Titus Lucretius Carus

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(Epics for Students)

Titus Lucretius Carus, known as Lucretius, was born in Rome circa 94 B.C. Little is known about his life apart from the beliefs and values he describes in his epic scientific poem, De rerum natura, or On the Nature of Things. Unfortunately, nothing is known about Lucretius' schooling, family, or literary development. There is confusion regarding his social standing, as the name "Carus" suggests servitude, while "Lucretius" indicates aristocracy. Scholars believe that his six-book masterpiece, De rerum natura , is unfinished. In this epic, he repeatedly discourages the reader from fearing death, advice Lucretius apparently embraced when he committed suicide in about 55 B.C. According to a longstanding (although questionable) rumor reported...

(The entire section is 235 words.)