Historical photographs

From Reum Natura. From Prehistory to the Middle Ages

From Reum Natura. From Prehistory to the Middle Ages


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This elegant manuscript of Lucretius' philosophical poem "De Rerum Natura" was copied by the Augustinian friar Girolamo di Matteo de Tauris for Pope Sixtus IV, in 1483. It is an example of interest in ancient treaties on nature by the curia Renaissance.

Lucretius is the familiar name of Tito Lucretius Caro, the Roman poet of the first century before Jesus Christ, who in his great didactic poem in six volumes, De Rerum Natura (Of the nature of things), presented the theories of the Greek philosophers Democritus and Epicurus, and was the main source we have today to know the thoughts of Epicurus.

His representation of the universe as a fortuitous set of atoms that moved in a vacuum, his insistence on the fact that the soul is not a distinct and immaterial entity, but a random combination of atoms that does not survive the body, and its defense of that terrestrial phenomena respond exclusively to natural causes, they try to show that the world is not governed by divine power and, therefore, that the fear of the supernatural is completely unfounded.

Lucretius does not deny the existence of the gods, but considers that they do not intervene at all in the affairs or destiny of mortals. One of the most famous passages of his work De Rerum Natura is the description of the evolution of primitive life and the birth of civilization.

Lucretius was faithful to Epicurus, but adding to it the shed of the heart. It was necessary to make the teacher's intellectual doctrine a cordial doctrine, which would enter through feeling and penetrate, beyond reflection, through the language of fantasy, into the ins and outs of emotion.

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