Lucretius, fully Titus Lucretius Carus

Lucretius, fully Titus Lucretius Carus
c. 99 B.C.
c. 55 B.C.

Roman Poet and Natural Philosopher

Author Quotes

Whenever a thing changes and quits its proper limits, this change is at once the death of that which was before.

Man's greatest wealth is to live on a little with contented mind; for little is never lacking.

There is not anything which returns to nothing, but all things return dissolved into their elements.

At this stage you must admit that whatever is seen to be sentient is nevertheless composed of atoms that are insentient. The phenomena open to our observation do not contradict this conclusion or conflict with it. Rather they lead us by the hand and compel us to believe that the animate is born, as I maintain, of the insentient.

All things keep on in everlasting motion, out of the infinite come the particles, speeding above, below, in endless dance.

All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher.

A man leaves his great house because he's bored with life at home, and suddenly returns, finding himself no happier abroad. He rushes off to his villa driving like mad, you'ld think he's going to a house on fire, and yawns before he's put his foot inside, or falls asleep and seeks oblivion,
Or even rushes back to town again. So each man flies from himself (vain hope, because it clings to him the more closely against his will) and hates himself because he is sick in mind and does not know the cause of his disease.

Though the dungeon, the scourge, and the executioner be absent, the guilty mind can apply the goad and scorch with blows.

Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another's great tribulation; not because any man's troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive you are free of them yourself is pleasant.

What is food to one man is bitter poison to others.

Deprived of pain, and also deprived of danger, able to do what it wants, (Nature) does not need us, nor understands our deserts, and it cannot be angry.

Nature ever upbuilds one thing from other, suffering naught To come to birth but through some other's death.

Fear was the first thing on earth to make gods.

How many evils have flowed from religion?

So potent was religion in persuading to evil deeds.

It is great wealth to a soul to live frugally with a contented mind.

We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.

Men are eager to tread underfoot what they have once too much feared.

But if one should guide his life by true principles, man's greatest wealth is to live on a little with contented mind; for a little is never lacking.

By protracting life, we do not deduct one jot from the duration of death.

Why dost thou not retire like a guest sated with the banquet of life, and with calm mind embrace, thou fool, a rest that knows no care?

Therefore death is nothing to us, it matters not one jot, since the nature of the mind is understood to be mortal.

For as children tremble and fear everything in the blind darkness, so we in the light sometimes fear what is no more to be feared than the things children in the dark hold in terror and imagine will come true.

So it is more useful to watch a man in times of peril, and in adversity to discern what kind of man he is; for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his heart, and the mask is torn off, reality remains.

What once sprung from the earth sinks back into the earth.

Author Picture
First Name
Lucretius, fully Titus Lucretius Carus
Birth Date
c. 99 B.C.
Death Date
c. 55 B.C.

Roman Poet and Natural Philosopher