Petronius’ Short Poems in the "Satyrica</I>
Chapter X - Life Choices (Petr. 83.10) 163
Chapter X Life Choices (Petr. 83.10)* Qui pelago credit, magno se faenore tollit; qui pugnas et castra petit, praecingitur auro; vilis adulator picto iacet ebrius ostro, et qui sollicitat nuptas, ad praemia peccat: sola pruinosis horret facundia pannis 5 atque inopi lingua desertas invocat artes. L(=lrtp)O(=RP)Voss.(=Leidensis Vossianus Latinus F 111) 3 Ioh. Sarisb. Pol. 3.13 5 heret Voss. prudentia pannis Voss. 6 disertas Voss. These lines are the first specimen of Eumolpus’ poetry, with which he presents himself to Encolpius as a poet.1 As it has been rightly remarked,2 this poem serves as a proem to Eumolpus’ poetic corpus, which also includes the Troiae halosis and the Bellum civile, plus two more short poems. The closest model is of course Horace’s first ode;3 like this, our poem is cast in the form of a Pria- mel4 culminating in the opposition of literary (and surely poetic) activity to the previously listed occupations. * A version of this chapter has appeared as part of Cinque poesie petroniane (82.5, 83.10, 108.14, 126.18, 132.15), “Prometheus 24, 1998, 217-242 (pp. 221-226). 1 It is only a “sproloquio poetico” according to Paratore 1933, II, 287. Yeh 2007, 394- 399, who also offers a metric and phonic analysis of the poem, believes it to anticipate Eumolpus’ greatest poetic effort: the Bellum civile. 2 See especially Loporcaro 1984; also Connors 1998, 63; Habermehl 2006, 84. 3 So, correctly, Loporcaro 1984. Gagliardi 1981, 362 n. 9 prefers to associate our poem with Horace’s...
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