The Satyricon by Petronius Arbiter
`The language is refined, the smile not grave, My honest tongue recounts how men behave.' "The Satyricon" is a celebrated work of fiction from the ancient world. It may be described as the first realistic novel, the father of the picaresque genre, and recounts the sleazy progress of a pair of literature scholars as they wander through the cities of the southern Mediterranean. En route they encounter type-figures the author wickedly satirizes - a teacher in higher education, a libidinous priest, a vulgar freedman turned millionaire, a manic poet, a superstitious sea-captain and a femme fatale. This translation by P.G. Walsh, aims to capture the gaiety of the original, and is further enhanced by an introduction giving an account of the plot, the various scholarly interpretations and the later history of its literary influence. There are also extensive notes which serve to illuminate the reading of a text. The book is intended for classical studies and comparative Literature.