This is not a commentary on Juvenal 10 but a critical appreciation of the poem which examines it on its own and in context and tries to make it come alive as a piece of literature, offering one man’s close reading of Satire 10 as poetry, and concerned with literary criticism rather than philological minutiae. In line with the recent broadening of insight into Juvenal’s writing this book often addresses the issues of distortion and problematizing and covers style, sound and diction as well. Much time is also devoted to intertextuality and to humour, wit and irony. This is something new: building on the work of scholars like Martyn, Jenkyns and Schmitz, who see in Juvenal a consistently skilful and sophisticated author, this is a whole book demonstrating a high level of expertise on Juvenal’s part sustained throughout a long poem (rather than intermittent flashes). This investigation of 10 leads to the conclusion that Juvenal is an accomplished poet and provocative satirist, a writer with real focus, who makes every word count, and a final chapter exploring 11 and 12 confirms that assessment. Translation of the Latin and explanation of references are included so that Classics students will find the book easier to use and it will also be accessible to scholars and students interested in satire outside of Classics departments.
'This would be a very good book to put into the hands of somebody who is coming to the text of Juvenal for the first time and wants to see what all the fuss is about. Murgatroyd tells us that this book is aimed at ‘senior undergraduates and above’, but in fact his language is at all times accessible to anybody with an interest in the subject-matter—all Latin is well translated into fluent English and the author’s style can even be chatty and light-hearted to suit the highly unsolemn nature of some of the Latin under discussion.'
John Godwin, Classics for All
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