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The Swerve Themes

Stephen Greenblatt
This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Swerve.
This section contains 2,485 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Swerve

On the Nature of Things, a poem by Roman philosopher Lucretius, was beautifully written in Latin and in an appealing structure. However, the content in the time when the Church was the most powerful entity in the Roman Empire other than the emperor himself, was difficult to digest since it was a doctrine that was steep in atheism.

The poem had been in hibernation for 1,000 years but rediscovered by a determined book hunter who, ironically, was also a papal scribe. The work was probably controversial in its day and when it was allowed the light of day again was even more controversial. Lucretius asserted his disbelief in miracles and his opinion that nothing could violate the laws of nature. To clarify his thesis, he used the Latin word “clinamen” which translated to English is “swerve.” Lucretius defined the “swerve” as “ an unexpected, unpredictable movement of matter.” When...

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This section contains 2,485 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Swerve Study Guide
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