The present contribution starts with the elimination of the recent hypothesis of an Empedoclean model for Lucretius' hymn to Venus and returns to the general tradition of Hesiodic and Hellenistic didactic poetry being its background. Hesiod's two proems, the Homeric Hymns, Aratus' proem and Cleanthes' Hymn offer the material to elucidate the typology of Lucretius' first proem. Then follows a study of the sources (or that of the traditional background) to the main elements of praise. One of the results of this study seems to be an emphasis on the importance of hominum divumque voluptas as a symbol of the Epicurean message about the gods and man, another, the highlighting of the very extensive influence of the 5th Homeric hymn to Aphrodite on the first twenty verses of Lucretius, and the third, the quotation of Parmenides B12, 3 for the equation of Venus and Natura, combined with the traditional (not the Empedoclean) connexion between Ares and Aphrodite. The interpretation of the hymn as a whole starts from the supposition that there is no contradiction between its symbolic meaning and the teaching of Epicurus. This may find support in a study of the concept of God in Lucretius and his ways of metaphorical usage. The background to this is given by Epicurus' attitude towards traditional religion, an attitude which has been followed by Lucretius and given expression in his attack against turpis religio as well as in his adaptation of traditional religious motifs to his poetry.