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Petronius
(full name: Petronius Arbiter)
Roman satirist
(died 65)



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Canis ingens, catena vinctus, in pariete erat pictus superque quadrata litterata scriptum, 'Cave canem'.
A huge dog, tied by a chain, was painted on a wall and over it was written in capital letters, 'Beware of the dog'.
-- Satyricon, 'Cana trimalchionis' (Trimalchio's Feast), ch. 29, sect. 1

Abiit ad plures.
He has gone to the majority. (that is, He has gone to join the great majority of humans who have ever lived [that is, the dead] }; in other words, he has died.)
-- Satyricon, 'Cana trimalchionis', ch. 42, sect. 5

A man who is always ready to believe what is told him will never do well.
-- Satyricon, ch. 43

One good turn deserves another.
-- Satyricon, ch. 45

Litterae thesaurum est.
Education is a treasure.
-- Satyricon, ch. 46

Scimus te prae litteras fatuum esse.
We know that you are mad with too much reading.
-- Satyricon, ch. 46

Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse ocullis mihi vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerunt: Sibylla, ti theleis? respondebat illa: Apolthanein thelo.
For I myself saw the Sibyl indeed at Cumae with my own eyes hanging in a jar; and when the boys used to say to her, "Sibyl, what do you want?" she replied, 'I want to die."
-- Satyricon, ch. 48. This quote refers to the Sibyl who bargained with the Greek god Apollo to exchange her virginity for years of life that would total the number of grains of sand that she could hold in her hand. After she spurned Apollo's love, he let her wither away over her near immortal life as she had forgotten to ask for eternal youth.

Not worth his salt.
-- Satyricon, ch. 57

Qualis dominus talis est servus.
Like master like man.
-- Satyricon, ch. 58

Beauty and wisdom are rarely conjoined.
-- Satyricon, ch. 94

Horatii curiosa felicitas.
Horace's careful felicity.
-- Satyricon, ch. 118
Alternative translations: The studied spontaneity of Horace. Horace's precisely lucky strikes.

Habes cofitentem reum.
Your prisoner admits the crimes.
-- Satyricon, ch. 130

A physician is nothing but a consoler of the mind.
-- Satyricon

Litteratum esse, quos odisse divites solent.
A man of letters, of the kind that rich men usually hate.
-- Satyricon


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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