The text of the first known avant-garde (or plutovsky) novel in the world literature was preserved only fragmentarily: excerpts of the 15th, 16th and presumably the 14th chapter. There is no beginning, no, and the end, And everything seems to have been 20 chapters ... The

protagonist (on his behalf, the narrative is) - an unbalanced young man, Anatolpius, who is undead in rhetoric, is clearly insane, but alas, a defenseless person. He hides himself, escaping from punishment for robbery, murder and, most importantly, for the sexual sanctity that brought him the anger of Pripa, a very peculiar ancient Greek god of fertility. (At the time of the action of the novel, the cult of this god blossomed blossomed in Rome. Fapital motifs are required in Priapa's images: many of his sculptures are preserved).

Ankolpius with his friends-parasites Ashkilt, Giton and Agamemnon arrived in one of the Hellenic colonies in Campania (the region of ancient Italy). On a visit to the rich Roman rider Lycurgus they all "intertwined with couples". At the same time here in honor not only normal (from our point of view), but also purely male love. Then Encollius and Ashkilt (who have just recently become "brothers") periodically change their sympathies and love situations. Ashkilt is fond of the sweet boy by the Guiton, and Enkolpius is struggling with the beauty of Triefen ...

Soon, the novel's effect is transferred to the estate of the shipowner Lich. And - new love interlacings, in which is involved and a pretty Dorida - the wife of Lich, In the end, Enkolpius and the Guiton have to be urgently stamped out of the estate.

On the way, a terrible rater-lover climbs to the ship, who has sabotaged the shack, and manages to stamp out a dear mantle from the statue of Isis and the money of the helm. Then he returns to the estate to Lycurgus.

... Bacchanalia of Priapa admirers - wild "pranks" of Priapov's prostitutes ... After many adventures, Enkolpius, Giton, Askilt and Agamemnon get to the house of Trimalhion, the richest freedman, a dumb nephew who thinks himself very educated. He energetically breaks into the "high light".

Conversations for a feast. Stories about the gladiators. The host is important to inform the guests: "Now I have two libraries. One is Greek and the other is Latin. " But immediately it turns out that in his head the most monstrous way was confused with the famous heroes and plots of Hellenic myths and the Homeric epic. The self-confident ignorance of the illiterate host is unlimited. He graciously addresses the guests and, at the same time, he himself yesterday's slave, is unjustifiably cruel to the servants. However, the Trimalhion is withdrawing ...

On a huge silver dish, the servants make an entire boar, from which suddenly flying thieves. They are immediately intercepted by the birds and distributed to the guests. An even more grandiose pig is stuffed with fried sausages. Here was a dish with cakes: "In the middle of it was Pryap from the dough, holding, as usual, a basket of apples, grapes and other fruits. We threw a pity on the fruits, but the new fun has intensified the fun. For from all cakes, at the slightest pressure, the fountains of saffron were killed ..."

Then three boys make images of three Larov (guardians of the house and family). Trimalhion informs: their name is the Derivator, the Lucky and the Grabber. In order to entertain those present, Niceroth, a friend of Trimalhion, tells the story of a werewolf soldier, and the Trimalhion himself - about a witch who stole a dead boy from the coffin and replaced the body with a phobic (straw fillet).

Meanwhile, the second meal begins: thrushes stuffed with nuts with raisins. Then a huge fat goose is served, surrounded by all kinds of fish and bird. But it turned out that the most skilful cook (named Daedal!) Made it all out ... pork.

"Then it began that which was just as shameful to tell: in some unheard-of custom, the curly boys brought spirits in silver bottles and wiped their legs on the ground, previously tore their legs, from their knees to their heels, with flower garlands."

A cook for his art was allowed to sit down at the table with his guests for some time. At the same time, servants, feeding the regular dishes, necessarily sang something, regardless of the presence of voice and hearing. Dancers, acrobats and magicians also almost entertained the guests.

The straightened Trimalhion decided to announce ... his testament, a detailed description of the future magnificent gravestone and the inscription on it (of his own composition, of course) with a detailed listing of his titles and merits. Even more so, having been modest, he can not refrain from saying the corresponding speech: "Friends! And slaves are people: one with us is breastfeeding milk. And they are not to blame that their participation is bitter. However, by my grace, they will soon drink free water, I will release them all to their will in freedom. I will say all this now, so that my servant now loves me just as he will love when I die."

Adventures of the Encyclopedia continue. One day he dodges in the pinatokothek (art gallery), where he admires the paintings of the famous Hellenic painters Apelles, Zeukstid and others. Here he meets the old poet Evmolp and does not part with him until the very end of the narrative (right up to the end we know).

Eumpool speaks almost continuously in verses, for which we have been repeatedly beaten with stones. Although his verses were not bad at all. And sometimes - very good. The Prozaic canvas of "Satyricon" is often interrupted by poetic inserts ("The Poem about the Civil War," etc.). Petronius was not only a very observant and talented prose writer and poet, but also a wonderful parody imitator: he virtually imitated the literary manner of contemporaries and famous forerunners.

... Eummolp and Enkolpius talk about art. The educated people have something to talk about. Meanwhile, the handsome Guyton returns from Ashkilta with the guilty to his former "brother" Enkolpius. He explains his change with fear in front of Ashkilot: "For he possessed a weapon of such magnitude that the man himself seemed only an appendage to this structure." A new twist of fate: all three are on the ship of Disaster. But not all of them here meet equally warmly. However, the old poet restores the world. After that, he entertains his companions "The story of a desperate widow."

A certain matron from Ephesus was distinguished by great modesty and marital fidelity. And when her husband died, she followed him into the funeral dungeon and intended to starve herself there. The widow does not resist the censure of her family and friends. Only a faithful maidservant brushed her loneliness in the crypt and, likewise, starving steadfastly, passed the fifth day of mourning self-torture ...

"... At that time, the ruler of that area ordered near the dungeon, in which the widow was crying over a fresh corpse, to crucify a few robbers. And in order for nobody to rob the robber bodies, wishing to betray them to burial, they placed a soldier on guard near the crosses. On the night of the night, he noticed that a fairly bright light was pouring from among the gravestone monuments, heard the groans of the unhappy widow and the curiosity inherent all kind of human, wanted to know who it is and what is being done. He immediately descended into the crypt and, seeing there a woman of wonderful beauty, just before a miracle, as if he met face to face with the shadows of the afterlife, for some time he was embarrassed. Then, when he finally saw the dead body in front of him, when he considered her tears and face scratched with nails, he understood, of course, that it is only a woman who, after the death of her husband, can not rest from grief. Then he brought his humble lunch to the crypt and began to convince the crying beauty that she would no longer be killed and tormented her breasts with useless sobs. "

After some time, the loyal servant joins the conspirator of the soldier. Both convinced the widow that it was too early to hurry to her. Not far from immediately, but a sad ephah beauty still begins to yield to their exhortations. First, exhausted by a long fast, she is tempted with food and drink. And after a while, the soldier succeeds in conquering the heart of the beautiful widow.

"They spent in mutual hugs not only this night, in which they made their wedding, but the same was for the next, and even for the third day. And the doors in the dungeon to the event, if a relative of relatives and acquaintances came to the tomb, of course, was locked up, so that it seemed that this most wise man of the womb died on the body of her husband."

Meanwhile, close to one of the crucifiers, taking advantage of the lack of security, removed from the cross and buried his body. And when the loving guard found this and, trembling with fear of impending punishment, told of the widow's loss, he decided: "I prefer to hang the dead, than to destroy the living." Accordingly, she gave advice to pull her husband out of the coffin and nail him to the empty cross. The soldier immediately took advantage of the brilliant thought of a sensible woman. And the next day, all passers-by surprised how the dead climbed to the cross."

A storm rises to the sea. In the abyss, Lih dies. The rest continue to wander over the waves. Moreover, Eummulp does not stop his poetic recitation in this critical situation. But in the end the unfortunates are saved and spend an uneasy night in a fishing hut.

And soon they all fall into Crotone, one of the oldest Greek colonies on the southern coast of the Apennine Peninsula. This, incidentally, is the only geographical point specifically denoted in the text available to us in the novel.

To live casually and carelessly (so they are accustomed) and in a new city, friends on adventure decide: Eummol will give himself up as a very prosperous person, meditating, to whom would have all his immense wealth. It's said - done. This makes it possible for unbelievable friends to live calmly, taking advantage of the townspeople not only with a welcome reception, but also with unlimited credit. For many Crotonians were counting on the share of Eummol's will, and struggled to win his favor.

And again, a series of love is not so much an adventure, but an enkolpia mischief. All his troubles are connected with the anger of Pripa, which has already been mentioned.

But the Crowns have finally perceived, and there is no limit to their just anger. Townspeople are energetically preparing violence against cunning people. An incongruity with Guiton manages to escape from the city, throwing Eumpool there.

The Crotones live with the old poet according to their ancient customs. When a disease was raging in the city, one of the compatriots citizens was kept and fed the best during the year at the expense of the community. And then they sacrificed: this "scapegoat" was thrown out of a high rock. That's how the Crotonians did with Eummulp.