By Beth A. Severy-Hoven
A comic book masterpiece of classical antiquity, the Satyrica (or Satyricon) of Petronius is a tantalizing paintings of fiction—part poetry, half prose, hilariously vulgar, exquisitely stylish, its unique shape and size as a lot a question of hypothesis because the id of its writer. Its brilliance and enduring effect are, despite the fact that, past dispute. The romantic misadventures, significant feasts, and ribald foibles of Encolpius (“crotch” in Greek) and his cohorts were perpetually translated, copied, censored, and celebrated in the course of the a long time. In The Satyrica of Petronius, Beth Severy-Hoven makes the masterpiece, with its flights of language and imaginative and prescient of Roman tradition round the time of Nero, available to a brand new new release of scholars of Latin.
Following a desirable advent of the textual content, its historical past, its language, and its constitution, Severy-Hoven bargains specialist assistance for examining sections of the unconventional within the unique Latin. Readers are given the instruments to contemplate and learn the narrative constitution of the paintings, a huge and uninterrupted first-person account by means of an unreliable narrator. Severy-Hoven additionally explores the contexts within which the textual content was once written—addressing the social and cultural global the radical inhabits and comprises. ultimately, she is helping readers to ascertain Petronius’ use of Latin, focusing such a lot significantly at the mix of chic prose and verse and raunchy colloquial speech, a mixture that offers colour to Petronius’ characters at the same time he parodies varied literary types and genres.
Intermediate readers of Latin will come across Roman existence, language, and literature during this paintings in methods right now new and usual, and in types as exciting as they're instructive.
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Additional resources for The Satyrica of Petronius: An Intermediate Reader with Commentary and Guided Review (Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture Series, Volume 50)
The fact that Encolpius can speak the code, however, seriously complicates our understanding of his status, which brings us to another cultural feature worthy of our consideration—ethnicity, or, more particularly, being Greek. For the Romans, the Greek language denoted both literary masterpieces such as Homer’s epics and the native tongue of slaves, making it difficult to interpret what Greek symbolizes in a literary work. ” Vergil’s Aeneid was so popular in part because it gave the Romans their own Homeric epic while repeating this narrative of the rise, decline, and fall of Greece; at the same time, the immense cultural influence of Greece is expressed in the very need to have a Roman Homer.
Their prostitution is sometimes implied. This low status feels at odds, however, with Encolpius’ apparently high level of education. Encolpius often interprets his experi ences using characters and storylines from great literary works, and he knows when Trimalchio gets his history and mythology horribly wrong. ) freedmen at the dinner party. Is “Crotch” a well-educated slave? A freeborn citizen from a respectable Greek family down on his luck? Is Encolpius a Roman traveling under a Greek pseudonym?
Narrative Structure and Technique In thinking about the author, we should take a moment to explore the structure of the narrative he presents to us in the surviving fragments. Although modern scholars of course do not all agree with each other, they have looked carefully at 12 introduction the way the story is told, and particularly at the differences among the author, narrator, and protagonist. First, let us consider Encolpius. Who is “Crotch”? Since at least the first half of the original work is lost, we do not know how—or even if—Petronius reveals Encolpius’ social status to the reader.
The Satyrica of Petronius: An Intermediate Reader with Commentary and Guided Review (Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture Series, Volume 50) by Beth A. Severy-Hoven