aleator classicus

Reading at Random in Classical Literature

Petronius, Satyrica 50.5-6

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The rich freedman Trimalchio gives what Catherine Connors calls a ‘garbled and completely implausible retelling of the already unlikely story’ of the origins of Corinthian bronze during Mummius’ sack of the city.

cum Ilium captum est, Hannibal, homo vafer et magnus stelio, omnes statuas aeneas et aureas et argenteas in unum rogum congessit et eas incendit; factae sunt in unum aera miscellanea. ita ex hac massa fabri sustulerunt et fecerunt catilla et paropsides <et> statuncula. sic Corinthea nata sunt ex omnibus in unum, nec hoc nec illud.

When Troy was captured, Hannibal (a cunning man and a real snake) heaped up all the statues – bronze, gold and silver ones – and set them on fire. They all turned into a single mixed lump of bronze. So craftsmen took bits from this lump and made little bowls, dessert-dishes and statuettes. This is how Corinthian bronzes were born, from all metals mixed in one, neither one thing nor the other.

Written by aleatorclassicus

March 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Posted in Petronius

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