Attitudes toward the natural philosopher in the early Roman Empire (100 B.C. to 313 A.D.)

by Carrier, Richard C., Ph.D., COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, 2008, 574 pages; 3333315


The present study demonstrates the existence of significant praise and admiration for the aims and achievements of the natural philosopher among the pagan elite of the Roman Empire from 100 B.C. to 313 A.D. Chapter 1 surveys the problem, focus, and methodology. Chapter 2 explores what a natural philosopher was thought to be and do, finding it was the nearest prototype of the modern scientist. Chapter 3 shows that natural philosophy had little place in Roman education except for the highly motivated, but finds considerable praise and appreciation for those who did pursue it. Chapter 4 explores what natural philosophers as 'scientists' actually achieved, and finds a positive belief in the reality and value of 'scientific progress' among educated Romans. Chapter 5 surveys evidence of praise and admiration for the natural philosopher and his goals and activities. Chapter 6 surveys the conclusion that the natural philosopher and his activity were not completely marginalized but were held in high esteem by many among the educated elite.

AdviserWilliam V. Harris
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsEducation history; Ancient history; Science history
Publication Number3333315

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