Burnt offerings and harpies at Nasidienus’ dinner-party (Horace, Satires 2.8)
Lowe, D. M. (2010) Burnt offerings and harpies at Nasidienus’ dinner-party (Horace, Satires 2.8). In: Deroux, C. (ed.) Studies in latin literature and Roman history. Collection Latomus, XV. Latomus, Brussels, pp. 240-257.
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Horace's last Satire describes a disastrous dinner party hosted by the gourmet Nasidienus, which is ruined by a collapsing tapestry. The food served afterwards is presented in a dismembered state. This chapter argues that several elements of the scene recall the greedy Harpies of Apollonius' Argonautica, and that Horace's friend Virgil shows the influence of this Satire in his own Harpy-scene in Aeneid 3. It also argues that the confusion in the middle of the dinner causes the food cooking in the kitchen to be neglected and burned. This explains the state of the subsequent courses, which Nasidienus has salvaged from a separate disaster backstage.