Dear Steve,

I dissent from some of  what you say. First, Trimalchio is not exactly a
'psuedo-intellectual' (in fact, this is a better description of Encolpius,
but that's another story); he is a rich freedman, who happens to make gaffes
with a couple of stories whilst trying to one up his learned company (who
are significantly poorer than himself, which is why they laugh at his jokes
and have a good time eating the dinner he provides). It is not  learning but
money which concerns him; he is a businessman. On the other hand, the
situation declines the gambit of sides (partly why the Satyricon is so
good). Yes, Encolpius and co are cocking a snook at Trimalchio (especially
his bad taste); and he is cocking one back (quid est pauper, saieth he) at

Second, part of what we discover when we engage the context of the epigraph
is that the Sybil situation occurs within another situation, that of
Trimalchio's banquet. This is the major shift between the quotation as it
appears and in its context.

Third, I can't agree with any of the following reasons for selecting the
quotation, because none of them seem to me either in TWL or in the situation
from which the quotation is extracted.

  ) a trapped woman
> 2) a gay relationship
> 3) the collapse of civilizations throughout time
> 4) a dead father
> 5) a descent into the underworld
> 6) pseudo-intellectual readers who think they understand, but don't

Yours, Jennifer