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Arbitri Nugae

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


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 IV - Petronius’ Sotadeans (Petr. 23.3; 132.8) 73


Chapter IV Petronius’ Sotadeans (Petr. 23.3; 132.8)* 23.2 intrat cinaedus, homo omnium insulsissimus et plane illa domo dignus, qui ut infractis manibus congemuit, eiusmodi carmina effudit: 3 huc huc convenite nunc, spatalocinaedi, pede tendite, cursum addite, convolate planta, femore facili, clune agili et manu procaces, molles, veteres, Deliaci manu recisi. 23.3 L(=lmrtp) 1 add. L. Müller nunc lrp2, om. mtp1 3 add. Fraenkel et om. l, del. Fraenkel 132.8 Ter corripui terribilem manu bipennem, ter languidior coliculi repente thyrso ferrum timui, quod trepido male dabat usum. Nec iam poteram, quod modo conficere libebat; namque illa metu frigidior rigente bruma 5 confugerat in viscera mille operta rugis. Ita non potui supplicio caput aperire, sed furciferae mortifero timore lusus ad verba, magis quae poterant nocere, fugi. L(=lrtp)O(=BRP) 1 terribilem Opt Samb.: terribili lr 3 male dabat Orp: dabat male lt Chapter IV 74 9 Erectus igitur in cubitum hac fere oratione contumacem vexavi… 11 Haec ut iratus effudi, illa solo fixos oculos aversa tenebat, nec magis incepto vultum sermone movetur quam lentae salices lassove papavera collo. 1. The two poems at 23.3 and 132.8 are the only surviving verse in the Satyrica to be written in Sotadeans. Besides this conspicuous metrical similarity, the two poetical inserts share the lewdness in content, as many scholars have not failed to remark.1 We too, in the course of our analysis, shall point out several aspects closely linking the two poems; it should not be overlooked, however, that, though both belong...

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