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  • Fabio Tutrone. A View from the Garden: Contemplative Isolation and Constructive Sociability in Lucretius and in the Epicurean Tradition An interesting paper that lays out a thought-provoking perspective on a number of points. Haven't read it completely, but I liked the parts I've read so far including a nuanced view of "live unknown." The author talks about its contextual nature.
  • "Roman readers seem to have discussed with fervor Cicero’s work On the Commonwealth (De Re Publica), which strongly advocated the importance of political commitment as an altruistic, law-abiding service and warned against the risks of contemplative isolation.² Cicero’s main target in the first polemical part of On the Commonwealth were the Epicureans, who – as Cicero himself says elsewhere – took Italy by storm and founded several communities of wisdom-practitioners in imitation of Epicurus’ Ath…
  • "In Epicurus’ own words, “the same conviction that inspires confidence that no evil is eternal or even enduring, also makes us aware that in our limited conditions of life friendship affords us the most perfect security”.²⁴" Tutrone's translation of PD28
  • "...the Epicurean quest for enduring (or ‘katastematic’) pleasure could not adopt any other strategy than the rational construction of a mutually supportive community" I don't know whether I've read the translation of katastematic as "enduring" before. I find that an intriguing nuance.
  • This is such a rare occurrence to run into this sentiment below in an academic paper that I'm pulling out this long quote to highlight it. See the paper itself for the references in the footnotes: "One should wholeheartedly agree with Elizabeth Asmis that “the picture that has been painted of Epicureans as living in alternative communities, separate from the rest of society, needs to be corrected”, as Epicureanism “keeps a person integrated in the daily routine of ordinary life while shifting hi…
  • This was one of the interpretations we talked about in episode 92 of the podcast: "As Alessandro Schiesaro pointed out, the plague episode is Lucretius’ “final spiritual exercise” for the reader, who is led to see in the very textual structure of De Rerum Natura – from the opening hymn to Venus’ creative force to the final disintegration of the ville lumière of Greece – the cyclical movement of nature.⁸¹"
  • I differ with the author's translation of αταραξία (ataraxia) as "impassiveness" and would use something like "tranquility," but I find the paper overall very compelling and thought-provoking. Final excerpt below: "While making his final catechistic efforts in Book 6, the poet can legitimately hope that his student sees the true nature of the imperturbable gods and approaches their shrines “with an untroubled breast” (placido cum pectore, 6.75) – which, of course, cannot be done by common worshi…
  • (Quote from Don) This is a reminder that Epicureans felt the mind resided in the area of the heart, so this phrase makes perfect sense in that context.