PROGRESSO DELLA CIVILTA' E INVENTIO DELLA VERITA' IN LUCREZIO (DE RERUM NATURA I, 635-920)
In this paper I try to show the various needs and aims that lead Lucretius in DRN I, 635-920 to elaborate a critical reconstruction of the research on nature’s principles of Heraclitus, Empedocles and Anaxagoras. It is likely that the original source for DRN I, 635-920 included a discussion of Democritus’s thought, which, however, Lucretius excludes from his text. In order to understand the reasons for this exclusion it is necessary to recall first the progress of civilization we find in Book V; this allows us to emphasize how ancient research on nature developed with time, more and more approximating truth. Secondly, it is important to show that the emphasis on the progress of ideas imposed a decisive weight to pre-Epicurean doctrines in the discovery of truth. As unacceptable consequence the novelty of the Epicurus’ true philosophy it was obfuscated.