Share via Email 'The idea of a Latin poem about atomic physics jars us He overlapped chronologically with the political titan Cicero who had read and admired Lucretius's workand wrote during the tumultuous times that led, in the period after his death, to the collapse of the Roman republic and the establishment of the Roman emperors. His only work is De Rerum Naturaa six-book poem of roughly 7, lines, the beauty and power of which inspired allusion the most literary form of flattery and outright tribute in his more famous Roman poetic successors, including Virgil and Ovid. He wrote in a register of Latin that was self-consciously poetic, with occasional use of archaic vocabulary, and in the metre that since Homer had been the rhythm of epic heroes.
See Article History Alternative Title: The poem is the fullest extant statement of the physical theory of the Greek philosopher Epicurus. It also alludes to his ethical and logical doctrines.
The little evidence available is quite inconclusive. Jeromea leading Latin Church Fatherin his chronicle for the year 94 bce or possibly 96 or 93 bcestated that Lucretius was born in that year and that years afterward a love potion drove him insane.
Having written some books in lucid intervals, which Cicero afterward emended, he killed himself in his 44th year 51 or 50 bce. In his Life of Virgil, Aelius Donatusa grammarian and teacher of rhetoricnoted that Virgil put on the toga virilis the toga of an adult in his 17th year, on his birthday i.
Lucretius distributed his argument into six books, beginning each with a highly polished introduction. Books I and II establish the main principles of the atomic universe, refute the rival theories of the pre-Socratic cosmic philosophers HeracleitusEmpedocles, and Anaxagorasand covertly attack the Stoicsa school of moralists rivaling that of Epicurus.
Book V describes the creation and working of this world and the celestial bodies and the evolution of life and human society. Book VI explains remarkable phenomena of the earth and sky—in particular, thunder and lightning.
The poem ends with a description of the plague at Athens, a sombre picture of death contrasting with that of spring and birth in the invocation to Venuswith which it opens.
Argument of the poem The argument in outline is as follows: No thing is either created out of or reducible to nothing. The universe has an infinite extent of empty space or void and an infinite number of irreducible particles of matter or atoms —though their kinds are finite see atomism.
Atoms differ only in shape, size, and weight and are impenetrably hard, changeless, everlasting, the limit of physical division. They are made up of inseparable minimal parts, or units.
Larger atoms have more such parts, but even the larger are minute. All atoms would have moved everlastingly downward in infinite space and never have collided to form atomic systems had they not swerved at times to a minimal degree. To these indeterminate swerves is due the creation of an infinite plurality of worlds; they also interrupt the causal chain and so make room for free will.
All things are ultimately systems of moving atoms, separated by greater or smaller intervals of void, which cohere more or less according to their shapes. All systems are divisible and therefore perishable except the godsand all change is explainable in terms of the addition, subtraction, or rearrangement of changeless atoms.
The soul is made of exceedingly fine atoms and has two connected parts: Though the gods exist, they neither made nor manipulate the world. As systems of exceedingly fine atoms, they live remotely, unconcerned with human affairs, examples to humans of the ideal life of perfect happiness absence of mental fear, emotional turmoil, and bodily pain.
Humans know by sense perception and argue by reason according to certain rules. Though the senses are infallible, reason can make false inferences. Objects can be seen because they discharge from their surface representative films, which strike the eye just as smells strike the nose.
Separate atoms are in principle imperceptible, having no dischargeable parts. The senses perceive the properties and accidents of bodies; reason infers the atoms and the void, the latter of which exists to explain the perceived movement of bodies.The title of his work reveals the ambition: De Rerum Natura is variously translated as "The nature of things", "On the nature of things" and "On the nature of the universe", a poem to explain the.
De rerum natura “On the Nature of Things” is a first-century BC didactic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius (c.
99 BC – c. 55 BC) with the goal of 3/5(2).
On the Nature of Things, long poem written in Latin as De rerum natura by Lucretius that sets forth the physical theory of the Greek philosopher attheheels.com title of Lucretius’s work translates that of the chief work of Epicurus, Peri physeōs (On Nature).
On the Nature of Things, A complete translation of Lucretius’ poem, by W.E. Leonard, MIT. Leeds International Classical Studies, refereed articles on Lucretius.
Lucretius, a short podcast by Peter Adamson (Philosophy, LMU Munich). Lucretius, in full Titus Lucretius Carus, (flourished 1st century bce), Latin poet and philosopher known for his single, long poem, De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things).
The poem is the fullest extant statement of the physical theory of the Greek philosopher Epicurus. De rerum natura (Latin: [attheheels.comːˈtuːraː]; On the Nature of Things) is a first-century BC didactic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius (c.
99 BC – c. 55 BC) with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman attheheels.com: Philosophy.