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extremely rare for a higher rank than that of primipilus to be reached in this way, and it would mean a whole life devoted to the service, and this is quite inconsistent with what we know of Juvenal. But there was another way. Young men of free birth, but intended for the equestrian rather than the senatorial cursus honorum, were allowed under the empire to enter the service as centurions (cf. Sat. xiv. 193, "vitem posce libello," and Plin. Ep. vi. 25, 3). They would then, if helped by any influence, successively pass through the posts of primipilus, praefectus cohortis, tribunus legionis, and praefectus alae. (For instances see Wilmanns, 12496, 691, 694, etc., and cf. Suet. Claud. 25.) These four posts constituted what was called the equestris militia, because the first of them was a qualification for equestrian rank, if the necessary census was possessed and the emperor chose to confer the honour ; and those who had passed through them were styled a militiis or militiis equestribus exornatus (C. I. L. viii. 9760) or equestribus militiis functus (Plin. Ep. vii. 25, 2). They were then qualified to pass through the various procuratorial posts in the emperor's service, with the possibility of attaining at last the summa equestris dignitas, viz. the praefectura praetorii (see Wilmanns, 690, 691, 12496, 1266).
career quite appropriate to Juvenal's rank in life, and on this no doubt he embarked soon after attaining the military age, i.e. seventeen. As to where he served as centurion we have no information, and we can only hypothetically fix
1 Juvenal's references to foreign lands are probably merely literary. Even the reference to the breasts of the women in Meroe, which is perhaps the most realistic reference, may be
the date at which he was promoted to the praefecture and sent to Britain. We have, however, a terminus ante quem in the fact that, as we know from Martial, he had settled at Rome at any rate by 91 A.D., and probably for a few years earlier, while between the close of his military career and his settlement at Rome his municipal career at Aquinum, which must have occupied four or five years, has to be placed. Supposing, therefore, that he settled in Rome in 88 or 89, his military career may have closed in 83 or 84. A further clue is perhaps offered by the Lives, which say, “fecit eum praefectum cohortis contra Scotos qui bellum contra Romanos moverant.” Now the only war with the Scotch which we know of at this period was that under Agricola, who was in Britain from 78 to 84, and who first advanced into Scotland in 81 (Tac. Agric. 23). We may then with some probability suppose that Juvenal was promoted to the second stage in the equestris militia in 81 A.D., and that he returned home with Agricola in 84. Various references to Britain, some of them almost too definite to be mere literary reminiscences, are found scattered about in the Satires. Thus in ii. 159-161 he mentions the ancient name of Ireland, Iuverna, which is not known to Tacitus in the Agricola, and speaks of the recent conquest of the Orcades (cf. Tac. Agric. 10) and the short British night; in iv. 127 he mentions the British war-chariots, and in 141 the oysters of Rutupiae ; in x. 14 the British whales ; in xiv. 196 the British tribe of the Brigantes; in xv. 111 he refers
explained in this way, as we know from Pliny (N. H. xxix. 6) that explorers were sent out by Nero to Ethiopia, who brought back a report of their observations.
to the fact of rhetorical training having reached Britain (cf. Tac. Agric. 21, "ut qui modo linguam Romanam abnuebant, eloquentiam concupiscerent"), while it perhaps deserves notice that in XV. 124 he uses the form Brittones instead of Britanni, the former being as a rule used only in military inscriptions, the latter in literature (see Ephem. Epigr. v. 177). With regard to the alleged banishment to Egypt, on which there is so great a consensus of evidence in the Lives, we have already seen that this probably happened under Hadrian, and without any connection with military service. That Egypt was, as the Lives say, the place of exile is rendered extremely probable by Sat. xv., which was certainly
, written near the end of his life (some little time after 127 A.D. at earliest), and of which line 45 alone conclusively proves that Juvenal had himself been in Egypt, while the whole Satire, with its local story, reference to local usages, absence of references to Roman life, want of general interest, and general feebleness, is just the sort of production which an old man of eighty, banished from all his favourite resorts, might solace and amuse himself by writing. Sat. xvi. too, a sort of reminiscence, garrulous and feeble, of the poet's earlier military life, was probably written at the same time, and these two products of his exile were then published after his death in the reign of Antoninus Pius, together with xiii. and xiv., which were written in Rome before his banishment.
JUVENAL'S MUNICIPAL CAREER
Just as the office of praefect of the cohort of Dalmatians, attested by the inscription, presupposes a previous military career, so does the office of duovir quinquennalis, which Juvenal, according to the same evidence, held at his native town Aquinum, imply the tenure of other offices preparatory to this.
The duoviri were the highest magistrates in the municipia and coloniae of Italy and the western provinces ; those of every fifth year, viz. that in which the local census was taken, being called duoviri quinquennales. There is some reason to suppose that one of these fifth years would have fallen in Aquinum in 87 A.D., and this year accordingly we may hypothetically assign as Juvenal's year of office. Prior to that he must have held the offices of quaestor and aedile, each post being held for a year, no interval being required between the several offices as at Rome, though the quaestorship could not be held before the age of twenty-five. The country towns of Italy were, as we know, already becoming depopulated, and there was probably very little competition for these offices; and as inscriptions prove, they were held over and over again by the same persons, so that there is no reason why Juvenal should not have been quaestor in 85, the year after his return from Britain, aedile in 86, and duovir quinquennalis in 87.2 Very likely in the latter year he may have been elected by his fellow-townsmen flamen divi Vespasiani, an office, or rather an honour, which in some towns was annual, in others permanent; in Aquinum it seems to have been the latter (Wilmanns, 2046). After this
1 This is based on an inference from Wilmanns, 2046, in which 27 A.D. seems to be a year in which duoviri quinquennales were appointed at Aquinum.
A military career similar to Juvenal's, followed by municipal magistracies, finds examples in Wilmanns, 694, 1266, 1815, 2168.
3 Juvenal's posts and offices are not enumerated in full in this inscription, because it was a dedicatory inscription, and in these, as
Juvenal seems to have left his native town for good, and to have migrated to Rome, possibly in order to secure the influence and patronage which would enable him to gain the two remaining posts of his military career, and then enter on the more profitable procuratorial offices, possibly to do what from choice or necessity he did dom lead a literary, somewhat Bohemian, life, occupied with rhetorical practice and declamation, and as Domitian's death removed the bar to literary productiveness, marked by the gradual composition and publication of his Satires. That he was a disappointed man, the pessimistic character of his writings would lead us to suppose ;1 that he was induced for whatever reason to court the favour of the rich and noble, we know from Martial, xii. 18—
Dum tu forsitan inquietus erras
limina tu potentiorum
Sudatrix toga ventilat, etc.; and it is quite possible that the famous line, “Praefectos Pelopea facit, Philomela tribunos,” may have been drawn
a rule, only the highest office was mentioned. Thus in Wilmanns, 88, where Memmius Vitrasius Orfitus dedicates some object to Apollo, he is merely described as “bis praefectus urbi”; but in 1232, where an honorary slab is erected to him by some collegium, all his posts are mentioned. So in an honorary inscription to T. Appaeus Alfinus, a citizen of Firmum, and very much of Juvenal's standing, he is described as praefectus cohortis IV Gallorum, tribunus coh, I Aeliae Brittonum; praefectus alae I Augustae Thracum ; patronus coloniae ; flamen divorum omnium
; et II vir quinquennalis” (Wilmanns, 1266).
Instances of this pessimism are i. 94, 149; iii. 313 ; viii. 98; xi. 42, 120 ; xiii. 28, 60, 157 ; xiv. 191 ; xv. 159.