We know that it is vulgar, but a little self-promotion will do no harm. Your friends of The Asmonti Chronicles are in at #99, like Wayne Gretzky! Seriously, thank you to the lovely people at Gabucci for the acknowledgement.
The non-latinists amongst our followers have kindly asked for a translation of the excerpt from Tacitus' Annales sketching the portrait of Petronius Arbiter, the original arbiter elegantiae. Here it follows:
calls for a brief retrospect. He was a man whose day was passed in sleep, his nights in the social duties and amenities of life: others industry may raise to greatness — Petronius had idled into fame. Nor was he regarded, like the common crowd of spendthrifts, as a debauchee and wastrel, but as the finished artist of extravagance. His words and actions had a freedom and a stamp of self-abandonment which rendered them doubly acceptable by an air of native simplicity. Yet as proconsul of Bithynia, and later as consul, he showed himself a man of energy and competent to affairs. Then, lapsing into the habit, or copying the features, of vice, he was adopted into the narrow circle of Nero’s intimates as his Arbiter of Elegance; the jaded emperor finding charm and delicacy in nothing save what Petronius had commended. His success awoke the jealousy of Tigellinus against an apparent rival, more expert in the science of pleasure than himself. He addressed himself, therefore, to the sovereign’s cruelty, to which all other passions gave pride of place; arraigning Petronius for friendship with Scaevinus, while suborning one of his slaves to turn informer, withholding all opportunity of defence, and placing the greater part of his household under arrest.
“Perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving-stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.”—