Lucretius' poem On the Nature of Things combines a scientific and philosophical treatise with some of the greatest poetry ever written. With intense moral fervour he demonstrates to humanity that in death there is nothing to fear since the soul is mortal, and the world and everything in it is governed by the mechanical laws of nature and not by gods; and that by believing this men can live in peace of mind and happiness. He bases this on the atomic theory expounded by the Greek philosopher Epicurus, and continues with an examination of sensation, sex, cosmology, meteorology, and geology, all of these subjects made more attractive by the poetry with which he illustrates them.
About The Author
Titus Lucretius Carus (who died c. 50 BC) was an Epicurean poet writing in the middle years of the first century BC. His six-book Latin hexameter poem De rerum natura survives virtually intact, although it is disputed whether he lived to put the finishing touches to it. As well as being a pioneering figure in the history of philosophical poetry, Lucretius has come to be our primary source of information on Epicurean physics, the official topic of his poem.
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Comments about The Nature of Things:
I wasn't impressed with Lucretius' physics & astronomy but his comments on civilisation, religion & Epicureanism were intriguing. Marvellous translation with good notes.
One of the most extraordinary classical translations of recent times -- Peter Stothard Times Literary Supplement A.E. Stallings's brilliant recent translation -- Eric Orrmsby Wall Street Journal
|The nature of things||p. 1|
|Matter and void||p. 3|
|The dance of atoms||p. 36|
|Mortality and the soul||p. 72|
|The senses||p. 106|
|Cosmos and civilization||p. 147|
|Weather and the Earth||p. 196|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 13th September 2007
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.1 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.25