Juvenal: Satires

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 7, 1996 - History - 323 pages
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Satire was a genre of poetry invented and developed by the Romans. When it came into Juvenal's hands, he stamped his mark upon it: indignation. His angry voice had an overwhelming influence upon later European satirists and persists in modern forms of satire. In this new commentary, Susanna Morton Braund situates Juvenal within the genre of satire and illuminates his appropriation of the 'grand style' of declamatory rhetoric and epic poetry for his indignant persona in Satires 15, including the notorious second Satire. The commentary on each of the Satires is followed by an essay which offers an interpretation of the poem, including a synthesis of recent critical thought. These essays, together with the overview in the Introduction, present the first integrated reading of Book I as an organic structure.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
3 The origins of Roman satire
3
4 Juvenals satire predecessors
7
a Lucilius
8
b Horace
10
c Persius
13
5 Juvenals life
15
indignation rhetoric and epic
17
9 An overview of Book I
30
a Rome
31
b Patrons and clients
32
c A day in the life?
34
e Running away from the city
35
g The power of food
36
11 Text and manuscripts
38
IVNII IVVENALIS SATVRARVM LIBER PRIMVS
43

b Rhetoric
18
c Epic
21
7 Juvenals style
24
8 Juvenals metre
29
Commentary
75
Bibliography
309
Index
319
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

The 16 Satires (c.110--127) of Juvenal, which contain a vivid picture of contemporary Rome under the Empire, have seldom been equaled as biting diatribes. The satire was the only literary form that the Romans did not copy from the Greeks. Horace merely used it for humorous comment on human folly. Juvenal's invectives in powerful hexameters, exact and epigrammatic, were aimed at lax and luxurious society, tyranny (Domitian's), criminal excesses, and the immorality of women. Juvenal was so sparing of autobiographical detail that we know very little of his life. He was desperately poor at one time and may have been an important magistrate at another. His influence was great in the Middle Ages; in the seventeenth century he was well translated by Dryden, and in the eighteenth century he was paraphrased by Johnson in his London and The Vanity of Human Wishes. He inspired in Swift the same savage bitterness.

Susanna Morton Braund is Professor of Classics, Stanford University.

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