Lucretius regards the primitive atoms (first beginnings or first bodies) as seeds out of which individual things are developed.
Lucretius traces, in the fifth book of his poem, the progressive genesis of vegetal and animal forms out of the motherearth.
Lucretius touches on the development of man out of a primitive, hardy, beast-like condition.
Lucretius thus recognizes the whole range of existence to which the doctrine of evolution may be applied.
Of Lucretius, Columella, Silius Italicus, Manilius and Vitruvius were unearthed, copied by his hand, and communicated to the learned.
910-915) by the Roman poet, Lucretius (96-5555 B.C.), in which it is stated that the stone can support a chain of little rings, each adhering to the one above it, indicates that in his time the phenomenon of magnetization by induction had also been observed.
LUCRETIUS (TITUS LUCRETIUS CARUS) (c. 98-55 B.C.), the great Latin didactic poet.
Jerome followed, often carelessly, the accounts contained in the lost work of Suetonius De Viris Illustribus, written about two centuries after the death of Lucretius; and, although it is likely that Suetonius used the information transmitted by earlier grammarians, there is nothing to guide us to the original sources.
Donatus states in his life of Virgil, a work also based on the lost work of Suetonius, that Lucretius died on the same day on which Virgil assumed the toga virilis, that is, in the seventeenth year of Virgil's life, and on the very day on which he was born, and adds that the consuls were the same, that is Cn.
The statements cannot be perfectly reconciled; but we may say with certainty that Lucretius was born between 98 and 95 B.C., and died in 55 or 54.
Cicero, by his professed antagonism to the doctrines of Epicurus, by his inadequate appreciation of Lucretius himself and by the indifference which he shows to other contemporary poets, seems to have been neither fitted for the task of correcting the unfinished work of a writer whose genius was so distinct from his own, nor likely to have cordially undertaken such a task.
Is remarkable that in more than one passage of his poem Lucretius writes with extraordinary vividness of the impression produced both by dreams and by waking visions.
But the insistence with which Lucretius returns to the subject, and the horror with which he recalls the effects of such abnormal phenomena, suggest that he himself may have been liable to such hallucinations, which are said to be consistent with perfect sanity, though they may be the precursors either of madness or of a state of despair and melancholy.
From the absence of any claim on the part of any other district of Italy to the honour of having given birth to Lucretius it is inferred that he was of purely Roman origin.
It may well be assumed that Lucretius was a member of the Roman aristocracy, belonging either to a senatorian or to one of the great equestrian families.
A new taste for philosophy had developed among members of the governing class during the youth of Lucretius, and eminent Greek teachers of the Epicurean sect settled at Rome at the same time, and lived on terms of intimacy with them.
The fragments of the old tragedian Pacuvius and of the satirist Lucilius show that Lucretius had made use of their expressions and materials.
The peculiarity of the poem of Lucretius, that which makes it unique in literature, is that it is a reasoned system of philosophy, written in verse.
But Lucretius, if less original as a thinker, was probably a much greater poet than Empedocles.
Although the title of the poem implies that it is a treatise on the "whole nature of things," the aim of Lucretius is to treat only those branches of science which are necessary to clear the mind from the fear of the gods and the terrors of a future state.
But the chief value of Lucretius as a thinker lies in his firm grasp of speculative ideas, and in his application of them to the interpretation of human life and nature.
Nothing can be more unlike the religious and moral attitude of Lucretius than the old popular conception of him as an atheist and a preacher of the doctrine of pleasure.
The supposed "atheism" of Lucretius proceeds from a more deeply reverential spirit than that of the majority of professed believers in all times.
It has been doubted whether Cicero,' in his short criticism in the letter already referred to, concedes to Lucretius both the gifts of genius and the accomplishment of art or only one of them.
Yet he could not have been insensible to the immense superiority in rhythmical smoothness which the hexameter of Lucretius has over that of Ennius and Lucilius.
S.)/n==Authorities== - The two most ancient manuscripts of Lucretius, O and Q, are both at Leiden, one being a folio (oblongus) and the other a quarto (quadrates).
The philosophy of Lucretius has been much studied in recent times.
The noble poem Lucretius, one of the greatest of Tennyson's versified monographs, appeared in May 1868, and in this year The Holy Grail was at last finished; it was published in 1869, together with three other idyls belonging to the Arthurian epic, and various miscellaneous lyrics, besides Lucretius.
The five chief representatives of this age who still hold their rank among the great classical writers are Cicero, Caesar and Sallust in prose, Lucretius and Catullus in verse.
Lucretius Carus (96-55) were entire seclusion from public life and absorption in the ideal pleasures of contemplation and artistic production.
While the imaginative and emotional side of Roman poetry was so powerfully represented by Lucretius, attention was directed to its artistic side by a younger genera tion, who moulded themselves in a great degree on Alexandrian models.
He has little, if anything at all, of the high imaginative mood - the mood of reverence and noble admiration - which made Ennius, Lucretius and Virgil the truest poetical representatives of the genius of Rome.
Support the line from Lucretius (i.
Of the former kind were Homer, Lucretius, Burns, Scott; of the latter were Euripides, Dryden, Milton.
Some reading between the lines of Lucretius has led the " logic " of Epicurus to have an effect on the modern world, but scarcely because of its deserts.
In the case of Epicureanism we can happily judge of the tyranny of the literal tradition by a comparison of Lucretius with the recorded doctrine of the master.
Physical science remains dialectical, and a physical experiment is as rare in the age of Lucretius as in that of Empedocles.
The Romans at this time had no manuals of philosophy or any philosophical writings in Latin apart from the poem of Lucretius and some unskilful productions by obscure Epicureans.
He was much influenced by Lucretius and had read Plato.
But the work which gained him his reputation as the Homer of Rome, and which called forth the admiration of Cicero and Lucretius and frequent imitation from Virgil, was the Annales, a long narrative poem in eighteen books, containing the record of the national story from mythical times to his own.
The occasional references to Roman history in Lucretius are evidently reminiscences of the Annales.