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Petronius (Gaius Petronius Arbiter)

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Biography

Nero had become emperor in 54 A.D., and his interest in theater and luxury led him to appoint a courtier named Petronius (praenomen probably Titus or possibly Gaius) as his Arbiter elegantiae or judge of elegance. Described as a man who "made luxury a fine art" and "who spent his days sleeping and his nights working and enjoying himself" by Tacitus, Petronius dictated the fashion and art at the Imperial court. There he composed his masterwork, the satirical "The Satyricon", probably in 61 A.D. Nero was capricious, however, and his favor was uncertain; the jealousy of a rival led to Petronius' downfall. Read more...

Writing