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Lucretius
TITUS LUCRETIUS CARUS (/ˈtaɪtəs lʊˈkriːʃəs/ ; c. 15 October 99 BC – c. 55 BC) was a Roman poet and philosopher . His only known work is the didactic philosophical poem _ De rerum natura _ about the tenets and philosophy of Epicureanism , and which is usually translated into English as _On the Nature of Things_. Lucretius has been credited with originating the concept of the three-age system which was formalised from 1834 by C. J. Thomsen . Very little is known about Lucretius's life; the only certain fact is that he was either a friend or client of Gaius Memmius , to whom the poem was addressed and dedicated. _De rerum natura_ was a considerable influence on the Augustan poets , particularly Virgil (in his _ Aeneid _ and _ Georgics _, and to a lesser extent on the _ Eclogues _) and Horace
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Lucretia (gens)
The GENS LUCRETIA was a prominent family of the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
. Originally patrician , the gens later included a number of plebeian families. The Lucretii were one of the most ancient gentes, and the wife of Numa Pompilius
Numa Pompilius
, the second King of Rome , was named Lucretia. The first of the Lucretii to obtain the consulship was Spurius Lucretius Tricipitinus in 509 BC, the first year of the Republic. CONTENTS * 1 Praenomina * 2 Branches and cognomina * 3 Members * 3.1 Lucretii Tricipitini * 3.2 Lucretii Vespillones * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Bibliography PRAENOMINAThe patrician Lucretii favored the praenomina Titus , Spurius , Lucius , and Publius . They were one of the only gentes known to have used the name Hostus , and may also have used Opiter , which was favored by the Verginii
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Hellenistic Philosophy
HELLENISTIC PHILOSOPHY is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic civilization following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism
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Epicureanism
EPICUREANISM is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus
Epicurus
, founded around 307 BC. Epicurus
Epicurus
was an atomic materialist , following in the steps of Democritus
Democritus
. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention . Following Aristippus —about whom very little is known— Epicurus
Epicurus
believed that what he called "pleasure" was the greatest good, but that the way to attain such pleasure was to live modestly, to gain knowledge of the workings of the world, and to limit one's desires. This would lead one to attain a state of tranquility (ataraxia ) and freedom from fear as well as an absence of bodily pain (aponia ). The combination of these two states constitutes happiness in its highest form
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Ethics
ETHICS or MORAL PHILOSOPHY is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct . The term _ethics_ derives from Ancient Greek ἠθικός _(ethikos)_, from ἦθος _(ethos )_, meaning 'habit , custom'. The branch of philosophy axiology comprises the sub-branches of ethics and aesthetics , each concerned with values . As a branch of philosophy, ethics investigates the questions "What is the best way for people to live?" and "What actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances?" In practice, ethics seeks to resolve questions of human morality by defining concepts such as good and evil , right and wrong , virtue and vice , justice and crime . As a field of intellectual enquiry, moral philosophy also is related to the fields of moral psychology , descriptive ethics , and value theory
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Metaphysics
METAPHYSICS is a branch of philosophy exploring the fundamental nature of reality . While various views and methods have been called 'metaphysics' across history, this article approaches metaphysics first from the perspective of contemporary analytical philosophy, and then explores metaphysics in other traditions. In this vein, metaphysics seeks to answer two basic questions: * Ultimately, what is _there_? * What is _it like_?Topics of metaphysical investigation include existence , objects and their properties , space and time , cause and effect , and possibility . A central branch of metaphysics is ontology , the investigation into the basic categories of being and how they relate to one another. There are two broad conceptions about what "world" is studied by metaphysics. The strong, classical view assumes that the objects studied by metaphysics exist independently of any observer, so that the subject is the most fundamental of all sciences
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Gaius Memmius (poet)
GAIUS MEMMIUS (died circa 49 BC, incorrectly called GEMELLUS, "The Twin"), Roman orator and poet , tribune of the people (66 BC), patron of Lucretius
Lucretius
and acquaintance of Catullus
Catullus
and Helvius Cinna . At first a strong supporter of Pompey
Pompey
, he quarrelled with him, and went over to Caesar , whom he had previously attacked. In 54, as candidate for the consulship, he lost Caesar's support by revealing a scandalous transaction in which he and his fellow candidate had been implicated. Being subsequently condemned for illegal practices at the election, he withdrew to Athens
Athens
, and afterwards, to Mytilene
Mytilene
. He died about the year 49
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Epicurus
EPICURUS (/ˌɛpɪˈkjʊərəs/ or /ˌɛpɪˈkjɔːrəs/ ; Greek : Ἐπίκουρος, _Epíkouros_, "ally, comrade"; 341–270 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher who founded the school of philosophy called Epicureanism . Only a few fragments and letters of Epicurus's 300 written works remain. Much of what is known about Epicurean philosophy derives from later followers and commentators. For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by _ataraxia _—peace and freedom from fear—and _aponia _—the absence of pain—and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are measures of what is good and evil; death is the end of both body and soul and therefore should not be feared; the gods neither reward nor punish humans; the universe is infinite and eternal; and events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space
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Socrates
SOCRATES (/ˈsɒkrətiːz/ ; Greek : Σωκράτης , _Sōkrátēs_; 470/469 – 399 BC) was a classical Greek (Athenian ) philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy . He is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers , especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes . Plato\'s dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity, though it is unclear the degree to which Socrates himself is "hidden behind his 'best disciple', Plato". Through his portrayal in Plato's dialogues, Socrates has become renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics , and it is this Platonic Socrates who lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method , or _elenchus_
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Plato
PLATO (/ˈpleɪtoʊ/ ; Greek : Πλάτων _Plátōn_, pronounced in Classical Attic ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a philosopher in Classical Greece and the founder of the Academy in Athens , the first institution of higher learning in the Western world . He is widely considered the most pivotal figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition . Unlike nearly all of his philosophical contemporaries , Plato's entire work is believed to have survived intact for over 2,400 years. Others believe that the oldest extant manuscript dates to around AD 895, 1100 years after Plato's death. This makes it difficult to know exactly what Plato wrote. Along with his teacher, Socrates , and his most famous student, Aristotle , Plato laid the very foundations of Western philosophy and science
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Aristotle
ARISTOTLE (/ˈærɪˌstɒtəl/ ; Greek : Ἀριστοτέλης, pronounced , _Aristotélēs_; 384–322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist born in the city of Stagira , Chalkidice , on the northern periphery of Classical Greece . His father, Nicomachus , died when Aristotle was a child, whereafter Proxenus of Atarneus became his guardian. At seventeen or eighteen years of age, he joined Plato\'s Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven (c. 347 BC). His writings cover many subjects – including physics , biology , zoology , metaphysics , logic , ethics, aesthetics , poetry , theater, music, rhetoric , linguistics , politics and government – and constitute the first comprehensive system of Western philosophy
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Cicero
MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO (/ˈsɪsᵻroʊ/ ; Classical Latin: ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman politician and lawyer, who served as consul in the year 63 BC. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the Roman equestrian order , and is considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists. His influence on the Latin language was so immense that the subsequent history of prose, not only in Latin but in European languages up to the 19th century, was said to be either a reaction against or a return to his style. According to Michael Grant , "the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language"
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Virgil
PUBLIUS VERGILIUS MARO (Classical Latin: ; traditional dates October 15, 70 BC – September 21, 19 BC ), usually called VIRGIL or VERGIL /ˈvɜːrdʒᵻl/ in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period . He wrote three of the most famous poems in Latin literature , the _ Eclogues _ (or _Bucolics_), the _ Georgics _, and the epic _ Aeneid _. A number of minor poems, collected in the _Appendix Vergiliana _, are sometimes attributed to him. Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets. His _Aeneid_ has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome since the time of its composition. Modeled after Homer 's _ Iliad _ and _ Odyssey _, the _Aeneid_ follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and reach Italy; where his descendants Romulus and Remus were to found the city of Rome
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Pierre Gassendi
PIERRE GASSENDI (French: ; also Pierre Gassend, Petrus Gassendi; 22 January 1592 – 24 October 1655) was a French philosopher , priest , astronomer , and mathematician . While he held a church position in south-east France, he also spent much time in Paris, where he was a leader of a group of free-thinking intellectuals. He was also an active observational scientist , publishing the first data on the transit of Mercury in 1631. The lunar crater Gassendi is named after him. He wrote numerous philosophical works, and some of the positions he worked out are considered significant, finding a way between skepticism and dogmatism . Richard Popkin indicates that Gassendi was one of the first thinkers to formulate the modern "scientific outlook", of moderated skepticism and empiricism . He clashed with his contemporary Descartes
Descartes
on the possibility of certain knowledge
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Stephen Greenblatt
STEPHEN JAY GREENBLATT (born November 7, 1943) is an American Shakespearean, literary historian, and author. He is John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities
Humanities
at Harvard University
Harvard University
. He is the general editor of The Norton Shakespeare (2015) and the general editor and a contributor to The Norton Anthology of English Literature . Greenblatt is one of the founders of New Historicism , a set of critical practices that he often refers to as "cultural poetics"; his works have been influential since the early 1980s when he introduced the term. Greenblatt has written and edited numerous books and articles relevant to New Historicism, the study of culture, Renaissance
Renaissance
studies and Shakespeare studies and is considered to be an expert in these fields
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