Welcome to Episode One Hundred Forty-Five of Lucretius Today. This is a podcast dedicated to the poet Lucretius, who wrote "On The Nature of Things," the only complete presentation of Epicurean philosophy left to us from the ancient world.
Each week we'll walk you through the ancient Epicurean texts, and we'll discuss how Epicurean philosophy can apply to you today. If you find the Epicurean worldview attractive, we invite you to join us in the study of Epicurus at EpicureanFriends.com, where you will find a discussion thread for each of our podcast episodes and many other topics.
This week we will start a series of podcasts intended to provide a general introductory overview to Epicurean philosophy. For organization purposes we will use the topic structure employed by Norman DeWitt in his "Epicurus and His Philosophy," but we will not bind ourselves to the text.
For the first episode we will begin in Chapter One.
- The Historical Background of Epicurean Philosophy
- It is important to emphasize that at one and the same time Epicurus was both the most revered and most reviled of all founders of Greco-Roman philosophical schools.
- For seven hundred years Epicurus was very popular throughout the Greco-Roman world. His images were displayed, his handbooks memorized and carried by students, and on the twentieth of every month his followers assembled in his name.
- Throughout the same period Epicurus' enemies ceaselessly reviled him, and he was attacked by Platonists, Stoics, and Christians, and his name was an abomination to the Jews.
- Therefore much of what has been written about Epicurus in both the ancient and modern world is wrong.