[Magazine] Allied-Axis. Issue 3

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151–154). 96 We have moved from the world of both mythology and politics (“Rome” straddles both realms) to scientific investigation and philosophical inquiry. The principle that nothing can come into being from nothing has ramifications, too, for the question of intertextuality in literary composition: no epic poem is divorced from connection to its literary predecessors. ). 97 This is the first extended passage in the epic of something approaching what we might call scientific commentary and explication; it serves ultimately to eliminate the great prerogative of the divine: the power and ability to work surprises in the lives of men.

222–223). Lucretius does not allow us to forget about Venus (or for that matter the daedala tellus) in his exposition of Epicurean doctrines. ). 105 For now then, individual readers of the poet may have a greater or lesser degree of disquiet at the seemingly effortless relationship that Lucretius fashions and crafts Mother of the Children of Aeneas . . 29 between the goddess and the atomic forces of nature; as the epic proceeds, this conjunction of immortal deity and immortal matter will be explored in greater detail and sharper relief.

457). The list offered in illustration includes some of the most crucial concepts for a student of the Roman Republic and its history. Slavery is first, followed by poverty and wealth. Libertas comes next; then war and peace. We shall encounter these abstractions again, in the proem to the second book; ultimately the good Epicurean will remain detached from worry and stress over wealth, and from anxiety over the vicissitudes of life—servitium and paupetas come and go, as do bellum and concordia.

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