Petronius is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures of Classical Antiquity. The bits and pieces of his biography that have come down to us, together with his surviving work, the Satyricon, suggest that he was a man of unusual sophistication, with remarkable insight into human nature, the foibles of his contemporary Rome, and the long traditions of Greek and Roman literature.

The Petronius Arbiter to whom our manuscripts attribute the Satyricon is almost certainly the Petronius described by the historian Tacitus (Annals 16.17; the manuscript of Tacitus records his first name as Gaius, but other sources suggest it was Titus). Tacitus portrays Petronius as an eccentric:

His days w…
Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Moore, Timothy J.. "Petronius". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 April 2006
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]