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 how during which historical Greeks and Romans conveyed medical info. Oregon nation college Press is proud to offer this inaugural quantity within the Horning vacationing students sequence. In historic Greece and Rome, lots of the technical literature on clinical, mathematical, technological, and clinical matters used to be written in prose, because it is this day. in spite of the fact that, Greek and Roman poets produced an important variety of greatly learn poems that handled medical themes. Why might an writer decide upon poetry to provide an explanation for the wildlife? this query is advanced by way of claims made, given that antiquity, that the expansion of rational clarification concerned the abandonment of poetry and the rejection of delusion in prefer of technological know-how. Taub makes use of texts to discover how medical principles have been disseminated within the old global. The nameless writer of the Latin Aetna poem defined the technological know-how 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 during which Taub considers the character of medical verbal exchange in historical Greece and Rome. basic readers will take pleasure in Taub’s considerate dialogue about the offerings on hand to historical 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 examine and vigorous writing will have interaction 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
Arguing that “confined winds have liberating vents which are concealed” (13435), he emphasizes that “proofs of this through facts indisputable, proofs which hold the eye, the earth will give you in due order” (135-36). ” (140-41). Our poet recommends another method of scientific explanation used by many natural philosophers, including Aristotle: drawing analogies to everyday experience. He asks the reader to “let but your mind guide you to a grasp of cunning research: from things manifest gather faith in the unseen” (144-45).
Why their furies increase” (281-83). This is the ethical pitch of the Aetna poet: the pursuit of knowledge about the natural world, for its own sake, is a worthy goal. The Aetna poet’s call for the study of nature as a pursuit in and of itself contrasts with the self-proclaimed motives of the Epicureans, including Lucretius. The Epicureans argued that natural philosophy was useful only insofar as it promoted ataraxia. 55 The Aetna poet does not promise any other benefit from studying nature, other than the belief that it is a worthy occupation for humans.
However, Hesiod’s own legacy is complicated: he was regarded as a poet and author who sought to explain the origin of the world (in the Theogony) and to give advice to men regarding their own lives (in the Works and Days). Aratus (c. 315 to before 240 BCE), the poet responsible for the Phaenomena, was apparently assigned the task of setting the prose work of Eudoxus (c. 390-c. 340 BCE) to verse by his patron, Antigonus Gonatas of Macedonia;29 his own interest in the subject is not clear, and the content of the poem was criticized by the astronomer Hipparchus (flourished second half of second century BCE).