Juvenal: Satires

j attitude on marriage

sat.6 is about women.i want a guide on a very comprehensive programmatic essay on juvenal attitude towards marriage.

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I have admittedly never read this, although I believe this has made me just curious enough to sit down and read the whole thing. It is Christmas break after all............ all I could find on Juvenal that was readily available is this excerpt from wikipedia......... we don't allow our students to use wikipedia as a source, but it's the best I can do. I'll come back and update this on my own after a thorough read.


lines 6.1-24 – Parody of the golden age myth as dirty cave people. The ages of man: in the golden age no one feared a thief, the silver age had the first adulterers, and the remaining crimes in the Iron Age. The goddesses Pudicitia (Chastity) and Astraea (Justice) withdrew from the earth in disgust.

lines 6.25-37 – Are you preparing to get married, Postumus, in this day and age, when you could just commit suicide or sleep with a boy?


lines 6.38-59 – The notorious adulterer Ursidius wants a wife and children. He wants of wife of old-fashioned virtue, but he is insane to think he will get one.

lines 6.60-81 – Marry a woman and an actor will become a father instead of you.

lines 6.82-113 – Eppia, a senator’s wife, ran off to Egypt with a gladiator.

lines 6.114-141 – Messalina, wife of Claudius, sneaked out of the palace to work at a brothel. Lust is the least of their sins, but greedy husbands allow it for the dowry.

lines 6.142-160 – Men love a pretty face, not the woman. When she gets old, they kick her out.


lines 6.161-183 – The narrator would prefer a prostitute for a wife over Cornelia, since virtuous women are often arrogant.

lines 6.184-199 – Dressing and speaking Greek is not attractive, especially for old women.


lines 6.200-230 – Women torment even men they love and want to rule the home, then they just move on to another man – one with eight husbands in five years.

lines 6.231-245 – A man will never be happy while his mother-in-law lives; she teaches her daughter evil habits.

lines 6.246-267 – Women cause lawsuits and love to wrangle. Some elite women practice at gladiatorial exercises, perhaps with the idea of actually entering the arena.

lines 6.268-285 – Women cover their own transgressions with accusations of their husband’s. If the husband catches them, they are even more indignant.

Lack of Restraint

lines 6.286-313 – Poverty and constant work kept women chaste previously. It was the excessive wealth that came with conquest that destroyed Roman morality with luxury.

lines 6.314-345 – Two women profane the shrine of Pudicitia (Chastity). Description of the now perverted rites of the Bona Dea (Good Goddess).

lines 6.O1-O34 – the Oxford Fragment – Cinaedi (pathic males) are a moral contamination; women listen to their advice. Cups should be shattered if they drink from them. Be sure the eunuchs guarding your wife are really eunuchs. Who will guard the guards themselves?

lines 6.346-378 – Women both high and low are the same. Women are fiscally profligate and lack foresight and self-restraint.

lines 6.379-397 – Some women are so enthralled by musicians that they will perform sacrifices to the gods for their victory in a contest, no less than if their own husband or child were sick.


lines 6.398-412 – Some women intrude into matters that pertain to men and are constantly blathering gossip and rumors.

lines 6.413-433 – Some women are horrible neighbors and hostesses. Keeping their guests waiting then drinking and vomiting like a snake that has fallen into a vat of wine.

lines 6.434-456 – Women who are educated and fancy themselves orators and grammarians, disputing literary points and noting every grammatical slip of their husbands, are repulsive.

lines 6.457-473 – Rich women are utterly out of control. They only try to look presentable for their lovers. At home for their husbands they are covered in beauty concoctions.

lines 6.474-511 – If a woman’s husband sleeps turned away, she tortures everyone at hand. Women rule their households like bloody tyrants. An army of maids is in attendance to get her ready for the public. She lives with the husband as if he were a stranger.


lines 6.511-541 – The eunuch priest of Bellona and the mother of the gods is given complete credence by some women. Others are fanatic adherents of the cult of Isis and its charlatan priests.

lines 6.542-591 – Still others listen to Jewish or Armenian soothsayers, or believe in the prophetic abilities of Chaldaean astrologers. Even worse is a woman who is so skilled at astrology that others seek her out for advice. Poor women get their fortunes told down by the Circus Maximus.

Drugs and Poisons

lines 6.592-609 – At least poor women will have children. Rich women instead receive abortions to avoid the bother. But husbands should be glad since they would just become the father of a half-Ethiopian anyway. Women also get abandoned children to pass off as those of their husbands; these become the

Roman elite – as Fortuna laughs.

lines 6.610-626 – Women love to drug and poison their husbands to get their way. The wife of Caligula drove him insane with a potion, and Agrippina the Younger poisoned Claudius.

lines 6.627-633 – The evil stepmother would like to poison rich stepchildren.


lines 6.634-43 – The narrator asks if his listener thinks he has slipped into the hyperbole of tragedy. But Pontia admits to murdering her two children and would have killed seven if there had been seven. We should believe what the poets tell us about Medea and Procne, yet they were less evil than women now, because they did what they did due to rage, not money. There is a Clytemnestra on every street.