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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 XXI - Mythological Monsters (Petr. 136.6) 317


Chapter XXI Mythological Monsters (Petr. 136.6)* 136.5 Oblitus itaque nugarum pedem mensulae extorsi coepique pugnacissimum animal armata elidere manu. Nec satiatus defunctorio ictu, morte me anseris vindicavi: 6 tales Herculea Stymphalidas arte coactas ad caelum fugisse reor caenoque fluentes Harpyias, cum Phineo maduere veneno fallaces epulae. Tremuit perterritus aether planctibus insolitis confusaque regia caeli.1 5 136.6 L(=lrtp)O(=BRP) 1 coactas Olctmgp Samb.: volucres lrt 2 caenoque Krohn, Verdière: sanieque Daniel: poenaque Alessio: peneque 1. This is the third poem appearing in the Oenothea episode, near the end of the part of the Satyrica that has come down to us. Although the text is in pitiful conditions, it is still possible to make out not only the course of the action, but also the parallel evolution of Encolpius’ mood. According to Perutelli2 this evo- * A version of this chapter has appeared with the title La poesia in Petr. Sat. 136.6 in: Iu- cundi acti labores. Estudios en homenaje a Dulce Estefanía Álvarez, Santiago de Com- postela 2004, 413-426 1 In line 2 I have accepted Krohn’s correction caenoque, supported by Verdière 1993, in lieu of the transmitted peneque, which is meaningless, though retained by Ernout and others. Another plausible correction is Daniel’s sanieque. Schönberger 1935, 1247 points out, among others, a Virgilian parallel: Aen. 8.487 sanie taboque fluentis. The reading proposed by Harrison 2003, 136, pavideque ruentes is hardly convincing. At line 3 Phineo is an adjective (Phino… veneno: “the poison intended for Phineus”), as...

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