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Lucretius - Roman Poet and Philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus




Definition: Titus Lucretius Carus (c. 98-55 B.C.) was a Roman Epicurean epic poet who wrote De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things). De rerum natura is an epic, written in 6 books, which explains life and the world in terms of Epicurean principles and Atomism. Lucretius may have died before De rerum natura was finished.

St. Jerome gives the date of 94 B.C. for the birth of Lucretius and says that he committed suicide at the age of 44. Jerome also says Luretius wrote the work between bouts of madness. This is considered gossip rather than fact, but we have very little factual information. His patron was Gaius Memmius, who is addressed in De rerum natura, and was married to Fausta, the daughter of the Roman dictator Sulla. Lucretius may have come from the clan of the Lucretii and he may have been married to a Lucilla.

For more on Lucretius, see Lucretius and Epicureanism.

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