Gergő Gellérfi: The Shadow of Rome: Umbricius in Juvenal's Satire 3

Juvenal's Satire 3 is a peculiar poem in more aspects. The monologue of the interlocutor named Umbricius occupies almost all of the 322-line-long satire, being the longest continuous speech by an interlocutor in all extant Roman satires.
Examining the interlocutor's character and his literary sources, we can conclude that he is the most complex figure of Juvenal. Although certain scholars deny the historical background stating that Umbricius has nothing to do with any real person, we have to count with the possibility that on the one hand, the figure of Umbricius might be traced back to a historical character, and on the other hand, the dramatic setting of the satire (a friend leaves Rome) might be based on a real event.

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