Juvenal (3514 words)

Peter Tennant (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal)
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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 invective, that were to ensure his …

Citation: Tennant, Peter. "Juvenal". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 August 2006 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2425, accessed 17 June 2021.]

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