Description : 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.
Description : 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.
Description : On the Nature of Things: by Titus Lucretius Carus. A Metrical Translation by William Ellery Leonard. De rerum natura is a first-century BC didactic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius (c. 99 BC - c. 55 BC) with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. To the Greek philosopher Epicurus, the unhappiness and degradation of humans arose largely from the dread which they entertained of the power of the deities, from terror of their wrath. This wrath was supposed to be displayed by the misfortunes inflicted in this life and by the everlasting tortures that were the lot of the guilty in a future state (or, where these feelings were not strongly developed, from a vague dread of gloom and misery after death). Epicurus thus made it his mission to remove these fears, and thus to establish tranquility in the minds of his readers. To do this, Epicurus invoked the atomism of Democritus to demonstrate that the material universe was formed not by a Supreme Being, but by the mixing of elemental particles that had existed from all eternity governed by certain simple laws. He argued that the deities (whose existence he did not deny) lived forevermore in the enjoyment of absolute peace-strangers to all the passions, desires, and fears, which affect humans- and totally indifferent to the world and its inhabitants, unmoved alike by their virtues and their crimes. This meant that humans had nothing to fear from them.
Description : 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.
Description : 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.
Description : Originally published in 1973. In this systematic treatise, Anthony Quinton examines the concept of substance, a philosophical refinement of the everyday notion of a thing. Four distinct, but not unconnected, problems about substance are identified: what accounts for the individuality of a thing; what confers identity on a thing; what is the relation between a thing and its appearances; and what kind of thing is fundamental, in the sense that its existence is logically independent of that of any other kind of thing? In Part 1, the first two problems are discussed, while in Part 2, the third and fourth are considered. Part 3 examines four kinds of thing that have been commonly held to be in some way non-material: abstract entities; the un-observable entities of scientific theory; minds and their states; and, finally, values. The author argues that theoretical entities and mental states are, in fact, material. He gives a linguistic account of universals and necessary truths and advances a naturalistic theory of value.
Description : 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.