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By Lucretius

The seminal Epicurean textual content, in an excellent new translation

The Epicureans of historic Rome discarded the guidelines of existence after demise and of an interventionist God in desire of the tactile pleasures of nature. In The Nature of Things, Lucretius celebrates with wit and sharp notion the intense breadth of the Epicurean trust procedure, starting from the indestructibility of atoms and the invention of fireplace to the folly of romantic love and the phenomena of clouds and rainstorms.

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Telemachus舗s adventure both parallels and contains his father舗s longer excursion. We read little of Odysseus before book V, and he returns to Ithaca several books before Telemachus himself does. The sequence of events reinforces the epic舗s narrative structure of repeated loops and circles. The Odyssey visits Athene and Zeus on Olympus in its first and last books, follows Odysseus onto the island of Scheria, circles back to his earlier travails on the return from Troy, then returns to Scheria, and so forth.

In case the analogy escaped anyone舗s perception, Herodotus noted that the Persian soldiers suffered unaccountable dread during the night they spent within the ruined walls. But the poem舗s influence far outstripped its momentary propaganda value. Not everyone considered Homer舗s influence to be salutary. Judging by the Republic, Plato regarded the Homeric epics as his most dangerous rivals in teaching Athenians how to regulate their lives, tell good from evil, and know the truth of gods and humans.

1453, struck a chord in Renaissance Italy that echoed across the continent and still resonates today. As the fifteenth century rolled into the sixteenth, the universal Christian church fragmented into factions that were always in figurative and often in literal combat with each other. Europeans expanded into both geographical and scientific spheres for which their inherited world view seemed to offer inadequate explanation, and the checkerboard of localized feudal governments coalesced into the modern landscape of nation-states.

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