Fourteen. Imperial Satire as Saturnalia

  1. Susanna Braund2 and
  2. Josiah Osgood3
  1. Paul Allen Miller

Published Online: 21 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118301074.ch14

A Companion to Persius and Juvenal

A Companion to Persius and Juvenal

How to Cite

Miller, P. A. (2012) Imperial Satire as Saturnalia, in A Companion to Persius and Juvenal (eds S. Braund and J. Osgood), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118301074.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Stanford, Yale, London, UK

  2. 3

    Georgetown University, USA

Author Information

  1. University of South Carolina, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 SEP 2012
  2. Published Print: 1 OCT 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405199650

Online ISBN: 9781118301074



  • imperial satire as Saturnalia, the irony of satire deployed as a notion of winter without end;
  • Roman satire founded on transgression, the self as autonomous/self-contained unity;
  • satire, a discourse that is, as Horace says, perceived as an assault;
  • Bakhtin's opus, to systematic rejection, approval, and rehabilitation;
  • carnival as festive “decrowning” of authority in degradation, liberating plurality of voices;
  • Rabelais and His World, shifting to role of mockery/bodily degradation;
  • Bakhtin, central to a modern study of satire, with focus on the grotesque;
  • ancient Saturnalia, one of the many ancestors of medieval carnivalesque tradition;
  • Saturnalia, utopian element and a moment of degradation, to promise of renewal;
  • literary satire, not the Saturnalia, Persius/Juvenal's satire deploying imagery in ways


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Bakhtin's Carnival

  • Saturnalia

  • Persius

  • Juvenal

  • Conclusion

  • Further Reading