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Julius CaesarThe People's Dictator$
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Luciano Canfora

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748619368

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619368.001.0001

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Epicureans in Revolt?

Epicureans in Revolt?

(p.296) Chapter 33 Epicureans in Revolt?
Julius Caesar
Luciano Canfora, Julian Stringer
Edinburgh University Press

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

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