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About the Author

Aules Persius Flaccus was born in AD 34 in Etruria. Rich and well connected, he knew Lucan, Thrasea Paetus, and other members of the opposition to Nero’s rule. His friendship with the philosopher Cornutus began when he was sixteen and remained a strong influence until his death at the age of twenty-seven. Although the satires are concerned with moral questions— a fact which endeared Persius to the Church Fathers and won him admiration in the Middle Ages and Renaissance— their main interest for us lies in their condensed, allusive, and highly metaphorical style.

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