Lucretius and the Meaning of the Disease in De Rerum Natura

Fernando Rosa


In De Rerum natura disease is represented as a real event (the well known Athenian plague during the Peloponnesian war, already in Thucydides); Lucretius describes it with great clinical precision, using both Thucydidean text and quotations from C.H. Lucretius underscores the subjective aspects of disease and suffering, emphasizing them in the description of the falling ills anxiety for the forthcoming death. Disease is also examined in a metaphorical dimension, at the light of Epicurean thought- according to Lucretius the only doctrine which is able, teaching a correct concept of time, to reduce suffering.


Key words: Lucretius - Athens plague - De rerum natura Epicurus

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