Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus. Epicurus believed that the highest pleasure is that of peace and tranquility. He also said that the greatest goods were ataraxia (freedom from fear) and aponia (absence of bodily pain) through knowledge of the functions of the world and the limits of human desires. One must find a balance between pleasure and pain because too much pleasure will lead to pain. Epicureans believed in living simply but not too simply because luxury is okay, but too much luxury is not good. Not fearing gods, death, or an afterlife were strong Epicurean beliefs. Also these beliefs lead to unwanted anxiety and pain. Death means nothing to an Epicurean. Death simply was the absence of existence. Epicureans believed they had one life to live and they would live it to the fullest ability. Finally Epicureans endure pain when it is absolutely necessary. When Epicureans can't escape pain, they must endure it by not viewing it as pain, but simply as something that will pass. Virgil denied all truth in the Epicurean worldview, yet he highlights the benefit of Epicureanism in The Aeneid (Harris). Virgil, along with Julia T. Dyson, and Leah Kronenburg draw attention to the Epicurean characters in The Aeneid. Dyson explores Dido as an Epicurean and Kronenburg displays Mezentius as an Epicurean both show the values of love, death, and pleasure. .
In "Dido the Epicurean,"" Dyson highlights specific Epicurean concepts portrayed in Dido, from the Aeneid. Dyson discusses how Dido believed that gods existed but the world was a mechanical universe and it went about in its own way, with no interference. Epicureans too believed that gods existed but did not interfere. Epicureans had no fear of the gods' power or of individual's religious beliefs. Lucretius was a Roman poet and philosopher best known for his epicurean works and beliefs. Lucretius believed love was a dangerous tool and individuals should steer clear of love in order to avoid getting hurt.