Martin Ferguson Smith's work on Lucretius is both well known and highly regarded. However, his 1969 translation of De Rerum Natura -- long out of print -- is virtually unknown. Readers will share our excitement in the discovery of this accurate and fluent prose rendering. For this edition, Professor Smith provides a revised translation, new Introduction, headnotes and bibliography. Martin Ferguson Smith is Professor of Classics Emeritus, Univ. of Durham, United Kingdom. Among his scholarly achievements are his revisions of the Rouse translation of De Rerum Natura for the Loeb Classical Library.
English translation of Classic Latin text with notes, introduction, glossary of key terms. .An outstanding translation of the complete poem which adheres faithfully to the text, with poetic force, accuracy, and humanitas. Includes intro, notes, outline and a glossary of philosophical terms cross-referenced to use throughout the poem.
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.
The primary source for contemporary knowledge of Epicurean thought, Lucretius' great didactic poem theorizes that natural causes are the forces behind earthly phenomena and dismisses the concept of divine intervention.
The Roman philosopher's didactic poem in 6 parts, De Rerum Natura — On the Nature of Things — theorizes that natural causes are the forces behind earthly phenomena and dismisses divine intervention. Derived from the philosophical materialism of the Greeks, Lucretius' work remains the primary source for contemporary knowledge of Epicurean thought.
This elegant new translation at last restores the poetry to one of the greatest and most influential poems in the Western tradition. De Rerum Natura is Lucretius's majestic elaboration of Greek Epicurean physics and psychology in an epic that unfolds over the course of six books. This sumptuous account of a secular cosmos argues that the soul is mortal, that pleasure is the object of life, and that humanity has free will, among other ideas. Renowned author, translator, and poet David R. Slavitt has captured Lucretius's elegance as well as his philosophical profundity in this highly readable translation of a poem that is crucial to the history of ancient thought.
Lucretius and Shakespeare on the Nature of Things maps large, new vistas for understanding the relationship between De rerum natura and Shakespeare’s works. In chapters on six important plays across the canon (King Lear, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream), it demonstrates that Shakespeare articulates his erotics of being, his “great creating nature” (The Winter’s Tale), by drawing on imagery he learned from Ovid and other classical poets, but especially from Lucretius, in his powerful epic that celebrates Venus and her endless creativity. Responding to Lucretius’s widely admired Latinity in his exposition of the life of man in nature, Shakespeare emerges as an early modern materialist who writes poetry that is effectively “atomic,” marked (as we might say today) by fission (hendiadys, for example) and fusion (synoeciosis, for example), joining and splitting, splitting and joining language and character as no other poet has ever done – To give away yourself keeps yourself still; My grave is like to be my wedding bed; I begin/To doubt the equivocation of the fiend/That lies like truth. Readers of Shoaf’s book will encounter anew, through both fresh evidence and close reading, Shakespeare’s universally acknowledged commitment to the art of nature and the nature of art. With Lucretius’s poetry as inspiration, Shakespeare becomes the poet of the material, both in art and in nature, immensely creative with his dædala lingua like dædala natura – his wonder-crafting tongue like wonder-working nature.
"On the Nature of Things" was written over 2,000 years ago by a philosopher who prescribed to the thoughts and beliefs of Epicurus. Epicurus believed that everything in this universe was made of atoms and that these atoms arranged and rearranged themselves into everything that we see and touch, without any help from the gods. Lucretius' poem DE RERUM NATURA is still revolutionary, fundamental to a view of the world that is materialist, atheist and humanist at the same time. The text's influence on civilized thought has been immense and yet, somehow clandestine, not unlike a samizdat.
A Study Guide for Titus Lucretius Carus's "De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things)," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Epics for Students. This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Epics for Students for all of your research needs.
The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition
Author: Monica R. Gale
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The Georgics has for many years been a source of fierce controversy among scholars of Latin literature. Is the work optimistic or pessimistic, pro- or anti-Augustan? Should we read it as a eulogy or a bitter critique of Rome and her imperial ambitions? This book suggests that the ambiguity of the poem is the product of a complex and thorough-going engagement with earlier writers in the didactic tradition: Hesiod, Aratus and - above all - Lucretius. Drawing on both traditional, philological approaches to allusion, and modern theories of intertextuality, it shows how the world-views of the earlier poets are subjected to scrutiny and brought into conflict with each other. Detailed consideration of verbal parallels and of Lucretian themes, imagery and structural patterns in the Georgics forms the basis for a reading of Virgil's poem as an extended meditation on the relations between the individual and society, the gods and the natural environment.
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