On the Nature of Things

On the Nature of Things

Book - 1946
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Publisher: New York : Published for the Classics Club by W.J. Black, 1946
Characteristics: xxviii, 370 p. ; 20 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 11, 2016

While I was dimly aware of the Roman writer, it wasn't until reading Stephen Greenblatt's book about the Renaissance, "The Swerve," that I learned more about him. The book, which takes its title from Lucretius's theory of atomic movement, is centered on the rediscovery of "On the Nature of Things" by a 15th century Florentine. The subtitle of Greenblatt's book is "How the World Became Modern" and for him, Lucretius is not just a great poet, but a radical thinker whose ideas helped man emerge from the dark ages. He, perhaps, overvalues Lucretius's contributions, which isn't to say there aren't some fascinating ideas in here. Lucretius develops both a scientific line of inquiry, using the theory of atoms developed by the Greek Democritus, and a philosophical one, based on Epicurus. The upshot is that all is material, avoiding pain is desirable, and while there are gods, they are in no way involved in our lives. These certainly would have been subversive ideas in their time and at the end of the middle ages, but it does feel more as if Lucretius is synthesizing many ideas rather than offering original thoughts. A compelling and provocative read, nonetheless. Translator Frank O. Copley provides a useful introduction and helpful footnotes.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at CSM

To Top