"You Roll My Log, And I Will Roll Yours"

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Last Updated on January 19, 2017, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 227

Context: According to the ancient tradition, this piece, "The Pumpkinification of Claudius," is the work of Seneca; although scholars have long debated the truth of the tradition, they have proved it neither true nor false. They do agree, however, that it is clearly a member of the literary class named...

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Context: According to the ancient tradition, this piece, "The Pumpkinification of Claudius," is the work of Seneca; although scholars have long debated the truth of the tradition, they have proved it neither true nor false. They do agree, however, that it is clearly a member of the literary class named Satura Menippea, a satiric medley in prose and verse. The satire relates the fictional events which lead to the deification of the Emperor Claudius after his death. Jove has Claudius led out of the chamber in which the question of his deification is being discussed. First to speak then is Janus, the two-faced god, who suggests that no mortals ought to be made gods. Next to speak is Diespiter, son of Vica Pota, who recommends that Claudius, as kin of Augustus, already deified, be made a member of the pantheon. While he is speaking, Hercules goes about the chamber seeking votes for his side in the matter.

. . . The meeting was divided, and it looked as though Claudius was to win the day. For Hercules saw his iron was in the fire, trotted here and trotted there, saying, "Don't deny me; I make a point of the matter. I'll do as much for you again, when you like; you roll my log, and I'll roll yours [deinde tu si quid volueris, in vicam faciam]: one hand washes another."

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