World under Construction: Space and Difference in Lucretius, De Rerum Natura I


The third book of the De Rerum Natura (DRN: 'On the Nature of Things') opens with a eulogy of Epicurus in which Lucretius praises his philosophical master as Graiae gentis decus (3.3), as pater and, not least, as rerum inventor (3.9). The latter invocation already indicates not only that these opening lines comprise a hymnic deification of Epicurus, but that they also deal with res and how res are discovered - or invented.1 In short, the proem is concerned with gaining knowledge of things. This becomes particularly obvious in these lines, following the initial praise of Epicurus.


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