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The Satyricon, or Satyricon liber (The Book of Satyrlike Adventures), is a Latin work of fiction believed to have been written by Gaius Petronius, though the manuscript tradition identifies the author as Titus Petronius.


  • Et ideo ego adulescentulos existimo in scholis stultissimos fieri, quia nihil ex his, quae in usu habemus, aut audiunt aut vident, sed piratas cum catenis in litore stantes, sed tyrannos edicta scribentes quibus imperent filiis ut patrum suorum capita praecidant, sed responsa in pestilentiam data, ut virgines tres aut plures immolentur, sed mellitos verborum globulos, et omnia dicta factaque quasi papavere et sesamo sparsa.
    • This is the reason, in my opinion, why young men grow up such blockheads in the schools, because they neither see nor hear one single thing connected with the usual circumstances of everyday life.
      • 1.1
  • Primi omnium eloquentiam perdidistis. Levibus enim atque inanibus sonis ludibria quaedam excitando, effecistis ut corpus orationis enervaretur et caderet.
    • You rhetoricians are chiefly to blame for the ruin of Oratory, for with your silly, idle phrases, meant only to tickle the ears of an audience, you have enervated and deboshed the very substance of true eloquence.
      • 1.2
  • Nondum umbraticus doctor ingenia deleverat.
    • No cloistered professor had as yet darkened men’s intellects.
      • 1.2
  • Grandis et, ut ita dicam, pudica oratio non est maculosa nec turgida, sed naturali pulchritudine exsurgit.
    • A noble, and so to say chaste, style is not overloaded with ornament, not turgid; its own natural beauty gives it elevation.
      • 1.2
  • Nuper ventosa istaec et enormis loquacitas Athenas ex Asia commigravit animosque iuvenum ad magna surgentes veluti pestilenti quodam sidere adflavit, semelque corrupta regula eloquentia stetit et obmutuit.
    • This windy, extravagant deluge of words invaded Athens from Asia, and like a malignant star, blasting the minds of young men aiming at lofty ideals, instantly broke up all rules of art and struck eloquence dumb.
      • 1.2
  • Nihil nimirum in his exercitationibus doctores peccant qui necesse habent cum insanientibus furere. Nam nisi dixerint quae adulescentuli probent, ut ait Cicero, ‘soli in scolis relinquentur’. Sicut ficti adulatores cum cenas divitum captant, nihil prius meditantur quam id quod putant gratissimum auditoribus fore—nec enim aliter impetrabunt quod petunt, nisi quasdam insidias auribus fecerint—sic eloquentiae magister, nisi tanquam piscator eam imposuerit hamis escam, quam scierit appetituros esse pisciculos, sine spe praedae morabitur in scopulo.
    • In the choice of these exercises it is not the masters that are to blame. They are forced to be just as mad as all the rest; for if they refuse to teach what pleases their scholars, they will be left, as Cicero says, to lecture to empty benches. Just as false-hearted sycophants, scheming for a seat at a rich man’s table, make it their chief business to discover what will be most agreeable hearing to their host, for indeed their only way to gain their end is by cajolement and flattery; so a professor of Rhetoric, unless like a fisherman he arm his hook with the bait he knows the fish will take, may stand long enough on his rock without a chance of success.
      • 1.3
  • Eheu nos miseros, quam totus homuncio nil est!
    Sic erimus cuncti, postquam nos auferet Orcus.
    Ergo vivamus, dum licet esse bene
    • Alas! how less than naught are we;
      Fragile life’s thread, and brief our day!
      What this is now, we all shall be;
      Drink and make merry while you may.
      • 5.34

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