recitantes poetae


(photo courtesy of VRoma)

In the opening lines of his debut satire (1.1-14) Juvenal rails colorfully and at much greater length against "performance poetry," which he says he will contribute to out of self-defense. This particular "urban evil" appears facetiously here in climactic position, after fires and building collapses.

By his choice of month, Augusto recitantes mense poetas, the poet seems to be holding Augustus responsible for Rome's ubiquitous public readings, which were actually instituted earlier by G. Asinius Pollio, the soldier-politician-literary critic-author.