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A Linear Universe

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author examines the questions of how Lucretius guides his reader through the material he presents, and how the structure of the poem is connected with its content and purpose. In dealing with these questions, the chapter focuses on the rhetorical elements of the poem and their role in the poetic process of composition on one hand, and the cognitive process of understanding and learning on the other. The author talks about the few words about the challenge Lucretius faced when he decided to organize the vast material presented in DRN into a single poem. In accordance with the didactic poetic tradition, Lucretius dedicated DRN to an addressee, Gaius Memmius. The poem opens with an invocation of the goddess of procreation and life, and closes with a description of devastation and death.

Keywords: didactic poetic tradition; DRN; Gaius Memmius; Lucretius



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