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A reading of Lucretius' De rerum natura by Lee Fratantuono

By Lee Fratantuono

Lucretius’ philosophical epic De Rerum Natura (On the character of Things) is a long didactic and narrative get together of the universe and, specifically, the realm of nature and construction within which humanity reveals its homestead. This earliest surviving complete scale epic poem from historic Rome used to be of enormous effect and importance to the improvement of the Latin epic culture, and keeps to problem and hang-out its readers to the current day. A interpreting of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura deals a accomplished remark in this nice paintings of Roman poetry and philosophy. Lee Fratantuono finds Lucretius to be a poet with deep and abiding curiosity within the nature of the Roman identification because the young children of either Venus (through Aeneas) and Mars (through Romulus); the implications (both optimistic and damaging) of descent from the immortal powers of affection and battle are explored in brilliant epic narrative, because the poet progresses from his invocation to the mummy of the youngsters of Aeneas via to the burning funeral pyres of the plague at Athens. Lucretius’ epic bargains the potential for serenity and peaceable mirrored image at the mysteries of the character of the area, while it shatters any wish of immortality via its bleak imaginative and prescient of post mortem oblivion. And within the technique of defining what it potential either to be human and Roman, Lucretius bargains a scary imaginative and prescient of the perils of over the top devotion either to the gods and our fellow males, a observation at the nature of pietas that may function a caution for Virgil in his later depiction of the Trojan Aeneas.

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Intectas fronde quietas). 409 verum protrahere inde). 409 insinuare) in the lair. 142 Memmius may prove to be a lazy dog. 410 re), Lucretius is able to make him a promise with the weighty assurance of a law court. 144 Here the poet proceeds to anticipate a theme that will return in more stunning relief later, in what will amount to 34 Chapter 1 the second proem of this book. 413–414) 146 Metaphors here mix with merry, not to say reckless abandon; the poet has just painted another of his lovely images, and he will provide more for the needy reader.

151–154). 96 We have moved from the world of both mythology and politics (“Rome” straddles both realms) to scientific investigation and philosophical inquiry. The principle that nothing can come into being from nothing has ramifications, too, for the question of intertextuality in literary composition: no epic poem is divorced from connection to its literary predecessors. ). 97 This is the first extended passage in the epic of something approaching what we might call scientific commentary and explication; it serves ultimately to eliminate the great prerogative of the divine: the power and ability to work surprises in the lives of men.

124 The void allows for atomic motion; atomic motion results in the motion of the compounds of said atoms that we can perceive in our world. 342–345). 334). 348–349). 126 The illustrations recommence whence they left off; now the effect of water is not corrosive, but merely a sign of how there must be void in things. 350–353). 355 . . rigidum frigus) penetrates to the bone—once again we are left on a less than happy note as we progress in the argument. 358–362). 367 dedicat; cf. 422) of that which is sought by sagacious reasoning (ratione sagaci).

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