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The Satyricon

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,435 Ratings  ·  197 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 o
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Norilana Books (first published 66)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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J.G. Keely
Mar 16, 2009 J.G. Keely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to J.G. Keely by: Ama
I remember the sense I had as a child that sexual perversity had been invented in the 1960's. Before that, everyone did it purely for procreation, and only to people they were married to.

This was often the face put forward in the fifties, the dark ages of sex as culture. It's no wonder that this is where we get stories about couples having no idea what they are actually supposed to do on their wedding nights.

The depression and the war resulted in the centralization of cultural power. Nationalism
Evan Leach
Today, the Satyricon is most famous for two things:

1. For being (arguably) the first novel, and

2. For being a very, very dirty little book.

Unfortunately, only 141 chapters of a much longer work have survived. But those chapters are extremely compelling. Written during the reign of Nero in the 1st century, the Satyricon is quite simply unlike anything before it. Perhaps the best way to think about this book is to look at it like a little prose Odyssey. Except instead of the king of Ithaca, our he
Jul 22, 2013 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: latin
First of all, I have to get something off my chest. In the profile for Petronius on GR somebody has written "Tacitus records that he was eventually forced to commit suicide after being embarrassed in front of Nero." This is what Tacitus actually wrote:

And so Tigellinus, jealous of a rival whose expertise in the science of pleasure far surpassed his own, appealed to the emperor’s cruelty (Nero’s dominant passion) and accused Petronius of friendship with the conspirator Scaevinus. A slave was b
May 25, 2015 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-frança
Um relato sobre a vida no Império Romano - escrito há quase dois mil - composto por alguns episódios de banquetes e de aventuras (e desventuras) sexuais, que têm a sua piada pelo insólito da situação. Muita comida, muita libertinagem e um final estranho.
Não o apreciei, ou porque me falte formação académica para o compreender, ou um gosto mais apurado por História. Não creio ser um livro para o leitor comum.
The ancient pagans, as we all know, loved big dicks and anything that symbolized them, such as Priapus, the well-endowed fertility god.

And so, many centuries later, it might have come as a shock to proper Christian bakers and the families that enjoyed their kneaded hot-cross buns at table if someone had told them that they were basically biting into a nice, warm, firm big dick.

Let me try to explain. You see, over time the Christians managed to wheedle, cajole, beat, burn or use whatever means ne
Jan 15, 2016 Epiero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uno de los personajes más ricos de la novela Quo Vadis? es el Arbiter Elegantiarum Cayo Petronio.

En uno de los capítulos de la novela Quo Vadis?, Petronio se complace en obsequiar a su sobrino Marco Vinicio su más reciente obra, su libro llamado "El Satiricón" en donde le sugiere leer de inmediato el capítulo "El banquete de Trimalción".

Una obvia curiosidad me animó a investigar si realmente el libro existía y lo encontré en internet. Así que mientras releía Quo Vadis? ya me encargaba de imprim
Potrei parlare di questo "romanzo" (il perché delle virgolette lo scoprirete tra poco) in moltissimi modi, con diversi approcci, da quello di perversa e stramba lettrice a quella di seria e ansiosa (per la verifica su questo) studentessa del classico.

Quest'opera deve essere conosciuta per essere apprezzata, soprattutto perché è in gran parte lacunosa e frammentaria , soprattutto alla fine. (Si, maledetto cliffhanger!).
Appartiene probabilmente al primo secolo dopo Cristo e forse, non si sa per ce
César Lasso
Jan 05, 2015 César Lasso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Erotic literature of the Roman Empire, written about two thousand years ago. What reached us is only fragments from the original novel.

This was one of the findings of my second year of Latin at University. Thanks God, we were allowed to read it in translation - the point of that year was just taking contact with Roman literature. Another finding of that course? The Golden Asse by Apuleius - of course.
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
Classic Bingo 2016. I1: Written/published before 1600s.

This is very bawdy, but not graphic.

Alba SoffiodiParole
Sarà forse perché al liceo ho adorato studiare quest'opera e il suo autore; sarà forse perché è più attuale che mai; sarà che adoro la letteratura latina e qualsiasi cosa possa ricondurmi all'antica Roma e alle sue usanze, ma questo libro mi è rimasto nel cuore...
Dopo cinque giorni di lettura, mi sento come se i miei più grandi amici mi abbiano abbandonata di punto in bianco, senza darmi spiegazioni.

Consiglio davvero a tutti di leggere questa grande opera.
Purtroppo, a causa delle numerose lac
Jun 23, 2014 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The precise identity of the author is a bit uncertain, but he is generally agreed to have written this Latin work of Roman literature in the first century CE, during the reign of Nero. Claimed by some to be an early example of the novel, the work is a mixture of prose and poetry telling the adventures of Encolpius, an impoverished adventurer, and his boy-lover Giton. The fragmentary nature of the text makes the fluidity of the narrative problematic, perhaps the most complete and interesting sect ...more
Alex Hogan
Jul 30, 2011 Alex Hogan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay
Petronius was a Roman writer. Yep, actually at the time. He was a friend of Nero’s, hanging out in his set. I think Nero may have had him killed in the end, when he (Nero) was going on his standard paranoid-autocrat’s-rampage of killing everyone off.

If you read this book you will get an idea of why conservative Romans didn’t like Nero. This story is debauched, hedonistic and so openly gay, in both senses of the word.

What I especially like about this is – apart from it being such a rollick – is t
Jan 11, 2016 Elisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire, classics
Dejando a un lado las lagunas que presenta esta historia, creo entender que su valor recae más en el interés sociocultural que puede tener el recuento de los hábitos y costumbres de cierta época durante el imperio romano, por más satírico que este recuento sea (de broma en broma, la verdad se asoma).

El problema es que nadie sabe a ciencia cierta (ni esta edición explica bien, o por lo menos no de manera interesante) cuándo fue escrito ni si fue siquiera escrito por Petronio. Siento que su estim
My husband bought me this as one of my Christmas presents. (And we subsequently managed to get it picked for this month's bibliogoth book - Convenient!) He thought I'd like it as it was a Roman On the Road. And I have to say I enjoyed it very much. I didn't think it was quite On the Road, as these people clearly had far more Money than Sal, but then they also suffered far worse punishments!!! In some ways I loved it for the same reasons I enjoy Torchwood, being that everyone was without matter o ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Ana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good
Para quem tem acompanhado o meu blogue (Linked Books) não será novidade que se por um lado a leitura dos clássicos gregos me tem apaixonado, por outro, dos clássicos romanos não guardo as melhores recordações. Contudo, este Satíricon de Petrónio quebrou essa tendência.

Mesmo recordando os anteriores clássicos romanos lidos para o blog, foi sempre impressionante testemunhar os paralelismos de uma sociedade tão remota, com a nossa sociedade actual. A impressão inicial causada por esse livro foi me
The Satyricon is in every sense an artifact. First and most immediately apparent is its fragmentation. Not only are what I take to be nearly 2/3rds of the books that make the original work up lost, the ones we do have, with the exception of a single book, are all broken up with either large or small chunks missing. Occasionally you'll get a page of nothing but singular sentences one after the other all missing their original contexts. Reading this is as if your roommate is watching a film in ano ...more
Czarny Pies
Aug 30, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Communists and libertines
Recommended to Czarny by: University Course Reading List
Shelves: greek-and-roman
The Satiricon is a novel that is sure to please communists and sexual deviants in that it combines a dizzying sequence of unnatural sexual acts with a rigorous analysis of the class structure of Rome at the time of Nero written by a contemporary.

The Satiricon is simply hilarious. It describes the picaresque journey of the sexually amphibious Encolpe through Roman Society. The reader is presented with a delightful collection of rogues including long-winded poets, underhanded sodomites, rich vulga
Jun 07, 2010 Rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: School - Jed Wyrick
I had to read this book for class. I loved the class, I hated the book--as did everyone else in the class. We hated reading the book so much that we couldn't even give the movie a fair shot.

The book is hard to read for multiple reasons. I can't talk about the quality of the writing, since that would depend on which translation one is reading, but no matter who did the translation, some things can't be fixed. First of all, this novel is made up of only the surviving parts of the original story. T
Jun 28, 2008 Cher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is possibly the first novel, beating out Murasaki by 700 years, but it's hard to say as much of the text was lost and/or edited out by anti-sex monks during the middle ages. Two wealthy young men, boyfriends of sorts, the mores are so totally alien from our time, run around squandering their fortunes on hilarious misadventure and sexcapades with quite varied persons. It is a damn shame the graphic sexual scenes are edited out! But it's also hilarious to see what the monks who kept and trans ...more
Vera Novitsky
Mar 05, 2015 Vera Novitsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Жалко, что произведение не сохранилось целиком. Очень понравились сексуальные сцены, вообще в этом аспекте полная свобода и отсутствие ханжества. Длинное описание пира у богача-вольноотпущенника тоже богато интересными деталями. Если бы перевести бытовые сцены на русскую почву, получилась бы чернуха и безобразие, а у римлян то же изысканно и красиво.
Lee Broderick
Whether judged as satire or prose it's hard to warm to this. The nouveau riche are gauche. Great art is long dead and money reigns supreme now. Such sentiments have probably been popular since a time not long after the first artists and the displacement of the first elite.

Perhaps I'm being unfair. Is it even possible to fairly judge something of which so small a portion survives? There are hints here that the tale of Encolpius is modelled on that of Odysseus and the equivalent there would be if
This is one of those books you wish someone would discover a complete version of somewhere! I found the longest surviving segment(Trimalchio’s dinner) the least interesting one and wish I could have read more from the other sections or we had a clearer idea of the whole outline of the book and how it ended. Because of all this, Satyricon is a bit of a tantalizing read that ends in frustrating you given there is no way of finding out more. It’s a shame really, I think the full book would have mad ...more
Bernardo Kaiser
Pretty hard to review due to the fact there is 2000 years of context separating us. Sometimes it reads like a National Lampoons movie. Lots of surprise gay sex too.
Carlos Hugo Winckler Godinho
Divertido, mas principalmente informativo. Um livro sem frescurinhas de que isso ou aquilo não se pode escrever.
Paolo D'Amelio
Sep 23, 2015 Paolo D'Amelio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classici-latini
Non mi sarei mai aspettato di rileggere questo testo per un esame di Antichità Romane... E' incredibile come quasi tutte le cose che compaiono nella "Cena Trimalchionis" siano state confermate dal prof. con riscontri archeologici: dallo scheletro che Trimalcio fa entrare a banchetto iniziato alla descrizione del monumento funebre...!
Comunque, quando lo lessi ai tempi del liceo, ebbi l'impressione di trovarmi di fronte al testo che ha catturato meglio l'aria che si respirava a Roma sotto Nerone :
James F
Feb 04, 2015 James F rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, latin
Petronius, Satyricon [about 60 AD?] e-book, approx. 200 pages [in Latin]
Petronius, The Complete Satyricon W.C. Firebaugh tr., 1922] 268 pages

Perhaps the earliest novel to be (partially) extant, the Satyricon consists of one long and several shorter fragments; it is narrated in the first person by the main character, Encolpius, who may be (the passage is difficult) an escaped gladiator, and satirizes the greed and vulgarity of the early Roman Empire through the account of his travels with his lov
Nov 21, 2014 J'von rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chapter 1, Among the Rhetoricians: The concepts of old Rome are introduced as rhetoric of broken bottles and cheap dream analysis as Ascyltus thinks.
Chapter 2, Giton, Ascyltus and I: An argument over Giton’s love by Ascyltus and Encolpius.
Chapter 3, Lost Treasure Returned: Cache (a tunic with gold in the seams was returned to Ascyltus and Encolpius after losing it, as they assumed the role of salesmen. A peasant wanted to buy a Mantle cloak from them that was stolen from him, so they both called
João Roque
Apr 06, 2016 João Roque rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gays, narrativa
Sinceramente, esperava mais deste livro. É o primeiro clássico da Antiguidade que li e embora tivesse gostado do tom de comédia que Petrónio leva a esta obra, não me entusiasmou demasiado.
Sean Trott
Feb 26, 2015 Sean Trott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(There might be minor spoilers in this review.)

This was great. I don't have much experience reading classics, and I was a little concerned that it would be dense and inaccessible, but the William Arrowsmith translation renders it very readable and entertaining. The back of my book is full of translator's notes, which contain helpful clarifications on obscure (to me) classical references, as well as explanations of why passages were translated in a certain way (for example, there is a very long p
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The 40 greatest parties in literature 1 17 Sep 17, 2012 08:21AM  
  • The Sixteen Satires
  • The Pot of Gold and Other Plays
  • The Golden Ass
  • The Erotic Poems
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • The Comedies
  • The "Eclogues" And "Georgics" (Oxford World's Classics)
  • Epigrams
  • Leucippe and Clitophon
  • Catullus: The Complete Poems
  • The Jugurthine War and the Conspiracy of Catiline
  • Odes and Epodes (Loeb Classical Library)
  • The Agricola and The Germania
  • Idylls
  • The Poems
  • Daphnis and Chloe
  • Four Tragedies and Octavia
  • Selected Letters

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“Can't you see that I'm only advising you to beg yourself not to be so dumb?” 110 likes
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