Aetna and the Moon Explaining Nature in Ancient Greece and by Liba Taub, Mary Jo Nye

By Liba Taub, Mary Jo Nye

Classical authors used either prose and poetry to discover and clarify the wildlife. In Aetna and the Moon, Liba Taub examines the range of the way during which historic Greeks and Romans conveyed clinical details. Oregon country collage Press is proud to provide this inaugural quantity within the Horning traveling students sequence. In old Greece and Rome, many of the technical literature on medical, mathematical, technological, and scientific topics was once written in prose, because it is this present day. despite the fact that, Greek and Roman poets produced an important variety of broadly learn poems that handled clinical issues. Why may an writer decide on poetry to provide an explanation for the wildlife? this query is complex by way of claims made, considering antiquity, that the expansion of rational rationalization concerned the abandonment of poetry and the rejection of fable in want of technology. Taub makes use of texts to discover how medical principles have been disseminated within the historic international. The nameless writer of the Latin Aetna poem defined the technology in the back of the volcano Etna with poetry. The Greek writer Plutarch juxtaposed clinical and mythic causes in his discussion at the Face at the Moon. either texts supply a lens wherein Taub considers the character of clinical communique in historical Greece and Rome. basic readers will enjoy Taub’s considerate dialogue about the offerings to be had to historic authors to show their rules approximately science—as very important this day because it was once in antiquity—while Taub’s cautious study and vigorous writing will have interaction classicists in addition to historians of technology.

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Manilius further proclaims that: Two altars with flame kindled upon them shine before me; at two shrines I make my prayer, beset with a twofold passion, for my song and for its theme. 47 Aetna As noted earlier, the identity of the author of the Aetna poem is unknown. While various scholars have made suggestions regarding the authorship, here the focus will not be on that question. 48 There is the possibility that the subject of the poem was not driven by the poet’s own interest. Just as Aratus was set his poetic task by a patron, the Aetna poet may have been responding to a request to set ideas in verse; this was also the case, for example, with Columella’s poem on gardening (Book 10 of his On Agriculture).

The answers may range from rather brief (a few lines) to somewhat lengthy (the equivalent of several pages). 76 Collections of questions focusing on nature include the Pseudo-Aristotelian Problems and Seneca’s Natural Questions (or Questions about Nature). 77 Several of the books are specifically concerned with problems related to meteorological phenomena: Book 25 deals with air and Book 26 with wind. ”78 Furthermore, the answers offered are generally in the form of a question: “Is it because .

30 But it is important not to lose sight of the other poetic features of these works. For example, the meter of choice for didactic poetry was usually the epic hexameter, a choice that automatically signaled an affinity with other epic poets, including Homer and Hesiod. 31 Another feature of didactic poetry is the hymning that often occurs; a hymn to a god or goddess may be featured in a proem (and elsewhere). Our English word “hymn” is a simple transliteration of the Greek, but the relation of Greek to English hymns is not at all simple.

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