Czy Juwenalis nienawidził Egipcjan? Problemy interpretacyjne Satyry XV


Satire XV

How to Cite

Hołubowicz, Karolina. 2022. “Czy Juwenalis Nienawidził Egipcjan? Problemy Interpretacyjne Satyry XV”. In Gremium. Studies in History, Culture and Politics, no. 16 (December), 45-66.


Key words: Juvenal, Satire, Satire XV, cannibalism, Egyptians, Romans, poetry

Juvenal’s ‘Satire XV’ is a complex poetic work causing difficulties in interpretation. Mistakes are often made while interpreting it, such as identifying the author with the lyrical subject or interpreting his words directly, without taking into account numerous treatments occurring in the text such as irony, paradox or references to other pieces of literature. Part which attracts the most attention is the bloody description of the clach between Tentyra and Ombos with the scene of cannibalism. The cause of the conflict was religious dispute. The subject presents himself as a witness to the incident, but it cannot be said with certainty that Juvenal was personally observing the battle. Due to participation in the battle, Egyptians are described as inferior to animals, devoid of compassion. The criticism of ‘Satire XV’ may not apply to the Egyptians themselves, but it may present them as an example of a moral regression of civilization. The judgments expressed in the work reflect the views of Roman society as a whole, not necessarily the author himself.


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