Petronius Arbiter was the Arbiter of Elegance at the court of the extravagant young Nero. Little is known of his life except for the extraordinary way he ended it, described in telling detail by the historian Tacitus. Petronius' comic masterpiece, the Satyrica - famous not least for its namesake, Fellini Satyricon (1969) - is generally recognized as one of the most original and engaging works to survive from classical antiquity. Whether read as the first European novel, a parody of classical romance, a sophisticated example of pagan pornography or a gay classic, Petronius' picaresque account of the Priapic adventures of Encolpius and his beautiful lover, Giton, takes us deep into the underworld of the Roman empire. Told in the first-person by Encolpius, the Satyrica offers a brilliant comic exploration of an ancient empire in decline and of the energies released by its decay. Since it was first translated into English by William Burnaby in 1694, the Satyrica has never ceased to delight and scandalize. This new translation attempts to capture the comic vigor and literary cunning of the original in the idioms of contemporary American English.