Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Beach House Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Shop Popular Services tmnt tmnt tmnt  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Metal Gear Solid 5 Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Deal of the Day
On The Nature of Things (Illustrated) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura) (Philosophical Classics)

33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0486434469
ISBN-10: 048643446X
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
$1.92
Buy new
$6.95
More Buying Choices
17 New from $3.84 16 Used from $1.92 1 Collectible from $150.00
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$6.95 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura) (Philosophical Classics) + Selected Works (Penguin Classics)
Price for both: $18.31

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

Long poem written in Latin as De rerum natura by Lucretius which sets forth the physical theory of the Greek philosopher Epicurus. The title of Lucretius' work translates that of the chief work of Epicurus, Peri physeos (On Nature). Lucretius divided his argument into six books. Books I and II establish the main principles of the atomic universe, refute the rival theories of the pre-Socratic cosmic philosophers Heracleitus, Empedocles, and Anaxagoras, and covertly attack the Stoics, a school of moralists rivaling that of Epicurus. Book III demonstrates the atomic structure and mortality of the soul and ends with a triumphant sermon on the theme "Death is nothing to us." Book IV describes the mechanics of sense perception, thought, and certain bodily functions and condemns sexual passion. Book V describes the creation and working of the world and the celestial bodies and the evolution of life and human society. Book VI explains remarkable phenomena of the earth and sky, in particular, thunder and lightning. The poem ends with a description of the plague at Athens, a somber picture of death that contrasts with the depiction of spring and birth in the invocation to Venus with which the poem opens. The linguistic style of the poem is notable. Lucretius' aim was to render the bald and abstract Greek prose of Epicurus into Latin hexameters at a time when Latin had no philosophic vocabulary. He succeeded by turning common words to a technical use. When necessary, he invented words. He freely used alliteration and assonance, solemn and often metrically convenient archaic forms, and old constructions. He imitated or echoed Homer, the dramatists Aeschylus and Euripides, the poet Callimachus, the historian Thucydides, and the physician Hippocrates. --The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

See all Editorial Reviews
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.



Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (March 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048643446X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486434469
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Neil Scott Mcnutt on July 1, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How incredible it is to read a poet and philosopher from 60 B.C. writing on the philosophical derivation of the idea that atoms must exist, that they have some spin on them, and that there is conservation of matter in nature! These thoughts about "atomism" would have been lost except for the fact that Lucretius presented them in a very good Latin poem. Although credit is given to Leucippus and Democritus for starting the idea of atomism, Epicurius and Lucretius were strong exponents of these ideas. The poem utilizes common observations to illustrate that the world about us is simply a combination of atoms and void. This had strong implications not only for the demise of the Roman and Greek gods and goddesses but also for how humans should live in the real world, and how they largely create their own misery. Lucretius loves life, looks straightly at it, speaks strongly against the fear of death, and promotes a rational calm life in which friendship is very important. The poetry is wonderful and powerful in itself. Two quotes (I,62 and I, 140) in the early part of the poem speak clearly to the modern reader: "When before our eyes man's life lay groveling, prostrate, crushed to dust under the burden of Religion (which thrust its head from heaven, its horrible face glowering over mankind born to die) one man, a Greek, was the first mortal who dared oppose his eyes, the first to stand firm in defiance. Not the fables of the gods, nor lightning, nor the menacing rumble of heaven could daunt him, but all the more they whetted his keen mind with longing to be first to smash open the tight-barred gates of Nature"...Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
47 of 56 people found the following review helpful By weston on May 28, 2012
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.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ray Chanley on 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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 13, 2011
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dan Gilles on December 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura) (Philosophical Classics)
This item: On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura) (Philosophical Classics)
Price: $6.95
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: ill nature, divers clothes, the nature of things