The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Pervigilium – Petasus – Petronius Arbiter – Peutiger Tablet – Pezetaeri



Romans wore a similar hat in the country,! and when travelling; in the city it was!

of a good equestrian family. Losing his father when six years old, at the age of twelve he went to Rome, and enjoyed the instructions of the most eminent teachers, more especially of one for whom he had the greatest reverence, Annaeus Cornutus, who initiated him in the Stoic philosophy, and introduced him to the acquaintance of Lucan. After the first poetic attempts of his youth, which he himself burnt, his

•energies were directed to satiric verse, under the influence of Lucilius and Horace. On his early death, in 62, the six satires which he left, after some slight revision by Cornutus, were published by his friend, the poet Csesius Bassus. In these Persius deals with the moral corruption of his age, from the standpoint of a Stoic preacher of ethics. Both in though', and expression a tendency to echo Horace is constantly apparent. He composed slowly, and was himself conscious that he had no true poetic faculty.1 His mode of expression is fre­quently difficult and involved to the verge

•of obscurity. The need of explanations was accordingly felt in comparatively early times; but the collection of scholia bearing the name of Cornutus shows hardly any traces of ancient learning.

Pervlglllum (lit. " a nigh(>watch "). A nocturnal festival in honour of a divinity, especially that of the Bond Dia, at which originally only married women were allowed to be present. In imperial times, when the presence of men was permitted, a nocturnal festival to Venus was also instituted. Such a festival, extending over three nights in the spring, is referred to in an anonymous poem called the Pervigilium VSnfrls, of the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. It consists of ninety-three trochaic septenSnl, separated into unequal strophce by the recurring refrain, Cms amct qui nun-quam dmavit, quique amavit eras amet. It celebrates in a lively strain the power of Venus, particularly as displayed in spring­time, lauding her as the giver of life to all, and as the ancestress and patroness of Rome.

Pgtasug. A flat felt hat, with a broad and round brim, usually worn among the Thessalians. The brim is often parted into four bow-shaped indentations (fig. 2). It is said to have been introduced into Greece along with the Mamys as a distinguishing mark of the fphlbl. Hermes is usually represented with the winged petasus. The

1 The prologue, in which this self-criticism is expressed, is omitted by Jahn in his latest edition.

(1) Gerhard, Arch. Zeitung, 18«, tav. jciir.

(2) Miiller, llenkm. i, no. 327.

generallj' used only in the theatre, as a pro­ tection from the sun. { Petronlus Arbiter. Author of a satiric 1 romance, certainly of the time of Nero, f and probably the Gaius Petronius whose j licentiousness and congenial tastes obtained j for him the high favour of Nero, at whose! court he played the part of arbiter ellgan- j tl(K (maitre de plaisir), until, in 66 A.D., j in consequence of the intrigues of his I rivals, he committed suicide by opening 1 his veins [Tacitus, Ann. xvi 18, 19]. Of his j social romance, entitled Saturn:, which must j originally have consisted of about twenty 1 books, only fragments are left to us, being j part of books xv and xvi. The most 1 complete and famous is the "Banquet of| Trimalchio " (Ccna TrimalchWnis). Judg­ ing from the fragments, the scene was laid | under Tiberius, or possibly Augustus, in j S. Italy, chiefly in an unnamed colony in Campania, partly in Crfiton. The work is astonishing for the truth with which both manners and men are painted. A masterly hand appears in the treatment of the dia­ logue, adapted as it is in every instance to the character of the speaker, now plebeian, in the mouth of Trimalchio, the freedman who has become a millionaire; now re­ fined, in the cultivated Greek Encolpius; or agairi bombastic, in the case of the poet Eumolpus. All situations in life (with a preference for the filthiest), and even litera­ ture and art, come under discussion. In the prose are introduced numerous and sometimes extensive pieces of poetry, mostly intended to parody some particular style.

Peutinger Tablet (Tdbula PeutingSrwna, named after its former owner, Konrad Peutinger, one of the councillors of Augs­burg). A chartographic representation of the Roman world ; now at Vienna. It is a copy of a map of the 3rd century a.d. (Sec also itineraria.)

P6z6taeri. In the Macedonian army, the free but not noble class of the population,

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.