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The Roman poet Gajus Petronius Arbiter (14-66) wrote the famous 20-volume, but only in fragments surviving novel Satyricon, It is a colorful moral portrait of his time, in which the dining and drinking culture The Roman upper class in the first century AD is depicted plastically. Maybe he was doing it by the poet Martial (40-102), who in his epigrams also denounced the conditions in Rome and mocked them in verse. Petronius was a close confidant of Emperor Nero (37-68) and as "arbiter elegantiae" at his court responsible for matters of fine taste. He described in his various works the moral decline of the Roman Empire very drastically and critically. Despite the humorous and ironic portrayal he had incurred the unfavorable and the deadly hatred of the emperor and was therefore forced to commit suicide. Petronius opened his wrists. The historian Tacitus (55-120) describes him in his annals as vain, superficial, selfish and wavering in decisions that betrays others without reason. He is for him the person from "the second series of history".

Satyricon - Petronius (bust) and picture

Picture left: By P. Bodart - GoogleBooks , Public Domain, Link
Right: By Roberto Bompiani - J. Paul Getty Museum , Public Domain, Link

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