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Title: Juvenal and Persius (L091N)
Author: Juvenal, Susanna Morton Braund (trans)
Publisher: Harvard University Press; Publication Date: 2004
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780674996120
Volumes: 1; Pages: 560
List Price in Cloth: $24.00 Our price: $24.00
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Juvenal, Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis (ca. A.D. 60-140), master of satirical hexameter poetry, was born at Aquinum. He used his powers in the composition first of scathing satires on Roman life, with special reference to ineptitude in poetry (Satire 1); vices of fake philosophers (2); grievances of the worthy poor (3); and of clients (5); a council-meeting under Emperor Domitian (4); vicious women (6); prospects of letters and learning under a new emperor (7); virtue not birth as giving nobility (8); and the vice of homosexuals (9). Then subjects and tone change: we have the true object of prayer (10); spendthrift and frugal eating (11); a friend's escape from shipwreck; will-hunters (12); guilty conscience and desire for revenge (13); parents as examples (14); cannibalism in Egypt (15); privileges of soldiers (16, unfinished).Persius Flaccus, Aulus (A.D. 34-62), of Volaterrae was of equestrian rank; he went to Rome and was trained in grammar, rhetoric, and Stoic philosophy. In company with his mother, sister and aunt, and enjoying the friendship of Lucan and other famous people, he lived a sober life. He left six Satires in hexameters: after a prologue (in scazon metre) we have a Satire on the corruption of literature and morals (1); foolish methods of prayer (2); deliberately wrong living and lack of philosophy (3); the well-born insincere politician, and some of our own weaknesses (4); praise of Cornutus the Stoic; servility of men (5); and a chatty poem addressed to the poet Bassus (6). Juvenal's is an indignant satire. He moves past the urbanities of irony to pour scorn on the world of Nero and Domitian. In powerful verse Juvenal mockingly entertains his audience with society's vices and castigates the corruption of traditional values. Rome, the fiery satirist wants to show, is sick. Paired with him in this volume is the Neronian satirist Persius, who attacks not public ills but primarily Rome's degenerate literary tastes. The poet's interest in Stoicism is reflected in his focus on ethical ideals. There is comic intensity to Persius' style and also a nobility of spirit that gained him esteem among the Church Fathers.