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ENGC48H3 Lecture Notes - False Etymology, Ennius, Anthropomorphism

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Steven Minuk

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Satire – Lecture 2
The Faces of Satire
The word satire is derived from he latin word satura denotes a medley or mixture of things and also the
idea of fullness
Lanx satura – dish full of mixed fruits (offered to gods during festivals)
satura - adjective meaning full (saturate)
There is an erroneous etymology of satire with the mythological satyr figure which is widespread until
the 17C – false etymology.
Casaubon in 1605 published a treatise on satire. He was the first to distinguish between the latin
word of satire and this false etymology. He pointed out the true etymology of satire.
Satire Before Horace
Satires have been written as both stage form and art form.
Satires have been practiced in verse form, prose form and drama.
Early practicioners of Satires
Ennius (239-169)
first to use the word Saturae
wrote medleys on diverse subjects
Lucilius (102 BC)
predecessor to Horac
first practicioner of satire whose work still exists today in fragments.
Sort of a forefather of Satire except there isn't a large enough body of his work to be looked
at carefully.
Lucilius attacked prominent contemporaries by name.
Enjoyed protection of Scipio family
So he was able to write with more liberty
Makes criticism an essential feature of the form.
In drama, the most prominent practictioner of satire before the 1st C CE is the Greek
dramatist Aristophanes
Is satire a genre or mode? Usually a mode or type of expression. Can't be easily categorized.
Historical Contexts of Horace and Juvenal
Roman Republic
Ruled by senate and distinguished families
Lucilius was writing during this time
Roman Empire (Augustus Caesar)
Ruled by autocratic emperors
Horace was writing during this time
Roman Empire (Domitian)
Ruled by autocratic emperors
Juvenal was writing during this time
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