Paolo Monella, Il sonno della ragione nel Bellum Civile petroniano (Sat. 119, 58-60)

Verses 58-60 of the poem 'Bellum civile' within Petronius' Satyricon (chapter 119) use the medical metaphor of the 'deadly illness' to denounce the moral and political corruption of Rome before the republican civil wars. This metaphor may be compared to other similar medical metaphors throughout the Satyricon, applied to the corruption of education, arts and literature. The 'healing' of Rome in the 'Bellum civile' is paradoxically identified in the civil war. The 'healing' of arts and literature is no less paradoxical, as it is in the hands of crazy poet Eumolpus.

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