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Timeline of Roman Satire

Roman Satire From Ennius to Juvenal


Seneca Statue From Cordoba

Seneca statue taken in Barrio de la Juderia, Cordoba.

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Major Events in Ancient History Timeline and Roman Literature Timeline provide the broader context.

Sources for this timeline include: Michael Coffey's Roman Satire and A History of Roman Literature: From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius, by Charles Thomas Cruttwell (1877).

Ennius was born in Rudiae, in ancient Calabria. He was probably educated at the Greek city of Tarentum. Cato may have brought Ennius to Rome so that Ennius could teach him Greek. Ennius created Rome's first national epic as well as the genre of Roman satura. Ennius gave the name "saturae" to a collection of his minor poems. Only 31 lines of his satire remain. 239 B.C. Ennius born.
204 Cato as quaestor brings Ennius to Rome.
180 Lucilius born. May have been born in 168-7.
173 Ennius wrote the twelfth book of the "Annals".
170 Accius born. Ennius attacked Accius in his satire.
169 Ennius dies.
154 Pacuvius flourished. Pacuvius, the nephew of Ennius, also wrote satire, but we know nothing about his satire.
Lucilius was born in Suessa Aurunca on the border between Latium and Campania. He was the great uncle of Pompey. Lucilius served with Scipio Aemilianus in Numantia (134-3) as an eques. Around 1400 lines of Lucilius are extant. Most of the lines are isolated or in small groups making their context hard to determine. While the word "satura" (whence, "satire") is applied to the work of Lucilius, in his own writing, the terms applied are "sermo" (conversation) and "ludus" (plaything). 134 Lucilius begins to write.
116 M. Terentius Varro born.
65 Horace born.
48 Lenaeus satirizes Sallust.
45 ? Varro Academia. Varro was born at the Sabine city of Reate. Varro developed the satire mix of prose and verse known as Menippean. He expresses his intention to write Menippean satire in the proem to Academia. Varro also wrote what are called Cynic satire (cynicae). St. Jerome wrote that there were 150 books of Menippean Satire by Varro. We only have about 600 fragments many not even sentences.
35 Hor. Sat. Book I
Quintus Horatius Flaccus was born in Venusia, on the border between Apulia and Lucania, the son of a wealthy freedman. Horace refers to the genre which Lucilius wrote, but he doesn't call his first book of satire "satura." In the opening of the second book, however, he does. Sermones (conversations) is the term Horace prefers.
38 Hor. Sat. i. 3.
36 Hor. Sat. i. 8,
35 Hor. Sat. i. 4, 9, 10.
34 Sat. ii. 2.
33 Sat. ii. 3.
32 Sat. ii. 4, 5.
31 Hor. Sat. Book II; Messala consul.
30 Hor. Sat. ii. 7, 8.
28 Varro dies.
21 Hor. writes Ep. i. 20 (aet. 44).
8 Death of Horace.
7 Birth of Seneca (?).
34 Persius born.
54 Emperor Claudius dies.Seneca's contribution to the field of (Menippean) satire was the Apocolocyntosis about the apotheosis of the Emperor Claudius. Seneca did not take credit for the satire.
62 Persius dies (24 November)
Aules Persius Flaccus was born in the Etruscan town of Volaterrae. His single book of 6 satires was unfinished when he died. Cornutus and Caesius Bassus published it after his death.
65 Petronius dies.
Petronius was the arbiter elegantiae to the Emperor Nero. He wrote the early novel Satyricon, which is another example of Menippean satire.
67 Possible birth date of Juvenal.
69-96 Flavian Emperors
Turnus was a satirist of the period of whose work only two lines survive.
118 Juvenal may have written Satire xiii. this year.

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