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The Satyricon : Penguin Black Classics - Petronius Arbiter

The Satyricon

Penguin Black Classics

By: Petronius Arbiter, J. P. Sullivan (Translator)


Published: 30th November 2011
For Ages: 18+ years old
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RRP $19.99

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Published: 6th October 2011
Format: ePUB

'Too late, I realized I had been taken to a brothel'

The Satyricon is one of the most outrageous and strikingly modern works to have survived from the ancient world. Most likely written by an advisor of Nero, it recounts the adventures of Encolpius and his companions as they travel around Italy, encountering courtesans, priestesses, con men, brothel-keepers, pompous professors ­ and, above all, Trimalchio, the nouveau riche millionaire whose debauched feasting and pretentious vulgarity make him one of the great comic characters in literature. Estimated to date from 63 to 65 AD, and only surviving in fragments, The Satyricon nevertheless offers an unmatched satirical portrait of the age of Nero, in all its excesses and chaos.

J. P. Sullivan's acclaimed, landmark translation of The Satyricon was instrumental in bringing this subversive work into the modern canon of classical literature. In this new edition Helen Morales's introduction and notes discuss the novel's literary, cultural, and philosophical and political aspects, as well as Fellini's magisterial film version, Fellini Satyricon. It also contains further reading and a list of characters.

About The Author

Titus Petronius Arbiter is reputedly the author of the Satyricon. According to Tacitus, Petronius' chief talent lay in the pursuit of pleasures, in which he displayed such exquisite refinement that he earned the unofficial title of the emperor Nero's 'arbiter of elegance' (arbiter elegantiae). Court rivalry and jealousy contrived to cast on Petronius the suspicion that he was conspiring against the emperor, and he was ordered to commit suicide in A.D. 66. He gradually bled to death, opening his veins, binding and re-opening them, passing his last hours in social amusement and the composition of a catalogue of Nero's debaucheries. J. P. Sullivan was Professor of Classics at the University of California, Santa Barbara when he died in 1993. He was the author of many works, including The Satyricon of Petronius: A Literary Study and Literature and Politics in the Age of Nero. Helen Morales is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is co-editor of the journal Ramus: Critical Studies in Greek and Latin Literature, author of Vision and Narrative in Achilles Tatius' 'Leucippe and Clitophon' and Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction, and editor of the Penguin Classics Greek Fiction.



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The Satyricon

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Why Rome Fell


from Canberra ACT

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer


  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Engaging characters
  • Informative


  • Difficult To Follow

Best Uses

  • Gift
  • Older Readers
  • Reference

Comments about The Satyricon:

The way we were is the way we are now -- the ancient were very naughty and often amusing

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"This version by a translator who understands the high art of low humor is conspicuously funny." --Time"William Arrowsmith's translation of The Satyricon meets the two fundamental requirements of the translator's art: perfect fidelity to the original and a vitality of style that tempts the reader to believe that the English version is not a translation.... A classic of literature." --Allen Tate"Arrowsmith's brilliant translation ... at one stroke renders every other version obsolete." --London Times Literary Supplement

ISBN: 9780140448054
ISBN-10: 0140448055
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
For Grades: 12+
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 30th November 2011
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.18
Edition Number: 1