By Liba Taub, Mary Jo Nye
Classical authors used either prose and poetry to discover and clarify the flora and fauna. In Aetna and the Moon, Liba Taub examines the range of how during which historic Greeks and Romans conveyed medical details. Oregon kingdom college Press is proud to offer this inaugural quantity within the Horning traveling students sequence. In old Greece and Rome, lots of the technical literature on medical, mathematical, technological, and clinical matters used to be written in prose, because it is this present day. even though, Greek and Roman poets produced an important variety of extensively learn poems that handled clinical subject matters. Why might an writer pick out poetry to provide an explanation for the flora and fauna? this query is advanced via claims made, due to the fact that antiquity, that the expansion of rational clarification concerned the abandonment of poetry and the rejection of fantasy in desire of technology. Taub makes use of texts to discover how medical principles have been disseminated within the old international. The nameless writer of the Latin Aetna poem defined the technological know-how at the back of the volcano Etna with poetry. The Greek writer Plutarch juxtaposed medical and mythic causes in his discussion at the Face at the Moon. either texts supply a lens by which Taub considers the character of clinical conversation in historical Greece and Rome. basic readers will take pleasure in Taub’s considerate dialogue about the offerings on hand to historical authors to show their rules approximately science—as vital at the present time because it used to be in antiquity—while Taub’s cautious examine and full of life writing will interact classicists in addition to historians of technological know-how.
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Additional info for Aetna and the Moon Explaining Nature in Ancient Greece and Rome
Our poet recommends another method of scientific explanation used by many natural philosophers, including Aristotle: drawing analogies to everyday experience. He asks the reader to “let but your mind guide you to a grasp of cunning research: from things manifest gather faith in the unseen” (144-45). As an example, he suggests that as fire is always more unfettered and more furious in confined spaces, and as the rage of the winds is no less vehement there, so to this extent, underground and in earth’s depths, must fire and wind cause greater changes, all the more loose their bonds, all the more drive off what blocks their course.
11 The earliest surviving Greek texts, the Homeric and Hesiodic poems, provide evidence that many phenomena were traditionally ������������� | ��������� Chapter 2 linked to the gods. ” Many of these phenomena, including storms, lightning, and thunder, are potentially dangerous and particularly frightening; traditional mythology offered explanations of meteorological events as acts or epiphanies of gods, and traditional religion provided ways to cope with the danger and fear. 12 In most of the ancient philosophical schools there was an assumption of some “divine” (that is, eternal) presence in the cosmos; in some cases, the cosmos itself was thought to be divine.
Reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Library. 1 While prose forms often dominated the technical literature, a significant number of widely read poems communicated many types of scientific information, technical data, and instructions on a range of scientific, mathematical, technological, and medical subjects. Poetry describing or explaining nature appears in ancient texts in different forms. There are poems that have as one of their primary functions the communication of information about the natural world—that provide descriptions and explanations.