Petronius author of a picaresque Latin novel called Satyricon. In medieval Europe this was a secret Latin classic, known to a few fortunate scholars. Even fewer boasted of knowing it, for this work was sexually explicit and amoral in tone. By the 15th century, when classical texts began to be printed, no complete manuscript of the Satyricon survived, but there were several collections of extracts from which modern editions have been lovingly pieced together. What we can read today seems to come from books 14 to 16 of an original of considerable, but unknown, length.