On the Nature of Things
Titus Lucretius Carus
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Reissued to accompany Stephen Greenblatt's The Swerve: the epic poem that changed the course of human thought forever.
This great poem stands with Virgil's Aeneid as one of the vital and enduring achievements of Latin literature. Lost for more than a thousand years, its return to circulation in 1417 reintroduced dangerous ideas about the nature and meaning of existence and helped shape the modern world.
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.
Go for the annotated edition if one exists
A difficult read, I do not think I would read 'On the Nature of Things' again.
I read 'Nature' as a companion to reading Stephen Greenblatt's 'The Swerve: How the World Became Modern'. But Greenblatt devotes the first two thirds of 'The Swerve' to the story of the discovery of Lucretius's 'Nature' in a monastery's library, and it not until Chapter 8 which begins 'On the Nature of Things' is not an easy read' and ends that first paragraph with the sentence 'The language is often knotty and difficult, the syntax complex, and the overall intellectual ambition astoundingly high' that Greenblatt begins to address directly the themes of "Nature'. I would advise reading an annotated edition of 'Nature' if one exists.
This is not the translation by Martin Ferguson Smith, it is the translation by William Ellery Leonard
not Smith’s translation
the description is all lies. Lies, I say.