"Life, a Labor Void and Brief": Viewing Ebola Through the Lens of Lucretius and Virgil
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The reality of death through disease has influenced the behaviors and actions of humankind since the beginning of history. Although the concept of disease has been present throughout our history, and has evolved with our ever-increasing knowledge of its sources and causes, society is still ravaged by illness-causing microbes and struggles with how to confront the inevitability of death. In looking back to ancient authors and historians, such as Thucydides, Lucretius, and Virgil, and their accounts of plague and disease, I hope to elucidate the inherent reactions of human nature to disease and explore their implications in society. Furthermore, as each of these authors is writing to a specific purpose, illuminating this purpose in the context of the plague will perhaps lend hope - or even a cure - to the fear of death from disease.