Juvenal (Roman Satirical Poet)

Juvenal, Decimus Junius Juvenalis, Roman satirical poet, born in Aquinum, a Valscian town, about 55 A. D. His father, a Roman citizen, resided at Aquinum on an estate, and Juvenal was sent to be educated at Rome, where he formed the friendship of Quintilian and Martial. Little is known of his history, but it is certain that he served as an ex- tribune in the army of Domitian about 81 A. D., and became censor of his native town. He traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Upper Egypt. Later he became distinguished for his numerous writings, of which fifteen satires are extant. These productions, besides possessing literary value, furnish excellent pictures of Roman life and customs. They are forceful in language and give clear exhibits of the social corruption among the Romans, which is expressed by an indignant and heartfelt solicitude. The tenth of the satires is known as "The Vanity of Human Wishes" and is considered the most explicit and popular of these writings. Several works of Juvenal were translated by Samuel Johnson, Dryden, and Gifford. The satire used by Juvenal was employed for the purpose of exposing the crimes, tyranny, and follies, and not, like those of Horace, as a branch of popular comedy.

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