The Satyricon

The Satyricon

Translator: William Arrowsmith

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780452010055
  • 192 Pages
  • Plume
  • 18 and up


The Satyricon is a classic of comedy, a superbly funny picture of Nero’s Rome as seen through the eyes of Petronius, its most amorous and elegant courtier.

William Arrowsmith’s translation—a lively, modern, unexpurgated text—recaptures all the ribald humor of Petronius’s picaresque satire. It tells the hilarious story of the pleasure-seeking adventures of an educated rogue, Encolpius, his handsome serving boy, Giton, and Ascyltus, who lusts after Giton—three impure pilgrims who live by their wits and other men’s purses. The Satyricon unfailingly turns every weakness of the flesh, every foible of the mind, to laughter.

The Satyricon

The Satyricon

Petronius, Seneca, Translator: William Arrowsmith


“This version by a translator who understands the high art of low humor is conspicuously funny.”

“William Arrowsmith’s translation of The Satyricon meets the two fundamental requirements of the translator’s art: perfect fidelity to the original and a vitality of style that tempts the reader to believe that the English version is not a translation.… A classic of literature.”
—Allen Tate

“Arrowsmith’s brilliant translation … at one stroke renders every other version obsolete.”
London Times Literary Supplement

Table of Contents

The SatyriconI. Among the Rhetoricians
II. Giton, Ascyltus, and I
III. Lost Treasure Recovered
IV. The Priestess of Priapus
V. Dinner with Trimalchio
VI. Giton, Ascyltus, and I Again
VII. I Meet Eumolpus
VIII. Old Loves and New Rivals
IX. Lichas and Tyrphaena
X. Discovered
XI. The Pleasures of Peace
XII. Shipwrecked
XIII. The Road to Croton
XIV. Eumolpus on the Writing of Poetry
XV. Life at Croton
XVI. Circe
XVII. A Second Attempt
XVIII. I Take Myself in Hand
XIX. Oenothea
XX. Interlude with Chrysis
XXI. Philomela
XXII. Restored
XXIII. Matters at Croton Come to a Head
XXIV. Eumolpus Makes His Will