By Liba Taub, Mary Jo Nye
Classical authors used either prose and poetry to discover and clarify the flora and fauna. In Aetna and the Moon, Liba Taub examines the diversity of the way within which historical Greeks and Romans conveyed medical info. Oregon kingdom college Press is proud to offer this inaugural quantity within the Horning traveling students sequence. In old Greece and Rome, lots of the technical literature on medical, mathematical, technological, and scientific matters was once written in prose, because it is this present day. even though, Greek and Roman poets produced an important variety of generally learn poems that handled clinical issues. Why could an writer opt for poetry to provide an explanation for the flora and fauna? this query is advanced through claims made, for the reason that antiquity, that the expansion of rational clarification concerned the abandonment of poetry and the rejection of delusion in want of technological know-how. Taub makes use of texts to discover how medical principles have been disseminated within the historic global. The nameless writer of the Latin Aetna poem defined the technology at the back of the volcano Etna with poetry. The Greek writer Plutarch juxtaposed clinical and mythic factors in his discussion at the Face at the Moon. either texts supply a lens by which Taub considers the character of clinical communique in old Greece and Rome. normal readers will have fun with Taub’s considerate dialogue about the offerings on hand to historic authors to express their rules approximately science—as very important at the present time because it used to be in antiquity—while Taub’s cautious learn and energetic writing will interact classicists in addition to historians of technology.
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Extra info for Aetna and the Moon Explaining Nature in Ancient Greece and Rome
Another group of Hellenistic philosophers, known as the Stoics, competed with the Epicureans in the philosophical marketplace. 43 The poet Marcus Manilius,44 influenced by Stoic philosophy, composed the Astronomica, an astronomical and astrological poem in which he presents his view that the divine spirit pervades the entire Scientific Poetry and the Limits of Myth����� | �� 43 universe and that the universe reflects the ratio of the divine will. The unity of the natural world, and its dependence on the divine spirit, is his underlying theme.
The presence of the goddess here, at the beginning of his work, is significant; we will encounter other gods and goddesses mentioned at the start of other philosophical poems focusing on nature. The notion of divine inspiration, of a god or goddess functioning as a muse even for philosophers, is powerful and traditional. This divine inspiration is often invoked at the beginning of the poem, in what is called the “proem,” the term used to refer to an introduction, prelude, or preface, especially at the beginning of a book and often found at the beginning of poems explaining nature.
The poet seems to be seeking simultaneously to align himself with a tradition, while disassociating himself from some poetic traditions, and, importantly, embarking on what he claims is uncharted territory: the understanding of the causes of Etna. Even though other poets have written about Etna, he claims that his poetic project is a new one. F. R. D. ”65 If the Aetna poet was writing in reaction to other texts, those texts are not now known to us; those other poems that mention Etna do so only briefly, without the sustained discussion and explanation offered by our poet.
Aetna and the Moon Explaining Nature in Ancient Greece and Rome by Liba Taub, Mary Jo Nye