This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Roman And Western Society: The Satrycon

1131 words - 5 pages

It is quite captivating to see the similarities in what behavior is considered appropriate and which is considered a "faux pas" in ancient Roman society and Western society today. In reading The Satrycon it has become quite clear that our society's ideology of what is considered polite behavior has in many ways remained intact. Trimalchio, the main character of The Satrycon and our ancient "Great Gatsby" posed a satiric and contradicting behavior to the norm of etiquette incased in the values of ancient Roman society which unfold in the story as his dinner guests leave quite repulsed. Trimalchio insults Roman etiquette and his dinner guests through his ill mannered behavior.
Trilmachio ...view middle of the document...

(Petronius 30). These flashy displays were made all throughout the dinner, as the narrator notes that Trilmachio is wrapped in scarlet, and everything, even the slaves, were adorned with the color purple. Such garments were appropriate only for people of royal and equestrian status in ancient Roman society. Trimalchio, even with his grand fortune was still freedman in society, and would clearly never be of royal stature. In one of their vulgar displays of wealth, Fortunata, Trilmachio's wife went as far as to have scales brought it to weigh the amount of gold on her body for the guests' "entertainment" (Petronius, 58). This shows us that despite their wealth, Trilmachio and his wife Fortunata had a crude presence of "nouveau riche" people which they could not shake off. This tiring show off behavior is never appropriate as it makes guests uncomfortable to the point of repulse.
Trilmachio's satiric and mocking treatment towards his slaves particularly offended the narrator as it was not the correct way of treating slaves in ancient Roman society. Trilmachio centered his dinner and entertainment around the slaves. He would play cruel games with the slaves and almost a game of cat and mouse as he would ridicule them in front of the guests'. Trimalchio would treat them in a cruel manner when they made a specific mistake and played games with their minds making them think he would have them executed and then playing the hero as he decided not to and having them thank him. It seems he enjoyed having them beg for mercy and watching the fear of death in their eyes in a twisted way. Displays of this treatment were illustrated when Trilmachio cleaned his hands using a slave's hair (Petronius, 52), punishing a slave for dropping a plate by having his ears boxed (Petronius, 30), and threatening to have a slave cook executed for forgetting to gut a pig (Petronius, 44). At one point the narrator states that he is disgusted with how much the slaves are included in the dinner, complaining about the proximity of a dirty slave boy next to him which shows us that it was not common or considered sanitary and pleasant to have a slave so close nearby. One might argue that Trimalchio enjoyed this close proximity with the slaves because...

Find Another Essay On Roman and Western Society: The Satrycon

Greek And Roman Influence On Western Civilization

569 words - 2 pages Western civilization is what we call modern society that mainly includes North America and Western Europe. But how did this western way of life come to be? Their are many different ways but mainly through ancient cultures. The two main ones are the Greek and Roman. Greece with their golden age and Rome with its great Empire and Republic and also together. Their are many ways in which western civilization is like the ancient Greek

The Fall of the Western Roman Empire

1560 words - 6 pages thousands of soldiers. This natural rebelliousness could possibly explain why the Roman government became so dysfunctional when it split into the East and the West. This unsatisfactory government was especially apparent in the west, as the Eastern Emperor managed/was forced to become leader of the whole Empire three times, while the Western Emperor did not step up once. This circumstance, besides indicating a frightful lack of strong leadership in the

Center of the Greek and Roman Society, the Byzantine Empire Kept the Society Alive

831 words - 4 pages The Byzantine Empire occurred for nearly 1,125 years, and it’s one of the ultimate empires of all time. Many people have heard of the Byzantine Empire, but know only a little about the history. The Byzantine Empire became the center of a very alive civilization that sealed Greek and Roman societies while Western Europe fell into the horrible times. Even though, it became one with Rome, it continued some of Rome’s patterns, they established its

"Discuss the reasons for the decline and ultimate fall of the western Roman Empire, evaluating internal and external influences."

1712 words - 7 pages Greece and Gaul (later France). Then in 476 A. D. the Germanic general Odacer or Odovacar overthrew the last of the Roman Emperors, Augustulus Romulus. From then on the western part of the Empire was ruled by Germanic chieftain. Roads and bridges were left in disrepair and fields left untilled. Pirates and bandits made travel unsafe. Cities could not be maintained without goods from the farms, trade and business began to disappear. And Rome in the

Influence of Greek and Roman Culture on Western Civilization

593 words - 2 pages There are many different ways that modern cultures in the west have been impacted and built upon, but there are two ancient cultures that were the most influential. The Greek and Roman cultures helped shape Western Civilization in many ways. Both were very important factors in the development of Western culture. The Greeks contributed through art, architecture, government, philosophy, education, and science. The Romans contributed through

Mediterranean Society Under Greek and Roman Influence

817 words - 3 pages As the Greek and Roman empires ascended immensely throughout the western world, new ideas changed the way the Mediterranean Society handled things, which were spread across the globe. “The rise of the series of city-states of classical Greece began in the ninth century B.C.E. and during the late sixth century B.C.E, Rome’s development as a republic began as Etruscan society declined”(Bentley et al, 2008 p.132, 145). The development of these

Roman Games (Origins And Effect On Society)

2762 words - 12 pages opening, 5,000 beasts were killed and festivals ran for 100 days thereafter. The Colosseum became the centrepiece of society and an integral component of Roman culture. This purpose built stadium for gladiatorial saw the munera become the spectacle of the Roman Empire, with people coming from all over to view the games, "There are farmers from the Balkans here, natives from southern Russia bred on horse's blood, people who drink the Nile's waters

The Role of Religion in Roman Society

3506 words - 14 pages The Role of Religion in Roman Society Throughout the history of Rome, from the monarchy to the late empire, religion had played a great role in it's society and was involved in almost every aspect of the life of the Roman citizen. It was common for each house to have it's own patron god/gods and ,on special occasions, the head of the house would make a sacrifice to the personal gods of the family. Also, great festivals were usually held in

The Role of Roman Women in Society

1111 words - 5 pages The role of Roman women in society From the founding of Ancient Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century the role of women changed immensely. The Romans preserved its foundation myth of Rome providing insight about its attitudes towards women, such as the Sabine women, who were said to have formed the ideals of the city with intelligence and courage intervening to save both families and keep peace.Then, as time passed, women

Marriage in the Western European Society

686 words - 3 pages Marriage in the Western European Society Without exception marriage is a human social construct. The animal kingdom does appear to have a number of species that appear to mate for life but the term marriage implies a formal commitment requiring ceremony, social obligations and rights. There are also very many cultural differences around the world in what is perceived to be “marriage”. However, without exception all

The Effect of Constantine's Conversion on the Roman Society and Christianity

588 words - 2 pages . Another effect of Constantine's conversion on the Roman society was the bringing together of church and state, while up until this point was kept mostly separate. His position as a government ruler and great interest in Christianity brought together the two worlds. Emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity had many radical effects on the Roman society and the future of the religion.Before Constantine came into power, Maxentius ruled Italy

Similar Essays

Change Within Western Society From Roman Times To

1935 words - 8 pages transformations, it can be understood that it is a result from the changing times and situations.The artistic changes in time the Western Society from Roman times to the time of Carolingian Empire are no exception. These creative differences that occurred during such times make it effortless to notice and understand the changes that were taking place. As a result, the alterations in society can be understood from the Roman Empire to the time of Charlemagne

The Roman Empire And Its Influence On Western Civilization

1503 words - 6 pages The Roman Empire and Its Influence on Western Civilization      Rome's vast empire lasted for an amazing one thousand-year reign. Half of it referred to as the republic, and the other as the empire. However, after its fall in 5oo-a.d. Rome has still remained in existence through its strong culture, architecture, literature, and even religion (Spielvogel 175). Even after its disappearance as a nation Rome left behind a legacy that will never

Social And Economic Decline In The Western Roman Empire

877 words - 4 pages significantly foreshadowing its future. While the declining reputation of Rome was apparent long before the battle itself, it was clear that the Roman defeat at Adrianople significantly contributed to the Western Empire’s gradual disintegration as the dominance of the East thrived. Nearing the fourth century, the Roman Empire had experienced a teetering struggle for uniformity under the rule of Diocletian and the tetrarchy. Though Diocletian’s goals

The Binaries Of Wicked And Western Society

1340 words - 5 pages considered by both Ozian and western society as the perfect women and men that possess the ideal attributes of gender and sex. Even though, society categorizes women as feminine beings with long, beautiful hair, and as compassionate, nurturing, and fragile this does not necessary mean that all women have to be feminine in order to be females. On the other hand, “social structure weds masculinity to maleness and to power and domination” that men