In this version, I quote Lucretius in my
own translation, which is free, not literal. I have also deleted some
footnotes and incorporated others into the main text. For the original
language and full documentation, refer to the printed version in
Phoenix, vol. 37 (1983) 3. This website version is intended only to
assist readers who do not read Latin; the paper has not been updated.
imagining. Moreover, as shown by such words as contemptus, iam (67) formidine (64), and terrore, this imagination is coupled with a strong emotional reaction. The emotionality is underscored by the repetition of longe, which is more unnatural in Latin, and therefore more emphatic, than "far, far away" would be in English. Because of this emotionality, which scholars have not adequately considered in interpreting the passage, the images in these men's minds are vivid, but the logical relations are obscured. P.H. Schrijvers (“Horror ac divina voluptas: Etudes sur la poetique et la poesie de Lucrece, Amsterdam 1970, 288-290), in discussing these lines, cites evidence that for Epicurus, fear involved largely the faculty of imagination, and the power to recall from memory emotionally charged images. What he does not notice is that when emotion and imagination interact in this way without reflective judgment, the ambitious men are not aware of the implicit logic embodied by their state of mind. Thus, the image of lingering at the door conveys a horror of imminent death, but no conscious or articulate assertion of how poverty relates to death.
cases, the subject cannot control his own feelings and is at the mercy of confused emotions.
Epicurus' teaching, and Epicurus, in his Letter to Menoeceus (125), writes with acute logical precision, but no psychological perception,