This book studies Virgil's ideas of nature, history, sense of nation, and sense of identity. It is exact and patient in its probing for nuance and detail, but also bold, wide, and original in its scope. It combines the study of Virgil with the study of attitudes to nature throughoutantiquity. Blending literature with history, and in the case of Lucretius, philosophy, it offers a vision and an interpretation of the culture of the 1st century BC as a whole. It argues that Lucretius and Virgil affected a revolution in Western sensibility; claiming that a book about poetry shouldbe a book about life, it combines scholarship and precision with a sense of the importance of literature and its capacity to enhance our understanding of our past and of ourselves.