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Lucretius

Lucretius

H412/0316

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Credit

SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lucretius. Illustration of a coin bearing the head of Titus Lucretius Carus (about 94-55BC), better known as just Lucretius. He was a Roman poet who is best known for his poem De Rerum Natura (The Nature of Things), which was written in six books. A famous passage in the poem concerns the primitive life of ancient man and the rise of civilisation. Lucretius sought to free humanity from the fear of death and of the gods. He believed this was the main cause of human unhappiness. Lucretius saw the universe as a chance aggregation of randomly moving atoms. He also believed that all earthly phenomena were the result of natural causes, not divine ones.

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