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Department of the Classics, Harvard University

Lucretius, Epicurus, and Prehistory
Author(s): Daniel R. Blickman
Reviewed work(s):
Source: Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 92 (1989), pp. 157-191
Published by: Department of the Classics, Harvard University
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themanytopicstreatedby Lucretiusin his surveyof Epicurean

philosophy, one that has attractedconsiderableattentionin recent
decades is his account of the origin and progress of human civilization
at the end of the fifth book of the De RerumNatura. Two of the most
difficult issues raised by this account of prehistoryare its structureand
its relationto Epicurus'treatmentof the same topics.
The first issue is whether there is an overall coherence in Lucretius
5.925-1457. Certainmain divisions in the text are clear enough. There
is the first stage of the most primitive human existence (925-1010), a
second stage marking the formation of society and the appearanceof
language and fire (1011-1104), and a third stage begins at 1105 in
which cities and political institutions develop.1 These three stages of
development were traditional in Greco-Roman reconstructions of
prehistory.2Up to 1160, the chronological progression is not problematic. But the section on religion (1161-1240) is ambiguous. The
reader,having no overt clue that chronological sequence is being interrupted, can easily upon first encounter think of it as coming next in
time.3 But a more careful reading will raise the question of whether
some of these phenomena should not belong among the people of the
' K. Barwick, "Kompositionsproblemeim 5. Buch des Lucrez,"Philologus 95 (1943)
193-211; B. Manuwald, Der Aufbau der lukrezischen Kulturentstehungslehre,Mainz
1980 (Akademieder Wissenschaftenund der LiteraturMainz,Abhandlungender Geistesund SozialwissenschaftlichenKlasse 1980, Nr. 3) 15-18. For the text of LucretiusI have
used C. Bailey, Titi Lucreti Cari De RerumNatura (Oxford 1947), unless otherwise indicated.
2 P. Rose, "Sophocles' Philoctetes and the Teaching of the Sophists," HSCP 80
(1976) 51-54; T. Cole, Democritus and the Sources of Greek Anthropology, American
Philological Association Monographs25 (1967) 25-46.
3 Lucretiusinvites us to read it this way by mentioningcities (urbis 1162).


Daniel R. Blickman

first two stages (925-1104). The earliest humanbeings ought to have
been able to perceive the gods just as well as their descendants.4The
existence of a break in the chronological progression is confirmed by
1241-1457. This section, with its concentrationon the aetiology of
various arts, makes a numberof clear referencesto primitiveconditions
which fit the first two stages (925-1104) but not the third
(1105-1159).5 There is another perplexing feature of 1241-1457: the
order in which the various arts are discussed, and indeed the selection
of arts mentioned, have seemed unaccountable. The section begins
with metallurgy,particularlyas applied to weapons (1241-1307), then
proceeds to the use of animals in war (1308-1349), weaving
(1350-1360), arboriculture (1361-1378), and finally music
(1379-1411). The last of these is neither the most recent discovery,
being known, in fact, to the most primitivepeople (silvestre genus terrigenarum 1411), nor is it importantfor survival. Yet it is given a
treatmentfar beyond its practicalvalue. Any explanationof its role as
4 Scholars have suspected this idea for Epicurus as a natural deduction from his
theories about the gods and perceptionand also because of fr. 84 Us. (= G. Arrighetti,
Epicuro: Opere [Torino 1960, 19732] 27.1 [p. 252] = Philod. Piet. 113g), discussed in
G. Arrighetti,"La strutturadell' epistola di Epicuroa Pitocle," Studi Classici e Orientali
16 (1967) 117-128, and cf. G. Miller, "Die fehlende Theologie im Lucreztext," in
MonumentumChiloniense. Kieler Festschriffiir E. Burck, ed. E. Lefevre (Amsterdam
1975) 280; but the reading was too doubtful for confidence (Manuwald[above, n. 1] 44
n. 170). Now a new text being published by Dirk Obbink, to whom I am most grateful
for making it available,provides strongerevidence:

lcav teo &(tI5Er1Z[o]t
I cJS 2;To~li);
I (P71[odv
~TrEpi (P[q4]

v[ori]iiaa (Tov) [il150

"And in book 12 of On Nature he says that the first men arrivedat conceptions of imperishable externalentities." A reconstructionof early religion could, and in the case of Epicurus probably did, distinguish between the initial perception of the gods in primeval
times and the establishment of religious rites and institutions, since the latter would
requiremore complex social organizationand greaterwealth. But no such distinction is
made in Lucr. 5.1161-1240. Ideas about the origins of religion have a long traditionin
Greek thought: A. Kleingiinther, IHPUTOEEYPETHEPhilologus Suppl. 26.1 (1933)
109-114; W. Spoerri, SpdthellenistischeBerichte fiber Welt, Kultur und G6tter (Basel
1959 [SchweizerischeBeitrdge zur AltertumswissenschaftHeft 9]) 164-174; W. K. C.
Guthrie, A History of Greek Philosophy 2 (Cambridge 1965) 478-483, 3 (Cambridge
1971) 238-244; A. Henrichs, "Two DoxographicalNotes: Democritus and Prodicus on
Religion," HSCP 79 (1975) 93-123.
5See below on 1245-1246, 1283-1285, 1379-1411, and 1416-1422; Manuwald
(above, n. 1) 30-34 for a full enumeration.

On his view. it appearsto be the climax of the chronological development.925-1104 in Lucretiuscorrespondsto the first of Epicurus' two periods and 1105-1457 to the second. Ernout and Robin ad 1452 ff. 8 In order to avoid confusion. despite the clear references in 1241-1457 back to the firstperiod (925-1104). ad Hdt. since the second period for Prodicus seems to have involved the interventionof X6yog.. t&wv A&vOpdntwv] noxx&XKaii navTo0a in6 q(piotv and a a~ItOv t&wv TE npaypa'cTmv 6t6t•X0ijvaot I•x &vaycKao0fivat) second period characterized by the exercise of reason (TOv&8 EoyitoCLbv ~ t V0xb T taTiqg ntapEyyuT1OVT0a joTTEpov rnaKpto~o)vKaxi RppoGEaEZpioCetv. Thus. may be described as the centerpiece of the whole prehistory. D. If Lucretiusis presentingthe teachings of Epicurus. when discussing Manuwald I use "period"to describe his bipartiteanalysis and "stage"for my tripartitedivision. ad Hdt. or possibly of other Epicureans. finds the structureand logic loose . and not the whole prehistory from 925 does the evidence for the Master's views on prehistorythrow light on the text of Lucretius? There is little direct evidence for Epicurus. was hurryingto get to the end of a long book. has ascribed to Prodicus inspired Epicurus. Manuwaldmaintainsthat the aetiological section (1241-1457) belongs essentially to the second period (1105 ff. even the final verses 1448-1457 must be read as referringto 1105 ff. the relation of De Rerum Natura 5. 1) 26-30. Ep. .8 Manuwaldargues that 5. nature itself produces discoveries (e. Moreover."perhapsL. therefore. n.Epicurus. n." 7 (Above.6 The section on religion (1161-1240). At varios linguae sonitus natura subegit / mittere 1028-1029). 9 (Above..but at the same time it serves to introducethe aetiological section (1241-1457) in which chronological sequence is quite neglected. N.925-1457 to the writings of Epicurus. but in the second period human reason plays a more important role (announced by 1105-1107).9 Though the limitations of our 6 The latest editor of Lucretius5. 4) 107 ff. 75-76. one in which human beings are taught directly by circumstances (TIv [sc. Costa (Oxford 1984) 147 (ad 1379-1435).) distinguishedby the use of Xoytoag6g. has been used by Manuwaldas the basis for a study of Lucretius. also compare Ep. One may wonder whetherthe two-stage theory about two periods of religious evolution which Henrichs (above.7Epicurusdistinguisheshere between two periods of development. n. 1) passim. But one such text.Lucretius.g.and Prehistory 159 the climax of Lucretius' aetiology of the arts must account for these facts. The search for a coherence in this arrangementis linked to the second of our initial problems. in the earlier period. On the one hand. C.

Thirteen New Fragments of Diogenes of Oenoanda. 85 (1955) 3-12. in which society is formed but has not progressed beyond the simplest village. "VitaPrior in Lucretius. unlike Manuwald."Science and Society 17 (1953) 326-339 (German trans.10 This paper will argue that Manuwald's analysis must be supplemented by considerationnot only of these texts. but of Lucretius' rhetorical and poetic techniques.)Deutsche Zeitschriftflir Philosophie 3 (1955) 214-224. Lucretius sounds his strongest primitivist tones in 925-1010. however. 83 (1954) Hermathena81 (1953) 59-62. Manuwald's central thesis about the fit between the two periods described by Epicurus in Ep. F.1105 in Lucretius will generally be accepted here. For 10-16. and then muffles them in 1011-1104. this dual perspective of technical advance without moral improvementis maintainedby Lucretius' careful deployment of the morally significant motifs of war and seafaring.IIModifying Farrington I shall argue that Lucretiushas deliberatelyreduced the primitivism of Epicurus about this second stage and enhanced throughhis own presentationthe primitivism of the first stage (925-1010).see note 33 below. was the golden age for Epicurus. in order to increase the impression of a decline when we come to the third stage (at 1105-1160). Oen. which is depicted as the time when ambition and fear of the laws emerged to plague human life. 1416-1422) 75-76."ibid.think usus in 1452 and aetas in 1454 roughly correspond to the direct teachings of the environmentof Epicurus' first period." ibid.. But it is on the puzzles of 1241-1457 which have been mentionedabove that Manuwald'sapproachhas least to offer. In 1241-1457 he refers back not only to the music (1379-1411) but to the warfare (1245-1246. Smith. This reversal is part of a complex rhetorical structure which extends throughoutthe prehistoryand conveys its moral significance. ad Hdt. Blickman evidence should be admitted. Natura 3. 10See below on KD 39 and 40 and Diog. . NF 21. 1 "Second Thoughts on Epicurus. In the aetiological section 1241-1457. 75-76 and the differentperiods which fall on each side of 5. publishedby M.160 Daniel R. There are other Epicureantexts.58.. not properly considered by Manuwald or other scholars. and only inipigrae experentiamentis (1452) and ratio (1455) correspondto Epicurus'Xoytao6o. but. which illuminate Lucretius' account. This evidence supports Farrington's theory that the second stage of social development (1011-1104 in Lucretius). in Ergain:ungsbdnde:u den TituliAsiae Minoris (Vienna 1974) 21-25. 1283-1285." "Lucretiusand Manilius on Friendship. "The Meaning of Persona in De Rerurm criticism of Farrington.

I. 1434. The text of Diogenes of Oenoandais cited from C. 1279. At first. and the Hermarchusfragmentap.12Yet clearly some of the texts which convey this rationalizedview of the past (e. Chilton's gods Teubneredition (Leipzig 1967). Was there a golden age in the distant past when individuals lived in harmonyamong themselves and with their environment? It is possible. 2-3). restoredon the basis of lines rtpo 13-14 E•ra 5 rpopa(voev6 Xp6vo. in 925-1104. to pursue a rationalized reconstruction of prehistory.4 X06vtog o & ov to.13 But there is still need for a more unified analysis of his moral concerns in the prehistoryas a whole. in 1241-1457. 1307. 1. 0 [tzo &5 Xp6ovoIpaf]vovzo. Bibliographyin Manuwald(above. "La storia dell' umanithnel V libro di Lucrezio. 1) 64-66.'"Pallas 19 (1972) 11-27.and Prehistory 161 of the first two stages (925-1104). 1279.10.. But furtheron. A number of scholars have commented on the moral implications of these and other passages.Lucretius. Storiche e Filologiche 101. that of the Epicureans. minutatim1293. only now giving a far bloodier picture of primitive times. that the gods must be excluded from participationin human history. as this century has seemed well placed to appreciatethat Lucretius does not see moral progress as a concomitant of technological advance. (fr. 10. "Lucreceet le 'double progres contrastant. 1384. fr. 1434) are at the same time of serious moral import. Diog. Diogenes explicitly denies the role of the •r5 h•i i cols. .g. the earliest human beings offer a primitivist contrastto later problems.. 1307. of course. PRIMITIVISMAND THE GOLDEN AGE The first moral issue which the composer of a prehistorymust face is the relative worth and attractiveness of the different stages of development. 1370. namely. PorphyryDe abst. usus et impigrae simul experientia mentis / paulatim docuit pedetemptim progredientis (1452-1453). is necessary to recall the key Epicureantenet which Lucretius' account of prehistory is meant to establish. Oen. they are included in the poet's powerful condemnation of all human history (1416-1435). In this way the prehistory revises its earlier views. n.which excludes the gods and yet 12 931-932. 1011 ff. As a preliminary. in dies 1105. Perelli. The gradual nature of the process is stressed throughout. 10. C. 1966-1967 (Torino 1967) 117-285. Fredouille. col.Xp6vou. Classe di Scienze Morali."Atti della Accademia delle Scienze di Torino. cf. 13The best essay about this issue is J. fullest discussion in L.

and security from beasts (982-998). for instance. The idea that the first men had a tougher physical constitution and enjoyed a greater freedom from discomfort and sickness than contemporaryRomans (925-930) may seem to be primitivist. though the originalityof Lucretiushere is unproven. The issue is whether Lucretiushimself is responsible for the primitivism. Second.and source.16 Hence there is no warrant for invoking here Lucretian primitivism going beyond Epicureantheory."Revue de mitaphysique et de morale 22 (1916) 697-719. Blickman admits the notion of a golden age. Robin. social bonds (958 f.). in the present context we may use "golden age" of Epicurus or his followers to mean a period in humanhistory which appears close to ideal by comparison with the present or other points in the past. "Sur la conception 6picuriennedu progres. 16 Furley 15 ascribes this notion to "the historical imagination of Lucretius" who "could hardly do other than give primitive men a stronger. family (962 f. Furley has rightly rejected the exaggerated notion which claims that Lucretiusadvocates a returnto the life of the earliest humanbeings. without agriculture(933 f. We would not. We may notice first two instances in which there are insufficientgrounds for such a view. The first task is to review the question of primitivismin 925-1010. fire or clothing (953 f.).). and partly because there might be implicit or explicit a notion that the gods favored this golden era. 15 "Lucretiusthe Epicurean. One guise which this idea takes is primitivism." His point is well taken. expect an Epicurean to believe in a completely idyllic or mythical golden age. But it will be a golden age in a qualified form.).since such an absence of irrationalfears about the heavens would contrastfavorably with the 14 L. it is expressly denied that the earliest men were frightenedby the disappearanceof the sun at night (973-987).hardierconstitutionthan men of the Roman Republic.14The problemis its location. partly because its thoroughly beneficent and peaceful workings of physical and human nature would appear unrealistic.162 Daniel R. in fact. such as Hesiod ascribes to his golden generation (WD 109-126). without a reasonablebasis."in Lucrcce (Geneva 1978 [Entretienssur l'antiquite classique 24]) 13-17. . Nonetheless. This idea too may appearprimitivist.but is not. the presence of which in Lucretiushas long been recognized. is a sub-humanone that Lucretiuscould hardly pretend to extol to his readers. strength. Yet the passage is still primitivist to some extent.'5 It is easy to see that this existence.

The idea that winter berries were larger in primeval times. D. Boyanc6.8."Latomus26 (1967) 357. describing the food and drink available to the first men and women. see Spoerri (above. Diogenes of Oenoanda (fr. 207-208 with Collardad loc. as in Diodorus. then. the whole description would lose its charm. are the master strokes in his primitivistcoloring. Lucretius. Gillis.on the other hand. 1) knows of the rigors of winter. Indeed we hardly see primitive man confronting it at all (note the oblique nunc hiberno tempore cernis. 19Cf. 18 "La posizione di Aristotele Epicuro e Posidonoi nei confronti della storia della civilta. 20Cf.and Prehistory 163 later developmentof false beliefs. Suppl.Lucretius. and Lucretiuschooses his words carefully to leave the impression of modest desires that find abundantsupplies without strenuouseffort:19satis id placabat pectora donum (938) sets this peaceable tone. (1007-1008)20 This separationof the problemof starvationfrom the earlierdescription of the food supply is a telling example of how Lucretius' primitivst effects are achieved. 940). T. 10. J. which one assumes was proffered originally as an explanation for survival in winter. P. Cole (above. can we detect Lucretius augmenting the primitivist tone? Verses 937-952. That Epicurusprobablydid not make this separation is suggested by a passage in Diodorus describingthe earliest men's ignorance of food-gatheringand their starvationin winter (1. n. 2) 27-28. It is not even the cause of distress. ." Rendiconti dell' Istituto Lombardo. Without these lines. but in his text. for this problem. Eur. scienze morali e storiche 86 (1953) 24-27.18 Where. now is 17 Robin (above. 1) 60-61. Lucrice et 1' picurisme (Paris 1963) 239. not only avoids the problem of starvation. Classe di lettere.contranunc rerumcopia mersat. n. they provide the occasion for invention (of shelter and clothing). 4) 155-156.17But given Grilli's plausible suggestion that Lucretius here reflects Epicurus' criticism of Aristotle.Epicurus. Yet the crucial point is that the possibility of starvationis not mentioned here at all. 14) 700.but turns the traditional discussion of winter to his own purposes. or several of them. "Pastoral Poetry in Lucretius. col. but reservedfor some moralizinglater: tum penuriadeinde cibi languentialeto membradabat. Manuwald (above. 21 On the motif of the difficulties of winter in prehistory.21 It would be typical of Epicurusto give a solution.6-7). n. too. n. we should refrainfrom attributingprimitivistadditionsto Lucretius.

22 The following lovely descriptionof the water supply with its silvan haunts of the nymphs is clearly primitivist (945-952). which forms the climax of the passage about the food supply. But Lucretiuswill lateroffer a far bloodierpictureof this: sive quod inter se bellum silvestre gerentes hostibusintulerantignem formidinisergo (1245-1246) armaantiquamanus ungues dentesquefuerunt 22Munronoted that in December large tracts of the Peloponnese are covered with the scarlet arbute berries. since in this case. The descriptionof mutualviolence is the bland and passive quod cuique obtulerat praedae fortuna (958-961).12 [vol." . and in nota and scibant. 24Costa (above.23Nature is seen as a nurturingagent in the slight personificationof vocabant and claricitat (if that or citat is correct). which are as close to a commendationof primitive man's intelligent adaptability as one gets in this section. 6) observes (ad 950-951) that the repetition of umida saxa "is unique in the DRN. 23 On the comparisonto beasts in 932 vulgivago moreferarum. n. partlythroughthe soothing repetition of umida saxa. Ditt. Thus the primitivisttone seems to have been greatly enhanced by Lucretius.324]). Here the comparison to beasts betokens simplicity more than savagery.DanielR. The treatmentof the absence of social bonds confirms this interpretation. n. Moreover. the Lucretianorigin of the primitivismis betrayed by the same technique of postponing to a later passage the harsheraspects of primitivelife. see Cole (above. too. does not seem to undercut the primitivisttone (cf.Blickman 164 used in a sentence that suggests that winter then was less threatening than now (940-942). where the series of stopped consonants is softened by their combinationwith liquids. Syll. the attractiveness of the scene is increased by the sound effects. n. Boyanc6. above.Suppl. In neither passage does Lucretiusbring out the pejorativeforce which was gen(as felt in erally carriedby the traditionalGreekdescriptionof primitive life as 0iplt&i(irg Eur. "Critias"DK 88 B25. The stream of liquids and sibilants. 18) so much as to imparta normativeaspect throughboth the conjunctionwith ampla and perhapsan echo of the Homeric Etxouoat PpoToiat(one might suggest thatmiseris mortalibusmay be from Ennius). 2) 27-28. and Giussani considered this an indication that this detail was drawnfrom Epicurus. The miseris in the superbphrasemiseris mortalibusampla (944). this friendly familiarity between man and nature is reciprocated.2. which reaches a climax in 949-951.24finds a beautifully smooth release in 952. 704. 201-202. 2.

g. indeed its hallmark(silvestria templa tenebant 948. quam reor invidia tali tunc esse repertam. ut letum insidiis qui gessit primusobiret. consectabantur silvestria saecla ferarum 967. .Epicurus. nocturno tempore capti / circum se foliis ac frondibus involventes 971-972.). presumably belonging to the period described in 925-1010 (cf.26 In 1283-1285. how- ever. et flammaatque ignes. the mention of acorns and beds of leaves recalls the first stage (glandes 965. there does seem to be a conscious division between the earliest weapons (1283 f. the phrase bellum silvestre distinctly recalls the most primitive era (925-1010). 4. cf. and manuum mira freti virtutepedumque966).843-847. 13) 164 thinks Lucretiussilent on violence among primitive men and that strife follows only when the state of natureis left behind by making clothing. pellis pararunt 1011) marks the change to the second. instrata cubilia fronda 987). but see below. 26 The clearing of land described in 1247-1248 is precisely the action which would transformthe huntersand gatherersof 925-1010 into the settlers of 1011-1104. for which he cites 1418-1422. Certainly the violence over the newly discovered garment of skin (953-954. note 30 below. 1283-1285) and an adequateview of the prehistory'swhole structure. 25 Cf. silvasque colebant 955-957. Perelli (above. 987). et tamen intereos distractamsanguinemulto disperiisse neque in fructumconverterequisse (1416-1422).Lucretius. pellis item cecidit vestis contemptaferinae. Venus in silvis iungabat corpora amantum 962. silvestria membra / nuda dabant terrae 970-972. silvarum fragmina rami 1284. 1308-1349 is omitted here because its temporalsetting is uncertain. and the fire acquiredin the second stage (1285. since silvestre and other references to the forest are a constant feature of it. 1245-1246. 1091-1104).25 The first of these texts ought to refer to the second stage of development in 1011-1104 because only then is fire acquired (1091-1104). apart both from other relevanttexts (e. This is a good (and very typical) example of the misinterpretationswhich result from considering one or two passages in isolation. postquamsunt cognita primum(1283-1285) sic odium coepit glandis. sic illa relicta stratacubilia sunt herbis et frondibusaucta. However. In 1416-1422.and Prehistory 165 et lapides et item silvarumfragminarami.. n. though presumablythe distaste for them brings us to the second stage.

28 This tradition. Lucretius offers. Epicuruswould not. of course. Ratherit is Aristotle's belief in the theory of recurrentcataclysms (De philosophia. 818 f. . is alive and well in the most sophisticatedhands: cf. have depicted his golden age in mythical terms. especially agriculture. too. Here the important point is that the dramatic change in 1241-1457 in the representation of bloodshed in the first two stages surely proves that the abbreviatedcomments at 958-961 are a deliberate whitewash of the earliest violence. the handlingof the motifs of war and seafaring by Lucretiusis a key to the rhetoricalstructureof his prehistory. K. of human life in a prehistoriccondition similarto the most primitiveone in Lucretius(5. language (1028-1090) and fire (1091-1104) receive all the attention. but rather as relatively blessed in comparison with what preceded or followed.which in modem termsrefersto the neolithic proposing the 27Although the sufferingof primitiveman in the cold (1426-1427) is not a revision of the earliest mores (as is 1416-1422). arbute berries. 8 Ross) which is truly distant from modem thought. It would be naive to assume that sharing in the eternalnostalgia for the simple village life is somehow too romanticor irrationalfor Epicurus.29 Among the arts. Die Kulturentstehungslehredes Lukrez (diss. with the origins of language and fire receiving far more attention(1028-1104).) is partof Lucretius'primitivismin 925-1010.were available.925-1010). touched by primitivism. 29See the discussion below.but others. Claude Levi-Strauss:An Introduction (London 1970) 68-76. decidedly negative turnin 1416. only a brief account of its moral and social characteristics(1011-1027).28Clearly the second stage is such a life. Octavio Paz. Munich 1957) 126 is correct to observe that the milder account of the weatherin 956-957 (cf. Westphalen. If Lucretius'initial presentationenhances the primitivismof the first stage of prehistory(925-1010). fr. Blickman These passages will receive furtherdiscussion later. The quaint line (965) about acorns. 30 The Greeks and Romans always associated a settled life with agriculture. is given a new. since they are part of a larger theme.27Discussion of the importantprimitivistlines about the absence of armies and seafaring (999-1006) must also be deferred.and basic agricultureis presumedby the beginning of the thirdstage at 1105 (agros divisere atque dedere 1110). In William Golding's The Inheritors there is an even more remarkableevocation. It. As will be seen.166 Daniel R.30Farrington. even if Lucretiustends to make it appearsomewhat more primitiveby concentrating on its initial development. he can also be detected reducing some of the favorable description which Epicurus gave to the second stage (1011-1104 in Lucretius). 1361-1378 is concerned with the more advanced arboriculture. and choice pears as gifts to women is part of this implicit moralizing. in fact.

n." RhM 127 (1984) 147-158 has reiterated the significance of these texts and addedthe importantsuggestion that Lucretiusties his own poetry to the song of the shepherdsin 5. Jurewicz. the idyllic picnic of the "city of pigs. respectively.29-33 at 5. 31 Farrington ("Vita Prior" [above. Henrichs. Manuwald(above. n. had as his most importantpiece of evidence the repetitionof 2. Mfiller has shown. "The Sophists and Hellenistic Religion: Prodicus as the SpiritualFatherof the Isis Aretalogies.Schriftender Sektionfiir Altertumswissenschaft 55. as R.1]) 63-76. Bollack." in Die Krise der griechischen Polis 1. n.1392-1396.)t) l tCxCcv &vat oto. The neglect of agriculturein Lucretius' account is one of the clearest signs thathe is willing to sacrificemajorscientific points for the sake of his poetic composition. EY'VEiO iXVE7[tt~niCxo a•Tqpeiaao otur t 7cpallrEtv(KD 39) Boa (7xpb) rolr' cf."HSCP 88 (1984) 142-144. 0. "Lukrez Oiberden Ursprung von Musik un Dichtung.. R' 6(t6)XCxa1aOEoKEaIoaato. Kuch (Berlin 1969 [DeutscheAkademieder Wissenschaften. ` aoarladaevo. C. there are texts which support Farrington'stheory: 3To '0 (Tp Oappoiv &Rct'&v 4OOEv ptoia Cxa•roTy KRpD." a debt which might(?) increasethe likelihood that Lucretiusis adapting a text of Epicurus. Discussion of these passages has neglected the possibility that they are inspired by Plato Rep. H.In the Beginning (Ithaca 1957) 95-98. 34The evidence which he claims to find in Hermarchusfor breachesof the social compact ("LukrezV 1011. Buchheit. j0& &8'g wi &8vatx 0o K&XX6Xidi 8aa &• toE)o &8vat6.34 Moreover. 372B. 68-69) is not substantialenough to show that Epicurusor anotherEpicureancould not have depicted the second stage as one of relative felicity. V. La raison de Lucrece (Paris 1978) 208 n. Cf. 1. Die epikureischeGesellschaftstheorie(Berlin 1972) 70 ff.1379 ff. Manuwald(above. 1) 43. Epicurus. . and Prehistory 167 life before the rise of cities as an Epicureangolden age.. eds. in turn. Guthrie.33But MUiller'sattempt to dismiss the distinctly attractiveimpression of 5. M. The Greeks and Their Gods (Boston 1950) 285-287. 33"LukrezV 1011ff. Cole (above. exaggerate Epicurus' supposed hostility to the state and its laws. an Epicurean moral ideal and an image of primitive life which corresponds to 1011-1027.32 The identity between these two conceptions remains a solid foundation for Farrington'sthesis. K.31 In these passages this idyllic ruralpicnic is. 32The slight variationsbetween the two texts are due to the differingtemporalsettings. yE" Kai (KXD)Av. A. 11]) 61-62. W." 66. n.1024-1025 is. an overstatement. und die Stellung der epikureischenPhilosophie zum Staat und den Setzen. whatever the weakness of his other argumentswhich. 2) 30-31. note 26 above. who representan Epicureanmoral ideal.Lucretius. He acknowledges (73 n. 1) 57 follows Miiller against Farrington. 26) that different Epicureanscould highlight positive or negative aspects of the various stages.which could have appearedin a prehistoricsetting.

36-38. Arrighetti. "War. 23-24. .37 Consecutive KyriaiDoxai are repeatedlypaired in a way that demandsthey be read together. 7cpoiacao•popijv XEov TTIvtoi He who best knew how to meet fear of external foes made into one family all the creatureshe could. if one of them died before his time. 18) 21 n. In otherwords.36But 40 should be considered to have a historical reference as well.1108-1135. the Kyriai Doxai appearto mingle the historicaland exemplary as Lucretius does in 2. 19-20. (KD 40)35 TE0Euz(floavTo. 27-28. D. so far as was expedient. 5. o09Kb6(ipavto 4( )p6. 37Grilli (above. n.Death.q. 19732). Those who were best able to provide themselves with the means of security againsttheir neighbours. to the view that the uncertaintext of KD 6 includes an imperfect referringto the past. Miiller interpretedKD 39 as referring to prehistoryand KD 40 as referringto an Epicureanideal. his final saying.being thus in possession of the surest guarantee. though not proof.1392-1396.39 35For the Kyriai Doxai I quote the text of G. 39 KD 6-7 present an instructiveparallel to KD 39-40. and those he could not. 33) 124." Ramus 15 [1986] 1-34). t6[toi~Xt 6otoppo6vTov o)TotKOlaciEtoav CVLEt' iXov i &toOCTnapaocYKEaCaoCYOat. It also gives some support. Hicks).1108-1130 (see Grilli [above. 29-30. Oai RXTpeozdtxrTv Taitv "Oot 6[vaLttv axov toi oiKEtotlyradOCRoXa46vTe. PEfO3at6taTovatMoliMaExovTe. n. 34-35.1308-49. 126-127. 3. Their adaptationinto Lucretius' historical narativeat 5. 18] 23-24) proves that the ideas of KD 39-40 could be expected to appearin Lucretius5. Segal. In Kyriai Doxai 40.29-33 and 5.1273-1280.Epicuro: Opere (Torino 1960.R. and elsewhere (on which techniquesee C. kept them at a distance. and. 5.and KD 39-40 fit this pattern. 12-13. and Savageryin Lucretius: The Beasts of Battle in 5. 10-11. and their enjoyment of the fullest intimacy was such that.38The argumentthat the aorists of 40 are not historicalis vitiated by the aorists in 39 (where the imperfect "v makes the historicalsense clear). 6-7. 31-33. and where he found even this impossible. he avoided all intercourse. 38KD 3-4. n.168 Daniel R. passed the most agreeable life in each other's society. the survivors did not lament his death as if it called for commiseration(trans. Blickman a T ov Tb OappE~v . he at any rate did not treat as aliens. Epicurus describes what certainly appears to be a golden age. 36Gesellschaftstheorie(above.

43Cf.1 on the naturalfeeling of kinship among humans. J.ed. since by that time. as we shall see.44 Rather we should combine Epicurus and Lucretius here.1025 that he rightly compares r(ToTga in KD 40. On the importanceof affection within Epicureangroups and their concern (cf."WS Beiheft 8 (1977) 49. "The Cults of Epicurus. J. "La theorie 6picuriennedu droit. The lack of such intimacy in a political and urbansociety (1105 ff. it is to the foedera in 5. The second stage of Lucretius (1011-1104) is the only possible setting for the gatheringof the small groups described in KD 39 and 40.The Sculpted Word (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1982) 39-41. Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity(Baltimore 1935) 239.the first book of Aristotle's Politics (1252a24-1252b27) proves to be interesting 40For this reason too KD 40 reads rather oddly on its own. KD 39). does link them to the prepolitical stage of prehistoryin Lucretius." CP 75 (1980) 121-129. in Lucretius). K. "Die Kulturgeschichtedes Lukrez.43But they are wrong to assume that in this idea Lucretius is necessarily departing from Epicurus. 41 There appears to be an interesting paradox if Epicurus' language means that precisely because of their close bonds death did not bring undue grief. 42 B. In Lucretiusaffection for one's family leads to a groupingof several families (1019-1023. Frischer."CronacheErcolanesi 16 (1986) 11-28. "Epicurus on Friendship. Ernout and Robin. observe the emphasis on the compassionate feelings developed for women and children and the role of this sentiment as a motive for the formationof the social compact. KD 27-28. O Lovejoy." in Science and Speculation.Epicurus. Boas and A. Clay.and Prehistory 169 The language of KD 40 is unexpectedly strong. KD 39) about outsiders' attitudestowardthemselves.1105-1109 as correspondingto KD 40. Biichner.) would then be a factor in producinga fear of death. although taking KD 39 and 40 as concerning the Epicurean school. several scholars have been struck by the attractive aspects of 5. Rist.42Even without the clue furnishedby these texts of Epicurus. and it will not be easy to find a place for this happiness in 5. see now D.1105-1160.41If the passage is to be set into a period of prehistory. among whom the bonds of affection likewise take hold (1024-1027. since the basis of its extravagant claims is then even more obscure than when it is paired with 39. Hermarchusin PorphyryDe abstinentia 1. M.40These people had no irrationalfear of death. Not surprisingly. in their note on 5. (Cambridge1982) 315. G. the irrationalfear of death is in evidence. Cf. 5.Lucretius. Despite his citation of Lucr.7. Barnes et al. 44 Unfortunately.1019-1023. .1011-1027 in Lucretius.V. KD 40). Contrastthe similarbut less extremeKD 14. Goldschmidt. it must precede the final stage (at 1105 ff. accepts their idea and proceeds to make even greaterassumptionsabout the departuresof Lucretiusfrom Epicurus.

But unlike Lucretius. the firm remarksof Frischer(above. quoted (690B-C) as suitable for the larger group (Kat& ylvog) as well.1011-1027. which might seem appropriInair(ov i6' the Cyclopes (OEgtGE &~'60ov). Blickman background. 46 Cf. . "The HomericCyclopes: Folktale. Plato Laws 680D7-E4 speaks of those who lived scatteredK(azT Kai K(aztyEvog. n. 42) on the Epicureanrejectionof the polis as Aristotleconceived it. In Aristotle. 11] 13). Farringtonobserved about 5. is that for Aristotle the polis is the highest form of humancommunity(1252b27-1253a). I 8-10. of course.1024-1027 that the good behavior is not depicted as without exception.45The difference. n. KD 39 mentions the limits of the size of the group and its capacity to isolate and secure itself.describes Epicurus' associates as icKaxtlv oiKciav. &Et: isaKGOt.1105 ff. It lacks nothing in security or friendship. However. apparently following the language of contrastto Wrov (PHerc.170 Daniel R. while for Epicurus the polis (5. 5. 1252b16-27) and Epicurus rati~'~g tEinai tica&Ov ocGitx (6t6'qpuXa.Epicurusventures as well a thoroughlyidealized portraitof these groups' life together. KD 40 accords the greatest happiness only to those who were best able to achieve this security. 8 ouyyVEtav. 1232 fr. cited from Clay [above."TAPA113 (1983) 17-38.or indeed for any other. the establishmentof the household (oiKma) and combinationof several of these into a village (K[tLrn) correspondto the events in KD 39 and 40 and Lucr. about which more below) is accompaniedby significantproblems. rule"(paftixEo) in the oilia and K(oCL1g Hence the apparentfailure of KD 39 to mention clearly the initial establishmentof an individual olca is insignificant.KD 39). Smith describes a future golden age presumably based on the 45 Plato and Aristotle. n. 43] 13). 47"We are not in the realm of myth"("Lucretiusand Manilius"[above. Mondi. F. ate only to a single family. do not differentiateconsistently between a stage of individualfamilies and that of their union in a village.47and likewise KD 39 and 40 include careful and realistic qualificationsabout the extent of this secure felicity. who are interestedin political forms. The kinship which characterizesthe village is mentionedby both Aristotle (6itoya•axrag. A text of Philodemus. suggests that Epicurusregardedthe second stage as the best candidate for a golden age and in describing it displayed a stronger primitivismthan Lucretiusdoes for this phase of prehistory.46The evidence of KD 40. in Lucretius. 8 col. On the ~o4(•Ev Cyclopes' association with a golden age see the lucid analysis of R. Rtiavoi'lotyv Homer's descriptionof The latter phrase indicates more than one household.Tradition. A fragment of Diogenes of Oenoanda published in 1974 by M. Likewise Aristotle Politics 1252b20-24 combines the idea of "kingly and cites Homer on the Cyclopes as an example. then.and Theme.O.

0. Ppt]ouvE[x 8Eov'0b Xo7oc0op~v tota. I would suggest.vo11 II v il'[E~ivy i 5 - pya•r•v] Kaliyp &[p6aopiev av•E. Kat oG TEtX(Ov YEV11aETat 1i v6xowvXpEai ai xav- tov aoa8t' &aiXkog. 10). &itKatoETcaplOEtat 10 aovig yYp F-OaztgEaG'x navra iai tpXhaXXXht'a.gEva il trw[ - -- - ] gyvot.[ira. Inpop6a]•ali 'cyv i t xodgeaa]. other restorationsin A. t6] 8taCX6ONt. Kai xotrao[bg . t'v &c6ab avavymWpyla. n.iEcii'TVtESjl1 68va'byv&8 IvavTXat. )qWoIK a(o0LE- Col.atpO[v 10 Kti [Ei. avuool. Ei.] Ka~ oldyaw[ogEv. Xaicov. Casanova. ixp Xp7[t Ltv ra I pI•t 48 Text and translationof Smith (above. nEpi 8' GKEl:o)po•).48 [-------------- Col. complements the evidence of KD 39-40.and Prehistory 171 philosophy of Epicurus which. v y7p yEopyq[Ra'ra 7l] aot. 0'TOv .Epicurus. I frammentidi Diogene d'Enoanda (Florence 1984) 276-279..XaXINO T6"CE )0 Po. vP9.•EOa. I ---t]- o~1LEV. .Lucretius. 0EWV av0pdnou) act•iv 5 .antgeX Iapatpi]- TJO-V ta[ Kato 7ntIrp7icO[v.

] Line 15 [Every animal] is not able [to make] a compact [not to harmor be harmed. it .1108-1109.-P. The evidence of Diogenes thus deserves to be considered for its descriptionof the ideal social conditions for Epicureans.50 Fortificationsand laws come in the third stage of Lucretius (5. / sponte sua veterisque dei se more tenentem (Aen. the Golden Age of primitive innocence. and hence need no laws.DanielR. unless perhapsthe utopia is world-wide?49This Epicurean future recalls Vergil's "Saturnian"golden age in ancient Italy: neve ignorate Latinos / Saturni gentem haud vinclo nec legibus aequam.89 ff. For all things will be full of justice and mutual love... Ii as we shall have no [farm-labourers--for indeed we all shall plough and dig and mind flocks and divert rivers and watch .see J. this type of utopian thinking moves easily between past and future.for the farmingoperationswill provide us with the things which our naturewants..202-204). . It is importantto note 49The apparentlyclose link between 8tKaiootIvr and agriculturalwork in the fragment is an old one in Greekculture. 1136-1160). 232-233. with projectioninto the past serving as a blueprintfor the future. Despite some exaggerations. cf. still has force in his kingdom" (Fordyce ad loc.] Although the ideal society of Diogenes is an enlightened Epicurean society of the future and that of Lucretius is in the past..). 7.... I [When we are living . . nor walls against outsiders-. Ovid Met. aurea prima sata est aetas quae vindice nullo / sponte sua sine lege fidem rectumque colebat. . Blickman 172 Line 15 [ct&v (]ov o0 &6vaat ovO•rlicrliv t n"tp [ntoteioa toi lil 13XdlrtEtv 13Xd iEoeTat] ran• P Translation Col. And such activities will interruptthe continuousstudy of philosophy for needful purposes.. then truly the life of the gods will pass to men. since its real interestis in the natureof the ideal society. and there will come to be no need of fortificationsor laws and all the things which we contrive on account of one another.. 1. And with regardto the necessaries derivedfrom agriculture..the latter for reasons which are not clear in Diogenes.Myth and Thought among the Greeks (London 1983) 248-270 = Mythe et pensce chez les Grecs (Paris 1965) 16-36. / poena metusqueaberant. since all have no power and it is possible . ]. cf. etc... 50"Latinusmeans that the way of life of the Saturniaregna. Col.who enjoy righteousnesswithin. Vernant...

53This Epicureanview reveals a reason why both Epicurus and Lucretiuswould postulatean earliergolden age.. that is. since here too there seems to be an attemptto set out the necessary conditions before depicting its felicity (r'6E . and M. 52 The concern in KD 39-40 to specify to what extent security could be achieved is suggestive for what lies behind the fragmentarybeginning of col. origins of religious superstitionsamong simple shepherdsas arising from their perplexity at the phenomenonof echo. But there is anotherfeature of this thirdstage which seems even more distinctly Epicurean:only in this era do the irrationalfears and other evils emerge which plague human life and to the eradicationof which Epicureanismis specifically dedicated. I. Epicurus. the discovery of which is hence a good. and laws arise."AJP . particularlyif slavery is to be abolished. Vlastos. for Epicurus it is also the period in which the exercise of reason begins to make majorcontributions. but will exist in the more luxurious. to be thoughtof as simply advocatinga returnto primitive life in toto. 1 in the fragment of Diogenes.Some Aspects of Epicurean Psychology (Leiden 1973) 35-58. 54Epicurusis not. The Use and Abuse of History (London 1975) 178-192. According to Manuwald. In this period cities. but indeed his own philosophy. kings. Lucretius appearsto have reversed the order of these topoi: 1011-1023 are the more idyllic lines. of course. and Prehistory 173 that again an Epicurean text offers a far more idealized vision of a golden age than does Lucretius.51Naturallyfriendshipand security loom large in this Epicurean golden age. the characteristicinstitutionsof the Greco-Romanworld.54If irrationalfears 51The absence of slavery was a radical idea even in ancient utopias: J. Platonic Studies (Princeton 1973) 140-146 = CP 63 (1968) 291-295. as restored. The initial friendship (1019) and consequently any notion of finding in this stage inspirationfor contemporarylife are thus subtly eclipsed. Slaves are not clearly mentioned in Plato's "city of pigs" (Rep.oyt?to6g. THE EMERGENCE OF IRRATIONAL FEARS AND DESIRES The interestof Epicurusin a golden age becomes clearer in light of the developments in the third stage of prehistory(described by Lucretius at 5. 369C-372E). The text.1105-1160). 53For what follows I am indebtedto D. Finley. ) in relatively unrestrainedterms. Ancient Slavery and the Ideal of Man (Oxford 1974) 26-38. Vogt. "Progressand Primitivismin Lucretius. Taylor. It is impossible to think of Epicurus as regrettingthe development of In 4.Lucretius.. Konstan. M.572-594 Lucretius explains the .52 II. If an almost Jeffersonianpicture of farmingphilosophers(Jefferson would have had philosophical farmers) and social equality.ideal state:G. as in KD 39-40. 1024-1027 hedge in the positive statementof the general uprightness(1025) with a realistic qualification(1024) and an anticlimacticutilitarianexplanationfor the extent of this goodness (1026-1027). since that would deprive us not only of some useful arts.

n. turpisenim ferme contemptuset acris egestas semota ab dulci vita stabiliquevidetur et quasi iam leti portascunctarierante. These lines echo KD 6-7. In both Epicurusand Lucretiusthe goal of the ambitious is the proper Epicureanideal of a secure life (6 f0'o. which lies behind the dreadof poverty. 1 ]). is a principalcause of great and misguided ambitionsfor wealth and status:57 denique avaritieset honorumcaeca cupido quae miseros homines cogunt transcenderefinis iuris et interdumsocios scelerum atqueministros noctes atque dies niti praestantelabore ad summasemergereopes. Cf.39-61. Lucretius 5.1120-1142.59-67)58 As in 5.56Moreover. at least into their full form.174 Daniel R."which succeeded the first stage of 925-1010. the search for security through wealth and power proves illusory. &~paXqi. 5. (3. physical. Farrington("TheMeaningof Persona" [above. it would follow that a previous era was one of relative felicity. He fails to mention the explicit condemnation in Lucr. Blickman had not yet developed. 55Similar reasoning inspires more recent versions of primitivism. 2. haec vulneravitae non the KD 7. struggle to reach the heights. . Buchheit (above.1120-1142 suggests how Epicurus' pre-political golden age as described in KD 40 differs from the following period. n. 58Cf. In Lucretiusthe fear of death. t6 61.7-13. The word summumis the leitmotif in the later passage (1123. &ya9o06v 1122). was yet inadequate without Epicurean philosophy. The absence of the fear of death is expressly remarkedin KD 40. 56Pace the special pleading of Muiller(Gesellschaftstheorie[above. 31) 141-147. placidam degere vitam natural good. 57Cf.55 The first bad element which enters human life in the third stage is ambition and the struggles which it brings (1120-1142). 1127) 68 (1947) 192-193 interpretsthis scene historically as an example of how "the much extolled simple life of the shepherd and farmer.a time and place innocent of these developmentsis supposedlymore attractive. 1125. and metaphysicalsurroundings. however. this idea of foolish ambition is conveyed through the image of the incessant. (pYo)E. but vain. n. 33] 68-69) on behalf of these ambitions. In both.1117-1119. If modem industrialization and the breakdownof religious faith have resulted in a new and greateralienation from our social. below on 2.

2) between "clearly perceived (terpavCogEvo.)"and fears.. cf.and Prehistory 175 and is broughtto a climax at 1141-1142: res itaque ad summamfaecem turbasqueredibat imperiumsibi cum ac summatumquisque petebat. indicates that the ideal Epicurean community could dispense with laws. The importancefor Epicureansof the initial appearanceof this fear in prehistorichumanlife is vividly confirmedby Hermarchus'attentionto it (PorphyryAbst.61But the negative nature of the resultingfear in Epicurean terms is obvious. fr.1011-1104 in Lucretius). "obscure(&rp&avooTro)" 61"LukrezV. The wrongdoercannot easily lead a peaceful life (1154-1155.7.978-1023. 62 Cf.62 The passage begins: inde metus maculat poenarum praemia vitae (1151). especially 79-82. Gnom. n. but only in the third stage does the fear of death contributeto something "Xoyog. cf. 29. 70).4). the new golden age fragment of Diogenes of Oenoanda. 34. n.7-12 is interpetedas implying that the fear of punishmentwas presentfrom the beginning of the social compact.Lucretius." (above.Epicurus. 56] 52-58) that the Epicureans did not approveof the social use of the fear of punishment. 1. that is. Avoidance of the fear of punishment which results from doing injustice was one of the major goals of Epicurus' philosophy (Lucr. Thus the casting of the greatest into Tartara taetra (1126) recalls the proem to the thirdbook with fine irony.79-86. col. Recognition of this fact does not demand acceptance of Konstan's argument ([above. The ambitionwhich is spurred by the fear of death actually results in the very thing that it fears.3-4.63 59 This interpretationis supportedby the similar idea at 3. 9. in the second stage of prehistory(at 5. cf. 56) 41-42 invokes here the distinction made in Diogenes of Oenoanda(fr. Ernout and Robin ad 1151-1160.Epicurusin KD 40 is describing the time before the appearanceof a fear of death which does harm by nourishingthe irrational desire for wealth and status.with reference to 1130-1150. 8. therefore. 35.2-5.59 Clearly. 17. 1122). 1.1011-1123.101 1ff. MUller. Likewise. argues fairly that the laws are not considered an evil in and of themselves. 3. which was unknown to MUller. Vat.60 The second example of a fear only fully developed into its contemporaryform in the thirdstage is thatof punishmentfor breakingthe law (1151-1160).since Lucretiusclearly representsthis fear as a phenomenonof the third stage . 63 A discrepancywith Lucretiusarises if the account of Hermarchusin PorphyryAbst. paventes 986). n. 3. 60The earliest human beings and presumablyeven some animals fear injuryor death (cf. 532 Us. KD 5. 33) 64-67. Konstan (above.

Blickman Next Lucretius explains the origins of irrational religious fears (1161-1240). Bouffartique. Indeed. 2) 70-79. As with fear of punishmentfor breakingthe laws. ad Hdt.10. But in the Hermarchusfragmentas a whole I cannot . whether one draws a line at 1. n. in fact. which probably belong among the earliest men. "Die Rechtsphilosophie der Epikureer. There is. On the other hand. One item is 5. Lucretius first mentions religious misconceptions at 1183-1193.176 Daniel R.67 Could these belong to the second stage or only the (1105-1160).65and the origins of misguided religious fears.oyto'6g. J. 75-76.7-12. n.even if their initial appearancewas earlier. some evidence for this view. Boyd. . Porphyre De L'AbstinenceLivre I. 1) 21-22 interprets as corresponding to the development in Ep. 64 Above.logic demandsthat theremust have been some fear of sanctions. Patillon (Paris 1977) 15-18. n. 66Above. two distinctive stages. 4) 104. Cole (above. 65Above. for violating thefoedera (1025) of the initial social compact. 18. This effect is achieved by the placement of the section on religion (1161-1240).973-987.1151-1160.and we noted at the outset that the chronological references in this section are vague. 13] 192). n.4) about the advent of which intttoytlag6g of Manuwald (above. 3. Philippson.De abstinentia 1. R. There is a comment in Porphyry (1. ed. n. The rhetoric of Lucretius is in harmony with the ideas of Epicurus if the latterdescribedthese fears as having become fully noxious only in the thirdstage of prehistory. 67On these lines see Henrichs(above. "Porphyry. Hence it would not be surprisingif Hermarchushad discussed the origins of such fears in a prehistoricsetting earlier than that of Lucr. 4.M. Cf. at least in that for the purposesof his topic he had no occasion to remark on the greater social and political complexity of the latter. one needs to distinguish between the origins of religion. M. or treatedthe second and third stages as one.4 or elsewhere.10. 5.64 Moreover. which identify would correspondto those in Lucretiusat 5. which has been held to show that Epicurusthoughtat least some later superstitionsdid not exist in the earliest times." CQ 30 (1936) 188-191."Archiv fiir Philosophie 23 (1910) 313-319. n. n. which associates its subject with the birth of ambitions (1120-1135) and fear of punishment(1151-1160).66The people of that era were too preoccupied with their struggle against wild animals. it is at least clear that Lucretius' rhetoricalstrategy is to present them as the third evil which appears in a developed urban life. if they existed (denied by Perelli [above. there is reason to think that such fears might have appearedbefore the third and final stage of prehistory.1011-1104 and 1105 ff.

if the historicism in Lucretius derives from Epicurus. (Fears of tPEropaand the OEoi overlap. Lucretius depicts the third stage of prehistoryas the period in which our present afflictions reached their matureform.71 Despite the uncertainties.ig 8tavoiaq) of 60vadto. fr. the beginnings of the misguided ambitionsarising from the fear of death in 68 1183-1193 should be considered in relation to 1436-1439. n. the <po63otwhich vex the WuXfi are of the OEof..there would be a basis for assigning these false beliefs to the third stage of 1105 ff. and the evidence indicates that in this he is following Epicurus.174-183).69 Here lies the rhetorical weight of the passage. and &hyiSovE. which would put them in the second stage. and . 15]) 32 suggests that the latterpassage is connected with the origins of agriculture(cf. On another level. according to Ep. which. 79.1194. ad Hdt. 1) 203-204. 75-76. Lucretius first explicitly mentions the problems of religion in the much-discussed verses beginning at 5. since in the preceding era of the simple village life these irrationalfears had not yet stained humanexistence. Furley's lucid remarks(above. and here the explanation of religious fears through the idea that reason tries and fails to explain the workings of nature seems to point clearly to the final stage of prehistory.and Prehistory 177 third?68An answer is perhapsto be sought in the criterionof the use of reason. 1) 46. 6-7: &lyrejovE. 70 See Manuwald (above. 69 Barwick (above.q. KD 10 speaks of the fears in the mind (r.. Oen.Epicurus. 54).) These three fears correspondwell to those reflected in Lucretius'account of prehistory: the origins of fear of the gods are explained in 1161-1240. col. Insofar as these lines are interpretedas implying the exercise of LoyI6to. 28. n. 53) 44-50. 18) 24-27. Moreover. n. Taylor (above. This set of fears is echoed in Diog. n. 71 Perhaps Epicurus saw as one of the marks of the transitionfrom the second to the third social stages (family/village to political/urban)the gradual intensification of the exercise of Xoyato'6g. 15) 17-22.. the philosophical point that deserves emphasis is how historically minded Epicurus was in explaining the origins of the problems which it was the central goal of his philosophy to solve. 1. Ep. n.see Konstan(above. 06dvato. (1211-1212). ad Hdt.. ecquaenam fuerit mundi genitalis origo ..Lucretius.uet•ropa. Grilli (above. n. some conclusions emerge. is essentially defined for Epicurusby the use of reason:70 temptat enim dubiam mentem rationis egestas. But reason is not explicitly mentioned. and Schrijvers (in Lucrice [above. n.. . this view of the third stage confirms our hypothesis about an earlier golden age.

A. Reinhardt. C. For this approachEpicurusis likely to be indebtedto a fifth-centurythinker such as Protagoras. K. at least from a moral perspective. KD 40). but the evidence about them and other fifth-centurythinkers makes it clear that a historical approachwas current. the correlation between these canonical lists of fears in KD 10 and Diogenes and those explainedin Lucretius'prehistoryis noteworthy. for after listing the three fears.73 Lucretiusmay follow establishedEpicureanideas in his description of the birth of these irrationalfears and their effects in the third stage. 4). cf. Rose (above. it was suggested.Blickman 1120-1135 (with 3. We can now develop the claim that the poet reverses the primitivist emphasis of Epicurus about the first two stages of human evolution in order to increase the impression that history. since the latterused ethnographyfor historicalreconstruction. Guthrie. . they both speak "in addition" of excessive desires. is that he does so for rhetorical purposes which must be understoodas encompassing925-1457 as a unity.Posidonios (Munich 1921) 399 would still find Epicurusa less empirical historianthan Posidonius.WARANDSEAFARING The key to understandingthe relationship between 925-1240 and 1241-1457 in this regard lies in the motifs of war and seafaring. KD 14). 73 Cf. It is also possible that both types of pain are meant.In the Beginning (above. and the origins of the fear of pain in 1151-1160. III. W. n.59-67. Fear of bodily pains would issue in excessive desire (cf.. 30) 99-101. E. The passages from 1241-1457 cited above which look back to the violence of earlier times (925-1104) and also 999-1006 are part of this moral theme.72 The links between the writing of prehistoryand philosophy here are significantlycloser than in Plato or Aristotle. On the other hand.while Epicurusis more of a rationalistwhose method is based in the Democriteanand sophistic traditionof arguingin accordancewith EiKO.Chapters6 and 7 on Democritus and Protagorasare more speculative.178 DanielR.has been continuouslydownhill.I suppose. Havelock. Henrichs (above.Democritus. n. but why has he departedfrom Epicurusby enhancing the primitivism of the first stage (925-1010) and reducing that of the second one (1011-1104)? The answer. In any case. which associates the motifs of war and seafaring or shipwreck 72 The correspondence is most extensive if the "fear of pains" in KD 10 and the Diogenes fragment (28) is fear of the pain of punishment. The alternative. The Liberal Temper in Greek Politics (New Haven 1967) Chapter4 for the subversionin Plato and Aristotle of the historicalapproach. K. would be to interpretit as fear of bodily wants which are not satisfied. 2). n. But perhapsthis interpretationmakes the texts repeatthemselves.or Prodicus.

in 39-61 Lucretius is restatingthe idea of 7-38 that these pursuitsresult from ignorance. far from being a confused and badly finished composition. banish religious fears and anxiety over death (39-61). this whole prooemium strongly foreshadows the other images and themes of the prehistoryas well. religion and the slaughterof the girl are the targets. an army and fleet.84-101). Introduced in Book 1. In this episode. The launching of the fleet provides the ominous setting.75 The passage looks both backwardand forward. Lucretiusthen poses the possibility that the objects of ambition. But there has been added to the fear of the gods that of death (44-46). . but is not itself impugned. The motifs of war and seafaringcome to the fore in the latterhalf of the prehistory. gives us a most suitablereferenceto a fleet. De Lacy." CJ 60 (1964) 50-53 traces the military images of the prooemiumthroughthe rest of Book 2. But no one. of course. however.Lucretius. Indeed.Epicurus. is actually making such an argument.1-6).29-33 to 5.7-13 to 5.74It begins with the pleasure that results from being free from the dangers of shipwreck and war (2. Lucretius would seem to be refuting an implied argument which supportedthe pursuitof great commands. cited by Nonius. In 74 Cf.1392-1396. A thorough study of this theme is beyond the scope of this paper. but a survey of its continuity through the prooemia of the earlier books and the prehistorywill help to show that in Book 5 Lucretiusis indeed in control of his material and that 1241-1457. The insistence on religious fears amidst armies and kings recalls Agamemnon at Aulis. P. The first glimpse of them is provided by the description of the sacrifice of Iphigeneia (1. In denying that these disappear among political and military leaders (47-53).but are introducedearly in the poem. "DistantViews: The Imageryof Lucretius2. the similarity of 2. It is the prooemium of the second book which links war and shipwreckto the ignoranceof the properlimits of pleasure and desire.1120-1142 and 2. whence one can look down on the ignorantwho strive to rise to the height of power and gain possession of the world (7-13). these ideas are developed systematically until they reach their climax in the latter half of the prehistory. 75 Line 43a. Instead. But the greatest pleasure is to be firmly ensconced on the heights by the teaching of the wise. The folly of the ambitious consists in not knowing that naturedemands a life of simple pleasure. not luxury (14-39). is skilfully constructed.and Prehistory 179 with the misery that results from an ignorance of the proper aims of life.

n.76This passage marks a climax in the development of these motifs.but surely being an admiralat all is already so in De RerumNatura. as we have seen. n. in fact. So far we have noticed them mainly in the case of 3. and by Gillis (above.1120-1142. The implicationof 39-61 is that ignoranceof nature producesthe fears of the gods and death (44-46) and that the latterare. The connection of 5. an endangeredcommanderserves as the example of how they arise in the face of storms. but now. we have been told repeatedly. The subsidiaryand less explicit association of war and sailing with religion appears in 1218-1240. . the divine retributionon the Greek fleets which sailed to Troy. in a new form. Now these ambitions unravel. one discovers (not for the first time) that a Greek philosophicalsystem expresses a truthof Greek myth. as if the generals are finally receiving their just deserts. but only a preliminary one. are wrong and due to ignorance and fear. if the fate of war-fleetsin Lucretiusis consideredas a whole. Muiller288 says that the admiral'sprayer(1229) is absurdfor an Epicurean.. 19) 355-356.1120-1142. The development of these ideas and motifs through the first three prooemia finds extensive echoes in the prehistory. and an understandingof them can resolve some of the puzzles in this aetiological section. Miiller's idea that the admiralcould be identified with Memmiusmust also be rejected. Miiller (above. especially 59-67). The sea and seafaringare here describedin terms appropriateto a courtesan enticing one beyond the proper limits of pleasure. and there is a full and humiliatingrevelation of ignoranceand fear. in this case.39-61). who sees mainly sympathy for the admiral. in a brilliant passage. the causes of great ambitions. cf. Thus.59-67 and 5. But the motifs of war and seafaring enter the prehistorydramaticallynear the end of the section on primitive man (999-1006.3 ff. 4) 277-295. The selection and arrangementof materialin 76 One thinks again of Agamemnon and the similar reversalof 5. Blickman this case. who thinks 5.551-559). there is an almost savage irony about 1218-1240. however. is then made explicit in the next prooemium(3. Their ambitions.1218-1240 refers to backsliding from Epicurean philosophy. and these lines are part of Lucretius' enhancementof the primitivism of 925-1010. The last point. he concentratesnot on the ignorance of the proper aims of life (14-19). Not only are religious fears not absent from military leaders (2.180 Daniel R. but on the lack of understandingof the workings of nature(54-61). 2.1218-1240 to the theme of war-fleets and the ignorance of their commanders elsewhere in the poem is ignored by G. Indeed. In the finale of Book 5 (1241-1457) they become even more important.

and drill holes. each section of 1241-1457 will be read in terms of the moral significance impartedto it by these motifs. The first tela (1266) that these men made were used to cut down forests. In the beginning of the section. 1416-1422). to bore. There is no mention of war. his leading motifs (cf. At the end. the final verses of Book 5 give us the opportunityto contemplate the prehistory as a whole and to consider how the poet's moral and scientific concerns have fashioned his narrative. A fuller recognition is needed of how the moral interests of Lucretius here push aside the exposition of scientific doctrines about the past. is to follow the poem as it leads us through an aetiology of the arts which at the same time describes alternatingfortunes of war and peaceful felicity.77 The first deals with the origins of the art and the earliest uses of bronze. while the second is mainly concerned with how iron replaced bronze (1281-1307). Despite a number of detailed discussions. obviously indifferent to any other 77On metallurgyin the Greco-Romantraditionabout prehistory.see Cole (above. the composition of 1241-1457 is determined by the need to build to an initial negative climax (1305-1307). then. But the poet concentrateson molding the first partto lead to its moral conclusion on change of tastes (1275-1280). "metallurgy. all for the purpose of preparingLucretius' dramaticconclusion (1412-1435). Our first task. however. seafaring. below on 1245-1246 and 1275-1280) and then carefully manipulates them in an alternating rhythm.v. n. That is. taking into account other relevantfeatures as well. punch.and Prehistory 181 these two hundredlines is bizarre when considered from the perspective of the historian. The opening discussion of metallurgy falls into two halves. gold. These simple carpenterstried to use silver and gold too. as we saw. lies not only in content.Lucretius. therefore. and silver (1241-1280).Epicurus. since the first half is much less negative than the second. Warfare in primeval times is introduced early (1245-1246) and." . is to be developed further (1283-1285. the composition has not been satisfactorilyexplained. but scorned their softness. but involves a contrast in moral perspective as well. The difference between the two parts. plane beams smooth. hew timber. 2) Index s. Lucretius reintroduces. My suggested approachis to consider all the passages in this section that involve war. and then to work back toward a positive one (1379-1411). To a large it were. at 1241-1280. and the idea of changing tastes.

1275). sowing wounds. it is necessary to emphasize the restraintof 1275-1280. 78 With the shift from the past tenses of 1273-1274 (nam fuit in pretio magis aes aurumqueiacebat . not chopping wood. Blickman exploitation of them. . the newly found bronze is now mainly used for mixing up the waves of war (note the sea imagery. sic volvenda aetas commutattemporarerum: quod fuit in pretio. 1136. The parallel with 1245-1246 is exact. The truth. ) to the present and perfect tenses of 1275 (nunc iacet aes. So copper was then of more value. porroaliud succedit et e contemptibusexit inque dies magis appetiturfloretquerepertum laudibuset miro est mortalisinterhonore. though now the reverse is true. Lucretiusreverts to his "proper"subject of metallurgy in order to explain how the nature of iron (ferri natura) was discovered (1281-1282). 1273. This developmentbuilds to a crescendo at 1305-1307: Sic alid ex alio peperitdiscordiatristis.78 Despite these echoes. and seizing flocks and fields.182 Daniel R.) by a descriptionof the advance in weaponry. in summumsuccessit honorem 1275. belli fluctus 1289-1290). horribilehumanisquod gentibusesset in armis. The two texts also share vocabulary(ad summumsuccedere honorem 1123.. Here the idea of the change of tastes is expressly introduced(1275-1280): nunc iacet aes. But the discussion is immediatelytaken over (1283 contrast. 1280) and the vivid image of rise and fall (cf. based on mere opinion (1133-1135). iaceo. honor. where we shall see the two finally interwoven. In the meantime... cf. fit nullo deniquehonore.1113-1142). and the descriptionat 1108-1142 of the instability of irrational ambitions. When we get to 1289. is given a slight reprisehere: terriblestruggles for wealth and position followed this discovery of gold (posterius res inventast aurumque repertum . 1114. aurumin summumsuccessit honorem. 1277. succedit) Lucretiusdeploys the same techniqueas in 1108-1142 (where volueruntandfecere connect past and present). so 1275-1280 lay the foundationfor the later treatment of the topic of changing tastes in 1412-1435.. Just as these two lines introducethe topic of primitive warfare. inque dies belli terroribusaddiditaugmen. constant..

Thus. n. the poet can develop his unsurpasseddescriptionof the countryside (1370-1378). since the mauling by beasts constitutes a reversion to primeval conditions (990-998).82 The attractiveness of the charming picture so 79 The phrase is used in these two passages for the only times after Book 3.80Afterwards.and the alid ex alio is repeated in 1456 (namquealid ex alio clarescere corde videbant).andPrehistory 183 The first three dactyls of 1305 help to summarizeand convey the rapid advancejust narrated. Cf. to speak. and offers a hint of wholesome domesticity. is to disengage us from the wild scenes of battle in preparationfor peaceful ones.the "scientific conclusion. the latter interpretationhas now been impressively arguedby Segal. He continues to supply some links in content between topics to smooth the course of his discussion. the hard agriculturallabor of 1359-1360 is now transformedinto a gentle. 39). 1305-1307 is one of the passages conveying the basic scientific point about gradualness. honest work. nurturingprocess (1365-1369).79Progress seems to be of that which is horrible humanisgentibus in armis. fits other such ironies.Lucretius.81 How does he do it? From 1350 Lucretius writes in increasingly attractive tones. But in terms of its moral significance 1350-1360 at last deals with peace..Epicurus. the ground prepared. Thus the invention of weaving is linked to the discovery of iron (1351). n. 81One effect of 1341-1349. The mention of farming (1357) points to the subject of arboriculture(1361-1378). 30. and in general complements the presentargument. His idea that the advance in weaponry(up to 1307) leads to a reversal in 1308-1349. but his explanation of the link between paragraphsin 1241-1457 is vague. The next section (1308-1349) is the most notorious passage in the whole poem.the essential point is that either 1305-1307 (if 1308-1347 are excised) or 1308-1349 itself forms the initial climax of the theme of war. as at 1108 ff. with its unexpected break in the narrative to discuss whether such things ever really took place. 13) 19." a repetition which shows how the moral and scientific concerns are merged. For the presentargument. but Lucretius is less interestedhere in reconstructionof the past than in fashioning his moral commentaryon the history of human culture. . and then. n. The planting of trees is hardly the fundamentaltechnology which the growing of crops is. Fredouille (above.Lucretiusshifts away in a masterly fashion to arrive at some of his most charming scenes (1361-1411). 80Segal (above.

The idea is an old one. and navigation and war (see 1434-1435) unite in a powerful climax (1412-1435). as we know from the first chapterof Thucydides. 84(Above. whose attemptto limit the referencehere to war. in which the change of tastes. playing music (1379-1391). n. and enjoying a ruralpicnic (1392-1396). Furley has emphasized that 1379-1435 are most appropriatelyconcerned with assessing humanity's achievement of "the goal of all moral endeavor according to Epicurean philosophy: pleasure. As in Lucretius.184 Daniel R.9. 15) 22-27. quotationis from 24. an overstatementwhich should be corrected by considering the moral implications of 1440-1457.8. and only an overly positivist readingof the poetry could complain of this construction.10-1. Towardthe end of the section on music.83 In his valuable discussion of the end of the book.the problem in Diodorus is the lack of writtenrecords 83I follow Munroand Merrillin taking in altum (1434) as meaning "into the deep sea" against Bailey. Blickman vividly painted in these verses is at the opposite extreme from the scenes of war and violence at 1283 ff.85 Overtly 1440-1447 makes the point that this prehistory must be inferred throughthe exercise of ratio. the comment (1409-1411) that watchmen now gain no more pleasure from music than did the woodland race of earthbornmen brings on Lucretius' terribleindictmentof humanhistory. would be that it is the idyllic tone of 1370-1378 that carries us effortlessly over to the topic of music."84Furley contrasts this moral finale with 1448-1457 which he finds to be "a totally non-moral conclusion" (his italics). That is the reason for 1370-1378 appearing where it does. ignores their repeatedassociation and the sea imagery of 1435. But Lucretiusnow shifts the tone once again. the experience of the countryside makes us fully ready for singing. If there is a link in content between arboricultureand music.. .4). the ignoranceof the true limits of pleasure. Diodorus inserts it between the end of his prehistoryand the beginning of his account of Egypt (1. but that comes in the next section on music (1379-1411) which forms the climax of this shift from the negative to the positive. n. 85 (Above. it would be the fact that each refers to a rural setting. not navigation. and we have traced the gradual steps by which Lucretiusmoves us from one to the other. 15) 23. By this point. where his own note cites 1289 belli miscebantfluctus. There is no explicit moral commentaryin 1361-1378. A more accurateaccount of the transition. this time more rapidly.however.

Lucretiushas already mentioned the implied erotic allurementsof the sea (in 999-1006.88 The final verses (1448-1457) contain similar ambiguities. regardedHomer and the Thebais as the earliest survivingpoetic records.). Thus these verses have a good scientific purpose. 45) 27 n. and the reference to seafaring should be seen as an example of the topos in Latin poetry that "the invention of ships marks the beginning of moral decay. 1. where they are again linked to armies.37-39. The use of the Roman military terms auxilia ac socios points the moral for Lucretius'contemporaries. n. n.9). 1108-1142). it is hard to avoid the impression that there is a critical glance at Homer (1444-1445).224 with Austin ad loc. 4.87He bore a heavy responsibilityfor the establishmentof the res gestae (1444) of Agamemnon and the Greeks in pursuitof Helen as a culturalideal. Writing of the Augustan age. in this they exactly reflect theirown society. Otherwise M. Am. Aen. Ovid Met. 6) 153 (ad 1446-1447): "From 326-7 above it is clear that L. 1440-7. F. cf.35-40.Lucretius." Hermathena98 [1984] 45-52). "AugustanPoetry and the Life of Luxury. by association. makes good sense in terms of these motifs. seems content to follow the traditionthat Helen was the reason for the war. cf. The Gardens of Adonis (Sussex 1977). Detienne. V. Tibullus 1. where Lucretiusis again merging smoothly the past and present. 36 citing Horace Carm. "In the poets perfumes altogether loom much larger than the restrainedtaste of our own society would lead us to expect.17 ff.8.3. 1. 15] 215. . n. 2. understoodas a reference to the popular trade in perfumes and thus to unnecessary luxuries and."JRS 66 (1976) 93 observes." On fragrancesand eros. Smith's propterea quod is tempting ("Lucretius.3. Muiller(in Lucrece [above. we could read mare velivolum.43-44. rerumnatura. J. is moral. n."86Indeed.pace G. Thucydides(1. cf. to erotic life.94-96. At least so one could interpret1442-1443. though navigia and arma are still prominent: Navigia atque agri culturasmoenia leges armavias vestis et cetera de genere horum. Nevertheless. 86 Mondi (above. who now appearsto have celebrated the wrong achievements. Lucretius. the erection of citadels and the divison of land remind us that struggles for power soon followed (1440-1444. 3. Hesiod WD 236-237. M. 1) 13 n. Retainingpropter odores. 87Costa (above. The manuscriptreading propter odores in 1442.551-559). 41." 88The complaintagainst Homer. Manuwald(above. There is a mixture of good and bad arts listed at the outset. and the seafaringand allied armies carry stronglynegative associations (1442-1443).. not factual.and Prehistory 185 for the earliest polities. Vergil Ecl.

" In eithercase. the plastic arts of 1450-1451. Thus the moenia and leges of 1448 are not needed in the golden age fragmentof Diogenes (col." Bailey thinks this leaves cacumen awkwardly alone and interpretsit as a "Lucretian"dative in place of the unmetricalartium. n.. in an effective twist on the implicationthat such an art is a luxury. Giussani.186 DanielR.with its division of the political and technical arts (1448-1449) from those which make life pleasurable(1450-1451). for instance. Of course given the arguably Epicurean conception of a golden age in a small farming community which will supply all needs (Diog."the highest pinnacle of the arts.90The independence of Lucretius from this traditioncan be seen in the fact that he takes one traditionally unnecessaryart. and the explicit and repeated recollections of the latter in the prehistory make the connection certain. turnsit to his primitivistpurposes.1450. (1448-1451) But the arts of 1450-1451 have not appearedin the prehistory. observing that artes refers to the form of inquiry as well as the product.34-36. 91The significance of statues is also established by 3. Some backgroundis required in order to evaluate them.1450-1451 recall the impressive description of the aurea simulacra in 2. reflects a traditional distinction between necessary and unnecessary arts. of course. cf. lines 12-14). repeated. 89Barwick(above.24-26. The scene in 2.20-28 is contrastedwith the rural picnic of 2.1418-1429 on the uselessness of luxuriousclothing renew the lesson of 2. the last line.89Democritus. while several others.35. carminapicturas. includinga hint of the decadence which is the whole point of the earlierpassage.delicias quoque vitae funditusomnis. NF 21 Smith. scholion on KD 29. "by the arts. 90 .et daedalasigna polire . They echo the luxury of the prooemiumto Book 2 (20-28). is remarkable.91Finally. said that music was a relatively recent (veo-ripav) invention and did not answer to a need (jll rTnoKcp'vat -&vayicatov DK 68 B144). are given quite different associations. 1) 208-209. Oen. and.22 and delicias quoqueomnis 5. it is not surprisingto find that some of the arts traditionallythought necessary are not so regarded by Epicureans. 2..Blickman praemia. lines 9-12) artibusad summumdonec venere cacumen. delicias quoque multas 2. col. 1. Barwick observes that the text of Lucretius. The only other use of pictura besides 1451 is 2.1392-1396. and the strong words of 5. cf. takes artibus as ablative. So the daedala signa polita and other decorations of 5. at 5.

93Manuwald (above. Its composition and content. then. n.1120-1142. .the line contains a delicate ambiguity. in which this disaster is well known (1226-1240) and caused by our ignorant and excessive desires. The use of the motifs of war and seafaring in 999-1006 for primitivist purposes strengthens the likelihood that the reversal of Epicurus in the first two stages (in 925-1104) is linked to the deployment of the same motifs in 1241-1457. Lucretiusfosters the impressionthat he is describing the attainmentafter a long and slow advance of high civilization (Athens follows in Book 6. Giuffrida. thousands were not killed in war or at sea (999-1006. "Il finale (vv. cf. 1007-1010). Clay. Fredouille (above." in Epicurea in MemoriamHectoris Bignone. to our current state. Lucretius and Epicurus (Ithaca 1983) 258. Universitdtdi Genova 2) 129-165.and Prehistory 187 though more so on Giussani's interpretation. Hence there can be little doubt that in 1241-1457 Lucretiusis responsible for the invasion of the scientific aetiology of the artsby these morally significantmotifs. see P. 1275-1280) partly in order to achieve this effect at 1457. silvestre recalls 925-1010. Genova 1959 (Publicazioni dell' Istitutodi Filologia Classica. whatever its problems. 129. On the image of the heights. 6) ad 1379-1435. At 1379-1411. Facoltdcdi Lettere. Lucretius attributesthe earliest enjoyment of music to the "woodland race of earthborn men" (silvestre genus terrigenarum 1411. But of course this first stage is too primitive for the scene described in 1379-1404. 13) 19-20 cites earlier views.Epicurus. As noted earlier. are far more satisfactory when read in terms of its moral concerns.1 f. Costa (above. 2) 43.92 In 1241-1457 as a whole. more culpable than any known to the earliest human beings (1416-1435).). n. also D. On the one hand. n. in which. Some final details reveal how the whole structurebeginning with the enhanced primitivismof 925-1010 is a unity. while thoroughly chaotic from the perspective of a scientific aetiology of the arts. But again it is as if a shadow flickers across the page as the image of rising to the heights in this scientific conclusion recalls not so much the distant prooemium of Book 2 (7-13) but the ugly strugglesof 5. n. as does terrigenarum. the deep and systematic interweaving of the primarymoral and scientific ideas is clear. The poet enhances the primitivismof the first stage of humanlife (925-1010) in orderto create the impressionof a deterioration in our moral situation from this initial condition.93 This rural picnic properly belongs to the 92 I believe that Lucretius has insisted upon this imagery in 1120-1142 (cf.Lucretius. 1) 32 n. Bailey's transla- tion). 1440-1457) del V libro di Lucrezio. cf. Cole (above. For a more pessimistic reading of the final verses.

may be motivatedin partto preparefor the same techniqueat 1379-1404. 6). n. Lucretius says that Epicurusshould be considered a god (deus illefuit 8) because he who found that principle of life which is now called sapientia has conferred greater benefits than Ceres or Liber. the second builds upon it. Both 5.1-42 are concerned with the historic significance of Epicurus'philosophy. ratherthat tastes change and people compete to satisfy them. 246-261 arguesthat the portraitof Epicurusshows him as culture-heroand god. Lucretius effects the sleight of hand of implying that it belongs to the earliest period both by the primitivism of 925-1010. The subtlety with which the prooemia of Books 5 and 6 achieve this effect has not been fully appreciated. 1379-1435 is tightly conceived. The first of these passages preparesthe ground for the prehistory. . the idea that people have not changed. discussed above. 42) 209-231. EPICURUSAND HISTORY One reason that Lucretiusfashions his account of prehistoryin this manneris his desire to glorify the position of Epicurusin the history of civilization.96 Nor do Hercules' beneficia outweigh those of Epicurus(22-42).188 Daniel R. 10) 13-14 on Epicurus as an oracle. The other side of the proposition. n. But the primitivism of Lucretius.1-54 and 6. n. see also Smith (above. helps him to express concisely and powerfully the increasingly irrationalsweep of history in verses (1430-1435) that in our own age become ever more propheticand terrifying. But it was not possible to live well "till our 94The blending of the first two stages at 1245-1249. and by dwelling on the relatively primitive aspects of the second stage. Blickman second stage of 1011-1027 (and would be fully at home in the setting of KD 40). 95Hence. 1430-1435).which is displayed so effectively one last time in 1379-1411 and 1425-1429. At the beginning of Book 5. where 937-952 describes nearly the same ruralpicnic.pace Costa (above. is in the end the dominant notion (1412-1424. whose gifts it is even possible to live without (6-17). in preparationfor the explicit statementof the same point in 1425-1429.94This artful design allows him to recall implicitly in 1379-1411 the relative superiorityof the earlier stages of human existence.95 IV. in a neat and unexpected turning of the tables on euhemerist views. 96 Frischer(above.

The focus of the passage is the greatness of Epicurus' gifts. while their chronological position remainsimplicit. which summarize the central scientific and moral theses of the prehistory). But in the prooemium to Book 6 after the account of civilization's rise.1-3).7-8) 97 Translation of puro pectore by R. 5. cuius et extincti propterdivina reperta divulgatavetus iam ad caelum gloria fertur. and 6. 6) ad loc. thus opening up a truly historical perspective: confer enim divina aliorum antiqua reperta (5. 5. (6. fashioned life afresh. By referring to Demeter. Primae Athenae gave to men the fruits that bear corn.2).but in the second case Lucretius' use of legend places Epicurus in a specific (and glamorous) historical context. which conveys the sense of ever more complicated discoveries without any improvementin humanwisdom in using them. 6.1 ff. although the content is otherwise basically the same.and fourth-centuryachievements.14-15) or Demeter. as befits this prooemium's rhetoricalapotheosis.97 Lucretiushas mentioned before that in expounding the truthEpicurus was primus (1. In this manner.Lucretius. Latham in the Penguin edition. is turnedin Book 6 to the historicalglory of Epicurus.Epicurus.7. The cleverness of the conceit lies not least in its historicalaccuracyabout the place and time of Epicurus. That is. Costa (above. cf. Yet the other benefactors are still those of legend. are the gifts of Ceres (cf.13). and the reference is to the Eleusinian myth. but only now is this accomplishmentcompared to the gifts of others. and enacted laws (6. Agriculture and laws. both 5. compare Epicurusto other divine or heroic benefactors. the conception of Athens as the bringer of civilization would evoke for his readersher fifth.andPrehistory 189 breasts were swept clean" (18). Nevertheless. . Lucretiuscan allude to the glory of Athens withoutmentioningthe political or cultural achievements on which it was based.925-1457.9-16. the historical position of Epicuruscomes into focus. n. Thus the moral commentary in 5. 71. 3.67. E. the achievement of his discoveries (the divina reperta. the realm of legend has in a sense been left behind. of course. the peak of civilization.13) is now placed explicitly in its historical position. and described in relationto the condition of life as he had found it (6. for although Lucretius has explained the development of agricultureand laws without implying that Athens was responsible for them.1 ff. Asklepios. he systematicallywrote his own problemsinto historyinsofar as he was particularlyconcerned to analyze the origins of our irrationalfears and desires. n. and we may retainthe possibility that he wrote a discussion of his solutions into the same history. 102Cf.were an injunction to rememberhis teachings (D." in The Norms of Nature: Studies in Hellenistic Ethics. Nussbaum. If any earlierGreekphilosopher. Bollack. (Cambridge1986). "Therapeutic Arguments. his advice to learnthe fundamentalsof his philosophy in orderto attainpeace of mind (yakrlviat6g. I links this descriptionof the ideal Epicureanpeace of mind as a "sea-calm"with the imageryof stormsat sea in Lucretius.this fact is not an argumentagainst the possibility of Epicurus' having thoughtof himself as such." in Etudes sur 1' Epicurisme antique. Epicurus (Cambridge1972) 9-13. n. 231-240 (cf. 101J. The issue of Epicurus' philosophical predecessors is largely irrelevanthere.102This conviction about the value of his own teachings and the natureof the communitieswhich he organized on the basis of his principles must make us cautious about giving Lucretiusall the credit for highlightingthe historicalposition of 98 "Epicurus and his Professional Rivals.L.12). D. a living individual.98 But Epicuruscertainly did consider himself to have establishedcertain fundamentalprinciples about nature which would not be refuted and which provided the basis for leading the good life. ad Hdt. (Cahiers de Philologie 1) 121-159. M. 10. cf. Schofield.99 As we have seen. "Lucretiusand his Message. as reportedby Hermarchus. since such assertions are not based on "sufficientreason" in any case. cf. S.such as Pythagoras. Blickman Is it possible that Epicurus himself saw his historical position as Lucretius presents it? The significant point is not in the disputed question of Epicurus' attitude toward his predecessors in philosophy. 10. and current work on Epicurean social practice is most suggestive here. A. Strikereds.'" Just as significantly. can claim to be an evangelium. 36.was consideredan evangeliumfor humanculture. Clay (above. 42) 52-66.S. Cox.essay of M. 43). J. Frischer(above. 100Pace Furley (above. A."G&RN.101 His famous last words. especially since Sedley has exonerated him from the excesses of the traditional accusations of dishonesty and ingratitude toward them. 99 See the challenging. Laks forming Epicureancommunities which were alternativesto traditionalsociety Epicurusand his followers acted as if he were the savior in history which Lucretiuspresentshim as. This approachto the past definitely implies that his philosophy should be considereda piece of good news. if possibly overdrawn.16). 78-79) for the idea that the portraitof Epicurusrefers to thatof Asklepios because Epicurus. 15) 6-7. M. Rist. n.190 Daniel R. G. is a savior. 82-83.18 (1971) 6 n. .L.such as the founderof a religious movement.

Dirk Obbink.Epicurus. and Michael Wigodsky for their criticisms of earlier draftsof this paper and Brigham Young University for a grantto complete this research. Tarrant for his patientwork in the final stages. BRIGHAMYOUNGUNIVERSITY I would like to thank Diskin Clay. Zeph Stewart. Thus Lucretiushad good reason.and Prehistory 191 Epicurus. . Walter Englert.I am particularlygratefulto R. if not an explicit model.Lucretius. J. for shaping his prehistoryaroundthe coming of Epicurusin Book 6.