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Lucretius

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  • Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus) was born c. 99 BC. Little is known of his life. St Jerome reports that Lucretius was driven mad by a love potion and that he committed suicide, but there is no evidence for either assertion. He is thought to have died c. 55 BC. De Rerum Natura was admired by Virgil, but Lucretius was forgotten until the rediscovery of the text at the beginning of the fifteenth century and the publication of the first edition in 1473. Translations of the work were made by John Evelyn and Dryden in the seventeenth century, and it was an important influence on Milton's Paradise Lost.
       
    Praise for Lucretius 'C.H. Sisson's version of Lucretius's De Rerum Natura is well worth having. It should help to bring back into active presence not only the most Latin of major Latin poets, but a work in which the perennial question as to whether science and poetry, philosophy and poetry, can be united receives an unsurpassed affirmative answer.'
    George Steiner 
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