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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 V - Trimalchio’s ‘Epigrams’ (Petr. 34.10; 55.3) 91

Extract

Chapter V Trimalchio’s Epigrams (Petr. 34.10; 55.3)* 34.7 … Complosit Trimalchio manus et ‘eheu’ inquit ‘ergo diutius vivit vinum quam homuncio; quare tangomenas faciamus. Vita vinum est…’ 8 Potantibus ergo et accuratissime nobis lautitias mirantibus larvam argenteam attulit servus sic aptatam, ut articuli eius vertebraeque laxatae in omnem partem flecterentur. 9 Hanc cum super mensam semel iterumque abiecisset et catenatio mobilis ali- quot figuras exprimeret, Trimalchio adiecit: 10 ‘eheu nos miseros, quam totus homuncio nil est! sic erimus cuncti, postquam nos auferet Orcus. Ergo vivamus, dum licet esse bene. 35.1 Laudationem ferculum est insecutum plane non pro expectatione magnum. 34.10 HL(=lmrtp) 2 sic : nil 55.1 Comprobamus nos factum et quam in praecipiti res humanae essent vario sermone garrimus. 2 ‘Ita’ inquit Trimalchio ‘non oportet hunc casum sine inscriptione transire’ statimque codicillos poposcit et non diu cogitatione distor- ta haec recitavit: 3 ‘quod non expectes ex transvero fit et supra nos Fortuna negotia curat. Quare da nobis vina Falerna, puer’. 4 Ab hoc epigrammate coepit poetarum esse mentio… 55.3 H 1-2 L(=lmrtp) 2 supra Heinsius: super negotium L Chapter V 92 1. The poems recited by Trimalchio during the Cena may be regarded as speci- mens of the wealthy freedman’s literary production, since, in a passage occur- ring half way between the first and the second, Petronius drops the hint that he harbored literary pretensions.1 These, then, are not poems that can be attributed to Encolpius, either in his capacity of acting character or of narrator expressing poetical comments...

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