Dr. Del Doughty, dean of the College of Arts, Sciences and Education at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, will present a Program for Learning and Community Engagement lecture titled “Lucretius’s ‘On the Nature of Things’: A Poem Far Ahead of Its Time,” on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 11 a.m. in University Center 217 on the A&M-Texarkana campus at 7101 University Ave., Texarkana, Texas.
In his lecture, Dr. Doughty will discuss Lucretius’s epic poem, “On the Nature of Things,” which advocates the philosophy of Epicurus, a Greek philosopher who lived most of his life in third century BCE Athens.
“Lucretius’s poem was written in first century BC Rome, where it was well received, but its fortunes soon declined with the rise of Christianity a few decades later,” Dr. Doughty said. “For much of the Middle Ages, the poem was lost, forgotten or suppressed. It was rediscovered in the 16th century and has grown in popularity ever since. “
After outlining that story, Dr. Doughty will dive into the poem.
“At its core, it’s about atoms and void, randomness and natural selection—topics well ahead of its time but very familiar in ours,” Dr. Doughty said. “The poem’s view of science is central to everything else that springs from it. It may sound dull at first—who wants to hear a science lecture set to rhyme?—but it’s a charming, enchanting text … and it describes an approach to life by which many abide.”
PLACE is a faculty-led program designed to create a community of learners comprising A&M-Texarkana students, faculty, staff and the community at large. PLACE chooses an annual theme around which to organize a lecture series and other activities that provide focal points for learning and discussion. This year’s theme is “Science and Technology.”