Manuel Galzerano

La fine del mondo nel ›De rerum natura‹ di Lucrezio


De Gruyter | 2020

Further information and open access

About this book

The end of the world is one of the central themes of De rerum natura, which is also our main source on Epicurean cosmic eschatology. Motivated by the desire to investigate this crucial aspect (which has never been the subject of monographic studies), this book offers a commentary on the main eschatological sections of the poem: the endings of the first and second books, vv. 91-415 of the fifth, and the review of the most violent meteorological phenomena in the sixth. The analysis of the philosophical sources and polemical objectives provides answers to the question of Lucretius’ ‘fundamentalism’, and also lays the groundwork for an examination of his peculiar ‘apocalyptic sublime’. The appendices provide further considerations on Lucretius’ eschatological imagery, focusing on the model offered by Empedocles, the poet’s communicative strategies and the possible influence of the pseudo-Aristotelian treatise De mundo. This examination shows that the poet recalls doctrines and philosophical sources subsequent to Epicurus, without, however, falling into eclecticism: a man of his time, Lucretius “actualises” the master’s doctrines, proposing them as an answer to the anxieties of his own time.


Author information

Manuel Galzerano, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Rome, Italy.


“Gerade weil er sich in seiner Studie auf ein Motiv konzentriert, kann G. einen wichtigen
Beitrag zur Quellenforschung von De rerum natura leisten.” Eva Marie Noller in: Gymnasium 128/2021, 93-95.