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he was promptly imprisoned; he was afterwards banished; and he died in exile. This seems to have been the first and last attempt of Roman Comedy to serve as an organ of popular opinion. The Roman reverence for authority was outraged by the idea of a public man being presented in a comic light on the boards of a theatre. On the other hand, Roman feeling allowed a public man to be attacked, in speaking or in writing, with almost any degree of personal violence, provided that the purpose was seriously moral. Hence the personal criticism of statesmen, which at Athens had belonged to Comedy, passed at Rome into another kind of composition. It became an element of Satire.
The name of Satire comes, as is well known, from the lanx satura, the platter filled with first-fruits of various sorts, which was an annual thank-offering to Ceres and Bacchus. "Satire" meant a medley, or miscellany, and the first characteristic of Roman satire was that the author wrote in an easy, familiar way about any and every subject that was of interest to himself and his readers. As Juvenal says,—
"Men's hopes, men's fear—their fond, their fretful dream—
Their joys, their fuss—that medley is my theme."
Politics, literature, philosophy, society—every topic of public or private concern—belonged to the Satura, so long as the treatment was popular. Among all the forms of Roman literature. Satire stands out with a twofold distinction. First, it is