Lucretius: De Rerum Natura Vby Monica R. Gale
Book 5 of Lucretius' philosophical epic De Rerum Natura ('On the Nature of the Universe') deals with the origins of our world and of human civilisation. The poet expounds a rationalist theory of cosmic and cultural development based ultimately on chance encounters of atoms, and excludes the gods from any role in the creation or government of the world. Along the way, he touches on many themes as strikingly relevant in the modern as in the ancient world: the fragility of our ecosystem, the corruption of political life, the futility of consumerism and the desirability of limiting our acquisitive instincts. This edition seeks to convey something of the power of Lucretius' poetic style to students reading the text either in translation or in the original Latin, as well as explaining the scientific argument of the book.
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