Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 33 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types


The Death of Petronius

Mark Ford, 18 December 2008

... after Tacitus) Turning to Caius Petronius, there are a few things about him that deserve To be remembered: he liked to sleep all day, then devote his nights To business – or pleasure. Most have to work hard To become well known, but it was idleness that propelled Petronius to fame ...

Chaotic to the Core

James Davidson, 6 June 1996

by Petronius, translated by Bracht Branham and Daniel Kinney.
Dent, 185 pp., £18.95, March 1996, 0 460 87766 6
Show More
The Satyricon 
by Petronius and P.G. Walsh.
Oxford, 212 pp., £30, March 1996, 0 19 815012 1
Show More
Show More
... this family-tree was never quite clear. Classicists have always found it easier to demonstrate Petronius’ precedence than to illustrate his influence. In contrast to that other great Latin novelist, Apuleius, who managed to create in the Golden Ass a blend of burlesque and piety that was exactly to the taste of the Early Modern European, ...

Dead Eyes and Blank Faces

John Henderson: Expression under Nero, 2 April 1998

Dissidence and Literature under Nero: The Price of Rhetoricisation 
by Vasily Rudich.
Routledge, 408 pp., £50, March 1997, 0 415 09501 8
Show More
Show More
... of moral essays and meditative epistles; Lucan’s ranting epic on civil war; and the Satyrica, Petronius’ mutilated experimental novel on sex, drugs and the whole sick crew. These are plotted along a graph of ‘(im)moralism’. ‘The Immoral Moralist’, ‘The Moral Immoralist’, and ‘The Immoral Immoralist’ – Seneca, Lucan, ...

N.V. Rampant meets Martin Amis

N.V. Rampant, 18 October 1984

... also see why I had not chosen it. So I was grateful to him. Grateful to Martin Amis, the post-punk Petronius. Yes, Mart. I’ve heard of Petronius. You didn’t get all the education. There was some left over for the rest of us, right? Through the ostentatiously open door of the bathroom I had noticed that the bidet was full ...

How do Babylonians boil eggs?

Peter Parsons, 18 April 1996

Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments 
edited by Susan Stephens and John Winkler.
Princeton, 541 pp., £48, September 1995, 0 691 06941 7
Show More
Show More
... conventions are thrown into relief by the two Roman geniuses who parody and transcend them, Petronius and Apuleius. (New translations of the whole Greek corpus now come in a bumper volume, Collected Ancient Greek Novels, edited by Bryan Reardon.) This is teen-romance in its salad days. Fate separates young lovers; they travel through hostile ...

Glaucus and Ione

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 17 April 1980

The Last Days of Pompeii 
by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton.
Sidgwick, 522 pp., £6.95, December 1979, 0 283 98587 9
Show More
Show More
... of wine.’ There is a good deal more of this. The various episodes contain reminiscences of Petronius, Juvenal, Plautus and other writers; but neither the dialogue nor the behaviour of the characters suggests a Roman atmosphere. The characters frequently exclaim ‘Tush’ or ‘Fie’; they often swear by Pollux or by Hercules; and their speeches are ...

Ancient Greek Romances

Peter Parsons, 20 August 1981

... The demerits of the Greek romances are clear (clearer still by contrast with the Latin novel – Petronius and Apuleius – which burlesques them). Cardboard lovers, buffeted by Fate, drift on a stream of sentimental rhetoric (now mock-naive, now real-orotund), through predictable perils, to a predictable happy ending. The categories are those of the ...

A Very Bad Man

Michael Kulikowski: Julius Caesar, Génocidaire, 18 June 2020

The War for Gaul: A New Translation 
by Julius Caesar, translated by James J. O’Donnell.
Princeton, 324 pp., £22, September 2019, 978 0 691 17492 1
Show More
Show More
... in the text, but I have taken 7.50.3-6, the Boy’s Own scene in which the brave centurion Marcus Petronius sacrifices himself in the disastrous battle at Gergovia. First, the Landmark edition: Marcus Petronius, a centurion of the same legion, was trying to hack out a gate when a large number of fighters overwhelmed ...

What children are for

Tim Whitmarsh: Roman Education, 7 June 2012

The School of Rome: Latin Studies and the Origins of Liberal Education 
by Martin Bloomer.
California, 281 pp., £34.95, April 2012, 978 0 520 25576 0
Show More
Show More
... of civilised banter could demonstrate class, as much as its absence demonstrated vulgarity, and Petronius’ scathing portrait of the freedman Trimalchio (the model for Fitzgerald’s Gatsby), who confused Cassandra with Medea and mangled the story of Ajax’s madness, tells us a lot about the sneering superiority the uneducated faced. Bloomer has in mind a ...


Emily Gowers, 8 June 1995

Latin Literature: A History 
by Gian Biagio Conte, translated by Joseph Solodow.
Johns Hopkins, 827 pp., £45, June 1994, 0 8018 4638 2
Show More
Show More
... debased and comedy no longer read only for the laughs. Cicero and Livy, less fashionable now than Petronius or Lucan, still have their devotees, but they are likely to be more interested in cultural politics or the ideology of the ruling classes than in prose style or moral edification. How easy is it, then, to rewrite the history of Latin literature in this ...

Into Extra Time

Deborah Steiner: Living too long, 23 February 2006

Mocked with Death: Tragic Overliving from Sophocles to Milton 
by Emily Wilson.
Johns Hopkins, 289 pp., £35.50, December 2004, 0 8018 7964 7
Show More
Show More
... haunts the whole poem’. As a footnote indicates, Wilson has read the Aeneid through the lens of Petronius’ Satyricon, which offers us a prophetess longing for a death too long postponed. Virgil’s sibyl, very differently, tries to keep Aeneas on his forward track: don’t look at dead images, she urges him. Nor, as Wilson goes on to suggest, is ...

Young Marvin

Frank Kermode, 24 January 1991

A Tenured Professor 
by John Kenneth Galbraith.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 197 pp., £12.95, November 1990, 1 85619 018 8
Show More
Shade those laurels 
by Cyril Connolly and Peter Levi.
Bellew, 174 pp., £12.95, October 1990, 0 947792 37 6
Show More
Show More
... proper to the detective story and tried to unite them with a more congenial inheritance from Petronius Arbiter, Peacock and Aldous Huxley, with a soupçon of Firbank. Peter Levi, who was a friend of Connolly’s and married his widow, has brought the tale to an ending, making his task possible by briskly disposing of all the clues Connolly himself had ...

Hidden Consequences

John Mullan: Byron, 6 November 2003

Byron: Life and Legend 
by Fiona MacCarthy.
Faber, 674 pp., £9.99, November 2003, 0 571 17997 5
Show More
Show More
... various youths. Byron’s favourite was ‘Plen. And optabil.-Coit.’, an abbreviated phrase from Petronius’ Satyricon: ‘coitum plenum et optabilem’. Marchand translates this as ‘complete intercourse to one’s heart’s desire’, adding that ‘in Petronius the narrator tells how he overcame the reluctance of a ...

Marshy Margins

Frank Kermode, 1 August 1996

The True Story of the Novel 
by Margaret Anne Doody.
Rutgers, 580 pp., $44.95, May 1996, 0 8135 2168 8
Show More
Show More
... on Apollonius of Tyre, the Aithiopika of Heliodorus, and the Latin novels of Apuleius and Petronius Arbiter. She finds in these books many qualities that the arrogant English claim as their own later inventions: enough realism, enough ambiguity, enough personality – altogether a high degree of narrative sophistication. And she enlists them all in ...

Closely Observed Trains on a Sea Coast in Bohemia

Christopher Tayler: Rushdie’s Latest, 16 November 2017

The Golden House 
by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 370 pp., £18.99, September 2017, 978 1 78733 015 3
Show More
Show More
... wisdom. His sons, who have also assumed preposterous names, are similarly outsized characters. Petronius, aka Petya, the eldest, is an agoraphobic, autistic, formidably well-read alcoholic dandy, later the inventor of some of the world’s most popular smartphone games. The middle child, Lucius Apuleius, aka Apu (a nickname that annoys his father: ‘We ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences