The first integral printing of all the extant fragments of Petronius, including the “Dinner of Trimalchio”

Petronius Arbiter, Titus (d. 66 A.D.)

Satyricon, Cum Fragmento nuper Tragurii reperto. Accedunt diversorum Poetarum Lusus in Priapum, Pervigilium Veneris, Ausonii cento nuptialis, Cupido crucifixus, Epistolae de Cleopatra, & alia nonnulla. Omnia Commentariis, & Notis Doctorum Virorum illustrata. Concinnante Michaele Hadrianide. [With] Integrum Titi Petronii Arbitri Fragmentum, Ex antiquo codice Traguriensi Romae exscriptum; cum Apologia Marini Statilii I.V.D.

Amsterdam: Johannes Blaeu, 1669 and 1671


Octavo: 19.3 x 11.5 cm. I. *8 (-*1, blank), **8, ***2, A-Z8, Aa-Oo8, Pp4, Aaa-Lll8; II. *4, A-F8, G4 (lacking blank leaf G4) With an added, engraved title page by Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708).


Bound in contemporary stiff vellum. A nice copy with generous margins. Both title pages bear Blaeu’s device.

Michael Hadrianides’ 1669 edition of Petronius is the first to incorporate the “Fragmentum” discovered in Trau, Dalmatia, which contained the hitherto unknown text of the “Cena Trimalchionis” and is also "the first edition to contain all the fragments of the novel that we currently possess”. This copy is bound together with the –often lacking- 1670 edition of the “Fragmentum”, which prints the text as it appeared in the manuscript, here edited by Johannes Lucius, with the Apologia of Marino Statileo, who discovered the manuscript in Dalmatia.

"The story of Petronius’ partial rescue during the Renaissance is full of twists and ironies; Petronius himself would have enjoyed it. He was saved from oblivion by Poggio Bracciolini’s discovery, in 1420 in Cologne, of a manuscript containing Carolingian excerpts written continuously. This version, which favored verse and dialogue over description and narration and attempted to repress the novel’s exuberant homosexuality, formed the basis of the editio princeps, published in Milan in 1482. It was not until the sixteenth century that scholars doubled the amount of text available. The first expanded edition, the editio Tornaesiana, was published in Lyon in 1575 but did not contain the still unknown “Dinner of Trimalchio”. The “Cena” had been copied for Poggio in 1423 in Florence, but then vanished; the text was not rediscovered until almost a century later, by Marino Statileo in Trogir in Dalmatia, and was not published until 1664.” (Conte) It is Poggio’s copy, which disappeared while on loan to Niccolo Niccoli, and not the original Cologne manuscript, that reappeared in Dalmatia around 1650. It’s publication “in a very incorrect state” in 1664 “immediately gave rise to a fierce controversy, in which the most learned men of that day took a share, one party receiving it without suspicion as a genuine relic of antiquity, while their opponents, with great vehemence, contended that it was spurious. The strife was not quelled until the year 1669, when the MS. was dispatched from the Library of the proprietor, Nicolaus Cippius, at Traun, to Rome, where, having been narrowly scrutinized by the most competent judges, it was finally pronounced to be at least three hundred years old, and, since no forgery of such a nature could have been executed at that epoch, the skeptics were compelled reluctantly to admit that their doubts were ill founded.”(Allison)

Schmeling & Stuckley, Bibilography of Petronius, 71 & 78; Gaselee (Bibliography of Petronius), 49 & 51; Schweiger II p.723; Brunet IV 574; Graesse Vol 5 p. 239; Dibdin (4th ed.) Vol II, p. 276. Literature: See M.S. Smith’s 1975 Oxford edition of the “Cena Trimalchionis”, pp. xxii-xxiii and xxxvi; See also Alfred R. Allinson’s introduction to his translation of the “Satyricon.”