Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 199
Most of the people mentioned in "On the Nature of Things" are there to provide examples for Lucretius. He speaks to the Gods and references popular characters in stories and history to make points as he writes.
Memmius is addressed by the poet throughout the poem and seems to be the person it is being written to.
Venus is the goddess of desire and love. Lucretius opens the poem by speaking directly to her.
Mars is Venus's lover and the God of war. He's the one that Lucretius asks for protection from at the opening of the first part of the poem.
Diana is the goddess of the Hunt. Lucretius references her and says that her altar was defiled by the slaying of Agamemnon's daughter.
Iphigenia is the daughter of Agamemnon. In Greek literature, she is sacrificed to appease Diana after her father has killed a deer in a sacred place. Lucretius says that this kind of thing is what religion leads to.
The Dictaean Curetes were two nymphs who hid Zeus when he was an infant. Lucretius references it when talking about events between the Gods.
Ceres and Bacchus are referenced as giving humans grain and grapes, respectively.
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