Which chapter(s) of the book will be discussed?
I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on the rather curious conclusion of Lucretius' didactic epic. Some have gone so far as to assert that the poem must have been unfinished upon the poet's death, given how dark its conclusion is. (For those unfamiliar with the poem, it ends with an extended translation of Thucydides' detailed description of the plague that ravaged Athens during the Peloponnesian War.) Others maintain on the contrary that the conclusion is quite apt, insofar as it serves to underscore Lucretius'/Epicurus' contention that existence is ephemeral and there will be no divine intervention on our behalf. I tend to go back and forth on this question, but, again, I'd be very interested to hear others' thoughts on this.
Sorry for the delay on this, Cassius. Here's a very literal (and therefore not very artful) rendering on those four lines from Horace's epistle to Albius Tibullus. If I'm not mistaken, the final phrase is a bit of self-lacerating humor. Cheers!
“Amid hope and anxiety, amid fears and angers, believe [that] every day has dawned the last [i.e. for the last time] for you. A pleasing hour, which will not be hoped (for), will arrive. When you wish to laugh/smile, you will see me, fat and shining with a well cared for skin/body/appearance, a pig from the flock of Epicurus.”
Cassius: Sorry, I'm sure you've already seen that list. I'm intrigued by your mystery translation! It's not Lucy Huchinson's, is it?
Cassius: Although the reliability of Wikipedia is not rock-solid, this is a helpful list of Lucretius translations:
My sense is that Cyril Bailey's translation is the most literal, but I'm especially fond of Leonard's. He seems to really "get" Lucretius.
If you're wondering about any particular passages in DRN, I'd be very happy to take a crack at them: just send them my way!
Finally - alas, my username is not Greek at all; it's just the first initial of my first name and my last name. Not too exciting, I fear.
Hiram: I look forward to reading your work!
Elli: I only teach ancient Greek. I'm afraid I don't know modern Greek, though the alphabet is the same!
Cheers, everyone, and thanks for your welcoming words!
Hello, Cassius et al.!
I am a teacher of Latin, Greek, and philosophy at a private high school in the northeast. My earlier graduate studies were devoted to philosophy, with an emphasis upon the recent continental tradition, i.e., Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Levinas, etc., but I have since gone on to pursue a graduate degree in Classics. My connection with Epicurus and Epicureanism comes largely through my close and careful reading of Lucretius, whose poem I have taught many times and will continue to teach so long as I'm permitted to do so. As I've explored, with my students, the philosophy of the Hellenistic period more broadly, I've been struck by the strong revival of interest in Stoicism of late, without an Epicurean correlate. It seems to me that if many of the denizens of the twenty-first century long for the solace of Stoicism, they would do well to consider the wisdom of Epicurus in equal measure. Perhaps the age-old misunderstanding of Epicureanism as a debased hedonistic philosophy lingers even to this day. Most of my own students, once both "options" have been laid out for them, more commonly veer toward Epicureanism.
Anyway, thanks so much for welcoming me aboard! I look forward to many fruitful discussions, etc.