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The Satyricon

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  5,435 Ratings  ·  257 Reviews
The Satyricon is a classic of comedy, a superbly funny picture of Nero's Rome as seen through the eyes of Petronius, its most amorous and elegant courtier.William Arrowsmith's translation—a lively, modern, unexpurgated text—recaptures all the ribald humor of Petronius's picaresque satire. It tells the hilarious story of the pleasure-seeking adventures of an educated rogue, ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 1st 1983 by Plume (first published 60)
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J.G. Keely
Jan 07, 2009 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 01, 2013 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 br
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
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-frança, reler, e2, z-vh
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.
Petronius' Satyrica more than lives up to its bawdy reputation. Those ancient pagans sure were a riot, let me tell you. Sadly, due to its fragmentary nature (only two books have survived), it fails in ever truly making the reader - well, this one at least - care about the actual story. As a series of vignettes it sort of works, but not as a novel.

Furthermore, this particular translator (Folio Society edition) I feel was too liberal in his approach. The many modern references (the United Nation
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
Jan 15, 2016 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
☙ percy ❧
i enjoyed this a lot! it didn't seem particularly cohesive, but this is no doubt due to petronius' lost fragments rather than a flaw in the work itself. i'm glad as much of it survived as it did.
César Lasso
Aug 31, 2012 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.

Jun 23, 2014 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
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
Czarny Pies
May 30, 2014 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
Alex Hogan
Jul 30, 2011 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
"Our eyes deceive us. Our senses
Stray and trouble the mind, and
Lie to us. This tower hard by is square;
From a distance its corners are round.
A well-gorged belly spurns even
Hybla's honey, and time and again
Cassia offends the nostrils.
So this or that might never
Please or displease, unless the senses
Were forever compelled to lock in strife,
To battle with doubt, trembling in the balance."

So, admittedly a bit of a slog. But a key read if you are interested in Classics. For those familiar this will
Oct 12, 2017 marked it as not-finished  ·  review of another edition
Not my cup of tea.
Jun 03, 2010 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
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
Oct 06, 2015 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
David Fulmer
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Petronius is like the Charles Bukowski of Imperial Roman literature, taking for his subject matter the drinking and cheating and shtupping of the underdog class and training a wisely satirical eye on the culture about him, employing a wit and sarcasm which is sophisticated and spontaneous. What survives from antiquity of this text isn’t enough for us to fairly judge it but the bits and pieces that we have merit study for their unique look at Roman life in the Age of Nero. The highlight here is r ...more
Volodymyr Okarynskyi
Ґай Петроній Арбітр і його "Сатирикон".
чи не дивно, що перший роман узагалі (Петроній - сучасник Нерона) був шахрайський, стьобний і взагалі бітницький?)
головні герої - бурлаки, (напів)інтеліґенти, марґінали, або навіть рогулі (бенкет у Трімалхіона).
хто читав - знає. хто ні - то ні))
і от ще така прикрість: досі немає перекладу "Сатирикона" українською мовою. зажура(
п.с. є фільм Фелліні і ще когось, але я їх не бачив
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: university
~letto & tradotto~
Mel Bossa
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
second read and it just keeps getting better. I want to see the movie again! Oh, Giton. So sexy.
Marko Suomi
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ilmeisesti maailman ensimmäinen romaani? N. vuonna 60 kirjoitettu. Hulvattoman hauska ja epäkorrekti, hillitöntä irstailua ja sekoilua Neron ajan Rooman lähimaaston bileissä.
Oct 14, 2014 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
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Any help with translation/edition selection for Petronius will be most welcome. The more notes and apparatus the better. Preference of translation is for that stilted style which leaves the Latin flavor intact. Latest scholarship is also always a must. Is it too much to ask for a bi-lingual? --> don't skip Ali's comment justbelow.

P. G. Walsh from Oxford University Press, 1996/2009.
I've got the 1996 edition ; don't know how the '09 updates.
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I purchased this translation of the Satyricon for a Petronius translation class; I was given free rein to pick my translator, and I have always been partial to Sarah Ruden after reading her translation of the Aeneid. I feel like I made a good choice. Having dealt with Petronius in Latin, I find that Ruden does him justice in English. Her translation gives her readers a taste of what the original language is like- you won't find the polished language one tends to expect from a translation from La ...more
Jun 28, 2008 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
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The 40 greatest parties in literature 1 22 Sep 17, 2012 08:21AM  
  • The Sixteen Satires
  • The Pot of Gold and Other Plays
  • The Erotic Poems
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • The Letters of the Younger Pliny
  • The Golden Ass
  • The Comedies
  • The Eclogues and The Georgics
  • The Complete Poems
  • Leucippe and Clitophon
  • The Jugurthine War and the Conspiracy of Catiline
  • Epigrams
  • The Odes
  • The Poems
  • Odes and Epodes
  • The Agricola and The Germania
  • The Later Roman Empire (A.D. 354-378)
  • Storia vera
Alternative spellings for Petronius:

Brazilian Portuguese: Petrônio
French: Pétrone
More about Petronius Arbiter...
“Can't you see that I'm only advising you to beg yourself not to be so dumb?” 119 likes
“Nothing is falser than people's preconceptions and ready-made opinions; nothing is sillier than their sham morality...” 27 likes
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