We know nothing substantive about Titus Lucretius Carus. He is known only through his poem De rerum natura (On the Nature of the Universe), written c. 55 BCE. The poem is dedicated to one Memmius, probably Gaius Memmius, who was also associated with the 'neoteric' poets Catullus and Cinna. Lucretius is the only extant epic poet of the Roman Republican era. There is a story, possibly apocryphal, that Lucretius was driven mad by a love potion and wrote the De rerum natura during intervals of sanity. This story probably arose from the quirky and often violent nature of the poem.