Lucretius, De Rerum Natura 3.1-15: Epicurus, I’m Your Biggest Fan

“I follow you who first could raise so clear a light
to illuminate in so great a darkness the best parts of life,
the glory of the Greek people; and I place my feet
firmly in the signs you left behind
not for the sake of competition but because of love
I long to imitate you: for how could a swallow compete
with swans or who would think that a kid could match
his shaking limbs in a race with a mighty horse?
You, father, are the investigator of nature, and you give us
a father’s precepts drawn from your papers, famous man,
just as bees live off of everything in the flowery groves
so too we subsist on all your golden words
always most worthy of a life everlasting.”

E tenebris tantis tam clarum extollere lumen
qui primus potuisti inlustrans commoda vitae,
te sequor, o Graiae gentis decus, inque tuis nunc

Epicurus. Epi-cutest, I say.
Epicurus. Epi-cutest, I say.

ficta pedum pono pressis vestigia signis,
non ita certandi cupidus quam propter amorem
quod te imitari aveo; quid enim contendat hirundo
cycnis, aut quid nam tremulis facere artubus haedi
consimile in cursu possint et fortis equi vis?
tu, pater, es rerum inventor, tu patria nobis
suppeditas praecepta, tuisque ex, inclute, chartis,
floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia libant,
omnia nos itidem depascimur aurea dicta,
aurea, perpetua semper dignissima vita.

Theophrastus, Characters 1.1-4


“The dissembler is the kind of man who …confesses nothing of what he is really doing but claims to be considering the matter, pretends he has arrived late, and acts rather weak-willed.”



ὁ δὲ εἴρων τοιοῦτος τις, οἷος…καὶ μηδὲν ὧν πράττει ὁμολογῆσαι, ἀλλὰ φῆσαι βουλεύεσθαι καὶ προσποιήσασθαι ἄρτι παραγεγονέναι καὶ μαλακισθῆναι.

Theophrastus, a successor to Aristotle, wrote his Characters to provide moral education for the youth…