‘And bright was the flame of their friendship’ (Empedocles B130): humans, animals, justice, and friendship, in Lucretius and Empedocles
Campbell, Gordon (2008) ‘And bright was the flame of their friendship’ (Empedocles B130): humans, animals, justice, and friendship, in Lucretius and Empedocles. Leeds International Classical Studies, 7 (4).
This paper argues that Lucretius exploits a significant doctrinal overlap between his two most important influences, Empedocles and Epicurus, in his account of the domestication of animals. Like Empedocles (although for different reasons), the Epicureans were vegetarians; like him, they regarded friendship as the basis for society. Empedocles argued that in the golden age there existed a naturally occurring state of friendship between humans and animals. Although Epicurus and his followers disagreed with this theory, there are Epicurean sources that strongly suggest that they themselves thought of the first societies as being founded on friendship pacts made between both humans and animals.
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