Lucretius (5357 words)

Carey Seal (University of California, Davis)
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The Roman poet Titus Lucretius Carus produced a single masterpiece, De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things), an exposition of Epicurean views about nature and one of the finest and most influential works of Latin literature.


Virtually nothing is known about Lucretius’ life. Aside from whatever we might want to infer from the De rerum natura itself, there are only four pieces of evidence about him that stem or present themselves as stemming from sources other than the poem. One is an entry for the year 94 B.C.E. in a chronology compiled by the fourth- and fifth-century Christian writer Jerome, which states “Titus Lucretius the poet is born, who afterwards, having been driven into …

Citation: Seal, Carey. "Lucretius". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 December 2011 [, accessed 21 June 2021.]

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