For how should a swallow compete with swans, or what would kids, with their trembling limbs, be able to do in a race to compare with the powerful strength of a horse? The familiar pattern emerges once again. Lucretius is the swallow, or the kid, described in his own langage, Latin. Epicurus is the swan, or the horse. The swan is so named in Greek: the Greek cycnus became common enough in Latin, but this may well be its earliest occurrence;74 and at all events, the native Latin word olor was available to Lucretius as an alternative.
Even the dative form of cycnis imports a further Graecism, the indigenous Latin construction after verbs of contending being cum plus ablative. Lucretius considers Greek culture artistically and philosophically superior, and yet at the same time deeply alien. I am grateful to Roland Mayer for pointing this out to me.
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To investigate how typical a Roman attitude this is would take me far beyond my present task. But it is safe to say that it was widespread: see e. Let me close with a suggested explanation of these anomalies. Epicurus is a Greek, a voice from an alien culture to which Lucretius has no interest in acclimatising himself or his reader. It directly addresses the universal moral needs of mankind, and to that extent it transcends all cultural barriers. Lucretius, we have seen, is constantly emphasising the barriers.
It is precisely by drawing attention to the cultural divide between the Greek and the Roman, while making Epicurean philosophy nevertheless thoroughly at home in his own native language, that he proves to us its true universality. In the ensuing discussion I have dealt with nearly all of them, arguing that they serve a strategic function within deliberately Hellenising contexts. Gigas, used as by Lucretius to designate the Greek mythical beings of that name, is extremely common in Latin authors.
What indigenous Latin word does Bailey think Lucretius might have used in its place? The Greek word is, to say the very least, apposite. Away with your tears, baratre, and curb your complaining. Unfortunately this word is unattested. Not surprisingly, many editors have preferred to emend, usually to balatro.
And no one is sent down to the pit of hell: their matter is needed, so that future generations may grow. In the current context, then, barathrum is the pit of hell. After all, it is there in company with Tartara, and they jointly invoke that terrifying realm of punishment familiar from Greek myth and literature. The chances are surely that here too the original text referred directly to the pit of hell, the barathrum.
What has bedevilled attempts to cure the corruption is the assumption that the word must be a vocative. Why not emend in the following way? Away with your weeping, and curb your complaining about the pit of hell. If alternatively one chose to construe barathri with lacrimas, one might think of Virg.
The proposal has one immediate advantage. It supplies a piece of information which is otherwise left unstated, that the old man — whose words were not actually quoted — has been complaining partly about the prospect of hell. He could hardly have chosen a better time to be alive. Here a ready-made audience awaited them, including plenty of Romans who had already trained at Athens in one or more of the philosophical schools. I shall have nothing to add to it in this book, beyond my argument in Ch.
Pythagoreanism was already in some sense a native Italian philosophy. Although he had chosen Rhodes as the main base for his own teaching, he visited Rome at least twice, and was an intimate acquaintance of Cicero and other eminent Romans. Stoicism certainly had a considerable impact on Roman thought in the late Republic, although card-carrying Roman Stoics at this date seem relatively few in number.
The history of Aristotelian scholarship is admittedly a speculative matter. Puponius Piso had, even before studying with Antiochus, for many years kept the Peripatetic Staseas of Naples as his philosopher-in-residence at Tusculum. It would not be at all surprising if Lucretius had had links with it, not only because he was himself an Epicurean, but also because in the next generation leading literary Romans like Virgil and his eventual executors Varius and Plotius Tucca were to maintain close contacts with it.
Even Caesar himself is widely suspected to have been an Epicurean. No previous era at Rome could compare with it. And it is doubtful whether any subsequent era could either: barely a generation after his death, Alexandria would largely eclipse Rome as a philosophical centre. But did Lucretius seize this unique opportunity?
Amazingly, it does not. This is not the place to examine the evidence adduced by Kleve. The fragments are very tiny, but he nevertheless builds quite an impressive case. The books people have on their shelves, unless these contain autograph dedications, can tell us nothing about their personal acquaintance with the authors of those books. And since as my arguments in Ch. Evidence of contact between Lucretius and Philodemus, then, if it is to be found, would have to be sought in the content of their writings. These unfortunately have for the most part too little common thematic ground to be of much help.
I consign to a footnote the problematic question of their views on the gods. Lucretius, in common with Cicero, Philodemus and most modern interpreters, treats the Epicurean gods as actually living beings. However, he clearly spoke at length about how we should think of the gods as being and living including, perhaps, that we should think of them as living outside our world, cf.
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It is striking cf. Philodemus is no innovator here.
He is reporting, in more than one version, the arguments of Zeno of Sidon, the Epicurean schoolhead under whom he studied at Athens. Not only did it, as I have argued, lead him to ignore the contemporary philosophical environment. It also focused more narrowly on Epicurus himself than school practice in his day expected. There is nothing in this passage that could not be directly echoing Epicurus. This was certainly the view of the great contemporary physician Praxagoras of Cos, later invoked as an authority on the issue by the Stoic Chrysippus. If it were coming from the brain, it would not come through the windpipe.
Where speech comes from is where voice also comes from. But speech comes from the mind. Therefore the mind is not in the brain. That was most unfortunate.
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See Herophilus frr. See also n. Galen, PHP, esp. I am not clear why Mansfeld, loc. One of these P. The state of the text leaves it quite unclear what concession, if any, Demetrius and his fellow-Epicureans are making to modern science. But the recognition by contemporary Epicureans of the current state of medical opinion and of the challenge it posed for them is not in doubt.
ciobesfastheadsmi.tk And where does Lucretius stand on this fascinating issue? The extraordinary truth is that he is so out of touch with his own school, and with modern science, as never to have even heard of the debate. How else can we explain the following argument, which he deploys on two separate occasions? On both occasions the ground is the same. A mind cannot exist in just any physical location. The location of the mind sic animi natura nequit sine corpore oriri sola neque a nervis et sanguine longius esse.
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The words which I have italicised are hardly those of someone in tune with the contemporary debate. His inspiration comes from the unmediated scriptures of the philosopher he reveres, Epicurus himself. It is often thought see esp. Lucretius the fundamentalist scriptures, either by his school or by its critics, to have added anything worth taking into account. I recognise the paradox of speaking in these quasi-religious terms about a self-declared enemy of religio.
I do not mean to suggest that Lucretius was a recluse, either socially or intellectually. In every other respect he shows himself an acute observer of his own society, sensitive and subtle in argument and thoroughly versed in the literary traditions of both Italy and Greece, including Hellenistic as well as archaic Greek poetry. I here dissent, with some misgivings, from the important contributions of P.
See Ch. No one genuinely concerned to combat Stoic physics could have failed to allude at some point in his book to these two principles, or for that matter to the ordering role of pneuma in the Stoic cosmos.