Fall for 2017-2018
A masterpiece of Western literature, Petronius’ Satyricon is the story of a young man, Encolpius, and his friends and their encounters with a series of absurd characters in what seems to be a Greek city but can also be taken as a parody of emperor Nero’s Rome. A highlight of the novel is the Cena Trimalchionis, a first-person narration of a banquet at the house of an extravagant freedman, Trimalchio, a model for F. Scott Fitzgerald's Gatsby. The Cena will be the main focus of the course, but we will also read selections from other parts of the novel, such as the famous story of the Widow of Ephesus and some of the parts written in verse. The text of the Satyricon will be read in the original, with attention to its language and style as well its literary complexity and the diversity of viewpoints displayed. Given the substantial differences among its many editions, we will all be using the one by Konrad Müller, Petronii Arbitri Satyricon Reliquiae, München-Leipzig 2003 (repr. of 1995 edition).
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