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Lucretius : Selections from De Rerum Natura Paperback – January 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0865163997 ISBN-10: 0865163995

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Editorial Reviews


Bonnie Catto's Lucretius: Selections from De Rerum Natura is a welcome achievement for those of us who introduce this exciting text to high-school students... I have found other editions to be either too abridged, or too advanced in their expectations of the students' ability with Latin; all are too sketch in their presentation of modern scientific theory. Catto, however, provides enough notes so that fourth-year students can work out the passage on their own and also enough passages so that they get a good overall idea of the structure of Lucretius' poem. The variety of compared passages (from Empedocles to Stephen Hawking) renders most of my homemade handouts obsolete. Finally, Catto's questions...invite opinions on Lucretius' thoughts and methods of explanation and illustration. She has made an already relevant poem accessible to younger and intermediate students. --Elinor S. Wright

This is a good book. Those who wish to give second and third-year college students of Latin a good sampling of the De rerum natura, would do well to give this text their consideration. Following in the tradition of other learning texts offered by Bolchazy-Carducci, Catto's book offers the student not only a full sampling of the poem, but also an abundance of notes, vocabulary, and, perhaps most noteworthy of all, a florilegium of relevant passages selected from classical and non-classical authors that bear upon the particular Luretian passages to which they are attached. It is this combination of features which makes the book worthy of serious examination by anyone who intends to introduce students to Lucretius and his important poem. --C. A. Hoffman, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Those who teach Lucretius to undergraduates as I have may find themselves wishing as I did for a volume of excerpts that provides the student with linguistic and intellectual aids for translating and comprehending this difficult but magnificent Roman poet without the spoon feeding that vitiates so many heavily annotated school texts. They need look no further than this book, a thoughtful edition of key selections from the poet prepared by Bonnie Catto.

Bonnie Catto's seventeen-page introduction is... a treasure trove for the teacher.

The passages are so chosen that the student has a comprehensive sampler of both Lucretian purple passages as well as the more technical passages of philosophical and scientific exegesis.

I wish that it had been available when I taught Lucretius, and I wish more ancient authors were so splendidly served. --Richard Moorton, Connecticut College, New England Classical Journal

Language Notes

Text: English, Latin
Original Language: Latin

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865163995
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865163997
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,161,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Y. Zemmel on December 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you want a book which will give you a decent introduction into the work of Lucretius (in the original Latin, of course), as well as plenty of help with deciphering the lines, this is the perfect book. Check the dimensions on this book, it was quite a bit larger than what I expected when it came in the mail: it is the size of a 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper, with very clear font on the actual Latin lines, with complete glosses for almost every word on the facing page. Lucretius brings up the Epicuranean aspects of existence in his work--through beautiful language. This book makes that accessible to almost anyone. (It is also meant to function as a follow-up to Ecce Romani I and II. This may give you insight to the difficulty of the language: it is AP, or Latin III material, but can also--in conjunction with other texts--can serve as a great college text.)
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra L. Daly on January 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Only purchase this text if you are at the beginning to low intermediate level in Latin, as otherwise you may feel your intelligence insulted. Even at the lower level, be warned-- this is not DRN as Lucretius wrote it. Catto omits many key passages (including one of the most beautiful, i.230-1), glosses nearly every word (and not always well or even correctly), and overwhelmingly comments on poetic devices rather than more useful information (e.g., allusions). I found most offensive her modernization of Lucretius' deliberate archaisms (-ai rather than -ae 1st genitive singular ending, -os rather than -us 2nd nom singular ending, etc.), vitiating the Ennian feel and singular beauty of the verse. Her extensive (and in fact very useful) introduction discusses these and its many other eccentricities, so her emendations are not only irreverent but also unnecessary. For inconceivable reasons my university professor mandated this text, but I invariably deferred to the Loeb and Cyril Bailey's commentary. You're much better off with the full, unaltered text at any level. Yes, it is a difficult poem, but that does not mean we should dilute it. durum: sed levius fit patientia.......
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Lucretius : Selections from De Rerum Natura
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