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Sixteen Satires

ISBN-10: 0140447040
ISBN-13: 9780140447040
Edition: 3rd 1998 (Revised)
List price: $14.00 Buy it from $9.47
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Description: Perhaps more than any other writer, Juvenal (c. AD 55 - 138) captures the splendour, the squalor and the sheer energy of everyday Roman life. In The Sixteen Satires he evokes a fascinating world of whores, fortune - tellers, boozy politicians, slick  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.00
Edition: 3rd
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 2/1/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.726
Language: English

Perhaps more than any other writer, Juvenal (c. AD 55 - 138) captures the splendour, the squalor and the sheer energy of everyday Roman life. In The Sixteen Satires he evokes a fascinating world of whores, fortune - tellers, boozy politicians, slick lawyers, shameless sycophants, ageing flirts and downtrodden teachers. A member of the traditional land owning class that was rapidly seeing power slip into the hands of outsiders, Juvenal also creates savage portraits of decadent aristocrats - male and female - seeking excitement among the lower orders of actor and gladiators, and of the jumped - up sons of newly - rich former slaves. Constantly comparing the corruption of his own generation with its stern and upright forebears, Juvenal's powers of irony and invective make his work a stunningly satirical and bitter denunciation of the degeneracy of Roman society.

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.

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