Article

Juvenal

Christopher Nappa

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online December 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0029
Juvenal

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Little is known with certainty about the life of Juvenal, despite the existence of part of an ancient biography. He appears to have been born late in the reign of Nero and to have lived until at least 127 ce (during the reign of Hadrian). Fifteen complete poems and one fragment are extant. These are grouped into five books. Book 1 comprises Satires 1–5 on various topics; Book 2 consists of only Satire 6, by far Juvenal’s longest poem, a rant on the evils of marriage and female behavior. The keynote of both books is indignatio, “outrage.” Book 3, in a more measured tone, consists of poems 7–9, again on various topics. It appears to be of Hadrianic date. Book 4 contains Satires 10–12; the tone is again more measured and philosophical than in the early books, but the depth of Juvenal’s philosophy is questionable. The final book includes Satires 13–15 in their entirety, and sixty lines of a sixteenth poem. Poems 15 and 16 in particular mark a partial return to the outraged style of the early books. The first poem in each of these books, or, in the case of Book 2, the first section of Satire 6, functions as a programmatic poem, that is, a poem which (sometimes obliquely) introduces themes, issues, and even the stylistic palette of what is to follow.

Article.  11844 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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