On The Nature of Things

With the passion of a true poet, Titus Lucretius Carus (ca. 99-55 B.C.E.) expounds the most coherent and eloquent system of materialism surviving from the ancient world. Developing the atomic theory of his master, Epicurus, Lucretius discusses the motion of atoms, natural phenomena, sensation, free will, and the soul’s relation to the body. Most importantly, Lucretius sees his teaching as a bulwark against religious fears and prejudices. Since death is final, humankind need not fear everlasting torture and punishment.