Ten fun facts about Lucretius


Fact 1
His only known work is the epic philosophical poem De rerum natura about the beliefs of Epicureanism, and which is translated into English as On the Nature of Things or "On the Nature of the Universe".

Fact 2
Jerome tells how he was driven mad by a love potion and wrote his poetry between fits of insanity, eventually committing suicide in middle age; but modern scholarship suggests this account was probably an invention.

Fact 3
His poem De Rerum Natura (usually translated as "On the Nature of Things" or "On the Nature of the Universe") transmits the ideas of Epicureanism, which includes Atomism, and psychology.


Fact 4
Lucretius was the first writer to introduce Roman readers to Epicurean philosophy.

Fact 5
The poem, written in some 7,400 dactylic hexameters, is divided into six untitled books, and explores Epicurean physics through richly poetic language and metaphors.

Fact 6
His work virtually disappeared during the Middle Ages, but was rediscovered in a monastery in Germany in 1417, by Poggio Bracciolini, and played a crucial role both in the development of atomism and the efforts of various figures of the Enlightenment era to construct a new Christian humanism.

Fact 7
He was either a friend or client of Gaius Memmius, to whom De Rerum Natura was addressed and dedicated.

Fact 8
Lucretius was probably a member of the aristocratic gens Lucretia, and his work shows an intimate knowledge of the luxurious lifestyle in Rome.

Fact 9
Lucretius's love of the countryside invites speculation that he inhabited family-owned rural estates, as did many wealthy Roman families.

Fact 10
He was certainly expensively educated with mastery of Latin, Greek, literature, and philosophy.


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Titus Lucretius Carus was a Roman poet and philosopher.

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