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On the Nature of Things

On the Nature of Things by Titus Lucretius Carus
By: (94? BC - 49? BC)

Written in the first century b.C., On the Nature of Things (in Latin, "De Rerum Natura") is a poem in six books that aims at explaining the Epicurean philosophy to the Roman audience. Among digressions about the importance of philosophy in men's life and praises of Epicurus, Lucretius created a solid treatise on the atomic theory, the falseness of religion and many kinds of natural phenomena. With no harm to his philosophical scope, the author composed a didactic poem of epic flavor, of which the imagery and style are highly praised.

First Page:

OF THE NATURE OF THINGS

By Titus Lucretius Carus

A Metrical Translation

By William Ellery Leonard

BOOK I

PROEM

Mother of Rome, delight of Gods and men, Dear Venus that beneath the gliding stars Makest to teem the many voyaged main And fruitful lands for all of living things Through thee alone are evermore conceived, Through thee are risen to visit the great sun Before thee, Goddess, and thy coming on, Flee stormy wind and massy cloud away, For thee the daedal Earth bears scented flowers, For thee waters of the unvexed deep Smile, and the hollows of the serene sky Glow with diffused radiance for thee! For soon as comes the springtime face of day, And procreant gales blow from the West unbarred, First fowls of air, smit to the heart by thee, Foretoken thy approach, O thou Divine, And leap the wild herds round the happy fields Or swim the bounding torrents. Thus amain, Seized with the spell, all creatures follow thee Whithersoever thou walkest forth to lead, And thence through seas and mountains and swift streams, Through leafy homes of birds and greening plains, Kindling the lure of love in every breast, Thou bringest the eternal generations forth, Kind after kind... Continue reading book >>


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