Universiteit Leiden

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Lucretius on the Ennian Cosmos

Thursday 27 September 2018
University Library
Witte Singel 27
2311 BG Leiden
Vossiuszaal (South Hall, second floor)


In this lecture, I argue that in the De Rerun Natura, Lucretius regularly alludes to the cosmic backdrop that Ennius developed for his narrative of Roman History in the Annales. This allusive program is always polemical, as Lucretius engages Ennius as a cosmic poet whose ideas require correction. As a result, Lucretius juxtaposes the Roman cosmos of Ennius with his own Epicurean cosmos in order to highlight the deficiencies of the cosmic perspective found in the Annales.

About the speaker

Jason Nethercut is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of South Florida. He earned his BA in Classics at the University of Texas at Austin, then completed his MPhil at Cambridge and his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses generally on Latin poetry, but specifically on Republican epic and Lucretius. He has published articles on Lucretius in Mnemosyne and the American Journal of Philology, and he has others forthcoming in Classical Quarterly, Classical Philology, and a number of edited volumes. In addition to other ongoing article projects, he currently is completing two book projects —one on Lucretius’ reception of Ennius’ Annales, the other on the reception of Lucretius in post-Augustan Latin literature — and a commentary of book 1 of the De Rerum Natura. His lecture in the Forum Antiquum series comes from his book on Lucretius and Ennius.

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