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3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,823 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
..". gives us all sixteen of the satires in the tough, slashing manner of the original, unheard in Dryden and the few others who tried it." --Saturday Review
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published December 31st 1959 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 127)
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Justin Evans
I've long been sceptical of contemporary novels that are advertized as satires. Consider Jonathan Coe's 'Rotters' Club,' which was okay, but compared even to a supposedly realistic novel like 'The Line of Beauty,' contained little satire beyond its propensity for pointing out that people ate some really bad food in the seventies. So I finally got around to reading Juvenal, and my scepticism has been gloriously affirmed: yes, satire can be really, really mean; it can be full of almost explosive m ...more
Rosa Ramôa
Nov 25, 2014 Rosa Ramôa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"É preciso ser-se rico para poder dormir sem barulhos,em calmas moradias(...).A passagem de carroças nas ruas estreitas ou as discussões por causa de um rebanho(...) tiram o sono a qualquer um.(...)E,se se isto não bastasse,há ainda outro género de perigos aos quais estamos expostos,quando caminhamos,de noite,pelas ruas:frequentemente,das janelas,das varandas ou dos telhados tombam tijolos,vasos ou telhas,que nos podem esmagar os crânios (...).Podemos dar-nos por felizes se apanharmos com o cont ...more
Jan 24, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-rome, humor
If you would like a glimpse of everyday life in Ancient Rome, you could hardly do better than read The Sixteen Satires of Juvenal. There, like a National Lampoon chiseled in stone, are all the everyday flaws -- that are still flaws today -- that mess up people's lives. It is all done with a light touch. At one point, talking about the fate of Aelius Sejanus, who was the Emperor Tiberius's number one man, he writes:
Some men are overthrown by the envy their great power
Arouses; it's that long and i
Again, like some other Penguin translations of the classics; too modern, too anachronistic. Aside from that, excellent introduction and footnotes.

Bit I liked a lot:

" Consider the spoils of war, those trophies hung on tree trunks
a breastplate, a shattered helmet, one cheekpiece dangling,
a yoke shorn of its pole, a defeated trireme’s figurehead, miserable prisoners on a triumphal arch
such things are reckoned the zenith | of human achievement; these
are the prizes for which each commander, Greek
Full of invective, rage, bitterness, caustic crustiness, misogeny, erotic inventiveness and a wicked sense of humor. This is heavy handed satire, not tongue in cheek kidding. But once you get used to it, quite bracing. Juvenal was disgusted by the licentiousness, gluttony, double-dealing, greed and various other vices that he saw around him in an unthreatened city--far different from the embattled Rome that bred men (and, presumably, respectable matrons) of the Republic. Question: would Juvenal ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Yann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: antiquité, italie, humour
La Rome impériale voit arriver le règne de l'argent roi, de la luxure, des inégalités sociales, de la gloutonnerie, des excès les plus divers. Juvénal, outré par les turpitudes de ses contemporains se livre ici à une exécution en réglé de ceux qui excitent son indignation en déchirant à belles dents la respectabilité dont ils veulent commettre l'imposture de se parer. Il en évoque sans ménagement l'écart abyssal entre les héros et les valeurs de l’ancien temps et les mesquineries de leurs descen ...more
Alp Turgut
Olaylara gerçekçi bir bakış açısıyla yaklaşarak dönemin karanlık yanlarını keskin bir dille eleştiren Juvenal / Iuvenalis'in tüm yergilerini okuyucuya sunan "Satires / Yergiler - Saturae", toplumun üst sınıfından alt sınıfına kadar her kesimden insanı inceleyen eğlenceli ve ders verici bir eser; fakat çok fazla özel isim barındırması ve yergi türünde yazılması nedeniyle okumasının oldukça zor olduğunu belirtmek gerek. Bu yüzden kitabın akıcı olmadığının ne yazık ki altını çizmeliyim; okuması ger ...more
Dec 17, 2007 Jennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennie by: The Boy
Shelves: classical-lit
There is something strangely satisfying about reading a book from a couple thousand years ago and being able to shout out things like, "Oooh, burn," and "Bitch, you got schooled," every couple of pages. Juvenal is one of the earliest masters of snark, and therefore, one of my heroes. Unfortunately, this type of humor tends to be closely linked to the political and cultural context in which it was written, and having to read page-long endnotes to get the joke sometimes took the oomph out of the p ...more
Dave/Maggie Bean
Juvenal was foulmouthed, cynical, and embittered, his mind a veritable cesspool of wealth-envy and entitlement. But he was a keen observer of the human condition, and the effete, decadent Rome he satirizes is eerily similar to modern America. There is truly nothing new under the sun. Could Juvenal’s satirical commentary on his own time serve as a cautionary tale for our own?

Probably not. "We’re an empire now -- we create our own reality…"

Or do we?

Composed in the first century AD,(and mangled ove
Camilla Monk
Let's be honest, from a reader's point of view, I found Juvenal's satires often repetitive, imbued with a bitter conservatism that leads him to fire in all directions at those he accuses of debasing the Roman society and contributing to a spirit of general decadence.

Long story short: It was better before, and lemme tell ya that back in mah time... ET.CAETERA.

It is to be noted that when Juvenal takes his stylus to complain that moderation and moral rigor are no longer rewarded int his wretched so
Nov 19, 2008 Christel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"We are now suffering the calamities of long peace. Luxury, more deadly than any foe, has laid her hand upon us, and avenges a conquered world...wealth enervated and corrupted the ages with foul indulgences.”
Sep 11, 2011 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter Green translation. Next time read 'Loeb Classical Library' version 'Juvenal and Persius Satires' @ moval/inland valley libraries.
May 28, 2015 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Travel broadens more than the mind...
Jan 08, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Juvenal was an angry, angry man. If he were living today, he would probably be a regular caller to radio talk shows, blathering on about how kids today have no respect and gays and liberals and Obamacare are ruining this great country. Instead, he lived in the 1st Century CE and wrote satires. Fortunately, in addition to the anger, he had a deadly sense of humor. From a modern perspective, many of these screeds are politically incorrect: Juvenal goes after homosexuals, women and foreigners. On t ...more
Jan 18, 2013 Bob rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, classics
I was definitely disappointed. Juvenal comes off (to me) as one part Holden Caulfield, one part angry old man. I'm not a fan of either. Lamenting at the state of mankind is inherently depressing, and there just wasn't enough humor, hyperbole or anything else to dull his edge (admittedly, this is characteristic of what is now called Juvenalian satire). Many of his complaints are fairly obvious, and therefore I did not find much of what he had to say as elucidating with regards to societal ills. I ...more
The conservative's lament. Juvenal, in his Satires, reminded me of nothing quite so much as an angry right-wing talk show host, feet firmly planted on the soapbox and mic in hand, sarcastically excoriating modern society. The government, women, foreigners, gays, city-dwellers, philosophers, the rich, all of these at various points get the sharp end of Juvenal's literary stick. He doesn't have his own particularly clear philosophy on what defines the good life, but he is happy to mock and sneer a ...more
Mar 03, 2013 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(This rating reflects a casual reading from someone (me) with limited knowledge of the period and an appreciation for satire. It is clearly important work, and it is fitting that some who read Juvenal to better understand Rome, in the end find themselves studying Rome to better understand Juvenal.)

You would expect the centuries-long decline of Rome to produce some strong conservative sentiments, and Juvenal doesn't disappoint. Like any good conservative, he has a host of accusations - some right
M. Milner
I wasn't expecting a ton from this collection, so I wasn't really surprised by it. Juvenal was a Roman poet back in the first century AD and his 16 existant satires are blistering broadsides against his society, one which he thinks is filled with decadence, corruption, vice and foreign (especially Greek) influences (If only he lived to see the Byzantines!).

It's an interesting collection. Juvenal's stuff occasionally drifts into complete bitterness, but a few images have stuck with me: the pedes
Julian Meynell
This work is 16 satirical poems. My edition has an introduction by the translator that compares Juvenal to Dickens, which is a comparison that I find incredibly unhelpful. I don't think that I have ever read anything like them. They are basically angry rants, and have the nasty humor of a celebrity roast. They can be quite funny and are not in the slightest bit filtered. He mocks one woman by saying that all the lumps of flesh from her abortions look like her uncle, so be warned.

Juvenal is an in
Apr 01, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
. . . . The breadth of poetic tones Humphries confronts in his translations and the apparent effortlessness of his execution is nothing short of breath-taking. From the high dignity of Virgil, through the hilarious vulgarity of Martial and back to the Wordsworthian philosophizing (without the Wordsworthian pomposity) of Lucretius. From Ovid’s serious and finally tragic playfulness to all the well-placed grumpiness of that curmudgeon Juvenal. Humphries achieved a feat of poetic translation I woul ...more
Having recently finished Stephen Colbert's I am an American, this book hit me with a strange "de ja vu" feeling (go figure). Never mind that Juvenal wrote his Satires around 80 to 90 AD in/around the city of Rome. Like Colbert, Juvenal concocts a bombastic, "holier than thou" alter ego narrator who rails on every vice afflicting his contemporary culture, from avarice to homosexuality to the female sex. Although Juvenal the narrator voices his strong opinions in an over-exaggerated way (some time ...more
Dyah Subagyo
Jan 05, 2014 Dyah Subagyo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
In order to understand this book well, you need to know some characters and stories from Greek and Roman mythology, as well as some from Roman Republic and Empire history. Some names are quite famous, such as Cicero, Catiline, Messalina, Domitian. Some are not. I will be very glad to get an e-book edition with annotation.
After reading Juvenal, I understand why his work can survive the Church censoring. Although he is certainly a pagan, a heathen if you will, many values in his work echo the val
Se me hace bastante difícil reseñar un libro así. Abordar literatura clásica siempre es un desafío debido a nuestra distancia temporal y al desconocimiento acerca de ciertos datos contextuales. Si bien mi edición repone muchos de esos datos, ciertas ironías y guiños humorísticos se me escaparon irremediablemente. El género satírico (a diferencia de la épica) es un género del aquí y ahora, y eso hace más dificil la lectura de este tipo de libros. Sin embargo, me llegaron hondo las sátiras que apu ...more
John Meffen
Oct 05, 2013 John Meffen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: perma-books
Loved it, Iunius Iuvenalis was a man after my own heart, he was cynical, distrustful, and quite disparaging towards most of his society.

He seems to have reserved most of his bile for Women, The Greeks, The plebeians, the Roman Emperors, anyone who worked with their hands, anyone who was successful but didn't work with their hands [dancers, gladiators, etc] foreigners in Rome.

He seems to barely tolerate unsuccessful poets, rhetors, lawyers and beggars, as long as they kept in their place.

What a b
Michael David
One thousand and seven hundred years before Jonathan Swift, there was Decimus Junius Juvenalis, known to us as Juvenal. Like Jonathan Swift, he was angry - very angry. What Swift expounded upon in his Modest Proposal Juvenal had already introduced in his Satires. He heaps anathema on nearly everything and everyone, and does so with such sharp and mordant wit that it becomes truly funny at times. Because, however, the time and the place are dated, and the people he talks about are now unknown, hi ...more
Jun 06, 2011 Shawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This might be the worst thing I've ever read.
Juvenal writes these basically long poems regarding the events of his time in such a way that they are practically written in code and you have no idea what or who he is talking about.
It is not a matter of bad translation from 1,900 years ago to the present. It is just very vague writing.
There are notes in the back of the book which attempt to help. However, the satires are 120 pages and the notes are 100 pages. Which means you are constantly flipping
Juvenal is most famous for his "bread and circuses" quote and perhaps for his question "but who will guard the guardians?" His satires, though, ought to be read in entirety for anyone wanting to know what it was really like to live in Rome during a time of affluence and corruption. The reader will immediately note the many parallels between Rome and the United States and be impressed by the timelessness and wisdom of Juvenal's observations.

This particular translation was very readable, and the f
Craig Herbertson
Juvenal should be compulsory reading for grumpy old men as the ancient satirist attacks the many failings of Roman society in much the same manner as the better comedians attack our own moral decline.

Here's a comment from Satire VI on a friend's decision to get married:

'You were once the randiest Hot-rod-about-town, you hid in more bedroom cupboards then a comedy juvenile lead.'

If you're an extreme feminist I might avoid Juvenal unless you want a support for the retrenchment of your opinions - o
Aug 06, 2011 Llew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just a litany of harsh criticism of Greek society. Similar to the Satyrica, a bit harder to read (somewhat non-linear), yet still I love this stuff. Every sentence is a dressing down and summation of various social mavens and their hypocritical predilections. You know the ones that beat their slaves for dropping a spoon and then throw a dinner party to announce their acts of virtue? No, not really, but I liked reading about it. Still, the translation is creative enough that it reads like it was ...more
Juvenal is hilarious: an incredibly good observer of human errors, bur himself bitter, unfair, inconsistent. So much, that it verges on comedy. Definitely worth reading, especially given how a lot of things he bemoans people are *still* complaining about - just pick up any newspaper. Get however a) an edition with all 16 satires (the more bawdy ones are not included in some collections and you can imagine what kind of translation the other 13 then may endure) b) get a well-commented edition (did ...more
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  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • Epigrams
  • The Comedies
  • The Poems
  • The Letters of the Younger Pliny
  • The Satyricon
  • Idylls
  • Natural History: A Selection
  • The Erotic Poems
  • The Odes
  • The Eclogues and The Georgics
  • The Pot of Gold and Other Plays
  • Selected Letters
  • Selected Satires
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Jugurthine War and the Conspiracy of Catiline
Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, known commonly by the shortened Anglicized version of his name Juvenal, was a Roman poet of the late first and early second centuries AD/CE. He is the author of The Satires, a series of sixteen short poems in dactylic hexameter on a variety of subjects.

Date of birth: ca. 55 A.D.
Date of death: ca. 138 A.D.
More about Juvenal...

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“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Who will watch the watchers?” 82 likes
“Never does Nature say one thing and Wisdom another.” 46 likes
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