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The Satires of Juvenal are sometimes divided into five Books: of which Book I
DECIMUS JUNIUS JUVENALIS.
This Satire was probably composed subsequently to most of the others, and as a kind of Introduction; it was, apparently, written at that period of life, when the dignity derived from years and the intrepidity of conscious rectitude entitled the Poet to assume a tone of authority. He breaks silence with an impassioned complaint of the clamorous importunity of bad poets, and with the humorous resolution of paying them off in their own coin by turning writer himself, 1 sqq. After ridiculing the frivolous taste of his contemporaries in the choice of their subjects, 7.52. he intimates his own determination to devote himself wholly to Satire; to which he declares, with all the warmth of virtuous indignation, that he is driven by the vices of the age, 19. 30. 52. 63. 79.
He then exposes the profligacy of the women, 22. 69. the luxury of upstarts, 24. the baseness of informers 32. and fortune-hunters, 37. the treachery of guardians, 45. the peculation of public officers, 47. and the general corruption of manners, 55. 73.
Kindling with his theme, he censures the general avidity for gaming, 87.
the selfish gluttony of the patricians, 94. 135. their sordid avarice, 100. 117. and the abject state of poverty and dependence in which they kept their clients and retainers, 132–146.
Finally, he makes some bitter reflections on the danger of satirizing living villainy, 150. and concludes with a determination to elude its vengeance by attacking it under the names of the dead, 170.
In this as in every other Satire, Juvenal's great aim is to expose and reprove vice, however sanctioned by custom or countenanced by the great. G. R.
SEMPER ego auditor tantum? nunquamne reponam,
Impune ergo mihi recitaverit ille togatas,
1. The Romans were in the habit of reciting their literary productions either in private circles, or in public assemblies. The latter were held sometimes in the temple of Apollo, sometimes in spacious mansions, either hired, or lent for the purpose by a wealthy patron, who expected the attendance of his clients and dependents to swell the audience and applaud the author. cf. vii. 40. Pers. prol. 7. Hor. I S. iv. 73. M. I S. iii. 86. II E. ii. 67. A very picturesque passage of Pliny describes the listlessness which pervaded such meetings: lente cunctanterque veniunt, nec tamen permanent, sed ante finem recedunt; alii dissimulanter et furtim, alii simpliciter et libere; I E. xiii. G. PR. II E. xiv. R.
Reponere' is a metaphor taken from repayment of a debt incurred: possum jam repetere recessum, et scribere aliquid, quod no recitem; ne videar, quorum recitationibus adfui, non auditor fuisse, sed creditor: nam ut in cæteris rebus, ita in audiendi officio, perit gratia si reposcatur; Plin. 1 E. GR. It is equivalent to par pari referre, PR. as ira est cupiditas doloris reponendi; Sen. de I. i. 3. HK.
2. Horace amusingly describes the pertinacity of these declaimers, A. P. 474 sqq. PR.
The Theseid' was an epic poem, of which Theseus was the hero. In like manner we have the Odysseis of Homer, the Eneis of Virgil, the Achilleis of Statius, &c. Of this Codrus little is known; he is probably different from the Codrus mentioned iii. 203. G. He is hoarse' from constant recitation (FA. cf. vi. 515. Mart. IV. viii. 2. X. v. 4. R.) and pompous declamation. Prælegat ut tumidus rauca te voce magister; Mart. VIII. iii. 15. cf. Pers. i. 14. HK.
3. According to Lydus (de Mag. i. 40.) the bos (or Fabula) was divided into (1) Teayadia, and (II) Kapadia: Teaydia was subdivided into (i) Kenridára, and (ii) Пgarrárab, according as the stories were Greek or Roman: Kaudia into (i) Пaλλárab (Greek, as in Terence after Menander), (ii) Toyárab (Roman,
as in Afranius, VS.), (iii) 'Ariλλám©
4. These poems consisted of hexameter and pentameter verses alternately, which metre is hence called 'elegiac.' ef. Hor. A. P. 75 sqq. M. cf. Pers. i. 51. HR.
Auditur toto sæpe poeta die; Mart. VIII. Ixx. 10. PR. Ingene, bulky, lengthy, pompous;' cf. Hor. A. P. 96 sq. R.
5. Telephus, son of Hercules and Auge, the hero of this tedious tragedy, was a king.. of Mysia, who was mortally wounded by the spear of Achilles, but afterwards healed by the rust of the same spear Ov. Tr. V. ii. 15. PR. Vulnus et au-~ xilium Pelias hasta tulit. LU.
It was usual to leave a margin,' and not to write on the outside or back' of the parchment. LU. cf. Mart. VIII. Ixii. PR. Sidon. Ap. viii. 16. GR. margo, in Ovid, is masculine. VS. Liber primarily means 'the inner bark of a tree;' hence it was secondarily applied to a book made of that rind,' and afterwards to 'any book,' whatever the materials of it might be. M. Folium experienced a corresponding succession of significations. F.
6. Scenis agitatus Orestes, Virg. Æ. iv. 471. son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, figures conspicuously in many an extant tragedy; the Choëphoroe and Eumenides of Eschylus, the Electra of Sophocles, the Orestes, the Iphigenia in Tauris, and the Electra of Euripides. PR. cf. Hor. A. P. 124. II S. iii. 132 sqq.