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Scholars of Roman Satire tend to divide Horace and Juvenal along a “post-Lucilian,” and “Lucilian-update” line, as John Henderson has observed. However, there are clear similarities between Juvenal’s and Horace’s use of mock-epic in sustained narratives. A comparison of Juvenal’s Satire 1.4 and Horace’s Satire 1.5 reveals they each use strikingly comparable language and narrative techniques to create irony. Horace and Juvenal also appear to mock other authors and writers of epic as they engage in literary criticism. Most surprisingly, although each dismiss their own subject matter as insignificant, they each use mock-epic to call attention to serious issues: in Horace’s satire, the reconciliation of Antony and Octavian, and in Juvenal’s satire, the culture of fear and failure of the Roman elite under the reign of Domitian. These underlying themes ultimately suggest that their poem’s subject matter is deserving of epic’s lofty diction.

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