Persius or Aulus Persius Flaccus (pûr´shēəs; ôl´əs, flăk´əs), AD 34–AD 62, Roman satirical poet, b. Etruria. A member of a distinguished family, he went to Rome in boyhood, was educated there, and came under the influence of the Stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Cornutus, to whom he became attached in lasting friendship. Gentle and modest by nature, Persius had high moral standards. His writings (only six short satires), influenced in manner by Horace and Lucilius, preach Stoic moral doctrine. He exposed to censure the corruption and folly of contemporary Roman life, contrasting it with the ideals of the Stoics and of earlier Rome. Persius' writing is harsh, obscure, and difficult to translate.
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