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Document Details :
Title: Lucretius against Stoic Zoogony (DRN 2.1153-1154)
Subtitle: A Solution for the 'Golden Rope' Question
Author(s): GALZERANO, Manuel
Volume: 79 Issue: 3 Date: 2020
This article provides a new interpretation for Lucretius’ reference to Homer’s golden chain (cf. Il. 8.18-27 and 15.18-24) in DRN 2.1153-1154. With the aid of a brief chapter from an anonymous treatise transmitted by Maass (Vaticanus 191 bombycinus s. XIV, p. 93, 6-24), significantly entitled εἰ ζῶια τρέφει ὁ αἰθήρ ('if aether procreates living beings'), Lucretius’ passage can be read as a polemic against the Stoic allegorical explanation of Homer’s episode as a symbolic representation of zoogony. This interpretation is confirmed by other Stoic passages, which similarly connect Homer’s myth with zoogony (Heraclitus, Homeric Problems 40) and describe the fall of demiurgic fire from the sky onto the soil (Censor. De die natali 4.10; Philo De uisione angeli p. 616 Aucher). Therefore, Lucretius’ passage needs to be read as an anti-providentialist allusion.