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Arbitri Nugae

Petronius’ Short Poems in the "Satyrica</I>

Series:

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 XXII - The Omnipotence of Gold (Petr. 137.9) 329

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Chapter XXII The Omnipotence of Gold (Petr. 137.9)* Quisquis habet nummos, secura naviget aura fortunamque suo temperet arbitrio. Uxorem ducat Danaen ipsumque licebit Acrisum iubeat credere quod Danaen. Carmina componat, declamet, concrepet omnes 5 et peragat causas sitque Catone prior. Iurisconsultus ‘parret, non parret’ habeto atque esto quicquid Servius et Labeo. Multa loquor; quod vis, nummis praesentibus opta: eveniet. Clausum possidet arca Iovem. 10 L(=lrtp)O(=BRP)(= nvp[Paris. Lat. 7647]aeb) Ioh. Sarisb. Pol. 7.16 1-2; 5-6; 9-10 Vincent. Bellovac. spec. historiale 21.25 1 navigat Vincent. 2 temperat B Vincent. 4 Danae Courtney 5 componit declamat concrepat Vincent. 6 peragit Vincent. 7 parret non parret B: paret non paret cett. habento O 9 multa LO Ioh.: parva Vincent. quod vis O Vincent.: quidvis L Ioh. nummos Vincent. prebentibus n Vincent. opto Vincent. 10 eveniet (praeter p[Paris. Lat. 7647])t Vincent.: et veniet Olrp Ioh. 1. Our poem is the last section of the Satyrica recorded by the O tradition and also the last of the four verse compostions marking the highlights of the part of Chapter XXII 330 the Oenothea episode that has come down to us.1 It amounts to a comment or re- flection on the situation depicted in the prose.2 Oenothea, only shortly before venting anger and threats at Encolpius for killing Priapus’ sacred goose, reverses her attitude as soon as she sees the two pieces of gold he offers as reparation. In fact, the poem revolves on the theme of the omnipotence of money...

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