Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World

Version: Unabridged
Author: Tim Whitmarsh
Narrator: James Langton
Genres: History, Ancient Civilizations, Atheism
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Published In: November 2015
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 10 hours, 15 minutes
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Overview

Long before the European Enlightenment and the Darwinian revolution, which we often take to mark the birth of the modern revolt against religious explanations of the world, brave people doubted the power of the gods. Religion provoked skepticism in ancient Greece, and heretics argued that history must be understood as a result of human action rather than divine intervention. They devised theories of the cosmos based on matter, and notions of matter based on atoms. They developed mathematical tools that could be applied to the world around them, and tried to understand that world in material terms. Their skepticism left a rich legacy of literature, philosophy and science, and was defended by great writers like Epicurus, Lucretius, Cicero and Lucian. Tim Whitmarsh tells the story of the tension between orthodoxy and heresy with great panache, a story that ended--for the moment--with the imposition of Christianity on the Roman Empire in 313 CE.

Author Details

Author Details

Whitmarsh, Tim

Tim Whitmarsh is E. P. Warren Praelector in Classics at Corpus Christi and Lecturer in Greek Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. He has published widely on the Greek literature of the Roman period, including Greek Literature and the Roman Empire: The Politics of Imitation (2001) and The Second Sophistic (2005). He has lectured all over the world, given television interviews, appeared on Radio 4 and written for the Times Literary Supplement.