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  The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Satyricon, Complete, by Petronius Arbiter This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: The Satyricon, Complete Author: Petronius Arbiter Release Date: October 31, 2006 [EBook #5225] Language: English *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SATYRICON, COMPLETE *** Produced by David Widger [NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, or pointers, at the end of the file for those who may wish to sample the author's ideas before making an entire meal of them. D.W.] THE SATYRICON OF PETRONIUS ARBITER Complete and unexpurgated translation by W. C. Firebaugh, in which are incorporated the forgeries of Nodot and Marchena, and the readings introduced into the text by De Salas. Among the difficulties which beset the path of the conscientious translator, a sense of his own unworthiness must ever take precedence; but another, scarcely less disconcerting, is the likelihood of misunderstanding some allusion which was perfectly familiar to the author and his public, but which, by reason of its purely local significance, is obscure and subject to the misinterpretation and emendation of a later generation. A translation worthy of the name is as much the product of a literary epoch as it is of the brain and labor of a scholar; and Melmouth's version of the letters of Pliny the Younger, made, as it was, at a period when the art of English letter writing had attained its highest excellence, may well be the despair of our twentieth century apostles of specialization. Who, today, could imbue a translation of the Golden Ass with the exquisite flavor of William Adlington's unscholarly version of that masterpiece? Who could rival Arthur Golding's rendering of the Metamorphoses of Ovid, or Francis Hicke's masterly rendering of Lucian's True History? But eternal life means endless change and in nothing is this truth more strikingly manifest than in the growth and decadence of living languages and in the translation of dead tongues into the ever changing tissue of the living. Were it not for this, no translation  worthy of the name would ever stand in need of revision, except in instances where the discovery and collation of fresh manuscripts had improved the text. In the case of an author whose characters speak in the argot proper to their surroundings, the necessity for revision is even more imperative; the change in the cultured speech of a language is a process that requires years to become pronounced, the evolution of slang is rapid and its usage ephemeral. For example Stephen Gaselee, in his bibliography of Petronius, calls attention to Harry Thurston Peck's rendering of bell um pomum by he's a daisy, and remarks, appropriately enough, that this was well enough for 1898; but we would now be more inclined to render it 'he's a peach.' Again, Peck renders illud erat vivere by that was life, but, in the words of our lyric American jazz, we would be more inclined to render it that was the life. But, as Professor Gaselee has said, no rendering of this part of the Satyricon can be final, it must always be in the slang of the hour. Some, writes the immortal translator of Rabelais, in his preface, have deservedly gained esteem by translating; yet not many condescend to translate but such as cannot invent; though to do the first well, requires often as much genius as to do the latter. I wish, reader, thou mayest be as willing to do the author justice, as I have strove to do him right. Many scholars have lamented the failure of Justus Lipsius to comment upon Petronius or edit an edition of the Satyricon. Had he done so, he might have gone far toward piercing the veil of darkness which enshrouds the authorship of the work and the very age in which the composer flourished. To me, personally, the fact that Laurence Sterne did not undertake a version, has caused much regret. The master who delineated Tristram Shandy's father and the intrigue between the Widow Wadman and Uncle Toby would have drawn Trimalchio and his peers to admiration. W. C. F. CONTENTS: PREFACE INTRODUCTION THE SATYRICON NOTES PROSTITUTION PAEDERASTIA CHAPTER NOTES 9 Gladiator obscene 17 Impotence 26 Peepholes in brothels 34 Silver Skeleton 36 Marsyas 40 A pie full of birds 56 Contumelia 116 Life in Rome 116 Legacy hunting 119 Castration 127 Circe's voice 131 Sputum in charms 131 The infamous finger 138 The dildo The Cordax SIX NOTES BY MARCHENA  ¬†Introduction I Soldiers in love II Courtesans III Greek love IV Pollution V Virginity VI Pandars INTRODUCTION. Of the many masterpieces which classical antiquity has bequeathed to modern times, few have attained, at intervals, to such popularity; few have so gripped the interest of scholars and men of letters, as has this scintillating miscellany known as the Satyricon, ascribed by tradition to that Petronius who, at the court of Nero, acted as arbiter of elegance and dictator of fashion. The flashing, wit, the masterly touches which bring out the characters with all the detail of a fine old copper etching; the marvelous use of realism by this, its first prophet; the sure knowledge of the perspective and background best adapted to each episode; the racy style, so smooth, so elegant, so simple when the educated are speaking, beguile the reader and blind him, at first, to the many discrepancies and incoherences with which the text, as we have it, is marred. The more one concentrates upon this author, the more apparent these faults become and the more one regrets the lacunae in the text. Notwithstanding numerous articles which deal with this work, some from the pens of the most profound scholars, its author is still shrouded in the mists of uncertainty and conjecture. He is as impersonal as Shakespeare, as aloof as Flaubert, in the opinion of Charles Whibley, and, it may be added, as genial as Rabelais; an enigmatic genius whose secret will never be laid bare with the resources at our present command. As I am not writing for scholars, I do not intend going very deeply into the labyrinth of critical controversy which surrounds the author and the work, but I shall deal with a few of the questions which, if properly understood, will enhance the value of the Satyricon, and contribute, in some degree, to a better understanding of the author. For the sake of convenience the questions discussed in this introduction will be arranged in the following order: 1. The Satyricon. 2. The Author. a His Character. b His Purpose in Writing. c Time in which the Action is placed. d Localization of the Principal Episode. 3. Realism. a Influence of the Satyricon upon the Literature of the World. 4. The Forgeries. I THE SATYRICON. Heinsius and Scaliger derive the word from the Greek, whence comes our English word satyr, but Casaubon, Dacier and Spanheim derive it from the Latin 'satura,' a plate filled with different kinds of food, and they refer to Porphyrion's 'multis et variis rebus hoc carmen refertum est.'  The text, as we possess it, may be divided into three divisions: the first and last relate the adventures of Encolpius and his companions, the second, which is a digression, describes the Dinner of Trimalchio. That the work was srcinally divided into books, we had long known from ancient glossaries, and we learn, from the title of the Traguriensian manuscript, that the fragments therein contained are excerpts from the fifteenth and sixteenth books. An interpolation of Fulgentius (Paris 7975) attributes to Book Fourteen the scene related in Chapter 20 of the work as we have it, and the glossary of St. Benedict Floriacensis cites the passage 'sed video te totum in illa haerere, quae Troiae halosin ostendit (Chapter 89), as from Book Fifteen. As there is no reason to suppose that the chapters intervening between the end of the Cena (Chapter 79) and Chapter 89 are out of place, it follows that this passage may have belonged to Book Sixteen, or even Seventeen, but that it could not have belonged to Book Fifteen. From the interpolation of Fulgentius we may hazard the opinion that the beginning of the fragments, as we possess them (Chapters 1 to 26), form part of Book Fourteen. The Dinner of Trimalchio probably formed a complete book, fifteen, and the continuation of the adventures of Encolpius down to his meeting with Eumolpus (end of Chapter 140) Book Sixteen. The discomfiture of Eumolpus should have closed this book but not the entire work, as the exit of the two principal characters is not fixed at the time our fragments come to an end. The srcinal work, then, would probably have exceeded Tom Jones in length. II THE AUTHOR. a-- Not often, says Studer (Rheinisches Museum, 1843), has there been so much dispute about the author, the times, the character and the purpose of a writing of antiquity as about the fragments of the Satyricon of Petronius. The discovery and publication of the Trau manuscript brought about a literary controversy which has had few parallels, and which has not entirely died out to this day, although the best authorities ascribe the work to Caius Petronius, the Arbiter Elegantiarum at the court of Nero. The question as to the date of the narrative of the adventures of Encolpius and his boon companions must be regarded as settled, says Theodor Mommsen (Hermes, 1878); this narrative is unsurpassed in srcinality and mastery of treatment among the writings of Roman literature. Nor does anyone doubt the identity of its author and the Arbiter Elegantiarum of Nero, whose end Tacitus relates. In any case, the author of this work, if it be the work of one brain, must have been a profound psychologist, a master of realism, a natural-born story teller, and a gentleman. b--His principal object in writing the work was to amuse but, in amusing, he also intended to pillory the aristocracy and his wit is as keen as the point of a rapier; but, when we bear in mind the fact that he was an ancient, we will find that his cynicism is not cruel, in him there is none of the malignity of Aristophanes; there is rather the attitude of the refined patrician who is always under the necessity of facing those things which he holds most in contempt, the supreme artist who suffers from the multitude of bill-boards, so to speak, who lashes the posters but holds in pitying contempt those who know so little of true art that they mistake those posters for the genuine article. Niebuhr's estimate of his character is so just and free from prejudice, and proceeds from a mind which, in itself, was so pure and wholesome, that I will quote it: All great dramatic poets are endowed with the power of creating beings
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