Works In Progress
Book project: The Scientific Sublime in Imperial Rome: Manilius, Seneca, Lucan, and the Etna.
The book argues that the experience of the sublime plays a crucial role in texts that explore the mechanics of nature at Rome during the early empire. I show how a commitment to the thrill of the sublime affects the formulation of scientific ideas, shapes the representation of scientific inquiry itself, and contributes significantly to debates about how and why one should study the natural world. By bringing these works together into one study, which has not been done before, I establish a major thread of literary and intellectual continuity that cuts across genres, moving from the late Augustan principate through Neronian Rome and into the Flavian period. Along the way, the scientific sublime emerges as a central feature of Latin literary production more broadly and frames a new story about the development and dynamics of Latin literature.