vet. cod.’ Boschii), Burman 1. In the two Phalaecean hendecasyllables at 15.9 and in the two elegiac cou- plets at 18.6 the speaking character takes the cue from the particular situation being narrated to express, in general terms, his idea of success and the ways to make it most desirable. The first person singular appears in both texts, but in the first one it merely refers to the speaker’s preference, whereas in the second it is accompanied by sentences which, in the speaker’s intention, should be univer- sally valid, and at any rate impart the short poem a gnomic tone. The two lines of 15.9 follow the forum episode, in which Encolpius and Ascyltos, who had come to sell a cloak they had apparently stolen, unexpectedly recover a tunic they had lost, as it can be evinced from some hints that have sur- vived in the text as we have it. In it some gold coins had been concealed, which, Chapter III 62 as it seems,...

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