Stephen Greenblatt “The Swerve”

October 12th, 2011

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Six centuries ago a man combing through dusty old books in a monastery library found a genuine treasure, the last surviving copy of the ancient Roman philosophical epic “On the Nature of Things” by Lucretius. Thus the butterfly flapped its wings, and within a couple of centuries, there was a hurricane of change, moving the world from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance.

Stephen  Greenblatt

It was a swerve, says scholar Stephen Greenblatt, who revisits the impact that one book by Lucretius had in turning the world “modern,” in his new book “The Swerve.”

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