Juvenal, Decimus Iunius [Qoted, in part, from 1998 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia: The Roman poet Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, AD c.60-130, known in English as Juvenal, was the last great satirist of Latin literature. Although few of the recorded details of his life are reliable, it appears that he grew up in Aquinum and went to Rome to make a living as a teacher during the reign (81-96) of Domitian. In his first satire Juvenal claims that moral indignation forces him to write, but for fear of his own safety he will speak only of the dead. After Domitian's death, Juvenal published a series of poems that lashed out at the corruption, vices, and follies of imperial Rome, masking his concern with the contemporary city by explicit allusions to the dead emperor. Whether Juvenal was successful cannot be known, for only Martial alludes to him, in epigrams that antedate Juvenal's earliest publication. A later story that Juvenal suffered exile for his outspokenness and died wretchedly in Egypt, the victim of Emperor Hadrian's malevolence, may be apocryphal. Writing over a period of 30 years, growing older in a Rome that fared variously under Domitian, Nerva (96-98), Trajan (98-117), and Hadrian (117-138), Juvenal moderated his themes in his later satires. This can be seen by comparing his two most famous poems; in "Satire 3" he attacks contemporary Rome, measuring its citizens against the moral standards established during the early years of the Roman republic, but in "Satire 10" he discourses on the vanity of all human wishes regardless of place or time. Brilliant in invective and parody, passionate and bitter in tone, Juvenal was frequently imitated by such later satirists as Alexander Pope and Samuel Johnson.
Gods and Reason:
...if one had the power to reason, one would have no need for gods.