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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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Appendix II - Magic at Petr. 131.4-6 357


Appendix II Magic at Petr. 131.4-6* 131.4 Illa de sinu licium protulit varii coloris filis intortum cervicemque vinxit meam. Mox turbatum sputo pulverem medio sustulit digito frontemque repu- gnantis signavit . 5 Hoc peracto carmine ter me iussit expuere terque la- pillos conicere in sinum, quos ipsa praecantatos purpura involverat, admotisque manibus temptare coepit inguinum vires. 6 Dicto citius nervi paruerunt manu- sque aniculae ingenti motu repleverunt. L(=lrtp) 131.4 lacunam ind. Boschius 1. Encolpius, affected by an impotence who prevents him from bringing his love for the beautiful Circe to fruition, after attempting some medical cures based on diet and sexual abstinence,1 undergoes a first session of magical therapy; as a matter of fact both he and the slave girl Chrysis had blamed his plight on a spell, and Chrysis had promised that it would be taken care of.2 The magical treatment falls into three different stages. At first the sorceress, whose name, as we shall learn later, is Proselenos,3 performs some magical acts upon a totally passive Encolpius; then she utters a spell, unfortunately swallowed up by a lacuna at the end of paragraph 4;4 finally she asks for Encolpius’ cooperation. After all this, * A version of this appendix has appeared with the title La scena di magia in Petr. Sat. 131.4-6, “Prometheus” 26, 2000, 159-172. 1 Cf. Petr. 130.7-8. 2 Petr. 128.2 veneficio contactus sum; 129.10 ‘solent’ inquit ‘haec fieri, et praecipue in hac civitate, in qua mulieres etiam lunam deducunt . 11 itaque huius quoque...

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