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On the Nature of Things Essay

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The invocation to Venus has many interesting parallels with the description of the Magna Mater cult at 2.600-660. Lucretius applies the term genetrix to describe both Venus and the Great Mother at 1.1 and 2.599 respectively, although he does not exactly equate the two. He views Cybele as an agent or instrument of the constructive force of Venus. Mother Earth produces her fruit in response to the approach of Venus (tuum initum) and because her body holds primordia, the first beginnings of things. She provides the material through which Venus works. Therefore she can be called una genetrix, but only in the sense that she is the parent nostri corporis.

The idea of agency connects the Magna Mater passage with Lucretius' major discourse on the forces of equilibrium in the previous lines. His argument from line 522 onward has been that there must be an infinite number of any given type...

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This section contains 1,153 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.