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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 VIII - Role-Playing (Petr. 80.9) 141


Chapter VIII Role-Playing (Petr. 80.9)* Nomen amicitiae si, quatenus expedit, haeret, calculus in tabula mobile ducit opus; cum fortuna manet, vultum servatis, amici; cum cecidit, turpi vertitis ora fuga. Grex agit in scaena mimum: pater ille vocatur, 5 filius hic, nomen divitis ille tenet. Mox ubi ridendas inclusit pagina partes, vera redit facies, assimulata perit. L(=lmrtp)O(=BRP) 1-4 1-8 Ioh. Sarisb. Pol. 3.7 5-6 Ioh. Sarisb. Pol. 8.3 1 amicitia est si Labate sic Muncker, edd. plerique 2 ut tabula… ludit Muncker 3 dum Flor. Brit. Mus. Egerton 646 (saec. XV), ut coniecit Jahn cultum Shackleton Bailey 4 cedit Richardus 5-8 hos versus asteriscis a prioribus separavit p2. Ex alio loco inlatos putavit Bücheler, quem secuti sunt edd. plerique 7 machina dubitanter Bücheler: pergula Strelitz, Nisbet: plaudite seu fabula Watt 8 assimulata Dousa: dum simulata Bücheler: dissimulata 1. The first problem to be solved before an analysis of the poem at 80.9 can even be attempted concerns the question of its unity. In the manuscript tradition, to be sure, there is nothing to suggest a division of the text in two parts;1 but Pithou, in * A version of this chapter has appeared with the title La poesia in Petronio, Sat. 80.9, “Prometheus” 27, 2001, 57-72. 1 Actually, an admittedly scarcely authoritative manuscript, A (i.e. the excerpta vulgaria in the Paris. Lat. 7989, olim Traguriensis, which also contains H, i.e. the Cena), offers the subscriptio “versus VIII” after our poem – which means that the copyist...

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