Herculaneum Update

Discuss the world of the Greeks, Romans, Babylonians, and Egyptians.
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StephenGoranson
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Re: Herculaneum Update

Post by StephenGoranson »

Good news.
Also, more at
https://scrollprize.org/grandprize
Secret Alias
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Re: Herculaneum Update

Post by Secret Alias »

I am sure anything I say will be vilified by you but here's my observation. Many of the texts are supposed to be from an Epicurean library. These were good times for the Roman Empire. Epicureanism is optimistic. I think about all the happy books that were written. They weren't preserved because as the Empire began to disintegrate the focus were on "bad times" and "bad things." It's interesting (or at least interesting to me) how "what is preserved" is skewed by what we might call "last memories of the Empire-syndrome." You can have all these "happy times" and then if you have "bad times" or things become bad, your memories can be warped into remembering things prioritizing the "last memories" (some time I guess could in theory prioritize an idealized version of the "early memories"). But it is interesting to me at least that later Greek literature was so pessimistic and morbid i.e. Christianity. The monastic scribes would be unlikely to preserve Epicurean books. It was the one "genre" hated by both Jews and Christians alike. But if I was Julius Caesar's relative, and I was rich, famous and happy, would better representation of who I am than an Epicurean library. That's it.
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billd89
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Re: Epicureanism

Post by billd89 »

Epicureanism was agnostic or atheist; it was also hedonist. Monastic scribes would have rejected (most) Epicurean ideas, on principle.

'What is preserved' is less than 1% of what was written, therefore skewed by a very narrow band of ideologically-strained perspectives from those particular collectors.

"Rich, famous and happy"? If billionaire wealth is "rich", I've known a few - 3 or 4 - and probably another +15 ppl w/ over $50mln in wealth. They were not, almost to a man, "happy" in Classical terms & my opinion.

God save us all from neurosis!
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billd89
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Re: Herculaneum Update

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