Date of Award

Spring 1956

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Griffin, George R.

Second Advisor

Ganss, George E.

Third Advisor

Arnold, Richard E.


Romans boasted that in their metrical social criticism which they called satire they had created a new literary genre. To some extent they were correct, for they gave satire a definite form and established it as a separate individual branch of literature. It is a constant source of interest, however, to find that Horace and Juvenal, the two greatest Roman satirists, are distinctly different in their treatment of the same subjects. Some have claimed that the disparity is due to the environmental changes in the hundred years which separate the two authors. Most critics now, such as John W. Duff, Gilbert Highet, G. L. Hendrickson, Edward Rand, and H.J. Rose agree that the most important clue to the difference is in the personality of each man. The problem of this thesis is to attempt to determine by an examination of the satires of Horace and Juvenal to what extent their different treatments can be attributed to differences in personality, and to what extent they are due to political and social conditions under which the poetry was written. The first chapter briefly sketches the derivation of the word "satire" and its development as a literary type at Rome. Chapter two traces the social, political, and intellectual environments of Horace and Juvenal as a background for chapter three in which their satires are compared.