This thesis focuses upon Lucretius’ description of the development of society in the fifth book of De Rerum Natura. I argue that many of Lucretius’ seemingly un-Epicurean statements are actually clarified by his use of archaic poetic devices. Through these features, Lucretius constructs a logical substructure upon which he builds his narrative and philosophical claims. As evidence for this, I compare these poetic devices to those found in other locations throughout DRN, as well as to similar features in Latin and Oscan curse tablets, Ennius’ Annales, and Varro’s De Lingua Latina. Afterwards, by reference to the works of Epicurus, Hermarchus, and Demetrius Lacon, I demonstrate that these philosophical claims are orthodox Epicurean beliefs. I conclude with a brief investigation of the narrative’s Nachleben in Propertius’ Elegia and Ovid’s Ars Amatoria in order to demonstrate that, in antiquity, this portion of DRN was understood in a manner congruent with my analysis.
The Logic of Verse in the Lucretian KulturgeschichteMaster's Thesis
|Author||John Daniel Izzo|
|Contributor||Brian Krostenko, Research Director|
|Contributor||Gretchen Reydams-Schils, Research Director|
|Degree Level||Master's Thesis|
|Departments and Units|