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  • This quote is new to me, but it appears well sourced. I say that because: (1) It is certainly a reasonable thing for an admirer of Lucretius, like Frederick the Great is known to have been, to say. I too am an admirer of Lucretius, and I think the same thing most every day! Further, (2) it comes quoted from what I understand to be a reputable text (Niall Ferguson's "Civilization, the West and the Rest"). If anyone has evidence that indicates that this quote is spurious, please post and I'll retr…
  • I think our friend here Martin, who is from Germany, is much more on top of this than I am, but it is very interesting story - especially the statue aspect. I bet there is a lot more to find over time.
  • Thank you Martin. That book I linked originally had a cite but it was not visible for free. I will dig further because I hate passing spurious quotes. If I find anything I will report back.
  • Martin I have made some progress. The first cite is to this work: 65. Clark, Iron Kingdom, p. 187. That is a cite to: Clark, Christopher, Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600–1947 (London, 2006) There, in Iron Kingdom, I find: "Throughout his life, Frederick displayed a remarkable disregard for the conventional pieties of his era. He was vehemently irreligious: in the Political Testament of 1768, he described Christianity as ‘an old metaphysical fiction, stuffed with miracles, con…
  • Wow that sounds like a lot of trouble but if you are so inclined when you have the chance, that would be great. Maybe we can group-source this and perhaps if someone has library access to a PDF download we could eventually get it that way. One thing I really miss about being in a university town is good access to a library with on-line resources.
  • Thank you Oscar! i am sort of thinking that something like this is on PDF somewhere in some collection to which the universities subscribe, but for which they charge exorbitant rates to non-students. I know I was able to find the Stanley translation of Gassendi that way at my university library. It wasn't in JSTOR but it was in some sort of generic antique document collection. (Of course it goes probably without saying that Martin would have no issue with the original German, if we can find it, …