Sunday, April 3, 2022


SATYRICON (Petronius, Roman, 1st century CE)

The Satyricon is a Roman book of satire about the bizarre sexual exploits of one Encolpius and his 16-year-old boyfriend Giton. One manuscript credits it to Petronius, a likely candidate given what we know about him. Petronius (full name either Gaius Petronius Arbiter or Titus Petronius Niger) was a member of Roman Emperor Nero's court, in a position that some describe as a fashion advisor. The historian Tacitus says he spent his days sleeping and his nights partying, becoming as famous by not working as other men do by exerting themselves. For a time he served as an effective governor, but then returned to "his life of vicious indulgence." At last, accused of treason by a jealous rival, he committed suicide by bleeding himself slowly to death while gossiping with friends.

  • In 1969 Italian director Federico Fellini loosely based his film Fellini Satyricon on Petronius's book.


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