Classics for All Reviews

By Catherine Keane

OUP (2015) h/b 251pp £47.99 (ISBN 9780199981892)

In the very first sentence of the first satire (semper ego auditor tantum?), Juvenal uses a rhetorical question with exaggeration and ellipse to establish the immediate impression of an angry author. This well-known and much discussed angry persona is just the beginning of the story. Satire is not always in the heroic mode attributed to Lucilius driving his chariot across the plain (1.19-20). There is a quieter Juvenal: in Book 3 an ironist, Book 4 an unruffled and amused onlooker, and finally a merciless cynic in Book 5.

K.  pays due attention to ancient discussions of emotion such as Seneca’s de ira and de tranquillitate while noting Juvenal’s eclectic and creative use of other literature. K. takes the reader systematically through the 16 satires but her analysis of what Juvenal is doing is always more subtle and nuanced…

View original post 270 more words


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s