Biography of Lucretius
Lucretius lived from 99-55 BC. His birth date is not certain, and little is known of his parentage or birthplace. Though often referred to as Lucretius, his official name is Titus Lucretius Carus. Highly educated, he belonged to the aristocratic sector of the Tricipitini, which often emerged in positions of official status.
He craved to free humanity from its unhappiness, which mainly resulted from fear of the afterlife and the gods. He was a moralist and a reformer as well as a scientist, and yet always a poet. His major work, 'De Rerum Natura', sought to do this, borrowing from the work of Democritus, who discovered primitive atomic theories, and Epicurus, who believed that pleasure was the main goal of life. The philosophy of Epicureanism sprung from his beliefs.
In order to achieve this goal of ultimate happiness, the gnawing fears of humanity had to be erased. Lucretius denounced religion as the greatest source of human corruption and anguish. The gods, rather than being a driving force in everyday life, were a model to strive towards. It is rumored that he died from ingesting a love potion, given to him by his wife.
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Book Iii - Part 02 - Nature And Composit...
First, then, I say, the mind which oft we call The intellect, wherein is seated life's Counsel and regimen, is part no less Of man than hand and foot and eyes are parts
Book I - Part 05 - Character Of The Atom...
Bodies, again, Are partly primal germs of things, and partly Unions deriving from the primal germs. And those which are the primal germs of things
Book Ii - Part 02 - Atomic Motions
Now come: I will untangle for thy steps Now by what motions the begetting bodies Of the world-stuff beget the varied world, And then forever resolve it when begot,
Book Ii - Part 01 - Proem
'Tis sweet, when, down the mighty main, the winds Roll up its waste of waters, from the land To watch another's labouring anguish far, Not that we joyously delight that man
Book Iii - Part 05 - Cerberus And Furies...
Tartarus, out-belching from his mouth the surge Of horrible heat- the which are nowhere, nor Indeed can be: but in this life is fear Of retributions just and expiations
Book Iii - Part 04 - Folly Of The Fear O...
Therefore death to us Is nothing, nor concerns us in the least, Since nature of mind is mortal evermore. And just as in the ages gone before
Book I - Part 04 - Nothing Exists Per Se...
But, now again to weave the tale begun, All nature, then, as self-sustained, consists Of twain of things: of bodies and of void In which they're set, and where they're moved around.
Book V - Part 03 - The World Is Not Eter...
And first, Since body of earth and water, air's light breath, And fiery exhalations (of which four This sum of things is seen to be compact)
Book Iv - Part 03 - The Senses And Menta...
Bodies that strike the eyes, awaking sight. From certain things flow odours evermore, As cold from rivers, heat from sun, and spray From waves of ocean, eater-out of walls
Book I - Part 06 - Confutation Of Other ...
And on such grounds it is that those who held The stuff of things is fire, and out of fire Alone the cosmic sum is formed, are seen Mightily from true reason to have lapsed.
Book I - Part 07 - The Infinity Of The U...
Now learn of what remains! More keenly hear! And for myself, my mind is not deceived How dark it is: But the large hope of praise Hath strook with pointed thyrsus through my heart;
Book V - Part 06 - Origins And Savage Pe...
But mortal man Was then far hardier in the old champaign, As well he should be, since a hardier earth Had him begotten; builded too was he
Book Iii - Part 03 - The Soul Is Mortal
Now come: that thou mayst able be to know That minds and the light souls of all that live Have mortal birth and death, I will go on Verses to build meet for thy rule of life,
Book Iv - Part 04 - Some Vital Functions
In these affairs We crave that thou wilt passionately flee The one offence, and anxiously wilt shun The error of presuming the clear lights
Book V - Part 01 - Proem
O who can build with puissant breast a song
Worthy the majesty of these great finds?
Or who in words so strong that he can frame
The fit laudations for deserts of him
Who left us heritors of such vast prizes,
By his own breast discovered and sought out?-
There shall be none, methinks, of mortal stock.
For if must needs be named for him the name
Demanded by the now known majesty