Petronius, Poems

LCL 15: 406-407



Of the poems which follow, 1–17 are found in the cod. Vossianus L. Q. 86, a MS. of the ninth century. They follow a number of epigrams attributed to Seneca and are not attributed by the MS. to Petronius. But 3, 1 and 13, 6–9 are quoted by Fulgentius (Myth. I, 1, p. 17, 3; III, 9, p. 74) as from Petronius, while the general resemblance to Petronius led Scaliger to attribute the remainder to the same author. Though absolute proof of the correctness of this attribution is lacking, most readers will feel little doubt that Scaliger was right.

18–291 were contained in a MS. once at Beauvais and now lost. The contents of this codex Bellovacensis were published by Claude Binet in 1579. The last two poems were not, according to Binet, given to Petronius by the MS., and I have included them with some hesitation. But as Binet saw, the resemblance to the style and tone of Petronius is considerable, and they are therefore given here. The six poems which followed in this MS. are given by Baehrens (P.L.M. iv. 103–8) to Petronius. But they have no particular affinity with the work of Petronius, and as they have inserted among them in Binet’s book a


number of poems which are admittedly by Luxorius (see Baehrens, op. cit. App. Crit. on P.L.M. iv. 104), they are not included here.

The remaining two poems are found in cod. Vossianus L.F. 111, a MS. of the ninth century. They are attributed to Petronius by the MS., and follow two poems found in the MSS. of the novel (c. 14 and c. 83). Their general resemblance would betray their authorship.

H. E. Butler.

For a discussion of these MSS. see Baehrens, Poetae Latini Minores, vol. iv, pp. 11, 13, and 19. Also p. 36 ff. Cf. also Adalaide Wegner, “The Sources of the Petronius Poems in the Catalecta of Scaliger,” in T.A.P.A., LXIV, 1933, p. lxvii. It is likely that certain Petronian and other poems were in the presumed archetype of the Satyricon-tradition (see p. xix).


Cod. Voss. L.Q. 86 = V. Cod. Bellovacensis (now lost) = W. Cod. Voss. L.F. 111 = E.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.petronius-poems.1913