Chapter

Epicureans in Revolt?

Edited by Luciano Canfora and Julian Stringer

in Julius Caesar

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780748619368
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670734 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.003.0033
Epicureans in Revolt?

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The historian Arnaldo Momigliano claimed that persons of Epicurean belief dominated the conspiracy against Caesar, and that Epicureanism — creatively reformulated in the fifth book of Lucretius — underpinned the anti-monarchic rebellion of these ‘Epicureans in revolt’. His belligerent essay is compelling but largely unfounded, especially in its central tenets: that the conspirators and later republican fighters were mostly ‘unconventional’ (that is, politically committed) Epicureans, and that Lucretius was their formative reading. It remains a good article on the aesthetic level, extolling the ‘heroic’ nexus between Epicureanism in philosophy and militant libertarian republicanism in politics.

Keywords: Julius Caesar; Arnaldo Momigliano; Epicureanism; militant libertarian republicanism; conspiracy; Lucretius

Chapter.  4256 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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