THE SATYRICON COMPLETE BY TITUS PETRONIUS

the-satyricon-of-petronius-arbitertThe historians and the international critics consider The Satyricon to be written by Gaius Petronius, even though his name is not actually on the manuscript (Titus Petronius is). This is a Latin fictional story, a satirical tale. The book includes both verse and prose, both comic and serious chapters and elements. Furthermore, there's a lot of erotic, not to mention decadent content.

Today, in the 21st century, we call a book like that a "Roman novel", as it was written in the Roman Empire and was true to the common, traditions and ways of the Empire. Unfortunately, a major part of the story is lost, but the rest is more than enough to be relevant even to this day. Encolpius is the main character of the story and its narrator, and he talks about his constant struggles and misadventures throughout the novel.

Giton, his 16-year-old servant boy and lover, is another major character. And then there's Ascyltus, the man's old friend, and, by some indications, his former partner. There's a lot of homosexual content in the book and other controversial themes, but the critics value The Satyricon Complete for being one of the very few depictions of how the lower social classes used to live during the early years of the once-great Roman Empire.

Encolpius teaches rhetoric to boys from rich Roman families, and the story begins with him traveling through the Empire with Asciltos. And, even though Giton is his slave, Encolpius doesn't treat him like one and even calls him his romantic partner. Yes, The Satyricon Complete is a complex, contradictory and mixed novel, but, given the fact that it's one of the few "surviving" texts from the Roman Empire, it's of great value to the modern-day society.

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