J. C. Zietsman


Persius' fifth satire can be divided into five distinct sections to which I shall refer as Units. A
broad outline of the structure of the satire can be represented as follows:
Unit 1:1-29 The poet's rejection of the traditional themes and style used by
contemporary poets.
Unit 2:30-51 When Persius had freedom of choice, he chose Cornutus as his
example and learned from him the principles of Stoicism.
Unit 3:52-72 Other professions and walks of life that Persius might imagine
lead to disaster; he invites his audience to change their way of
life and outlook now, and follow the doctrines of Cornutus.
Unit 4:73-131 Cornutus teaches uirtus, and this uirtus will grant one, by way
of ratio, true libertas.
Unit 5:132-191 On the other hand, refusal to change one's attitude and way of
life leads to seruitus because of one's uitia.

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