3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2015
Is that all these reviewers have to say about this classic satire from one of history's most notable arbiters of fashion? Nero was not an easy man to get along with, but he delighted in his Petronius...for a time. Long enough at least to give the world this little gem from one of the most decadent periods in history. Dinner with Trimalchio illustrates this wonderfully, or horribly, I can't say which:
"Trimalchio gave a loud snap of his fingers. The eunuch came waddling up with the chamber pot, Trimalchio emptied his bladder and went merrily on with his game. When he was done, he shouted for water, daintily dipped the tips of his fingers and wiped his hands in the long hair of a slave."
Eventually tiring of his Master of Dissolution, Nero ordered Petronius to commit suicide (as was his charming habit). The noble Arbiter complied by throwing a big party, enjoying it in his hot bath; ordering a surgeon to slice open his arm, bleeding into the bathwater, then having a tourniquet tied to stop the blood. As the night passed gaily on, every once in a while, he would order the tourniquet opened, bleed out some more, and have it tied up again. By morning, he was dead.
This sounds like something straight out of his masterpiece, The Satyricon, but it actually happened. Ah, life in Nero's court! Who could ever forget it?