Departmental Papers (Classical Studies)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version

2007

Publication Source

The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius

Start Page

76

Last Page

91

DOI

10.1017/CCOL9780521848015.006

Abstract

From the arrangement of individual phrases to the grand structure of the entire poem, Lucretius uses poetic form with economy and imagination to attract the reader’s attention and to drive home his philosophical message. In their main lines, the structure and content of the poem’s argument derive from earlier Epicurean and other philosophical models, and Lucretius’ debts to some of his predecessors are quite detailed. But his handling of this material is distinctive, and his greatest originality lies in the reshaping of a philosophical exposition adapted from previous writers to produce a poem whose form instantiates the main points of its argument at every level and is aesthetically satisfying as well.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© 2007 by Cambridge University Press. Reprinted with permission.

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Date Posted: 12 December 2016