Lucretius in the Modern World
Lucretius' "On the Nature of Things", one of the glories of Latin literature, provides a vivid poetic exposition of the doctrines of the Greek atomist, Epicurus. The poem played a crucial role in the reinvention of science in the seventeenth century, its influence on the French Enlightenment was powerful and pervasive, and it became a major battlefield in the wars of religion with science in nineteenth-century England. But in the twentieth century, despite its vital contributions to modern thought and civilisation, it has been largely neglected by common readers and scientists alike. This book offers an extensive description of the poem, with special emphasis on its cheerful version of materialism and on its attempt to devise an ethical system that suits such a universe. It surveys major relevant texts form the eighteenth and ninetheenth centuries (Dryden, Diderot, Voltaire, Tennyson, Santayana) and speculates on why Lucretius and the ancient scientific tradition he championed has become marginalised in the twentieth century.It closes with a discussion of what value the poem has for students of science and technology in the new century: what advice it has to offer us about how to go about reinventing our machines and our morality.
3 pages matching plague in this book
Results 1-3 of 3
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The Gospel of Pleasure
A Genealogy of Melancholy
The AntiLucretius Himself
2 other sections not shown
atheist Athens atomic truth atomist beasts beauty become begin believe bomb Book bronze Catullus century Christian Cicero civilisation corrupt Creech cultural death deism desire Diderot divine dream Dryden earth Empedocles Epicurean Epicurus erotic eternal fear feel final godless gods Gods and monsters gospel of pleasure Groves happened heart hedonism human humanist ideology illusions images imagine invention iron Jodie Foster Latin Leo Szilard Leslie Groves live look Lucretian Lucretius lust Mad Scientist madness materialist matter melancholy Memmius mind modern moral myth nature numbers pagan pain passage perhaps perspective philosopher plague Plato poem poem's poet poet's poetic poetry Polignac reader reason religion reveals Roman Sagan scientific scientists seems spacetime story style suffering suicide superegos superstition Szilard tells Tennyson things thought Thucydides tion tradition transformed translation true pleasure universe Venus verse vision void Voltaire wants weapons