JUVENAL (DECMUS JUNIUS JUVENALIS), a famous Roman satirist. e evidence for his life, while fairly abundant, is of so dubious and conflicting a character that it is impossible to reconstruct the poet's career with any certainty. It is probable, however,. that he was born at Aquinum, about 55 A.D., and that he was known during the first half of his life, simply as an accomplished declaimer and rhetorician. After the accession of Trajan in 98, he began to pub lish satires in which, with extraordinary force and indignation, he described the conditions of life at Rome, for the most part as they existed during the reigfi of Domitian, 81-96. An in scription found at Aquinum records an offering to Ceres by a certain Junius Javenalis (the stone was broken, so that the first name is lacking), tribune of the first cohort of Dalma tians duumvir quinquennalis of the town, and priest of the deified Vespasian. This man has been generally identified with the poet (cf. 'Sat.' 3, 319-320), but may be only a kinsman of his. There is a consistent tradition that he was banished for a number of years because of offense given to an imperial favorite, the actor Paris, but neither the time nor place can now be determined. He was apparently an intimate friend of Martial (who mentions him in three epigrams, VII, 24 and 91; XII, 18), though the two men were widely different in their outlook upon human life. The date of Juvenal's death is not known, but the fifth and last book of satires, comprising 13-16, was published in 128, and he may have lived seven or eight years thereafter.
In the hands of Juvenal, satire becomes al most a new literary type. Horace, who brought to perfection the method and manner of Lu cilius, the first of the Roman satirists, says of his art 1 10, 9-14) that it aims at terse ness, at a style that changes from grave to gay, that suggests now an orator who is a poet also, now a polished and witty talker who masks his strength. But Juvenal's passionate revolt against the hideousness of a time of which he could see only the dark side, gives to his verse one unchanging tone. For him satire is invec tive, biting, pitiless and unrestrained, the ex pression of a towering moral indignation. Such
humor as there is is always grotesaue or of the grimmest kind. This is true, at least, of the first nine poems, which alone are really satires upon the Roman life that he knew. The re maining seven (the sixteenth is, of course, a mere fragment) are rather moral essays of a general character. He is, however, singularly deficient in power to discriminate. Mere offenses against good taste are classed with atrocious crimes; "Orestes (unlike Nero) did not mix poison for any of his relatives; he never sang upon the stage; he did not write an epic upon the Fall of Troy" 8, 219-221). Such passages (and they are numerous) have raised at times the question of Juvenal's sin cerity. But this should not be doubted. He was, on the one hand, swayed by the intense and narrow prejudices of a Roman of the old school; on the other, his long rhetorical train ing had developed to the utmost an inborn capacity and love for epigrammatic phrase. The possession of this power, while it some times led him astray, is one of his just claims to greatness. No Roman writer lends himself more admirably to effective quotation; none can describe a scene with more graphic realism.
See JUVENAL'S SATIRES.
Bibliography.— The best text is the Jahn Biicheler (Berlin 1893). There are excellent editions by J. D. Lewis, with a translation (2d ed., New York 1882), J. E. B. Mayor (London, Vol. I, 4th ed., 1889; Vol. II, 3d ed., 1881); Pearson and Strong (Oxford 1892) ; L. Fried lander (Leipzig 1895) ; J. D. Duff (Cambridge 1900); H. L. Wilson (New York 1903). Dry den translated five of the satires. There is a spirited verse translation by Gifford (London 1817) ; and good prose translations by Strong and Leeper (New York 1882), and S. G. Owen (London 1903). Dr. Samuel Johnson's para phrases of the third and tenth satires in his and 'The Vanity of Human Wishes' are deservedly as famous as the originals. Con sult also Diirr, J. 'Das Leben Juvenals' (Ulm 1888); Martha, C, 'Les Moralistes sous l'Em pire Romain) (Paris 1865); Boissier, G., 'La Religion Romaine) (Paris 1884), and 'L'Op position sous les Cesars? (Paris 1892).