In this seminar, we will read together and discuss one brilliant and fascinating book-length poem, Lucretius’ On the Nature of the Universe. Written in Latin more than two thousand years ago, the poem seeks to remove your fear of the gods and of death so that you can live a happy life. For Lucretius, the key to losing your fear is understanding of the physical laws of the universe. This is a poem likely to be interesting to people interested in poetry and literature, in science, in philosophy, or in ancient Rome.
Our only in-class activity will be discussion of our reading in Lucretius. I will supply some questions with the weekly reading assignment in order to help us focus our thinking.
Please note: we will read On the Nature of the Universe in English translation, and no knowledge of Latin is expected.