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Juvenal

From Academic Kids

Note: This article is about the Roman poet, who is the most famous person by this name. For the Christian saint, see Saint Juvenal.

Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, Anglicized as Juvenal, was a Roman satiric poet of the 1st century AD. Very little is known about his life, the ancient biographies being generally fictitious. He is known for coining the phrase "panem et circenses" ("bread and circuses") to describe the primary pursuits of the Roman populace. The rhetorical question "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?", "Who shall guard the guardians?" comes from his Sixth Satire.

He was known to be from Aquinum, and described himself as middle-aged at the time of publication of his first satire, which was sometime in the 100s AD. The latest known date for his activity is 127. For a time he was very poor and was dependent on the rich people in Rome, and never became well known; the only known contemporary mention is in Martial.

His surviving work consists of 16 satires in hexameter. Through his satires, Juvenal portrays an anger and contempt towards his fellow conteporaries, which gives us an insight into Roman values and morality, rather than real life.

He may have served under Gnaeus Julius Agricola, commanding a cohort of Dalmatian auxiliaries, in Britain in 78.

External Links

Juvenal's "Satires" in Latin: Juvenal (http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/juvenal.html)

Original Latin and English verse translation of Juvenal's "Third Satire": Juvenal (http://www.vroma.org/~araia/satire3.html)

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