Myth and Poetry in Lucretius

Myth and Poetry in Lucretius

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The employment of mythological language and imagery by an Epicurean poet - a professed adherent of a system which was not only materialist, but overtly hostile to myth and poetry - is highly paradoxical. This apparent contradiction has often been ascribed to a conflict in the poet's personality, between reason and intellect, or to a desire to enliven his philosophical material with attractive mythological digressions. This book attempts to provide a more positive assessment of Lucretius' aims and methodology, by considering the poet's attitude to myth, and the role which it plays in the De Rerum Natura, against the background of earlier and contemporary views. Dr Gale suggests that Lucretius was not only aware of the tension between his two roles as philosopher and poet, but attempted to resolve it by developing his own, Epicurean poetic, together with a bold and innovative theory of the origins and meaning of myth. This book will be of interest to all classical scholars but especially to those concerned with Lucretius and with ancient philosophy.... the kind later favoured by the Peripatetic Palaephatus.78 More specifically, the associations between Zeus and ether and between Hera and air, both part of the stock-in- trade of later allegorists, 79 seem to have been current in the fifth century , ... Gr. 3; Ps.-Plut. Vita Hom. 96ff. aquot; Cf. also Aristoph. Nub. 263-5, 379f. aquot; It is thus by no means the case, as is sometimes assumed, that the use of allegorism in philosophy was purely a Stoic trait, although the Stoics from Zeno onwards do seemanbsp;...

Title:Myth and Poetry in Lucretius
Author: Monica R. Gale
Publisher:Cambridge University Press - 1994-03-10

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