English Epicures and Stoics: Ancient Legacies in Early Stuart Culture

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Early Stuart writers time and again adapted and transformed the rival yet crossbred legacies of Epicureanism and Stoicism. In this book, Reid Barbour offers the first full account of the lively but hazardous transmission of these Hellenistic philosophies over the first half-century of Stuart rule, including the cataclysmic years of civil war that forever changed the role of classical culture in English intellectual life. Ranging from science and ethics to politics and religion, he shows how in many discourses - ...
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Overview

Early Stuart writers time and again adapted and transformed the rival yet crossbred legacies of Epicureanism and Stoicism. In this book, Reid Barbour offers the first full account of the lively but hazardous transmission of these Hellenistic philosophies over the first half-century of Stuart rule, including the cataclysmic years of civil war that forever changed the role of classical culture in English intellectual life. Ranging from science and ethics to politics and religion, he shows how in many discourses - plays and poems, biblical commentaries, political essays, scientific treatises, texts about health and the good life - the Epicureans and Stoics seemed to spring as many traps as they posed solutions. In response to these dangers, English writers from Francis Bacon and Robert Burton to John Milton and Lucy Hutchinson revised and at times resisted the very philosophies they cared most about.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Portraying the intricate dialectical influence of the ancient Greek philosophies of Epicureanism and Stoicism on 17th century England, Barbour (English, U. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) analyzes how these disparate legacies served as touchstones for discourse in the theater and poetry, political, religious, and scientific literature of the period. The author's thesis is that early Stuart culture sought answers to their most pressing political and religious issues in these philosophies, particularly in Stoicism's seductive power for Christians (dangerous per Milton and Francis Bacon). Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Political Epicurus 21
2 Epicurus in the Temple 75
3 Resolute Ford 112
4 The Honest Court 145
5 The Church Porch 195
6 The Collapse of Accommodation 240
Notes 269
Index 305
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