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PETRONIUS, ARBITER:

Latin satirist; generally assumed to be a contemporary of Nero. In a fragment he ridicules the Jews, declaring that, even though they worship the pig and revere heaven, this is of no significance unless they are circumcised, for only then, according to his opinion, can they celebrate the fast of the Sabbath. These three absurd assertions, that the Jews worship the pig and heaven and that they fast on the Sabbath, were disseminated throughout the Roman world.

Petronius' satire of the "Widow of Ephesus" is found in Jewish literature, although the source from which the latter derived it was not his novel.

Bibliography:
  • The text of the poem in Petronius, Satyricon, ed. Büchler, No. 37, Berlin, 1862;
  • Reinach, Textes d' Auteurs Grees et Latins Relatifs au Judaïsme, i. 266;
  • Schürer, Gesch. 3d ed., i. 299.
  • Regarding the Widow of Ephesus, see Ha-Goren, iv, 27;
  • J. Q. R. v. 168.
G. S. Kr.
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