Natalie Haynes and Lucretius

  • Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics - Series 8 - Lucretius - BBC Sounds
    Six-book epic poem on philosophy and physics? Don't mind if I do.

    I am a BIG fan of Natalie Haynes and now she's finally done an episode of "Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics" on Lucretius.

    Other than getting the "size of the sun" shibboleth wrong ;) it's a delightful and positive stand up for Lucretius. Enjoy.

  • Very lively presentation. Thank you! I especially liked the guest who stressed the Roman attitude that Epicureanism can be explained in simple words.

    It's interesting what people choose to stress. I like her choice of topics - mostly physics - but I think I am now halfway through and I have not heard the word "pleasure." (Did hear one use of "happiness" in passing)

    Good that she points out the difference with the Stoics on the Epicurean view of free will.

    Well a major disappointment: at 23:58 she launches into ethics purely in terms of Ataraxia and Aponia without a single use of the word pleasure. So she doesn't have the excuse that she's only talking about physics

    She does close the presentation by saying should embrace Lucretius and be happy... but the elephant in the room is the amazing British tendency to elevate "tranquility" and demote the word "pleasure" as if they want to entirely strip "pleasure" from Epicurean Philosophy.

  • Yeah, I'm cutting her some slack. That tranquility angle is the dominant interpretation whether we accept it or not.

    Her podcasts are a breezy, fun intro to classical mythology, history, and literature. I highly recommend the podcast for anyone interested in Greek and Latin history who also wants to be entertained.

    At least, this is a much better - and friendlier - quick intro to Lucretius and Epicureanism than we usually get!

  • Yes indeed I agree that. In general it's a very positive presentation.

    Britain has so much Stoicism in its blood that I suspect we will never see anything BUT that interpretation over there. It's an interesting issue.