Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis), the great Roman satirist, is supposed to have been born at Aquinum, the son of a freedman, probably in the reign of Claudius. He seems to have been in easy circumstances, and had had a good training in rhetoric. Some accounts say that he was banished to Egypt for having given offence by some lines originally written against the actor Paris, the favourite of Domitian, bet by what emperor is quite uncertain. In an inscription found at Aquinum, recording the dedication of an altar to Ceres by a Junius Juvenalis, the latter is called "duumvir quinquennalis" and "flamen divi Vespasiani." Internal evidence points to the fact that the Satires were composed between 100 A.D. and 130 A.D. in the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian. They are generally held, however, to portray the state of society under Domitian. Of the sixteen Satires, the third (imitated by Johnson in his London), the tenth, and the sixth (against the female sex), are the most celebrated. The fourth is political rather than social. Juvenal was a friend of Martial, and a contemporary of Tacitus and the younger Pliny. He has an unrivalled power of invective, but is without the restraint of the great historian, or the imagination of a poet, or the urbanity of a Horace. His gift is rather rhetorical than poetical. Among the best editions of Juvenal are those of Otto Jahn, J. B. Mayor, and Lewis.