(redirected from Juvenalis)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Juvenalis: Decimus Junius Juvenalis


Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis) (jo͞oˈvənəl), fl. 1st to 2d cent. A.D., Roman satirical poet. His verse established a model for the satire of indignation, in contrast to the less harsh satire of ridicule of Horace. Little is known about his life except that during much of it he was desperately poor. A tradition tells that as a youth he was banished from court for satirizing an imperial favorite; later his work reveals a deep hatred for the Emperor Domitian. He is known chiefly for his 16 satires, which contain a vivid representation of life in Rome under the empire. They were probably written in the years between A.D. 100 and A.D. 128. The biting tone of his diatribes has seldom been equaled. From the stern point of view of the older Roman standards he powerfully denounces the lax and luxurious society, the brutal tyranny, the affectations and immorality of women, and the criminal excesses of Romans as he saw them, especially in his earlier years. The rhetorical form of his verse is finished, exact, and epigrammatic, furnishing many sayings that have become familiar through quotation.


See translations by R. Humphries (1958), G. G. Ramsay (rev ed. 1961), and P. Green (1967, repr. 1974); studies by I. G. Scott (1927), G. Highet (1955, repr. 1961); M. Coffey, Roman Satire (1976, 2d ed. 1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(full Latin name, Decimus Junius Juvenalis). Born circa AD. 60 in Aquinum, near Rome; died circa 127 in Egypt. Roman satiric poet.

Juvenal wrote 16 satires in five books; the last satire was left unfinished. The satires of the first three books are stinging denunciations of Roman society, while those of books four and five are more detached soliloquies on moral themes in the manner of Stoicism

Juvenal’s view of the world, presented from the vantage point of the little man, is pessimistic. He writes of the tyranny of emperors and the stupidity of the masses with equal bitterness. His satires are grimly accusatory in tone and characterized by numerous digressions and such striking turns of speech as “bread and circuses.” According to tradition, Juvenal died in exile.


Satirae. Edited by U. Knoche. Munich, 1950.
In Russian translation:
Satiry. Moscow, 1888.
Satiry. Moscow-Leningrad, 1937.


Istoriia rimskoi literatury. Edited by N. F. Deratani. Moscow, 1954.
Highet, G. Juvenal the Satirist. Oxford, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Latin name Decimus Junius Juvenalis. ?60--?140 ad, Roman satirist. In his 16 verse satires, he denounced the vices of imperial Rome
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Anders as wat dikwels veronderstel word, staan die klassieke satire van 'n Juvenalis en sy agtiende-eeuse navolgers in Engeland, Dryden, Pope en Johnso, in diens van 'n morele boodskap.
Deurdat Walters sy boek aan Juvenalis opdra, plaas hy sy werk nie net binne 'n bepaalde tradisie nie, maar skep daardeur ook 'n sekere verwagting by die leser, naamlik dat dit ook as kommentaar op die hele politieke en moreel-sedelike toestand binne 'n land gelees sal kan word.
Die outeurs spot met die akademie, lewer kommentaar op uitbuiters en manipuleerders en soos wafferse nasate van Horatius en Juvenalis val huile bepaalde swakhede in die samelewing aan.
Die werk bevat nie die bytende satire van 'n Juvenalis nie, maar is tog geslaagd.
Die bytende sarkasme, soos meesterlik benut deur Juvenalis, kom plek-plek voor, maar oor die algemeen is die satiriese effek meer subtiel.