It reminds one that there were countless unknown brave and wise persons in history that we have never heard of and who existed many years before our known historical figures. Before the global rise of our Abrahamic religions there were pagans wrestling and thinking on levels that would not be matched until several centuries later. Brave and wise human beings were living and thinking with vigor and insight well before our current religions dominated. The great Democritus, Diogenes the Cynic, Socrates, Epicurus, and Heraclitus were lighting flames in the mind of mortals prone to dark superstition. And even before them the Eastern force of human thought was burning in places like China and Mesopotamia. Lucretius could have been lost to history but his work De Rerum Natura thankfully survived and it inspired many after him like Machiavelli, Da Vinci, and Galileo. It was an important work for the Renaissance thinkers.
"When human life, all too conspicuous, Lay foully grovelling on earth, weighed down By grim Religion looming from the skies, Horribly threatening mortal men, a man, A Greek, first raised his mortal eyes Bravely against this menace. [. . .]
So his force, His vital force of mind, a conqueror Beyond the flaming ramparts of the world Explored the vast immensities of space With wit and wisdom, and came back to us Triumphant, bringing news of what can be And what cannot, limits and boundaries, The borderline, the bench mark, set forever. Religion, so, is trampled underfoot, And by his victory we reach the stars. " (De Rerum Natura I 62-79)
"Our terrors and our darknesses of mind
Must be dispelled, not by the sunshine's rays,
Not by those shining arrows of the light,
But by insight into nature, and a scheme
Of systematic contemplation."
(De Rerum Natura book I lines 146-148)