Roman Satire
Satura tota nostra est

Course Expectations and Objectives

We will read selections of Horace, Juvenal, and Martial. These authors may be found at The Latin Library. We will focus closely on the grammar, vocabulary, and style of the assigned texts, with only occasional comment on the historical and social background. The student is expected to have mastered a basic second year vocabulary and to be prepared to absorb a vast quantity of new vocabulary. Complete familiarity with basic forms (declension patterns, pronouns, verb tenses, infinitives, and participles) is required.

Satire by nature is a difficult genre, even in one's native language. Commentaries have been provided to aid the student with the readings. As with all authors, the style and vocabulary become more easily absorbed as the work progresses. We will move slowly at first, more quickly as the semester progresses.

Students are expected to have prepared the assigned text well enough to read it with minimal difficulty and discuss grammatical constructions. Our goals are to read with reasonable ease the passages assigned and to articulate a basic understanding of the author's purpose and methods. The work required is considerable, the rewards commensurate.

Our Texts

The following texts are recommended for Horace and Juvenal:


I have prepared texts, with an introduction and notes, for Juvenal and Martial:

Juvenal - Introduction
Juvenal - Text
Juvenal - Notes

Martial - Introduction
Martial - Text
Martial - Notes

We will also practice scansion of dactylic hexameter. I have prepared a Scansion Handout for your use.

Grammar Resources

A systematic grammar of Latin is recommended. Bennett's New Latin Grammar or, better, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar. Both are available for on-line purchase. Handouts on basic grammar and vocabulary are available at the Latin Handout Page.

The Instructor

William L. Carey, Esq.
Blankingship & Keith, P.C.
4020 University Drive, Suite 300
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
703-620-6377 (home)


Additional Resources: