What Is The Reflection Of Lucretius's On The Nature Of Things

1276 Words6 Pages
In his work, On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura), Lucretius sought to address “superstitious fears and unscientific notions” that were embedded in his state’s (Rome) religion (450). He recalls the story of King Agamemnon having to sacrifice his daughter to appease Artemis. Upon this recollection, he makes the claim that religion is wicked. However, unlike Lucretius’s belief, true religious faithfulness, as it relates to the Biblical God, does not lead to wickedness, but rather offers redemption from the wicked. Titus Lucretius Carus (ca. 99-55 B.C.) dedicated his life to philosophy and found what he believed was the meaning of things through studying the teachings of Epicurus, a third century B.C. Athenian philosopher. Upon discovering Epicureanism, Lucretius found the work to be liberating as it sought to address humanity’s anxieties and to provide freedom from it. On the Nature of Things can be regarded as Lucretius’ personal reflection of Epicurean beliefs. At the time of Lucretius’ work, it was uncommon for literature to express any notion of beliefs that opposed the traditional beliefs about the gods. Due to this, his views did not have many supporters during his own time. However, his work was rediscovered during the Renaissance, and it is recognized as a unique expression of Roman culture. In his poem, Lucretius intends to “deliver the human spirit from imaginary fears by presenting a purely naturalistic, materialistic interpretation of the world” (450). He believed that this belief in the supernatural was an idea that weighed down man and something they needed to be freed from. In the opening of the passage he describes, “A Greek, first raised his mortal eyes bravely against this menace [Religion]… So his force, a vital force of mind, a conqueror explored the vast immensities of space, with wit and wisdom, and came back to us triumphant”(Lucretius 451). Lucretius is describing the account of Epicurus and the foundation of Epicureanism. He boldly describes Epicurus as a hero in an effort to persuade his audience of the superiority of this naturalistic worldview. He continues to say, “[he brings us] news of what can be and what cannot, limits and boundaries, the borderline, the benchmark, set

    More about What Is The Reflection Of Lucretius's On The Nature Of Things

      Open Document