The Nature of Things

The Nature of Things

by Lucretius


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This great didactic poem stands with Vergil's Aeneid as on e of the most monumental and lasting achievements of Latin literature. Rendered into contemporary English by today's foremost translator of Latin epic, Frank O. Copley, it is again revealed as a work of lasting poetic beauty and continuing modern interest.

Based on the tenets of Epicurean philosophy, The Nature of Things sets forth a world view anticipating our own. All that exists is composed of atoms that unite to form matter and dissipate with time. Even the soul is made up of atoms; however, there is no place in the Epicurean universe for the Roman gods, whose existence Lucretius refutes. Lucretius considers the fear of death to be the source of most human ills, and seeks to dispel it by demonstrating that the soul, like the body, dissolves painlessly into its constituent atoms after death. There is no afterlife, therefore no cause for fear.

Frank O. Copley has rendered the original Latin hexameters line for line into "a somewhat loosened form" of iambic pentatmeter, as in his well-known verse translation of Vergil's Aeneid. An introduction provides biographical and philosophical backgrounds to the poem, and there are extensive notes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613828724
Publisher: Simon & Brown
Publication date: 02/14/2012
Pages: 268
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)

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. 

A. E. STALLINGS (editor/translator) was born in 1968. She grew up in Decatur, GA, and was educated at the University of Georgia and Oxford University in classics. Her poetry has appeared in The Best American Poetry (1994 and 2000) and has received numerous awards, including a Pushcart Prize (Pushcart Prize Anthology XXII), the 1997 Eunice Tietjens Prize from Poetry, and the third annual James Dickey Prize from Five Points. 

RICHARD JENKYNS (introducer) is a professor of classics at the University of Oxford, a fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, and the author of a number of books, including Dignity and Decadence: Some Classical Aspects of Victorian Art and Architecture and The Victorians and Ancient Greece.

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The Nature of Things 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LemuelOH More than 1 year ago
I bought the book and it turned out to be translated by Cyril Bailey in 1921 rather than Frank O. Copley