Collections > UNC Chapel Hill Undergraduate Honors Theses Collection > Nihil ex his quae in usu habemus: The Meaning of Learning in the Satyricon of Petronius

In this thesis, I examine the three dominant literary influences on Petronius' Satyricon and argue that his engagement with them is not merely literary play but instead a cohesive statement about the purpose of education under Nero. By drawing on key scenes and tropes from Homer, Plato, and Roman rhetoric, Petronius prods his readers to expect certain conclusions about classical learning only to drastically undercut those conclusions and lampoon their irrelevance in his narrative world.