(PDF) Cosmic Viewpoint – 9780199731589

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    Matthew Dublin

    Cosmic Viewpoint
    A Study of Seneca’s Natural Questions

    by Gareth D. Williams

    Cosmic Viewpoint ~ Click Here

    • Format: hardcover, 407 pages
    • Release date: April 5, 2012
    • Author: Gareth D. Williams
    • ISBN: 9780199731589 (0199731586)
    • Publisher: Oxford University Press (NYC)
    • Language: english

    About The Book

    Natural Questions is an 8-book disquisition on the nature of meteorological phenomena, ranging from rainbows to earthquakes, from comets to the winds, from the causes of snow & hail to the reasons why the Nile floods in summer. Much of this material had been treated in the earlier Greco-Roman meteorological tradition, but what sets Seneca’s writing apart is his insertion of moralizing sections within his technical discourse. How are these outbursts against the luxury & vice that are apparently rampant in his 1st-century CE Rome to be reconciled with a meteorological agenda? In grappling with this question, The Cosmic Viewpoint argues that he’s no blinkered or arid meteorological investigator, but a creative explorer into nature’s workings who offers an idiosyncratic blend of physico-moral investigation. At one level, his inquiry into nature impinges on conduct & morality in its implicit propagation of the Stoic ideal of living in accordance with nature: the moral deviants whom he condemns in the course of the work offer egregious examples of living contrary to nature’s balance. At a deeper level, The Cosmic Viewpoint stresses the literary qualities & complexities essential to his literary art of science: his technical enquiries initiate a form of engagement with nature which distances readers from the ordinary involvements & fragmentations of everyday life, instead centering existence in the cosmic whole. From a figurative standpoint, his meteorological theme raises the gaze from a terrestrial level of existence to a more intuitive plane where literal vision gives way to higher conjecture & intuition: in striving to understand meteorological phenomena, we progress in an elevating direction — a conceptual climb that renders the Natural Questions no mere store of technical learning, but a work that promotes changed perspective.




    Interiority & Cosmic Consciousness in the Natural Questions

    Seneca’s Moralizing Interludes

    The Cataclysm & the Nile

    The Rhetoric of Science

    Seneca on Winds

    Earthquakes, Consolation & the Senecan Sublime

    Seneca on Comets & Ancient Cometary Theory

    Seneca on Lightning & Divination



    Index of Passages

    General Index

    Index of Latin Words

    Index of Greek Words

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