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"It is very well done--thoroughly researched, lucidly written, balanced in judgment . As a general introduction to the essential aspects of the poet's intellectual and.
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Such members of the senatorial class as Cicero, Caesar, Brutus, Cato, Varro, and Nigidius Figulus, among others, contributed greatly to the development of Roman scholarship and engaged in lively and often polemical exchanges with one another.


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The very same men were crucially involved in the tumultuous events that brought about the collapse of the Republic, ending up on opposing sides in the civil war between Caesar and Pompey in the early 40s. In my book, I propose to treat the intellectual and political activities of these "senator scholars" as two sides of the same coin, exploring how scholarship and statesmanship mutually inform one another. My aim is to capture the true complexity of this pivotal period by illustrating how the remarkable "republic of letters" of first-century Rome is involved in the fight over the actual res publica and how in this period the acquisition, organization, and diffusion of knowledge is always bound up with the question of what it means to be Roman in a time of crisis.

Topics to consider include the uses of philosophy, from Cicero's project of creating a Roman philosophical encyclopedia to Cato's ostentatious Stoicism to the Epicurean quietism advocated by the poet Lucretius; the construction of an idealized Roman past in Cicero and Varro; the debates over the shape of the Latin language; the politicization of cosmology and science; and the propagandistic and polemical uses of old and new forms of divination, including the rise of astrology.

Recommended Reading Volk, Katharina. Manilius and His Intellectual Background. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press in press. Tuesday Colloquium , Yearbook Article download article Error rating book.

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  4. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This is the first English-language monograph on Marcus Manilius, a Roman poet of the first century AD, whose Astronomica is our earliest extant comprehensive treatment of astrology. Katharina Volk brings Manilius and his world alive for modern readers by exploring the manifold intellectual traditions that have gone into shaping the Astronomica: ancient astronomy and cosmo This is the first English-language monograph on Marcus Manilius, a Roman poet of the first century AD, whose Astronomica is our earliest extant comprehensive treatment of astrology.

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    Katharina Volk brings Manilius and his world alive for modern readers by exploring the manifold intellectual traditions that have gone into shaping the Astronomica: ancient astronomy and cosmology, the history and practice of astrology, the historical and political situation at the poem's composition, the poetic and generic conventions that inform it, and the philosophical underpinnings of Manilius' world-view. What emerges is a panoroma of the cultural imagination of the Early Empire, a fascinating picture of the ways in which educated Greeks and Romans were accustomed to think and speak about the cosmos and man's place in it.

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