(c. 60 - c. 130)

Juvenal is the greatest of the Roman satirists, unwavering in his belief that Rome groaned under the weight of scoundrels and fools. Accounting for his preferred form of expression, he wrote, “It is harder not to be writing satires; for who could endure this monstrous city, however callous at heart, and swallow his wrath?” Failing to obtain high office in the new administration of Emperor Domitian in the 80s, Juvenal disparaged court favoritism in Satire VII and is believed to have been banished to Egypt. Juvenal was a master of pithy turns of phrase: on the appetites of the Roman people, he wrote they craved only “bread and circuses”; he asked, “Who will guard the guards?” and claimed, “Indignation makes my verse.”

All Writing

Money is mourned with deeper sorrow than friends or kindred.

—Juvenal, 128

What man was ever content with one crime?

—Juvenal, c. 125

The traveler with nothing on him sings in the robber’s face.

—Juvenal, c. 125

Two things only the people anxiously desire, bread and the circus games.

—Juvenal, c. 121

Issues Contributed