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The Invisible SatiristJuvenal and Second-Century Rome$
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James Uden

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199387274

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199387274.001.0001

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Romans and Greeks

Romans and Greeks

New Views in the Graeca Urbs

(p.86) Chapter 3 Romans and Greeks
The Invisible Satirist

James Uden

Oxford University Press

This chapter highlights Juvenal’s response to the so-called Second Sophistic, the flowering of Greek rhetoric and philosophy through the Empire in the late first to the third centuries. It begins by examining the prestige of Greek language and rhetoricians in the letters of Pliny the Younger. The praise of Greek culture tends to occur, strikingly, together with reminders of Roman rule; the power relationship between Rome and Greece must always be kept in mind. The chapter then examines the particular institution of the verse recitation, which, the chapter argues, was engaged in an implicit cultural competition with the dazzling Greek performances of the sophists. Finally, the poem turns to Umbricius’s jeremiad against the Greeks in Rome (Satire 3.58–125), which, despite its use of comic stereotypes and ideas, nonetheless targets an elite strain of philhellenism in Rome.

Keywords:   Juvenal, Pliny the Younger, recitation, Umbricius, Graeca urbs, Second Sophistic, sophist

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