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The Nature of Things (Penguin Classics) Paperback – December 18, 2007
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One of the most extraordinary classical translations of recent times -- Peter Stothard * Times Literary Supplement * A.E. Stallings's brilliant recent translation -- Eric Orrmsby * Wall Street Journal *
About the Author
Titus Lucretius Carus (who died c. 50 BC) was an Epicurean poet writing in the middle years of the first century BC. His six-book Latin hexameter poem De rerum natura survives virtually intact, although it is disputed whether he lived to put the finishing touches to it. As well as being a pioneering figure in the history of philosophical poetry, Lucretius has come to be our primary source of information on Epicurean physics, the official topic of his poem.
A. E. Stallings (translator) was born in 1968. She grew up in Decatur, GA, and was educated at the University of Georgia and Oxford University in classics. Her poetry has appeared in The Best American Poetry (1994 and 2000) and has received numerous awards, including a Pushcart Prize (Pushcart Prize Anthology XXII), the 1997 Eunice Tietjens Prize from Poetry, and the third annual James Dickey Prize from Five Points.
Richard Jenkyns (introducer) is a professor of classics at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, and the author of a number of books, including Dignity and Decadence: Some Classical Aspects of Victorian Art and Architecture and The Victorians and Ancient Greece.
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Top customer reviews
The central theme is atoms and particles and their conduct. He revealed a stunning understanding of atoms that would be proven largely accurate with the massive microscopes that were developed in the 20th Century. He also foreshadowed Darwin and his Evolution of the Species (1859) and the observations of great paleontologists, such as Steven Jay Gould in his Wonderful Life (1989). Lucretius poignantly observed:
“Though the atoms are in constant riot
the universe itself seems to be standing still and quiet.”
A precursor or speculations by physicist Steven Hawking (A Brief History of Time. 1988), Lucretius cites the Greek philosopher, Anaxagoras (450BC), who observed: “All matter is infinitely divisible and motionless until animated by the mind.”
The conundrum perhaps greater than the causes of the universe is this: Is the mind the only reality? This possibility increasingly emerges in the writings of history’s philosophers and today’s astrophysicists. Can it be any wonder that many subscribe to Emile Coue’s auto-suggestion techniques, as detailed in circa 1900 books (e.g., “Auto Suggestion: My Method”) and the many books on self-hypnosis (e.g., “A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis” by Melvin Powers), and the current wave of similar “brain” books by doctors of many kinds (“The Brain That Changes Itself” by Doidge). Lucretius paved the way, and he did it in classic poetry. It’s thrilling to sample the genius-minds from ancient times. 5 Stars BookAWeekMan (leeglovett.com).
The Epicureans, of course, were condemned by the Greek religious idealists, whose world view is based on fantasies and supposition and not by empirical evidence.
In any case, this is a pretty bad error, and Amazon needs to fix it. I've emailed to "Help" about the problem; lets hope it's fixed soon.
In the meantime, f you want to read A.E. Stallings translation of Lucretius' great work, you'll have to buy the paperback.
Most recent customer reviews
DO NOT BUY!!!!