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The Roman poet Gajus Petronius Arbiter (14-66) wrote the famous 20-volume novel, which is only preserved in fragments Satyricon, It is a colorful custom painting of its time, in which the eating and drinking culture of the Roman upper class in the first post-Christian century. He may have been the poet Martial (40-102), who also denounced the conditions in Rome in his epigrams and ridiculed them in verse form. Petronius was a close confidante of Emperor Nero (37-68) and, as an "arbiter elegantiae" at his court, was responsible for questions of fine taste. In his various works he described the moral decline of the Roman Empire very drastically and critically. Despite the humorous and ironic portrayal, he incurred the emperor's unfavorability and deadly hatred and was therefore forced to commit suicide. Petronius had his wrists opened. The historian Tacitus (55-120) describes him in his annals as vain, superficial, selfish and fluctuating in decisions, who betrays others for no reason. For him, he is the person from “the second row of history”.

Satyricon - Petronius (bust) and painting

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

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