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The Satires

Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis

Book Overview: 

Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, known in English as Juvenal, was a Roman poet active in the late 1st and early 2nd century AD. The details of the author's life are unclear, although references within his text to known persons of the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD fix his terminus post quem (earliest date of composition). The Satires are a collection of satirical poems by Juvenal written in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries AD. Juvenal is credited with sixteen known poems divided among five books; all are in the Roman genre of satire, which, at its most basic in the time of the author, comprised a wide-ranging discussion of society and social mores in dactylic hexameter. These five books were discrete works, and there is no reason to assume that they were published at the same time or that they are identical in theme or in approach. The poems are not individually titled, but translators have often added titles for the convenience of readers. (Summary by wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ake their own wills, and even gladiators enjoy the same amount of privilege, you will have your will dictated to you, and find more than one rival named as your heirs.

"Crucify that slave." "What is the charge, to call for such a punishment? What witness can you produce? Who gave the information? Listen! Where man's life is at stake no deliberation can be too long." "Idiot! so a slave is a man then! Granted he has done nothing. I will it, I insist on it! Let my will stand instead of reason!"

Therefore she lords it over her husband:—but soon she quits these realms, and seeks new empires and wears out her bridal veil. Then she flies back, and seeks again the traces of the bed she scorned.[250] She leaves the doors so recently adorned, the tapestry still hanging on the house, and the branches still green upon the threshold. Thus the number grows: thus she has her eight[251] husbands in five years. A notable fact to record upon her tomb!

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Community Reviews

Classics are nothing if not historically distant, so far removed from the characters and places of our present world that they can be hard to follow, yet oddly close enough in theme and rhetoric as to warrant our timeless attention. I don’t recommend this one on its own, without some familiarity in

Juvenal is an engaging Roman satirist. He is the primary subject of my dissertation so I have a particular interest in his works.

Juvenal's Satires are some of the most accessible and entertaining texts that have come down to us from classical antiquity. They derive from an early period of Imperial Rome, over a century after the fall of the Republic. These Satires could at times be mistaken for sermons, but these are clearly p

Great new text and translation, making even the notoriously difficult Persius almost approachable.

The Waldorf and Statler of Imperial Rome.

Juvenal is amazingly witty all within a rhyme. He skewers Roman society for its many faults. Comparing his times with the Golden Age of Rome he finds it fails miserably. Virtue is now bought, dishonesty is rampant, even the favor of the gods is bought by bribery. No one is above being ruled by vice.