Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science

Lucretius: Poetry, Philosophy, Science

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Lucretius' didactic masterpiece De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) is one of the most brilliant and powerful poems in the Latin language, a passionate attempt at dispelling humanity's fear of death and its enslavement by false beliefs about the gods, and a detailed exposition of Epicurean atomist physics. For centuries, it has raised the question of whether it is primarily a poem or primarily a philosophical treatise, which also presents scientific doctrine. The current volume seeks to unite the three disciplinary aspects - poetry, philosophy, and science - in order to offer a holistic response to an important monument in cultural history. With ten original essays and an analytical introduction, the volume aims not only to combine different approaches within single covers, but to offer responses to the poem by experts from all three scholarly backgrounds. Philosophers and scholars of ancient science look closely at the artistic placement of individual words, while literary critics explore ethical matters and the contribution of Lucretius' poetry to the argument of the poem. Topics covered include death and grief, evolution and the cosmos, ethics and politics, perception, and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 338 pages
  • 146 x 218 x 30mm | 539.99g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199605408
  • 9780199605408
  • 1,884,725

About Department of Classics Daryn Lehoux

Alison Sharrock is Professor of Classics at the University of Manchester. She is the author of Seduction and Repetition in Ovid's Ars Amatoria 2 (OUP 1994) and Reading Roman Comedy: Poetics and Playfulness in Plautus and Terence (2009), and co-editor of Intratextuality: Greek and Roman Textual Relations (OUP 2000) and The Art of Love: Bimillennial Essays on Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Remedia Amoris (OUP, 2006). She is co-editor (with David Konstan) of the series Oxford Studies in Classical Literature and Gender Theory, for which she is planning a book on more

Review quote

A welcome addition to the field T.H.M. Gellar-Goad, Phoenixshow more

Table of contents

CONTENTS ; PREFACE ; INTRODUCTION ; 1. Piety, labour, and justice in Lucretius and Hesiod ; 2. The political epistemology of infinity ; 3. Lucretius, Epicurus, and the Logic of Multiple Explanations ; 4. Nature, spontaneity, and voluntary action in Lucretius ; 5. Seeing and unseeing, seen and unseen ; 6. The poetic logic of negative exceptionalism in Lucretius, book five ; 7. Lucretius and the Epicurean attitude toward grief ; 8. Nil igitur mors est ad nosa Iphianassa, the Athenian plague, and Epicurean views of death ; 9. Lucretius and Ovid on Empedoclean cows and sheep ; 10. (First-)Beginnings and (never-)endings in Lucan and Lucretius ; BIBLIOGRAPHY ; INDEXshow more