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Often neglected or considered too transgressive, the Priapeia, with its blend of Roman and Hellenistic influences, offers a complex view of ancient customs, especially homosexuality, combining literary tradition with sociological insight.

Long neglected, rejected as transgressing the rules of propriety or, on the contrary, artificially promoted as provocative, marginal and unduly charged with sociological and moral information about ancient mores, particularly homosexuality, the Priapeia reveal a complex source in which the various components of a Roman literary and popular tradition are fused with a Hellenising literary influence.

As a possible illustration of a comic and bawdy literature, now lost, but for which Petronius' Satyrica may offer an echo in the narrative field, a literature in which the uis comica of the grotesque and burlesque form part of a cultural fund, the Priapeia, through the richness of their intertextual play, their distancing effect and, more generally, the mastery of their author, constitute a precious document for deepening our lexical, linguistic, stylistic and cultural knowledge of Latin literature.

These various aspects of the work are analysed in this edition, which, based on a large corpus of manuscripts, clarifies the history of the text, sheds light on the many problems of interpretation, offers a translation that is committed to rendering the complex variations of a style that has too often been altered in the quest for an unashamedly popular vulgarism, and constitutes the first truly scholarly French edition of the Priapeia.


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