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The Lucretian RenaissancePhilology and the Afterlife of Tradition$
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Gerard Passannante

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226648491

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226648514.001.0001

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The Pervasive Influence

The Pervasive Influence

(p.154) * 4 * The Pervasive Influence
The Lucretian Renaissance

Gerard Passannante

University of Chicago Press

When Aby Warburg first encountered Botticelli's Venus he discovered something like an illustrated history of ideas, her metaphysical undressing catching Warbug's imagination. His attention towards Venus was not only to the ideas that she influenced, but also the way in which they were transmitted, enacted, and represented. She gave a certain “pervasive influence” or the spreading and dissemination of an idea and the ways in which this influence is able to embody itself within the structure of a body, a thought, or a poem. The chapter thus explores the figure of this materialist diffusion in the works of three readers of the De rerum natura that struggled with the problem of Lucretian pervasiveness: Edmund Spenser, Pierre Gassendi, and Henry More.

Keywords:   body, Botticelli's Venus, Venus, Aby Warburg, materialist diffusion, Lucretian pervasiveness, Edmund Spenser, Pierre Gassendi, Henry More

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