The Motif of Cannibalism in the Metamorphoses and Thyestes

1§1 Passion and revenge are two themes that characterize Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Seneca’s Thyestes.  The tone in the Metamorphoses varies from grotesque to comedic to serious. Mythical tradition allows for the creation of imaginative transformations and functions as a conduit for the poet to interweave tales of passion, while touching upon the many facets of … Read moreThe Motif of Cannibalism in the Metamorphoses and Thyestes

How the Status and Art of the Roman Freedman Complicate Petronius’s Trimalchio

Written by Rebecca Morris 1§1 Jonathan Z. Smith writes, “The historian’s task is to complicate, not to clarify.” Although Petronius is not a historian but a Roman author of the Neronian Age, his fictional work, The Satyricon, adds complexity to his literary figures and their historical functions in Roman society. Detailed knowledge of the author … Read moreHow the Status and Art of the Roman Freedman Complicate Petronius’s Trimalchio

The New Social Order: The Portrayal of Freedmen in the Satyrica

1§1 After another guest laughs at the antics of the freedmen’s host Trimalchio, the wealthy freedman Hermeros angrily rebukes him, claiming that he himself proudly earned his freedom from servitude. Insulting the heckler’s freeborn status, Hermeros asserts that freedmen are more virtuous and noble than their freeborn counterparts, telling him, nam in ingenuum nasci tam … Read moreThe New Social Order: The Portrayal of Freedmen in the Satyrica