Juvenal

(3514 words)
  • Peter Tennant (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Mens sana in corpore sano (“a healthy mind in a healthy body”); panem et circenses (“bread and circuses”, or “bread and races”); sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (“but who will guard the guards themselves?”). No doubt these sayings are familiar to many, but probably few are aware of their source: the Satires of the Roman poet Juvenal. However, Juvenal’s fame rests on far more than a miscellany of perceptive and succinct observations on life and society. It was his vivid, often lurid, portrayal—mainly in the first two books of his poems—of what he perceived to be a hopelessly decadent and corrupt society, and his vigorous and highly rhetorical style of …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Tennant, Peter. "Juvenal". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 August 2006
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2425, accessed 23 April 2014.]

Articles on Juvenal's works

  1. Satires