The On The Nature Of Things

2086 WordsNov 21, 20169 Pages
On the Nature of Things, known also by its original Latin title De Rerum Natura, is a 1st century B.C. poem written by the Roman poet and philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus. The poem was written with the purpose of explaining the philosophy of the ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, to the common Roman audience of the time. Lucretius was born c. 99 B.C. and died around 55 B.C. Lucretius was a follower of Epicureanism. This philosophy sought to refute myth and legends that gods were responsible for the workings and nature of the world. In Lucretius’s On the Nature of Things, he attempts to explain this philosophy to a common audience by stating that the gods do not interfere in the world and that everything that occurs in nature can be…show more content…
The first of such is that nothing is made of nothing (Book 1, line 150). Proof that all things require fixed origins or seeds comes from Lucretius explaining that “…if things came from nothing, any kind of creature could then be born from anything, with no need of seeds.” (Book 1, lines 159-160). The next principle Lucretius discusses is “Nature resolves all things into component atoms, and never reduces them to nothing;” (Book 1, lines 215-216). Thus, the second principle is that nothing is resolved into nothing, otherwise, all matter would be destroyed at any moment and the world will be unable to replenish itself in any manner (Book 1, lines 218-233). Lucretius posits that “Nature always recreates one thing from another, and nothing can be born save by another’s death” (Book 1, lines 263-264). Following this, Lucretius moves on to argue the existence of microscopic particles that “cannot be seen with the naked eye” (Book 1, line 267). He calls these particles atoms and he infers their existence, based on the presence of several common natural phenomena such as the wind, scent, heat, cold, sound, moisture, and even growth and decay (Book 1, lines 271-327). In addition to the existence of atoms, Lucretius posits the existence of void stating “all things are not held closely bound
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