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Eumolpus Poeta at Work:

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Chapter Summary

The distorting mirror of Petronius's Satyricon offers one of the richest portraits of a poet at work in ancient literature, in the person of the impoverished poet and raconteur Eumolpus. This chapter focuses on how Eumolpus prepares for his performances, particularly in poetry, but in one or two prose forms as well. Eumolpus's two narrated stories (usually identified as Milesian tales) about his adventures with the Pergamene boy and the exemplum of the widow of Ephesus are far more successful performances. Here the poet displays a nuanced sense of both audience and occasion, and the reception of these stories by internal audiences of the novel can be read as further commentary on composition and performance in Neronian culture.

Keywords:Eumolpus; Petronius; Satyricon



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