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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 XV - A Vanishing Dream (Petr. 128.6) 211


Chapter XV A Vanishing Dream (Petr. 128.6)* 128.5 Ego contra damnatus et quasi quodam visu in horrorem perductus inter- rogare animum meum coepi, an vera voluptate fraudatus essem: 6 nocte soporifera veluti cum somnia ludunt errantes oculos effossaque protulit aurum in lucem tellus: versat manus improba furtum thesaurosque rapit; sudor quoque perluit ora et mentem timor altus habet, ne forte gravatum 5 excutiat gremium secreti conscius auri: mox ubi fugerunt elusam gaudia mentem veraque forma redit, animus quod perdidit optat atque in praeterita se totus imagine versat. 128.6 L(=lrtp)O(=BRP) 1 veluti cum LO: si quando 4 proluit R ora LO: artus : hunc versum quasi ex 124.292 et 120.97 conflatum seclusit Bücheler, prae- eunte Wehle 1. The first problem posed by this verse concerns its authenticity, which was in fact denied by Wehle,1 whose arguments convinced the great XIX century editor of Petronius, Franz Bücheler.2 Wehle based his opinion on alleged imperfection * A version of this chapter has appeared as the main part of La poesia in Petr. Sat. 128,6 (con una postilla su 132,15), “Invigilata Lucernis” 21, 1999, 399-416 (pp. 399-412). 1 Wehle 1861, 53-56. 2 Bücheler 1862, 178: “hoc carmen… Petronii nomen ementiri persuasit mihi Wehlius p. 53 ss.”. Chapter XV 212 and awkwardness of form3 and on the occurrence in our poem of expressions appearing in other Petronian poetic compositions.4 This cannot be denied, but, as we shall see, far from suggesting that these lines are interpolated, rather bears...

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