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Satyrica [Paperback]

Petronius , R. Bracht Branham , Daniel Kinney
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 11, 1997 0520211189 978-0520211186 Reprint
Encolpius, a soldier of fortune, despiser of pedantry, lecherous and contrary, and the beautiful Giton, who lives off his charms, are invited to a gargantuan banquet hosted by the prodigal, pompous, newly rich Trimalchio. When the feast turns into a riot, the two, joined by the down-on-his-luck poet Eumolpus, leave town quickly to avoid trouble. So begins the Satyrica, a bizarre odyssey through the carnivalesque landscape of Nero's empire.

The author of the Satyrica, Petronius, had been Nero's intimate and advisor on all matters of artistic taste and elegance but a jealous rival turned Nero against him. No longer enduring "the suspense of fear or of hope," Petronius eluded his former patron by ending his own life. His novel has lived on, preserving for centuries tales of a time when virtue and vice, power and money, human comedy and human cruelty, mixed and melded unpredictably.

The translation is accurate and contemporary. In addition, a chronology, introduction, and commentary offer the reader background on Petronius's social milieu and on the fascinating complexity of his seemingly low-brow novel's poetic structure.

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

R. Bracht Branham is Associate Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at Emory University. He is the author of Unruly Eloquence: Lucian and the Comedy of Traditions (1989), which won Harvard's Wilson Prize. Daniel Kinney is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Virginia. He has written several studies of Medieval and Renaissance genres and is a prize-winning translator and editor.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Reprint edition (July 11, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520211189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520211186
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, elegant, ironic, poetic... March 28, 2002
By A Customer
At present on, there are 3 different
editions of the SATYRICON offered. They are all
excellent...I own all 3. And if permitted, I plan
to review each of the three individually. This
edition is hard to find, because of its title.
Amazon has indexed it by its title -- SATYRICA -
and thus, it does not come up on searches for
"Petronius" or "Satyricon." Which is unfortunate,
because it is probably the best of the 3 editions,
with all of its extras.
There have been many writers who have been influenced
by having read Petronius and the SATYRICON (or SATYRICA).
Some of these writers have even gone so far as to offer
their opinions about Petronius or about the SATYRICON
itself. One of the excellent features of this edition
of the SATYRICON (published by Univ. of California Press),
translated and with an "Introduction" by R. Bracht Branham
and Daniel Kinney, is the fact that in the back of the
book they include a section titled "Petronius and his
Critics." In this section, they give provocative quotes
by authors starting with John of Salisbury (12th century)
and extending up through T.S. Eliot in 1932. What they
may not have known is that Herman Melville also has
a short piece about Petronius in his novel REDBURN,
Chap. 56, in which the narrator of the novel talks about
the hands of his friend Harry Bolton and says: "It was
not as the sturdy farmer's hand of a Cincinnatus, who
followed the plough and guided the state, but it was
the perfumed hand of Petronius Arbiter, that elegant
young buck of a Roman, who once cut great Seneca dead
in the forum."
The SATYRICA (or SATYRICON) contains materials which
might be considered salacious.
Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very readable December 21, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a good, easy read, enjoyable and a nicely produced book which I happily recommend to you.
A couple of quibbles with the translation however:
A few passages are translated into American slang, no doubt a rendition of street talk of the time. Unfortunately not only is it culture specific, it is clumsy and outdated, particularly so for non-American readers.
The other quibble - sexuality and body functions are translated with prudish mild euphemisms. I don't know what the original latin is like, but I would be most surprised if it was rendered with such timid side-stepping.
I suspect that sexually explicit parts of Petronius were edited out during the middle ages, long before it reached us, and that this translation perpetuates the delicacy of Christian cultures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the more things change the more they stay the same June 27, 2014
well translated and an eye opening look into the past. I was very discouraged to read how the government and personal greed were the same then as now, not what I was expecting to find in this book. As humans we have not progressed.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Graphically sexual July 20, 2013
By Lauren
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This novel, the only one we read in my humanities course, made me uncomfortable and I don't know why we read in in my humanities course which had very traditional works. It was a very strange story about extravagance and confusion, but one of the most explicit books I've read either from ancient or modern history, which took me by surprise.
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