Sunday, 12 December 2010

Juvenal

The Satires have inspired many authors, including Samuel Johnson, who modeled his “London” on Satire III and his “Vanity of Human Wishes” on Satire X. Juvenal also helped come up with the name for a forensically important beetle, Histeridae. Juvenal is the source of many well-known maxims, including:

  • that the common people—rather than caring about their freedom—are only interested in “bread and circuses” (panem et circenses 10.81; i.e. food and entertainment),
  • that—rather than for wealth, power, or children—men should pray for a “sound mind in a sound body” (mens sana in corpore sano 10.356),
  • that a perfect wife is a “rare bird” (rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cycno 6.165; a rare bird in the earth and most similar to a black swan)
  • and the troubling question of who can be trusted with power—“who will watch the watchers?” or "who will guard the guardians themselves?" (quis custodiet ipsos custodes 6.347-48).

[wiki]

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