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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware the wasp - and the mullet!
Yes, Dr Jones may well be right in suggesting that there are better editions than this (although it would have been useful if he'd told us exactly which ones and why!). However, Peter Green arguably offers the best introduction to Juvenal's Satires. After all, Green is not writing for the specialist but for the average, intelligent reader - the kind of reader that Penguin...
Published on 31 Aug. 2009 by Jon Chambers

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Badly formatted, no table of contents, too expensive
This is the only Kindle book I've ever returned. it was badly formatted, there is no table of contents and it cost more than the paperback. There's no excuse for this.
Published on 10 Dec. 2012 by Amazon Customer


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware the wasp - and the mullet!, 31 Aug. 2009
By 
Jon Chambers (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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Yes, Dr Jones may well be right in suggesting that there are better editions than this (although it would have been useful if he'd told us exactly which ones and why!). However, Peter Green arguably offers the best introduction to Juvenal's Satires. After all, Green is not writing for the specialist but for the average, intelligent reader - the kind of reader that Penguin Classics habitually caters for. Jones probably has scholars like Susanna Braund in mind and I'd imagine that her editions are those that professional classicists like him find most valuable. She offers an extremely perceptive commentary, full Latin text and a translation that is, I suspect, closer to the letter than Green's. But Braund comes at a hefty price - £18 for Volume I alone.

In any case, this Penguin edition has lots to offer besides value. Green captures the spirit and vitality, as well as the sharply ironic humour, of the original at least as well as Braund or Rudd, the two main competitors. His Juvenal sounds fresh, witty and modern (as well as occasionally loathsome, misogynistic and xenophobic). His Introduction, moreover, is extensive and engaging. It may well be 'old-fashioned' in its lack of enthusiasm for the 'persona theory' (ie the view that the poet is donning a mask and not voicing his own opinions, thereby preventing us from reading the satires as self-revelation). But Green does at least address 'the much-vexed question of Juvenal's satirical persona', and gives us an alternative approach. He inclines to the view that Juvenal's savage indignation resulted from humbling personal experience. According to long-held tradition, he was exiled - probably to Egypt. Green surmises that this story of exile is true, and that it might well have taken the harshest form - 'deportatio' - involving the confiscation of everything dear to a Roman citizen: land, money, status. In the early satires, Green sees Juvenal as 'a waspish gadfly from Aquinum' and a 'snarling chip-on-the-shoulder flay-all'. The gradual softening of tone (anger - cynicism - irony) can be accounted for, Green thinks, by a gradual improvement in Juvenal's material circumstances. In this reading, therefore, the Satires are at least partly autobiographical.

So, maybe not definitive and certainly not radical, but an edition that's good enough for the vast majority of interested readers. Good enough even for Dr Jones himself, otherwise he wouldn't have used Green's translation in his (excellent) article 'The persona and the addressee in Juvenal's Satire 11' in Ramus, vol.19, no2, pp160-68, 1990, when Braund's and Rudd's alternatives were also available.

Oh, that mullet. You'll have to read Green's illuminating note to line 317 of Satire X.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Green's revision hits the mark, 25 Sept. 2003
By 
A. Harden (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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I studied this book for Classical Civilisation last year and found it an extremely refreshing rendering of an author whose medium (the satire) has been mauled and abused by even the best of English translators. I picked up a second much inferior translation of this book to reinforce my learning and instantly appreciated the quality of Peter Green's method: he avoids sucking the life out of Juvenal's poetry through prose translation but doesn't go so far as to force the advanced and passionate sentiments into dry showy Dryden-esque iambics or rhyming couplets. The result is an unrhyming semi-poetic rendering; beautifully and entirely naturally rhythmic. He also meets an audience mid-way between scholar and 'layman' by removing references to unknown people referred to in the text, thus avoiding clumsy English (which may also be seen as a trifle patronising on the translator's part), and providing an thorough endnotes and a bibliography for each satire. The introduction and preface are also hugely informative. However I find his (to me) unique method of applying endnotes a little irritating: he often places the endnotes twenty lines apart and then explains all of the different points in the preceeding twenty lines, rather than the more orthodox way of applying one note per reference. However this is, I assume, an attempt at making the experience of reading the work a more fluid one and only jarred on me as I was studying it in conjunction with other texts which use the more traditional method.
In any case this is a wonderful book, finally hitting that hard to reach mark between poetry and prose.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Badly formatted, no table of contents, too expensive, 10 Dec. 2012
This is the only Kindle book I've ever returned. it was badly formatted, there is no table of contents and it cost more than the paperback. There's no excuse for this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So this is what the Romans were really like, 11 April 2014
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This review is from: The Sixteen Satires (Penguin Classics) (Kindle Edition)
If you want to get under the skin of ancient Rome, Juvenal is the perfect guide. Well worth a read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 Nov. 2014
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A delightful, ravishing and important classic.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not that keen, 12 Feb. 2011
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I don't know how I feel about this book. Not that enthusiastic, I have to say. I'm a long-time fan of the old Loeb translation by Ramsay, which is great. So I was curious to see how Green would do it.

Well, he's big on translating stuff which should not be translated. So he says "Law against sodomy" rather than "Scantinian law". Yes, that was what the "Lex Scantinian de nefanda venere" was about -- but I don't want that sort of thing translated. He uses "X and Y" rather than the Roman names given in the text. It's as if he's stripping out the ancient colour, at least to me.

The translation style is quite violent. I have a feeling that it might date badly, as slang translations tend to do. Perhaps I am simply the wrong audience for it, tho -- it might make the work more accessible to general readers.

Lots of footnotes, and all of them at the back where you can't see them. I can't stand having to read a book with a finger mid-way through the back of it it -- it makes it hard to pick up and put down. The footnotes or endnotes are of variable quality. Each satire, in the end-notes, starts with a list of authorities to refer to, and he does then refer to this person or that's opinion. Not having read any of these people, I can't say whether I care what they think or wrote. Green is very interested in questions of where lines may have been lost. I think he over-does it, tho -- things he considers incongruous -- a personal opinion anyway -- do not seem so to me.

All the obscenity is translated, unfortunately, often in a rather gross way. No doubt the original is gross at points, of course.

I still prefer Ramsay, tho.

I can see why Dr Jones gave the review he did. There's a lot in what that review says, and it's all true. The translation is a bit too violently colloquial, a bit forced at points that shouldn't be forced. But then again, it may be valuable to some.

And what on earth possessed Penguin to put a picture of a satyr groping a woman's breast on the cover? I don't want to own books I'd be ashamed to be seen reading on the tube, thanks. We read Juvenal (annoyingly referred to as "J" by Green) for the colour of ancient Rome, not for porn value.
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6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars h'mm, 26 Feb. 2008
By 
Dr. F. M. A. Jones "fjones" (liverpool, merseyside United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The translator plays Juvenal for laughs, and there is more to him than that. So much doesn't get through from the original in this version, and what does seems to me to misrepresent the style fairly severely.

The introduction is rather dated.

Really, there are other options.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LITERARY LIBRARY, 14 Dec. 2012
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Added to my collection of Classics literature. Its content was written 2000 years ago and is therefore unique to the Author.
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