The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Petronius Arbiter
PETRONIUS ARBITER, the author of Petronii Arbitri Satyricon, a work of no certain date, in prose and verse, describing the adventures of several young debauchees in the south of Italy, particularly Naples and its environs. It has been maintained that he was the Caius Petronius spoken of by Tacitus (Ann. xvi. 18, 19) as the most elegant voluptuary of the days of Nero, the arbiter elegantiæ of that monarch. His life being threatened by the jealousy of Tigellinus, he opened his veins, and, occasionally checking the flow of blood by bandages, sank so gradually that his death seemed to be the result of natural causes. The best edition of the extant fragments of the Satyricon is that of Burmann (2 vols. 4to, Amsterdam, 1743), and there are English translations.