Lucretius Facts

Lucretius Facts
Titus Lucretius Carus (c. 99 BC to c. 55 BC) was a Roman poet and philosopher. His only known work is the epic philosophical poem De rerum natura about the tenets and philosophy of Epicureanism.
Interesting Lucretius Facts:
Lucretius lived in Rome at a time of great upheaval which may help explain the attraction the Epicurean philosophy had for him.
There were many civil wars, political assassinations, revolts and during Lucretius's lifetime including the Slave Revolt led by Spartacus that resulted in mass executions.
Epicurus espoused the idea that intellectual pursuits and internal tranquility were the ultimate ideal and friendship was the greatest good.
The Epicureans shunned politics and violence and emphasized tranquility, peaceful pursuits and a simple life of quiet pleasure.
Throughout his poetry, Lucretius writes as if he were an observer above the usual turmoil of life and as a missionary spreading enlightenment to the world.
The Epicurean philosophy sought to free men from superstition and ignorance by including a natural explanation for the origin and structure of the universe and rejection of the idea of an afterlife.
Epicurus taught that the cosmos is composed of infinite space filled with matter and void and that all matter is composed of atoms and the universe is created not by Divine design but by random atomic collisions.
There was also a belief in the beginning and evolution of life, ideas which would be revived in later centuries by Western scientists.
Lucretius's masterwork, De Rerum Natura, is an epic poem in 6 volumes.
His genius is his ability to explain complex and abstract ideas in a clear and entertaining way.
He uses the image of the goddess, Venus, as a symbol for the life principle and the creative energy of the universe.
His theme is that fear is the enemy of peace and that belief in the philosophy of Epicurus will erase fear, particularly fear of death.
Lucretius influenced many later philosophers including Spencer, Santayana, Bergson and Teilhard de Chardin.

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