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fact worth noting that Decimus, Juvenal's praenomen, is common in the plebeian Gens of the Junii (see Liv. viii. 12, x. 43, xxxiv. 45; Epit. 56, etc.), and it would be the custom for a freedman of a Decimus Junius to take his patron's praenomen.
Juvenal himself, as the son of a freedman, would be ingenuus, and therefore the tradition presents no difficulties inconsistent with what we shall see to have been his military and political career. The statement that his father was locuples is perhaps borne out by the fact that Juvenal owned a little farm 'at Tibur (Sat. xi. 65; cf. also vi. 57), and passed through the municipal cursus honorum at Aquinum; while if, as two Lives state, he attained to equestrian rank, he must have possessed the minimum of 400,000 sesterces.
3, 4. THE DATES OF JUVENAL'S BIRTH AND
WRITINGS Four of the Lives tell us that Juvenal was born in the reign of Nero-one gives the exact year (“Claudio Nerone et L. Antistio consulibus "), 55 A.D. ; while several of them say that he was over eighty at the time of his death. I believe with Dürr that 55 A.D. is the correct date, and that his newly-discovered Life has derived this statement from some ancient source which has since been lost. In the first place, it is difficult to account for so precise a statement on any other supposition; and, in the next place, it will be found to agree with all the dates furnished by the Satires themselves, and through these with the almost unanimous statement of the Lives that he did not publish any Satires till middle age (“ad mediam fere aetatem declamavit ”). The Satires themselves are divided according to the earliest MSS. into five books, and there is internal evidence for supposing both that this division dates from Juvenal's own time, and also that, like the Letters of Pliny, the Epigrams of Martial, and probably the Histories of Tacitus, the books were published separately and in their present order.
Book I. contains Sat. i.-v. That this was published after Domitian’s death is proved by the last lines of Sat. iv. ; that it was published after 100 A.D. is proved by the reference to Marius Priscus in Sat. i. 49, who was condemned in the beginning of that year (Plin. Ep. ii. 11); that it was published after 105 A.D., the probable date of the death of Aquilius Regulus, may with probability be inferred if Regulus is the arch-informer mentioned in Sat. i. 33-56;1 that it was not published much later than this is shown by the fact that the condemnation of Marius was still comparatively recent when Sat. viïi. was published (see line 120).
Book II. contains Sat. vi., and was probably published shortly after 115 A.D., an inference drawn from lines 406-411
Instantem regi Armenio Parthoque cometen
diluvio, nutare urbes, subsidere terras, etc.which contain a clear reference to the Parthian expedition of Trajan which commenced in 112 A.D. ; to the comet
1 That this is so is, I think, rendered very probable by the way in which Pliny speaks of Regulus, “omnium bipedum nequissimus.”
“Cuncti detestantur, oderunt: curatur a multis, timetur a pluribus,” etc., Ep. i. 5, 14-15.
which it is known was visible in 115 A.D.; and to the terrible earthquake which visited the East, and especially Antioch, in the same year (Dio Cass. 68, 24). Line 205 also in this Satire-"cum lance beata Dacicus et scripto radiat Germanicus auro”-contains a reference to Trajan's title of Dacicus, which was not conferred on him till 103 A.D., after his first Dacian war.
Book III. contains Sat. vii.-ix., and the date of its publication depends mainly on the question as to who the Caesar is, addressed in the opening lines of Sat. vii. I have little doubt myself that it was Hadrian. With Professor Nettleship’s contention that it was Domitian I must with all deference disagree. The reference to Marius Priscus in Sat. viii. shows that the book was published at any rate after Domitian's death, while even if, as Professor Nettleship supposes with very little probability, it was written though not published under that emperor, the dedication to Domitian at the beginning would most certainly not have been published under Trajan. More is to be said in favour of Trajan, of whom Pliny says in the Panegyric, § 47, “sub te spiritum et sanguinem receperint studia" (cf. also Ep. iii. 18); but the studia meant by Pliny are oratory and philosophy, whereas Juvenal uses studia here in the sense of poetry. Now Hadrian, as we know from Spartian (vit. Hadr. 14, 8), was poematum studiosissimus. An argument, however, of greater importance is that these complimentary lines were evidently published at the beginning of some reign ; they plainly imply that a happier time for poets is just going to begin, exactly as the passage quoted from Pliny was in Pliny's first public utterance in Trajan's reign. As the reference to Marius, and the
probability that Book III. would be later than Book II., preclude us from assigning it to the beginning of Trajan's reign, I think we must fix its date soon after Hadrian's accession, and no doubt before his departure from Rome on his first progress, i.e. between 118 and 121 A.D.
Book IV., containing Sat. x.-xii., presents no chronological data except that in xi. 203 he speaks of himself as an old man, but, as all the other Books do, we may fairly place its date somewhere between that of Book III. and Book V.
Book V. (Sat. xiii. xvi.) contains two references to the year 127 A.D.—(1) in xiii. 18, where Juvenal speaks of his friend Calvinus as sixty years old, and born Fonteio consule, the Fonteius in question being almost certainly Fonteius Capito, who was consul in 67 A.D. (see note ad loc.); (2) Sat. xv. 27 mentions the quarrel between the Tentyrites and Ombites as happening "nuper consule Iunco," i.e. in 127 A.D. when an Aemilius Juncus was consul. Accordingly, if we allow for the word nuper a space of from three to eight years, the Satire would have been written between 130 and 135 A.D. Further than this we may notice that in Sat. i. 25 Juvenal speaks of his own youth as a time long past; that in Sat. xi. 209 he is an old man who likes to bask in the sun ; that the whole tone of his address to Calvinus in the beginning of Sat. xiii. is that of an older man to a younger, and Calvinus as we have seen was sixty; and lastly, that there are distinct traces of senility in some of the later Satires, as compared with the earlier ones, and especially in the two last;—from the internal evidence of the Satires themselves, therefore, we should assume that Juvenal began to write when he was by no means a
young man, between 101 and 106 A.D., and that he continued writing till about 130 A.D. when he was distinctly an old man. Now this agrees perfectly with the statement in the Lives that he was born in 55 A.D., that he did not begin to write before middle age, and that he lived to be over eighty.
5. THE EARLY VERSES SAID TO HAVE BEEN
COMPOSED AGAINST PARIS That the statement about these verses rests on an old tradition is clear from the consensus of the Lives, but I think it is almost equally clear that it rests upon a mistaken inference from the lines in Sat vii. There Juvenal, according to his custom, is alluding to present abuses, though using the names of a past time. But as the lines were probably in some way connected with Juvenal's banishment, special interest was from early times attached to them, and an appearance of greater reality given to them by the story that they were composed during the lifetime of the Paris referred to, and then afterwards inserted in Sat. vii., a thing extremely improbable in itself, especially as the fact that Paris was killed in 83 A.D. would imply an interval of about forty years between the original verses and their insertion in Sat. vii.
6, 7. JUVENAL'S MILITARY SERVICE AND BANISHMENT
The question of the banishment is a threefold one. (1) Was he banished at all? (2) if so, by whom ? and
1 That this was the Paris of Domitian's reign is proved by the connection with Statius.