Dido's Epicureanism is as complex and problematic as Aeneas' much-discussed Stoicism. This paper argues that Virgil's allusions to Lucretius form a consistent pattern: Dido embodies the ironies inherent in Epicureanism as practiced by Virgil's contemporaries, mouthing apparently Lucretian sentiments even as she comes to personify a Lucretian exemplum malum. Yet her fall is largely due to the pervasive supernatural machinery of the Aeneid-divine intervention which Lucretius declares impossible. In Book 1, Virgil employs Lucretian allusions in distinctly un-Lucretian contexts to suggest in Dido a disjunction between words and actions. There is a Lucretian flavor in the description of her initial equanimity, in her injunction to the Trojans to put away fear and cares, and in the scientific rationalism of the song of Iopas. These passages contrast with the sensualism evident in her lavish court and her growing passion for Aeneas-excesses of luxury and love described in words that Lucretius used to condemn them. In Book 4, Virgil more directly refutes Lucretian doctrine about the mortality of the soul and the indifference of the gods. The sarcastic questions of Anna and Iarbas are implicitly answered in such a way as to refute the Epicurean stance. Dido points to the gods' indifference a few seconds before she invokes their aid, and her final submission to Fate occurs in words that Lucretius used to deny its existence. Finally, the departure of Dido's soul recalls Lucretius' atoms of "heat and wind," in ironic contrast to the immortality of her Shade.
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