On the Nature of Things by Roman philosopher and poet Lucretius outlines the early classical theories concerning physics and the natural world.
Drawing on the atomism theory of Democritus, dating over 400 years prior to his masterwork, Lucretius main aim with his poem is to explain the various theories on why the world is as it is. Designed to be read publicly and by solitary readers, the wide ranging and lengthy poem examines the nature of the world, of sensation, of human consciousness, and of the celestial bodies above us.
Conversations on matter, space and reality were unusual in ancient times, with many ordinary citizens encouraged to lay the responsibility for such with the Roman Gods. In writing this poem, Lucretius aimed to popularise the theories and explanations of individual physicists and thinkers, over those of the temple priests.
Lucretius himself held logic and reason in high regard, championing the philosophers who sought to discover and refine their view of the world. Indeed Epicurus, whom Lucretius admired for his fervent support of Greek traditions in scientific observation and examination, is the subject of and inspiration for much of the poem.