Theses Doctoral

Science and Poetry in Imperial Rome: Manilius, Lucan, and the Aetna

Glauthier, Patrick

This dissertation examines the relationship between scientific inquiry and hexameter poetry at Rome in the first century CE. It focuses on three poetic texts: Manilius' Astronomica, Lucan's Civil War, and the anonymous Aetna. It argues that despite generic and thematic differences, these works participate in a common dialogue and therefore can benefit from being read side by side. In particular, the dissertation demonstrates that all three authors reflect on the ability of poetry to communicate scientific knowledge, and that they simultaneously question or undermine the practical value of that knowledge. As a result, it allows us to see that scientific inquiry itself constitutes a dynamic and multifaceted area of creative literary activity in Early Imperial Rome.


  • thumnail for Glauthier_columbia_0054D_10358.pdf Glauthier_columbia_0054D_10358.pdf application/pdf 970 KB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Williams, Gareth David
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 9, 2011