From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Not to be confused with Bertrand de Jouvenel, the political philosopher.
Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
"But who is to guard the guards themselves?"
What's Rome to me, what business have I there? / I who can neither lie, nor falsely swear? / Nor praise my patron's undeserving rhymes, / Nor yet comply with him, nor with his times?
Nemo repente fuit turpissimus.
"No man ever became extremely wicked all at once."

Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis (c. 55 – c. 140), anglicized as Juvenal, was a Roman satiric poet.

Satires I · II · III · IV · VI · VIII · IX · X · XIV · XV · External links





Satire I

  • Difficile est saturam non scribere.
    • It is difficult not to write satire.
    • I, line 30.
  • Probitas laudatur et alget
    • Honesty is praised and starves.
    • I, line 74.
    • Variant translation: Honesty is praised and is left out in the cold.
  • Poena tamen praesens, cum tu deponis amictus
    turgidus et crudum pavonem in balnea portas.
    hinc subitae mortes atque intestata senectus;
    it nova nec tristis per cunctas fabula cenas:
    ducitur iratis plaudendum funus amicis.
    • But you will soon pay for it, my friend, when you take off your clothes, and with distended stomach carry your peacock into the bath undigested! Hence a sudden death, and an intestate old age; the new and merry tale runs the round of every dinner-table, and the corpse is carried forth to burial amid the cheers of enraged friends!
    • I, line 142.

Satire II

  • Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas.
    • Censure pardons the raven, but is visited upon the dove.
    • II, line 63.
  • Nemo repente fuit turpissimus.
    • No man ever became extremely wicked all at once.
    • II, line 83.
    • Compare: "There is a method in man’s wickedness, — It grows up by degrees

Satire III

  • me nemo ministro fur erit, atque ideo nulli comes exeo
    • No man will get my help in robbery, and therefore no governor will take me on his staff
    • III, line 46.
  • What's Rome to me, what business have I there?
I who can neither lie, nor falsely swear?
Nor praise my patron's undeserving rhymes,
Nor yet comply with him, nor with his times?
  • Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se,
    quam quod ridiculos homines facit.
    • Bitter poverty has no harder pang than that it makes men ridiculous.
    • III, line 152-3.
    • Variant translations:
      • Of all the Griefs that harrass the Distrest,
        Sure the most bitter is a scornful Jest.
      • The hardest thing to bear in poverty is the fact that it makes men ridiculous.
      • Wretched poverty offers nothing harsher than this: it makes men ridiculous.
  • Haut facile emergunt quorum virtutibus opstat
    res angusta domi.
    • It is not easy for men to rise whose qualities are thwarted by poverty.
    • III, line 164.
    • Variant translation: Slow rises Worth, by Poverty deprest.
  • Hic vivimus ambitiosa paupertate omnes.
    • We all live in a state of ambitious poverty.
    • III, line 182.
  • The question is not put how far extends
His piety, but what he yearly spends;
Quick, to the business; how he lives and eats;
How largely gives; how splendidly he treats;
How many thousand acres feed his sheep;
What are his rents; what servants does he keep?
The account is soon cast up; the judges rate
Our credit in the court by our estate.

Satire IV

  • Vitam impendere vero.
    • Dedicate one’s life to truth.
    • IV, line 91.

Satire VI

  • Nunc patimur longae pacis mala, saevior armis
    luxuria incubuit victumque ulciscitur orbem.
    • We are now suffering the evils of a long peace. Luxury, more deadly than war, broods over the city, and avenges a conquered world.
    • VI, line 292.
  • Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    • But who will guard the guardians themselves?
    • VI, line 347
    • Variant translations:
      • But who is to guard the guards themselves?
        • Translated by Lewis Evans, in The Satires of Juvenal, Persius, Sulpicia, and Lucilius (1861), p. 51
      • Who watches the watchmen?
      • The original context is that a husband might lock his wife in the house to prevent her adulteries, but she is cunning and will start with the guards; hence, who guards the guards? The phrase has come to be applied broadly to people or organisations acting against dishonesty or corruption, esp. in public life. See Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? at Wikipedia.
  • Nobilitas sola est atque unica virtus.
    • Virtue is the one and only nobility.
    • VIII, line 20.
    • Variant: Nobility is the one only virtue.
    • Compare : We'll shine in more substantial honours, And to be noble we'll be good.

Satire VIII

  • Summum crede nefas animam praeferre pudori
    et propter vitam vivendi perdere causas.
    • Count it the greatest sin to prefer life to honor, and for the sake of living to lose what makes life worth living.
    • VIII, line 83.

Satire IX

  • Nam si tibi sidera cessant,
    nil faciet longi mensura incognita nervi,
    quamvis te nudum spumanti Virro labello
    viderit et blandae adsidue densaeque tabellae
    sollicitent, autos gar ephelketai andra kinaidos.
    • If your stars go against you, the fantastic size of your cock will get you precisely nowhere, however much Virro may have drooled at the spectacle of your naked charms, though love-letters come in by the dozen, imploring your favors.
    • IX, line 33.

Satire X

  • Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator.
    • The traveller with empty pockets will sing in the thief's face.
    • X, line 22.
  • Nam qui dabat olim
    imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se
    continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat,
    panem et circenses.
    • The people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses!
    • X, line 78; see bread and circuses.
  • Orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.
    • You should pray for a sound mind in a sound body.
    • X, line 356; see mens sana in corpore sano.
    • Variant translation: One should pray to have a sound mind in a sound body.

Satire XIV

  • Maxima debetur puero reverentia.
    • The greatest reverence is due the young.
    • XIV, line 47
    • Variant translations:
      • The most profound respect is due to children.
      • The greatest reverence is due to a child.

Satire XV

  • Indica tigris agit rabida cum tigride pacem
    perpetuam, saevis inter se convenit ursis.
    • The Indian tiger lives in perfect peace with the fierce
      Tigress, and savage bears live together in harmony.
      • XV, lines 163-164; translation by A.S. Kilne

Satire XVI

  • Fati valet hora benigni
    • One moment of benignant fate
    • XVI, line 4
    • Cf. Samuel Bishop, Epigram XL.
Wikipedia has an article about: