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Lucretius and the Didactic Epic : Classical World Series - Monica R Gale

Lucretius and the Didactic Epic

Classical World Series


Published: 27th December 2001
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The "De Rerum Natura" of Lucretius (?97-55 BC) is at first sight something of an oddity: a scientific treatise dealing with atomic physics, human biology and the nature of the cosmos, it is at the same time a poem of great power and intensity, one of the most important and influential literary works of its era. This book seeks to resolve the apparent contradiction by locating Lucretius' poem in the context of a very ancient tradition of didactic (or 'teaching') epic. It explores some of the ways in which Lucretius, in this attempt to convince the reader of the truth of his philosophical system, makes the traditional features of epic poetry work for him. And it discusses the poet's subtle interweaving of technical exposition with ethical precept, arguing that the poem offers the reader not just a scientific account of the workings of nature, but also a guide to happiness.

List of Illustrations
The Didactic Traditionp. 1
Philosophy and Poetryp. 8
Didactic Strategies: Lucretius and his Readerp. 22
Venus and the Plaguep. 32
Fear of the Gods and Fear of Deathp. 43
Lucretius as Literary and Social Criticp. 52
Afterword: Lucretius' Didactic Successorsp. 61
Suggestions for Further Studyp. 64
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 66
Indexp. 70
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781853995576
ISBN-10: 1853995576
Series: Classical World Series
Audience: BAC
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 80
Published: 27th December 2001
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 0.4
Weight (kg): 0.12
Edition Number: 1