This new Satyricon features not only a lively, new, annotated translation of the text, but fresh and accessible commentaries that discuss Petronius' masterpiece in terms of such topics as the identity of the author, the transmission of his manuscript, literary influences on the Satyricon, and the distinctive literary form of this work—as well as such features of Roman life as oratory, sexual practices, households, dinner parties, religion, and philosophy. It offers, in short, a remarkably informative and engaging account of major aspects of Imperial Roman culture as seen through the prism of our first extant novel.
"[Ruden] has caught, better than any translator known to me, both the conversational patterns of Petronian dialogue and the camera-sharp specificity and color of the Satyricon's descriptive passages.... A quite extraordinary achievement against heavy odds."
—Peter Green, The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Relying on. . . her excellent knowledge of Latin, her lively feel for contemporary slang and rhythm, and her infectious love of the work, [Ruden] gives us the full Satyricon; she shows us a man making a comic masterpiece out of Neronian chaos. . . . Her book as a whole, breathing knowledge and affection, is a delight."
—Donald Lyons, The New Criterion
"This is a really useful volume which can readily be recommended as a set text to students. The ten commentaries at the end are judicious overviews of important topics connected with the work and the suggestions for further reading are up-to-date and intelligent."
—Susanna Morton Braund, Yale University
"[The Satyricon] makes great demands on the versatility of a translator. Ruden has satsfied these demands, and furthermore is to be commended on the care with which she has chosen the linguistic registers to fit the different speakers. . . . In addition to her translation are ten brief essays which provide general background mainly on literature, philosophy, religion and social life. A great deal of interesting material is communicated here, in a manner which is succint and bright. The essays will be of particular value to those who approach this text without much knowledge of Roman life. . . . This book will be of great interest and help to students of courses in Classical Culture and to the general reader."
—John Jackson, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
"In terms of traditional scholarship, the book is fabulous and it's easily the best translation of Petronius yet. The footnotes and commentaries are helpful and—even better—lively. . . . This book is a jewel."
—Patrick Hunter, California State University, Northridge
"In addition to an excellent modern translation, this book contains a series of commentaries on topics like Roman oratory, sexuality, the household, dinner parties, and religion, which make this translation of Satyricon particularly useful in the classroom. I plan to use it the next time I teach a course on the Roman family. The map is a nice touch!"
—Thomas J. Sienkewicz, Monmouth College
"Ruden's new translation of the Satyricon is highly readable, as well as attractively printed and bound, and should prove extremely useful in college and university Classics-in-translation courses. It is furnished with a map, helpful explanatory footnotes, and a set of engaging 'commentaries' at the end, such as . . . Roman religion and literary influences on Petronius. Highly recommended. I predict it will compete with the edition of Branham and Kinney, which hitherto was my preferred edition for assigning to undergraduate classes."
—John T. Kirby, Purdue University
"I found Sarah Ruden's translation and commentaries of the Satyricon very refreshing and interesting. The translation is smooth and eloquent. What I found of particular value is the commentaries: in classical literature (in translation) courses, the students need the kind of information Ruden offers. Without some general understanding of the social context (homosexuality, oratory, household, etc.) Petronius' novel will be hanging up there as something totally paradoxical and enigmatic. All in all, a very attractive edition. I hope that it will find the recognition it merits. Certainly I will use it next time I include the Satyricon in one of my courses."
—Ippokratis Kantzios, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
"Economically priced, with a fine, lively, accurate translation that captures very well different voices (and diverse genres) in which Petronius' characters speak. It is rare to encounter a translation of a classic that is literate and witty and accurate."
—Paul Harvey, Jr., Pennsylvania State University
"I found your new translation of the Satyricon excellent; in a very down-to-earth modern idiom it gives a very accurate and thoroughly enjoyable sense of the original."
—Veronika Grimm, Yale University
"The translation is vivid and skillful. The notes are accurate and commendably brief. The Commentaries provide students with clear and up-to-date views on the topics ('Ancient Views on Sexuality', 'Some Literary Influences on the Satyricon' are especially good)."
—Kristine G. Wallace, Rice University
About the Author:
Sarah Ruden, poet and essayist, received her Ph.D. in Classics from Harvard University.