1969 – 2022
Who was Lucretius?
Titus Lucretius Carus was a Roman poet and philosopher. His only known work is the epic philosophical poem De rerum natura about the beliefs of Epicureanism, and which is translated into English as On the Nature of Things or "On the Nature of the Universe".
Virtually nothing is known about the life of Lucretius. Jerome tells how he was driven mad by a love potion and wrote his poetry between fits of insanity, eventually committing suicide in middle age; but modern scholarship suggests this account was probably an invention. The De rerum natura was a considerable influence on the Augustan poets, particularly Virgil and Horace. It virtually disappeared during the Middle Ages, but was rediscovered in a monastery in Germany in 1417, by Poggio Bracciolini, and played an important role both in the development of atomism and the efforts of various figures of the Enlightenment era to construct a new Christian humanism.
- Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another's great tribulation; not because any man's troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive you are free of them yourself is pleasant.
- Though the dungeon, the scourge, and the executioner be absent, the guilty mind can apply the goad and scorch with blows.
- In the midst of the fountain of wit there arises something bitter, which stings in the very flowers.
- From the very fountain of enchantment there arises a taste of bitterness to spread anguish amongst the flowers.
- The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied.
- The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling.
- The fall of dropping water wears away the Stone.
- It is great wealth to a soul to live frugally with a contented mind.
- What is food to one man is bitter poison to others.
- Pleasant it to behold great encounters of warfare arrayed over the plains, with no part of yours in peril.