The Way Things are Quotes by Lucretius
Stephen Greenblatt: The Poem That Dragged Us Out of the Dark Ages
On the Nature of Things (Watson translation)
He overlapped chronologically with the political titan Cicero who had read and admired Lucretius's work , and wrote during the tumultuous times that led, in the period after his death, to the collapse of the Roman republic and the establishment of the Roman emperors. His only work is De Rerum Natura , a six-book poem of roughly 7, lines, the beauty and power of which inspired allusion the most literary form of flattery and outright tribute in his more famous Roman poetic successors, including Virgil and Ovid. He wrote in a register of Latin that was self-consciously poetic, with occasional use of archaic vocabulary, and in the metre that since Homer had been the rhythm of epic heroes. But his subject was not, as we might expect, war, love, myth or history; it was atomic physics. The title of his work reveals the ambition: De Rerum Natura is variously translated as "The nature of things", "On the nature of things" and "On the nature of the universe", a poem to explain the entire world around us.
All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. On the Nature of Things T. Second reading. It is a work plump with fascinating scientific theories, and one with interesting and influential philosophical ideas also; it is, arguably, the latter that account for much of its continuing appeal. We know little about the author, and the securest dating of the poem derives from a reference to it in a letter of Cicero; it was probably first published in around 55 BC.
Lucretius Titus Lucretius Carus lived ca. In six books compounded of solid reasoning, brilliant imagination, and noble poetry, he expounds the scientific theories of the Greek philosopher Epicurus, with the aim of dispelling fear of the gods and fear of death and so enabling man to attain peace of mind and happiness. In Book 1 he establishes the general principles of the atomic system, refutes the views of rival physicists, and proves the infinity of the universe and of its two ultimate constituents, matter and void. In Book 2 he explains atomic movement, the variety of atomic shapes, and argues that the atoms lack colour, sensation, and other secondary qualities. In Book 3 he expounds the nature and composition of mind and spirit, proves their mortality, and argues that there is nothing to fear in death.
Why did this block occur?
Geoffrey Cumberlege, Publisher to the University. No one can set about translating Lucretius into English without finding his head full of the great work of H. It might indeed be thought that with so fine a model in existence it is unnecessary and unprofitable to undertake the task again. But there are, I think, good reasons to justify the attempt. Brieger and still more to the late Professor Giussani, 1 the philosophy of Epicurus is far better understood than it was, and, as a consequence, much light has been thrown on many dark places in the poem, and its general grouping and connexion can be far more clearly grasped. While acknowledging then my debt to Munro for the main spirit of the translation and often for words and phrases which seemed to me inevitable, I have tried at once to embody the results of more recent Lucretian scholarship, and to preserve a more equable level of style, which will, I hope, leave the impression that the De Rerum Natura, even in its most scientific discussions, is still poetry.
Overall Impression : This is an interesting work to read, useful for promoting understanding of classical Epicureanism. Notes mostly extracted from the text: Lucretius' only extant work, written in dactylic hexameter, addressed to Gaius Memmius who became praetor in 58 BC and failed to be converted , written c. He faithfully reproduces the doctrines or Epicurus. Most of his writings have perished, particularly On Nature. Lucretius regarded him as the spiritual savior of mankind.