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The Satyricon

The Satyricon 1

by , Petronius Arbiter
Publication Date: 28/11/2006
3/5 Rating 1 Reviews
As long as life remains, there's hope; Thou rustic God, oh hear our prayer, Great Priapus, I thee invoke, Temper our arms to dare! Bawdy and sublime, coarse and elegant, decadent to the core and yet permeated with a peculiarly innocent ancient mindset, The Satyricon by Gaius Petronius, Arbiter Elegantiae of the court of Nero, is a controversial work of Roman fiction. Each one will find what suits his taste, one thing is not for all, One gathers roses as his share, another thorns enthrall. The Satyricon is a combination of prose and poetry, aphorisms and erotica. Only a few fragments remain of the grandiose original. Over the centuries a number of skillful forgeries were created to fill in the gaps, in an attempt to elucidate and sometimes surpass the sensual pleasures of the original. For who knows not the pleasures Venus gives? Who will not in a warm bed tease his members? Great Epicurus taught a truth that lives; Love and enjoy life! All the rest is embers.
Classic fiction
Publication Date:
Norilana Books
Country of origin:
United States
Dimensions (mm):

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

3 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • A valuable literary artefact, not a novel.

    by on

    A book that I would call a literary artefact rather than a novel, other readers have expanded on this. One key word can give the plot away: debauchery. The edition I read was published by Norilana Classics, it is presented as the ‘complete and unexpurgated translation by W.C. Firebaugh in which are incorporated the forgeries of Nodot and Marchena and the readings introduced into the text by De Salas.’ The forgeries are added to the text and in order to differentiate the forgeries from the original, there are three codes: in parenthesis () we find the forgeries of Nodot, Marchena’s forgeries are written in brackets {} and Salas’s additions are inserted in italics.

    Interestingly, the section I enjoyed the most was not Petronius’s loosely called novel, but the notes written by Marchena, which first appeared in 1800 and have now been published for the first time by Norilana Classics. Marchena’s introduction is dedicated to The Army of the Rhine and it is followed by six chapters discussing Soldiers in love, Courtesans, Greek love, Pollution, Virginity, and Pandars.

    As a whole The Satyricon is a rather fragmented, crude, controversial yet well written book, which needs to be read taking into consideration the historical and social context in which the narrated ‘adventures’ take place. I suspect that most readers who are not accustomed to this type of literature will not enjoy this book, this is a book to be appreciated by a niche audience