Wednesday, January 4, 2012
A book of possible interest
I've just finished reading a book that might interest some of you: Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt, about the rediscovery of Lucretius' poem, "On the Nature of Things." The book describes how a "lost" book was found by a book collector, Poggio Bracciolini, and became influential on the Renaissance. "On the Nature of Things" is the longest surviving exposition of Epicureanism, which turns out to be very modern: It said the world consists of atoms in a void, for example, and doubted that gods intervened in the day to day affairs of men. Notably, Swerve discusses how Lucretius influenced Giordano Bruno and Thomas Jefferson.