03 Oct 1994 12:01

Science, attakcs on religion and superstition, (moderate) sensual pleasure and peace of mind: what's not to like?

There is a curious passage in Dante where, in the city of Dis, he meets various Ghibelline nobelmen whom he describes as "Epicureans". I'd very much like to know whether they were in some sense actually Epicureans, and if so whence they derived their doctrine, or whether Dante was loosely using the word to mean something like "atheist".

See also: Atomism; Lucretius