Lucretius Study Guide

Book I
How does the DRN begin and what does Venus represent?  

What was Epicurus’s great achievement?  

What fears spoil the chance for humans to achieve happiness?  

How does Lucretius explain the first principle of Nature?  

List two arguements Lucretius offers for the existence of atoms.  

Book II
If you want to be happy, what should you avoid?  

What should you direct your attention towards instead?  

How do you get rid of superstitious beliefs?  

Explain Lucretius’s version of atomic theory.  

Book III
How do the gods live?  

Why do humans sometimes do evil things?  

Why does Lucretius consider death beneficial?  

Why does Lucretius say that belief in the afterlife ruins happiness for humans?  

List at least five examples that Lucretius uses to make his point about death and the afterlife. What are you supposed to learn from these examples?  

Book V
How did animals, birds and humans come into being?  

Describe how primitive humans lived.  When they gained a government, did their society improve?  

Why did humans create religion, what kind  of religion did they create, and how, according to Lucretius, did this cause them to suffer?  

Is technology a good or bad thing?  Who invented it?