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On the Nature of Things Essay

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Two other connected passages must be treated here, because they seem to indicate a use for traditional religious rites: 1.1-43 about Venus, and 2.600- 660 about Cybele. The former passage especially has generated much debate. Most arguments reveal a reluctance on the part of scholars to accept that Lucretius could advocate a form of [reverence towards the gods] that deviated from what Epicurus recommended. Indeed, Lucretius appears to be striking a religious chord from the prologue of his poem. Nevertheless, nothing in the invocation to Venus calls the reader to traditional religion, nor does the passage itself contradict Lucretius' overall teaching on piety.

Recently Diskin Clay has asserted that Lucretius introduces the goddess only to reject her later. Lucretius is, according to Clay, entering into the world of his audience and taking them on a journey from an incorrect conception of the universe to a right contemplation of nature. He points...

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This section contains 1,283 words
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On the Nature of Things from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.