- File Size: 1019 KB
- Print Length: 324 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0140447040
- Publisher: Penguin; 3Rev Ed edition (May 27, 2004)
- Publication Date: May 27, 2004
- Sold by: PEN UK
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002RI997S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
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The Sixteen Satires (Penguin Classics) Kindle Edition
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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.
This work stands in stark contrast to Walsh's translation and footnoting of Petronius' Satyricon (Oxford Classics series),which I also reviewed.
Peter Green's translation of Juvenal's Satires is well worth purchasing and reading for anyone at all interested in life and issues in life in late first and early second century Rome.
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. Green surmises that this story of exile is true, and that it might well have taken the harshest form - 'deportatio' - involving the confiscation of everything dear to a Roman citizen: land, money, status. In the early satires, Green sees Juvenal as 'a waspish gadfly from Aquinum' and a 'snarling chip-on-the-shoulder flay-all'. The gradual softening of tone (anger - cynicism - irony) can be accounted for, Green thinks, by a gradual improvement in Juvenal's material circumstances. In this reading, therefore, the Satires are at least partly autobiographical.
So, maybe not definitive and certainly not radical, but an edition that's good enough for the vast majority of interested readers. Good enough even for Dr Jones himself, otherwise he wouldn't have used Green's translation in his (excellent) article 'The persona and the addressee in Juvenal's Satire 11' in Ramus, vol.19, no2, pp160-68, 1990, when Braund's and Rudd's alternatives were also available.
Oh, that mullet. You'll have to read Green's illuminating note to line 317 of Satire X.
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Juvenal was a guy, about whom almost nothing is known, who lived from around 55 to around 135 AD.Read more
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