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The marvelously entertaining parody of imperial Rome. One of the most outrageous and strikingly modern works to have survived from the ancient world, The Satyriconoffers an unmatched satirical portrait of the age of Nero, in all its excesses and chaos. It recounts the adventures of Encolpius and his companions as they travel around Italy, encountering courtesans, priestesses, con men, brothel-keepers, pompous professors, and, above all, Trimalchio, the nouveau riche millionaire whose debauched feasting and pretentious vulgarity make him one of the great comic characters in literature.
Titus Petronius Arbiter, the purported author of The Satyricon, was an advisor to the Roman emperor Nero. The victim of court intrigue, he commited suicide in AD 66. J.P. Sullivan (d. 1993) was a professor of classics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Helen Morales is an associate professor of classics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.