Abstract

At Juvenal 5.141-45, Virro distributes a curious series of presents to the children of his impoverished client Trebius: a viridis thorax, nuts, and an as. Through an exploration of the connotations attached to these gifts, I argue that the scene provides a vivid mise en abyme for the rest of the poem. Just as the dinner offered to Trebius is not only meager but transforms him into a buffoon, the presents given to his children are both mean and perverse. In particular, the viridis thorax has un-Roman and effeminate connotations akin to the description of patronage as a sexual perversion in Satire 9.

pdf

Share