Roman courtier, supposed author of the Satyricon
Petronius (c. 27 – 66 AD) was a Roman writer of the Neronian age; he was a noted satirist. He is identified with C. Petronius Arbiter, but the manuscript text of the Satyricon calls him Titus Petronius. Satyricon is his sole surviving work.
- See also Satyricon
- Canis ingens, catena vinctus, in pariete erat pictus superque quadrata littera scriptum ‘Cave canem.’
- Translation: A huge dog, tied by a chain, was painted on the wall and over it was written in capital letters ‘Beware of the dog.’
- Sec. 29
- Abiit ad plures.
- Translation: He has joined the great majority.
- Sec. 42
- Variant translations:
- He’s gone to join the majority [the dead].
- He has gone to the majority.
(i.e. He has died.)
- A man who is always ready to believe what is told him will never do well.
- Sec. 43
- One good turn deserves another.
- Sec. 45
- Litterae thesaurum est.
- Translation: Education is a treasure.
- Sec. 46
- For I myself saw the Sibyl indeed at Cumae with my own eyes hanging in a jar; and when the boys used to say to her, "Sibyl, what do you want?" she replied, 'I want to die."
- Sec. 48
- In the T. S. Eliot poem, "The Waste Land", Petronius' original Latin and Greek is quoted: Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Σίβυλλα τί θέλεις; respondebat illa: ἀποθανεῖν θέλω. The translation generally associated with Eliot's poem is as follows: For with my own eyes I saw the Sibyl hanging in a bottle, and when the young boys asked her, 'Sibyl, what do you want?', she replied, 'I want to die' .
- The quote refers to the mythic Cumaean Sibyl who bargained with Apollo, offering her virginity for years of life totaling as many grains of sand as she could hold in her hand. However, after she spurned his love, he allowed her to wither away over the span of her near-immortality, as she forgot to ask for eternal youth.
- Not worth his salt.
- Sec. 57
- Qualis dominus talis est servus.
- Translation: Like master, like man.
- Sec. 58
- Beauty and wisdom are rarely conjoined.
- Sec. 94
- Horatii curiosa felicitas.
- Translation: The studied spontaneity of Horace.
- Variant translation: Horace’s careful felicity.
- Sec. 118