The case against religion failure to understand the

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The case against religion (lines 80-135): failure to understand the nature of the gods keeps people shackled with fear and goads them to horrific actions. Explaining the invisible through the visible, drawing on his reader’s everyday sense experience (and sometimes social experience as well) Lucretius’ typical manner of argument the importance of sense perception and observation analogical reasoning multiple arguments, as if wearing down our resistance Book 3 is wholly focused on proving the mortality of the soul, and therefore the fact that “death is nothing to us.” Rejects reincarnation and all other forms of afterlife. Proem to Book 3 starts with a second invocation of Epicurus, whose philosophy revealed to humans “the true nature of things” – “Plainly visible are the gods in their majesty, and their calm realms...All the needs of the gods are supplied by nature,and nothing at any time detracts from their peace of mind.” BUT...“nowhere are the precincts of Acheron visible...” (3.17-19, 23-25) Lucretius on the far-reaching implications of the fear of death “...avarice and blind lust for status, which drive wretched people to encroach beyond the boundaries of right and sometimes, as accomplices and abettors of crime, to strive night and day with prodigious effort to scale the summit of wealth – these sores of life are nourished in no small degree by the fear of death.” (3.59-64)
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2/21/18 Gaius Sallustius Crispus 86-35 BCE, from Sabine city of Amiternum, “New Man” - first of family to gain political office at Rome, similar to Cicero Political activity Tribune of the Plebs 52 BCE, generally critical of the Senate & keeps it in check; supported the prosecution of Milo, whom Cicero represented Expelled from Senate 50 BCE Served under Caesar 49-45 BCE, praetor in African campaign 46 BCE Charged w misconduct (about how he governed the African province?) after returning to Rome but he escaped the charges, Caesar intervened? Marks his departure from politics, starts writing history Literary activity Catiline’s War (42), conspiracy of 63 BCE Jugurthine War (41), war against Jugurtha in Numidia 112-105 BCE Histories, events of 72-62? BCE, now only in fragments Historical monograph “Returning to a project and enthusiasm from which my wicked ambition had detained me, I decided to write of the affairs of the Roman people - selectively, according as each subject seemed worthy of recollection” (Sallust 4.1-2). “Truly the mere chronological record of the annals has very little charm for us...but the doubtful and varied fortunes of a man, frequently of eminent character, involve feelings of wonder, suspense, joy, sorrow, hope, fear” (Cicero) Why Cataline? “I think his deed especially deserving of recollection owing to the newness of the crime and of its danger.” (Sallust 4.4) Sallust’s historical method Decline of roman morals - according to Sallust Early in Rome’s history, the Romans were intellectually strong,
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