Interveniens – 4

I wondered why the boar had a cap of freedom on, but I simply assumed that it was because of Trimalchio’s status as a freedman. Although, I did not see the sense in him comparing a boar to his own self. Somehow sensing my confusion, Traianus leaned over to me and revealed the truth. “I have learned,” he said, “that the boar was present at last night’s dinner. The guests dismissed it, and so it comes back tonight, wearing a freedman’s cap.” I was glad we were not eating that boar.

Just then, a young boy with ivy leaves in his hair pranced around the room with a basket of grapes. He impersonated Bacchus, prompting the master to say, “Dionysus, rise and be free.” The boy took the boar’s cap and placed it on his own head. We cheered the boy on as he went around the room. Then, Trimalchio retired, and the guests were alone in the dining room.

Conversation erupted at once. One man, Dama, made some comment or another that had no bearing for me.


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