SATIRE is properly a species of Roman poetry, and must not' Des confounded with the Satyric drama of the Greeks. The Latin word Satura or Satire appears to have originally signified a collection of various things, and accordingly this name is applied to food composed of various ingredients, and also to a law consisting of several particulars of a different nature. (Festus, s. v., Diomed. p. 483, ed.
Putsch.) The Roman satire is first mentioned as a kind of dramatic. performance (Liv. vii., 2), and appears to have been, like the early Atellaux Fabulx, only a rude improvisatory farce, without connection, but full of raillery and wit. This species of composition• arose from the practice, which has prevailed in Italy from the earliest.
times to the present day, of the country people making rude extempore• verses in ridicule of one another at various festivals, and especially at the time of the vintage. Such were the Feseenuini verses, which.
3Iacrobius tells us (' Saturn.; ii., 4) were sometimes written as satires. upon persons. The old dramatic Saturn continued to be performed• on the Roman stage till a late period, under the name of Exodia, which. were laughable Interludes in verse, and were performed between the. different Atellane plays.
The name of satire was afterwards limited to a species of poetry peculiar to the Romans, in which Ennius is said to have been the first' writer. The satires of Ermine appear to have been so called because they were written on a variety of subjects, and in many metres ; brit as hardly any fragments have come down to us, we know very little of the subjects of which they were composed. Lucilius
however was the first who constructed satire on those principles of art which were considered in the time of Horace as essential requisites in• a satiric poem. Lucilius principally used the hexameter metre, which was afterwards almost exclusively employed by the satiric poets. His; poems were not only satires upon the vices and follies of mankind" in.
general, but also contained attacks upon private individuals. They formed the model on which Horace wrote his satires. His easy temper• and happy disposition, as well as the principles of the Epicurean; philoaophy, led him to attack the foibles and follies of mankind in a style of playful raillery, which forms a striking contrast to the severe• invectives of Juvenal. The increased corruption of morals at Rome. under the early emperors, and the cruel punishments which had been inflicted by Domitian upon the 'wise and the good, naturally led' Juvenal to attack the vices of his age with severity and vigour. The works of the other Roman satirists are lost, with the exception of Persius and a few verses on the banishment of the philosophers by Domitian, which are ascribed to Sulpicia, who is supposed by some writers to be a contemporary of Tibullus, and by others of Ausonius.