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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 XIX - The Sorceress’ Claim (Petr. 134.12) 285


Chapter XIX The Sorceress’ Claim (Petr. 134.12)* Quicquid in orbe vides, paret mihi. Florida tellus, cum volo, siccatis arescit languida sucis, cum volo, fundit opes, scopulique atque horrida saxa Niliacas iaculantur aquas. Mihi pontus inertes submittit fluctus, zephyrique tacentia ponunt 5 ante meos sua flabra pedes. Mihi flumina parent Hyrcanaeque tigres et iussi stare dracones. Quid leviora loquor? Lunae descendit imago carminibus deducta meis, trepidusque furentes flectere Phoebus equos revoluto cogitur orbe. 10 Tantum dicta valent. Taurorum flamma quiescit virgineis extincta sacris, Phoebeia Circe carminibus magicis socios mutavit Ulixis. Proteus esse solet quicquid libet. His ego callens artibus Idaeos frutices in gurgite sistam 15 et rursus fluvios in summo vertice ponam. L(=lrtp)O(=BRP) 2 siccatis lrtmg Memm.: spissatis Otp Samb. 7 dracones Op: leones lrt Memm. 12 Phoebeia Otp1 Samb.: Phoebeaque lrp2 Memm. 1. This poem, the first of the four found in the episode whose protagonist is the sorceress Oenothea, and uttered by her as if to present herself, has not received all the attention it deserves. In addition, it has been treated in greater detail only in two not easily accessible works: the Canadian dissertation on Petronius’ po- ems by E.J. Barnes, which we have used and will continue to use extensively, but has unfortunately never been printed, and the commentary to the poems in the Oenothea episode presented by Ulrich Winter to be enrolled as a teacher in Chapter XIX 286 Germany’s high schools.1 It is nevertheless a fairly important composition, amounting to the self-presentation...

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