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On the Nature of Things Historical Context

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Historical Context

Political Turmoil

During Lucretius' life (94 B.C. to 55 B.C.), Rome suffered a great deal of political upheaval in the struggle for power. In 88 B.C. civil war erupted between the aristocrat Lucius Cornelius Sulla and the populist Gaius Marius. When Marius marched against Rome, he was cruel and vindictive, seeking vengeance on the aristocracy with indiscriminate killing sprees. When Lucretius was a teenager, Sulla returned to Rome to be its dictator, seeking retaliation against those who had opposed him in the earlier conflict. Lucretius also saw the decline of the republican government that had been in place for much of his life. Although unstable, at least the republican government was familiar to the people and they did not have to live in constant fear of what kind of oppressive military regime would rule them next. A consequence of the fall of the republic was a shift in...

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This section contains 800 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our On the Nature of Things Study Guide
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On the Nature of Things from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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