In 1417, a worldly Italian monk left Rome and headed for the German hills in search of a buried book he believed would transform his decadent, worn-out world. At the time, Joan of Arc was five years old and Gutenberg’s bible was thirty years away. The monk was ahead of the curve; he wanted to unearth the writing of Lucretius whose heretical ideas were based on the natural order of things. To journey from the Dark Ages to brighter ones, many pivots were needed, and our text introduces notorious change agents like Aristotle, Epicurus, Erasmus, Savonarola, the Medici, and a few popes. The text The Swerve, by Harvard humanities professor Stephen Greenblatt, is subtitled How the World became Modern, and it provides a range of perspectives from which to discuss what lay around the bend. Note: This study group meets for seven weeks, starting October 24. No class on 11/28/19.