|Born||c. 27 AD|
Massalia (ancient Marseille)
|Died||c. 66 AD|
|Notable works||The Satyricon|
Gaius Petronius Arbiter // ; Classical Latin: [ˈɡaː.i.ʊs pɛˈt̪roː.ni.ʊs ˈar.bɪ.t̪ɛr] ; c. AD 27 – 66; sometimes Titus Petronius Niger) was a Roman courtier during the reign of Nero. He is generally believed to be the author of the Satyricon , a satirical novel believed to have been written during the Neronian era (54–68 AD). He is one of the most important characters in Henryk Sienkiewicz' historical novel Quo Vadis, published in 1895. Leo Genn portrays him in the 1951 film by the same name adapted from the novel.(
A reference to Petronius by Sidonius Apollinaris places him and/or his Satyricon in Massalia (ancient Marseille).He might have been born and educated there. Tacitus, Plutarch and Pliny the Elder describe Petronius as the elegantiae arbiter (also phrased arbiter elegantiarum), "judge of elegance", in the court of the emperor Nero. He served as suffect consul in 62. Later, he became a member of the senatorial class who devoted himself to a life of pleasure. His relationship to Nero was apparently akin to that of a fashion advisor.
Tacitus gives this account of Petronius in his historical work the Annals (XVI.18):
He spent his days in sleep, his nights in attending to his official duties or in amusement, that by his dissolute life he had become as famous as other men by a life of energy, and that he was regarded as no ordinary profligate, but as an accomplished voluptuary. His reckless freedom of speech, being regarded as frankness, procured him popularity. Yet during his provincial government, and later when he held the office of consul, he had shown vigour and capacity for affairs. Afterwards returning to his life of vicious indulgence, he became one of the chosen circle of Nero's intimates, and was looked upon as an absolute authority on questions of taste [elegantiae arbiter; note the pun on Petronius' cognomen] in connection with the science of luxurious living.
None of the ancient sources give any further detail about his life, or mention that he was a writer. However, a medieval manuscript written around 1450 of the Satyricon credited a "Titus Petronius" as the author of the original work. Traditionally, this reference is linked with Petronius Arbiter, since the novel appears to have been written or at least set during his lifetime. The link, however, remains speculative and disputed.
Petronius' development of his characters in the Satyricon , namely Trimalchio, transcends the traditional style of writing of ancient literature. In the literature written during Petronius' lifetime, the emphasis was always on the typical considerations of plot, which had been laid down by classical rules.[ citation needed ] The character, which was hardly known in ancient literature, was secondary. Petronius goes beyond these literary limitations in his exact portrayals of detailed speech, behaviour, surroundings, and appearance of the characters.
Another literary device Petronius employs in his novel is a collection of specific allusions. The allusions to certain people and events are evidence that the Satyricon was written during Nero's time. These also suggest that it was aimed at a contemporary audience which consisted in part of Nero's courtiers and even Nero himself.
One such allusion, found in chapter 9, refers to the story of the good wife Lucretia which was well known at the time:
"If you're a Lucretia," he said, "You've found a Tarquin".
The message Petronius tries to convey in his work is far from moral and does not intend to produce reform, but is written above all to entertain and should be considered artistically. Nevertheless, his writings can be a valuable tool to better comprehend the customs and ways of life of Roman society at that particular time, since the author strives to preserve the plausibility of his representation, as can be noted by the frequent use of allusions and detailed descriptions of characters and behaviours. As the title implies, the Satyricon is a satire, specifically a Menippean satire, in which Petronius satirizes nearly anything, using his taste as the only standard. It is speculated that Petronius' depiction of Trimalchio mirrors that of Nero. Although the author's own opinion is never alluded to, the opinions of the characters involved in the story are evident, as is how Encolpius criticizes Trimalchio.
Petronius' high position soon made him the object of envy for those around him. Having attracted the jealousy of Tigellinus, the commander of the emperor's guard, he was accused of treason.He was arrested at Cumae in 65 AD but did not wait for a sentence. Instead, he chose to take his own life. Tacitus again records his elegant suicide in the sixteenth book of the Annals:
Yet he did not fling away life with precipitate haste, but having made an incision in his veins and then, according to his humour, bound them up, he again opened them, while he conversed with his friends, not in a serious strain or on topics that might win for him the glory of courage. And he listened to them as they repeated, not thoughts on the immortality of the soul or on the theories of philosophers, but light poetry and playful verses. To some of his slaves he gave liberal presents, a flogging to others. He dined, indulged himself in sleep, that death, though forced on him, might have a natural appearance. Even in his will he did not, as did many in their last moments, flatter Nero or Tigellinus or any other of the men in power. On the contrary, he described fully the prince's shameful excesses, with the names of his male and female companions and their novelties in debauchery, and sent the account under seal to Nero. Then he broke his signet-ring, that it might not be subsequently available for imperilling others.
According to Pliny the Elder: "T. Petronius, a consular, when he was going to die through Nero's jealousy and envy, broke his fluorspar wine-dipper so that the emperor's table would not inherit it. It had cost 300,000 sesterces". T. Petronius and G. Petronius have been said to have been the same man.
|See also …|
|Works at Domínio Público|
|Works at Dominio Público|
| Library resources about |
Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, was the fifth Roman emperor and final emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, reigning from AD 54 until his death in AD 68. He was adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of 13 and succeeded him on the throne. Nero was popular with the members of his Praetorian Guard and lower-class commoners in Rome and its provinces, but he was deeply resented by the Roman aristocracy. Most contemporary sources describe him as tyrannical, self-indulgent, and debauched. After being declared a public enemy by the Roman Senate, he committed suicide at age 30.
Trimalchio is a character in the 1st-century AD Roman work of fiction Satyricon by Petronius. He features as the ostentatious, nouveau-riche host in the section titled the "Cēna Trīmalchiōnis". Trimalchio is an arrogant former slave who has become quite wealthy as a wine merchant. The name "Trimalchio" is formed from the Greek prefix τρις and the Semitic מלך (melech) in its occidental form Malchio or Malchus. The fundamental meaning of the root is "King", and the name "Trimalchio" would thus mean "Thrice King" or "greatest King".
Ofonius Tigellinus (c. 10 – 69) was a prefect of the Roman imperial bodyguard, known as the Praetorian Guard, from 62 until 68, during the reign of emperor Nero. Tigellinus gained imperial favour through his acquaintance with Nero's mother Agrippina the Younger, and was appointed prefect upon the death of his predecessor Sextus Afranius Burrus, a position Tigellinus held first with Faenius Rufus and then Nymphidius Sabinus.
The Satyricon, Satyriconliber, or Satyrica, is a Latin work of fiction believed to have been written by Gaius Petronius, though the manuscript tradition identifies the author as Titus Petronius. The Satyricon is an example of Menippean satire, which is different from the formal verse satire of Juvenal or Horace. The work contains a mixture of prose and verse ; serious and comic elements; and erotic and decadent passages. As with The Golden Ass by Apuleius, classical scholars often describe it as a Roman novel, without necessarily implying continuity with the modern literary form.
The gens Petronia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. This gens claimed an ancient lineage, as a Petronius Sabinus is mentioned in the time of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the last of the Roman kings, but few Petronii are mentioned in the time of the Republic. They are frequently encountered under the Empire, holding numerous consulships, and eventually obtaining the Empire itself during the brief reign of Petronius Maximus in AD 455.
Aulus Cremutius Cordus was a Roman historian. There are very few remaining fragments of his work, principally covering the civil war and the reign of Augustus. In AD 25 he was forced by Sejanus, who was praetorian prefect under Tiberius, to take his life after being accused violating the lex maiestas.
Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero is a historical novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz in Polish.
The conspiracy of Gaius Calpurnius Piso in AD 65 was ain the reign of the Roman emperor Nero. The plot reflected the growing discontent among the ruling class of the Roman state with Nero's increasingly despotic leadership, and as a result is a significant event on the road toward his eventual suicide and the chaos of the Year of the Four Emperors which followed.
The cordax, was a provocative, licentious, and often obscene mask dance of ancient Greek comedy. In his play The Clouds, Aristophanes complains that other playwrights of his time try to hide the feebleness of their plays by bringing an old woman onto the stage to dance the cordax. He notes with pride that his patrons will not find such gimmicks in his plays.
Fellini Satyricon, or simply Satyricon, is a 1969 Italian fantasy drama film written and directed by Federico Fellini and loosely based on Petronius's work Satyricon, written during the reign of Emperor Nero and set in Imperial Rome. The film is divided into nine episodes, following Encolpius and his friend Ascyltus as they try to win the heart of a young boy named Gitón within a surreal and dreamlike Roman landscape.
The Apocolocyntosis (divi) Claudii, literally The Pumpkinification of (the Divine) Claudius, is a satire on the Roman emperor Claudius, which, according to Cassius Dio, was written by Seneca the Younger. A partly extant Menippean satire, an anonymous work called Ludus de morte Divi Claudii in its surviving manuscripts, may or may not be identical to the text mentioned by Cassius Dio. "Apocolocyntosis" is a word play on "apotheosis", the process by which dead Roman emperors were recognized as gods.
The Milesian tale is a genre of fictional story prominent in ancient Greek and Roman literature. According to most authorities, a Milesian tale is a short story, fable, or folktale featuring love and adventure, usually of an erotic or titillating nature.
Petronius's Satyricon, the only extant realistic Classical Latin novel, survives in a very fragmentary form. Many readers have wondered how the story would begin and end.
Gian Biagio Conte is an Italian classicist and professor of Latin Literature at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa.
The Asiatic style or Asianism refers to an Ancient Greek rhetorical tendency that arose in the third century BC, which, although of minimal relevance at the time, briefly became an important point of reference in later debates about Roman oratory.
Priapeia 68 or Priapea 68 is the sixty-eighth poem in the Priapeia, a collection of Latin poetry of uncertain authorship. The eighty poems lack a unified narrative, but share Priapus, an ithyphallic god of fertility worshiped in both Ancient Hellenic and Roman religions, as by turns a speaker and subject. While the Priapeia's author is unknown, Franz Bücheler has claimed that the poems are Augustan in style, and probably were the work of a single writer in the circle of Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, a Roman general and art enthusiast who “like other distinguished men of that age, occupied himself with amusements of this kind.” Earlier traditions credited Vergil with the authorship of at least some of the Priapeia.
Satiricosissimo is a 1970 Italian comedy film directed by Mariano Laurenti. It is a parody of the 1969 Federico Fellini film Fellini Satyricon.
Karl Ernst Bürger was a German classical scholar of the late 19th century, who made significant contributions to the critical study of the Ancient Greek and Roman Novel, thereby helping to establish the field as a major area of study within Classical Philology.
Publius Rufus Anteius was a politician of ancient Rome of the 1st century CE.
Quartilla is a character in the Satyricon which is said to be the "first picaresque" novel in Latin although it is not completely extant. This story was written by Petronius Arbiter in the first century. Quartilla is a follower of the god Priapus and she and her maids are involved with seducing and torturing three of the characters, Encolpius, Ascyltum, and Giton.