The cena trimalchionis is an episode in the 15th book of Satyricon by Petronius, a narrative poem of which only a few fragments remain.
Petronius, a Latin writer and poet who lived between the first and second half of the 2nd century AD, provides a refined and ironic description of the values and false moralism of his time.
Encolpius, the protagonist of the tale, describes his adventures with his lover Giton and the young Ascyltos, during a journey in the south of Italy.
The realistic and caricatured description of the freedman Trimalchio who, during a sumptuous banquet with his guests, false rhetoricians and poets, talks about the meaning of life and death, and lays bare the diners’ inability to pretend to be what, in reality, they were not.
From an atmosphere imbued with apparently elevated speeches, the true nature of the rich freedmen takes over, culminating in obscene stories and erotic encounters.
The scenes narrated by Petronius dwell on the magnificence of the banquet with dishes that looked like works of art in a scenographic context animated by dancing and vices.