Lucretius

  Lucretius
TITUS LUCRETIUS CARUS, the Roman philosopher-poet and author of one work, De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things), was born around 95 BCE. Almost nothing is known of his life; even his birth and death dates remain open to conjecture. He may have been a member of the aristocratic family of the Lucretii, or else a freedman attached to the Lucretii family. The only uncontested fact about Lucretius's life has to do with his friendship with, or dependence upon, Gaius Memmius, the aristocratic patron of the poets Gaius Valerius Catullus and Gaius Helvius Cinna, for it is Memmius to whom Lucretius dedicates his poem. St. Jerome makes the extravagant claim that Lucretius had been poisoned by a love-philter, and that he composed his 7,400-line poem during his lucid intervals. (This apocryphal tale may be based on Lucretius's attack on erotic passion in book 4.) An anonymous life of Lucretius attached to an early edition of On the Nature of Things indicates that Read More chevron_right