Archimedes and the Roman Imagination by Mary Jaeger

By Mary Jaeger

The good mathematician Archimedes, a Sicilian Greek whose machines defended Syracuse opposed to the Romans in the course of the moment Punic conflict, used to be killed by way of a Roman after the town fell, but it's principally Roman resources, and Greek texts geared toward Roman audiences, that defend the tales approximately him. Archimedes' tale, Mary Jaeger argues, hence turns into a locus the place writers discover the intersection of Greek and Roman tradition, and as such it performs a major function in Roman self-definition. Jaeger makes use of the biography of Archimedes as a hermeneutic software, offering perception into the development of the normal ancient narrative in regards to the Roman conquest of the Greek international and the Greek cultural invasion of Rome.By breaking down the narrative of Archimedes' existence and reading how a few of the anecdotes that contain it are embedded of their contexts, the booklet bargains clean readings of passages from either recognized and less-studied authors, together with Polybius, Cicero, Livy, Vitruvius, Plutarch, Silius Italicus, Valerius Maximus, Johannes Tzetzes, and Petrarch."Jaeger, in her meticulous and stylish learn of alternative historic bills of his existence and inventions...reveal extra approximately how the Romans considered their conquest of the Greek international than approximately 'science'."---Helen King, instances Literary Supplement"An totally terrific booklet on a really unique and demanding subject. As Jaeger explores missed texts that jointly inform a massive tale concerning the Romans' perspectives of empire and their courting to Greek cultural accomplishments, so she has written a major new bankruptcy within the background of technology. a real excitement to learn, from first web page to last."---Andrew Feldherr, affiliate Professor of Classics, Princeton University"This elegantly written and convincingly argued venture analyzes Archimedes as a car for reception of the Classics, as a determine for loss and restoration of cultural reminiscence, and as a metaphorical illustration of the improvement of Roman identification. Jaeger's fastening at the nonetheless fairly imprecise determine of the best historic mathematician as a fashion of figuring out cultural liminality within the old global is little short of a stroke of genius."---Christina S. Kraus, Professor and Chair of Classics, Yale University"Archimedes and the Roman mind's eye kinds an invaluable addition to our knowing of Roman tradition in addition to of the reception of technological know-how in antiquity. it'll make a real contribution to the self-discipline, not just by way of its unique interpretative claims but additionally as a desirable instance of the way we may perhaps persist with the cultural reception of ancient figures."---Reviel Netz, Professor of Classics, Stanford UniversityCover paintings: Benjamin West. Cicero gaining knowledge of the Tomb of Archimedes. Yale collage artwork Gallery. John Hill Morgan, B.A. 1893, LL.B. 1898, M.A. (Hon.) 1929, Fund.

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1). 10 Cicero, then, explicitly locates the dialogue within the broad intellectual and historical framework of the ongoing Roman endeavor to appropriate Greek culture and, at the same time, within the narrower autobiographical framework of his political and intellectual career. 11 I will return to this context later. The passage itself is a rhetorical figu e, a digressio, set off from the discussion of the happy life by an introduction and return (Non . . comparabo. . 13 The dig ression depar ts fr om the or iginal t opic—the happy versus the w retched life, or vita (A)—and moves on to Archimedes’ tomb, with an implied c ontrast between Cicero’s curiosity and kno wledge and the Syracusans’ ignorance and lack of curiosity: when quaestor in Sicily (ego quaestor), Cicero searched out ( indagavi) Archimedes’ tomb, which he says was unknown until then (ignoratum) by the Syracusans (B).

As a first-person na rator, then, Cicero offers a restricted, or focaliz ed, v iew of himself and of the mon ument, w ith no g limpse of Archimedes after the early r eference to the homunculus engrossed in figu es in the dust. ) life of Cicero, who has usurped Archimedes’ role as discoverer (ego quaestor . . 26 The Anecdote’s Symbolic and Rhetorical Function At the simplest le vel of interpretation, we can say that the anec dote about Archimedes’ monument commemorates Cicero’s discovery of it.

Life of Cicero, who has usurped Archimedes’ role as discoverer (ego quaestor . . 26 The Anecdote’s Symbolic and Rhetorical Function At the simplest le vel of interpretation, we can say that the anec dote about Archimedes’ monument commemorates Cicero’s discovery of it. Yet in doing Cicero at Archimedes’ Tomb 41 so, it intertwines the lives of two men, both known for practical and theoretical accomplishments, the Roman statesman and philosopher and the Greek inventor and mathematician.

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