The Logic of Verse in the Lucretian Kulturgeschichte

Master's Thesis


This thesis focuses upon Lucretius’ description of the development of society in the fifth book of De Rerum Natura. I argue that many of Lucretius’ seemingly un-Epicurean statements are actually clarified by his use of archaic poetic devices. Through these features, Lucretius constructs a logical substructure upon which he builds his narrative and philosophical claims. As evidence for this, I compare these poetic devices to those found in other locations throughout DRN, as well as to similar features in Latin and Oscan curse tablets, Ennius’ Annales, and Varro’s De Lingua Latina. Afterwards, by reference to the works of Epicurus, Hermarchus, and Demetrius Lacon, I demonstrate that these philosophical claims are orthodox Epicurean beliefs. I conclude with a brief investigation of the narrative’s Nachleben in Propertius’ Elegia and Ovid’s Ars Amatoria in order to demonstrate that, in antiquity, this portion of DRN was understood in a manner congruent with my analysis.


Attribute NameValues
Author John Daniel Izzo
Contributor Brian Krostenko, Research Director
Contributor Gretchen Reydams-Schils, Research Director
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Classics
Degree Name MA
Defense Date
  • 2017-07-10

Submission Date 2017-07-10
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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