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Of the Nature of Things (Annotated) [Kindle Edition]

Titus Lucretius Carus , William Leonard
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
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Book Description

According to Lucretius's frequent statements in his poem, the main purpose of the work was to free Gaius Memmius's mind of the supernatural and the fear of death. He attempts this by expounding the philosophical system of Epicurus, whom Lucretius glorifies as the hero of his epic poem.
Lucretius identifies the supernatural with the notion that the gods/supernatural powers created our world or interfere with its operations in any way. He argues against fear of such gods by demonstrating through observations and argument that the operations of the world can be accounted for in terms of natural phenomena—the regular but purposeless motions and interactions of tiny atoms in empty space.
He argues against the fear of death by stating that death is the dissipation of a being's material mind. Lucretius uses the analogy of a vessel, stating that the physical body is the vessel that holds both the mind (mens) and spirit (anima) of a human being. Neither the mind nor spirit can survive independent of the body. Thus Lucretius states that once the vessel (the body) shatters (dies) its contents (mind and spirit) can no longer exist. So, as a simple ceasing-to-be, death can be neither good nor bad for this being. Being completely devoid of sensation and thought, a dead person cannot miss being alive. According to Lucretius, fear of death is a projection of terrors experienced in life, of pain that only a living (intact) mind can feel. Lucretius also puts forward the 'symmetry argument' against the fear of death. In it, he says that people who fear the prospect of eternal non-existence after death should think back to the eternity of non-existence before their birth, which they probably do not fear.

Includes a biography of the Author

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Product Details

  • File Size: 529 KB
  • Print Length: 343 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1466297654
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: DB Publishing House (September 21, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005OSA7HO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,993 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the Nature of Things May 28, 2012
By weston
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"On the Nature of Things" by Lucretius. A translation by Frank Copley of the famous Latin poem, written by Lucretius, who lived circa 95-50 B.C., setting forth the atomistic philosophy of Epicureus 340-270 B.C. The poem was lost with the collapse of the Roman empire and only came to light again in 1417 when a copy of a copy of a copy...was found in a German monastery by a discharged papal secretary--see "The Swerve".
Astoundingly, much of this poem is consistent with scientific models today---invisible and minute atoms forever moving in a void under internal and external forces, joining together in various ways to form the visible objects of the world. The atoms themselves were eternal but the bodies came to an end and the atoms recycled into other bodies so that the mass of the world remains constant. He got it wrong about the speed of " heat atoms" being faster than the speed of "light atoms", but by and large this is the atomic theory of Maxwell and Boltzmann and later physicists, without the math of course.
While not denying the existence of gods of various sorts,Lucretias' view was that the universe goes on without their aid or attention. The world as we know it was brought into being and maintained by natural forces and follows natural laws, not in any degree by divine intervention. Since the world is a conglomerate of atoms and void, it is impermanent and must someday inevitably be destroyed, including the soul upon death. Seeing things thusly, there is no room for the afterlife, no need for gods major or minor, no reason to despair of death, and certainly no reason to forgo the pleasures of this world for a reward in the afterlife. What we see in this life is all there is and we should enjoy it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEW THOUGHT March 29, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It has always facinated me how we as humams come to a point in our lives, if we are lucky, where it occurs to us NEW thoughts, new realizations, brand new ways to see and experience our lifes. How is it that we think the way we think and not another way? Why does it occur to others, the great thinkers, that they can change the way they think and completely change the life experience?
This is one of this original thinkers book. Can you change your life experience? Sure, you can!
Good luck!!!!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking October 21, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wondered if I would find this 2000 year old poem relevant to my 21st century life. It is. On The Nature of Things is almost a reference book of everyday subjects from pain, harmony, love, touch, taste and free will. It also goes on the broader subjects such as life, rain, atoms, religion, earth and the universe. The outline of the poem gives you a broad idea of what Lucretius is talking about, and the index lets you quickly find his thoughts on any given subject. I find that I pick up the book when I'm thinking about something, and I wonder what Lucretius has to say about it. I would suggest this book to any independant thinker.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
On the Nature of Things is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of the only surviving work of the Roman philosopher Lucretius, born in 99 BC. In "On the Nature of Things", Lucretius sought to liberate his fellow Romans from their fear of the gods, and their fear of death. Lucretius argued that the gods are not directly involved in life, and therefore there is no need to appease them; he also argued that death is the end of a human being's body and soul, and therefore there is no point in fearing it. An unforgettable amalgamation of insight, now in a new English translation by Ian Johnston and intuitively performed by theater, film, and television actor Hugh Ross, On the Nature of Things deserves the highest recommendation especially for public and college library collections.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars False advertising! Faulty production! December 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Buyer Beware this version. It lacks: 1) 'annotation' as advertised - it is not annotated; 2) table of contents; 3) index; 4) references about the edition; 5) information about the translator and translation.

Too bad it's badly produced as the translation itself is nicely accessible.


Based on the 'preview' the version above appears to be a knock-off of the version cited below ($2.99 on Amazon)...

"Concerning the Nature of Things - De Rerum Natura [Kindle Edition]
Lucretius Carus (Author), William Leonard (Translator)"

...which has a linked table-of-contents although I do not see 'annotation.' I have yet to buy this version so cannot say if the end material in the version reviewed also appears in the $2.99 version.

Caveat Emptor!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great translation (Focus) December 8, 2012
Like all of the Focus Philosophical Library series books, Englert's translation is clear and accurate. One of, if not the best translations of this brilliant masterpiece.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva Epicureanism September 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A mind-opening experience to say the least! Our first reading of Lucretius after being introduced to it by The Swerve has had a dramatic impact on our lives and personal philosophy. We find ourselves quoting passages already when we find interested listeners. Oh, where has this poem been and why has it not been part and parcel of our "education"?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wally works at my school! July 20, 2013
By Lauren
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Walter Englert is a humanities professor at my college so it was fun to read this work while having him teach us about it. Lucretius was definitely on of the most profound authors we read in the course.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars not the book
no text - just table of contents. totally and completely worthless. do not download this non-book, it's a waste of time. find a real version.
Published 1 month ago by A Calm Observer
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes Ancient Poetry Sings Forever
I purchased this poem to go along with the book The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Steven Greenblatt. Read more
Published 2 months ago by DONA
5.0 out of 5 stars A Priceless Book
I wish it was translated to many languages. This book reveals human history of science. Loved every bit of it,
Published 2 months ago by Rabab Khaja
4.0 out of 5 stars very interesting
I bought this book for a college class I was taking because my professor recommended it. I haven't read it completely, but I found it very interesting so far.
Published 3 months ago by Lou
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good.
I got this for a present for someone else. It was in excellent shape and no issues what so ever. Shipping was it stated but came a day earlier.
Published 3 months ago by K. Moreland
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
To think that this man questioned and found many answers to life, humanity and the universe many decades before Christ. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Michael J Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read
If you think there's no wonder without mystery, you should read this. The workings of a mechanistic universe are the inspiration for this great work of poetry. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Multiversalist
4.0 out of 5 stars Reprint of a famous Latin classic
Epicureanism has developed a pejorative connotation in modern times, something like gluttony. In fact, it was an austere philosophy that competed with Stoicism in classical Greece... Read more
Published 12 months ago by D. McKenzie
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
I should write an epic poem like this some day. There aught to be a monist manifesto, and I'll make my amanuensis write it.
Published 13 months ago by John Milton
3.0 out of 5 stars Christian Versus Non-Christian Beliefs
I purchased this book for the sole purpose of reading a perspective of those who do not believe in creation by our one and only God. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Dwayne Young
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