When I have more time I'd like to write a critique of Tennyson's Lucretius; a poetic exploration of St. Jerome's slander. Tennyson's poem bears in interesting ways on the questions you raise. What did Lucretius mean to convey by addressing Venus In lays that will outlast thy deity? Lucretius' Venus is a deeply complex figure. The personification of pleasure and sexual generation; the figurative mother of the city of Rome; the vital energy of endless and beginningless re-creation. The sometime lo…
I seem to recall that Cicero mentions Memmius' ownership of an Epicurean property in Athens. Theory goes that Lucretius wanted it preserved for the school.