On the Nature of Things

Lucretius, On the Nature of Things: This great Latin poem, a guided tour of the infinite, reveals a universe of atoms and void, gloriously free from controlling deities and the horrors of hell. Why then should Lucretius’ epic celebration of life end on the theme, poignantly topical today, of grim suffering and mass death in an epidemic? Is a message of hope somehow visible in this distressing finale? [recommended by David Sedley, Christ College, Cambridge]

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