In the 1st century BC, Lucretius, about whom little else is known, wrote a wonderful epic poem for his patron, to explain the tenets of Epicurean philosophy to him. If On the Nature of the Universe sounds dry, it is full of memorable images, striking scenes and sinewy poetic cadences; there is little Vergilian polish and none of Ovid’s sophisticated technique. But the poem is arguably the better for that.
Lucretius subverts the norms of epic, yet there is a quest and an epic hero ….. Epicurus, who has revealed to Mankind the secret of Life, that is, not to worry about Death.
Terry Walsh, MPhil
De Rerum Natura 1.80-101 | Stern and rational epicureanism
Contributed by Terry Walsh
De Rerum Natura 1.250-256 | The return of Spring
Contributed by Viviana La Russa and Simona Borrello