Philodemus and Poetry: Poetic Theory and Practice in Lucretius, Philodemus, and Horace

By Dirk Obbink | Go to book overview

1
Framing the Margins of Philodemus
and Poetry
Diskin Clay
An Epicurean Schism
Socrates alludes to an ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy in his sustained assault on the cognitive status and ethical dangers of poetry in Book 10 of the Republic ( 607B). Plato knew well of what Socrates spoke, for according to one tradition Plato began his career as a poet, and the voice of poetry can be heard in almost every one of the dramatic dialogues Plato wrote. Nevertheless, he banished poetry from his heavenly city, since he heard no voice raised in her defense. But Aristotle soon appeared as the advocate of exiled poetry, and, by the end of the fourth century B.C., the quarrel between poetry and philosophy seems to have spent some of the energies that had fed it on the side of philosophy. Aristotle, who was himself a poet, turned his serious and sympathetic attention to the study of poets and poetry, and led poetry back into the city of philosophy after her brief banishment. But the situation becomes complicated once again with the emergence towards the middle of the first century B.C. of a poet who was also a philosopher. So far as we know, none of his contemporaries was shocked by Lucretius' decision to write poetry, but the students of Epicureanism in the twentieth century have discovered an antinomy in the precept and example of Lucretius' "master," Epicurus, and his powerful Latin hexameter poem of six books, On the Nature of Things.For there to be an antinomy there must be a law, and this antinomy within Epicureanism is created by three extraordinary sentences of Epicurus, which were excerpted in antiquity, and are now difficult to integrate into a plausible context. They are:
1. "It is only the wise who can converse properly of music and poetry .... And the sage would not compose poems as an activity" (Diogenes Laertius 10.121b = Epicurus frr. 568 and 569 Usener)
2. Epicurus writing to Pythocles: "Hoist the sails of your ship and, my blessed man, steer clear of every form of conventional education" ( Epicurus fr. 89 Arrighetti).

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Philodemus and Poetry: Poetic Theory and Practice in Lucretius, Philodemus, and Horace
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 324

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.