Excerpt from On The Nature of Things by Lucretius, translated by Charles E. Bennett ©1946:
Not wholly, then, doth perish what may seem
To die, since from one thing doth nature build
Another, nor will suffer aught to come
To birth without the death of something else.
A lot of things that were codified into scientific laws were sort of intuitive all along. A generation before Christ’s birth, Lucretius put the Law of Conservation of Energy into poetic form.
Of course, a thing is true whether or not you write it down.
At least one English translation of On The Nature of Things is in the public domain, and may be downloaded freely from Project Gutenberg, HERE.