On The Nature Of Things

Overview

Titus Lucretius Carus was probably born in the early first century B.C., and he died in the year 55. Writing in the waning days of the Roman Republic - as Rome's politics grew individualistic and treacherous, its high-life wanton, its piety introspective and morbid - Lucretius sets forth a rational and materialistic view of the world which offers a retreat into a quiet community of wisdom and friendship. Even to modern readers, the sweep of Lucretius's observations is remarkable. A careful observer of nature, he ...
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On the Nature of Things

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Overview

Titus Lucretius Carus was probably born in the early first century B.C., and he died in the year 55. Writing in the waning days of the Roman Republic - as Rome's politics grew individualistic and treacherous, its high-life wanton, its piety introspective and morbid - Lucretius sets forth a rational and materialistic view of the world which offers a retreat into a quiet community of wisdom and friendship. Even to modern readers, the sweep of Lucretius's observations is remarkable. A careful observer of nature, he writes with an innocent curiosity into how things are put together - from the oceans, lands, and stars to a mound of poppy seeds, from the "applause" of a rooster's wings to the human mind and soul. Yet Lucretius is no romantic. Nature is what it is - fascinating, purposeless, beautiful, deadly. Once we understand this, we free ourselves of superstitious fears, becoming as human and as godlike as we can be. The poem, then, is about the universe and how human beings ought to live in it. Epicurean physics and morality converge.

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.

Author Biography: Martin Ferguson Smith is Prof. 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Charles Segal
The translation is accurate, clear, readable, and vigorous. The introduction is excellent.
David Sedley
Meticulous, judicious and reader-friendly in equal measure, it embodies the fruits of a lifetime's study of Lucretius' poetic masterpiece.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783842438675
  • Publisher: TREDITION CLASSICS
  • Publication date: 11/5/2011
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.81 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 2, 2011

    Whatever happened to proofreading?

    Good grief! Whatever happened to proofreading something before submitting it? This looks like someone put the book through character recognition software and failed to check that the results were actual words and maybe ,I don't know, formatted. Example: Sometimes words with double "l's" are shown with a "U" instead. 'Allot' is 'AUot'. I feel like I am translating hieroglyphics sometimes. I realize that the book was free, but still! If you are going to do a job, take pride in the results or don't waste your time and the victims (err readers.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    This is not the translation by Martin Ferguson Smith as stated i

    This is not the translation by Martin Ferguson Smith as stated in the description. From the sample provided, it is the standard public domain translation by William Ellery Leonard. Do not be fooled.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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