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Sixteen Satires (Penguin Classics) Paperback – February 1, 1999
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About the Author
The Lives all agree that he was exiled for an indiscreet lampoon of the jobbing of appointments by a Court favourite. But they do not agree as to where he was sent or which emperor was responsible, and Juvenal never refers to the matter. Many doubt whether he was exiled at all. If he was, it was almost certainly by Domitian, c. 93, to Egypt. In any case he must have lost his patrimony. It is reasonable to assume that he was recalled after Domitian's assassination in 96. After Hadrian's accession he seems to have acquired a small farm at Tivoli and a house in Rome. His last and unfinished (or partially lost) collection appeared c. 128-30. He may have died then: at the latest he is unlikely to have survived long after Hadrian's death in 138.
Top Customer Reviews
The translations themselves preserve the sense of the original Latin, with little or no modern colloquialisms. As the translator noted in his Introduction, he was aghast to note in the first edition the extent to which he had both varied from the original line structure of Juvenal's works and the extent to which he had employed contemporary language, which now seemed dated. As a result, Peter Green retranslated most of the Satires to correct these errors. The latest edition of this work thus is far truer to the original work. The resulting text provides fascinating insights into Roman life duriung Juvenal's lifetime.
Another wonderful aspect of this edition are the clear and self-contained footnotes. The reader is not left having to scramble to find some obscure text in order to understand the footnote. Peter Green puts all the information necessary into each footnote, and also provides external references as necessary.Read more ›
However, Juvenal clearly wrote his satires for the era of the roman empire, not the 21st century, and his refferences often fly over the reader's head. The translator has done a fabulous job in explaining these details in the copious notes at the back of the book. It is highly suggested that one reads sections of the notes before reading those sections in the satires to gain the greatest understanding.
In any case, this Penguin edition has lots to offer besides value. Green captures the spirit and vitality, as well as the sharply ironic humour, of the original at least as well as Braund or Rudd, the two main competitors. His Juvenal sounds fresh, witty and modern (as well as occasionally loathsome, misogynistic and xenophobic). His Introduction, moreover, is extensive and engaging. It may well be 'old-fashioned' in its lack of enthusiasm for the 'persona theory' (ie the view that the poet is donning a mask and not voicing his own opinions, thereby preventing us from reading the satires as self-revelation). But Green does at least address 'the much-vexed question of Juvenal's satirical persona', and gives us an alternative approach. He inclines to the view that Juvenal's savage indignation resulted from humbling personal experience. According to long-held tradition, he was exiled - probably to Egypt.Read more ›
Juvenal was a guy, about whom almost nothing is known, who lived from around 55 to around 135 AD. He was apparently important enough, and annoying enough, to be exiled at some point (maybe), but he obviously Got Better at some point. Oh, yeah-- And he was really, really pissed at the direction Roman government and society was going.
The last Satire breaks off in the middle; according to the notes (which are excellent in this edition, I thought), the most likely cause is that one whole scroll is missing off the end. The notes, as I mentioned, are very good; it's a social commentary, and references many people and events which would have been obvious to his readers, but not so much to us. Trigger Warning: He gets awfully nasty about a lot of them.
Satire One: Basically an intro. J. complains that the current producers of poetry and drama are writing garbage and rehashing old plots (First century 'Sequelitis' perhaps), for fear of causing offence or boring the crowds, and announces he's throwing his hat into the ring.
Two: J. laments the increasing effeminacy of Roman men, and decries open-secret gay marriage between Roman men.
Three: A narration by a friend of J.'s, on his moving out of Rome due to high cost of living, corruption, and his being unwilling to become a sycophantic yes-man in order to gain favor.
Four: Conspicuous consumption and toadying is decried.
Five: The fate of a low-ranking hanger-on at a dinner party given by his rich patron. Spoiler alert: The rich guy eats well... You don't.
Six: By far the longest. An absolutely brutal punch at Roman women, and women in general. Fair? No idea.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
wonderful introduction and notes explain references and how corrupt Rome really was.Published 16 months ago by old reader
I remember Juvenal as a brilliant Roman satirist from my high school Latin reading. "Welcome, traveler, to glorious Rome! Watch out
... Read more
Juvenal achieved the default goal of the unpublished writer. He is remembered long after his death. Little is known about Juvenal, other than what little he wrote about himself in... Read morePublished 23 months ago by John Engelman
The average reader would probably not be interested in the book, would find it difficult to understand.I am a history major.Published 23 months ago by Thomas A. Blasi
I first met the writings of Juvenal (translated by Peter Green) many years ago, when a misogynist priest thought I might like them. Read morePublished on April 12, 2014 by Peteklat
Juvenal is incredible. Who knows where his sarcasm and satire go from truth to humor, but if you are interested in a laugh while also interested in ancient times, this book is a... Read morePublished on March 18, 2013 by Tim D Powell
Juvenal is hilarious, but in this translation, there are more "new" (to me) words than in the satire in the book we read when I studied at the university. Read morePublished on August 18, 2012 by om
Not at all what I expected. This was not interesting at all and should have been listed under 'textbook' category.Published on May 31, 2012 by Gail Hardy