The Satyricon is the most celebrated prose work to have survived from the ancient world. It can be described as the first realistic novel, the father of the picaresque genre. It recounts the sleazy progress of a pair of literate scholars as they wander through the cities of the southern Mediterranean in the age of Nero, encountering en route type-figures whom the author wishes to satirize--a professor, a libidinous priestess, a vulgar freedman turned millionaire, a manic poet, a superstitious sea-captain, and a femme fatale. P.G. Walsh captures the spirit of the original in this new and lively translation; his introduction and detailed notes provide the serious student with a comprehensive guide to the meanings and intentions of the story.