Stephen Greenblatt “The Swerve”
October 12th, 2011
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.
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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