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Classics & Ancient History   >   Juvenal: Satires

Roman Satire

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Juvenal: Satires

In this course Professor Llewelyn Morgan (University of Oxford) explores Juvenal’s Satires. In the first lecture we provide an introduction to Roman satire as a literary genre, including the contributions of Lucilius (2nd century BC), Horace (65-8 BC), Persius (34-62 AD) and Juvenal (late 1st-early 2nd century AD). In the second lecture, we think about the representation of the city of Rome in Juvenal’s Satires before turning in the third lecture to consider satire’s commitment to the unvarnished truth while at the same time being a piece of carefully-constructed poetry. In the fourth lecture, we think about the relationship between Juvenal’s Satires and other genres of literature (earlier satire, epic poetry, tragedy, declamatory rhetoric), before turning in the fifth lecture to look more closely at Juvenal’s Latin, particularly a moment in Satire 6 where an aristocratic woman runs off with a common gladiator.

Roman Satire

In this lecture we provide an introduction to Roman satire, focusing in particular on: (i) the status of satire within Roman culture; (ii) the figure of Gaius Lucilius (2nd century BC), the inventor of the form, and the extent to which he embodied the Roman virtue of libertas (‘freedom’, ‘freedom of speech’); (iii) the figures of Horace (65-8 BC) and Persius (34-62 AD) and the limitations of free speech in the Roman empire compared to the Roman republic; (iv) Juvenal’s statement in his first Satire that he will write only about those who have already died; (v) the similarities between Juvenal and Lucilius, especially their aggressiveness and expansiveness; (vi) the significance of the metre of Roman satire, and the extent to which Juvenal’s Satires in particular imitates and subverts epic poetry.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Morgan, L. (2022, October 25). Juvenal: Satires - Roman Satire [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Morgan, L. "Juvenal: Satires – Roman Satire." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 25 Oct 2022,


Prof. Llewelyn Morgan

Prof. Llewelyn Morgan

University of Oxford