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CLAS 430

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Classics 210: Greek & Roman Classics in English 11/07 Lucretius; On the Nature of Things 1. Afterlife:  When you are dead, there is nothing afterwards – no afterlife  Book three “and against this same life, when a few particles of heat have dispersed and air has been ejected out through the mouth, it at once deserts the veins and leaves the bones”  By removing this fear, people are able to live within their confines more happily. 2. Role of the Gods  Book one invocation to Venus to not have war.  “Mother of the descendants of Aeneas, pleasure of humans and gods, life-giving Venus, it is you who beneath the gliding signs of heaven make the ship-bearing sea and the fruitful earth teem with life…”  Is Lucretius contradicting himself by praying to a god in a poem that argues that gods do not care?  People believed gods did not punish or reward. 3. Importance of Pleasure  Book two “don’t you see that nature cries out for nothing except that somehow pain be separated and absent from the body, and that she enjoy in the mind”  Highest good is pleasure.  Ataraxia: lack of emotional pain  Aponia: lack of physical
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